Posts with #cisco technology - it news tag
Cisco UCS is a model-driven server management system designed to reduce hardware and connectivity constraints, simplify server lifecycle management, and provide an agile infrastructure to support cloud computing. Based on a 10-Gigabit Ethernet-FCoE unified fabric, UCS greatly reduces the number of server connections and access-layer switches by consolidating compute resources around a unified I/O fabric that supports network, storage, and management traffic simultaneously. What tips you should know about the exact Cisco UCS?
Here 10 Tips to Know about Cisco UCS
1. The most important feature of UCS is its management architecture. The hardware was all designed with unified management in mind in order to reduce the administrative overhead of today’s server environments. As companies move to more highly virtualized environments and cloud architectures, automation and orchestration becomes key. UCS provides the management and provisioning tools at a hardware level to quickly realize the benefits of these types of environments and maximize the inherent cost reductions.
2. UCS is not just about blades. The management and I/O infrastructure is designed from the ground up to manage the entire server infrastructure including rack-mount servers. While blade adoption rates continue to grow, 60% of all servers are still rack-mount. UCS’s ability to manage both rack-mount and blade servers under one platform is a key differentiator with major ROI benefits. This ability will be available by the end of the calendar year.
3. UCS is based on industry standards such as the 802 Ethernet standards and x86 hardware architecture, making it vendor neutral and fully compatible with other systems. The UCS system is interoperable with any existing infrastructure and can be tied into management and monitoring applications already being utilized.
4. Using the Virtual Interface Card (VIC) or Generation 1 Converged Network Adapters (CNA) from Emulex or Qlogic, UCS has a unique capability of detecting network failures and fail traffic paths in hardware on the card. This allows network administrators to design and configure network failover end-to-end, ensuring consistent policies and bandwidth utilization. Additionally this unique feature provides faster failover and higher redundancy than other systems.
5. The management infrastructure of UCS is designed to allow an organization to provision and manage the system in the way that most closely fits its process. If a more dynamic process is desired, UCS allows a single administrator to cross traditional boundaries in order to increase operational flexibility. If the current organizational structure is rigid and changes are not desired, UCS provides tight Role Based Access Control (RBAC) tools to maintain strict boundaries that match the current customer environment. If an organization is looking to UCS to provide an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) type environments, the benefits of UCS can be extended into custom self-service portals using the UCS XML interface.
6. UCS reduces infrastructure components and costs by providing advanced tools for I/O consolidation. The UCS system is designed to converge disparate I/O networks onto a single Ethernet infrastructure. This consolidation is not limited to FCoE deployments; it extends these benefits to NFS, iSCSI, RDMA and any other protocol utilizing Ethernet for Layer 2 communication.
7. Current UCS hardware provides up to 80Gbps of converged I/O to each chassis of 4-8 blades. This is done using a pair of redundant I/O modules which both operate in an active fashion. This is not a bandwidth limitation of the mid-plane which was designed for 40Gbps Ethernet and above. Future I/O modules will provide additional bandwidth to the chassis and blades as data center I/O demands increase.
8. The single-point-of-management for the server access layer provided by UCS can be extended to the VMware virtual switching infrastructure, further reducing administrative overhead. Using Pass-Through Switching (PTS) on UCS, the VMware virtual switching environment can be managed through the UCS service profile the same way physical blades are managed.
9. Memory extension on the UCS B250-M1 and B250-M2 blades provide industry leading 384GB of memory density for 2 socket servers. Moreover, because this increased density is gained through additional DIMM slots, lower density DIMMS can be used at significantly lower cost to reach up to 194GB of memory. In addition to the M250 blades, the B440 adds support for the 2 or 4 Xeon 7500 processors with 4, 6, or 8 cores depending on processor model.
10. While the UCS architecture was designed to amplify the benefits of server virtualization and Virtual Desktop infrastructures (VDI), the platform is standards based and can be used with any bare metal x86 based operating system such as Windows, SUSE/Red Hat Linux, etc. UCS can operate with any mix of server operating systems desired for any given customer.
More Related Cisco UCS Info:
Basic tips of configuring Quality of Service (QoS) with VoIP, including the high level QoS methods available to achieve quality voice traffic.
