Network technologies and trends


November 24, 2010  3:38 PM

What’s there in CCNP Switch -642-813 Certification?

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Beginning of the year 2010 Cisco Systems announced major revamp in their most prestigious Cisco CCNP Certification.  Before CCNP composed of BSCI, BSMCN, ISCW and ONT exams where as with the new announcement Cisco eased CCNP certification aspirers.  The revised CCNP Switching and Routing gear comprises of just three exams, namely Router # 642-902 Exam, Switch#642-813 Exam and TSHOOT# 642-832 Exam.

When it comes to CCNP Routing and Switch Certification I personally prefer to start with Switch# 642-813 Exam. As switching exam should not be a hard exam for CCNA certified Network Engineer.  The Switch # 642-813 exam tests your skills on following topics.

ü  Network design, implementation, and verification plans

ü  Switch operation and port configuration

ü  VLANs, trunks, and VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP)

ü  Aggregating switch links

ü  Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)

ü  Multilayer switching

ü  Enterprise campus network design

ü  Router and supervisor redundancy

ü  IP telephony

ü  Wireless LANs

ü  Switched network security

Now come the main question what resources you should use to pass the Cisco Switch#642-813 Exam, lot of resources are available, but when it come to self study guides Cisco Press is the leader and they come with pretty helpful titles.

To begin with you can start preparing with CCNP Switch 642-813 Official certification guide which can be easily ordered from Cisco Press watch out for eBook of day deal too who knows you can own the book for just 9.95 dollars.  For non US residents no worries as Cisco Press ships world wide at very competitive shipping cost, seems that they have some deal with FEDEX as for the last four times when I ordered Cisco press titles they charged me 9 dollars for International shipping thru FedEx and it took 4 days to reach me. In upcoming posts I will try to review the CCNP Switch 642-813 Official certification guide in detail so that you folks can get benefited.

November 13, 2010  6:41 AM

Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux 6 is available for download

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

All Linux lovers here is amazing news for you, Red Hat announces the availability of Enterprise Linux 6 for download.  These days the importance and popularity of cloud computing is growing. Linux 6 provides a rock-solid foundation for every deployment-including virtualization and cloud computing. By incorporating software technologies developed by Red Hat, its partners, and the open source community, the latest release boasts an extensive list of features-some new, some improved-including:

  • Scalability and performance on the latest hardware and hypervisors
  • Efficiency and resource management designed to minimize and manage your datacenter power requirements
  • Consistency across physical, virtual, and cloud to make your applications flexible

As we all know Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been available for almost a decade and provides an alternative to proprietary operating systems.

Today customers all over the world rely on Red Hat Enterprise Linux for their most mission-critical workloads.

“For nearly eight years, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has delivered outstanding value and performance for our enterprise IT infrastructure,” said Gordon Penfold, chief technology officer at British Airways. “We plan to migrate our mission-critical systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and anticipate that it will provide us with the flexibility to deploy our applications to fit our specific business needs, crossing bare metal, virtualized and cloud deployments.”

“Building on our strategic use of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, scaling from physical to virtual and cloud environments, we have been an active participant in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 beta program,” said Motti Finkelstein, Managing Director at Citi. “The core capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, including improvements in security, performance and power management, will better enable us to scale to the largest systems on the market today while providing continued flexibility and great efficiency.”

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is designed to be as “future proof” as possible, using capabilities of system hardware from partners such as AMD, Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Intel and NEC. Linux 6 is also designed to be able have tomorrow’s technologies incorporated into the system as they develop.


October 31, 2010  7:25 PM

Juniper introduces JUNOS PULSE

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

With the introduction of JUNOS PULSE Juniper Networks is providing wide-range of security solutions for mobile devices, yes the JUNOS PULSE suite is the only integrated solution currently providing security and secure connectivity for most of the mobile devise starting from an iPhone, Blackberry  to Windows phone including an android, Symbian platform amazing isn’t it.

Pic Courtesy:Juniper Network

The JUNOS PULSE contains anti-virus, personal firewall, anti-spam, loss and theft prevention, and monitoring and control services to mobile users and enables businesses to provide employees secure access to corporate applications and e-mail via mobile devices.

Juniper Networks are not only aiming at business users but also they are looking forward for home users, the JUNUS PULSE allows parents to protect their children from inappropriate content on the web as well as exploitation through the internet.

“It’s no secret that personal mobile devices are quickly becoming the defacto means for access to corporate networks, making them one of the most valuable, but also most vulnerable portals to sensitive personal and professional information,” said Mark Bauhaus, executive vice president and general manager, Service Layer Technologies Business Group at Juniper Networks. “For the first time, using our Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite, consumers and businesses have a way to fully protect and secure their mobile work and lifestyles, opening up new applications and opportunities for the entire mobility market.”

