Chapter 2. Maintaining IDP Systems

It is said that for every combat soldier firing a weapon in battle, there are nine soldiers keeping that individual in boots, bullets, beans, and beds. Some of the time, being a network warrior means being on the front lines designing, installing, troubleshooting, and configuring the devices that service providers and enterprises rely on for their communications. Other times, it means being behind the front lines providing the support. These assignments may not be quite as exciting, but they can be just as interesting if you put your mind in the right space. So bear with this chapter as it figures out the right maintenance levels for a complicated setup.

For this engagement, a group of us were providing support—bullets-and-beans support—to a major wireless carrier. The gig was tuning the maintenance and feeding of a gaggle of IDP8200s dispersed throughout the network. The IDP8200s are part of a bulletproof intrusion protection/detection system provided by Juniper Networks. The other warriors in this tribe consisted of a resident engineer and the wireless provider’s application security engineers. This made us quite a tribe, as each of us brought a honed skill set and all the corresponding special interests.

For myself, it was as much of a learning experience as a support assignment. I had previously installed and initially configured IDP8200s, but I had never gotten into the guts of the things. In fact, the attentive reader will notice that this ...

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