Network technologies and trends

October 8, 2010  1:22 PM

Cisco unveils Umi

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Cisco’s Telepresence is entering home, thanks to Cisco’s systems “ŪMI” (pronounced as ‘you-me’). The latest revolution from Cisco Systems, ŪMI is a piece of hardware developed by Cisco Systems, which will allow people to connect and start using their HD television for videoconferencing.  Interesting isn’t it!, also you can establish video messaging and video recording, between ŪMI and any PC with a webcam and Google video chat.

Pic Courtesy: Cisco Systems

Those who want to enjoy by getting close with their friends and family members must need to ŪMI device including their friends and family members. The ŪMI comes with high-definition camera embedded microphone, a set-top box & remote. Users also need a high-speed broadband internet (approximately 3.5 Mbps) connection as well.

“Cisco is bringing people together, driving new video experiences that change the way we communicate, connect, and enjoy entertainment – in the home, at work, and on the go,” said John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “Cisco ūmi will bring the unique telepresence experience into living rooms and change the way we are able to be together with family and friends. We envision a future where technologies like this will play a role in connecting consumers with businesses to enable the delivery of new services, ranging from education, to health care, to financial services – to the home.”

Ūmi is due for a US-only launch on 14th November, and is expected to cost around $599 for the hardware plus a $25 monthly subscription that allows unlimited video calls.

Looking forward to see the ūmi service operational in the Middle East as well.

October 7, 2010  10:20 PM

Review for “31 days before your CCNA Exam”. A title worth reading.

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In short an interesting title, exclusively written for the Cisco Network Academy students, who are preparing for the Cisco CCNA 640-802 Certification exam. The author Allan Johnson takes a very broad look at practical way to make you understand the concepts in 31 days in a very concise way.  He has emphasized on concepts and terminologies used in Cisco CCNA 640-802 Certification exam in an interesting way which definitely helps you to summarize your learning.

Pic Courtesy: Cisco Press

Although the title “31 days before your CCNA Exam” aims at Cisco Network Academy students, but it can be used for the Cisco CCNA 640-802 Certification aspirers who does self study.

The author Allan Johnson divided the title suiting in to 31 chapters, which are so concise you can finish each chapter in an hour. The cream of the title  “31 days before your CCNA Exam” is the section called “Exam day and post exam information” which gives the CCNA Certification aspirers guidelines on what to expect after the completion of exam as well as what they should do if they fail to pass the exam on first attempt. One more section that I really liked is “CCNA Skills review and practice” which helps you to practice the CCNA skills which includes most of the CCNA 640-802 exam configurations skills in one topology, which covers topics like VLAN configuration, frame-relay configuration, inter vlan routing, EIGRP,VTP, port security , STP. You can practice those topologies either on Cisco Packet Tracer or GNS3 graphical network simulator.

Overall the title “31 days before your CCNA Exam” is a true gem, but cannot be a only source for passing CCNA 640-802 exam, this title is good for the some one who is looking for quick reference on CCNA 640-802 exam topics in an well organized way. I thank Cisco Press and Jamie in particular for providing me the copy of “31 days before your CCNA Exam”

September 25, 2010  5:34 AM

Cisco Borderless Challenge is coming!

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Cisco Systems is running Cisco Borderless Challenge from October 5 -8, 2010. You have a chance to compete with your peers all over the world and test your Borderless Networks and Data Center/Virtualization knowledge.  Now you might are thinking what is Cisco Borderless Challenge, it is an online competition that tests your knowledge of Cisco Borderless Networks and Data Center/Virtualization innovations. The Challenge will be available in 10 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese.

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Be registering and answering the questions about  Cisco Borderless Networks and data center innovations you get a chance to win Two grand prize winners will choose a vacation destination, such as the Great Wall of China, an African safari, Taj Mahal in India, the Grand Canyon, Peru and Brazil.

Register for the online event to receive your pair of 3D glasses:

For further details do login to Cisco Borderless Challenge page.

September 25, 2010  5:07 AM

“Show mac address-table count” a useful Cisco IOS command

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Suppose you want figure out total number of active MAC Address for each VLAN in Cisco Catalyst Switch, you can figure it out by using a command “Show mac address-table count”. 

This command can give a good idea of the size of the CAM table and how many hosts are using the network.


 From the above example you can notice how many mac address are used by each vlan and how many free mac address are available

A useful command for troubleshooting purpose as well as it’s a part for CCNP Switch 642-813 curriculum.

September 20, 2010  6:03 AM

“No IP Routing” was the answer

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Recently one of our vendor added couple of new Cisco Catalyst 4506 Series distribution switches to our network for their PACS project.  Those two newly added Cisco 4506 Series distribution switches are connected to our Core Cisco Catalyst 6513Series Switches using a layer 23 uplink ( as a trunk port). For VLAN redundancy we are using HSRP protocol. The newly added Cisco 4506 Series distribution switches are configured in VTP Client mode, we could see the VTP status was updated and all the VLAN were created. But there was a problem; there was not communication between any of the VLANS in the new Cisco 4506 Series distribution switches, after trouble shooting we figured out “ip routing” was enabled. When we disabled the ip routing with “no ip routing” command everything started working.

