Network technologies and trends

December 8, 2010  7:59 AM

What is GLBP and how it can be configured in Cisco Devices? – Series 1

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


GLBP better known as Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GBLP) is a Cisco proprietary protocol especially designed overcome the limitations of Hot Standby Routing Protocol (HSRP) and Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP). The added feature to Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) is it can load balance between the gateways where as in HSRP and VRRP, the standby routers are configured for redundancy and act as standby only and become active only when the active router fails.

The Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) provides load balancing over multiple routers (gateways) using a single virtual IP address and multiple virtual MAC addresses. The forwarding load is shared among all routers in a GLBP group rather than being handled by a single router while the other routers stand idle. Each host is configured with the same virtual IP address, and all routers in the virtual router group participate in forwarding packets. GLBP members communicate between each other through hello messages sent every 3 seconds to the multicast address, User Datagram Protocol (UDP) port 3222 (source and destination).

The Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) elects one router as active virtual gateway (AVG) based on highest priority value or highest IP address in the group, if there is no highest priority.  The active virtual gateway (AVG) to respond to ARP requests sent to the virtual gateway IP address replying different virtual MAC addresses depends on which load-balancing algorithm is configured.

All routers participating in GLBP group gets the necessary virtual MAC addresses from the active virtual gateway (AVG). Up to four virtual MAC addresses can be used in any group. Each of these routers is referred to as an active virtual forwarder (AVF), forwarding traffic received on its virtual MAC address. Other routers in the group serve as backup or secondary virtual forwarders, in case the AVF fails. The AVG also assigns secondary roles.

The Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) is part of CCNP 642-813 Exam curriculum and you must master this protocol as you can expect few questions.

In upcoming posts I will try to highlight on load balancing techniques used and how to configure Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) in Cisco Routers and Cisco Catalyst Switches .When it comes to Catalyst Switches GLBP is currently available with Catalyst 6500 Supervisor 2 with IOS Release 12.2(14) SY4 or later and Supervisor 720 with IOS Release 12.2(17a) SX4 switch platforms.

December 5, 2010  8:43 AM

Juniper Networks to acquire Trapeze Networks for $152m

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Juniper Networks strengthening their Wireless Product range as Juniper Networks and Belden Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement under which Juniper will acquire Trapeze Networks for approximately $152 million. Juniper is expected to complete the acquisition by the fourth quarter of 2010.

This acquisition will expand the Juniper’s portfolio and make WLAN infrastructure one of their key business areas.

“With the acquisition of Trapeze Networks, we extend our industry leading routing, security and switching portfolio with proven and innovative WLAN technology that will enable our customers to provide a seamless, high-quality, secure experience to their users regardless of where and how they access their network,” said David Yen, executive vice president and general manager, Fabric and Switching Technologies at Juniper Networks. 

Now Juniper customers can build their new networks based on Juniper’s end-to-end routing, security, wired and wireless switching infrastructure that improve users’ experience and increase their productivity regardless of location.

“Juniper’s strong history of technology execution combined with Trapeze’s accomplished team ideally positions the company to deliver end-to-end high-performance networking for the world’s most demanding networks,” added Yen.

“As the leader in high-performance networking, Juniper represents the ideal provider for us to unlock the value of Trapeze Networks in the global enterprise market,” said John Stroup, president and CEO of Belden Inc. “This agreement enables our organization to remain focused on the long-term growth opportunities for wireless technology in our core markets, including the nascent industrial networking market.”

I have seen Trapeze Networks wireless products closely for sure they are going to add value to Juniper portfolio.

November 30, 2010  5:02 AM

IBM announces the launch of Cognos 10

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


After acquiring Cognos, IMB announces the launch of the latest version of business intelligence application IBM Cognos 10.

According to IMB the latest Cognos update aims to take analytics to mobile devices such as an iPhone and Blackberry, after acquiring IMB gave a new look to Cognos 10. The Cognos 10 has much to offer especially its ability to include the external data within a report. The new feature allows users to easily add a spreadsheet or CSV data to their report. IBM also took care of security by allowing administrators to restrict access to this capability so hopefully it will be used only when absolutely needed.

“The Cognos 10  software delivers a completely new user experience, which allows users to achieve collective intelligence by connecting with others, sharing insights and establishing decision networks, therefore redefining the traditional methods of interaction organizations use with information and the way users collaborate with their peers,” said Bashar Kilani, Bashar Kilani, Business Unit Executive, IBM Software Group, IBM Middle East.

IBM is also conducting 48 live events across North America to helps users to get an up-close, in-depth look at IBM Cognos 10. I suggest you not to  miss this opportunity.

By attending this event, you will see how IBM Cognos 10 enables organizations to outperform by providing:

  • Analytics everyone can use in a BI workspace that sharpens individual skills to answer key business questions
  • Collective intelligence with built-in collaboration and social networking to better connect people and insights to gain alignment
  • Actionable insight everywhere in mobile, real time, and business processes to instantly respond at the point of impact

November 29, 2010  5:01 AM

Make sure all your SMARTNET contracts are up to date!

