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SSD and HDD: Advantages and Disadvantages

January 30 2018 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #IT, #Technology

How to choose between a traditional hard drive and a solid-state drive in your next PC?

In the following part we’d like share the detailed analysis of SSD and HDD that tells you the history of HDDs and SSDs, advantages and disadvantages, Hybrid Drives and Dual-Drive Systems and the Storage of tomorrow.

The original reviews from https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404258,00.asp

Until recently, PC buyers had very little choice about what kind of storage to get in a laptop or desktop. If you bought an ultraportable, you likely had a solid-state drive (SSD) as the primary drive (C: on Windows, Macintosh HD on a Mac). Every other desktop or laptop form factor had a hard disk drive (HDD). Now, you can configure most systems with either an HDD or an SSD, or in some cases both. But how do you choose? We explain the differences between SSDs and HDDs (or hard drives), and walk you through the advantages and disadvantage of both to help you decide.

An SSD does functionally everything a hard drive does, but data is instead stored on interconnected flash memory chips that retain the data even when there's no power present. The chips can either be permanently installed on the system's motherboard (as on some small laptops and ultraportables), on a PCI Express (PCIe) card (in some high-end workstations and an increasing number of bleeding-edge consumer systems), or in a box that's sized, shaped, and wired to slot in for a laptop or desktop's hard drive (common on everything else). These flash memory chips are of a different type than is used in USB thumb drives, and are typically faster and more reliable. SSDs are consequently more expensive than USB thumb drives of the same capacities.

Both SSDs and hard drives do the same job: They boot your system, and store your applications and personal files. But each type of storage has its own unique feature set. How do they differ, and why would you want to get one over the other?

Price: SSDs are more expensive than hard drives in terms of dollar per gigabyte. A 1TB internal 2.5-inch hard drive costs between $40 and $50, but as of this writing, an SSD of the same capacity and form factor starts at $250. That translates into 4 to 5 cents per gigabyte for the hard drive and 25 cents per gigabyte for the SSD. Since hard drives use older, more established technology, they will remain less expensive for the near future. Those extra hundreds for the SSD may push your system price over budget.

Maximum and Common Capacity: Although consumer-based SSD units top out at 4TB, those are still rare and expensive. You're more likely to find 500GB to 1TB units as primary drives in systems. While 500GB is considered a "base" hard drive in 2017, pricing concerns can push that down to 128GB for lower-priced SSD-based systems. Multimedia users will require even more, with 1TB to 4TB drives common in high-end systems. Basically, the more storage capacity, the more stuff you can keep on your PC. Cloud-based (Internet) storage may be good for housing files you plan to share among your phone, tablet, and PC, but local storage is less expensive, and you only have to buy it once.

Speed: This is where SSDs shine. An SSD-equipped PC will boot in less than a minute, and often in just seconds. A hard drive requires time to speed up to operating specs, and will continue to be slower than an SSD during normal use. A PC or Mac with an SSD boots faster, launches and runs apps faster, and transfers files faster. Whether you're using your computer for fun, school, or business, the extra speed may be the difference between finishing on time and failing.

Fragmentation: Because of their rotary recording surfaces, hard drives work best with larger files that are laid down in contiguous blocks. That way, the drive head can start and end its read in one continuous motion. When hard drives start to fill up, large files can become scattered around the disk platter, causing the drive to suffer from what's called fragmentation. While read/write algorithms have improved to the point that the effect is minimized, hard drives can still become fragmented. SSDs can't, however, because the lack of a physical read head means data can be stored anywhere. Thus, SSDs are inherently faster.

Durability: An SSD has no moving parts, so it is more likely to keep your data safe in the event you drop your laptop bag or your system is shaken about by an earthquake while it's operating. Most hard drives park their read/write heads when the system is off, but they are flying over the drive platter at a distance of a few nanometers when they are in operation. Besides, even parking brakes have limits. If you're rough on your equipment, an SSD is recommended.

Availability: Hard drives are more plentiful in budget and older systems, but SSDs are becoming more prevalent in recently released laptops. That said, the product lists from Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi are still skewed in favor of hard drive models over SSDs. For PCs and Mac desktops, internal hard drives won't be going away completely, at least for the next few years. SSD model lines are growing in number: Witness the number of thin laptops with 256 to 512GB SSDs installed in place of hard drives.

Form Factors: Because hard drives rely on spinning platters, there is a limit to how small they can be manufactured. There was an initiative to make smaller 1.8-inch spinning hard drives, but that's stalled at about 320GB, since the phablet and smartphone manufacturers have settled on flash memory for their primary storage. SSDs have no such limitation, so they can continue to shrink as time goes on. SSDs are available in 2.5-inch laptop drive-sized boxes, but that's only for convenience. As laptops continue to become slimmer and tablets take over as primary platforms for Web surfing, you'll start to see the adoption of SSDs skyrocket.

Noise: Even the quietest hard drive will emit a bit of noise when it is in use from the drive spinning or the read arm moving back and forth, particularly if it's in a system that's been banged about or if it's been improperly installed in an all-metal system. Faster hard drives will make more noise than those that are slower. SSDs make virtually no noise at all, since they're non-mechanical.

Power: An SSD doesn't have to expend electricity spinning up a platter from a standstill. Consequently, none of the energy consumed by the SSD is wasted as friction or noise, rendering them more efficient. On a desktop or in a server, that will lead to a lower energy bill. On a laptop or tablet, you'll be able to eke out more minutes (or hours) of battery life.

Overall: Hard drives win on price, capacity, and availability. SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, form factor, noise, or fragmentation (technically part of speed) are important factors to you. If it weren't for the price and capacity issues, SSDs would be the hands-down winner.

As far as longevity, while it is true that SSDs wear out over time (each cell in a flash memory bank can be written to and erased a limited number of times), thanks to TRIM command technology that dynamically optimizes these read/write cycles, you're more likely to discard the system for obsolescence (after six years or so) before you start running into read/write errors with an SSD. If you're really worried, there are several tools that monitor the S.M.A.R.T. status of your hard drive or SSD, and will let you know if you're approaching the drive's rated end of life. Hard drives will eventually wear out from constant use as well, since they use physical recording methods. Longevity is a wash when it's separated from travel and ruggedness concerns.

http://www.pcmag.com/videos/2015/02/17/021715-ssd-vs-hdd-whats-the-difference 

The Right Storage for You

So, does an SSD or HDD (or a hybrid of the two) fit your needs? Let's break it down:

HDDs

• Enthusiast multimedia users and heavy downloaders: Video collectors need space, and you can only get to 4TB of space cheaply with hard drives.
• Budget buyers: Ditto. Plenty of cheap space. SSDs are too expensive for $500 PC buyers.
• Graphic arts and engineering professionals: Video and photo editors wear out storage by overuse. Replacing a 1TB hard drive will be cheaper than replacing a 500GB SSD.
• General users: General users are a toss-up. Folks who prefer to download their media files locally will still need a hard drive with more capacity. But if you mostly stream your music and videos online, then buying a smaller SSD for the same money will give you a better experience.

