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Netflow vs SNMP. Two Different Approaches to Network Monitoring

Posted in Netflow

netflow vs snmp introductionSNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and Netflow are both popular protocols with admins, prized for their ability to give visibility over the network and in some cases discern the cause of network performance issues, network bottlenecks, system resource allocation issues and more. On the Netflow side of things, third-party software vendors like ManageEngine can greatly enhance the usability and capability of the protocol, while SNMP network monitoring applications like PRTG, Solarwinds or alternatively open-source Observium, Nagios and LibreNMS take the lead in delivering a comprehensive in-depth network and system monitoring solution.

Unfortunately, however, the close relationship between the two protocols, especially when it comes to software offerings, has birthed some misconceptions. While it’s common to see SNMP and Netflow as more or less interchangeable, there are some significant and key differences between the two that make them suited for very different use cases.

Let’s take a quick look at what we’ve got covered in this article:

 Related articles:

Understanding SNMP and How it Works

The Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) surfaced as early as 1988, with its roots in its predecessor, the Simple Gateway Monitoring Protocol, which was defined in 1987. SNMP was born out of pure necessity – before its existence, network admins didn’t have much visibility over their infrastructure at all. After the crash of the ARPAnet, on the 27th of October 1980, and as the number of complex components in networks began to snowball, it was clear a solution was needed.

However, though SNMP was initially built by a group on university researchers as a temporary solution, it quickly evolved, has remained very relevant even today. It’s not considered part of the application layer of the Internet Protocol Suite and OSI model and exists across three major versions (through SNMPv1 still tends to be the most commonly used).

Though SNMP’s name suggests management, it’s more commonly used for the monitoring of different types of network equipment, both on a network and hardware level. Typically, a monitoring server (e.g Nagios, Observium) known as a SNMP Manager monitors devices on the network, with each system holding a software snmp agent that reports information back to the manager:

 how snmp works - snmp components

Illustrating how SNMP works

Free Webinar: Enterprise-Grade Security and Management for Samsung Mobiles, Tablets, Smartwatches and other Devices

Posted in OpManager - Network Monitoring & Management

Samsung knox and Manageengine Endpoint Security Management webinarThe hybrid work culture has resulted in workforces increasingly using their mobile devices for work, further adding to the complexity of ensuring security across all endpoints within organizations.

The majority of IT professionals believe that mobile devices are just as vulnerable to security threats as any other endpoint, making it crucial to bring them under the umbrella of management and have the requisite security measures applied.

Samsung Knox - ManageEngine webinar

Tune in to this joint webinar by ManageEngine and Samsung to learn how you can apply enterprise-grade security on all your Knox capable devices, and centrally manage endpoints from one single console.

Highlights of this webinar:

  • Samsung Knox and its benefits.
  • Leveraging ManageEngine's partnership with Samsung for advanced device management and security.
  • Managing devices in remote work and frontline worker scenarios.
  • Uncovering the bigger picture: UEM for all-inclusive device management.
  • A live Q&A session with experts from ManageEngine and Samsung.

Tune in to this webinar on: 23 March 2022 at 11 AM EDT | 24 March 2022 at 12 PM IST

Click here to claim your spot now

Converged SASE Backbone – How Leading SASE Provider, Cato Networks, Reduced Jitter/Latency and Packet Loss by a Factor of 13!

Posted in SASE & SD-WAN Networks

sase introGlobal connectivity is top of mind for many IT teams at organizations of all sizes. We are currently in the middle of a dramatic shift in business and technology practice, as users are becoming more mobile while applications are being transitioned to the cloud.  This shift will only accelerate as companies will look to leverage the speed and agility of cloud services with the operational, cost and quality advantages of a geographically distributed work force. While Covid-19 has contributed to the acceleration of this shift, the change was always inevitable once technology was ready. Legacy connectivity and security products have long been a barrier to progress.

