When it comes to CCDE practical exams currently we are all restricted to location like San Jose, Chicago, London, etc., starting February 2014 things are going to change, and Cisco will be offering CCDE practical exams at all Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) worldwide. From 8 Centers to 225 centers is a great move from Cisco soon we are going to see the numbers CCDE’s increasing worldwide.
One great thing Cisco introduced is that can take lunch break on their own time after finishing the second scenario in the exam, where previously they were required to wait until the set lunchtime was finished before continuing on with section 3. The specific announcement from Cisco is below, along with the link to the CCDE page which outlines exactly where the new locations will be.
The overall exam administration experience has improved giving you more flexibility in the following areas:
Choosing your exam location:
- The number of locations where this exam can be administered will increase from 8 to 275
Registering for the exam:
- Registration will close one day before the test date
- However, candidates are encouraged to register at least 45 days in advance for most locations to guarantee PPC sites will be open for the required nine hours to administer the CCDE practical exam
Breaking for lunch:
- Candidates can only take a lunch break after they finish section 2
- Candidates are no longer required to take a lunch break simultaneously
There are no changes to the exam content, scoring methodology, or modular testing approach. See the FAQs for more detail
In order manage Cisco IPS devices be it AIP-SSM modules in ASA firewall or IPS appliances the better tool is the Cisco IPS Manager Express (IME). The Cisco IPS Manager Express (IME) proves to very hand,y as using this management solution one can manage up to ten Cisco IPS devices with the following features
• An intuitive graphical user interface to help you configure, tune, and manage Cisco IPS sensors, Cisco Advanced Inspection and Prevention Security Services Modules, Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Intrusion Detection System Modules, Cisco IDS Network Modules, and Cisco IOS IPS modules.
• Powerful monitoring and reporting tools, including a real-time event viewer for troubleshooting and top reports for security auditing and compliance purposes.
• Flexible device management options for up to 10 IPS devices within a single GUI.
I was using the Cisco IPS Manager Express (IME) version 7.2.4, it was working fine with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 preview as well. After upgrading to Windows 8.1 Pro N I faced issues with the Cisco IPS Manager Express (IME), the application was hanging and it is hard for me to manage our IPS devices. I checked Cisco Website and discovered an updated version of Cisco IPS Manager Express (IME) from 7.2.4 to 18.104.22.168. I download the updated version tried still the result remains same. As of today we cannot use the Cisco IPS Manager Express (IME) to manage the IPS devices on the Windows 8.1 Pro OS. I recently got the feedback from Cisco TAC team as “We have known reported issues with the same. Let confirm the same in the lab and update you on the same”
We are waiting for the feedback from Cisco hopefully they will come out with a new version Cisco IPS Manager Express (IME) which can run on Windows 8.1 Pro.
Since I am preparing for the CCIE Routing and Switching Lab exam, I am following up all the latest developments very closely. Recently I was reading an INE blog post on CCIE Routing and Switching Version 5 update. According to INE an announcement is expected sometime in November. Cisco Live Milan does have a session dedicated to CCIE Routing and Switching Version 5 presented by Bruno van de Werve, the CCIE R&S Exam Product Manager.
The updated version of CCIE R & S seems to be a 100% virtual lab environment similar to the current troubleshooting section of CCIE R & S lab. Some older legacy technologies like frame relay is expected to be removed along with some least used IOS features like Zone- Based Firewall, WCCP, IPv6 Multicast and PfR also topics like IPSec, DMVPN and Embedded Packet Capture are expected to be added in the new blue print.
The current lab exam comprises of two sections, a 2 hours troubleshooting section and a 6 hour configuration section. Apart from these two sections a new section is expected to be included in the lab exam called diagnostic section. Well time will reveal more details on the format and scoring of the lab exam.
Those who are planning to appear for the lab exam in near future it is highly recommended for them to schedule their exam before March 2014 as it’s expected that starting March 1st new version my replace the current version 4 exam.
Well I see this a great initiative from Cisco to update the much awaited CCIE Routing and Switching Certification track. I suggest all those CCIE Routing and Switching aspires to keep updated with latest developments and follow INE blog and Cisco Learning Network as this is the place where the news break first. Meanwhile I will try to keep you all updated with the latest development.
Recently I was upgrading our Cisco Nexus 7010 Switch NX-OS version from 5.0 (3) to 6.1 (4). After the upgrade process when I used the NX-OS command “show system redundancy status” to check the high availability of Nexus Supervisor module-1X Engines I discovered one of them was just power up but not under operation in Standby mode.
