Author: Josh O'Brien

A Few Easy Steps: Cisco IOS, Disable Noisy Mode

One of the things that we are going to attempt in The Few Easy Steps sessions is make it a cut and paste endeavor. This could get complicated when we move into products like Windows and VMWare but we plan on making the effort to use tools such as powershell to accomplish this goal. In Cisco IOS it is usually pretty straight forward.  However Cisco IOS will sometimes prompt for responces even with you have included the explicit details it needs.  You can see this in Cisco Switch, Setting up a VLAN or Cisco IOS, Telnet and SSH Setup sessions. What you see is every time you use

 copy running-config startup-config

you will be prompted to confirm that you want  the startup-config file.

StaticNatSW1#copy running-config startup-config
Destination filename [startup-config]? 
Building configuration...

That prompt gets in the way of simple copy and paste commands but it is how Cisco IOS handles some commands. There is a way to eliminate it however. I have made this its own session because there are some risks involved. If you would like to dive into more detail please check out, Reduce the noise generated by the Cisco IOS copy command by @ioshints

Session Prerequisites:

  • You have terminal or console access to your Cisco device

Session Assumptions:

  • You want to disable copy run start prompt

Our goal for this session is:

  • Set File Prompt to Quiet

Set File Prompt to Quiet:

conf t
file prompt quiet
copy running-config startup-config

A Few Easy Steps: Cisco Switch, Setting up a VLAN

In this session of A Few Easy Steps, we will be creating a new VLAN and its Layer 3 Gateway. In General this will work on any Cisco Switch runs on IOS. However we will have to cover older L2 switches and Routers with Switch Modules (like in Dynamips) in a future post but for now check out this video tutorial if you need help.

Session Prerequisites:

  • You have terminal or console access to your Cisco device

Session Assumptions:

  • We are going to create VLAN 20
  • The IP Gateway Address for VLAN 20 is
  • Netmask of IP Gateway for VLAN 20 is

Our goals of this session are:

  • Setup L2 VLAN
  • Setup VLAN 20 L3 Interface
  • Read more

A Few Easy Steps: Cisco IOS, Telnet and SSH Setup

In this session of A Few Easy Steps, we will be doing the SSH and Telnet setup on a Cisco Router. In General this will work on any Cisco Switch or Router that runs on IOS.

Session Prerequisites:

  • You have a Cisco Console Cable
  • You have a serial port
  • You have a Terminal Program that you can access your Serial Port

Session Assumptions:

  • Telnet will be on VTY 0 to 4
  • domain name will be
  • SSH will be on VTY 5 to 10
  • SSH Key Modulus will be 1024
  • SSH Version will be 2
  • Login Credentials will be Local

Our goals of this session are:

  • Setup Domain Name
  • Setup local User Account /li>
  • Setup Telnet
  • Generate RSA Key
  • Set SSH Version
  • Setup SSH Read more

A Few Easy Steps: Cisco Switch, Initial Setup

In this session of A Few Easy Steps, we will be doing the initial setup on a Cisco Switch. In General this will work on any Cisco Switch.

Session Prerequisites:

  • You have a Cisco Console Cable
  • You have a serial port
  • You have a Terminal Program that you can access your Serial Port

Session Assumptions:

  • Hostname is TestSW1
  • Management Network is
  • Management Address is
  • Management VLAN is VLAN1
  • Time Zone is EST
  • Enable Password is: TAKE@GUESS

Our goals of this session are:

  • Set a Hostname
  • Setup a basic management address
  • Set the System Time and Date
  • Set Enable Password Read more

REPOST: The lemming way…how Cisco jumped off the cliff.

