Network technologies and trends


January 13, 2009  11:12 AM

An Excellent Manual for Self Study CCDP Aspirers, for 642-873 ARCH exam

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Recently I had the opportunity to read the rough cut edition of the book “Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH) (Authorized Self-Study Guide), Second Edition”, ISBN 9781587058431, thanks to Pearson Education and Safari Online  for offering  an access the rough cut.

Picture Courtesy: Cisco Press

By Keith Hutton, Mark Schofield, Diane Teare.

Published by Cisco Press.

Series: Self-Study Guide.

ISBN-10: 1-58705-574-0; ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-574-4; Published: Dec 24, 2008; Copyright 2009;

“Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH) (Authorized Self-Study Guide), Second Edition”

Rating *****

I would strongly recommend this book for the Cisco CCDP certification aspirers. Since I am working on the latest Network Upgrade plan it helped me a lot to understand the design considerations, Cisco Design Standards.  Based on this book I could able to come out with an excellent Network Design for the Organization which I am working. This manual is good to the pass the Cisco 642-873 ARCH exam.

The topics are covered in detail and extensive, the best part of this book happens to be the organization of the chapters; there are 12 chapters in this book. This deals with the topics like SONA, Enterprise Campus Network Design, Enterprise Data Design, SAN Design Considerations etc.

One more interesting fact which helps is the reference segment at the end of each chapter. If someone wants to achieve his CCDP this is the book, you should go for it.  This is the right manual which can be used as a Study guide to achieve CCDP. Also this manual proves to be a helpful guide for reference.

January 12, 2009  5:34 AM

Windows 7 Beta Released To Public after Delay

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Dear Friends finally after some delay Microsoft released the much talked version of Windows 7. During his pre-show keynote at CES, Steve Ballmer officially launched the Windows 7 beta onto the world via TechNet, MSDN, and Connect.

But there are unexpected numbers of professional and people proved to be interested in the download of Windows 7. Hence it’s hard to download the Windows 7 beta version from Microsoft web site. You really need to have some patience.

The Windows 7 beta will expire after August 1, 2009, and the download cap for the public version has been set to 2.5 million.

In any case, happy beta testing!

These are the Microsoft minimum hardware recommendations for systems that will be running the Windows 7 Beta. These recommendations are specific to the beta release and are subject to change:

  • Processor: 1 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit processor
  • Memory:  1 GB of system memory
  • Hard drive: 16 GB of available disk space
  • Video card:  Support for DirectX 9 graphics with 128MB memory (in order to enable Aero theme)
  • Drive: DVD-R/W drive
  • Internet connection (to download the Beta and get updates)

Note: Some product features of Windows 7, such as the ability to watch and record live TV or navigation through the use of “touch”, may require advanced or additional hardware. 

To learn more, see Windows 7 Beta: Frequently Asked Questions.

Handy Links: Microsoft Connect | Windows 7 WikiPedia

 


January 10, 2009  6:11 AM

Cisco reached one more milestone with WebEx ,by bringing WebEx to iPhone

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan
Cisco reached one more milestone with WebEx by announcing the iPhone users to participate in WebEx virtual meetings.  Now no more excuses for the people to miss a meeting, who are out of office without a PC.

 

The Cisco WebEx Meeting Center App (iTunes App Store link) is free and is almost same as the web-based version. Meeting attendees can simply access the WebEx via an iPhone join link in the meeting invitation.

