David’s Cisco Networking Blog


November 9, 2007  6:22 PM

Where’s David? …. Here I am!

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Today I got my Networkworld.com email newsletter and I was strangly intrugued by the subject. The newsletter was titled “Where’s David?”. Immediately, I thought someone at NetworkWorld must be looking for me and must have had to send out an email to 100,000 computer users to find me (when they should have just come here or googl’ed me).

When I opened the newsletter, I found out that it wasn’t about me at all (fancy that) but it was an interesting article about Cisco and the lack of competition for the enterprise router & switch market. THE GIANT

Not to change the subject BUT, I think that the authors of this newsletter makes a good point. They discuss the history of Cisco and ponder the idea – how could a company that has a great router but bought just about everything else it offers, end up being such a complete dominator over the entire enterprise networking market? What happened to Cisco’s competition? I’m not going to ponder that question too long – there obviously isn’t a lot of it out there that is stepping up to the plate. I think that is unfortunate because, if you studied economics, you know that competition is always good for consumers. Competition helps drive prices down, it helps companies strive to work harder and product better products, and it gives consumers choices. I think that Cisco could use some healthy competition.

So where might that competition come from? Open source? Vyatta? 3Com? HP? Imagestream? Nortel? Juniper? Or could the “david” come from out of no where?

Here is my prediction (worth about two cents if you were betting on it) – Vyatta partners with Microsoft (or someone else with a big name) to produce an easy to use, cheap, and full-featured router for 75% less than that of Cisco. (Or is that already Imagestream?)

Who is out there to take on the Goliath, named Cisco?

What do you all think?

-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 6, 2007  4:56 PM

How to setup multiple Authentication groups with Cisco IOS security

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Recently, I had an email from a reader who was using a Cisco router as a SSH server on the Internet to access his Cisco rack. The users would SSH to the router and then telnet to individual ports on the router to access the Cisco equipment hanging off of the terminal server ports of the router.

For the SSH authentication, he was using a Windows IAS RADIUS server and Active Directory (AD) username and passwords. The problem was, once the user logged in successfully to the router using SSH and tried to telnet to the Cisco device on a line off of the router, the user would be prompted to autenticate again. The question was to find a way to get rid of this.

The trick is to have the vty lines authenticate with one authentication method and the physical lines authenticate with another authentication method.

Here is the configuration, showing the important parts of the code:

aaa authentication login AUTHEN group radius local
aaa authorization exec AUTHEN group radius if-authenticated

aaa authentication login TTY_LINES line none

ip host r1 2001 10.1.1.1
ip host r2 2002 10.1.1.1
ip host r3 2003 10.1.1.1
ip host r4 2004 10.1.1.1
ip host r5 2005 10.1.1.1
ip host r6 2006 10.1.1.1
ip host sw1 2007 10.1.1.1
ip host sw2 2008 10.1.1.1

interface Loopback0
ip address 10.1.1.1 255.255.255.255

radius-server host 192.168.14.14 auth-port 1645 acct-port 1646
radius-server key 7 RADIUSKEYHERE

line 1 8
exec-timeout 0 0
login authentication TTY_LINES
no exec
transport preferred telnet
transport input all

-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 6, 2007  4:38 PM

Vendor Analysis of Qwest

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Are you a current user or Qwest, are you considering changing to Qwest, or do you just want to stay up to date on the telecom industry? If so, you will be interested in this.

IDC Research recently released their 2007 Vendor Profile of Qwest, entitles “Targeting the Enterprise, Qwest Reshapes Its Strategy. This 15 page reports runs for $3500. (w0w) But, don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you pay that for a 15 page report. (And if you have a spare $3500 for a 15 page report just let me know and I will write one for you).

To save you the time and trouble of trying to obtain and read this let me give you a little synopsis…

  • Qwest is trying to become more business-oriented
  • The reorganization by Qwest to refocus on the enterprise is good for potential customers, like you and I
  • Qwest won and participated in the Government’s Networx contract.
  • Qwest is moving into metro markets in the US
  • Qwest is trying to improve processes, train employees, and improve customer support
  • Qwest has a nationwide fibre MPLS backbone in 48 states
  • It is trying to expand metro Ethernet into 32 markets
  • Qwest made $593 million in 2006 and business so far in 2007 has been basically flat
  • Qwest says that 95% of the Fortune 500 are its clients

Overall, according to the analysis, Qwest is a strong company and the have a lot of opportunities ahead that can demonstrate their capabilities. The new CEO needs to ensure that the company stays in the right direction.

My personal feelings on Qwest are that they have come a long long way since they were US West. My poor experience was with their local techs. In the last 5 or so years, I have become increasingly pleased with their local techs and their local salespeople. The company seems to have strong offerings that can be very tempting at times. I have heard that they have had trouble with their Inegrated Access Nationwide VoIP network that they offer to businesses. I hope that they can stabilize that because their integrated access VoIP / Internet solution is a nice offering.