One of the most important things that must be configured in concert with available VoIP solutions is Quality of Service (QoS). Without QoS options properly configured, the quality of voice (and video) could, and probably will be, sacrificed along with the overall demands of general traffic. These options provide a priority channel that is used by the voice traffic so that quality can be maintained while also allowing general traffic flow. This article reviews QoS basics and briefly discusses available QoS options and how they operate to provide quality for voice traffic.
Many of these QoS concepts are integral when studying for a Cisco voice certification. QoS concepts are covered on all of the following exams:
•640-461 ICOMMv8.0 - CCNA Voice
•642-437 CVOICE v8.0 - CCNP Voice
•350-030 CCIE Voice Written - CCIE Voice
QoS Deployment for VoIP Case Study Example
There are a number of QoS factors to consider when configuring a modern QoS implementation on Cisco, or any other vendor’s equipment. However, the most basic of these concepts revolves around what QoS is attempting to accomplish. There are four major factors that need to be controlled in order to have a quality VoIP phone call; these include:
•Bandwidth – The amount of end-to-end available bandwidth dictates whether a call will work correctly or not. With unlimited constant bandwidth, a voice call can work from end-to-end without much issue; however, bandwidth is rarely unlimited. The codec selected for use over a specific line is dictated by the amount of available bandwidth and the number of active calls required.
•Delay – Unlike with data communications, too much delay on a voice call can make the quality of the call unbearable. Of course, all voice communications have some amount of delay which must be kept to a number that is as small as possible. Typically, with VoIP, optimum call quality includes an end-to-end delay of less than 150ms.
•Jitter – Jitter is the amount of delay variation in call traffic. If traffic over a connection is constantly delayed at 100 ms, no issue occurs. However, if for the first portion of the call there is short delay (e.g., below 5ms), followed by a period of long delay (e.g., over 300ms), and then another short delay, the receiving voice device may have trouble synchronizing all of the incoming traffic as it is received in an inconsistent manner.
•Loss – Obviously, the loss of voice packets results in the loss of audio on the connection. Small amounts of loss (< 1%) over the course of a connection will probably not be noticed, but if this loss becomes a large problem then significant loss in voice quality occurs.
There are a number of different methods that can be used to control the QoS of a voice connection; these include:
•Classification and Marking
Classification and Marking
The most commonly used method of QoS classification and marking is Differentiated Services (DiffServ). The general concept of DiffServ is to monitor the traffic coming through a device; all traffic is then classified into a specific traffic classification (for example, Voice Traffic or Data Traffic). Once this traffic is classified, it is marked with this classification using one of a number of methods. Commonly with IP traffic, the ToS field is used in the IP header and is classified with a Differentiated Service Codepoint (DSCP). This marking is then used by successive devices in prioritizing which traffic to process first.
See related article on QoS Marking and Classification
There are a number of different link efficiency mechanisms. The most commonly known mechanisms include IP header and payload compression. Other mechanisms include Link Fragmentation and Interleaving (LFI). These are typically used on slower speed serial links to improve delay by fragmenting larger packets into smaller ones, thus allowing other smaller packets to be processed. Obviously, the more efficient the link, the less delay is subject to a VoIP connection.
The concept of congestion on a connection is rather simple to explain; the more congested a link, the less likely a packet will be able to get through in a timely manner required by VoIP (think, rush hour in NYC or LA). Congestion management mechanisms attempt to control the amount of congestion faced by traffic by processing the traffic in a variety of different ways, some more complex than others. Many of these methods are used in conjunction with markings given to traffic (e.g., DSCP). The most common methods include:
•Priority Queuing (PQ)
•Custom Queuing (CQ)
•Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ)
•Class Based – Weighted Fair Queuing (CBWFQ)
•Low Latency Queuing (LLQ)
See related article on Queue Configuration and Congestion Management.
Congestion avoidance is another method of QoS; the most common of the techniques used is called Weighted Random Early Detection (WRED). Basically, WRED attempts to predict that congestion will be forthcoming, and when this happens packets are selectively dropped to avoid congestion.
There are a number of different QoS concepts that must be understood in order to properly implement a VoIP network or pass the Cisco voice certification tests. The concepts covered in this article are a simple overview of the high level QoS options available. Hopefully, this article will help the student understand these high level concepts before digging into the depths required for true understanding.