Following are highlights and features from Cisco press release;

Highlights / Key Facts:

  • Out of the office or on the move no longer means out of the loop. Cisco is extending its web conferencing and collaboration capabilities to the Apple iPhone 3G user experience, with Cisco WebEx Meeting Center and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace.
  • The new Cisco WebEx meetings iPhone application, which is available for free download from the AppStore, allows users to simply click to join and actively collaborate in CiscoWebEx meetings. With Cisco WebEx Meeting Center application on the iPhone, users can view what’s being shared, see the meeting participant list, see the active speaker and chat with other meeting participants.
  • The online meeting experience gives users the ability to take advantage of simultaneous web and audio conferencing capabilities from Cisco on both the 3G mobile and 802.11 wireless (Wi-Fi) networks. The solution supports multiple telephony configurations including SaaS-based telephony from Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, premises-based telephony from Cisco Unified MeetingPlace, or telephony from Cisco’s service provider partners. The download is free from the AppStore. Users need to have current subscriptions to the WebEx services to schedule or host a meeting.
  • A future version of the solution will include Cisco WebEx Meeting Center as well as the ability to see meeting participants and the active speaker from Cisco Unified MeetingPlace. Users will be able to move in-session Cisco WebEx Meeting Center and Cisco Unified MeetingPlace conferences from the Apple iPhone 3G to an office environment and back, by transferring the audio to a Cisco Unified IP Phone and the web conference to a computer for a rich collaboration experience.

Check out the video for a preview of WebEx for the iPhone:

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January 10, 2009  5:25 AM

Pearson Launches Certflashcardsonline, great news for Certifications aspirers.

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Dear Friends what a good news at the beginning of the year, guess what Pearson launches the new browser based electronic flash card engine, www.certflashcardsonline.com  , an application that helps the Certifications’ aspirers to practice the IT Certifications exams.

Graphics Courtesy:www.certflashcardsonline.com  

Launching with multiple products on CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco certifications, the custom flash card application, loaded with more than 250 questions per exam, tests users’ skills and improves their retention of exam topics. Cert Flash Cards Online also allows users to get all-important information at a glance, helping focus on areas of weakness. Available in both desktop and mobile device format, these fact-filled flash cards allow users to test at home, work, or on the go. This new certification preparation tool, Cert Flash Cards Online, along with Cert Prep Online, is available through InformIT.

Additional News Facts:

  • A truly unique learning tool; robust features include: space to enter long answers, ability to mark individual questions right or wrong, score reporting, custom set creation, and online updates.
  • Cert Flash Cards Online is a late-stage exam-preparation tool, which means that an IT certification candidate would typically use this product during the final weeks before sitting for their live exam.
  • This alternative learning format presents a unique approach that compliments other self-study formats like books and practice tests.

Useable Quotes:

“The new Cert Flash Cards Online application from Pearson takes the old school concept of paper flash cards that we all used to memorize our multiplication tables and updates it for the digital age and the technical certification market,” said Brett Bartow, Executive Editor for Cert Flash Cards Online. “While practice tests are great for familiarizing candidates with the exam style, they are typically focused primarily multiple choice question formats, which exposes users to pre-formulated answers to choose from. Cert Flash Cards Online, on the other hand, forces users to supply the answer in their own words, and is thus a much more effective tool for assessing and reinforcing knowledge.”

“In today’s environmentally conscious digital society, it makes sense for certification candidates to use electronic flash cards instead of those made from paper,” said Tim Warner, Product Editor for Cert Flash Cards Online and host of the InformIT Certification Reference Guide. “Most folks carry a laptop or a Web browser-enabled mobile phone or PDA, so why not save some trees by using the online Cert Flash Cards?”

Video Tutorial Podcast: Introduction to Cert Flash Cards Online

Tim Warner, Product Editor for Cert Flash Cards Online introduces viewers to Pearson’s new Cert Flash Cards Online product, which makes flash card review easy and fun. Brought to you by, OnCertification: Your weekly vidcast series featuring study tips, reviews, screencasts, and conversations with IT certification insiders on certification test-prep technologies. Subscribe now.