SSDs

• Road warriors: People who shove their laptops into their bags indiscriminately will want the extra security of an SSD. That laptop may not be fully asleep when you violently shut it to catch your next flight. This also includes folks who work in the field, like utility workers and university researchers.
• Speed demons: If you need things done now, spend the extra bucks for quick boot-ups and app launches. Supplement with a storage SSD or hard drive if you need extra space (see below).
• Graphic arts and engineering professionals: Yes, we know we said they need hard drives, but the speed of an SSD may make the difference between completing two proposals for your client and completing five. These users are prime candidates for dual-drive systems (more on that below).
• Audio engineers and musicians: If you're recording music, you don't want the scratchy sound from a hard drive intruding. Go for quieter SSDs.

Hybrid Drives and Dual-Drive Systems

Back in the mid 2000s, some hard drive manufacturers, like Samsung and Seagate, theorized that if you add a few gigabytes of flash chips to a spinning hard drive, you'd get a so-called "hybrid" drive combining a hard drive's large storage capacity with the performance of an SSD, at a price only slightly higher than that of a typical hard drive. The flash memory acts as a buffer for frequently used files, so your system has the potential for booting and launching your most important apps faster, even though you can't directly install anything in that space yourself. In practice, hybrid drives work, but they are still more expensive and more complex than regular hard drives. They work best for people like road warriors who need both lots of storage and fast boot times. Since they're an in-between product, hybrid drives don't necessarily replace dedicated hard drives or SSDs.

In a dual-drive system, the system manufacturer will install a small SSD primary drive (C:) for the operating system and apps, and add a larger spinning hard drive (D: or E:) for storing files. This works well in theory; in practice, manufacturers can go too small on the SSD. Windows itself takes up a lot of space on the primary drive, and some apps can't be installed on other drives. Some capacities may also be too small. For example, you caninstall Windows on a SSD as small as 16GB, but there will be little room for anything else. In our opinion, 120GB to 128GB is a practical minimum size for the C: drive, with 256GB or more being even better. Space concerns are the same as with any multiple-drive system: You need physical space inside the PC chassis to hold two (or more) drives.

Last but not least, an SSD and a hard drive can be combined (like Voltron) on systems with technologies like Intel's Smart Response Technology (SRT). SRT uses the SSD invisibly to act as a cache to help the system more speedily boot and launch programs. As on a hybrid drive, the SSD is not directly accessible by the end user. SRT requires true SSDs, like those in 2.5-inch form factors, but those drives can be as small as 16GB in capacity and still boost performance; since the operating system isn't being installed to the SSD directly, you avoid the drive space problems of the dual-drive configuration mentioned above. On the other hand, your PC will need space for two drives, a requirement that may exclude some laptops and small-form-factor desktops. You'll also need the SSD and your system's motherboard to support the caching technology for this scenario to work. All in all, however, it's an interesting workaround.

The Storage of Tomorrow

It's unclear whether SSDs will totally replace traditional spinning hard drives, especially with shared cloud storage waiting in the wings. The price of SSDs is coming down, but they're still too expensive to totally replace the terabytes of data that some users have in their PCs and Macs. Cloud storage isn't free, either: You'll continue to pay as long as you want personal storage on the Internet. Local storage won't go away until we have ubiquitous wireless Internet everywhere, including in planes and out in the wilderness. Of course, by that time, there may be something better.

Info from https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404258,00.asp

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The Latest Updated: SFP Modules for Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches

January 12 2018 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Switches - Cisco Firewall, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #Cisco Modules & Cards, #Networking

We are so familiar with the hot Catalyst 2960-X series, and what are the SFP Transceiver Models for 2960 X Series? Check the table below about the latest SFP models for 2960 X Series.

Catalyst 2960 X Series

Network Device

Transceiver Model

Minimum Software Release Required

DOM Support

Software Release

WS-C2960X-24TS-LL
WS-C2960X-48TS-LL

GLC-LH-SMD
GLC-SX-MMD
GLC-EX-SMD1
GLC-T
GLC-TE
GLC-LH-SM
GLC-SX-MM
GLC-GE-100FX

15.0(2)EX

15.0(2)EX

WS-C2960X-24PSQ-L

GLC-BX-D
GLC-BX-U
GLC-LH-SMD
GLC-SX-MMD
GLC-EX-SMD1
GLC-ZX-SMD
GLC-T
GLC-TE
GLC-ZX-SM
GLC-LH-SM
GLC-SX-MM

15.0(2)EX

15.0(2)EX

WS-C2960X-24PS-L
WS-C2960X-24TS-L
WS-C2960X-48TS-L
WS-C2960X-48LPS-L
WS-C2960X-48FPS-L
WS-C2960X-24TD-L
WS-C2960X-24PD-L
WS-C2960X-48TD-L
WS-C2960X-48LPD-L
WS-C2960X-48FPD-L

GLC-BX-D
GLC-BX-U
GLC-LH-SMD
GLC-SX-MMD
GLC-EX-SMD1
GLC-ZX-SMD
GLC-T
GLC-TE
GLC-ZX-SM
GLC-LH-SM
GLC-SX-MM
CWDM-SFP
GLC-GE-100FX

15.0(2)EX

15.0(2)EX

 

SFP Transceivers

Model Number

Transceiver Description

GLC-T=

1000BASE-T SFP transceiver module for Category 5 copper wire, RJ-45 connector

GLC-TE=

1000BASE-T SFP transceiver module for Category 5 copper wire, RJ-45 connector, Extended Temperature

GLC-SX-MM=

1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-LH-SM=

1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver module for MMF and SMF, 1300-nm wavelength, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-ZX-SM=

1000BASE-ZX SFP transceiver module for SMF, 1550-nm wavelength, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-BX-D=

1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector

GLC-BX-U=

1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1310-nm TX/1490-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector

GLC-BX40-D-I

1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1550-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector

GLC-BX40-U-I

1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1310-nm TX/1550-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector

