Network technologies and trends


March 16, 2011  7:13 AM

Preparing for Cisco CCNA Certification – Great opportunity to attend Essentials of CCNA webinar



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
Career path, CCNA certified, CCNA exams, Cisco CCNA Certification, Cisco Learning Network, Cisco Subject Matter Experts, Cisco Systems, content available for CCNA, IT Industry, The Essentials of CCNA webinar, Webinar

 

For all those folks working hard to achieve Cisco CCNA Certification, one of the most recognized certification in the IT Industry, good news is here. The Cisco learning Network is conducting a 90-minute webinar which highlights the technologies and topics an individual will need to know to achieve their CCNA certification. In addition, The Essentials of CCNA webinar reviews the latest training methods and content available for CCNA, as well as the certifications and career paths available after you’ve achieved your certification.  You’ll hear from Cisco Subject Matter Experts who developed the actual CCNA exam and course materials. Plus, the Essentials of CCNA webinar takes a look at the latest training methods and content available for CCNA, as well the certifications and career paths available after you’ve achieved your certification. 

It’s completely free is recommended for individuals who are thinking of becoming CCNA certified, or have just started preparing to take their CCNA exams. Don’t delay, register now.

Event: The Essentials of CCNA webinar
Date: March 30
Time: 8:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time
Cost: Free
Registration link: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=204136809

March 16, 2011  6:00 AM

Whether to disable Flash for the time being?



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
Acrobat X, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Adobe Security Advisory (APSA11-01), Chrome, critical vulnerability, email, email attachment, Flash (.swf), Linux, Macintosh, Microsoft Excel, operating systems, Solaris, update for Flash Player 10, Windows

 

Perhaps it’s better for the time being to disable the flash. According to the Adobe Security Advisory (APSA11-01) post  there is a critical vulnerability exists in Adobe Flash Player 10.2.152.33 and earlier versions (Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.18 and earlier for Chrome users) for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems, Adobe Flash Player 101.106.16 and earlier versions for Android, and the authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat X (10.0.1) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh operating systems. There are reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment. At this time, Adobe is not aware of attacks targeting Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Adobe is in the process of finalizing a fix for the issue and expect to make available an update for Flash Player 10.x and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris and Android, and an update for Adobe Acrobat X (10.0.1) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh, Adobe Reader X (10.0.1) for Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 9.4.2 and earlier 9.x versions during the week of March 21, 2011


March 12, 2011  6:18 AM

CCNP – Switch Key Topics 1 – Spanning tree loop guard



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
BCMSN exam, BCMSN exam (642-812), BPDUs, CCNP, CCNP Switch, CCNP SWITCH 642-813, Cisco Certifications, global configuration mode, Implementing Cisco IP Switched Network, IOS command, Network Troubleshooting, non-Designated Port, point-to-point, Spanning tree loop guard, spanning tree protocol loops, spanning-tree loopguard default, STP loop-inconsistent Blocking state, STP loops, Switching, UDLD, UDLD feature

 

When you are preparing for the CCNP Switch (642-813) or BCMSN exam (642-812) there are quite a few topics which are important not only from the perspective of passing  the  “Implementing Cisco IP Switched Network” exam or BCMSN exam but also for the day to day network troubleshooting tasks.

One among the key topic is “spanning tree loop guard”. As the name itself suggests Loop Guard is a method used for ensuring no spanning tree protocol loops (STP) occurs in any network topology. Though STP loop guard feature can prevents STP loops as best it can, still chances of loops are there due to unidirectional link failure or congestions issues in the Cisco Switch. It’s always recommended, the loop guard feature to be used in conjunction with UDLD feature. I will cover about UDLD feature in one more article.

The basic function of loop guard feature is to prevent loops conservatively by preventing alternate or root ports from becoming DPs in the topology. If BPDUs are not received on a non-Designated Port, and Loop Guard is enabled, that port is moved into the STP loop-inconsistent Blocking state, instead of the Listening /Learning / Forwarding state.

Loop Guard operates only on ports that are considered point-to-point by the spanning tree, and it cannot be run in conjunction with Root Guard on an interface.

To enable Loop Guard on a Cisco Catalyst Switch, you can use the following IOS command in the global configuration mode

ITKE-3750-AS01(config)# spanning-tree loopguard default


February 28, 2011  1:08 PM

Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
Bing, developers, kinect, Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research, Microsoft, Microsoft Chief Research and strategy officer, Microsoft news, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Network technologies & trends, non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit, of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, Office 2010 Mini Translator, SDK, Windows Phone 7, Xbox 360

Microsoft Chief Research and strategy officer Craig Mundie and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, have announced the release of a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research.

