Network technologies and trends

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.

July 25, 2010  6:25 AM

What is Tool Command Language?

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


In today’s World we have many written scripts to automate our common tasks at work, we quite often use scripts in programming language, Linux, UNIX or even windows. But when it comes to networking to be more specific on Cisco devices there was no scripting language. However Cisco Systems realized the importance of automating the things and they come adding the “Tool Command Language in short TCL in Cisco IOS. This feature is enabled in the IOS starting from 12.3(2) T. I know most of us are not aware of this powerful scripting language.

TCL is a very powerful dynamic scripting language and it is based on open programming language developed by John Ousterhout.

Infact Cisco Press come out with a title named TCL Script for Cisco IOS which was released on June 9, 2010.


In upcoming articles I will try to address TCL commands how it can enabled and some sample scripts which can be used in day to day networking activities on Cisco Routers and Cisco Catalyst Switches.

July 24, 2010  6:20 AM

CCNP Routing and Switching Foundation Learning Library to be released on 28th July, 2010

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Are preparing for CCNP Certifications? Then here is good news waiting for you. On 28th July 2010 Cisco Press will release a new title CCNP Routing and Switching Foundation Learning Library, this new library is aiming to provide foundation-learning guides for the new CCNP certification exams ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT. Each book consists of review questions, chapter objectives, summaries, definitions, case studies, job aids, and command summaries to provide comprehensive foundational learning for the new CCNP courses.

This Library includes the three foundation-learning guides help you understand the topics on the three CCNP exams: ROUTE, SWITCH, and TSHOOT exams. Each book includes review questions, chapter objectives, summaries, definitions, case studies, job aids, and command summaries to provide comprehensive foundational learning for the new CCNP courses.

The following topics are covered in the CCNP Routing and Switching Foundation Learning Library, once I get an access to these titles definitely you can expect a review from me. Pre order this foundation-library and avail early discount as well from Cisco Press .


Module 1: Analyzing Campus Network Designs
Module 2: Implementing VLANs in Campus Networks
Module 3: Implementing Spanning Tree
Module 4: Implementing Inter-VLAN Routing
Module 5: Implementing High Availability in a Campus Environment
Module 6: Implementing a First Hop Redundancy Protocols Solution
Module 7: Minimizing Service Loss and Data Theft in a Campus Module 8: Integrating Wireless LANs into a Campus Network
Module 9: Accommodating Voice and Video in Campus Networks
Appendix A Answers to Review Questions
Appendix B Configuration Exercise Equipment Requirements and Backbone Configurations

Module 0: Curriculum Overview
Module 1: Planning Maintenance for Complex Networks
Module 2: Selecting Maintenance and Troubleshooting Tools and Module 3: Planning Troubleshooting Processes for Complex
Module 4: Maintaining and Troubleshooting Routing Based Solutions
Module 5: Maintaining and Troubleshooting Campus Switching Based Problems
Module 6: Maintaining and Troubleshooting Network Security Solutions
Module 7: Maintaining and Troubleshooting Network and Applications Services
Module 8: Troubleshooting Branch Office and Remote Worker Problems
Module 9: Maintaining and troubleshooting integrated, complex enterprise networks
Appendix A Answers to Review Questions
Appendix B Configuration Exercise Equipment Requirements and Backbone Configurations


Module 1: Planning Routing Services to Requirements
Module 2: Implementing an EIGRP-based Solution
Module 3: Implementing a Scalable Multiarea Network OSPF-based Solution
Module 4: Implement an IPv4-based Redistribution Solution
Module 5: Implement Path Control
Module 6: Configuring Policy Based Routing
Module 7: Connecting an Enterprise Network to ISP Networks
Module 8: Implementing IPv6
Module 9: Implementing Routing Facilities for Branch Offices and Mobile Workers
Appendix A Answers to Review Questions
Appendix B Configuration Exercise Equipment Requirements and Backbone Configurations

July 18, 2010  6:34 AM

Cisco is conducting Data Center of the Future on July 21st 2010

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Mark your calendar and make yourself free on 21st of July 2010 as Cisco Systems along with APC by Schneider Electric, BMC, EMC, Emerson Network Power, Intel, NetApp and Panduit conducting a day-long event which addresses the new IT challenges emerging from sophisticated virtualization, workload mobility and application complexity.