GLC-BX80-D-I

1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1570-nm TX/1490-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector

GLC-BX80-U-I

1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1490-nm TX/1570-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector

GLC-BX40-DA-I

1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, single LC/PC connector

GLC-2BX-D=

Dual-channel 1000BASE-BX10 SFP module for single-strand SMF, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, two single LC/PC connectors

SFP-GE-S=

1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, extended operating temperature range and DOM support, dual LC/PC connector

SFP-GE-L=

1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver module for MMF and SMF, 1300-nm wavelength, extended operating temperature range and DOM support, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-EX-SMD=

1000BASE-EX SFP transceiver module for SMF, 1310-nm wavelength, extended operating temperature range and DOM support, dual LC/PC connector

SFP-GE-Z=

1000BASE-ZX SFP transceiver module for SMF, 1550-nm wavelength, extended operating temperature range and DOM support, dual LC/PC connector

SFP-GE-T=

1000BASE-T SFP transceiver module for Category 5 copper wire, extended operating temperature range, RJ-45 connector

GLC-SX-MM-RGD

1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, industrial Ethernet, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-LX-SM-RGD

1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver module for MMF and SMF, 1300-nm wavelength, industrial Ethernet, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-ZX-SM-RGD

1000BASE-ZX SFP transceiver module for SMF, 1550-nm wavelength, industrial Ethernet, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-SX-MMD=

1000BASE-SX SFP transceiver module for MMF, 850-nm wavelength, extended operating temperature range and DOM support, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-LH-SMD=

1000BASE-LX/LH SFP transceiver module for MMF and SMF, 1300-nm wavelength, extended operating temperature range and DOM support, dual LC/PC connector

GLC-ZX-SMD=

1000BASE-ZX SFP transceiver module for SMF, 1550-nm wavelength, dual LC/PC connector

SFP-GPON-B

Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) Class B+ SFP OLT transceiver module, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength

SFP-GPON-B-I

Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) Class B+ SFP OLT transceiver module, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, industrial temperature range

SFP-GPON-C

Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) Class C+ SFP OLT transceiver module, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength

SFP-GPON-C-I

Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) Class C+ SFP OLT transceiver module, 1490-nm TX/1310-nm RX wavelength, industrial temperature range

1CPN 10-2624-01 or later only.

The full data sheet of Cisco Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver Modules Compatibility Matrix you can visit here:

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/interfaces_modules/transceiver_modules/compatibility/matrix/GE_Tx_Matrix.html

 

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Wi-Fi/802.11x Standards

January 8 2018 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #IT, #Technology

Wi-Fi is so popular today. Do you know the Wi-Fi standards and how wifi works?

In the following part we will share the main information about the Wi-Fi standard (also called the 802.11x standard). The original info from

http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is a term for certain types of wireless local area networks (WLAN) that use specifications in the 802.11 family--for example,  Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer specification that allows devices certified for Wi-Fi Direct to exchange data without an internet connection or a wireless router. 

Products that pass Wi-Fi Alliance tests for interoperability, security and application-specific protocols are labeled "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED," a registered trademark of the Alliance.

How does Wi-Fi work?

A Wi-Fi network uses radio waves to wirelessly transmit information across a LAN, the reach of which can be extended by a Wi-Fi range extender. A computer utilizes a wireless adapter to translate data transmitted by radio waves. These waves are different from those emitted by, for example, FM radios, for which frequency is measured in megahertz (MHz). Wi-Fi's signals are transmitted in frequencies of between 2.5 and 5 gigahertz (GHz). This signal is then transmitted from the adapter through a router, after which it is sent to the internet.

Wi-Fi is widely used in businesses, agencies, schools and homes as an alternative to a wired LAN. Many airports, hotels and fast-food facilities offer public access to Wi-Fi networks. These locations are known as hotspots. Many charge a daily or hourly rate for access, but some are free. An interconnected area of hotspots and network access points is known as a hot zone.

What are hotspots?

Modern smart phones and tablets are also able to turn into Wi-Fi hotspots, using their cellular network connections to provide wireless internet connectivity to computers and other devices.

To access Wi-Fi hotspots, computers should include wireless adapters. These can be found on laptops and mobile devices, such as tablets or mobile phones. If for some reason your computer doesn't include such an adapter, one can be purchased that can be inserted into the PCI slot or USB port. Your computer should then be able to locate Wi-Fi networks automatically in the area. These can either be open networks or protected networks; the latter can be joined by entering a Wi-Fi password.

Unless adequately protected, a Wi-Fi network can be susceptible to access by unauthorized users who use the access as a free internet connection. The activity of locating and exploiting security-exposed wireless LANs is called war driving. An identifying iconography, called war chalking, has evolved. Any entity that has a wireless LAN should use security safeguards, such as the Wired Equivalent Privacy, or WEP, encryption standard; the more recent Wi-Fi Protected Access, or WPA; Internet Protocol Security, or IPsec; or a virtual private network, or VPN. 

The term Wi-Fi was created by the Wi-Fi Alliance as a play on Hi-Fi, an abbreviation for high fidelity, which referred to high-quality audio reproduction. Similarly, Wi-Fi is often thought to be short for wireless fidelity. However, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi is not an abbreviation. The confusion may stem from the fact that the Alliance briefly used, "The standard for wireless fidelity," as a slogan for Wi-Fi. 

Originally, Wi-Fi certification was applicable only to products using the 802.11b standard.

Today, Wi-Fi can apply to products that use any 802.11 standard. The 802.11 specifications are part of an evolving set of wireless network standards known as the 802.11 family.

The particular specification under which a Wi-Fi network operates is called the "flavor" of the network.

802

Overview

Basics of physical and logical networking concepts

802.1

Bridging

LAN/MAN bridging and management. Covers management and the lower sublayers of OSI Layer 2, including MAC-based bridging (Media Access Control), virtual LANs and port-based access control.

802.2

Logical Link

Commonly referred to as the LLC, or Logical Link Control specification. The LLC is the top sublayer in the data-link layer, OSI Layer 2. Interfaces with the network Layer 3.

802.3

Ethernet

"Granddaddy" of the 802 specifications. Provides asynchronous networking using "carrier sense, multiple access with collision detect" (CSMA/CD) over coax, twisted-pair copper and fiber media. Current speeds range from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. Click for a list of the hot 802.3 technologies.

802.4

Token bus

Disbanded

802.5

Token ring

The original token-passing standard for twisted-pair, shielded copper cables. Supports copper and fiber cabling from 4 Mbps to 100 Mbps. Often called "IBM Token-Ring."