In order to bring up the Nexus Supervisor module-1X into standby mode, I used the NX-OS command “attach module slot no” in my case the slot no was 5. So I used the NX-OS Command “attach module 5”
Upon issuing the “attach module 5” I ran again the NX-OS command “show system redundancy status” to check the HA between Nexus Supervisor module-1X Engines and discovered that the redundancy state was in standby mode and the Internal State was under synchronization process.
Once I got message in console “Connectivity Management processor (on module 5) is now UP”
Again I checked the system redundancy state and discovered module 5 was in standby mode.
In upcoming posts I will discuss the challenges I faced to upgrade Nexus 7010 Switch NX-OS version from 5.0 (3) to 6.1 (4).
Brocade is looking at opportunities to collaborate, the recent collaboration came into lime light was to extend the visibility and monitoring capabilities of the VMWare vCenter Operations Management Suite into the Storage Area Networking (SAN) layer. Brocade achieved these capabilities by developing the Brocade SAN Analytics Management Pack.
Specifically, Brocade has collaborated with VMware to develop the Brocade SAN Analytics Management Pack for the VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite, which automatically sends real-time SAN health and performance metrics information from Brocade SAN fabrics into vCenter Operations Management Suite.
“With the Brocade SAN Analytics Management Pack for VMware vCentre Operations Management Suite, customers can benefit from visibility that extends into the storage subsystem, simplified management and rapid root cause detection, as well as optimal performance of workloads running in their virtual environments,” said Ramin Sayar, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Management, VMware.
Looks like SAN is making a strong presence in Virtual Environment, leaders like Brocade who are very strong in SAN switches are collaborating VMWare to offer best SAN solution in Virtual Environment.
These days Cloud Computing and Virtualized environment is making its presence in real world networks, be it Servers, Routers, Switches or Firewall, virtualization is catching up.
In the organization I work, we are implementing many solutions on virtualized environment, be it our Nexus Virtual Device Contexts or Cisco ASA Contexts or Cisco UCS Servers .Our Web Ex Solutions, Cisco IP Surveillance Solutions and PACS solutions are supported and operated on the Virtual platform. The challenge we faced for our Virtualized Sever platform running both windows and Linux environments are the backup and replication of data.
We were looking for a solution which is specifically designed for Virtual Environment and we found one called Veeam Backup & Replication Solution. This came handy to us especially when we had issues with our Data Protector System. Our PACS Servers are running on virtual environment using VMWare vSphere and it was a night mare for us to have a backup of those virtual imaging servers. With the invent of Veeam our task really become easy.
Veeam has created their backup and replication solution especially for Virtualized environments. It supports both VMWare hypervisors and Microsoft Hyper-V. The Veeam Backup & Replication is easy to manage and its very user friendly.
Since I am not a backup guy it will be hard for me to analyses all the features of Veeam Backup and Replication Software. As a layman I found it easy to install and manage and most importantly it provides a solution to our WebEx and PACs solution. Also it unifies backup and replication in a single solution, increases the value of backup and reinvents data protection for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments.
Veeam recently released the version 7 of Veeam Backup and Replication software. More details can be found in the following link http://www.veeam.com/vm-backup-recovery-replication-software.html
When it comes to NX-OS upgrade its quite easy and simple compared to the IOS upgrade of Cisco Catalyst Switches or Cisco Routers. Recently we upgraded our Nexus 5000 Series Switches from the NX-OS version 5.0.3 to 5.2.1. In this post let’s see how to upgrade the Nexus 5000 Series Switch step by step.
Login to Cisco Website and download the NX-OS Kick Start and NX-OS System Software files to your TFTP server.
Make sure that Nexus 5000 Switch has the enough space to install the new image files by using NX-OS command “ dir bootflash”. If there is enough space you are free to install the new NX-OS image files.
If there is no enough memory delete old image files using NX-OS command
Delete boothflash: (kickstart image name)
Delete bootflash: (system image name)
SF01-MB-1256-010# delete bootflash:n5000-uk9-kickstart.5.0.3.n1.1a.bin
SF01-MB-1256-010# delete bootflash: n5000-uk22.214.171.124.n1.1a.bin
Copy the new kickstart and system images to the switch bootflash by using a transfer protocol such as ftp, tftp, scp, or sftp. The examples in this procedure use tftp. Use the following NX-OS command to copy the kick start and image file
Make sure that the TFTP server is started
SF01-MB-1256-010# copy tftp bootflash:
Enter the install all NX-OS command to install the new images, specifying the new image names that you downloaded in the Step 1 as shown below
Once all the files are installed the switch will restart and reload with the new Image files.
