Network technologies and trends

August 18, 2010  7:29 AM

Cisco CCNP TSHOOT aspirer’s good news is here!

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


Yeah it’s right, last week I received an email from Pearson folks about a Webcast by Kevin Wallace, an expert trainer and best-selling author of the CCNP TSHOOT 642-832 Official Certification Guide and Network Troubleshooting Video Mentor.

On of 31st of August 2010, Kevin Wallace takes you on a tour of a troubleshooting scenario which you might expect on the CCNP TSHOOT exam. Kevin will talk about troubleshooting an HSRP ticket. By attending this webcast you will get a chance to review the theory of HRSP followed by a live troubleshooting demonstration and concluding with a Q&A session.

Already few questions are ticking in my head. Don’t wait just register to this webcast to experience the troubleshooting tips as well as few tips for CCNP TSHOOT exam.

 Cisco CCNP TSHOOT: Troubleshooting HSRP
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern Time — FREE

August 10, 2010  5:33 AM

Microsoft and Polycom are entering into an alliance to Enhance Unified Communications and Collaboration Solutions

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

As technology is evolving the importance of Unified Communications is growing, yet until now I thought Cisco is a leader when it comes to Unified Communication especially after the introductions of Tele presence and WebEX, but others vendors too are competing hard. Avaya took over Nortel when it was in crises, to enhance its product line. Now its Microsoft and Polycom are entering into an alliance, which provides an opportunity for them to jointly develop, sell and market Unified Communication products based Polycom endpoints and Microsoft Communication Server 14.

Polycom’s solutions for Microsoft Communications Server 14  will span markets ranging from the enterprise, to small and medium-sized businesses, to governments, the statement said. The promised integration aims to help bring Microsoft’s UC product together with Polycom’s conferencing tools, which the companies said over time will make the two systems easier for IT and telecommunications staff to manage.

“Microsoft and Polycom solutions play a critical role within our current and future unified communications strategy,” said Martin Smale, IT director at NDS, a News Corp. company. “We’re already benefiting from improved collaboration, increased productivity, and significant ROI based on our existing UC network, and we’re looking forward to leveraging the expanded offerings from two of our most valued vendors in the UC space.”

“Our research shows that nearly 70 percent of the companies considering a unified communications solution are thinking of deploying Microsoft Office Communications Server,” said Brent Kelly, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. “These enterprises need seamless integration and interoperability between Office Communicator on the desktop and personal, group, and telepresence video solutions like those offered by Polycom for executive offices, meeting suites, and conference rooms. By working together, Microsoft and Polycom are making it easier for organizations to have a true end-to-end unified communications environment, which includes high definition video.”


For further details on the alliance have a look at the press release from Microsoft.

August 4, 2010  5:49 AM

Cisco announced – New CCNP SP Operations Certification

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Cisco Systems introduces a new CCNP SP Operations Certification targeting the Service providers, yet another great move targeting the professionals who troubleshoot and maintain service provider IP NGN core network infrastructures.

The prerequisite for CCNP SP Operations Certifications is to have a valid CCNA Service Provider Operations Certification. To be a Certified CCNP SP Operations you need top pass four exams. Following are the details.

642-770 OFCN Operational Foundations for Cisco Service Provider Core Networks (OFCN)

642-775 MSPRP Maintaining Cisco Service Provider Routing Protocols (MSPRP)

642-780 MSPVM Maintaining Cisco Service Provider VPNs and MPLS Networks (MSPVM)

642-785 MSPQS Maintaining Cisco Service Provider Quality of Service (MSPQS)

Each exams costs $ 150 each and this certification is valid for 3 years. To recertify you must pass any of the 642 exam which is the part of the professional level curriculum or any CCIE /CCDE written exam of course before the certification expiring date

With a CCNP SP Operations certification, a network professional demonstrates the knowledge and skills required to isolate network performance problems, implement proactive fault measures using operations management processes, frameworks, and network management systems.

July 31, 2010  7:49 AM

How to use a Cisco Router or a Cisco Switch to decrypt the encrypted passwords (type 7 passwords) – Video

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In one my articles I did talked about the commands used decrypt the encrypted password (type 7 passwords) using a Cisco router or Cisco Switch. Please find a video of the same, which I uploaded few moments back at YouTube.

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July 29, 2010  6:32 AM

Blue Coat Reporter 9.2 expands visibility into and analysis of potential threats

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Blue Coat Systems, the technology leader in Application Delivery Networking, introduced Reporter 9.2; with the latest version the blue coat administrator can have a hawk look at web activities and potential threats on the network. Three new reports have been incorporated in the latest Blue Coat Reporter 9.2, which enables the security administrators to evaluate risk and quickly identify users infected with malicious content, including malware.

“As Web threats continue to proliferate, security administrators need tools that can provide visibility into the Web activity on their networks,” said Carrie Oakes, vice president of product marketing and management at Blue Coat Systems. “With Reporter, administrators have an invaluable tool that provides detailed information about Web usage as well as information on potential threats and infected users.”

For further info do access the press release of Blue Coat Systems.

July 29, 2010  6:18 AM

Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report released

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Cisco Systems released the Cisco 2010 Midyear Security report, according to the report, the increasing use of Social networking sites, the proliferation of network enabled mobile devices, smart phones and virtualization continue to alter the security landscape.   Which may enforce the Security Professionals to put effective security practice into place in order to protect their organizations reputation and maintain a competitive edge. Five major recommendations are suggested for improving the organization security.