Topics Covered

SASE is the Answer

With uncanny timing, Gartner introduce the Secure Access Service Edge or SASE near the end of 2019, just before the Covid-19 virus started to gain global traction. SASE represents the shift away from castle & moat security with resources siloed into just a few corporate datacenters. After all, if organizations are consuming collaboration and productivity tools from the cloud, why not security and connectivity too?

While there is much buzz around SASE with security and networking vendors, and some debate over what products and services fit the SASE moniker, the intention is simple: leveraging economies of scale, organizations should purchase SASE as a cloud delivered service with global presence that brings security closer to the user. The user can be remote, mobile or in a corporate owned facility, regardless of physical location, the user’s access and security posture should remain consistent.

cato sase pop mapFigure 1: Cato PoP Map (click to enlarge)

Request a Free demo here

At Cato Networks we built the first SASE solution, starting way back in 2015. We’ve grown to 70+ Point-of-Presence (PoPs) globally that fully converge networking and security into a single platform. With our experience we believe that a global private backbone is an essential component of a true SASE solution. If we consider that the goal is consistent access and security with reduced cost and complexity, we must recognize that the ability of a user to access resources applies not just to access controls and services, but also to the usability and reliability of that user’s access. Essentially –users must have predictable performance to be productive.

A Converged Private Backbone is Essential

Reliability and predictability of connectivity isn’t a new concept or focus area for technical teams. Organizations have been using MPLS and other methods to achieve this for years. But MPLS is expensive, resulting in reliable, low bandwidth links to just a few places. Don’t forget that this approach completely neglected remote users who traditionally have had to VPN across the public Internet to reach datacenter security and resources.

Fast forwarding to today, most SASE vendors position their services as a way to reduce or eliminateMPLS, but completely ignore the unpredictability of the public Internet. Cato’s service was architected with this in mind, and we connected our PoPs with a global private backbone of multiple tier 1 providers. Our customer’s packets aren’t taking the cheapest possible route across tier 3 providers, instead taking the most efficient route to the destination. Combined with our WAN optimization capabilities, Cato ensures reliable, predictable performance for all users and locations.

Configuring A SASE Unified Network: Data centers, Remote Sites, VPN Users, and more

Posted in SASE & SD-WAN Networks

sase introductionThis article explores the need for Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) in today’s organizations. We show how one of the most advanced SASE platforms available, combines VPN and SD-WAN capabilities with cloud-native security functions to quickly and securely connect On-premises data centers, cloud data centers, branch offices, and remote users.

Before we dive any further, let’s take a look at what’s covered:

SASE: The Architecture for a Secure Cloud and Mobile World

IT and security managers are constantly concerned by the different entities which connect to their networks. Keeping track of who is connecting, using which edge device type, what they’re connecting to, and which permissions they should have can be a messy and dangerous business.  

An enterprise’s network is composed of several types of edges. An edge can be any location or endpoint which needs to connect to any other resource or service available inside or outside the network. This includes the enterprise’s on-premises headquarters, branch offices, data centers, mobile users connecting remotely (e.g. their home), public cloud data centers (e.g. AWS and Azure), 3rd party SaaS applications (e.g. Office365 and Salesforce), and virtually any website across the WWW.

To enable connectivity and secure access for all edges, enterprises are forced to adopt different solutions to manage different edge types. For example VPN for remote users, on-prem Next Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) for the physical locations, cloud-based NGFW for cloud-based applications, Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) for SaaS and Secure Web Gateways (SWG) for web access.  This large number of different products introduced unwanted complexity, inefficiency, and potential security loopholes to enterprises. But perhaps there is a better way to enable secure access to any service from any edge? In fact, there is, and it’s called, surprisingly enough, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

catonetworks sase sdwan network traffic graph

Cloud-based SASE Traffic Analysis Dashboard - Credits: Catonetworks

Defining SASE

SASE is a new architecture that converges networking and security into a holistic, unified cloud service. It is a concept defined by Gartner in late 2019 to simplify enterprise networking and security. At the heart of the SASE premise lays the understanding that network and security cannot be addressed separately, using different products and services. The inter-dependency between the two is fundamental, and their convergence is critical for addressing the needs of the modern digital enterprise.

