TechStop


March 31, 2012  2:26 PM

Lync for Money Savings

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, Lync is an emerging product. It has made very great strides in the last while in order to replace a traditional phone system. One unexpected benefit of the Lync architecture and specifically the iPhone app is how much money it has saved me personally. The company that I work has a central office with Lync. They allow most of their employees to use the Lync app on their iPhones or Android devices to its fullest extent.

I love the mobile app. It easy to use, reliable and above all lets me make call using the corporate infrastructure from my phone with minimal cost to me. They way the mobile Lync client makes calls is that you launch the app, go to the keypad and type in the number you want to call. The server makes a voice phone call to your cell that is a traditional voice call. When you answer the incoming call from the Lync server it then calls your destination number. The result is that Lync creates a 2 person conference with the server in the middle.

Since the server makes an incoming call the charges to my cell phone bill are much less than they would be if I had to make the long distance calls with my cell alone. It is a great feature that I hope they don’t change anytime soon.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

March 31, 2012  2:12 PM

Cisco CBAC vs ZFW

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, Cisco’s router based CBAC has been around for a while. ZFW is the new comer to the router based firewall market. Determining what the differences are can be tough though. The link below explores these differences from a high level.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/vpndevc/ps5708/ps5710/ps1018/prod_white_paper0900aecd806f31f9.html

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 31, 2012  1:47 PM

Cisco Wireless and ISE

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, are the differences between the Cisco wireless strategy confusing? Do you want more information on the topic that is explained in a way that you can digest? Do you also want to win free stuff? Look no further than Cisco than the link below.

It takes the information about the differences between Cisco wireless and other wireless vendors and breaks it down for you. At the time of this writing you also had the option of entering to win a trip overseas!

https://www.ciscofeedback.vovici.com/se.ashx?s=705E3ECD36B01618

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 31, 2012  1:46 PM

Apple in the Enterprise

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, Apple has made huge in roads in the enterprise mostly by accident. Their product lines aren’t intended to for enterprise. Everything about them screams that they aren’t built in the way that you would expect from products that would be comfortable much less accepted in the enterprise. Despite Apple’s apparent lack of interest in the enterprise the enterprise is interested in using Apple products. Areas from manufacturing to health-care want their iPads.

Recently I was at a client that to use the iPad in their caustic (for hardware) environment mostly because of the ease of use and the battery life. They were willing to spend a solid chunk of change in order to shoe horn the iPad into their corporate security policy. Where we ended up starting with them was with the Apple Configurator (link below). There were more tools needed in order to facilitate their needs but it was a place for them to start.

Over the next few months it will be very interesting to see where Apple takes their product lines as they move into the Enterprise.

Apple Configurator

http://help.apple.com/configurator/mac/1.0/?lang=en-us

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 31, 2012  1:20 PM

Cisco ASA 9.x – Coming Soon

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all,

The ASA-X series has come out with a steady stream of new features over the last few months. One thing that is coming out that hasn’t been announced at the time of this writing is the ASA 9.x ASA OS. What are some of the features that will be in the new ASA 9x code? Glad you asked.

It is planned that the ASA 9 OS will bring together the two lines of ASA that are currently diverged. At this time the older standard ASAs and the new higher powered ASA-X series have different code bases. While the look, feel and features should be similar there are some software differences that are minor. The version 9 of the ASA OS will bring these two ASA lines back to the same code base.

Change of Authorization or CoA is one feature that is very key to the implementation of some of the new security technologies that Cisco has recently come out with. This feature should be in the version 9 of the ASA OS. The feature essentially allows an end device that is authenticated to be moved, once authenticated, to another security container such as a different VLAN once they have authenticated to the network with something like 802.1x.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 31, 2012  1:13 PM

Cisco ASA-X – CX Module

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all,

The ASA-X series has many benefits including higher throughput and an IPS that can be installed by simply adding a license key to the ASA-X series. But what about context based security? For example, let’s say that you want to block FaceBook for people that use Mac’s (because you don’t mac users socializing) but allow it for everyone else. Or let’s say that you want to block a tricky application like Skype.

The CX module, which is a hardware module for the ASA-X series, can allow this type of functionality by scanning the traffic and providing context for the traffic not only the application that is running in the traffic.

At the time that this was written the CX module is only available in the high in ASA-X 5585 but it is planned to be moved down into the lower end ASAs over the coming months/years.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 30, 2012  11:39 PM

ASA-X Series – IPS

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, Cisco’s ASA X series of firewalls boast some impressive numbers for throughput but what about features. Well, the X series will incorporate the ASA IPS directly on the same hardware as the ASA itself. With the X series of ASAs there will no longer be a need to buy a separate hardware module that installs into the ASA-X line. The IPS will be software key that is added to the key store on the ASA.

This is great and frees up a slot on the ASA that has long been the de facto port for the IPS, since all companies should have one. The router line has had this ability to a greater or lesser degree for a while but the routers typically have many more functions that a firewall doesn’t typically perform. The stats on the built-in IPS module aren’t too bad either.

If we take a small snapshot of the comparison page that Cisco has created we can see the numbers for the ASA-X series ASA are far higher than even the separate module from the previous generation. And this free up a slot on the ASA-X’s for say … the CX perhaps?

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 30, 2012  11:15 PM

Cisco ASA X Series – Introduction

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, Cisco’s ASA series of firewalls has been around for some time. The product line and the corresponding technology has moved along at a decent but not break neck pace. When it comes to security products you want the tried and trusted product, not the flashy new kid on the block. Cisco has announced their ASA line of products that will become the next generation of their firewall product.

With the new X series comes some major hardware improvements. Refer to the URL below for a comparison of the old ASA product line to the new ASA product line. The

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6120/prod_models_comparison.html

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 1, 2012  2:37 AM

VMware VS …

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, in the world of hypervisors, is there anyone that is really better (right now) than VMware? In a few years it seems like Microsoft might start to take over the market but VMware is king for the moment.

While a lot of companies would take this an opportunity to coast on their past glory that doesn’t seem to be VMware. Let’s up they can keep up with the innovation.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


March 1, 2012  2:35 AM

VCP 5 Upgrade Course

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, if you were lucky enough to get your VCP 4 upgraded to the new VCP 5 exam then congratulations. If not then you are going to want to check out the “What’s new” course below. It is now a requirement for people who didn’t take the upgrade exam from VCP 4 to VCP 5 in their alloted (very short) window.

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=12457&ui=www_cert

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


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