So I was talking to one of my guys at work tonight and he indicated that my shots have Cisco have been a recent thing in my career.  I told him he was wrong and went back to a post that I had taken private.  It ends up being this post.  I want to start by saying I took this private when I went to a Cisco Gold VAR.  I did so because after this post I had seen some good indications of change and I felt like it was a bit to hard of a slap in the face for people who were in large part paying my salary.  That said after re-reading it I think I had lots of things right.  So without further adieu here is my original post Published on: May 11, 2007 @ 13:52 taken right from my WP Dashboard.  Enjoy! Read more

Welcome to A Few Easy Steps on StaticNAT

A Few Easy Steps is a part of StaticNAT that I have wanted to do since I started it in 2007.  What you will find here is quick guided session to accomplish a goal with a piece of equipment or with some technology.  What you wont find here is deep dives into why you would do such a thing or a breakdown of every single bit of syntax.  At the end of each Post you will be able to complete a task, they may be simple they may be complex but you will know how to do it.

All Good Things Come to an End: Cisco Aquires Meraki

I have been very lucky in my career.  There is pretty much no network vendor whose gear has not come across my desk and I have had the opportunity to install and play with on some level.  Last year we engaged Meraki to consider then for both their Cloud Controller based Access Points but also for their new Access Switch product line.  I did lots and lots of research and honestly found a mixed bag of info.  On one hand people were saying this is really amazing stuff and if you can handle a bit less than full enterprise class gear you should really look at it.  On the other hand I read a few articles like this one out of Canada that paints a picture of pretty shady practices from Meraki.

So I sat through their online demos, had local partners come in to tell me how amazing it was then I got my AP (Modle MR12) from them to play with and see what I thought.  In all honestly their AP and overall wireless product underwhelmed me.  My Cisco 1200 B only radio covered better and and my Cisco 1252 even in 2.4 only mode way out gunned this poor little guy.  But what they do very very well is the management of it all.  Even after I had decided that my company would not be moving to their access points nor the new switch line I decided to stick with System Manager because how good it was at managing remote devices and it was free!  So right off the bat I do not hate these guys or their products I actually think they are pretty cool but over just not the right fit for what we needed.

Then tonight it happened.  @MrFogg97 hit me up and said “Saw this on #meraki’s site when reading the announcement. and yes I did say that and to this second I still believe its a great product.  But then I asked myself what announcement.  A quick trip to Meraki’s website told the tale.  Cisco announces intent to acquire Meraki   And that is why I am really writing this post. Read more

Microsoft OEM Lic and Legally Imaging.

So one of my guys came to me today and indicated that since all of our Video Call Center systems were OEM lic from Microsoft we had a big problem with Imaging.  In my old out of date head this made little sense because we used to do this to systems by the hundreds back in the Windows XP days.  Well as we talked and I started being a geek and not a manager again it  clicked that in Vista they implemented the whole limited activation thing to eliminate piracy.  Fair enough.

But here I am with quite a few legal systems and the prospect of having to spend about $10,000 to get them all added to my select agreement.  That just stupid.  Now let me be clear after working through a BSA suit and then building a large portion of our new back-end platform on Microsoft Products I am very used to stupid licensing issues generated by lawyers and other asshats inside Microsoft to make sure they can screw their clients out of every possible penny.  Luckily there is a legal and pretty fair solution to the issue.  It lies in the term “Reimaging Rights”.  What this allows is any holder of a MS Volume Agreement to purchase a single copy of a Volume Lic of the any OEM product you have legal rights to.  you then create the image for that system using the Volume Lic CD/DVD.  DO NOT TRUST ME ON THIS!  See THIS LINK.  Furthermore I plan on having this validated with a MS rep not my LAR who as usual has not a clue about MS lic that they sell me.

Hope this helps someone out.

Cloud oh sorry I mean….Clown Vendors.

VMWorld 2012 Disclosure Statement

So VMWorld 2012 is my first true IT convention.  I have done regional education conferences, industry conferences like HIMMS and some trade show type stuff to promote my company.  But for a true IT convention this is it.  I am going to start by saying there is a lot of amazing stuff going on here and I mean A LOT.  But I am going to cover that in another post or twelve.

