David’s Cisco Networking Blog


November 30, 2007  5:06 PM

Petri Forums & Knowledgebase

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

If you are looking for great Cisco networking, Windows Networking, & Virtualization information, of course, I always want to first direct you to the TechTarget family of sites, such as:

http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/

http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/

http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/

http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/

However, if you don’t find what you are looking for there, I want to offer a recommendation to my friends over at the Petri Forum & Knowledgbase. This site is made up of people, literally, from around the world. They answer post knowledge articles & answer forum questions on all kinds of IT topics – Windows, Exchange, Networking, Cisco, Virtualization, and more.

I especially suggest their Cisco Router & Switch knowledgebase and their Cisco forum.

I hope you will check them out the next time you can’t find something you are looking for in the TechTarget family of sites

That’s David’s tip for today :)

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series

November 30, 2007  5:05 PM

Linksys Network Video Cameras – What is the best outdoor nighttime video surveillance system?

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

I know you may be wondering why I am bringing this topic up on the Cisco blog. Well, Linksys is a Cisco owned company so I am still talking about Cisco, kind of, by discussing this. :)

Here’s my issue – I want an excellent outdoor video surveillance system that works at night (with IR nightvision and IR LED lights) and uses my PC as a DVR. I have searched high and low and haven’t found what I am looking for. (oh yeah – I also don’t want to pay very much money)

I tried the Wilife outdoor camera and it is very cool. It uses the home or business electrical cables to send the signal so there is no need to run a cable. The problem with it is that they don’t yet have an outdoor nightvision camera (expected sometime in 2008). Because of this, I will have to return it.

Next, I looked at Linksys Network Video Cameras. Did you even know that Linksys makes video cameras? Some are for your PC, some are for room monitoring, and some are for large area monitoring. They have some very cool IP-addressable cameras with web servers inside. Problem is, again, they don’t yet have an outdoor nightvision camera. Still, here are links and sample of what they offer:

Linksys WVC54GC Linksys WVC54GC

Linksys WVC200 (looks like a small robot with an antenna) Linksys WVC200

Linksys Business video cameras  Linksys PVC2300

PVC2300

What about you? Have you found an excellent outdoor & nighttime video surveillance system? One that is IP addressable or can come back to a PC using DVR software? (Maybe I need to post this question in the ITKE IT Answers forum!)

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series


November 30, 2007  4:48 PM

Is your Cisco router end of life? Even worse, is it unsupported? You may be surprised…

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

At the company I work for, we went to renew our annual Cisco Smartnet contract this year, as we always do. We were surprised when we were told that there were some routers on our contract that could no longer be supported or maintained by Cisco.

I know that some of our routers are old but, if they work, why replace them, right?

Well, one reason may be that they may cost more to maintain/support than you might think. For example, the cost last year to maintain a 2610 router for 1 year was about $600. They are selling on ebay for about $100. Why pay the $600 to maintain a device that 1) almost never breaks and 2) could be replaced for only $100?

I have to remind myself that a Cisco smartnet contract includes a lot more than just maintenance. It includes support and software upgrades. However, with most of these old routers, we use none of these services.

I encourage you to check the Cisco End of Life website. It details every Cisco product that is end of life AND products that are “end of support”. That means that you can no longer get a Smartnet maint. contract on them.

As I was, you may be surprised at some of the routers that are on there. I mean, we all know that 2500 series routers are older than dirt right? But what about the Cisco 3640? I still have about 50 of those in service. As of November 2007, they can no longer be supported or maintained by Cisco – WOW.

(Now, I am sure there are some Cisco resellers that will read this and try to call me and sell me new routers. Well, don’t bother because the 3600 series works fine, with or without Smartnet :) )

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series


November 21, 2007  9:37 PM

Time for a Security Review!

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

This week, it was announced that the Monster.com website was attacked by Hackers (for more info see “Hackers jack Monster.com, infect job hunters“).

This, once again, reminds me that everyone one of us who is responsible for a network take some time and review our network security. Hey – why not make it a New Year’s Resolution?

If you aren’t familiar with the Cisco IOS but want to review your security, here are some links to consider (all articles or videos that I have written):

VIDEO: Harden your Cisco Router with IOS ACLs
How to Configure Passwords to Secure your Cisco Router
Configure SSH on your Cisco router
How to be notified when you Cisco router configuration has changed
Cisco – Improving Security on Cisco Routers

And, finally, one more (not by me):
NSA Router Security Configuration Guide

All the Best to You,

David


November 21, 2007  9:18 PM

New Wireless access points and Routers from Linksys

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Recently, Linksys has announced 2 new offerings that are great for small businesses (and advanced home users like me).  I have been lucky enough to receive free demos of these units to try out and write articles about. I am very excited to test them out for myself. Here is information on the two devices I will be demoing. I will soon be providing you info on these cool network devices and my review of them.