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Starting December 13, 2010 doesn’t get shocked for not downloading IOS images for any of your Cisco Products from Cisco Website. As of today if anyone having a valid SMARTNET contract with a valid CCO id can download IOS for any Cisco Catalyst Switches, Cisco Routers , Cisco security, voice  and wireless products. It will not be same effective December 13, 2010. Cisco Systems is coming up with a new policy. All software download on will be verified against Products registered on your Services contract.  Attempts to download Software for Products not registered on your Services contract will not be permitted.

Cisco Systems wants improve customer experience and protect your investments in Cisco Products. The major change is Cisco Systems will ask their customers to complete the following action before December 13, 2010

  • Verify all applicable Cisco Products are covered under Cisco Service contracts, and that you have a valid license for Cisco Software.
  • Verify your Services contracts are accurate and make necessary corrections – serial numbers, part ID’s and locations must be accurate on each Services contract.
  • Associate all Services contracts to applicable user ID’s
  • Verify all user IDs for your company are valid and properly assigned to individuals in your company.

So make sure all your SMARTNET and service contract are up to date and make sure you manage all your active contacts by associating with a valid user ID’s via the Service Access Management Tool (SAMT). This tool enables administrators to manage which individuals are allowed to request Service from Cisco (e.g. technical support/TAC, hardware replacement/RMA). users can use the Profile Manager to view which Services contracts are associated to their profiles.

November 28, 2010  5:12 AM

Cisco Systems introduces “Carrier Packet Transport System”

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


With introduction of the Cisco Carrier Packet Transport (CPT) System, Cisco Systems into packet optical transport system market. According to Cisco Systems the newly designed solutions assists for migrating service provider transport infrastructures to support next-generation IP-based services. Cisco claims this solution combines the reliability of the transport network with efficiencies of packet technology to deliver current and future services.

Pic Courtesy: Cisco Systems

The Cisco Carrier Packet Transport System family includes the 6 RU CPT 600, the 2 RU CPT 200, and the CPT 50. This last pizza-box platform operates as a satellite to the CPT 600 or CPT 200, offering port extension up to 80 km away from its master platform. Ports on the CPT 50 are operated as if they were part of the master platform, says Cisco’s Stephen Liu.

The Cisco CPT system supports MPLS-TP Ethernet with quality of service and virtual local area network manipulation capabilities, as well as optical transport network and reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer functionality.

Currently the Cisco Carrier Packet Transport (CPT) System is in field trains with several service providers like Verizon in US and BT in UK and the scheduled date of availability is in the first quarter of 2011.

Supporting Quotes (Courtesy: Cisco Systems)

  • Glenn Wellbrock, director optical transport network – architecture and design, Verizon

“Next-generation transport solutions should be clearly aimed at making packet transport suitable for carrier transport networks. Features such as standards-based operations, performance monitoring, administration, management, and sub-50-milliseconds protection switching are critical requirements in the Verizon packet transport network and we support Cisco’s decision.”

Continued »

November 27, 2010  6:49 AM

What’s there in CCNP Switch -642-813 Certification? – Series 2

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

I hope by now you have made your mind to kick off your preparations for CCNP Routing and Switching Certification. And to start with you might have opted to go with Switch# 642-813 Exam and might have placed an order for CCNP Switch 642-813 Official certification guide from Cisco Press. Your CCNP Switch# 642-813 Exam companion.

The  CCNP Switch 642-813 Official certification guide is an amazing title, which can trust for Switch # 642-813 Exam. The author David Hucaby CCIE 4594 carries an honor of writing many titles for Cisco Press especially when it come to switching he is master.

The  CCNP Switch 642-813 Official certification guide comes with seventeen chapters covering wide range of topics

The first chapter emphasizes on the importance of planning for CCNP Switch# 642-813 Exam. In this chapter Cisco Systems have made very clear what they are anticipating for the CCNP Switching and Routing professional and what skill he/she should possess to be CCNP R & S.

In this chapter the author talks about Cisco’s approach to the life cycle of the Network, it is PPDIOO

Prepare – organizational requirements, strategy, financial justification

Plan – network requirements, gap analysis with existing network infrastructure, project plan

Design– design specification created (used for implement phase)

Implement – network is built, additional components added

Operate – maintaining network health, day-to-day operations

Optimize – proactive management, potential to spir network redesign

Tips for the implementation plan

The implementation plan consists of several phases ( for eg : installation of hardware, IOS check, configurations,-over to production, etc.).  It is important to remember the following steps for each phase:

Description of the step

Reference to design documents

Detailed implementation guidelines

Detailed rollback guidelines in case of failure

Estimated time needed for implementation

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="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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