Product Information:

Cisco

CCNA Voice 640-460 Cert Flash Cards Online

ISBN: 1587202395

CCNA Security 640-553 Cert Flash Cards Online

ISBN: 1587058588

CompTIA

CompTIA A+ Cert Flash Cards Online: Essentials Test: (A+ 220-604), (A+ 220-603), (A+ 220-602)

ISBN: 0789739208

Microsoft

MCSA/MCSE 70-290 Cert Flash Cards Online: Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment

ISBN: 0789738406

MCSA/MCSE 70-291 Cert Flash Cards Online: Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft

Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

ISBN: 0789738414

MCSE 70-293 Cert Flash Cards Online: Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

ISBN: 0789738422

MCSE 70-294 Cert Flash Cards Online: Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure

ISBN: 0789738430

MCTS 70-620 Cert Flash Cards Online: Microsoft Windows Vista, Configuring

ISBN: 0789739240

About Pearson

The global leader in educational and professional publishing, Pearson is home to such respected brands as Addison-Wesley Professional, Cisco Press, Exam Cram, IBM Press, Prentice Hall Professional, Que, and Sams Publishing, which have as their online publishing arm, InformIT (www.informit.com) -The Trusted Technology Learning Source. In addition, Berkeley-based Peachpit (www.peachpit.com), the publishing partner for Adobe Press, Apple Certified, and others, publishes best-selling books for creative design professionals. Pearson is also co-founder, with O’Reilly Media Inc., of Safari Books Online (http://safari.informit.com), the premier on-demand digital library providing thousands of expert reference materials through a single point of contact, including expert technology, creative and design, business and management resources in video and text formats. Pearson Education is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

Source: Email from Jamie Adams, Senior Publicist, Pearson Education

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January 7, 2009  11:35 AM

Solar Winds acquires Kiwi Enterprises, best known for its free management and configuration tools (Syslog).

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

SolarWinds announced on 5th of Jan09, it had acquired for an undisclosed sum the assets of New Zealand-based software maker Kiwi Enterprises, best known for its free management and configuration tools.

Picture Courtesy: Solar Winds.

SolarWinds, also known for making freeware versions of its enterprise software available, acquired Kiwi with plans to incorporate the company’s Syslog and CatTools products into its own Orion platform.

“We saw a number of similarities in the products and communities of Kiwi Enterprises and SolarWinds, and expect this acquisition to generate immediate benefit, not only to our respective customer bases, but to the IT community at large,” said Michael S. Bennett, chairman and CEO, SolarWinds. “SolarWinds is committed to delivering deep value to network engineers by addressing their everyday pain, simply and affordably.”SolarWinds will add the Kiwi products, specifically Kiwi Syslog Server and Kiwi CatTools, to its popular line-up of tools for network engineers.  In addition, SolarWinds also expects to use the other software products that it purchased to expand its free tool offerings.


For more details do check the press release from Solar Winds.

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January 6, 2009  6:11 AM

Cisco Etherchannel Overview and how it can be configured in Cisco Catalyst Switches – Series 6

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

In the previous five posts I was talking about the Etherchannel  , types of protocols used , rules and restrictions applied to an Etherchannel  . Now it’s the time to see how an Etherchannel   can be configured in a Cisco Catalyst Switch.

An Etherchannel in a Cisco IOS can be defined as Layer 2 Etherchannel or a Layer 3 Etherchannel.

For a Layer 2 Etherchannel, physical ports are placed into an Etherchannel group.

For a Layer 3 Etherchannel, layer 3 SVI (Switch Virtual Interface) is created, and then the physical ports are placed into an Etherchannel group which is bound to the L3 SVI.

 

Now let’s see how to configure a Configure a Layer 2 Etherchannel in a Cisco Catalyst Switch using a PAGP (port aggregation protocol) Protocol. In my previous posts I did discussed about the PAGP protocol, it’s a Cisco proprietary protocol, can be applied only in Cisco Catalyst Switches.

Here is the scenario which we will follow

From the above diagram we have two Cisco 3560 Catalyst Switches named ITKESW01 and ITKESW02.