802.6

Distributed queue dual bus (DQDB)

"Superseded **Revision of 802.1D-1990 edition (ISO/IEC 10038). 802.1D incorporates P802.1p and P802.12e. It also incorporates and supersedes published standards 802.1j and 802.6k. Superseded by 802.1D-2004." (See IEEE status page.)

802.7

Broadband LAN practices

Withdrawn standard. Withdrawn date: Feb. 7, 2003. No longer endorsed by the IEEE. (See IEEE status page.)

802.8

Fiber optic practices

Withdrawn PAR. Standards project no longer endorsed by the IEEE. (See IEEE status page.)

802.9

Integrated services LAN

Withdrawn PAR. Standards project no longer endorsed by the IEEE. (See IEEE status page.)

802.10

Interoperable LAN security

Superseded **Contains: IEEE Standard 802.10b-1992. (See IEEE status page.)

802.11

 Wi-Fi

Wireless LAN Media Access Control and Physical Layer specification. 802.11a,b,g,etc. are amendments to the original 802.11 standard. Products that implement 802.11 standards must pass tests and are referred to as "Wi-Fi-certified."

802.11a

 

  • Specifies a PHY that operates in the 5 GHz U-NII band in the U.S. -- initially 5.15-5.35 and 5.725-5.85 -- since expanded to additional frequencies;
  • Uses Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing;
  • Enhanced data speed to 54 Mbps; and
  • Ratified after 802.11b.

802.11b

 

  • Enhancement to 802.11 that added higher data rate modes to the DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum) already defined in the original 802.11 standard;
  • Boosted data speed to 11 Mbps;
  • 22 MHz bandwidth yields three nonoverlapping channels in the frequency range of 2.400 GHz to 2.4835 GHz; and
  • Beacons at 1 Mbps, falls back to 5.5, 2 or 1 Mbps from 11 Mbps max.

802.11d

 

  • Enhancement to 802.11a and 802.11b that allows for global roaming; and
  • Particulars can be set at Media Access Control layer.

802.11e

 

  • Enhancement to 802.11 that includes quality-of-service features; and
  • Facilitates prioritization of data, voice and video transmissions.

802.11g

 

  • Extends the maximum data rate of WLAN devices that operate in the 2.4 GHz band, in a fashion that permits interoperation with 802.11b devices;
  • Uses OFDM Modulation (Orthogonal FDM); and
  • Operates at up to 54 (Mbps, with fallback speeds that include the "b" speeds.

802.11h

 

  • Enhancement to 802.11a that resolves interference issues;
  • Dynamic frequency selection; and
  • Transmit power control.

802.11i

 

  • Enhancement to 802.11 that offers additional security for WLAN applications; and
  • Defines more robust encryption, authentication and key exchange, as well as options for key caching and preauthentication.

802.11j

 

  • Japanese regulatory extensions to 802.11a specification; and
  • Frequency range of 4.9 GHz to 5.0 GHz.

802.11k

 

  • Radio resource measurements for networks using 802.11 family specifications

802.11m

 

  • Maintenance of 802.11 family specifications; and
  • Corrections and amendments to existing documentation.

802.11n

 

  • Higher-speed standards;
  • Several competing and noncompatible technologies -- often called "pre-n";
  • Top speeds claimed of 108, 240, and 350+ MHz; and
  • Competing proposals come from the groups, EWC, TGn Sync and WWiSE, and are all variations based on MIMO (multiple input, multiple output).

802.11x

 

  • Misused generic term for 802.11 family specifications

802.12

Demand priority

Increases Ethernet data rate to 100 Mbps by controlling media utilization.

802.13

Not used

Not used

802.14

Cable modems

Withdrawn PAR. Standards project no longer endorsed by the IEEE.

 802.15

Wireless personal area networks

Communications specification that was approved in early 2002 by the IEEE for wireless personal area networks, or WPANs.

802.15.1

Bluetooth

Short range (10m) wireless technology for cordless mouse, keyboard and hands-free headset at 2.4 GHz.

802.15.3a

UWB

Short-range, high-bandwidth ultra wideband link

802.15.4

ZigBee

Short-range wireless sensor networks

802.15.5

Mesh network

  • Extension of network coverage without increasing the transmit power or the receiver sensitivity;
  • Enhanced reliability via route redundancy; and
  • Easier network configuration and better device battery life.

802.16

Wireless metropolitan area networks

This family of standards covers Fixed and Mobile Broadband Wireless Access methods used to create wireless metropolitan area networks. Connects base stations to the internet using OFDM in unlicensed (900 MHz, 2.4, 5.8 GHz) or licensed (700 MHz, 2.5-3.6 GHz) frequency bands. Products that implement 802.16 standards can undergo WiMAX certification testing.

802.17

Resilient Packet Ring

IEEE working group description

802.18

Radio Regulatory TAG

IEEE 802.18 standards committee

802.19

Coexistence

IEEE 802.19 Coexistence Technical Advisory Group

802.20

Mobile Broadband Wireless Access

IEEE 802.20 mission and project scope

802.21

Media Independent Handoff

IEEE 802.21 mission and project scope

802.22

Wireless regional area network

IEEE 802.22 mission and project scope

History of Wifi

This was last updated in January 2017

Info from http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/definition/Wi-Fi

 

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More Wireless Topics you can visit: http://blog.router-switch.com/category/technology/wireless/

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Cisco UPOE, Benefits and Solutions

December 18 2017 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #Cisco Technology - IT News, #IT, #Technology

Cisco Universal Power over Ethernet (UPOE) extends the IEEE Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) standard to double the power per port to 60 watts.

Cisco UPOE can extend resilient network power to a broad range of devices, including virtual desktop terminals, IP turrets, compact switches, building management gateways, LED lights, wireless access points, and IP phones.

Cisco UPOE is currently available on the Cisco Catalyst 4500E and Cisco Catalyst 3850 platforms.

UPoE Architecture

As defined in IEEE 802.3af and IEEE 802.3at, PoE delivers electrical power over two pairs out of the four twisted pairs of cable in Class D (also known as Cat5e) or better, cabling as specified in ISO/IEC 11801:1995. A PSE uses only signal pairs, the pairs 1, 2 and 3, 6, to transport power from the PSE to the PD and leaves the spare pairs, the pairs 4, 5 and 7, 8, idle. This architecture can deliver up to 30W per port.

UPOE uses the same cabling standard as PoE. Instead of delivering power over two twisted pairs, it provides the capability to source up to 60W of power by using all the four pairs of standard Ethernet cabling (Cat5e or better).