What is your take on Qwest? Love em’ or Hate em’? Do you use them? Please post your comments here!

Thanks….. 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 6, 2007  4:14 PM

Michael’s CCNA Success Story – How he passed the Cisco CCNA

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Are you studying for the Cisco CCNA or looking for the best Cisco CCNA, routing, and switching resources available? If so, check out a recent post by Michael K. After studying and preparing for his CCNA, he passed and has been kind enough to share his story and detail out all the resources he used in passing his test.

His resources include the web links, videos, books, and websites that he used to pass the test.

Thanks Michael & Congratulations to you, Mr CCNA!

I hope these resources help you in your pursuit of the CCNA Certification as well!

-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


October 26, 2007  8:57 PM

What’s the best certification training?

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

I’ll admit, right off, the point of this post is to get some discussion going. That said, slide the keyboard over–>

KeyboardAnd prepare to comment on this one!

(and I hope you aren’t still using a VIC-20, like that one)

Continued »


October 25, 2007  2:15 PM

Imagestream – Linux Router taking on the Giant

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

I am attending the Interop Tradeshow (formerly Network World) in New York City this week. This give me a great opportunity to see some amazing products, speak with the vendors, and meet other networker.

One of the many interesting products I ran across is the Imagestream Linux router and the thought of them taking on “the giant” – Cisco Systems.

Imagestream has taken Linux and created a lot of their own code to go around it. They take that then commericial product and put it on hardware. Imagestream then markets and sells these full hardware routers. Imagestream Envoy

One thing that impressed me was that Imagestream sells these hardware routers all the way from their small box (called the Envoy) running at about $500, on up to their huge enterprise box (costing, obviously much much more). Still, their $500 smallest box is a great small branch office router. It it tiny (about 4lbs) but it still offers QoS, RIP, OSPF, BGP, firewall, SNMP, and more. It comes with 3 Ethernet ports and you can add a 1 or 2 port T1/E1 module. This would allow you to have a full router, with enterprise grade software features, for under $1000. This is probably a third of the cost of a comparable Cisco.

Here are a couple of links to product reviews for Imagestream’s router line:

Network Computing – ImageStreams’ TransPort Linux Router – Small and Light and Routed Just Right

Linux Journal – Product of the Day – Imagestream’s Rebel Router

Take a look at the feature of of even their lowest end router:

Software

ImageStream Linux
High-performance Linux kernel
Scalable Inetics platform
Menu-driven configuration
CALEA intercept support
On-line & off-line upgrades
Local and remote logging
Real-time monitoring
Quality of Service (QoS)
Bandwidth limiting
Packet filtering
Peer-to-peer traffic control
Port forwarding
System scheduler
PPP, Cisco HDLC and frame relay
CEF-compatible bonder
MLPPP and MLFR and IMA
PPPoE and PPPoA
RIP & OSPF
SNMP or NetFlow® accounting
NAT firewall (1:1 & 1:many)
NTP clock synchronization
Concurrent bridging & routing
Secure telnet (ssh) v.2
L2TP, GRE, IPIP & CIPE tunneling
Remote RADIUS
TACACS+
DHCP client & server
VLAN tagging
IPSec & SSL VPN
VRRP
IPv6

Not that I am trying to sway everyone away from Cisco by talking first about Vyatta then about Imagestream, but I just find it fascinating that there are such great Linux-based options out there for routers today!

I think that Imagestream’s products deserve a second look. I am going to do that and I hope that you will too.

All the best to you,
David Davis, CCIE, VCP, CISSP

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


October 23, 2007  6:57 PM

Saying goodbye to your Cisco Equipment with a Dear John letter

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Vyatta LogoI have been interested in Vyatta’s open source router solution for a while (pronounced vee-AH-tah.). In fact, I have written at least one article about it and have tested it myself. It is an amazing solution – a free open source router that has an “IOS-like” interface and performs just about all the same functions as a Cisco router – but runs on your PC or in a virtual machine.

As a promo, Vyatta is asking its users to post “Dear John” letters on their website so that you can “say goodbye” to your Cisco routers and move over to open-source. So far, they have gotten a good response and many of the letters are entertaining and creative. I encourage you to checkout Vyatta’s “Dear John letter” blog. If you are a vyatta follower, I suggest you be creative and post your own letter.

Even if you, me, and all the other posters, don’t completely move away from Cisco routers, I hope that Cisco will get a message from some of these letters and use them to improve their organization. I do believe there are a lot of good tips for Cisco in these letters.

If nothing else, checkout this whitepaper on why Vyatta is better than Cisco (according to Vyatta, of course).

All the best to you,
David Davis, CCIE, VCP, CISSP

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


October 19, 2007  3:42 PM

What is a Cisco console cable?