 

 The newly  designed SDK kit will  give developers access to audio, programming interfaces, system application, and direct control of the Kinect sensors, so that they can create new applications based around the motion sensing device.

Microsoft plans to release a commercial version at later date , but the SDK will be a starter kit designed to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces using Kinect technology.

  ”Microsoft’s investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us,” said Mundie. “The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them.”

Microsoft is continuing to make developments and investments in natural user interfaces and its developments are appearing in Microsoft products such as Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator


February 28, 2011  7:33 AM

According to Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report, Windows-based Systems are less prone to attacks from spammers



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
Android, Apple Operating Systems, Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report, Cisco News, Cisco Systems, cyber criminals, France, Germany, Global Spam Update, Java Over PDFs, mobile platforms, Money Mules, Network technologies & trends, scammers, smart phones, Social Engineering, tablets, targeting, United Kingdom, Windows-based Systems

 

According to Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report, scammers are targeting other operating Systems, platforms , mobile platforms, smart phones and tablets, rather than their prime focus Windows – based systems. The good news is that Windows-based Systems are less prone to attacks from spammers and cyber criminals

The report also shows that 2010 was the first year in the history of the internet that spam volumes decreased. However, despite a global shrinkage in spam, developed countries with broadband internet connections saw an increase in spam. These countries include France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom spam volumes rose almost 99% from 2009 to 2010.

Some of the notable articles include in the Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report are

  • Money Mules: The Linchpins of Cybercrime Networks
  • Social Engineering: The “Seven Deadly Weaknesses” That Criminals Exploit
  • Criminals Favoring Java Over PDFs
  • Global Spam Update: Spam Down Globally, but on the Rise in Europe
  • Android and Apple Operating Systems Likely Key Targets in 2011

Cisco’s report showed in increase in money mulling, where people are recruited to set up bank accounts or use their own to help scammers launder money. For futher details on the report do download the Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report


February 28, 2011  7:15 AM

Cisco Live! 2011 Bahrain to be postponed



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
Bahrain, Bahrain Grand Prix, Cisco Live, Cisco Live Bahrain, Cisco Live team, Cisco Live! 2011 Bahrain, Cisco Systems, F1 Association, support@ciscoliveemergingmarkets.com, The Cisco Live Event, UK Call Centre

Bahrain was supposed to experience Cisco Live! from April 10th to April 13th, the event has been postponed until further notice, according to a statement from Cisco.

Cisco released a statement saying: “Due to the current uncertainty, the Government of Bahrain and Cisco have decided to postpone the Cisco Live! Bahrain 2011 event scheduled for 10th -13th April 2011 – with new dates will be defined at a later stage. Cisco understands and supports the mutual decision to postpone the Cisco Live 2011 Bahrain event.  The company remains committed to their customers and partners in Bahrain and across the region, and look forward to inviting you to a rescheduled Cisco Live! event at a later stage

Unfortunately I did all planning and postponed my vacation as well to attend the most awaited Cisco Live in this part of the World, hope Cisco will not cancel the event as F1 association did with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Cisco Systems will be issuing a full refund of any registration fees paid.  In Case you have any questions you can reach the Cisco Live team at their UK Call Centre, +44 (0)207 022 8993, and also at an email support@ciscoliveemergingmarkets.com


February 27, 2011  6:12 AM

“Default interface” a very useful Cisco IOS command



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
Cisco 3550, Cisco Catalyst 3500 Series Switch, Cisco Catalyst Switch, Cisco configuration tips, Cisco Switch configuration, Cisco Switches, Cisco Switches tips, Cisco Tips, default interface, Network technologies & trends

 

When we are configuring Cisco Switches and Cisco routers, sometimes we need to set the interface to default settings. Using the “default interface” configuration command we can achieve the result. This command is very handy and can be used on any Cisco Router or a Cisco Switch.

In the following example I want the default configuration for the interface fast Ethernet 0/10 in the Cisco Catalyst 3500 Series Switch. By using the “default interface fast Ethernet 0/10″ I removed all the configuration of the interface

 

Very useful command especially when we need to remove the complete configuration of the interface only.