To learn more about SASE and how it differs from SD-WAN read our article here.

The Four Pillars of SASE Architecture:

 Four main principles lay at the heart of the SASE architecture:

  1. All edges. A true SASE solution should be able to service all enterprise edge types.
  2. Converged. SASE’s networking and security services should be delivered from one software stack, not discrete appliances integrated together, and all must be managed via a single pane of glass.
  3. Cloud-native. A SASE solution should be built using cloud-native technologies and should support elasticity, auto-scaling and high-availability.
  4. Global. An effective SASE solution should have an extensive global footprint of Points of Presence (PoPs) covering all major locations worldwide.

SASE Showcase: Connecting & Managing All Locations Together

Renewing Cisco Certifications without sitting for a Cisco Exam. Covers CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, CCDE and all Specialist Levels

Posted in Cisco Services & Technologies

cisco recertificationWithout a doubt, Cisco certifications and specializations are among the most popular vendor certifications in the IT industry, and earning them doesn’t come easy. Anyone who’s achieved a Cisco certification would be well aware of the countless hours required to cover the necessary curriculum, practice labs, and prepare for their Cisco exam.

Many would agree that one of the biggest headaches after achieving a Cisco certification is renewing it. Renewing or maintaining a Cisco certification usually requires the candidate to sit for an equal-level exam or pushing forward and aiming for a higher-level exam. While this might not be a problem for many professionals, many find it a big struggle. A significant amount of professionals decide not to renew their certifications because of the time and commitment required or because they’ve decided to focus on other vendors.

In this article, you’ll discover how you can easily renew any Cisco certification or specialization without sitting for a single exam! We’ll explain the different recertification paths, show how to select a recertification path, submit a claim, track the recertification process, open a support ticket, and more!

Here’s what’s covered:

Recertifying Cisco Certifications without Exams – How it Works

It is indeed possible to renew any Cisco certification without sitting for the dreaded exams, and it’s called the Cisco Continuing Education Program, and we’ll explain how it works.

The Cisco Continuing Education Program allows Cisco certified engineers to earn Continuing Education Credits (CE) that are then applied towards recertification. CEs can be earn via the following activities:

  • Instructor-Led Training
  • Cisco Digital Learning
  • Cisco Live! Training Sessions (BRK, LTR, TEC, DEVWks)
  • Cisco Network Academy Training
  • Other Activities such as workshops, bootcamps, etc

The amount of CE credits earned will depend on the type of activity and its duration. For example, you can earn 12 CE credits for a sitting through a 14-hour Cisco course delivered via the Cisco Digital Learning platform or earn a generous 40 to 65 credits for attending a 5-day Cisco Instructor-Led training course offered by authorized Cisco Learning Training Partners.

Once the training course or activity is complete, you submit a claim to earn the CE Credits. When you’ve gathered enough CE credits, you are automatically recertified.

How Many Cisco Learning Credits Do I Need?

The amount of Cisco Learning Credits required for your certification renewal depends on the level of recertification. For example, Associate level recertification, such as the CCNA, requires a minimum of 30 CE credits. In contrast, the Professional level (CCNP Enterprise, CCNP Data Center, etc.) requires 80 CE credits and CCIE level an impressive 120 Continuing Education credits.

The table below shows all available certification levels, duration, required Continuing Education credits, but also the ability to combine exams with Continuing Education credits to achieve recertification:

CCENT/CCNA

Cisco Routers

  • SSL WebVPN
  • Securing Routers
  • Policy Based Routing
  • Router on-a-Stick

VPN Security

  • Understand DMVPN
  • GRE/IPSec Configuration
  • Site-to-Site IPSec VPN
  • IPSec Modes

Cisco Help

  • VPN Client Windows 8
  • VPN Client Windows 7
  • CCP Display Problem
  • Cisco Support App.

Windows 2012

  • New Features
  • Licensing
  • Hyper-V / VDI
  • Install Hyper-V

Linux

  • File Permissions
  • Webmin
  • Groups - Users
  • Samba Setup