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Say that you take a new Cisco router, switch, or firewall out of the box and hook it up. Does it work? No. It isn’t like a Linksys or Netgear router. It has no DHCP or anything like that. It has to be configured first.

How do you configure it? You have to connect to the console port, like this console port on a Cisco 1800 series router:

Cisco Console port

But what to connect to it? No, don’t use an Ethernet cable – it won’t work. This is a SERIAL port that needs to go to the serial/COM port on your PC or laptop (if you still have one). What what you need is a ROLLED cable. Here is what it looks like:

Rolled Cable

Cisco also has a good picture of one, below….

Cisco Rolled Cable

However, how are you going to get that rolled cable connected to your PC? Don’t plug it into the Ethernet port! Remember, it is a Serial Cable. You need to connect it to the 9 PIN serial port on your PC (hopefully you have one but I will tell you what to do if you don’t in a minute. To connect it, you need to convert the RJ45 end to Serial with an adaptor, like this:Console Adaptor

Many times, these came with routers or were sold in a package alone with the rolled cable, like this:

Older Cisco Console Cable

Today, the DB9 to RJ45 converter is coming molded to the console cable, like this:

Newer Cisco Console cable

Once you have the router, switch, or firewall physicall connected with the right cable & adaptor, you need to use your terminal emulator to communicate with the console port. For more information on that topic, I recommend this article on how to use Hyperterminal to connect to your Cisco router.

All the best to you,
David Davis, CCIE, VCP, CISSP

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


October 18, 2007  6:27 PM

How getting Involved benefits you and the entire Cisco Networking Community

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

I want to take a minute to talk about the importance of “getting involved” in the Cisco Networking community. No, this isn’t a “public service announcement” (okay, well maybe it is).

I will list ways that you can get involved in just a minute but first, let me give you some benefits of “getting involved”:

  • you learn more and more
  • you further your career both by learning more and by meeting others
  • you help others
  • eventually, the favor of helping other can be returned and you will get help

And those are just a few of the benefits. Sound good? So let’s find out what you can do to get involved!

1. Join an online community dedicated to Cisco Networking. Here are a list of them:

2. Join a local Cisco users group

In my home town, Dallas, TX, USA, we have the very popular DFW Cisco Users’ Group. However, there are many more of theses user groups around the world. In fact, there are about 7 million results for “cisco users group” on google.com

3. Volunteer to help others with Cisco networking issues. This is a great way to gain tons of experience, learn for free, and help someone else.

  • Co-workers
  • Friends
  • Church
  • Online

4. Start your own Blog

It doesn’t take much to start a blog these days. If you are interested, I recommend starting your own blog and tell us what is going on in your “Cisco world” and what configurations are you working on today! You can start your own blog, for free, on Blogger! No experience required.

In summary, I again, encourage you to get involved in your Cisco Networking Community! If you see a post you like, post a comment! If you see one that you don’t – again, post a comment again! There are always unanswers questions in the communities above – take a few minuets and take a “stab” at it.

All the best to you,
David Davis, CCIE, VCP, CISSP

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


October 17, 2007  11:48 AM

Microsoft & VMware Virtualization Throwdown!

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis

Okay, I know that this is a Cisco networking blog but I thought that this topic was so very interesting, I couldn’t resist but to post it. After this, I promise, I will get back to Cisco Networking….

I recently read a post by a Microsoft employee, Dave Northey. He was making all kinds claims about how Microsoft’s Windows Server Virtualization (WSV) was better than VMware ESX Server 3i.

Not surprisingly, there was a barrage of responders defending VMware. Although I didn’t post on his blog (because I would rather post over here), I do feel that VMware needs to be defended because they have a REAL enterprise grade product that you can buy today (and have been able to buy for many years). How can Microsoft say that their product is better when it isn’t even released to production yet? And how can they say that it is better when it hasn’t been proven in the Enterprise? I mean, you could install WSV and it could be completely insecure and unstable. VMware ESX is proven and used by hundreds of thousands of customers around the world.

To get someone’s take who is “in the know” on this topic, I checked in with Alessandro Perilli on this. He runs the Virtualization.info blog and is by far the best independant expert on virtualization that I know of. He said that, so far, this appears opinionated “our beta is better than your proven product” stance on Microsoft vs VMware appers to be limited to only this one Microsoft employee.

Have you tried either Windows Server Virtualization or VMware ESX 3i? (ESX 3i was handed out at VMworld and, you can try WSV by initializing it in the Win 2008 RC0 OS)

If you do try them – I recommend running them inside VMware Workstation (my favorite for OS testing). In fact, I recently created a video on how to run VMware ESX 3i Beta inside VMware Workstation (no more dedicated hardware or server).

Sound off your opinions in the comment section below!

The next post will be back to Cisco Networking!

All the best to you,
David Davis, CCIE, VCP, CISSP

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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