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donniekun
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Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:53 am

Hi,
I am just a starter learning the system with the manual written by Burgess, Dennis.
I just got hired to a company where the VPN service and Internet phone service are the main item.
So they have the many kinds of MikroTik Routers installed in the server room.

My quest is to learn how the MikroTik works from the manual on my own.
We have installed the RB1100 series and few others that are not known of yet.
I don't have any known knowledge about Networking or Server at all untill now.

I am really confused reading the manual.
It would be really helpful if any of you guys give me some tips or books in suggestion, that I can read so that my understandings on the MikroTik product or on Networking expand.

Thank you so much.
 
j1305
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:57 pm

I might suggest picking up a copy of Router OS By Example by Stephen Discher. It has some excellent examples, and is easy to follow. I also highly recommend going through the videos at Greg Sowell's site his Blog also contains a wealth of knowledge.

Just my 2cents..
 
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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:22 pm

I also recommend playing with some Mikrotiks in a sandbox, just making up scenarios and implementing them / kicking the tires, etc. If you don't have 4 or 5 routerboards laying around, you can use GNS3 to make virtual Mikrotiks.
(there are howtos on how to set up RouterOS as a qemu guest image and put them into GNS3)

The one thing about the virtual Mikrotiks that the howtos didn't mention is that each time you add one to the topology, it's a complete clone of the image you set up, including MAC addresses, so you'll need to modify the MACs when you connect several together.
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hossain2004a
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:41 pm

In my first steps of experience of using mikrotik I just see i can't play with it in our office.
So I took it in home and work and play with it for 2 month. I practice with those service that We want in our office. Real scenarios.

Necessity is the mother of invention
 
donniekun
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:16 am

I might suggest picking up a copy of Router OS By Example by Stephen Discher. It has some excellent examples, and is easy to follow. I also highly recommend going through the videos at Greg Sowell's site his Blog also contains a wealth of knowledge.

Just my 2cents..
Thanks a lot for your suggestions.
I will try to study with the book you suggested.^^
 
donniekun
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:20 am

I also recommend playing with some Mikrotiks in a sandbox, just making up scenarios and implementing them / kicking the tires, etc. If you don't have 4 or 5 routerboards laying around, you can use GNS3 to make virtual Mikrotiks.
(there are howtos on how to set up RouterOS as a qemu guest image and put them into GNS3)

The one thing about the virtual Mikrotiks that the howtos didn't mention is that each time you add one to the topology, it's a complete clone of the image you set up, including MAC addresses, so you'll need to modify the MACs when you connect several together.
I installed the VMWare virtual machine on my PC and playing around with it.
I found out that it is pretty different than having my hands on the actual router machine, since i can see the machine itself with my eyes, the lines connected and the machines linked to it.
I will look up the virtual Mikrotiks, GNS3. Thank you for the suggestion.^^
 
donniekun
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:26 am

In my first steps of experience of using mikrotik I just see i can't play with it in our office.
So I took it in home and work and play with it for 2 month. I practice with those service that We want in our office. Real scenarios.

Necessity is the mother of invention
It would be nice if there was private mikrotiks that I can take home with me. Now I am practicing with the VMWare Virtual Mikrotiks...
Today there was a trouble on our Router for the server, so my boss ordered me to change the server routed to the backup server. Though I have known the process, facing the real situation my brain become blank...
Anyways, thank you for your comment. Hopefully I get better at it soon.. ^^
 
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hossain2004a
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:54 pm

In my first steps of experience of using mikrotik I just see i can't play with it in our office.
So I took it in home and work and play with it for 2 month. I practice with those service that We want in our office. Real scenarios.

Necessity is the mother of invention
It would be nice if there was private mikrotiks that I can take home with me. Now I am practicing with the VMWare Virtual Mikrotiks...
Today there was a trouble on our Router for the server, so my boss ordered me to change the server routed to the backup server. Though I have known the process, facing the real situation my brain become blank...
Anyways, thank you for your comment. Hopefully I get better at it soon.. ^^
It's easy. Just buy RB951Ui-2HnD for your home. It's cheap and cozy ( :D ). Do your experiments in home first.
 
