Episode 21 – Tools For Network Engineers

In this episode of Network Collective, Hank Yeomans and Jonathan Davis join us to take a look at some of our favorite tools as network engineers. Whether it’s hardware or software, tools are the things that help us do our jobs well, and if used correctly, can help set you apart.



We would like to thank Cumulus Networks for sponsoring this episode of Network Collective. Cumulus invites you to find out more about how Linux is changing the data center networking space by downloading their free ebook “Linux Networking 101” here: http://cumulusnetworks.com/NetworkCollectiveLinux



Show Notes:

  • Text Editer
    • It sounds simple, but a good text editor saves a lot of time
    • Regex search and replace is incredibly powerful once you know how to use it well
    • Standard features as well, like tabbed interfaces
    • Good options – Sublime Text, Notepad++
  • Terminal Software
    • Options
      • Secure CRT
      • iTerm2
        • Similar feature set as Secure CRT
        • Replacement shell on mac
      • Putty
        • Very good go-to on jump boxes and other systems
        • Session managers make putty better for long term use
    • Good monowidth fonts make a big difference
      • Source Code Pro is Jordan’s choice
  • Wireshark/Packet Capture
    • A tool all network engineers need to have and know how to use
    • The packets are the source of truth
    • Understand how to do protocol analysis yourself, in addition to sending off captures
    • Perspective can matter, so think about positioning of hardware/capture devices
  • Network Emulation
    • Popular options are GNS3, VIRL, and EVE-NG
    • Legally ambiguous as images are technically licensed.
      • Vendors don’t seem to enforce this though
      • Excludes VIRL, since those images are purchased
    • Scaling questions
      • Depends on device type being emulated

Jonathan Davis
Hank Yeomans

Jordan Martin
Eyvonne Sharp

Outro Music:
Danger Storm Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License



  1. Scott Vermillion
    February 25, 2018

    Hi Folks,

    Great episode – learned of some great ideas that are new to me (e.g. keyword coloration in SecureCRT). Quick question: does anyone know what we’re supposed to do with that .xlsx file embedded in the .zip?


  2. Daniel
    March 21, 2018

    I have the same question as Scott. Not sure what to do with the files!

  3. Jake
    November 26, 2019

    In reply to Daniel and Scott…
    The “CiscoWords.xlsm” file is not needed by SecureCRT. It’s provided as a convenience if you wish to explore color possibilities and see what they look like.

    The .ini files included in the .zip file are used by SecureCRT; they compromise keyword highlighting definitions SecureCRT uses to determine what colors to use for displaying defined words/patterns. The “Cisco Words for BlackBckgrd.ini” file contains definitions that are better viewed if the background color of your SecureCRT terminal is dark. The “Cisco Words Original.ini” file contains definitions that are better views with a light-colored SecureCRT background. The following public forum post provides more information about importing the keyword definitions into SecureCRT, including some YouTube videos showing the process in action:


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