VXLAN terminology and what it means

What are some of the various terminology used in VXLAN?

VNI/VNID: Virtual Network Identifier or VXLAN Network Identifier

Layer2 VNI carried in VXLAN bridged packets. VNI is configured per VLAN.

Layer3 VNI carried in VXLAN routed packets across VTEPs. One L3 VNI per tenant (VRF) Note: Tenant, VRF, L3VNI are sometimes used interchangeably

VTEP: VXLAN Tunnel End Point

Performs VXLAN encapsulation/decapsulation

NVE: Network Virtualization Edge

Logical representation of the VTEP

VXLAN Gateway

Device that forwards traffic between VXLANs

It could be both Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding.

Anycast Gateway

All VTEPs are configured with the same IP and MAC on a host facing SVI

Underlay Network: Provides the transport for VXLAN

VXLAN an us OSPF,ISIS,EIGRP, BGP, or Multicast routing

China proposes replacement to TCP/IP

China’s “New IP” proposal to replace TCP/IP has a built in “shut up command” for censorship


The Chinese government and the Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei under its control are proposing a “New IP” addressing system for the internet to replace TCP/IP. The New IP system includes top-down checks and balances and such features as a “shut up command” that would allow a central controller to stop packets from being received or sent by a target “New IP address.” The China led proposal was first unveiled at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) meeting in September 2019

How to create a viewshed in Cambium Linkplanner 5.3.0

Viewsheds are a feature present in the Online Map (using V5.3.0 or later), which indicate all the locations in the area surrounding a chosen place that are considered to be Line-of-Sight for a given tower height and subscriber height.


LTE components

What is what in the following diagram when it comes to LTE components
eNodeB -Evolved Node B
This is the main component that allows users to connect to the network.

MME – Mobility Management Entity.
The MME is responsible for initiating paging and authentication of the mobile device. MME retains location information at the tracking area level for each user and then selects the appropriate gateway during the initial registration process.

S-GW-Serving Gateway
The S-GW is responsible for keeping track of devices when they move between eNobeB’s. This is typically not an extra piece of hardware just a function of the EPC

This is what connects the LTE network to the Capital I Internet. This also is typically not an extra piece of hardware just a function of the EPC


Other terms
The S1 interface is described in the 3GPP TS 36.410 specification.

The X2 interface provides connectivity between two or more eNodeBs.


j2 Podcast: Network cabling, WISPER gets funding


Comcast launches wifi6 routers

Want some good geek reading?

Cable Labeling Best Practices from networking

The folks over at WISPER have some good news coming their way

USDA to Make 550 Million available in 2020

<Your competitors are probably applying for funding, so you should to.  Lean on your local economic development folks on help in writing proposals and such.>

Mobile Users double since 2013
The percentage of respondents who said their primary online access devices is mobile has effectively doubled since 2013, and many of those are using mobile as a substitute, rather than a complement, to wired broadband service.


Learning, Certifications and the WISP

One of the most asked questions which come up in the xISP world is “How do I learn this stuff?”.   Depending on who you ask this could be a lengthy answer or a simple one-sentence answer.  Before we answer the question, let’s dive into why the answer is complicated.

In many enterprise environments, there is usually pretty standard deployment of networking hardware.  Typically this is from a certain vendor.  There are many factors involved. in why this is.  The first is the total Cost of Ownership (TCO).  It almost always costs less to support one product than to support multiples.  Things like staff training are usually a big factor.  If you are running Cisco it’s cheaper to train and keep updated on just Cisco rather than Cisco and another vendor.

Another factor involved is the economies of scale.  Buying all your gear from a certain vendor allows you to leverage buying power. Quantity discounts in other words.  You can commit to buying a product over time or all at once.

So, to answer this question in simple terms.  If your network runs Mikrotik, go to a Mikrotik training course.  If you run Ubiquiti go to a Ubiquiti training class.

Now that the simple question has been answered, let’s move on to the complicated, and typically the real world answer and scenario.  Many of our xISP clients have gear from several vendors deployed.  They may have several different kinds of Wireless systems, a switch solution, a router solution, and different pieces in-between.  So where does a person start?

I recommend the following path. You can tweak this a little based on your learning style, skill level, and the gear you want to learn.