September 18, 2010  5:58 AM

Juniper network releases Junos Pulse app for iPhone and iPad

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


The importance of remote connectivity is growing, VPN has become quite essential for each and every organizations starting from Enterprises to a SMB. These days’ people started using the smartphones for VPN connectivity including me. This is an era of iPhones, iPads, Black berries etc.

There is a good news for iPhone users as Juniper Network one of the leading network security company has released Junos Pulse app, which provides secure remote mobile access to corporate resources on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Junos Pulse app happens to be the industry’s first downloadable VPN app for iPhone,  coupled with the Juniper Networks SA Series SSL VPN Appliances, a remote user can now have the privilege of accessing any corporate resource from the iPhone and iPod touch enabling the mobile workforce to stay connected, productive and informed while on the run.

Mark Bauhaus, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper’s Service Layer Technologies Business Group said on the release of the app: “Instant and seamless secure access to corporate resources including applications, email, contacts and the intranet are all critical elements demanded by employees of any successful organization. We worked with Apple to ensure the Junos Pulse App enables the productivity that enterprise users are demanding and are very excited that it is now available on the App Store.  Juniper’s market-leading SSL VPN solution will keep any enterprise mobile, secure, empowered and working more efficiently.” 

The Junos Pulse app works on iPhone and iPad with an iOS version of 4.1 or later. On the infrastructure side, customers must have a Juniper Networks SA Series SSL VPN Appliance running version 6.4 or later.

September 4, 2010  8:48 AM

Cisco Systems intent to acquire Arch Rock Corporation

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Cisco Systems is planning to acquire Arch Rock Corporation a pioneer in IP-based wireless network technology for smart grid application.

“Arch Rock’s wireless mesh technology enhances Cisco’s IP-based, end-to-end smart-grid offerings,” said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Smart Grid business unit.  “This acquisition further positions Cisco as a strategic partner to utilities working to better manage power supply and demand, improve the security and reliability of energy delivery, and optimize operational costs.”

Arch Rock’s technology is designed to enable utilities to connect smart meters and other distributed intelligent devices over a scalable, highly secure, multi-way wireless mesh network. 

The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the second half of calendar year 2010.

For more details check the press release from Cisco Systems

September 4, 2010  8:23 AM

Learn,prepare CCENT while you play

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Dear CCNA/CCENT Certification aspirers, various techniques are used these days to present the study guides, started with self-study guides, then came the era of computer based tutors as CBT nuggets, Train signal training videos, Boson CCNA simulator, flash cards from Cisco press, Video mentors from the authors of the Cisco Press books. Coming September 21, 2010 Cisco Press is releasing a game Cisco CCENT Mind Share Game  bundled with ICND 1 book authored by Steve McQuerry, it’s a great assets for CCENT aspirers as the bundled title especially the game based training will help CCENT aspirers to learn faster, retain more and perform better on Cisco Exams. Cisco Press is offering this bundle at just $79.99 be the first to get one. I am too looking forward for the release of this bundle.

August 31, 2010  10:40 AM

Cisco Security Manager 4.0 eases Network Administrators tasks

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Cisco Systems introduced its 4.0 version of Cisco Security Manager (CSM). Cisco Security Manager (CSM) is an enterprise-class security management application which provides insight into and control of Cisco security and network devices including Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, Cisco IPS 4200 Series Sensor Appliances, Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs), Cisco Firewall Service Modules (FWSMs), and Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series Switches. By applying Cisco Security Manager (CSM) an administrator tasks are simplified, especially with policy based management you share a configuration policy with multiple Cisco devices. Cisco Security Manager 4.0 comes in a user friendly GUI interface which definitely eases the task of Administrators.


Pic Courtesy: Cisco Systems

Some of the new features in Cisco Security Manager 4.0 are simply great one of them is Event Monitoring. A troubleshooting tool similar to event logging engine some things like kiwi syslog which enables you to monitor, search, view and analyze events from Cisco ASA and Cisco IPS devices.

For more info do access the Cisco Security Manager page.

August 30, 2010  7:59 AM

Black Hat in Middle East!

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


The leader in providing highly technical information security conferences is coming to Middle East, yeah Black Hat Security event will make its debut on November 8th to 11th at Emirate Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Black Hat will comprise training and briefings on the latest developments in cyber security, taking a vendor neutral approach. The UAE Computer Emergency Response Team (aeCERT), Khalifa University of Science and Technology and United Business Media (UBM) are responsible for bringing the event to the region.

Jeff Moss, founder and managing director of Black Hat commented: “Amid growing recognition of the need for advanced IT security we feel the best people to advise on issued faced and recommended solutions are those that know it best, by inviting industry experts to submit their ideas we can make sure that delegates are exposed to high-end technical information revealing new vulnerabilities and original content.”

Pre-registration for the event has already started and for more info please check Black Hat web site.

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