For more info do check Juniper Networks web site.  In short JUNOS PULSE is the only integrated access, security, and acceleration client that today’s businesses need.


October 31, 2010  6:44 PM

Innovators behind ūmi, watch them

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In one my post I was talking about the latest sensation Cisco revealed, yeah it’s ūmi, I think no better than this video will enrich your excitement about the building of ūmi, the engineers behind this product share their excitement.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/HyELdRKwwHA" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


October 31, 2010  6:36 PM

OSPF from CCNA- ICND2 perspective – Series 2

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Most people were introduced to OSPF as the first link-sate routing protocol and some of the features of OSPF are as follows,

  • Consists of areas and autonomous systems
  • Minimizes routing update traffic
  • Allows scalability
  • Supports VLSM/CIDR
  • Has unlimited hop count
  • Allows multi-vendor deployment (open standard)

Do know these features well from CCNA point of view.

The below table compares OSPF with the distance vector routing protocols like RIP1 and RIP2

Characteristic OSPF RIP2 RIP1
Type of protocol Link state Distance vector Distance vector
Classless support Yes Yes No
VLSM support Yes Yes No
Auto-summarization No Yes Yes
Manual summarization Yes No No
Discontiguous support Yes Yes No
Route propagation Multicast on change Periodic multicast Periodic broadcast
Path metric Bandwidth Hops Hops
Hop count limit None 15 15
Convergence Fast Slow Slow
Peer authentication Yes Yes No
Hierarchical network Yes (using areas) No (flat only) No (flat only)
Updates Event triggered Route table updates Route table updates
Route computation Dijkstra Bellman-Ford Bellman-Ford


October 30, 2010  10:55 AM

OSPF from CCNA- ICND2 perspective – Series 1

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

If you are preparing for your CCNA or ICND2 certification exam for sure you are going to encounter OSPF. Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) is a better choice when you have a heterogeneous network, yes it’s a open standard routing protocol which over comes the major draw backs of Distance vector protocols like RIP 1 and RIP2. OSPF is a link state protocol, which can be quite useful on a large network with hundreds of routers.

Unlike Distance vector protocols OSPF will not exchange full route updates at short interval rather the routing updates are send once there is a change in routing topology. Using the  Dijkstra algorithm,OSPF first constructs the shortest path tree and then the routing table is populated which results in best paths to the destination. Due to this behavior, OSPF is able to recalculate the routes very fast in case of topology changes or a failure in link occurred. One of the OSPF’s advantage is convergence occurs quite fast and its scalable. Currently OSPFv2 is used with IPv4 networks and IPv6 networks use OSPFv3. OSPF also supports Variable-Length Subnet Masking (VLSM) and Classless Inter-Domain-Routing (CIDR).

In upcoming post I will talk about how OSPF works? and I will compare it with RIP1 and RIP2


October 28, 2010  2:05 PM

An ultimate CCNA self study guide, worth having one.

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Recently I had an opportunity to go thru the CCNA study guide prepared and authored by Chris Bryant, the man behind the famous Train Signal CCNA Training videos. I know when any one plans for achieving CCNA Certification he faces an uphill task, when it comes to purchase the study guides, especially when there are plenty of resources available. I did studied lot of study guides and I am always very comfortable with the Cisco Press titles, but The Ultimate CCNA Study Package from Chris Bryant is really an ultimate study guide.

The best part I liked about The Ultimate CCNA Study Package is its very concise and its up to the point in a clear simple language. His way of explaining the Networking concepts is amazing and the end of the each chapter there is a summary by title “Hot spots and Gotchas” which is really very helpful.

Pic Courtesy: thebryantadvantage.com

The preparation exam comes with The Ultimate CCNA Study Package tests your skills in detail and it’s very helpful to practice those tests before planning for the exam. In short an excellent study resource for some one who is aspiring to be a CCNA. Recently Chris Bryant launched his CCNP Study Package Bundle if get an opportunity I will review them.


October 22, 2010  7:17 AM

CCSP is now CCNP Security

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

As part of Certifications revisions, Cisco announced CCSP will no longer be there, it will be replace with CCNP Security, however CCSP certification aspirers  can attempt their exams until April 2011, yeah April 2011 is the time for transition. And CCSP will be valid until 2014 so I would advice the Cisco Certification aspirers to peruse CCNP Security.

The newly announced CCNP Security is designed to enforce the skills needed to deploy, service and support from Cisco Network Security Engineers. The newly announced CCNP Security certification comprises of 4 exams namely Secure 642-637, FIREWALL 642-617, VPN 642-647 and IPS 642-627.

