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ACE TCL Probe Timestamp of HTTP Page

A unique and specific requirement came my way a while back that I'd like to share. Although Cisco ACE is going EOL, they are not gone yet, so i guess some may find this useful. I was asked could an ACE probe a HTTP page for it's timestamp and fail the probe if the timestamp of said file had changed.

The fundemental requirement was that if the timestamp of this one file kept changing then the application had an issue and therefore the ACE VIP should be taken out of service or perhaps HTTP traffic was to be diverted to a maintenance page.....

https://supportforums.cisco.com/docs/DOC-35211

 

rConfig update - May 2013

Hi All,

This month’s rConfig update is going to be a little brief. Busy as ever so I have not had much timer to prepare a lengthier update. I do want to keep you all informed as to the progress of rConfig V.2.

When I conducted a Poll a few months back to ask you guys what new feature you would like to see in rConfig. It was a tie between either 'Bulk Configuration Update' or a 'Configuration Policy Check'. I have prototyped the 'Configuration Policy Check' and that will be the major feature for rConfig V.2. I have plans to add some other minor features as requested by some users of rConfig and also some bug fixes and enhancements. I am excited and looking forward to launching rConfig V.2.

I have some beta testers lined up and my plan right now is to launch rConfig V.2 by the end of June.

Be sure to keep an eye on the update area on the Dashboard page for new versions of rConfig. This will allow you to download and install them automatically.

 

As always, thanks for choosing open source software and using a Network Management Utility like rConfig for your network device configuration archive needs. I am looking forward to working up the new features in rConfig. rConfig is for the network engineering community so should be driven by the community.

As always, send any bugs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stephen Stack

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/ststack

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rConfig update - April 2013

Welcome to the March 2013 installment of the rConfig update. It's been a bumper month for rConfig; 82 downloads this month and 40 user new registrations. What does this mean for you? Well it means the rConfig user community is growing; a growing community means more feedback and more features, as requested by you.

In February I conducted a survey to ascertain from rConfig users what new major feauture they would like to see in rConfig 2.0. The verdict was tied between either 'Bulk Configuration Update' or a 'Configuration Policy Check'. I am still in the prototype stages of both. It's been a busy month for me with lots of personal and professional projects in progress. I expect to have a working prototype of one or the other requested features by the end of the May. Stay tuned!

rConfig Tip

rConfig is a free, open source Network Configuration Management utility to assist Network Engineers in the backup, archive and management of network device configurations. In this months tip I'd like to review the config search function of rConfig.

rConfig's search function is coded to use the grep utility from the Linux OS. Why? If you have used grep or the linux CLI to search for text in lots of files you will know how fast it is. I will demonstrate this shortly. It is significantly quicker than iterating through hundereds or thousands of files using a loop in PHP.

In this example I wanted to find any instance of the IP address '192.168.2.1' across all of my configurations under the 'router' category. I also wanted to know what device and interface the IP address was configured on.

Launch the Search Page and fill in the form as follows.

searchForm

You may choose a specific device if you wish, but for this example I did not select an individual device, instead choosing to run the search across the entire 'routers' category. Also the 'Optional Parameters' selection allows me to select the number of leading or trailing output lines to display. For my search I also want to know what device and interface the IP address is configured on. The Device is displayed by default with a convenient link to the devices details page. To output the interface details; I know that if my interface is configured with an IP address, it also has a description. Selecting '2' lines 'Leading' means the result will display the 2 lines preceeding the search term match. Hence the Interface, description and IP address will be displayed for me. See results below.

searchResults

In this case, we are just looking at the search result, but there can be many more. You can see how using the grep utility is lightening fast; 650 files were searched in 0.74 of a second.

You will also note that for each output of the matched search text, the two preceeding lines were printed to the output also. Useful? I thought so.

As always, thanks for choosing open source software and using a Network Management Utility like rConfig for your network device configuration archive needs. I am looking forward to working up the new features in rConfig. rConfig is for the network engineering community so should be driven by the community.

As always, send any bugs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stephen Stack

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ststack

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rConfig update - March 2013

Hi All,

Welcome to the March 2013 installment of the rConfig monthly update. I write this stuffed with chocolate and cake, so wherever you are Happy Easter.

Another great month for rConfig and open source software. Since release, rConfig has been downloaded a sum total of 237 times and has been downloaded 73 downloads this month alone. rConfig is currently released on v1.2.5 and with no bug reports this month, I am putting this one out as a stable release.

