Network technologies and trends


August 31, 2012  1:15 PM

Data Center Security Policies and Procedures – part4

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In my previous article we overlooked the security policy for Data Center doors and Security System for Data Centers. In this article let’s looks at the following

1.       Periodic Review and Termination / Revocation Access

2.       Access Control Log

 

 1.       Periodic Review and Termination / Revocation Access

Periodic (at least annual) reviews will be performed of those with any level of access to the Data Center.  ITKE* will perform these reviews.  If an individual no longer requires Data Center access, it will be terminate by Removing name from the ITKE* staff Access List.  The results of periodic reviews will be reported to the Head of ITKE*.  The report will include an updated list of those allowed access to the Data Center.

2.       Access Control Log

The Data Center Access Control Log must be properly maintained at all times.

The Log is maintained by ITKE* staff Access.  All individuals with ITKE* staff Access to the Data Center are responsible for maintaining this log. The following procedures must be followed:

  • Each time an individual with Contractors Access to the Data Center is admitted to the area, he must properly log in on the Access Control Log at the time of entrance.  The person admitting the visitor must countersign and fill out the appropriate section of the form.

 

  • Each time an individual with Contractors Access leaves the area, he must properly log out on the Access Control Log at the time he leaves (even if only for a short time). The person with ITKE* staff Access to the area who allows the visitor to leave must fill out the “Log Out” section of the Access Control Log.  The Representatives and the accompanying persons must wear their staff ID cards and our visitor cards within the ITKE* – Data Centre.

*ITKE is used just as reference which can be replaced by your organization or department name

August 17, 2012  7:49 AM

Data Center Security Policies and Procedures – part3

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

 

Well it’s been a long time you saw any update from my side on Data Center policies, in my previous article I was taking about the types of access can be provided to Data Center, let continue our journey with two things

1)      Data Center Doors

2)      Security System for Data Centers.

1.       Data Center Doors

All doors to the Data Center MUST remain locked at all times and may only be temporarily opened for periods NOT to exceed that minimally necessary in order to:

  • Allow officially approved and logged entrance and exit of authorized individuals
  • Permit the transfer of supplies/equipment as directly supervised by a person with ITKE* staff Access to the area
  • Prop opens a door to the Data Center ONLY if it is necessary to increase Air flow into the Data Center in the case on an air conditioning failure. In this case, staff personnel with ITKE* staff Access MUST be present and limit access to the Data Center.

2.       Security System

Access control system provides the normal mechanism for control of access to the Data Center. These mechanisms are employed at the Data Center doors. The permission to access to datacenter MUST be sign from ITKE* directors. Customer MUST provide ITKE*with at least (1) one working day prior notice via e-mail any time it intends to access the ITKE*,Data Centre. Customer MUST provide ITKE*,with at least (3) three working days prior notice any time it requires onsite technical support at the ITKE* Data Centre or it intends to move-in or move-out any Customer Equipment. The Representatives and the accompanying persons MUST keep its licensed area as well as ITKE* Data Centre clean and tidy at all times. The Representatives and the accompanying persons agree to adhere to and abide by all security and safety measures established by ITKE*.

The Representatives and the accompanying persons MUST refrain from doing the following:

  • Engage in any activity that is in violation of the laws or aids or assists any criminal activity while at ITKE* property or in connection with the Data Centre Services;
  • Misuse or abuse any ITKE*’s property or equipment or third party equipment;
  • Make any unauthorized use of or interfere with any property or equipment of any other customer;
  • Harass any individual, including ITKE* personnel and representatives of other customers;
  •  Use of any photographic, video, film or such other device that produces, reproduces, retains or transmits images within the premises and the licensed space.

*ITKE is used just as reference which can be replaced by your organization or department name.


August 14, 2012  7:09 AM

How to enable special http inspection for Cisco ASA firewall

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

 

We had a special request from one of our clinicians; he was trying to access one of the health care portal with the URL http://apps.xxx.xx.sa:2000/. While he was trying to access the same portal from his office it was not accessible, whereas the same portal can accessed from any other location except our office.

While troubleshooting this issue we thought may be our Bluecoat proxy SG was blocking the port 2000 but that was not the case. We were facing the same problem even with static NAT from our ASA 5540 firewall.

