Welcome to Rack Life! A blog site built by an engineer for engineers in the enterprise networking field. Focused on Cisco and Meraki-based topics relating to route/switch, datacenter, WAN, wireless, SDN, and security.

If you have any questions or concerns with any of the information presenting in my blog posts, feel free to reach out with the ‘Contact’ tab or leave a message on the blog post.

Upcoming Blog Posts

  • Personal VIRL Topology Used for CCIE Study
  • OTV Routing Considerations for DCI with Multiple WAN Paths
  • When to Use a Router Versus an L3 switch
  • Differences Between the Cisco ASR and ISR
  • Troubleshooting Enterprise Networks by Following the Packet

About Me


My name is Michael Schmidt and I am currently a pre-sales network engineer based out of Greensboro, NC for Sirius Computer Solutions, a Cisco/EMC/VMware/F5 partner. I have been working in the networking field since 2011 starting in Cisco TAC and moving to partner network post-sales and now pre-sales. Before I describe how I ended up here, I want to define the purpose of this blog for those that have stumbled upon this site:

  • Provide information on recent issues in the field that can help others
  • Document complex tasks that others may need to reference
  • Contribute back to the community that has helped me immensely
  • Actively respond to user comments and concerns
  • Focus on contributions that are unbiased and judgement-free

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Meraki MX Does Not Support Client Active FTP

Meraki MX does not support client active FTP sessions. This is noted in Meraki’s official documentation in the link below. Only outbound passive FTP sessions are supported at this time. The issue with active FTP support is two-fold: Active FTP sessions require dynamic inspection at the firewall edge Unlike other major security vendors, Meraki does …

Cisco VIRL Tips

Cisco VIRL

Cisco VIRL (Virtual Internet Routing Labs) has been a great network simulation tool for home lab use for both customer topologies and CCIE study. As I release blog posts that relate to VIRL, I will list them all before for easy access along with a general list of VIRL best practices based on personal experience.

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Home Lab Setup

A good network engineer needs to have equipment readily available to test new technologies and customer topologies. Some companies have dedicated hardware in their datacenters for this purpose and others leave it up to the engineer for their home lab setup. Luckily, I fall in the latter.

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