The architecture for a 4-pair system is pretty straightforward; it is an extension of the 2-pair design. The 2-pair system uses one PSE controller to power the PD through the signal pairs of the cable. In the new 4-pair system two PSE controllers will be used to power both the signal pairs and the spare pairs. Figure 6 shows the UPOE architecture.

UPoE Operation

PoE/PoE Plus/UPOE comparison

 

PoE

PoE Plus

UPOE

Minimum cable type

Cat5e

Cat5e

Cat5e

IEEE standard definition

802.3af

802.3at

Cisco proprietary

Maximum power per PSE port

15.4W

30W

60W

Maximum power to PD

12.95W

25.5W

51W

Twisted pair used

2-pair

2-pair

4-pair

Available on Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches, Cisco UPOE can:

  • Lower capital expenditures by eliminating wall circuits for endpoints
  • Reduce operating expenses by consolidating distributed uninterruptible power supply (UPS) deployments
  • Reduce deployment time through interoperability testing of devices
  • Reduce energy expenditure through Cisco EnergyWise
  • Extend intelligent load shedding capabilities to the devices connected to the switch

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Updated-5 Tips for Choosing a Next-Generation Firewall/NGFW

November 28 2017 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco Switches - Cisco Firewall, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #IT, #Technology

Not sure this is the firewall for you? Read the 5 tips for Choosing a Next-Generation Firewall today.

If you decide to invest in a threat-focused Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), you can ask like this: If it delivers…

1. Integrated Threat Defense

Get actionable, multi-layered protection.

Today’s multi-vector and persistent threats slip through gaps in protection and evade detection. A threat-focused NGFW provides best-in-class security technologies that work together across the network and endpoints and are managed through a central console. Built on a comprehensive stateful ­firewall foundation, threat-focused NGFW technologies should include:

  • Next-Generation IPS
  • Advanced Malware Protection
  • Application Visibility and Control
  • Reputation-based URL filtering
  • Application-level VPN
  • With integrated threat and advanced malware protection that continuously correlates threat intelligence across security layers, you can identify and protect against sophisticated attacks.

 

2. Actionable Indicators of Compromise

Accelerate malware detection to mitigate risk.

The current industry standard time to detect a threat is between 100 to 200 days; that’s far too long. An NGFW should provide actionable indicators of compromise (IoCs) that:

  • Correlate network and endpoint security intelligence
  • Provide highly accurate visibility into suspect and malicious ­le and host behavior
  • Prioritize infected hosts for rapid remediation
  • Actionable IoCs let you see malware activity on hosts and endpoints, understand the impact, and quickly contain and remediate.

 

3. Comprehensive Network Visibility

Increase security effectiveness with a holistic view.

You can’t protect what you can’t see. You need to monitor what’s happening on your network at all times. An NGFW should provide full contextual awareness of:

  • Users, operating systems, and devices
  • Communications between virtual machines
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Applications and website access
  • File transfers, and more
  • This level of insight helps you identify and address security gaps and fine-tune policies so as to reduce the number of significant events requiring additional action.

 

4. Reduced Complexity and Costs

Unify security layers and automate for efficiencies.

A combination of advanced threats and a shortage of skilled IT security professionals is stretching IT departments to the max. Look for an NGFW that:

  • Consolidates multiple layers of defenses on a single platform
  • Delivers consistent and robust security at scale
  • Automates routine security tasks like impact assessment, policy tuning, and user identi­fication
  • By reducing complexity and costs your team is freed up to focus on events that matter most.

 

5. Integration with Third-Party Solutions

Maximize existing security investments.

You need to be able to share intelligence and better leverage existing security technologies to consolidate and streamline response. Look for an NGFW that is open and integrates smoothly with an ecosystem of third-party security solutions like:

  • Vulnerability management systems
  • Network visualization and SIEM systems
  • Workflow remediation and ticketing systems
  • Network access control (NAC), and more
  • Third-party solution integration reduces your IT burden and total cost of ownership (TCO) and strengthens multi-layered protection.

Attacks will continue to evolve as will the IT environment you need to protect. Make sure the NGFW you select provides tightly integrated, multi-layered threat protection. By sharing context and intelligence among security functions you accelerate threat detection and response across your organization, and get the most from your investments.

The tips from https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/security/next-gen-firewall.pdf

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Cisco 1000 Series ISRs-Digital Ready, Fixed-platform

November 16 2017 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco Routers, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #Cisco News

Cisco 1000 Series ISRs, Cisco’s newest fixed, high-performance routers, small yet powerful, are easy to deploy and manage with advanced capabilities.

They provide highly secure broadband, Metro Ethernet, and wireless LAN connectivity. 

The Cisco 1000 Series ISR platform with a small form factor is best suited for small and midsize businesses, enterprise branches, and as customer premises equipment in managed services environments.

  1. The routers come in two models: an 8-LAN-port option and a 4-LAN-port option.
  2.  

  3. They have high performance with Gigabit Ethernet packet forwarding capabilities. The multicore architecture has separate cores for data plane and control plane.
  4. The 1000 Series ISRs support Power over Ethernet (PoE) and PoE+ to power branch devices such as IP phones and cameras.
  5. They are easy to deploy with zero-touch provisioning using Plug-and-Play capability. There are multiple LAN, WLAN, WAN, and LTE combinations to choose from, depending on your branch needs.
  6. The 1000 Series can be used in ATMs, retail stores, and kiosks, as well as for various other purposes.

The Cisco 1000 Series Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) are the latest high end fixed routing ISRs. They are based on Cisco IOS® XE Software, with great performance at a low price point, perfect for small and midsize businesses, for enterprise branches, and as Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) in managed services environments. They address increased mobility demands with LTE Advanced and 802.11ac (Wave 2) Wi-Fi.

The key difference between the 1000 Series ISRs and the 800 Series routers

More simple questions and answers help you know more about the new 1000 Series ISRs

Q: Can I continue to order the 800 Series routers after the 1000 Series ISRs are orderable?

A: Yes, the 800 Series routers are not at end of sale or end of life. You can continue to order the 800 Series after the 1000 Series ISRs are orderable.

 

Q: What are the different models of the 1000 Series ISRs?

A: The 1000 Series ISRs have two primary models, with 8 LAN ports (C1100-8P) and 4 LAN ports (C1100-4P). Both come with varied combinations of WAN interfaces, LTE, and Wi-Fi options.

 

Q: What are the different SKUs/product IDs for the 1000 Series?