One thing was sure the ASA 5540 firewall was blocking the access to the URL http://apps.xxx.xx.sa:2000/. We reviewed all our access list still nothing was wrong with that.  We thought might be some policy map is blocking the access, when we disabled the default policy-map as shown below

policy-map global_policy

 class inspection_default

  inspect dns migrated_dns_map_1

  inspect ftp

  inspect h323 h225

  inspect h323 ras

  inspect netbios

  inspect rsh

  inspect rtsp

  inspect skinny 

  inspect sqlnet

  inspect sunrpc

  inspect tftp

  inspect sip 

  inspect xdmcp

  inspect esmtp

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config)# policy-map global_policy

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config-pmap)# no class inspection_default

 

The url started working. Now one thing was sure, the problem lies with policy map. We cannot disable the default policy-map which Cisco configured by default in all ASA or PIX firewall, after reading the following documents from Cisco Systems

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/asa/asa72/configuration/guide/inspect.html

 

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/asa/asa82/configuration/guide/inspect_overview.html

It was clear certain HTTP traffic need a special handling. When we enabled the default policy-map and added a command “inspect http”  as shown below the url can be accessed from our internal LAN.

 sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config)# policy-map global_policy

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config-pmap)#  class inspection_default

sec/FW01-MB-IE-001(config-pmap-c)# inspect http

 


August 10, 2012  10:46 AM

HP releases a new software management platform

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

HP releases a new software management platform known as HP Automated Network Management (ANM) 9.2, which aim to improve the network security, automations and availability. The newly released software is a unified network-management platform which designed with an aim of improving control over network devices, changes in network, increase visibility into performance.

The  HP Automated Network Management (ANM) 9.2 is comprised of the following products:

 

1.  HP Network Node Manager i 9.0 software (NNMi 9), which delivers the common console for unified fault, performance and configuration

2.  HP iSPIs for Performance (Metrics, Traffic, Quality Assurance), which monitor and ensure performance

3.  HP iSPI Network Engineering Toolset (NET), which automates common operator tasks, and provides trap analytics and map export

4.  HP Network Automation, which handles network change and configuration management, and ensures compliance

The HP Automated Network Management (ANM) 9.2 is also capable of automating changes, configuration, compliance, cloud lifecycle and day to day routine network administrative tasks. The ANM 9.2 can be integrated with HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) in more enhanced way which results in providing single-solution management and visibility of heterogeneous networked devices with automated configuration of network tasks.

Key benefits of HP Automated Network Management (ANM) are as follows

  • Single tool for complete control of the network infrastructure
  • Improved network availability with a multi-tenant network management solution
  • Common view and context for security and network issues
  • Increased operator productivity and efficiency, reduced MTTR
  • Manage more customers, departments or sites at lower cost

 


August 8, 2012  2:42 PM

What is the error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD” in Cisco 6500 Series Switch? – part 2

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

As mentioned in my previous post the error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD, Jun  7 16:47:27.446: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error” means that the EARL L2 ASIC detected an invalid header on DBus, and it could be a faulty Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 8-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module.

Initially I removed the defective module out of the chassis and firmly reinserted the module in the slot to ensure the module is well seated in the slot.

After reinserting the module it worked well and when I checked logs with the IOS command “ Show module” the module was passing all the test and no error was detected.

SL02-MB-1256-005#                  show module

Mod Ports Card Type                              Model              Serial No.

— —– ————————————– —————— ———–

1    1  Application Control Engine Module      ACE20-MOD-K9       XXXXXXXXXXX

7    2  Supervisor Engine 720 (Active)         WS-SUP720-3B       XXXXXXXXXXX

9    8  CEF720 8 port 10GE with DFC            WS-X6708-10GE      XXXXXXXXXXX

11   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX

13   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX

 

Mod  Sub-Module                  Model              Serial       Hw     Status

—- ————————— —————— ———– ——- ——-

7  Policy Feature Card 3       WS-F6K-PFC3B       XXXXXXXXXXX  1.0    Ok

7  MSFC3 Daughterboard         WS-SUP720          XXXXXXXXXXX  2.1    Ok

9  Distributed Forwarding Card WS-F6700-DFC3C     XXXXXXXXXXX  1.4    Ok

11  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok

13  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok

 

Mod  Online Diag Status

—- ——————-

1  Pass

7  Pass

9  Pass

11  Pass

13  Pass

SL02-MB-1256-005#

After a week when I again checked the module the error reappeared. Since we had a valid Smartnet contract with Cisco we opened a TAC case with Cisco, an RMA was created and the defective module was replaced. I would siege this opportunity to emphasize the importance of having valid smartnet contracts with Cisco System is very handy and proves to be a worth investment.