Last month I asked all registered users to participate in three polls located at www.rconfig.com. Thanks to all who voted. The results are in and I will share them shortly. I have removed all voting ability at this time. The results are still online so you can see them for another few weeks. So, on with the results...

Device Types Poll - What devices types are you using rConfig for?
    - Cisco IOS - 36.4%
    - Cisco ASA/PIX - 18.2%
    - Cisco IOS XE/XR - 18.2%
    - rConfig is also being used to download F5 configurations (Excellent!)
    
rConfig usage Poll - Where are you using rConfig?
    - Company Use - 60%
    - Personal Use - 30%
    
Features Poll - What is the next feature you would like to see in rConfig?
    - Bulk Configuration Update - 28.6%
    - Configuration Policy Check - 28.6%
    - Virtual Appliance - 21.4%
    
A few comments come to mind. I am pleased to see Network Engineers using rConfig for more than just Cisco devices. The fact that someone voted F5 pleases me very much, as this is a vendor I have recently started working with myself. I am also very happy that 60% those that voted use rConfig in a professional company environment. This means that rConfig is becoming a tool that can assist Network Engineers in their jobs in every day management and operation of production networks.

The last and most important Poll was to ascertain from the rConfig community what feature you would like to see in the next rConfig release. Well... as you can see from the results, it's a tie. Because of this, I will need to choose either 'Bulk Configuration Update' or a 'Configuration Policy Check'. At this point I am undecided as each is quite complicated to code into rConfig. I am leaning towards 'Configuration Policy Check'. I will work on a prototype of each and decide which is more suitable and stable for the next major rConfig release - Version2.

rConfig Tip

rConfig is a free, open source Network Configuration Management utility to assist Network Engineers in the backup, archive and management
of network device configurations. I have more than 12 years network management experience. Sometimes I have found that downloading configurations
from many hundreds or thousands of devices can take some time. Especially if (as in rConfigs case) you have multiple commands to run on each
device. I have seen cases (and this was only download running and start-up configuration) where the downloads of all your devices can take up to 6 hours+.

In some cases this maybe too long for your operations - or for whatever you would like to spread the load. With rConfig you can! How? Spin up an new instance of rConfig. Remember rConfig is free, and so is the software that it sits on. CENTOS Linux, PHP, MYSQL etc... So why not create a new rConfig server and configure it to download a subet of devices. For example, in an ISP network rConfig-client could download all client configurations and rconfig-core could download all core network configurations. This can also lead to the added benefit of security. Keeping client and core network device configurations on separate systems potentially leads to increased configuration management security and data integrity.

rConfig-instance

Thanks to http://www.gliffy.com

As always, thanks for choosing open source software and using a Network Management Utility like rConfig for your network device configuration archive needs. I am looking forward to working up the new features in rConfig. rConfig is for the network engineering community so should be driven by the community.

As always, send any bugs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stephen Stack

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ststack

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rConfig update - January 2013

Its been quite a month both personally and professionally for me. rConfig 1.2.4 was released on January 6th with bug fixes and features galore. It's now up to nearly 25 downloads a week. For a niche area like Network Configuration Management and only 8 weeks after release, I'm pleased with this download count.

I really hope your finding it useful in you Cisco lab or production network. And hopefully your starting to add CLI commands beside the ubiquitous 'show run' and 'show start' that other NCM products seem to be restricted by. For your benefit I've added an example below of how you can leverage rConfig to archive historical interface error information for later analysis and troubleshooting.

rConfig Use Case

The basic idea here is to get the interface output related to error count for our rConfig managed devices. We will do this using the 'show interface | include line|error' Cisco IOS command. Note, i have only used this command on Cisco IOS based routers. Please see documentation for other devices like switches and firewalls.

Add the command to the Routers Category

Devices>Commands

 

After the next scheduled task has run, go click on the device to view its download configurations

Dashboard

Click on the new configuration file on the devices page

The output will be presented to you

It's difficult enough to replicate actual interface errors. Who would want to? So my counters show 0 errors. But hopefully you get the idea. Over time someone may well have an issue with a particular interface. You may find an error count, but it's difficult to know how recent the error count can be. rConfig can assist you because you can review historical output information.

Was that useful? If not  then at least you may start to see how rConfig can be customized and used for your specific needs.

As always, thanks for choosing open source software and using a Network Management Utility like rConfig for your configuration archive needs.

In the next month I'll run a poll to decide what new features we can add to rConfig. I have a few ideas of my own but by all means contact me if you have your ideas you feel would benefit your Network Management needs. rConfig is for the network engineering community so should be driven by the community.

Send any bugs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stephen Stack

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ststack

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