David’s Cisco Networking Blog


October 10, 2007  9:28 PM

Cisco’s new 1861 Remote office router packs a punch!

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis
Ethernet

Have you heard about Cisco’s latest branch router? They recently released it and I admit that I am very impressed.

First, take a look at what it looks like:

Cisco 1861 ISR Router

Different, right?

I didn’t shrink the picture – it really isn’t full rack-width. It is pretty small actually. As you can see, it has switch ports, a HWIC slot, switch ports, and a CF card slot. But wait, there is more…

It can also come with:

  • 256MB RAM & 512MB for optional voicemail
  • Call Manager Express for VoIP (up to 8 user)
  • Optional Unity Express for voicemail & auto attendant
  • Call Manager survivability (SRST) if the circuit to a reall call manager goes down
  • FXO/FXS VoIP ports to connect to the PSTN or analog phones
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) Ethernet ports for VoIP phones, perhaps
  • optional IPSEC encryption, IPS, firewall, & more

And, no, I am not trying to sell the thing to you. I honestly like Cisco products and think that this all-in-one branch office router is pretty darn amazing! I sure would like to get my hands on one to try out! ((anyone from Cisco reading this? want to send me a loaner? ))

Oh yeah – and it does routing too! :)

In my humble opinion, the new Cisco 1861 ISR (as they call them) does really “pack a punch” – a small box with a lot of features.

For more information on the Cisco 1861, see Cisco’s complete list of features.

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

Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series
Cirro – Quote Telecom Internet, Voice, and Data T1 circuits from an unbiased source

October 9, 2007  8:19 PM

Common Sense is sometimes all it takes to protect your network from attackers

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis
Ethernet

In a recent Information Week article, “A Crook Comes Clean“, a conviced malicious hacker admitted to helping a crime organization hack into companies networks and steal resources like thousands of minutes of free VoIP usage. One of the most obvious statements he made was this:

“it would have been easy for IT and security managers to detect him-if they’d been looking. “If they were just monitoring their boxes and keeping logs, they could easily have seen us logged in there,” he said. “If they had intrusion-detection systems set up, they could have easily seen that these weren’t their calls.”

IT technicians also could have set up access lists, telling their networks to allow only their own IP addresses to get in. “We came across only two or three boxes that actually had access lists in place,” Moore added. “The telecoms that we couldn’t get into had access lists or boxes that we couldn’t get into because of strong passwords.”

I think that this is a good reminder for us all to follow the basic security practices to secure our network. To me, this is as simple as what you should be doing to secure your data center physically – locks on the doors, no windows, strong doors, controlled access, etc.

I have published a number of articles and videos on how to secure your network. For example, here is a video on securing your router using IOS Access-Lists (ACL): FREE VIDEO: Harden your Cisco Router with IOS ACLs

Additionally, SANS has a great document on securing your network:SANS: Cisco Router Hardening Step by Step

Remember-

  1. change default passwords & use complex passwords
  2. use protocols that are secure (no http and telnet to manage routers)
  3. password protect all entrances to the router and routing protocols
  4. Apply ACL on your router to control management access and prevent spoofing
  5. Use a firewall (in the router or a stand-alone box) to control inbound and outbound network access to and from the Internet

So much of security is just common sense and taking time to apply it.

Have a great day!

David Davis, CCIE

Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series
Cirro – Quote Telecom Internet, Voice, and Data T1 circuits from an unbiased source


October 8, 2007  2:25 PM

Cisco’s congressional lobbying and acquisitions

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis
Ethernet

CNN recently reported that Cisco systems as so far spent $680,000 lobbying members of congress this year. This makes sense considering Cisco acquires so many companies that most of us cannot keep up. The first thing that comes into my mind is that Cisco doesn’t want to get so big that it suffers the same fate as Microsoft is an accused of being a monopoly. However, according to the list of topics that Cisco supposedly lobbied on, the “monopoly” topic wasn’t one of them (but then, how could it be?)

In 2007 alone, Cisco Systems has acquired 10 companies. And the year is not over yet.

My question is this – Can Cisco successfully integrate all of these companies and their technologies into sucessfull products? Typically, a very high number of acquisitions are financially unsuccessful. Will Cisco really be able to go from #1 Router & Switch maker to

  • #1 cable set top box maker
  • #1 DVR maker
  • #1 video conferencing maker (home and business)
  • #1 security vendor
  • #1 toaster vendor

(okay, I threw that last one in there) But still, you start to wonder if they will stop the acquisitions one day and can they really become the top vendor, or one of the top vendors, in all the technology categories that they play in …?Here is the list of Cisco’s 2007 acquisitions from the Wikipedia

2007

  • September 28, Latigent a developer of Call Center software.
  • September 18, Cognio a provider of wireless analysis and management.
  • May 22, BroadWare Technologies, provides software that enables web-based monitoring, management, recording and storage of audio and video that can be accessed anywhere by authorized users.[1]
  • March 28, SpansLogic, develops processors that improve packet processing speeds across the network.
  • March 15, WebEx, makes applications that enable online group meetings and secure instant messaging.
  • March 13, NeoPath, a provider of high-performance and highly scalable file storage management solutions.
  • March 5, Utah Networks, acquired selected technology assets of Utah Networks, the operator of the social networking site Tribe.net.
  • February 21, Reactivity, XML gateway provider enabling customers to deploy, secure, and accelerate XML and web services.
  • February 8, Five Across, software developer of ‘social networking’ technologies that allows businesses to create ‘MySpace-like’ communities on their websites.
  • January 4, Ironport, a developer of security software that scans e-mail for viruses and spam.