My focus for this post is the number of people who are not here for the right reasons and this includes the vendors.  I am going to go way out of my way to not name anyone by name but if your here your going to associate quickly.  When I think about these conferences these should be really cool venues to put your best foot forward.  This is for vendors, partners, clients, press and anyone else who bothers to show up.  Since I have been here I have seen quite a few people doing just that.  But sadly I think there are quite a few people who are here to waste their employers money.

So let me say if your trying to sell me a product don’t start with a gimmick!  If I have never heard of you then a chance at an new sports car might get me to let you scan my badge but it wont help you sell me a product.  I WANT Substance!  Ask me about my company, ask me about what problems we solve or need solved.  Engage your technical staff and have them available.  DO NOT put F’ing magicians, mind readers, jugglers, pro skate boarders, unicyclists  and booth babes in your booth.  If you do I wont talk to you and neither should anyone else.  By doing these thing you tell me how little confidence you have in your product to begin with.  If you think you need to entertain me to stick around for the real reason your here in the first place then you really have nothing to show me.  Just to wrap this up its cool if you want to give cool stuff out to help spread the word or say thanks for  someone get put into your lead generation system.  But do so respecting yourself, your product and the intelligence of your prospective clients!

Now on to you Ass Hats who call your self IT professionals.  If you just spent $3000 to $8000 or so of your company’s training budget to come to an IT conference to get vendors to give you cheap plastic toys, get 100 tshirts, grope booth babes and in general act like a drunk assholes please quit coming.  There is a huge segment of the IT professional population that fights every year for time and budget to attend events like this and you half wit punks make it harder for them to get here so just stop!  And for crying out loud have some self respect.  You have no idea if you could go from making $50,000 a year to making $250,000 a year by making the right contacts at an event like this and elevating yourself.  Don’t get me wrong if a vendor wants to say thank you for a purchase or wine you and dine you once you have showed interest in their product great but when you leave don’t be so trashed that the homeless people on the way back to the hotel are appalled by your behavior!

I know I am a buzzkill.  But I don’t care.  Some of the behavior I have seen this week would prompt me to fire people if it was my staff acting this way on our employers dime.


VMWorld 2012 Full Disclosure Statement

VMWorld 2012 Full Disclosure Statement

This year I was asked by Nutanix, who is my storage and compute vendor to be in their booth as a customer of reference.  Nutanix was gracious enough to pay for my Conference pass, my hotel and my airfare to get here.  However Nutanix did not pay me for my time nor did they compensate my employer for that time.  I accepted this invitation because I strongly believe that their ideas and their products are the way forward in virtulalization for me and many other clients.

This Statement will be referenced in any post here on StaticNAT.  I am in no way obligated to talk or not talk about Nutanix and their products.  My statements and opinions are my own and are not endorsed by and/or moderated by Nutanix.  Quite possibly I will write about competing products now or in the future and in no way should any such commentary be linked back to Nutanix.

So in other words I write for me and only me and if you don’t like it take it up with me.

Why I do what I do.

Hi my name is Josh O’Brien.  I am the CTO of Language Access Network.  We provide remote video language services to hospitals and clinics across the United States.  Blah Blah Blah….I go through this at least once a day and sometimes as many as ten times a day.  Also every day I hear about all the cool new milestones that Language Access Network is reaching.  Most of these go something like today our interpreters provided 70 more interpretations than our last high water mark a week ago.  My answer has always been that’s nice please let me get back to work making sure everything is working, scalable and supportable.  I know I am a cold bastard, but it has been the reality of what I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I 100 percent believe in our company, what it does and the profound impact we make in the medical market…I really do!  But I am not an interpreter, doctor or customer advocate my job is to make the zeros and ones fly down the correct pipe at the correct time and to so as efficiently as possible.  I just don’t have time for all the slaps on the back an congratulations for doing what I was brought here to do which is to massively grow the company and win.  Even my own staff does not get me, they love reveling in the record breaking and I am thrilled that they are because at the end of that day it is one more amazing testament to how good they are and the hard work they put in.  But I am a geek, not a mercenary in it for the cash but just a flat out geek, nerd, packet pusher whatever you want to call me.  I get excited about the tech.  I have always been that way.  If I won $100,000,000 in cash today I would renounce my salary, hire more staff, reduce my travel load and then out of my pocket buy all sorts of cool gear for Language Access Network and my team.  I just freaking love what I do! Read more



Ok I know this will pull a significant amount of hate from all of the NAT haters.  99.9% of the time I would agree.  However our business is unique.  That is the first thing I am going to layout for sake of the discussion that will happen.