A: Multiple SKUs are available for the 8-port and 4-port models that offer a combination of WAN links (Gigabit Ethernet, DSL, and LTE) and wireless LAN capabilities. Please refer to the product ID table in the data sheet for the full list.

 

Q: What kind of CPU is used in the 1000 Series ISRs?

A: The naming convention for the 1000 Series ISR product IDs is given in the table below.

Q: What is the naming convention for the 1000 Series ISR product IDs?

A: The CPU in the 1000 Series ISRs is a 4-core ARM processor with separate cores used for data plane, data plane scheduler, and control plane. The fourth core is currently not used. There is a different crypto engine for cryptographic operations.

 

Q: What is the size of the DRAM on the 1000 Series ISR models? How much flash is available on the device?

A: Both the 4-LAN-port and 8-LAN-port 1000 Series ISRs come with 4 GB of RAM and 4 GB of flash storage by default.

 

Q: Are the 1000 Series ISRs fanless routers?

A: Yes, the 1000 Series ISRs are fanless, fixed branch routers with multiple WAN link options.

 

Q: What Cisco IOS Software version is supported on the 1000 Series ISRs?

A: The 1000 Series ISRs are based on Cisco IOS XE Software and will support the Cisco IOS XE 16.6.1 Universal image.

 

Licensing

Q: What is the license packaging model for the 1000 Series?

A: The licensing model for the 1000 Series ISRs uses the IP Base, App, and Security licenses. The 1000 Series comes with the IP Base license by default. For additional security features and Application Experience features, the Security and App licenses, respectively, have to be purchased.

Q: Is there a performance license for the 1000 Series ISRs?

A: A performance license is needed only for encrypted traffic of over 50 Mbps. With the IP Base and Security licenses, you can get up to 50 Mbps of IPsec throughput. On the 4-LAN-port model, you can purchase an IPsec Performance license for a 100-Mbps upgrade, and on the 8-LAN-port model, you can purchase an IPsec Performance license for a 200-Mbps upgrade.

 

Q: What features are part of the IP Base, App and Security licenses?

A: Please refer to the software licensing document for the 1000 Series ISRs, which will list all the features that are part of the different licenses available.

 

Q: Is the software license Right-to-Use (RTU)?

A: Yes, all the software licenses on the 1000 Series are Right-to-Use and do not need a license file to be installed.

 

Q: Will the 1000 Series support Cisco ONE™ licensing, and what license features will it cover?

A: Yes, the 1000 Series ISRs support Cisco ONE licenses. The Cisco ONE license will include the IP Base, App, and Security licenses for the platform. The IPsec Performance license will have to be purchased separately.

 

Hardware features

Q: Is the 1000 Series PoE and PoE+ capable?

A: Yes, the 8-LAN-port model supports either 4 PoE ports or 2 PoE+ ports. The 4-LAN-port model supports either 2 PoE ports or 1 PoE+ port. When PoE or PoE+ is ordered, the default 66W power supply is replaced with a 125W power supply for the 8-port model and with a 115W power supply for the 4-port model.

More FAQ of 1000 Series ISRs you can read here: https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/routers/1000-series-integrated-services-routers-isr/q-and-a-c67-739639.pdf

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/routers/1000-series-integrated-services-routers-isr/datasheet-c78-739512.pdf

More Cisco Router Topics you can visit here: http://blog.router-switch.com/category/reviews/cisco-routers/

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Cisco BE7000, Scalable Collaboration for Enterprises

November 7 2017 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #Cisco Technology - IT News, #IT, #Technology

Cisco Business Edition 7000 is an all-in-one, end-to-end collaboration solution designed for fast-growing enterprises.

Empower your employees to engage and innovate anywhere, on any device, any time, with industry-leading technology.

Cisco BE7000, Scalable Collaboration for Enterprises

  • Voice over IP phone system (VoIP): Comprehensive Unified Communications capabilities including voice and video calling, voicemail, messaging and presence, contact center and mobility options for every user.
  • Easy installation and management: It’s preloaded with all the essential collaboration applications you need, and simple to deploy and manage.  Consolidate your communications infrastructure costs and reduce maintenance overheads.
  • Flexible premises and hybrid cloud deployment: Deploy essential communications on-premises and add the latest meetings and messaging services from the Cisco Spark collaboration cloud.
  • Scalable design for future growth: It’s purpose-built for small and midsize businesses with the industry’s leading Cisco Unified Communications Manager. It grows with the pace of your business as you add new users or locations.

Cisco Unified Communications Solutions- Flexible, Affordable, Easy to deploy and Manage, and Scalable to Support business growth

Cisco Business Edition 6000S

Cisco Business Edition 6000

Cisco Business Edition 7000

Cisco Spark

Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution

Great for small scale collaboration

Great for midsize collaboration

Great for large scale collaboration

Great for team productivity

Flexible, agile, efficient cloud collaboration

Small business phone system, mobility, messaging, routing, and security in a single server

Small to midsized phone system, mobility, messaging, contact center, and conferencing in a single server

Enterprise scale phone system, mobility, messaging, contact center, and conferencing in a modular, scale-out server solution

The Cisco Spark service is a complete collaboration-as-a-service (CaaS) offering that delivers unified messaging, meeting, and calling capabilities that are hosted by Cisco and sold by partners.

Voice, video, unified communications, contact center, mobility, and more as a service from Certified Cisco Partners

Cisco BE7000, a perfectly affordable, simple, and very cool packaged collaboration solution with zero maximum capacity limits on users, devices, locations and applications. 

Built with a modular and stackable design, BE7000 scales however customers need, whenever they want. Check it out!

 

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Cisco Business Edition 4000 Makes Your Communications More Simple

October 26 2017 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #Cisco Technology - IT News, #IT, #Technology

easy-to-use? cloud-managed? Yes, ideal for small to midsize businesses and supports up to 200 phones, the BE4000, simple, cloud-managed office communications, can help reduce your communications costs and is easy to set up and manage.

Cisco Business Edition 4000, this modern, cloud-managed IP phone system is optimized for small and midsize businesses with up to 200 phones.

Features

Support for the latest IP phones

Choose the right phone for the right situation. Business Edition 4000 supports a wide range of the latest Cisco IP Phone 7800 Series and 8800 Series phones.

Essential calling features

Never miss a call with Business Edition 4000. Make, receive, park, hold, and transfer calls. Access your voicemail. Create hunt groups. Join audio conferences. Route calls effectively with an auto-attendant.