  • An enterprise should these days enforce granular per-user polices for access to application and data on virtualized systems.
  • Sets strict limits for access to business data.
  • A formal corporate policy should be created for mobility.
  • More investments should be done on the tools and utilities to manage cloud activities.
  • Strict guidance should be provided to employees on the use of Social networks or media at workplace.

Read the Cisco 2010 Midyear Security Report, and find the best strategies to help you meet current security demands for your organization.

July 29, 2010  5:43 AM

Industry’s first End-to-End FCoE Solution with VMware for the Dynamic Data Center is unveiled.

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

The ongoing collaboration between Cisco Systems, NetApp and VMware is proving fruitful and their amicable collobration has resulted in inducstry’s first certified end-to-end Fiber Channel over Ethernet(FCoE) solution for VMware-virtual environments.

The combined solution resulted in supporting FCoE end-to-end to reduce the number of devices and cables needed to drive data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation. Cisco data center switches and NetApp storage FCoE solutions are now validated by VMware to support VMware-based virtualized environments, marking a significant milestone for the progression of the FCoE protocol to help more customers achieve efficiency in their dynamic data centers and progress on their journey to cloud computing.

Cisco Systems, NetApp and VMware are currently the only networking, storage, and virtualization vendors to combine data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation in a jointly certified end-to-end FCoE solution that includes both FCoE initiators (such as Converged Network Adaptors) and FCoE storage targets. VMware validated Cisco Nexus® 5000 Series Switches and NetApp FAS series unified storage support FCoE protocol in virtual environments running VMware vSphereTM. The solution has completed the VMware Hardware Certification Program testing criteria for use with VMware software and is now listed on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide, with support offered by all three companies.

For further info do have a look at the press release by Cisco Systems on 28th of July 2010.

July 28, 2010  5:42 AM

How to use a Cisco Router or a Cisco Switch to decrypt the encrypted passwords (type 7 passwords)

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Normally we use any of decrypting software’s to decrypt the Cisco type 7 passwords, which were encrypted by using a Cisco IOS command “service password-encryption”.  Image you don’t have an access to the internet or you don’t have a Cisco password decrypting software’s, what you will do in this situation. No worries you can use the Cisco Router or a Cisco Switch itself to decrypt the Cisco type 7 passwords.  Amazing isn’t it! We can make use of a feature call “key chain” to decrypt the encrypted type 7 passwords. To demonstrate I am just creating a scenario

Step 1

Create a username in your Cisco device and encrypt the password  by using following commands

ITKE-AS01(config)#username itke password joinitke

ITKE-AS01(config)# service password-encryption


Step 2

Let’s see user name and password we created

ITKE-AS01#sho run | include username

username itke password 7 12130A1E1C02180F2F



We can see “7 12130A1E1C02180F2F” is the encrypted password for joinitke which we created in step 1.

Step 3

Now we need to create a key chain and copy the encrypted password as the key string as demonstrated below

ITKE-AS01(config)#key chain getpassword

ITKE-AS01(config-keychain)#key 1

ITKE-AS01(config-keychain-key)#key-string 7 12130A1E1C02180F2F


Step 4

Now we can see the decrypted password by using the Cisco IOS command “show key chain getpassword”

ITKE-AS01#show key chain getpassword

Key-chain getpassword:

    key 1 — text “joinitke”

        accept lifetime (always valid) – (always valid) [valid now]

        send lifetime (always valid) – (always valid) [valid now]


Amazing we can use a Cisco Router or a Cisco Catalyst Switch to decrypt the type 7 encrypted passwords. Use this and do let me know.

July 27, 2010  8:31 AM

Using TCL scripts to test connectivity of hosts in a Cisco device

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In my last post I talked about how to enable and disable the Tool command Language (TCL) in a Cisco router or a Cisco Catalyst Switch, suppose if you want to use a ping command for more than 50 hosts,you don’t need to ping each and every single host from the Cisco router or a Cisco Catalyst Switch, in this scenario you can make use of TCL scripts, I will provide you a sample script to ping 10 hosts at a time from a Cisco Catalyst 6506 E Switch, same script is applicable to Cisco routers as well.

Step 1

Enable TCL in your Cisco router or a Cisco Switch by using a “tclsh” command


Step 2

Write to script to ping hosts starting from to using the following script, start the script by using “foreach VAR {” followed by the IP Address of the hosts you want to ping and close the script by using following stings “} { puts [exec “ping $VAR”] }” as demonstrated below ( you can use notepad to prepare the script and then execute in your Cisco device)

foreach VAR {


} { puts [exec “ping $VAR”] }


Once you enter the script you will the following

TCL scripts are very helpful and really it automates some of our tasks.

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July 26, 2010  5:35 AM

How to enable tcl in a Cisco Router or a Cisco Switch?

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In my previous post I was talking about Tool command Language (TCL), since now we are familiar with the evolution of TCL lets proceed a step ahead to see how we can enable TCL in a Cisco Router or a Cisco Catalyst Switch, before trying TCL make sure your using an IOS of release minimum of 12.3(2) T or higher. Here is the example to, I am using a Cisco Catalyst 6506 E Switch with an IOS version of 12.2(33) SXH5.


If the Cisco Router or a Cisco Ctalyst Switch supports the TCL feature you will see the following prompt in your device


In the above example I just demonstrated how to enable the feature in a Cisco Router or a Cisco Catalyst Switch. In order to quit from the tcl mode you can use the “tclq” command as shown below.



In my next post I will try to post few examples for usage of TCL scripts.

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