In the mean time, here are some links and graphics-

 Linksys WAP2000 – Wireless-G Access Point with Power over Ethernet
RangeBooster Wireless Access Point Solution

Linksys WAP 2000

Linksys WRP400 – Wireless-G Broadband Router with 2 Phone Ports
Innovative Triple-Play Networking Solution with QoS

Linksys WRP400

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series


November 21, 2007  8:51 PM

Cisco pushing webex – is webex pushing routers?

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Today, I visited the Cisco.com homepage and, what do I find?

I see large ad for pushing a 14 day trial of Webex web conferencing!

How weird is this? I know that Cisco bought webex but I view Cisco’s bread and butter coming from Routers and Services related to routers. So why is Cisco advertising webex web conferencing on the homepage instead of a new router?

What’s your take on this?Cisco and Webex Together


November 16, 2007  5:39 PM

Bridged ports on a Cisco 851 & 871 series routers

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Recently I had a question from a Cisco router admin and I suspect that many of you out there could benefit from the answer. This admin had a Cisco 871W and was having trouble creating VLANs.

I believe that the confusion on this topic comes from the fact that the Cisco 851 & 871 series routers have 4 LAN Ethernet ports + 1 Additional Ethernet. The 4 LAN port (Fa0 to Fa3) are intended to be your local LAN switch ports to your, say, 4 devices on your LAN. The 1 Additional Ethernet  port (Fa4) is intended to be connected to something like a DSL modem or cable modem.

These 4 special internal LAN ports on the Cisco 851 & 871 are special and don’t work like other ports on other Cisco routers or switches with 4+ Ethernet ports. These 4 LAN ports on the 851 & 871 cannot be turned into VLANs and cannot be configured individually.

According to the 871 specs, you can create up to 4 VLANs with the 871w. These can include wireless VLANs.

I think the problem that is coming up here is that FastEthernet ports 0-3 are all in a bridge. You cannot create a subinterface on Fa0-3 but you can on Fa4.

Here is how I created a subinterface for a VLAN off of Fa4:

Router#sh ip int brie
Interface                  IP-Address      OK? Method Status  Protocol
FastEthernet0              unassigned      YES unset  up       down
FastEthernet1              unassigned      YES unset  up        down
FastEthernet2              unassigned      YES unset  up        down
FastEthernet3              unassigned      YES unset  up        down
FastEthernet4              unassigned      YES unset  administratively        down    down
FastEthernet4.1            unassigned      YES unset  administratively        down    down
Dot11Radio0                unassigned      YES TFTP   administratively        down     down
Vlan1                      unassigned              YES unset  up                down
Virtual-Dot11Radio0        unassigned      YES TFTP   administratively   down    down
Router#

Still, not all of us are going to want to have a VLAN only on Fa4. So the answer is, as I understand it (haven’t tried it) to use the bridge group function. You put certain Fa ports in a certain bridge group, then put that bridge group in a VLAN.

Please see this Cisco doc for more information

And take a look at George Ou’s Examples of configuring VLANs on the 871.

He offers a downloadable Excel template. Now, if I recall he is configuring wireless VLANs but the same principles should apply.

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035-6102399.html 
http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-6112367.html?tag=nl.e138

So if you are trying this yourself, I think this knowledge and those configs will give you examples of what you are looking to do.

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series


November 14, 2007  3:39 PM

Understanding Cisco DSL Statistics

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Recently, a user on my website, GaryV, had a question about how to understand Cisco DSL statistics. In his troubleshooting process, he was able to gain a lot of valuable information from the Cisco TAC. He wanted to share that information with everyone else so perhaps it would help someone else, the next time you are trying to understand Cisco DSL statistics.

The full message text can be found here.

Below, is the post from GaryV, which details how to understand and interpret Cisco DSL statistics:

===========================================================================

I did have some degree of success with AT&T, and I actually got a response from the ATM group at Cisco. Hopefully this will be useful to other readers as well…

First, here is what I have so far from Cisco TAC, and they indicate there is more to come.

To troubleshoot Layer 1 problems, you can use the show dsl interface atm 0 command to verify that the Cisco 877 router is trained to the DSLAM. If the Cisco 877 router is successfully trained to the DSLAM, this command will also display the trained upstream and downstream speed in kbps.