February 27, 2011  5:45 AM

Passed CCNP Switch 642-813 Exam



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
CBT Nuggets, CCNP ambiguous questions, CCNP Practice labs, CCNP Study guides, CCNP SWITCH 642-813, CCNP Switch 642-813 Exam, CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Official Certification Guide, Cisco 3550 Series Switches, Cisco Press, ebay, GLBP, HRSP, Implementing Cisco IP Switched Network, STP, VRRP, VTP

 

I passed the “Implementing Cisco IP Switched Network”exam successfully couple of days back.  Now I am one step closer to achieving mp CCNP. My approach was simple and straight forward, I read the Cisco Press title CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Official Certification Guide. Thanks to Cisco Press and Jamie Adams for providing me a copy of CCNP Study guides. The exam was pretty easy but be careful there are few ambiguous questions which really needs your experience and expert knowledge on the topic.

I have following piece of advice for the CCNP aspirers

  • 1) Set the date for exam before starting your preparations (Goal Setting).
  • 2) Read Cisco Press title CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Official Certification Guide.
  • 3) Practice the Boson questions came with the title CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Official Certification Guide.
  • 4) Watch CBT nuggets if needed as they are really cool videos to watch.
  • 5) Practice labs, (create your own scenarios on STP, HRSP, VTP, VRRP, GLBP etc.) If you can afford get three Cisco 3550 Series Switches from eBay.
  • 6) A week before exam review all the topics and practice few labs and boson practice test.

(My CCNP Switch Lab)

If you follow the above with dedication and determination nothing can stop you from achieving CCNP.


February 7, 2011  5:29 AM

Understanding Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM)



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
Access Control Entries, ACE, ACL, Cisco Catalyst 4500, Cisco Catalyst 6500, Cisco Catalyst Multilayer Switches, Cisco Catalyst Switches, Cisco Switches, Cisco Systems, Feature Manager (FD), fixed TCAM memory, hardware processing, multicast routes, Multilayer Switches, Network, Network Technologies and Trends, partition of TCAM table, QOS, SDM, Switching Database Manager, TCAM, TCAM table, Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM), Understanding Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM), unicast routes, VLANS

 

We all know in Cisco Catalyst Multilayer Switches the matching process of the Access Control list is done at hardware level. In order to do this processing the Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) comes into picture. Basically the Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) is used by Cisco Catalyst switches to store information necessary for hardware processing. TCAM allows a packet to be evaluated against the entire access list in a single lookup table. Most Cisco Catalyst Switches comes with multiple TCAMs. Its utilization depends on the features supported by the platform, but the TCAM is generally partitioned into sections designated for unicast routes, multicast routes, VLANs, and entries for routed, VLAN, and QoS ACLs.

The Cisco IOS Software constitutes of two components what are part of the TCAM operation, namely Feature Manager (FD) and Switching Database Manager (SDM, when I saw SDM the first thing came to my mind was Security Device Manager Application.)

The Feature Manager merges or compiles the Access Control Entries (ACE) in the TCAM table of a Cisco Catalyst Switch, whereas the Switching Database Manager (SDM) comes handy in creating a partition of TCAM table on some of Cisco Catalyst Switches into areas of different functions. The Switching Database Manager (SDM) software can configure or tunes the TCAM partition if needed. The Cisco Catalyst 4500 and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches cannot be repartitioned as it comes with the fixed TCAM memory.


January 31, 2011  1:17 PM

Cisco Systems introduces Compact Switches



Posted by: Yasir Irfan
2960 Compact Switch, Cisco C Series Switches, Cisco Compact Switches, Cisco News, Cisco Switches, Cisco Systems, fanless switches, IP applications, Network Technologies and Trends, POE, Power over Ethernet
 

Cisco Systems introduces sleek and quit switches which are fanless and can also support POE pass-through. The compact Switches are available in two models 2960 and 3560 in a “C” version model. The main advantage of the 2960 and 3560 C series Switches are it can be deployed in  warehouses, conference rooms, classrooms, hotel rooms, cruise cabins, gaming floors, labs, doctor’s offices, and call centers.

The compact factor might help you to

  • Dramatically reduce cabling costs: Eliminate the need for up to eleven expensive 100-meter cables and their wiring complexities.
  • Deploy your switch anywhere at any time: The Catalyst Compact Switches are sleek and quiet (fanless) and can be placed on or mounted underneath desktops and countertops or on a wall.
  • Eliminate the need for power outlets for your switch and devices: With Power over Ethernet (PoE) pass-through, you can deploy IP applications in locations without access to power outlets. The compact switch draws power from the single cable that connects it to the wiring closet.

One of greatest advantage of these compact switches is it protects the network data as the all the packets between the switch and the end device are encrypted right at the source.

An amazing series of Switches specially designed for SMBs.


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