Register and participate in live roundtable discussions with leading industry experts on subjects ranging from networking, storage, applications and physical infrastructure.

Take advantage of this opportunity to join other IT and data center decision makers in this unique virtualized environment packed with informative resources. You can also network with colleagues and peers and chat with subject matter experts in our staffed partner rooms.

Apart from offering this wonderful live virtual event Cisco Systems is offering you a chance to win an Apple iPad. Register now and who knows you might be holding an iPad as a prize from Cisco Systems.

July 11, 2010  5:52 AM

Cisco Live 2010 kicked off with an announcement of Cisco Cius

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Day 1 of Cisco Live 2010 kicked off with full force with exciting news announcements. Over 10,500 people joined live virtually among them I was one, and over 23,000 people were present physically at Nevada, Las Vegas. Cisco CEO John Cambers opened the Cisco Live with the announcement of Cisco Cius, Cisco Systems tablet device basically targeted at Enterprises to enjoy and access the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications including HD video. Soon I will come out with a post on Cisco Cius lets see what Cisco is offering into the tablet business.

Cisco also announced the winner of the 2nd I-Prize competition,an open, global innovation contest developed to encourage collaboration among entrepreneurs and help identify new potential billion-dollar business ideas for Cisco . A team of five university students from Mexico submitted the winning idea of a ‘Life Account’ that gathers information about users through connected devices in the physical world and online data available in the virtual world. The winners receive a cash prize of $250,000!

July 6, 2010  6:13 AM

Cisco’s Enhance POE worked for power more than 20 watts

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In one of my previous articles I was talking about the POE compatibility issues between Cisco Catalyst 3750 E Switches and Cisco Aironet 1250 Series Access Point, I was getting following error.

Jun 21 08:30:28.447: %CDP_PD-2-POWER_LOW: All radios disabled – NEGOTIATED WS-C3

750E-48PD (8843.e17f.f60d)

Jun 21 08:31:28.451: %CDP_PD-2-POWER_LOW: All radios disabled – NEGOTIATED WS-C3

750E-48PD (8843.e17f.f60d)

After some research I figured out Cisco 3750 E Switch is capable of enhance POE , which can provide POE power of 20 Watts compared to standard 15.4 Watts per port, I updated the IOS for one my Cisco Catalyst 3750 E Switch from 12.2(35)SE5 to 12.2(53)SE2

 Once the IOS update was done I used the following command on the particular port to provide 20 watts of power

ITKE-AS01(config-if)# power inline port max 20000

Then AP Started working normally and all the wireless radios were up and running as demonstrated below.

June 29, 2010  1:14 PM

Cisco TAC-Support never expected so fast!

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan


We are facing some problems with couple of Cisco IP Phones, lucky we had SMARTNET. I was out of my office; I was thinking how I can open a TAC case. I managed to get the toll free number for Cisco TAC center. I called them and placed my compliant. Within few moments I received the service request number and the support Engineer assigned to my case. In matter of five minutes I got the confirmation email from the Cisco support Engineer stating that our hardware will be replaced and he reconfirmed me back the shipping address. I never thought or expected a quick fast reply from Cisco support team. Hats off to Cisco as they value their customers and for Cisco, customer support seems to be the number one priority.

I strongly recommend all Cisco customers to have a SMARTNET for all their Cisco devices, to enjoy the privilege of getting support as soon as possible. You can always avoid the down time and can fix the problem at the earliest. If there are any hardware issues Cisco always try to ship the failed hardware at the earliest based on type of SMARTNET support you have.

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