Individuals that have recently taken the CANAC and MARS exams to achieve CCSP will have until October 2011 to complete their certification using the new SECURE, IPSv7, FIREWALL, or VPN exams. For a complete listing of combinations to achieve the CCSP certification, please access the CCSP Security combination tool.

As expected Cisco Press is coming up with the Self-Study resources and the title and tentative dates as follows

  • Secure Quick Reference (eBook)-Coming January 2011
  • Secure Official Certification Guide

◦                     Rough Cut Edition-Coming November 2010 (Rough Cuts provide online access to pre-publication manuscript)

◦                     Print and eBook Edition-Coming February 2011

  • Firewall Quick Reference (eBook)-Coming January 2011
  • Firewall Official Certification Guide

◦                     Rough Cut Edition-Coming November 2010 (Rough Cuts provide online access to pre-publication manuscript)

◦                     Print and eBook Edition-Coming March 2011

  • VPN Quick Reference (eBook)-Coming January 2011
  • VPN Official Certification Guide

Rough Cut Edition-Coming November 2010 (Rough Cuts provide online access to pre-publication manuscript)

Print and eBook Editions-Coming March 2011

  • IPS Quick Reference (eBook)-Coming January 2011
  • IPS Official Certification Guide

◦                     Rough Cut Edition-Coming October 2010

◦                     Print and eBook-Coming February 2011

If any one is planning for CCNP Security please do let me know, for further details please do access the Cisco CCNP Security page.


October 22, 2010  6:11 AM

CCVP will be known as CCNP Voice

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Cisco announced major changes in the CCVP certification, now CCVP will be known as CCNP Voice.

The new CCNP voice certification retains the 5-exam model with updated versions of CVOICE (642-437) CIPT1 (642-447), CIPT2 (642-457), TVOICE (642-427) and CAPPS (642-467). TUC is renamed as TVOICE and QOS is no more in the CCNP voice however some of the QOS topics are moved to CVOICE. CAPPS is the new entry to the CCNP voice better known as Cisco Unified Communication Applications (CAPPS).

Pic Courtesy: Cisco Learning Network

Cisco Press is always there to assists you whenever Cisco announces any major revisions for their certifications; here are tentative dates from Cisco press to publish the CCNP Voice self-study resources

CVoice 642-437 Quick Reference (eBook)-Coming January 2011

Cvoice Self Study Guide

Rough Cut Edition-Coming January 2011 (Rough Cuts provide online access to pre-publication manuscript)

Print and eBook Eidtions-Coming May 2011

CIPT1 642-447 Quick Reference (eBook)-Coming January 2011

CIPT1 Self Study Guide

Rough Cut Edition-Coming December 2010 (Rough Cuts provide online access to pre-publication manuscript)

Print and eBook Editions-Coming April 2011

CIPT2 642-457 Quick Reference (eBook)-Coming January 2011

CIPT2 Self Study Guide

Rough Cut Edition-Coming December 2010 (Rough Cuts provide online access to pre-publication manuscript)

Print and eBook Editions-Coming April 2011

TVoice 642-427 Quick Reference eBook-Coming January 2011

CAPPS 642-467 Quick Reference eBook-Coming February 2011

Mean while just check out this sample chapter taken directly from the CCVP CVOICE Self-Study Guide (3rd Edition). This sample chapter will discuss H.323 protocol stack and how to implement H.323 on gateways, MGCP stack and how to implement MGCP on gateways and SIP enterprise features and how to implement SIP on gateways. Read now.

For more information on CCNP voice please check this link.


October 20, 2010  6:01 AM

Cisco Introduces new CCNA Voice Exam, it is ICOMM 640-641!

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Cisco Systems announced the updates for its voice certification track. Now CCVP will be known as CCNP Voice sounds good!.

Cisco Systems introduces ICOMM  640-641 as the new exam for CCNA Voice certification.The newly introduced ICOMM  640-641 exam  will replace the existing IIUC 640-460 and CVOICE  642-436 exam for individuals working toward achieving the CCNA Voice certification. The last day to test using the IIUC #640-460 or CVOICE #642-436 exams is Monday, February 28, 2011.

The newly introduced ICOMM  640-641 exam will test the certification aspirers the architecture, components, functionalities, and features of Cisco Unified Communications solutions. It also tests the knowledge needed to perform tasks such as system monitoring, moves, additions and changes on Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, Cisco Unity Connection, and Cisco Unified Presence.

In order to know more information regarding CCNA Voice Certifications please access CCNA Voice syllabus page.


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