Cisco Catalyst Instant Access is a newly launched technology by Cisco which intends to simplify the network operation in a Campus network. The idea behind simplification of operation is by applying a single point of operation and management for Campus Distribution and access switches.
It creates a single network touch point and single configuration across distribution and access layer switches, ultimately driving simplified operations, distribution layer (Catalyst 6500) features at access layer and consistent CLI, which in turn drive down total cost of ownership (TCO). It brings simplified configurations across rich Borderless Network features support such as TrustSec – 802.1x, Security Group Tagging (SGT), SGACL, Flexible NetFlow (FnF), Medianet, Resiliency, Network Virtualization- Easy Virtual Network (EVN), MPLS..etc. The main goal of this session is to do a deep dive into deployment scenarios of Borderless Network solutions utilizing Instant Access in a campus architecture.
In order to deploy this solution you may use either Cisco Catalyst 6500 or Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches along with Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Series Switches (Instant Access). The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Series Switches operate like remote line cards and are physically connected by up-links to the Cisco Catalyst 6500 or 6800 as shown in the below figure. These switches can be compared with Nexus 2000 Series Switches which are just fabric extenders.
Some of the advantages of using Cisco Instant Access Switches are
- Simplifies Operations via Single Point of Management, Configuration, Troubleshooting across Distribution & Access Block
- Catalyst 6500 features at Access
- Consistent Features and Agile Infrastructure across Access layer
- NO Trunks to Configure from Access to Distribution
- NO Configuration or Image Management at Access
- No Routing Protocols or Spanning-Tree configuration between Access and Distribution
The Cisco Catalyst 6800ia Switch comes with the following features
- Two options: 48 Ports GigE PoE+, 48 Ports GigE
- 2 x 10G uplink SFP+ Ports
- Stackable up to 3 clients at FCS
- 80Gbps Bidirectional Stack Bandwidth
- Single Fixed Power Supply and Fixed Fans
- Operates in Client Mode ONLY
- Full PoE (15W) across 48 ports
- Full PoE+ (30W) across 24 ports
- Includes Stack Module, no licensing required
Looks like Cisco doesn’t want to stay behind in race as their competitors like Brocade are providing similar solutions.
As we all know deploying the blade servers is a quite tedious tasks and time consuming. Well Cisco claims that deploying Cisco UCS B200 M 3 blade servers takes at least 70% less time compared to HP BL460C Gen8 servers.
In the Principled Technologies labs, they tested two different blade server-deployment approaches: the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS) with UCS Manager and the HP Virtual Connect Manager. Using the Cisco UCS Manager’s automated configuration and deployment process, adding two blades took only 14 steps and 18 minutes. In comparison, the HP solution required 43 steps and 1 hour 23 minutes to add two blades. This means that adding two blades with the Cisco UCS solution was 77.4 percent faster and required 67.4 percent fewer steps.
The time and steps saved with UCS become even more dramatic in a large-scale deployment or server refresh. Cisco blades can save your IT staff an enormous amount of time, reduce the possibility of error by simplifying the configuration process, and lower your total cost of ownership.
HP are in this business since decades and they were leading the blade servers market, looks like Cisco is giving them a hard time. Especially the Cisco UCS solution is grabbing a huge market share in US market, gradually its entering the Middle East Market as well. All our Digital Media Signage Solutions, IP Surveillance Solutions and WebEx solutions are running on Cisco UCS platforms and they are very stable.
You can access the detailed paper for the test conducted by Principled Technology Labs from the following link
Resetting the Cisco Iron Port C370 appliance is an easy task. In this post lets see how we can reset the Cisco Iron Port C 370 appliance to factory default settings.
In order to reset the Cisco Iron Port C 370 appliance either we need a console or ssh access (telnet access will also do).
Log into Cisco Iron Port C370 appliance either console or shh.
Suspend the Cisco Iron Port C370 appliance as without suspending the appliance we cannot reset it.
So used the “suspend” command to suspend the appliance
Use the command “resetconfig”to reset the Cisco Iron Port C370 appliance
The Cisco Iron Port C370 appliance will ask you to confirm the reset once you said reset, restart the Cisco Iron Port C370 appliance.
Once the appliance is restarted its back to factory default.