Easy cloud management

Customized views for partners, IT administrators, and end-users give easy access to the key information you need. Intuitive menus make it simple to add new users and phones, turn on calling features, and set your personal preferences.

Security and privacy

All your system data is encrypted, and the Business Edition Management portal supports multi-tenancy, with the two-factor authentication required for admin login.

Investment protection

At the end of your plan, simply renew your Business Edition 4000 subscription. Or migrate to a complete Cisco Spark plan. Enhance return on your initial investment by reusing your Cisco IP phones.

How to deploy Business Edition 4000?

Talk with a Cisco partner to learn more and choose the best options for you.

  • Choose your plan

Our one-, three-, or five-year, pre-paid term-based licensing plans make investment planning easy.

  • Add your hardware

     

Choose the phone and interface card you need to connect to the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

  • Preconfigure your solution

Your Cisco partner preconfigures your dial plan and calling features prior to shipment using our cloud-hosted management portal.

  • Deploy in less than a day

Your system automatically gets its configuration from the cloud and our partner completes the install.

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Cisco 4400 and 4300 Series ISRs, the Differences

October 19 2017 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #Cisco Routers, #Cisco & Cisco Network, #IT

Cisco ISR 4000 series is the trend among the hardware routers. The popular 4000 Series

ISR models are users’ options. Why? You can read more about the The “Always On” Cisco ISR 4000 Will Replace the Popular Cisco 1900, 2900, and 3900 Series-Benefits of Migrating to Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Routers

The 4000 Series comes to five platforms: the 4451, 4431, 4351, 4331, 4321 and 4221 ISRs.

Learn more: ISR 4221, the New Cisco DNA-Ready Platform

Cisco 4000 Series: Technical Highlights and Comparison

The Cisco 4000 Series uses Cisco IOS XE Software, the same Linux-based OS found on the bigger ASR 1000 Series platforms. Cisco IOS XE retains the design and user interface of the Cisco IOS OS used by previous generation Cisco routers, yet allows the use of multi-core CPUs. This setup facilitates separation of the data and control planes and uses dedicated CPUs for services.

Because the services plane is separate from the data and control planes, the router can handle more and heavier services on a single platform, allowing an office to consolidate devices. Solutions such as Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE), Cisco Unified Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST), or various routing services can be deployed more easily and efficiently on a single ISR. In addition, for many of the services, such as CUBE, the scalability is significantly greater without added costs per port. Performance also remains solid across most typical branch-office deployments, providing application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)-like performance in a highly reliable platform.

X86-based embedded service containers offer dedicated virtualized computing resources that include CPU, disk storage, and memory for each service. An industry-standard hypervisor presents the underlying infrastructure to the application or service. This design offers better scaling and flexibility than a tightly coupled service. Deployment with zero footprint, security through fault isolation, and the flexibility to upgrade network services independently of the router software are other benefits.

And the Cisco 4400 and 4300 Series ISRs have a very similar user interface design.

The biggest difference to most users is that the 4400 Series supports dual power supplies, whereas the 4300 Series does not; this difference makes the Cisco 4451 and 4431 the preferred choices for organizations that cannot tolerate any downtime.

The 4400 and 4300 Series are both designed with the same base architecture as their close relative, the ASR 1000 Series, using distributed control and data plane resources.

The 4400 Series routers have a physical separation between control and data planes, using dedicated CPU sockets for each. The 4300 Series uses a single socket with multiple CPU cores, providing the distributed control plane, data plane, and service plane resources. This is, however, a difference most users will never be aware of.

Figure1 shows the Cisco 4400 Series architecture.

The abbreviations in the figure are as follows:

  1. FPGE: Front-panel Gigabit Ethernet. The Ethernet interfaces on the front panel.
  2. ISC: Internal services card. An internal module used for expanding the capabilities of the system. Commonly used for digital signal processor (DSP) modules.
  3. SM-X: Enhanced service module. A larger module type used mainly for Cisco UCS E-Series Server blades and high-density Ethernet switch modules. Some of the SM-X modules are compatible with the ISR G2 product line.
  4. NIM: Network interface module. Half the size of an SM-X, and generally used for WAN, voice, and lowdensity Ethernet interfaces. NIMs are not compatible with previous-generation ISRs.

Figure1. Cisco 4400 Series Architecture

The Cisco 4400 Series uses two multicore CPU complexes for the data plane (packet processing) and control and services planes. In Cisco IOS XE Software, classic Cisco IOS Software runs as a single daemon within a Linux OS, helping ensure control-plane protocol compatibility with all other Cisco routers. This setup is indicated as “Cisco IOS Software” in the figure. Additional system functions now run as additional, separate processes in the host OS environment. “ISR-WAAS” in the figure is an example of a typical virtualized service in a Cisco IOS XE Software service container. As with the previous ISR G2 routers, a multigigabit fabric supports direct intercommunication on Layer 2 between the Internal Services Card (ISC), Cisco SM-X EtherSwitch modules, and network interface modules (NIMs) without having to be routed through the host router data plane.

Figure2 shows the Cisco 4300 Series architecture, which is similar to the 4400 Series but does not include physical separation of the control and data planes. All functions are, however, exactly the same, with identical enduser experiences and feature support.

Figure2. Cisco 4300 Series Architecture

Individual Models in the Cisco 4000 Series

Figure3. Cisco 4451-X ISR

The Cisco 4451-X is suggested for migration from the existing Cisco 3925E and 3945E routers. It offers 1-Gbps performance, upgradable to 2 Gbps, in a 2-rack-unit (2RU) form factor with three NIM slots and two enhanced service module (SM-X) slots.

The 4451-X includes an option for built-in redundant power.

● 4-core processor (one control and three services processors)

● 10-core data plane

● Single or double-wide Cisco UCS E-Series support

● Up to 16-GB control and services memory

Figure4. Cisco 4431 ISR

The Cisco 4431 is suggested for migration from the existing Cisco 3925 and 3945 routers. It offers 500-Mbps performance, upgradable to 1 Gbps, in a 1RU form factor with three NIM slots. Like the 4451, the 4431 includes an option for built-in redundant power.

● 4-core processor (one control and three services processors)

● 6-core data plane

● Up to 16-GB control and services memory

Figure5. Cisco 4351 ISR

The Cisco 4351 is suggested for migration from existing Cisco 2951 routers. It offers 200-Mbps performance, upgradable to 400 Mbps, in a 2RU form factor with three NIM slots and two SM slots.