What we do:  We do real time video communication.

Who we do it for:  Medical Institutions.

How we deliver it:  Via Private MPLS from the client site to our call centers.  At the client side we ride their infrastructure.

Hopefully the issue becomes immediately clear.  If it does not let me help out.  I own my network and the MPLS links and CPE router.  I do not own, control, influence or have any visibility into the client infrastructure.  In most cases the answer would be who cares push it to the gateway NAT it and be done with it.  However real time communications using SIP first don’t natively like NAT (but I have that issue fixed…..I think.)  and these systems are not simple point to point communications.  Instead they are CientX to server, server to ClientY, ClientY to ClientX communications.  The solutions should be pretty obvious; Read more

Vendors Beware

Simply put I am not going to target a specific vendor in this post but if you work for an IT vendor (Telco, SP, MSP, Hardware/Software maker, VAR, LAR, distributor, consultant) this list is a warning of the things you can do to really piss me off. It is not just me it is all of us. We have way to much to do on a daily basis to have to babysit the people who we pay to help us. So read, pay attention and don’t do this stuff!

1. Lie – Tell me what you can or can’t do and stick to it. This includes what your products can or can’t do.
2. Have a messy house – If your provisioning team does not talk to your sales team and no one talks to support you’ll piss me off.
3. Wing it – If I wanted to you to wing it on my project I would not have paid your your stupidly high rate. My 7 year old can wing it.
4. When you are getting it wrong ask me to not be me – Piss Off I am the customer I am right because I pay you monies.
5. Cover up your lie/mistake/bug/whatever else your covering up – Be honest with me I may not fire you.
6. Presume you know me by watching my twitter feed – I am more than 128 characters.
7. Blame your contractors – You hired them you fix it. I have to do that when you mess up!
8. Get me in trouble – If your stupidity makes me eat a bullet for you the world will know!
9. Lead with List price – We all know its BS. Give me the best deal you can and we’ll each do better by wasting less time.
10. Take a social or political stand corporately that makes me have to hate you – Really an Internet company siding with SOPA….

I am sure I have like 1000 more and I encourage my readers to jump on board and add them to the comments. In the end we all have jobs to do please don’t make me regret engaging you by making mine harder.

Fresh Coat of Paint

Not going to be a crazy long post here.  Just wanted anyone who is returning to my humble site to know that ownership has not changed, just some new paint and and a really cool framework in the background.  After being at Network Field Day 3 I wanted to clean some things up.  Talking with Greg Ferro of Packetpushers about some of the thing he as done with his sites to optimize them for SEO and for functionality.  Outside of the normal web opt stuff Greg recommended the Genesis Framework and the Themes that go with them.  So I bit the bullet and purchased their Pro Plus pack since I have a few other blogs that I run as well.

So far I really like it.  I have disabled all of my pre-existing plugins to help clean things up.  Plus in the background I have been deleting lots of stuff that was tied to ideas that never really took off.  In the end I expect these changes to help me focus on the core product of the site and offer more content in the near future.  So many cool thing to write about might as well have a nice clean place to publish it all.

I would love feedback from anyone about what other info you would like to see on the site.  I look forward to hearing form you.


DuctTape and Popsicle Sticks

So I hear all the time from people how smart they think I am and how much value I bring. I will be honest I have a really hard time with this. I may not be what most would consider humble but I don’t blow sunshine up my own ass either. I am limited, I think we all are. I have so much to learn, I think we all do. I have no patience for stupidity and laziness and that is something I need to work on more, because not everyone is wired like me. But back to the core issue am I really as good as people keep telling me I am? The answer is no.

