CCR1016 BGP route pull down

This morning I had a Mikrotik CCR1016 where I had to change the router ID, which caused all the sessions to reset. The following is a screenshot of the time it took to re-learn all of the peers. Obviously, the smaller prefixes were learned pretty quickly. It took about 10 minutes to learn two full IPv4 route tables and about 5 minutes to learn the IPv6 routing tables.

This is why I always get full routes plus a default from the upstream when it warrants full routes. This way I can have slow convergence time like this and still have traffic flowing.

Mikrotik Routeros 7.0beta7

What’s new in 7.0beta7 (2020-Jun-3 16:31):

!) added Layer3 hardware offloading support for CRS317-1G-16S+RM more info here: https://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Manual:CRS3xx_series_switches#L3_Hardware_Offloading
!) enabled BGP support with multicore peer processing (CLI only);
!) enabled RPKI support (CLI only);
!) ported features and fixes introduced in v6.47;
!) routing updates, complete status report: https://help.mikrotik.com/docs/display/ROS/v7+Routing+Protocol+Status
!) system kernel has been updated to version 5.6.3;
*) other minor fixes and improvements;

Mikrotik BGP firewall rules for security

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Simple Mikrotik DNS cache flush script

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Mikrotik 6.45.9 Noteables

What’s new in 6.45.9 (2020-Apr-30 10:25):
https://www.mikrotik.com/download

*) chr – added support for file system quiescing;
*) chr – enabled support for VMBus protocol version 4.1;
*) chr – improved system stability when running CHR on Hyper-V;
*) crs3xx – fixed frame forwarding after disabling/enabling bridge hardware offloading for CRS354-48G-4S+2Q+ device;
*) crs3xx – fixed interface statistics for CRS354-48G-4S+2Q+ and CRS354-48P-4S+2Q+ devices;
*) crs3xx – fixed switch rule “dst-port” parameter for IPv6 traffic on CRS305-1G-4S+, CRS326-24G-2S+, CRS328-24P-4S+, CRS328-4C-20S-4S+, netPower 15FR devices;
*) crs3xx – improved SFP+ DAC cable initialization for CRS326-24S+2Q+ device;
*) defconf – added welcome note with common first steps for new users;
*) discovery – do not send CDP and LLDP packets on interfaces that does not have MAC address;
*) ipsec – improved system stability when handling fragmented packets;
*) lte – added “phy-cellid” value support for LTE-US;
*) lte – fixed IP type selection from APN on RBSXTLTE3-7;
*) lte – improved system stability when performing firmware update on R11e-LTE6;
*) ssh – added support for RSA keys with SHA256 hash (RFC8332);
*) system – correctly handle Generic Receive Offloading (GRO) for MPLS traffic;
*) system – improved system stability when forwarding traffic from switch chip to CPU (introduced in v6.43);
*) system – improved system stability when receiving/sending TCP traffic on multicore devices;

Some Mikrotik SXT photos and first thoughts.

I have been wanting to do some photos and thoughts on the Mikrotik SXTR-LTEs and other Mikrotik LTE products. I recently fired one up using dual sims. One is from Tmobile and one is from At&T.  Verizon is pretty nonexistent in my area. I am about 2.5 miles away from a Tmobile tower and about a mile from a fiber-fed AT&T monopole.

As you notice in the following photo I am pretty buried in trees.

My view of the tower. Notice the high-tech holder.

Some initial notes.  Setup of LTE is a very easy process as far as the mikrotik is concerned.  I literally had to put in some information in the APN and that was it as far as LTE goes.  I did set up standard Mikrotik stuff (DHCP server, security, etc.).

Adding the second sim card can be a huge pain due to the location of the sim card slot.  Luckily I had some tweezers that were angled to be able to slide the card in the slot.  These were part of a dental kit I picked up off Amazon for releasing stuck SFPs and the like.

Look for a more in-depth series on Mikrotik LTE coming soon.

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
Rick Frey
Steve Discher
Baltic Networks

Vendor Certification Pages
Ubiquiti
Mikrotik
Cisco
Juniper
CWNA
CompTIA

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