Now, the definitions:

Noise Margin (also signal-to-noise ratio)
When DSL service is provisioned in a DSLAM, the minimum acceptable noise margin is usually specified. CAP DSL service is typically provisioned with a downstream margin of 3 dB and an upstream margin of 6 dB. Research has shown that the optimum margins for DMT service are 6 dB downstream and 6 dB
upstream.

Avoiding configuring a DSL service with more noise margin than appropriate is important because the system will train to an unnecessarily low DSL rate to provide the specified margin. It is also important to avoid specifying an exceptionally low margin, such as 1 dB downstream and 1 dB upstream because a small increase in noise level on the transmission line would probably
result in excessive errors and a subsequent retraining to a lower DSL rate.

Increasing the transmit power levels will also improve the noise margin but at the cost of interfering with other services in the same cable.

Most DSLAMs and CPE report both the provisioned and actual noise margins for each DSL line. If the actual margin is higher than the provisioned margin, the line should provide an acceptable error rate at the present DSL line rate. As the actual margin drops below the provisioned margin, there is a
high probability of an excessive error rate and subsequent retrain to a lower DSL rate.

Attenuation
Attenuation generally refers to any reduction in the strength of any type of signal, whether digital or analog. More precisely in the case of DSL, attenuation is the normal loss of signal strength over distance. Attenuation specifically is a logarithmic function of the power setting. As power increases, attenuation increases logarithmically. Also called simply loss, attenuation is a natural consequence of signal transmission over long
distances. The extent of attenuation is usually expressed in units called decibels (dB).

Capacity Used
Percentage of the capacity that is being used.

Now something actually useful. Shocked
Here are ranges for these values that I received from an AT&T provisioning engineer.

For Noise Margin: (the higher this value, the better)
8-13 Average
14-22 Very Good
23-28 Excellent

For Attenuation: (the lower this value, the better)
20-30 Excellent
30-40 Very Good
40-60 Average

I will append any additional information I get from Cisco.

Regards,
Gary

============================================================================

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series


November 13, 2007  1:07 PM

Cisco Systems – the financial machine keeps on turning- Q1 2007

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Cisco’s financial quarter ended October 27, 2007. According to Cisco, “First-quarter revenue was $9.6 billion, up nearly 17 percent from $8.2 billion in last year’s first quarter. Net income rose more than 37 percent to $2.2 billion from $1.6 billion a year earlier. Earnings per share were $0.35, up from $0.26 in last year’s first quarter.”

WOW.

Don’t you wish that your financials sounded so good? With the housing and financial markets in a slump and the economy ranked by most as “not so great”, how does Cisco continue to crank out these types of numbers?

Is it that Tasman Burgers that they sell in the company cafeteria? No, that can’t drive the orders. Is it those “human network” commericials that did it? I doubt that most people even have any idea what those commericials are talking about.

To me, it has got to be Cisco’s continual innovation. Cisco just “keeps those new products coming”. I mean, when was the last time you heard about the “new HP switch”? Or the new “Nortel Router”? (the #2 and #3 players in the marketplace) Name any other company that has SO many possible revenue streams – consumer networking (Linksys), security, services, routers (low to carrier class), switches, voice, and now, video.

In fact, according to Cisco CEO John Chambers, what drove the revenue so high this quarter were sales of carrier routers and Video/IPTV. The enterprise market, in fact, was actually a low seller.

With routers, switches, and Voice/VoIP being Cisco’s primary areas of dominance – what will it be next? Can Cisco put a video box in every home around the world, giving us all video conferencing? Could Cisco be your next source for TV?

Make your predictions here!

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series


November 9, 2007  6:40 PM

How do you reset your lost Router or Switch password?

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Just as with the Windows OS, one of the most frequent questions from new Cisco router or switch users is “how do I reset my lost IOS password”? Perhaps you inherited an old router from another network admin. Perhaps you bought your router on ebay. Or perhaps you just plain forgot what the password was for the router. Password Recovery

Now, you cannot get into the IOS. What do you do?

This involves changing the configuration register to 0x2142, rebooting, recovering or changing the password, and changing the configuration register back to 0x2102.

Instead of telling you HOW to do it, better yet, I would like to SHOW you how to do it.

I created a 10 minute video on my website where I SHOW you how to reset your lost router or switch password. I have gotten a ton of positive reviews on this video with many people saying it “saved their day”. I hope it helps you out too!

-David
Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco VMware Workstation & Server Video Training Series
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series


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