---Original reference from http://www.petri.co.il/voip-quality-of-service-basics.htm
More Related Reference:
More Cisco resources you can visit: http://blog.router-switch.com/
This document describes the password recovery procedure for the Cisco Catalyst Layer 2 fixed configuration switches 2900XL/3500XL, 2940, 2950/2955, 2960, and 2970 Series, as well as the Cisco Catalyst Layer 3 fixed configuration switches 3550, 3560, and 3750 Series.
1. Attach a terminal or PC with terminal emulation (for example, Hyper Terminal) to the console port of the switch.
Use the following terminal settings:
- Bits per second (baud): 9600
- Data bits: 8
- Parity: None
- Stop bits: 1
- Flow Control: Xon/Xoff
Note: For additional information on cabling and connecting a terminal to the console port, refer to Connecting a Terminal to the Console Port on Catalyst
2. Unplug the power
3. Power the switch and bring it to the switch: prompt:
For 2900XL, 3500XL, 2940, 2950, 2960, 2970, 3550, 3560, and 3750 series switches, do this:
Hold down the mode button located on the left side of the front panel, while you reconnect the power cable to the switch.
Note: LED position may vary slightly depending on the model.
For 2955 series switches only:
The Catalyst 2955 series switches do not use an external mode button for password recovery. Instead the switch boot loader uses the break-key detection to stop the automatic boot sequence for the password recovery purposes. The break sequence is determined by the terminal application and operating system used. Hyperterm running on Windows 2000 uses Ctrl + Break. On a workstation running UNIX, Ctrl-C is the break key. For more information, refer to Standard Break Key Sequence Combinations During Password Recovery.
The example below uses Hyperterm to break into switch: mode on a 2955.
C2955 Boot Loader (C2955-HBOOT-M) Version 12.1(0.0.514), CISCO DEVELOPMENT TEST
Compiled Fri 13-Dec-02 17:38 by madison
Base ethernet MAC Address: 00:0b:be:b6:ee:00
Xmodem file system is available.
flashfs: 19 files, 2 directories
flashfs: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories
flashfs: Total bytes: 7741440
flashfs: Bytes used: 4510720
flashfs: Bytes available: 3230720
flashfs: flashfs fsck took 7 seconds.
...done initializing flash.
Boot Sector Filesystem (bs:) installed, fsid: 3
Parameter Block Filesystem (pb:) installed, fsid: 4
*** The system will autoboot in 15 seconds ***
Send break character to prevent autobooting.
!--- Wait until you see this message before
!--- you issue the break sequence.
!--- Ctrl+Break is entered using Hyperterm.
The system has been interrupted prior to initializing the flash file system to finish
loading the operating system software:
4. Issue the flash_init command.
flashfs: 143 files, 4 directories
flashfs: 0 orphaned files, 0 orphaned directories
flashfs: Total bytes: 3612672
flashfs: Bytes used: 2729472
flashfs: Bytes available: 883200
flashfs: flashfs fsck took 86 seconds
....done Initializing Flash.
Boot Sector Filesystem (bs:) installed, fsid: 3
Parameter Block Filesystem (pb:) installed, fsid: 4
!--- This output is from a 2900XL switch. Output from
!--- other switches will vary slightly.
5. Issue the load_helper command.
6. Issue the dir flash: command.
Note: Make sure to type a colon ":" after the dir flash.
The switch file system is displayed:
switch: dir flash:
Directory of flash:/
2 -rwx 1803357 <date> c3500xl-c3h2s-mz.120-5.WC7.bin
!--- This is the current version of software.
4 -rwx 1131 <date> config.text
!--- This is the configuration file.
5 -rwx 109 <date> info
6 -rwx 389 <date> env_vars
7 drwx 640 <date> html
18 -rwx 109 <date> info.ver
403968 bytes available (3208704 bytes used)
!--- This output is from a 3500XL switch. Output from
!--- other switches will vary slightly.
7. Type rename flash:config.text flash:config.old to rename the configuration file.
switch: rename flash:config.text flash:config.old
!--- The config.text file contains the password
8. Issue the boot command to boot the system.
File "flash:c3500xl-c3h2s-mz.120-5.WC7.bin" uncompressed and installed, entry po
!--- Output suppressed.