David Davis, CCIE

Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series
Cirro – Quote Telecom Internet, Voice, and Data T1 circuits from an unbiased source


October 5, 2007  12:49 PM

Would you “Rent” your certification?

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis
Ethernet, Help Desk

I heard about a website that connects people who have certifications with Microsoft and Cisco resellers who need certified people, on the payroll, to achieve a certain level of reseller status.

How this works is – say that I sell Cisco equipment but I want larger discounts from Cisco (so I can make more profit when I sell it). To be a higher level of reseller (Silver, Gold, or whatever), you have to have a certain number of Cisco certified people on the payroll. For example, maybe you need 2 CCNA, 1 CCNP, and 1 CCIE.

Many up-and-coming resellers cannot afford to do this so the idea came that they could pay people who have these certs a flat monthy fee to register their cert # under the reseller’s name. Not a bad idea, I suppose, unless Cisco or Microsoft stop them.

And now an even better idea – www.rentacert.com

This site connects the people who have the cert with the resellers who want to “rent” it. The site makes a profit by taking a commission.

If you work for a company that is NOT a reseller but you have a cert, I suppose it would be nice to make some extra cash off of it and do nothing. It seems that both the renter and rentee would benefit but, I suppose the customer of that reseller looses out because the reseller really doesn’t have as much experience on hand as, perhaps, the other resellers at a similar level.

What do you think?

Would you rent your cert?

David Davis, CCIE

Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series
Cirro – Quote Telecom Internet, Voice, and Data T1 circuits from an unbiased source


October 5, 2007  8:20 AM

Buy a Cisco certification video and you may win an XBOX and Halo 3 – not bad…

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis
Ethernet

Maybe you are a gamer and would just die to win an XBOX 360 and a copy of Halo 3. On the other hand, maybe you wouldn’t know what to do with it and would sell it on eBay, using the money to buy stamps for your stamp collection (to each his own).

Either way – Train Signal IT Training videos is having a promotion right now. If you purchase a Train Signal video between now and Saturday October 5, 2007, you will be automatically entered to win an XBOX 360 and Halo 3!

To check out all of their Cisco CCNA and CCNP videos and learn more about this promo, just click here.

-David

Personal Website:HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series
Cirro – Quote Telecom Internet, Voice, and Data T1 circuits from an unbiased source


October 5, 2007  8:05 AM

Free Cisco How-To videos

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis
Ethernet

Not to promote myself but I did create 3 short (about 15 minute) training videos that cover how to do something in the Cisco IOS. (some people call these screencasts or podcasts) I have gotten a lot of good reviews on these videos because they show, what can be, a difficult task and explain how to do it in a few simple steps. They cover some of the more common Cisco IOS tasks. 

Here are the links to these videos. I hope you find them useful!

How to upgrade your Cisco IOS Version

How to Harden your Router with Cisco IOS Access-Lists (ACL) – or just how to use Cisco IOS Access-lists

How to Reset or Recover your Lost Cisco IOS Password – aka using the configuration register (config-register)

Then, here is one that I didn’t do but is a good sample video:

How to use VLANs and VTP in the Cisco IOS

-David

Personal Website:HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series
Cirro – Quote Telecom Internet, Voice, and Data T1 circuits from an unbiased source


October 3, 2007  2:32 PM

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Blog!

David Davis David Davis Profile: David Davis
Ethernet

Hello and Welcome to the Cisco Networking Blog!

The aim of this blog is to update you on all that “is Cisco” and is related to Cisco. Here are some examples:
– Cisco hardware like Routers, Switches, and firewalls
– The Cisco IOS
– Cisco Certifications & Training like the CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE
– Cisco News like acquisitions, new products, or big announcements
– Cisco interoperabiliity with Microsoft and other vendors
– and networking topics in general like TCP/IP, home networking, technology

This blog is tailored toward IT Pro’s and anyone interested in Cisco and Networking.

I hope this blog will stay interactive. I hope there will be a lot of comments & conversation!

Thanks,David Davis
David Davis, CCIE

Personal Website: HappyRouter.com – home of Cisco how-to articles & videos
David Recommends:
HappyRouter Cisco CCNA & CCNP Video Training Series
Cirro – Quote Telecom Internet, Voice, and Data T1 circuits from an unbiased source


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