1. Start with the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification in Routing and Switching (R&S).  There are a ton of ways to study for this certification.   There are Bootcamps (not a huge fan of these for learning), iPhone and Android Apps (again these are more focused on getting the cert), online, books, and even youtube videos. Through the process of

studying for this certification, you will learn many things that will carry over to any vendor.  Things like subnetting, differences between broadcast and collision domains, and even some IPV6 in the newest tracks.  During the course of studying you will learn, and then reinforce that through practice tests and such.  Don’t necessarily focus on the goal of passing the test, focus on the content of the material.  I used to work with a guy who went into every test with the goal of passing at 100%.  This meant he had to know the material. CompTIA is a side path to the Cisco CCNA.  For reasons explained later, COMPTIA Network+ doesn’t necessarily work into my plan, especially when it comes to #3. I would recommend COMPTIA if you have never taken a certification test before.

2. Once you have the CCNA under your belt, take a course in a vendor you will be working

the most with.  At the end of this article, I am going to add links to some of the popular vendor certifications and then 3rd party folks who teach classes. One of the advantages of a 3rd party teacher is they are able to apply this to your real-world needs. If you are running Mikrotik, take a class in that. Let the certification be a by-product of that class.

3.Once you have completed #1 and #2 under your belt go back to Cisco for their Cisco Certifed Design Associate (CCDA). This is a very crucial step those on a learning path overlook.  Think of your networking knowledge as your end goal is to be able to build a house.  Steps one and two have given you general knowledge, you can now use tools, do some basic configuration.  But you can’t build a house without knowing what is involved in designing foundations,  what materials you need to use, how to compact the soil, etc.  Network design is no different. These are not things you can read in a manual on how to use the tool.  They also are not tool-specific.   Some of the things in the Cisco CCDA will be specific to Cisco, but overall it is a general learning track.  Just follow my philosophy in relationship to #1. Focus on the material.

Once you have all of this under your belt look into pulling in pieces of other knowledge. Understanding what is going on is key to your success.  If you understand what goes on with an IP packet, learning tools like Wireshark will be easier.  As you progress let things grow organically from this point.  Adding equipment in from a Vendor? Update your knowledge or press the new vendor for training options.  Branch out into some other areas , such as security, to add to your overall understanding.

WISP Based Traning Folks.
These companies and individuals provide WISP based training. Some of it is vendor focused. Some are not.  My advice is to ask questions. See if they are a fit for what your goals are.
-Connectivity Engineer
Butch Evans
Dennis Burgess
Rickey Frey
Steve Discher
Baltic Networks

Vendor Certification Pages

If you provide training let me know and I will add you to this list.

Some of my favorite Forums

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How I.T. folks can get rid of clutter

Let’s face it, every I.T. person has at least one.

The dreaded box of cables.  Many of us have more than one. Over the years, in the guise of organization I have ended up with several of these boxes.  They were in categories. Power supplies, monitor cables, ethernet, etc. We have all been in a situation where we needed a cable at 3AM or in a pinch when a buddy calls needing a firewire cable.





So what is a geek to do?
Let’s talk about how to get organized and get rid of those boxes of cables and other I.T. related stuff. It’s all about baby steps and a process. There is an ingrained fear in all I.T. people where the mind thinks, “I may need that someday”. this fear can be paralyzing for some and ignored by others. This fear is still here, though. I have broken this process into two stages.  In the first stage, I call a quick and dirty stage.  These first four steps are designed not to take very long, but immediately give you more space. Don’t spend time worrying about what to keep, except for duplicates I talk about in Step 3. The goal is to find out what you have, classify it, weed out, and gain space by uniformity.

Step 1 – Preparation

Find all your boxes. Get them in one location. Invite some buddies over, turn on some music, or whatever it takes to keep yourself motivated for the task at hand.  I sort better when I have someone to pass the time with, even if they don’t know what they are sorting.  Get yourself some sorting boxes.  I started sorting with cardboard boxes because they were easy to get my hands on and were free.

Step 2 – Classification
If you have your boxes already organized into things like power cables, monitor cables, computer parts,etc. then you can skip this step.  If not your goal in this step is to take your boxes and quickly sort into categories.  Don’t worry about getting too granular with this process.   You will find a natural fit depending on what you have.

Step 3 – Weeding out
Once you have things into classification boxes, take each box one at a time and empty it out. Anything more than one of anything, throw the duplicates in a box of their own.  If this gives you too much anxiety save two.  Feel yourself wanting to save more than two of the same thing? Yo Don’t need more than two.  If it’s something that is broken through it in a special “To-Do” box.  We will talk about this later. Anything you have more than two of sell, give away or donate.

Step 4 – Uniformity
At this stage, you should have several smaller boxes with one thing, maybe a second, of everything you have sorted.  The rest is in one big box or smaller categorized boxes. Go out and buy yourself plastic totes for storage to replace your cardboard boxes. We aren’t done so don’t think “I could have told you all of this dummy”.