!--- This output is from a 3500XL switch. Output from other switches
!--- will vary slightly.
9. Enter "n" at the prompt to abort the initial configuration dialog.
--- System Configuration Dialog ---
At any point you may enter a question mark '?' for help.
Use ctrl-c to abort configuration dialog at any prompt.
Default settings are in square brackets ''.
Continue with configuration dialog? [yes/no]: n
!--- Type "n" for no.
Press RETURN to get started.
!--- Press Return or Enter.
!--- The Switch> prompt is displayed.
At the switch prompt, type en to enter enable mode.
11. Type rename flash:config.old flash:config.text to rename the configuration file with its original name.
Switch#rename flash:config.old flash:config.text
Destination filename [config.text]
!--- Press Return or Enter.
Copy the configuration file into memory.
Switch#copy flash:config.text system:running-config
Destination filename [running-config]?
!--- Press Return or Enter.
1131 bytes copied in 0.760 secs
The configuration file is now reloaded.
13. Overwrite the current passwords that you do not know. Choose a strong password with at least one capital letter, one number, and one special character.
Note: Overwrite the passwords which are necessary. You need not overwrite all of the mentioned passwords.
Sw1# conf t
!--- To overwrite existing secret password
Sw1(config)#enable secret <new_secret_password>
!--- To overwrite existing enable password
Sw1(config)#enable password <new_enable_password>
!--- To overwrite existing vty password
Sw1(config)#line vty 0 15
!--- To overwrite existing console password
Sw1(config-line)#line con 0
14. Write the running configuration to the configuration file with the write memory command.
---Original resources from
No doubt while browsing the web, dealing with home networking solutions or even participating in some form of network development you’ve come across the terms IPv4 and IPv6. Terms like “IPv4 vs IPv6″, or “IPv6 tutorial”, or even the much broader “Internet Protocol”.
Unfortunately, most people have no idea what these terms mean, or what they are in fact referring to. As a general problem the terms are rarely explained well, and when they are, the explanations are not usually in simple form.
IPv4 vs IPv6
To put it quite bluntly, we’re here to answer one question; what do these terms: “IPv4 vs IPv6″, “IPv6 tutorial” and so on mean exactly?
The “I” and “P” in “IPv” stands for “Internet Protocol” which directly refers to the communication protocol, or packet transfer procedure of the internet.
Every device that connects to the internet uses a unique address called an IP address, which works very similar to a home/location address. Pieces of data, called “packets”, are transferred via the internet between machines, which in turn gives us the fully functioning interior workings of the online community. In order for two machines, or devices to communicate via the internet, they must transfer these “packets” of data back and forth. Unfortunately the data “packets” can not be transferred if the devices do not each have their own unique address.
Think of it basically as a home address. You can’t send a mail correctly if you don’t list a proper return address, because basically if the mail doesn’t reach its destination it must have a way of returning back to you. Also, the mail receiver would have no possible way of responding considering they have no idea what address the should reply to.
While the internet does not necessarily return data “packets” that don’t reach their destination, like undelivered mail, proper use or protocol requires two devices to have unique addresses to even begin communications.
The “v” and number (“4″ or “6″) in “IPv4 vs IPv6″ refers to the related protocol version number. “IPv4″ is of course “Internet Protocol version 4″, and “IPv6″ is subsequently “Internet Protocol version 6″.
IPv4 is of course the older, more supported version of the internet address procedure. But ultimately, there are no longer any free IPv4 addresses, meaning all of them have been occupied or taken up. What does this mean exactly?
In a general sense, there will no longer be any alternative IPv4 addresses, directly meaning they will all be occupied and new users will not be able to venture into cyberspace. Although the realistic situation is not quite as dire.
Source from: http://www.thetechlabs.com/tech-news/ipv4-vs-ipv6/
Queue in IPv6, the latest Internet Protocol or address procedure. The older IPv4 only supports a maximum 32 bit internet address, which translates to 2^32 IP addresses available for assignment (about 4.29 billion total). IPv6 utilizes 128 bit web addresses, allowing a maximum 2^128 available addresses: 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000; which if you couldn’t already tell is a very big number.