We will configure a Layer 2 Etherchannel between the Cisco 3560 Catalyst Switches  ITKESW01 and ITKESW02. The  Giga Ethernet ports 0/45, 0/46/,0/47 & 0/48 on a Cisco 3560 Catalyst Switches  ITKESW01 are trunk ports  and they are connected to Giga Ethernet ports 0/1,0/2,0/3 and 0/4 (also trunk ports) in Cisco 3560 Catalyst Switch  ITKESW02.

 

The configuration is as follows

 

Configuration in the Cisco 3560 Catalyst Switch  ITKESW01

 

First run the command “Show interfaces trunk

 

ITKESW01#sho interfaces trunk

 

Port        Mode             Encapsulation  Status        Native vlan

Gi0/45      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

Gi0/46      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

Gi0/47      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

Gi0/48      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

 

Port        Vlans allowed on trunk

Gi0/45        1-4094

Gi0/46        1-4094

Gi0/47        1-4094

Gi0/48        1-4094

 

Port        Vlans allowed and active in management domain

Gi0/45        1

Gi0/46        1

Gi0/47        1

Gi0/48        1

 

Port        Vlans in spanning tree forwarding state and not pruned

Gi0/45       1

Gi0/46       1

Gi0/47       1

Gi0/48       1

 

ITKESW01#

 

Second Step configure the Giga Ethernet ports 0/45 to 0/48 in the Etherchannel

 

ITKESW01#config t

ITKESW01(config)# interface range gigabitEthernet 0/45 – 48

ITKESW01(config-if-range)#channel-protocol pagp

 

Note: PAgP protocol is configured to be used in this channel

 

ITKESW01 (config-if-range)# channel-group 1 mode desirable

Note: A logical port-channel interface is automatically created when ports are grouped into a channel group.

Configure the mode desirable to be used in PAgP 

 

Configuration in the Cisco 3560 Catalyst Switch  ITKESW02

 

 

ITKESW02#sho interfaces trunk

 

Port        Mode             Encapsulation  Status        Native vlan

Gi0/1      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

Gi0/2      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

Gi0/3      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

Gi0/4      on                        802.1q         trunking            1

 

 

Port        Vlans allowed on trunk

Gi0/1        1-4094

Gi0/2        1-4094

Gi0/3        1-4094

Gi0/4        1-4094

 

 

Port        Vlans allowed and active in management domain

Gi0/1        1

Gi0/2        1

Gi0/3        1

Gi0/4        1

 

 

Port        Vlans in spanning tree forwarding state and not pruned

Gi0/1       1

Gi0/2       1

Gi0/3       1

Gi0/4       1

 

ITKESW02#

 

Second Step configure the Giga Ethernet ports 0/1 to 0/4 in the Etherchannel

 

ITKESW02#config t

ITKESW02(config)# interface range gigabitEthernet 0/1 – 4

ITKESW02(config-if-range)#channel-protocol pagp

 

Note: PAgP protocol is configured to be used in this channel

 

ITKESW02 (config-if-range)# channel-group 1 mode auto

Note: A logical port-channel interface is automatically created when ports are grouped into a channel group.

Configure the mode auto to be used in PAgP 

Now run show command to display the Etherchannel configurations on the Cisco 3560 Catalyst Switches  ITKESW01 and ITKESW02

ITKESW01#sho etherchannel 1 summary

Flags:  D – down        P – in port-channel

        I – stand-alone s – suspended

        H – Hot-standby (LACP only)

        R – Layer3      S – Layer2

        u – unsuitable for bundling

        U – in use      f – failed to allocate aggregator

        d – default port

 

Number of channel-groups in use: 1

Number of aggregators:           1

 

Group  Port-channel  Protocol    Ports

——+————-+———–+———————————————–

1      Po1(SD)          PAgP      Gi0/45 (P)   Gi0/46 (P)  Gi0/47 (P)  Gi0/48 (P)  

ITKESW01#

 

ITKESW02#sho etherchannel 1 summary

Flags:  D – down        P – in port-channel

        I – stand-alone s – suspended

        H – Hot-standby (LACP only)