● 8-core CPU with four data-plane cores and four cores for control-plane and containerized services

● Single or double-wide Cisco UCS E-Series support, and up to 16-GB control and services memory

Figure6. Cisco 4331 ISR

The Cisco 4331 is suggested for migration from the existing Cisco 2911 and 2921 routers. It offers 100-Mbps performance, upgradable to 300 Mbps, in a 1RU form factor with two NIM slots and one SM slot.

● 8-core CPU with four data-plane cores and four cores for control-plane and containerized services

● Single-wide Cisco UCS E-Series support, and up to 16-GB control and services memory

Figure7. Cisco 4321

The Cisco 4321 is suggested for migration from the existing Cisco 2901 and 1941 routers. It offers 50-Mbps performance, upgradable to 100 Mbps, in a 1RU desktop form factor with two NIM slots and no SM slots.

  • 4-core CPU with two data-plane cores, one control-plane core, and one core dedicated for services
  • Up to 8-GB control and services memory

The Cisco 4000 Series is designed to help branch and remote offices do more with less. These routers provide higher bandwidth for heavy service combinations and greatly enhanced WAN management. They also introduce embedded X86-based virtual machines together with options for data center–class servers, and an unprecedented flexibility in upgrading.

All in all, the 4000 Series provides the branch office with less need for rack space; lower cost for maintenance, power, and cooling; faster rollout of new services; and less time spent by IT staff managing routers. 

Compare ISR 4000 Models

Get the Best Prices on Cisco ISR 4000 Models

Reference from https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/routers/4000-series-integrated-services-routers-isr/whitepaper_c11-732909.pdf

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802.11ax vs. 802.11ac

October 16 2017 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking, #IT, #Technology, #Cisco Technology - IT News

802.11ax is a new WiFi communication standard, designed to cope with a large number of devices at once. 50 different gadgets all demanding a slice of the internet pie shouldn’t be a problem at all, even if they’re using a large amount of data.

Ready for some techy specs? 802.11ax works on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and it introduces OFDMA (which stands for the catchy Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access). This basically helps to reduce the amount of interference from other nearby WiFi networks, by using finer channels.

802.11ax vs. 802.11ac

What advantages does 802.11ax actually offer over the existing 802.11ac standard? Well, the main benefit is that 802.11ax offers up to four times the device capacity compared with 802.11ac. In other words, you can connect four times as many streaming boxes, TVs, phones and other online devices at the same time. You now have 12 spacial streams in all: four in the 2.4GHz band, and eight in the 5GHz band. Usually you just get four in total, so that's a serious step up.

You also get four times the user throughput with 802.11ax, an essential feature if you’re going to be connecting so many gadgets at once. This means you shouldn’t notice slower upload and download speeds than before, even with a lot more devices demanding data.

Find your current WiFi range quite limiting? The good news is that 802.11ax offers improved coverage, so you can spread your devices out more than ever before. And yet despite all of these improvements, 802.11ax also gives you extended device battery life.

Difference between 802.11ac and 802.11ax

 

802.11ac

802.11ax

BANDS

5 GHz

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

CHANNEL BANDWIDTH

20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, 80+80 MHz & 160 MHz

20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, 80+80 MHz & 160 MHz

FFT SIZES

64, 128, 256, 512

256, 512, 1024, 2048

SUBCARRIER SPACING

312.5 kHz

78.125 kHz

OFDM SYMBOL DURATION

3.2 us + 0.8/0.4 us CP

12.8 us + 0.8/1.6/3.2 us CP

HIGHEST MODULATION

256-QAM

1024-QAM

DATA RATES

433 Mbps (80 MHz, 1 SS)

6933 Mbps (160 MHz, 8 SS)

600.4 Mbps (80 MHz, 1 SS)

9607.8 Mbps (160 MHz, 8 SS)

 

802.11ax Timeline

Qualcomm (Networking chip makers) has just launched the first two 802.11ax compatible chips – the IPQ8074, designed for use in routers, and the QCA6290 designed for use in connected devices such as phones and tablets. However, even though these chips are now a reality, there is no estimated arrival date for the first 802.11ax routers and devices.

Hardware standardization should be done by summer 2017 according to Qualcomm, so the first 802.11ax routers could be released in the UK and worldwide as early as second half of 2017. Otherwise, 2018 is a safe bet.

802.11ax will also be coming to the automotive industry soon, so you can expect to see cars with 802.11ax networking capabilities in the next year or so.

 

FAQ: 802.11ax-the next big Wi-Fi standard

Q: 802.11ax, Standards?

The IEEE standards, put simply, are agreed-upon sets of technological capabilities and features that all devices that want to call themselves, say, 802.11ac, have to have. It’s to make sure that a phone from Samsung works just as well with a Wi-Fi access point made by Aruba as it does with a router made by D-Link or Cisco. If it’s 802.11-whatever-certified, it’ll work with everything else certified for that standard.

MORE: WiFi hotspot blocking persists despite FCC crackdown

Q: New wireless tech gets invented like every day?

It certainly does, and the IEEE has a heck of a time keeping up with it. The standards process is a rigorous one, and it’s necessarily time-consuming. The newest official standard is 802.11ac, which was published in 2013. Before that, 802.11n went official in 2007.

Q: So 802.11ax isn’t fully Used?

Correct. It’s a work in progress, but it’s got a lot of exciting new capabilities – 802.11ac broadened the multi-antenna capabilities (MIMO, or multiple input, multiple output) introduced in 802.11n, but 802.11ax will be able to subdivide signals even further, using a technology called MIMO-OFDM. (Orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, before you ask.)

Q: What’ll MIMO-OFDM do?

Broadly, increase throughput – second-wave 802.11ac technology advertises potential gigabit speeds, although that’s unlikely to be reachable in practice, but 802.11ax’s goal is to deliver as much as five times the capability.

Q: Is that the big point of 802.11ax, then? A simple speed upgrade?

Not exactly. 802.11ax is particularly aimed at high-density Wi-Fi deployments, improving not only speed, but the ability of connections to stay active even when interfered with heavily. If you’ve been to a technology convention or trade show lately, you’ll know that the existing co-existence features built into Wi-Fi aren’t really sufficient to particularly dense environments.

Q: It’s an efficiency thing, then.

Yeah, largely. In essence, it offers a more sophisticated system for routing bits of messages where they need to go.

Q: Sounds good – gimme gimme gimme!

Not so fast – the IEEE probably won’t drop the final certification on 802.11ax until about 2019, and it’s far from clear when certified hardware is going to start coming out. To be fair, hardware has been released before formal certification as far back as 802.11n, but that’s not necessarily something to rely on, at least for business users.

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