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Posts Tagged ‘Cisco Tool

Working with Cisco Macros.

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As I was going some switch configuration guides I stumbled upon something that caught my attention macros. These macros allow you to create a set of commands that are issued to the device anytime you apply the macro.

Now these macros are very open ended, and have a host of potential uses. For example if you needed to change the management address of switch in a remote location simply create a macro that will do it for you. This way even though you will lose connectivity to the switch the macro still runs because the commands are being issued by the switch not by you from your computer, thus the new IP address is applied allowing you to connect back in using the new IP address. You can also use these to configure ports. Simply create a macro that will enable various features like portfast, port-security, rootguard, storm control,  etc then head into interface config or interface range config mode and apply the macro, its an even quicker way to apply the same configuration to multiple ports this can also assist you with enforcing a uniform configuration to these ports leaving out human error (in case you configure ports manually one by one or continually configure small groups of ports using the interface range command).

You can also set variables in your macros, variables are assigned using the $ followed by the variable name. So let’s just say you created a macro that will reset a port that has been disable due to a port security violation you can set the interface as variable within the macro, now when you apply the macro simply specify the value of the variable.

See the below macro:

macro name psecrst
do clear port-security stick int $int
int $int
no shut
sh int | include err-dis

Note: Macros are created from configuration mode.

The key points with defining the above macro are the following, the name of the macro in this case the name is psecrst (short for port security reset, but you can name macro’s whatever you want), then you input the commands in the format and order needed to accomplish what you want successfully. Something to keep in mind is the commands will be issued from configuration mode (config) so if some commands needs to be issued in different modes you will need to account for that. You can also see I specified the variable at $int so I am able to specify whatever interface I need to in order for this macro to work correctly. When you are finished putting the commands in your macro you finish the macro by inputting the @ symbol.

To apply a macro we can issue the following command:

macro global apply psecrst $int fa0/2

As you can see after I specify the macro name I then start calling the variables (and you can have more then one variable in a macro) followed by the desired value of the variable. So in this case I specified fa0/2 as the variable so when the macro runs it resets port fa0/2.

Now if you run a macro and you are not getting the results you were expecting you apply the macro using this command

macro global trace psecrst $int fa0/2

Here we specified the keyword trace instead of apply this tells the switch to show you the commands as they are being issued.

I’ve attached the below screen captures:

Creating a macro within the CLI of a catalyst switch

Starting a macro with a variable assigned.

Tracing a macro with a variable assigned.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

June 13, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Configuring a SPAN session.

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A SPAN session is a way for you to have the traffic that is transmitted and/or received from one port or VLAN and have it forwarded out another port for analysis purposes. It’s very easily configured by a few small statements and the only thing you have to decide on is which port you want to monitor, the traffic flow you want to see from that port (egress, ingress, or both) and the destination port you want the traffic sent to. (See the configuration below)

Note: For this local SPAN session both the source port and destination port must be on the same switch. RSPAN allows SPAN sessions across remote switches, but I will not be covering RSPAN in this post.

Their isn’t much to consider concerning the source port since it will not be effected at all, the destination port however is treated a bit differently. First off the destination port will be put in a “Monitor” mode, meaning traffic received on this port will be dropped. Only traffic from the source port will be transmitted out of the destination port by the switch that’s it.

You can issue the sh monitor session # command to see if their are any active SPAN sessions on the switch, or if you want to see the details of a configured SPAN session. The source port (fa0/1), traffic flow (both), destination port (fa0/2), and the encapsulation, are all shown in the command. To close down a SPAN session simply issue the no monitor session # command.

Now your next question might be, what are you going to use this for or why are you going analyze the traffic? Well, if the station at the destination port is running Wireshark, it’s a real easy way to get a glimpse at the traffic traversing your network. From their you can look through the data and see if anything sticks out. Alternatively you can have a SPAN session provide data to a IDS/IPS system so it can monitor your network for any abnormalities.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

April 4, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Who’s congesting my network?

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I figured I would write a post concerning some features built-in to most Cisco routers nowadays that can be lifesavers in identifying network congestion and who/what is causing it.

The first feature I want to mention is NetFlow, this nifty little feature will identify network traffic by the protocol as well as determine how much throughput each protocol is using giving you a clear view of the traffic traveling your network. You configre it on a per interface basis, specify the address you want the Netflow information sent to, and also the port you want it sent out on. 2055 is the default port used by the SolarWinds Netflow Analyzer in this case (Free Tool)

You can issue the sh ip cache flow command to see the output. While this output can be duanting at first it is actually fairly simply to understand once you realize what each column signifies. A nice shortcut for analyzing netflow is to find a free tool that will do it for you.

Their is more information displayed but from this point it looks almost identical to the sh ip flow top-talkers command shown below, the important thing here is the breakdown of the major protocols.

The next really cool feature is called top talkers after you configure this you can quickly see which end devces on your network are taking up the most bandwidth.

The configuration is as follows:

A fairly straight forward configuration, first you enable top top talkers and then configure the parameters you want. You can set top-talkers to sort by the amount of bytes from each end device or by the amount of packets. You can also configure the amount of devices you want to see, anything from 1 device to 200 device I usually prefer to simply see the top 10 devices (well 8 in this case)

You view the top talkers with the sh ip flow top-talkers command:

As you can see the output is placed nicely in a few columns, identifying the source interface and IP address, the destination interface and IP address,  the protocol number (Pr column), the source and destination ports (keep in mind these are in hex format and need to be converted to decimal), and lastly the amount of bytes transferred in this case.

So whether someone has introduced a new program, or a users decides to try and download the entire internet you should be able to easily identify it. Those two built-in features alone can help you troubleshoot any network congestion your network experiences with your Cisco devices.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

January 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

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