June 11, 2012  5:04 AM

What is the error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD” in Cisco 6500 Series Switch? – part 1

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

We have plenty of Cisco Catalyst 6500 E Series Switches, recently an error appeared in the one of Cisco Catalyst 6513 Switch. When I checked the log I found the following error.

SL02-MB-1256-005#show log

Log Buffer (8192 bytes):

BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:47:27.446: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:48:28.582: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:49:28.971: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Jun  7 16:50:29.723: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD

Immediately I checked the status of modules and figured out the following

SL02-MB-1256-005#                  show module

Mod Ports Card Type                              Model              Serial No.

— —– ————————————– —————— ———–

1    1  Application Control Engine Module      ACE20-MOD-K9       XXXXXXXXXXX

7    2  Supervisor Engine 720 (Active)         WS-SUP720-3B       XXXXXXXXXXX

9    8  CEF720 8 port 10GE with DFC            WS-X6708-10GE      XXXXXXXXXXX

11   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX

13   10  WiSM WLAN Service Module               WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9   XXXXXXXXXXX


Mod  Sub-Module                  Model              Serial       Hw     Status

—- ————————— —————— ———– ——- ——-

7  Policy Feature Card 3       WS-F6K-PFC3B       XXXXXXXXXXX  1.0    Ok

7  MSFC3 Daughterboard         WS-SUP720          XXXXXXXXXXX  2.1    Ok

9  Distributed Forwarding Card WS-F6700-DFC3C     XXXXXXXXXXX  1.4    Ok

11  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok

13  Centralized Forwarding Card WS-SVC-WISM-1-K9-D XXXXXXXXXXX  2.2    Ok


Mod  Online Diag Status

—- ——————-

1  Pass

7  Pass

9  Minor Error

11  Pass

13  Pass

SL02-MB-1256-005#

From the above log it’s quite evident the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 8-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module inserted in the slot is no 9 is defective.

The error “BUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error occurred. Ctrl1 0x930D0EBD, Jun  7 16:47:27.446: %EARL_L2_ASIC-DFC9-4-DBUS_HDR_ERR: EARL L2 ASIC #0: Dbus Hdr. Error” means that the EARL L2 ASIC detected an invalid header on DBus, and it could be a faulty Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 8-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module.

In my next post I will update you the initial action plan I followed before contacting the Cisco TAC.


April 17, 2012  5:38 AM

Data Center Security Policies and Procedures – part2

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In my previous article we came across the Data Center physical security policy and procedures and now let’s see the more about the access provided to Data Centers, basically there are three “Levels of Access” to the Data Center.

1)      ITKE* employees

2)      Contractors /Outsourced companies

3)      Visitor Engineers Access (Vendors)

1 ITKE* staff Access

It is given to people who have free access authority into the Data Center. ITKE* staff Access is granted to the ITKE* staff whose job responsibilities require that they have access to the area. These individuals also have the authority to grant temporary access to the Data Center and to enable others to enter and leave the Data Center. People with ITKE* staff Access are responsible for the security of the area, and for any individuals that they allow into the Data Center they MUST listed on Authorized Access List.  Individuals with ITKE* staff Access to the area may allow properly authorized and logged individuals (sign in and out) for contractors and visitor engineers when they Access to the Data Center.

 

2 Contractors/ Outsourced companies Access

It is closely monitored access given to people who have a business need for infrequent access to the Data Center. “Infrequent access” is generally defined as access required for pried of time (depend on the contract). A person given Contractors Access to the area MUST sign in and out under the direct supervision of a person with Controlling Access. A person with Contractors Access to the area MUST NOT allow any other person to enter or leave the area until have permission from ITKE* staff Access. Only those Representatives identified in writing by the Customer on the ITKE* Data Centre Access Authorization List Form may make request to enter the Data Centre. Each Customer MUST ensure that the Representatives and the accompanying persons do NOT take any actions that Customer is prohibited from taking under this Policy.

3 Visitor Engineers Access (Vendors)

It is granted to a person from vendors who have to do insulation or some work in the data center. A person given visitor engineers access to the area MUST sign in and out and submit report under the direct supervision of a person with Controlling Access. A person with visitor engineer’s access to the area MUST NOT allow any other person to enter or leave the area. Maximum of 3 persons, of whom at least one MUST be a Representative, may enter the Data Centre at the same time. For security reasons, all visitors (Representatives and accompanying persons) will be requested to show his/her STAFF ID or Passport for verification. He/she will be refused to enter the Data Centre if the required credentials CANNOT be shown.