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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:36 pm

I use GNS3 to simulate some of the issues that people post here so that I can either try to replicate a strange issue they're seeing, or see if a solution I've thought of will really work.

Since I'm always starting with blank configurations, it's easy to do an "export compact" that only has what's needed for the solution at hand.

Slapping together 4 or 5 virtual devices and loading them up with BGP / OSPF / whatever - and doing it over and over without any warning or planning will really help you be able to configure a reasonably "interesting" network from scratch in just 5 minutes, and help you learn to automatically do it the same way and the best way every time.
When given a spoon,
you should not cling to your fork.
The soup will get cold.
 
troffasky
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:45 pm

Slapping together 4 or 5 virtual devices and loading them up with BGP / OSPF / whatever
How does this work licensing-wise? Do you have a stack of Free Demo licenses for this purpose?
 
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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:54 pm

How does this work licensing-wise? Do you have a stack of Free Demo licenses for this purpose?
No - qemu copies the image for each new instance of the router. Each copy has the same soft-ID, and has the same amount of its 24-hour test clock active as was left when I finished getting the basic configuration built.

So all of my virtual routers have 23h 28min left when I first boot them up. If I wanted to utilize them for longer periods of time, or keep certain topologies for future reference, then I would purchase a license and apply it to the base image. Then the clones would live forever.
When given a spoon,
you should not cling to your fork.
The soup will get cold.
 
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hossain2004a
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:18 am

How does this work licensing-wise? Do you have a stack of Free Demo licenses for this purpose?
No - qemu copies the image for each new instance of the router. Each copy has the same soft-ID, and has the same amount of its 24-hour test clock active as was left when I finished getting the basic configuration built.

So all of my virtual routers have 23h 28min left when I first boot them up. If I wanted to utilize them for longer periods of time, or keep certain topologies for future reference, then I would purchase a license and apply it to the base image. Then the clones would live forever.
Brilliant...
Same way of installing Windows in our clients... Images and Clones... Just installing the whole windows and software and stuffs in 10 Mins :D
(of course the main boards and CPUs are the same)
 
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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:32 pm

I just found some other people's howtos and followed them.
It was actually pretty easy to do. I made a few tweaks because the cloning was making the MAC address the same on ether1 for all copies - because Mikrotik config saves the MAC address and overrides the hardware-encoded one.
I built my base image with a script that executes on boot - the script sets all interface MAC addresses and names to the default values, sets the hostname to "RenameMe" and then the script deletes itself. I'm thinking about going back in and putting the default IP scheme I use for my winbox links as well....
When given a spoon,
you should not cling to your fork.
The soup will get cold.
 
TomosRider
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:08 pm

ZeroByte-true guru of this forum....:)
My thoughts on this topic are, you can always go for real gear cause i find it best practice. 2-3 RB750's are insanely cheap and affordable, you can practice all kinds of scenarios and most of all, you will gain that experience that you need in this moment.
Ofc, you can use GNS3 cause of simplicity and money-time saving manner. The ultimate component here is:your will.
 
jarda
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Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:44 pm

I second that playing with real toys is much more educative than with virtuals. On top of all you do not need to take care about underlying system and its way how to bridge interfaces as you can just plug wires and what is more, you can play with wifi too...
 
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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:03 pm

This didn't just turn into the old emulator vs hardware debate did it? lol

There are pros and cons to both - I find the virtual lab to be orders of magnitude more convenient (I hate having to move one serial cable around between boxes), and also feel that I know enough to know the difference between a problem caused by emulation vs. a real problem that won't work in hardware either.