        R – Layer3      S – Layer2

        u – unsuitable for bundling

        U – in use      f – failed to allocate aggregator

        d – default port

 

Number of channel-groups in use: 1

Number of aggregators:           1

 

Group  Port-channel  Protocol    Ports

——+————-+———–+———————————————–

1      Po1(SD)          PAgP      Gi0/1 (P)   Gi0/2 (P)  Gi0/3 (P)  Gi0/4 (P)  

ITKESW02#

 

In upcoming posts I will show how to configure a Layer 2 Etherchannel  using LACP protocol


January 3, 2009  6:47 AM

Cisco Etherchannel Overview and how it can be configured in Cisco Catalyst Switches – Series 5

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Dear Friends,

 Hope it’s going to be a good beginning in the year 2009 and lest hope to see the peace and harmony all over the world.

Now let’s see what options are available for load balancing in an Etherchannel  bundle.  How does the Cisco Catalyst Switch determines which physical link in the Etherchannel  bundle to use to forward the data?

The answer is the Cisco Catalyst Switch uses a polymorphic algorithm taking key fields from the header of the packet to generate a hash to a physical link in the Etherchannel group.

Data sent across an Etherchannel is not load-balanced equally between all interfaces. Etherchannel  utilizes a load-balancing algorithm, which can be based on several forms of criteria, including:


December 29, 2008  8:00 AM

Cisco Etherchannel Overview and how it can be configured in Cisco Catalyst Switches – Series 4

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Automating and Creating of an Etherchannel.

The automate creation of an Etherchannels group can occur only when the Cisco Switches are running same Etherchannel protocols. Using different Etherchannel protocols at each end will not work. One more important criterion for the automated creation of the Etherchannel  is the links must share the similar physical characteristics.   etherchannel4

Configuration of ports into an Etherchannel  are based on pre defined Etherchannel  modes that are assigned as a default or modified via user configuration to an Ethernet port. There are five Etherchannel modes, which can be used for automated creation of an Etherchannel  .

etherchannel5


December 28, 2008  11:16 AM

Here is the great opportunity to attend virtually the Cisco News Conference at CES 2009

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Dear Friends what a gift from Cisco Systems to its lovers for the New Year 09. Cisco will unveil new consumer products and initiatives during a news conference at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Convention Center on January 7, 2009.

CES Banner Courtesy: Cisco SystemsThe key personalities who are expected to join the stage with the Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers are his team of team of senior executives. They are expected to discuss how Cisco is enabling the connected life through a new class of compelling communication and entertainment experiences that are more visual, more social and more personal. The press conference will be webcast live for those unable to attend in person.

Register to Receive Cisco at CES 2009 Text Messages

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Stay current with what Cisco is doing at CES 2009. Receive video messages and speaker updates both preshow and onsite. Get a text message as soon as new content is posted.Register from your personal computer by going to www.cisco.com/alerts and clicking the text messing registration and manager link. You can register directly from your cell phone by texting to our number 24726 (spells Cisco on your phone keypad) with the word CES in the body of the message.


December 27, 2008  6:19 AM

Cisco Etherchannel Overview and how it can be configured in Cisco Catalyst Switches – Series 3

Yasir Irfan Yasir Irfan Profile: Yasir Irfan

Dear Friends, hope everyone is having great holidays, have fun. In my previous post  I was focusing on some of the limitations of Etherchannel. Now let’s proceed a step ahead and figure out about the Etherchannel negotiation protocols. Etherchannels can be negotiated between two Cisco Catalyst Switches  to provide some dynamic link configuration.

 Basically there are two types of protocols are available, which can be used to bundled the automated creation of an Etherchannel in the Cisco Catalyst Switches.

Etherchannel3

In upcomming post I will try to concentrate on automating the creation of an Etherchannel . Have fun and happy new year 2009.


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