Storing things in plastic totes helps in many ways.  First, it saves space by making things uniform.  Uniform totes stack better than boxes of varying sizes. Secondly, it preserves the things inside from water damage, bugs, and other environmental influences.  Thirdly, plastic totes are reusable for other projects.

Up until now, this is all pretty common sense.  Many of you may have done some of this already.  Now comes the beauty.

Stage 2
Step 1 – First month
After a month of having these neatly organized totes pull out your “To-Do” box Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it worth fixing?
  • Do I need to fix it?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Will I use it in the next month? If the answer is “I don’t know” then it’s a no.

Don’t try to fix it at this point. Don’t test it.  Just ask yourself the above questions. If you can’t honestly answer the questions put it back in the box.

Step 2 – 3 months
After 3 months if you have not touched anything in your To-Do box pull it back out. This time ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need to send this somewhere to get fixed?
  • What do I need to do in order to fix this?
  • Is it worth fixing?

At this point, you have not used it in three months.  This should give you an indication of how important and necessary it is to you.  If it has sat for three months it most likely sits for another three months.  Do something with it.  If you can’t put it back in the box.

Step 3 – 6 months
Spend another afternoon or set aside time to go through all of your totes. Ask yourself the following questions

  • Have I needed one of these in the past 6 months?
  • Has something replaced this?
  • How much are these on Amazon, at Best Buy, or somewhere similar?

At this point, anything you have not touched in six months needs to go into long term storage, be sold, or given away. Those are your three options. Long term storage should be your last option because if you follow these steps, it will be just another set of totes you have to go through in six months. After six months of sitting in long term storage it is probably out of date in the I.T. world.  If not, it should be sold if any value is left.

Within six months, the human mind should be able to rationalize all of the things you really need to get rid of.  By re-visiting these boxes a few times, you are re-enforcing the decision to get rid of things. The reason you are saving it is in your mind, so you need the above steps to convince that part of your psyche to let go.

Rational and my experiences
I tell myself I am a collector, not a hoarder.  Anyone who knows me knows I have a huge Gi Joe collection

Part of my Gi Joe collection

Over the years, I have amassed duplicates of figures.  The same has happened with computer parts, old networking equipment, cables, and all kinds of things.  It got to the point I had boxes stacked full of anything and everything. It got to the point it was overwhelming and did not know where to start.  At one point, I probably had over 200 boxes of “stuff” in various cubby holes, garages, shelves, closets, and anywhere I could stuff boxes. If I wanted to work on something, my typical day involved moving boxes around so that I could find stuff or get to the room or tools.

One day I just started going through and classifying stuff.  I started out with totes of stuff to sell, trash bags of stuff I had no idea why I was keeping, and totes of stuff I wanted to keep.  This helped but was not enough. I had space, but it was still a lot of work to do anything. This is when I started the above process.  At first, it’s hard.  You think you need everything or will need everything. Many of the things I was storing I had bought on clearance or in a deal.

This should not be a goal. This is something to get away from.

As you go through this process, you will find the boxes are getting smaller and more granular. A great example is all the mobile phone accessories I had. I took all of that and there it into one tote as I was sorting. I did not worry about what it was as long as it dealt with a cellular phone. One I got to the end of my sorting, and I figured I had found all the phone accessories I had, I took a deeper dive.

The first thing I did was weed out all my old phone cases, Nokia chargers, and ancient gear. This old gear is stuff no one wants. Anything that could be recycled went to a recycled box. The rest is trash. This useless stuff amounted to about thirty percent of my tote. Next up, I came across Android cables. These were mainly mini and micro USB. I did not want to throw any of these away, so I put them all in a smaller tote that was just mini and micro USB cables.

Next up was my iPhone accessories. Everyone in my house uses an iPhone. Charge cables are things that break, and you always need one. What I did was make sure each car had an accessory outlet charger and at least two charge cables. Many times we would be driving down the road, and two people need to charge their phones. Every one of my cars had previously been outfitted with at least a dual USB outlet charger. Any extra charge cables went into a smaller see-through tote and stored in my office.

Finally, all of the accessories such as headphones, Bluetooth, etc. were looked at. I kept us each a pair of headphones and put everything else in a tote of stuff to sell. I had no use for this stuff and no reason to keep it.

There are tons of books and programs on how to get organized. This system has what has been working for me. I went from 200 totes a year ago to around 50 today. I am still weeding out and de-cluttering, but it isn’t paralyzing as it used to me.

Does this apply to everyone? Of course not. I have seen computer stores with the same power supply on their shelf for ten years. Sell the thing at a loss and use the space for something more productive because what happens is that one thing turns into ten, then twenty, and next thing you know, you are out of room.