Of course for performance testing, only the real hardware will do. If you ask me whether to trust results from a virtual lab or a real one, the real one wins 100% of the time. It's just that 99% of the time, I'm just messing around with concepts and that's much faster to do with any arbitrary number of routers and connectivity in a virtual environment.
When given a spoon,
you should not cling to your fork.
The soup will get cold.
 
troffasky
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:43 pm

You are of course free to combine the best of both worlds - buy as much real hardware as you can afford, spin up VMs when your test scenario expands beyond what hardware you have. You'll need one of those nasty old DFE580TX 4-port ethernet cards as well :-)
 
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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:03 pm

You are of course free to combine the best of both worlds - buy as much real hardware as you can afford, spin up VMs when your test scenario expands beyond what hardware you have. You'll need one of those nasty old DFE580TX 4-port ethernet cards as well :-)
I put a cisco 48 port switch on my desk and connected it to my PC on its second ethernet card.
I had to go find a workaround where I made a registry setting change so that the driver would not strip vlan tags off from received traffic....

Then in the virtual side, I connected the interface to a virtual switch.

The link is a trunk and I just made the switch do: port 1 = vlan1, port 2 = vlan 2 ... port 47 = vlan 47, port 48 = trunk

I did the same in the virtual switch.

That way, I could put anything on the virtual switch port X and have it appear in the real world on the physical switch on the same port. I used this to have a stack of real ASAs participate with my emulated Cisco routers for a BGP project I was doing.
When given a spoon,
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w0lt
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:24 pm

One of the weaknesses of the lower cost routers is the lack of a console port. While the short coming does not impeded the mass deployment because those using it are already knowledgeable of ROS or are simply using it as a CPE. I've found that while climbing the "learning curve" of ROS, the console port has allowed me to back myself out of self induced borks and kept the existing work intact as opposed to having to completely reset a non-console port Routerboard like the RB951 or 751 series.

Don't misunderstand me though, they are all "fine" routers.. just lack the console port.

For me, I like the CRS109 as it has everything I would want, and the price is not really too bad.
I really line the RJ45 console jack as I can use my existing stash of Cisco console cables. :)

The switch chip in it is more powerful than the RB951or 751 series too.

Just my two cents worth ... :)

-tp
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" The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten "

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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:15 pm

One of the weaknesses of the lower cost routers is the lack of a console port.
I completely agree with that sentiment - it was off-putting for me when I realized that there was no safety net on my 951 fresh from MUM... but it's really, really hard to totally lock the keys in the car, where Mikrotik is concerned, what with MAC telnet, MAC-based Winbox, etc... I've used MAC telnet from neighboring devices quite often - it even skirts around the firewall rules.
When given a spoon,
you should not cling to your fork.
The soup will get cold.
 
troffasky
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:53 pm

Don't misunderstand me though, they are all "fine" routers.. just lack the console port.
Do they lack the serial hardware entirely or is it just that it's not broken out into an external port [IOW, are there some pads or pins on the board that would work as as serial port]?

If there are some pads on the board then that should be good enough for the keen enthusiast to use, when they've experimented just a little too hard. I've already factoried my RB951 for exactly this reason :)
 
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ZeroByte
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:00 pm

Do they lack the serial hardware entirely or is it just that it's not broken out into an external port
Someone wants to use their soldering iron. :D

EDIT: How sad - a thread in beginner basics, with a genuine post asking for tips to get started on the path of awesome, and it ends up talking about soldering an RS232 connection onto a routerboard because there's no built-in port by default - lol...
When given a spoon,
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jarda
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Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:14 am

Some of my devices in the lab have serial ports (133,433,532,411,2011 ) and some others not. But I am not missing that.
 
TomosRider
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Re: Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:56 am

AAAAAAAANYWAY....to conclude this, combine both, virtual and real world, read mikrotik wiki about concepts, search this forum for topics that interest you the most, practice and you will be fine.
 
jarda
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Beginner Knowledge Suggestions, Please.

Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:34 pm

Sure. There is a power in the combination. I admit, I have also few virtualised roses, because sometimes I need more memory or processing power for some tests...

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