What I have discovered about myself from 24 years old to 34 years old is that I am really good at connecting dots, DuctTaping a one million dollar product to a five dollar product to accomplish my goals and jamming popsicle sticks into things to re-enforce them and make them work even it it ends up being one of those stupid and lazy peoples asses so they get done what I need done. So no I am not the smartest kid in class just ask any teacher I ever had.

But IT tolerates people like me calling ourselves engineers (even if it is with a small e) when we did not even finish college. I would even go as far as to say that we are often rewarded for not being a capitol E engineer because we are not saddled with the constraints of what can an cannot be done either in general or with a product. I don’t know how many times I have talked to Engineers and said I love that I can do this with your product and I get the response of “You can’t do that with our product.” Clearly they designed it better than they thought. Read more

Made it to the Bigs. Network Field Day 3.

Wow so here I am just a few days from flying to San Jose for Network Field Day #3. What an honor! A bit over a year ago I sadly had to decline Steve Foskett’s invitation to attend a field day. Ever since then I was hoping I had not blown my chance to be part of what I think is where our industry is heading in concern to vendor interaction. For so long the process has been ran by insiders and in a closed off to the majority of the comment. Tech Field Day’s opened the kimono and I can’t wait participate and share information from my perspective what we get to see and talk about while in San Jose.

I have been doing some thinking and homework prior to flying west and I figured I would share some of that here. First off I have to right up front and say that I am a client of three of six of the vendors that are presenting. Not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing for them but its how it goes. Read more

Fake it till ya make it!

So no one who is reading this should be in the dark about some of the interesting things I have been doing as of late.  But if you are here is a quick re-cap.

Language Access Network my employer is undergoing an installation of a first of its kind Video Call Center.  I will more on that to write soon.  As part of this process we had a WHOLE LOT of infrastructure put into place.  For starters we needed a “SAN”, we needed Servers, we needed DC Switching and we needed lots and lots of licensing and that all before the developers and engineers jump in to make the whole thing work.  The cool bits of this first part are what we did for “SAN”, Server and Network.  As you all know I am a past Cisco UCS zealot and I have a NetApp in my basement so you would think that it would be simple math as to what I would have installed.  You would be right.  UCS and NetApp were about $100,000 more than I could scrape out of my budget and still have anything left for other major components.  Before people get bent out of shape about me saying Cisco UCS and NetApp are to expensive, I did not say that.  Honestly I think within existing DC platforms they are both very well priced if you don’t bring next gen platforms into the mix.  In my case the next gen platform is Nutanix.  If you don’t know anything about these guys click the link and check them out.

In a nutshell Nutanix is 4 Blades of Compute and 20TB of Storage in a 2RU chassis with FusionIO, SSD and SAS Drives and no common backplane between the 4 nodes.  Along with my four pod node we added Arista 7124SX as our DC Switching/Fabric.  There are lots of details around this combination like currently Nutanix does not support using the Node for a bare metal server like you can do with UCS or other Blade Enclosures and the storage has limited access to the outside world (it is setup to presented to ESXi Hosts as iSCSI targets and VMs as ViSCSI targets) but so far I love the platform.  It gave me what I needed in the price point I needed and offers huge scale out options considering it is based of the GFS files system that Google uses across their DC’s. Read more

Quit loosing your KEYS!

I know as a Network professional I should never forget a WPA key. Docs Docs Docs. But tonight I was setting up someone else ‘s computer and forgot our general WPA PSK and did not want to dig for it in the password vault. So I cheated.

In OSX go to Spotlight and type Keychain Access
Then on the right hand side choose the System Option under Keychains
Then select the wireless network you lost your key to, right click and choose “copy password to clipboard”

At this point you will need to jump through the local password hoops but then you can past it into textedit and get back to doing whatever you were doing.

Here is to not loosing your keys and if you do hopefully a way out of the mess.