In upcoming post let’s continue our journey with the policy and procedures related to Data Center access.


April 11, 2012  5:05 AM

Data Center Security Policies and Procedures – part1

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Data Centers are heart for any organization; Data Centers are the one which houses the majority of Servers farms, Switches, routers, security solutions, SANs and much more. These days we were asked to develop the Security Polices and Procedures for our Data Centre which I am going to share in upcoming blogs.

In this particular part of my article I will try to focus on the Data Center physical security policy and procedures.

 

1. Overview

Security for the Data Center is the responsibility of all departments that are sharing the data center space. ITKE* is responsible for the administration of this policy. The following are the general requirements and policies to access to this sensitive area. Failure to follow the guidelines set forth in this document is grounds for termination of agreements and potential legal action.

Customer MUST NOT, except as otherwise agreed by ITKE*,

    1. Place any computer hardware or other equipment in the Licensed Area
    2. Store any other combustible materials of any kind in the Licensed Area; and
    3. Bring any “Prohibited Materials” (as defined below) into the Data Centre. Prohibited Materials shall include, but NOTlimited to, the following and any similar items:
        1. Food, drink, illegal drugs and other intoxicants
        2. Tobacco products
        3. Explosives and weapons
        4. Hazardous materials
        5. Electro-magnetic devices, which could unreasonably interfere with computer and telecommunications equipment
        6. Radioactive materials
        7. Photographic or recording equipment of any kind
        8. Any other items deemed inappropriate at ITKE*’s sole discretion.

2. Primary Guidelines

The “Data Center” is a restricted area requiring a much greater level of control than normal spaces. Only those individuals who are authorized to do so by the ITKE* may enter this area.  Access privileges will only be granted to individuals who have business need to be in the data center.

All departmental staff sharing the Data Center will familiarize themselves thoroughly with this document. Any questions regarding policies and procedures should be addressed to ITKE*.

The only exception allowed to the Data Center Security Policies and Practices is temporary suspension of these rules if it becomes necessary to provide emergency access.

In upcoming article I will try to focus on levels of access can be provided to the Data Centers.

*ITKE is used just as reference which can be replaced by your organization or department name.


April 10, 2012  8:55 AM

New Data Centre CCIE track announced by Cisco Systems

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

CCIE the most prestigious certificate on this planet is expanding its dominance in each and every specialty. Cisco System announced a new track targeting Data Centre known as CCIE Data Centre.

I am so excited to know about these latest developments, especially after the introduction of Nexus Switches there is a need for specialist who can manage complex data center. CCIE data center will equip the networking professionals with all the skills required to design, implement, operate, monitor, and troubleshoot complex data center networks. Products tested in this certification include Cisco Catalyst 3750, MDS 9222i, Nexus 7009, 5548, 2232, 1000v and Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), and Cisco Application Control Engine Appliance.

The beta version of the CCIE Data Center Written Exam will be available for scheduling and testing at all worldwide Cisco-authorized Pearson VUE testing centers beginning May 1 through June 15, 2012.  And the lab exam is expected to be available in September2012.

Currently Cisco is offering US$ 50 as a discount for the beta exam of CCIE Data Centre.

Some of the topics covered in CCIE Data Center are as follows

  • General switching technologies
  • NX-OS with VPC, OTV, Fabric-Path, RBAC, etc.
  • Storage with Fiber Channel, VSAN, FCoE, etc.
  • UCS with LAN, SAN connectivity, server profiles, pinning, etc.
  • Cisco ACE features in SLB and HA deployments.

For further details on please do check this link.


February 20, 2012  12:09 PM

Cisco announces a updated CCNA Wireless Certification exam!

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Recently Cisco Systems announced a new program for Cisco CCNA Wireless Certification. Before this announcement we all are aware of Cisco CCNA Wireless Certification exam with 640-721 IUWNE code. This new announcement ensured that new Cisco CCNA Wireless Certification exam 640-722 contains more relevant materials.

Those folks who are already ready or in the processes of final prep to write an exam they don’t need to panic as the current CCNA Wireless Certification track 640-721 are available until May 11, 2012.

The new CCNA Wireless Certification track 640-722 IUWNE comprises of the current version of software program such as Autonomous, wireless LAN controller (WLC), and Clients.

So gear up for the new exam and always there is Cisco press to offer self-study guides , let’s hope Cisco Press will come out soon with the study material for the new track.


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