So basically the IPv4 protocol has run out of available addresses which is why most websites or internet servers are adopting the newer IPv6 protocol. In most cases, the two versions are compatible. This contrast between the two protocol versions is exactly what’s being referred to when “IPv4 vs IPv6″ is mentioned.
Worldwide IPv6 Transfer
The Internet society has worked together with several huge ISP companies and online organizations to successfully switch the world over from use of the older IPv4 protocol to the newer IPv6. “World IPv6 Day” is scheduled to occur on June 8, 2011 and will involve several major online organizations switching services to IPv6 to test out its overall functionality and reliability.
This has no direct consequences or relations to home consumers and average internet users (meaning you), the IPv6 protocol switch only seriously pertains to large online organizations with an extensive listing of online hosted content.
More Related: http://blog.router-switch.com/
DHCP, Dynamic Host Control Protocol, is a Protocol that operates at Application layer and automatically assigns IP Addresses to requesting Hosts. DHCP eliminates the manual task by a network Administrator. It also provides a central database of devices that are connected to the network and eliminate duplicate resource assignments. DHCP uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) to send its request messages to the DHCP Server on Port number 67.
A DHCP Server can provide to a host alot of information when the host is requesting an IP address from a DHCP Server. Here's a list of the information a DHCP Server can provide:
- IP Address
- Subnet Mask
- Domain Name
- Default Gateway (routers)
- WINS information
How DHCP Server is Discovered by Client to get IP address?
The client broadcasts messages on the physical subnet to discover available DHCP servers. Network administrators can configure a local router to forward DHCP packets to a DHCP server from a different subnet. This client-implementation creates a User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packet with the broadcast destination of 255.255.255.255 or the specific subnet broadcast address. Addresses in the Packet for DHCP Server Discovery can be as follows;
Source IP = 0.0.0.0
Source Port = 0
Destination IP = 255.255.255.255
Destination Pot = 67
A DHCP client can also request its last-known IP address. If the client remains connected to a network for which the IP is valid, the server may grant the request.
When a DHCP server receives an IP lease request from a client, it reserves an IP address for the client and extends an IP lease offer by sending a DHCPOFFER message to the client. This message contains the client's MAC address, the IP address that the server is offering, the subnet mask, the lease duration, and the IP address of the DHCP server making the offer. Source and Destination addresses in the server’s DHCP Offer message are as follows;
Source IP = 192.168.1.1
Source Port = 67
Destination IP = 255.255.255.255
Destination Pot = 68
A client can receive DHCP offers from multiple servers, but it will accept only one DHCP offer and broadcast a DHCP request message. Based on the Transaction ID field in the request, servers are informed whose offer the client has accepted. When other DHCP servers receive this message, they withdraw any offers that they might have made to the client and return the offered address to the pool of available addresses. The DHCP request message is broadcast, instead of being unicast to a particular DHCP server, because the DHCP client has still not received an IP address. Also, this way one message can let all other DHCP servers know that another server will be supplying the IP address without missing any of the servers with a series of unicast messages.
Upon Receiving DHCP acknowledgment message on server, server sends IP Address, lease duration and other info to the client that requrested, and IP address Assignment process to the client by DHCP Server is completed.
More related: How to Configure DHCP on a Cisco ASA 5505?
Cisco OnPlus Service is offered at a list price of $250, which includes an OnPlus Network Agent appliance.
Expanding on its offerings to small business partners, networking specialist Cisco announced a cloud-based service called OnPlus that offers channel partners a way to provide network assessment, management and advisory services to their small business customers. By enabling value-added resellers (VARs) to create or expand their managed services practice, OnPlus aims to help to evolve the customer relationship from reactive and tactical to more proactive and strategic.
OnPlus Service is offered at a list price of $250, which includes a three-year subscription to the OnPlus service and an OnPlus Network Agent appliance. A separate appliance and subscription service is required for each network being managed. Native applications for Apple and Android mobile devices are available free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Android Market.
The announcement builds on Cisco's Partner Led sales model designed to elevate channel partners' ability to drive sales in the small business and midmarket segments. Earlier this year, Cisco announced it would invest $75 million in its Partner Led initiative throughout 2012, for enablement, systems and support capabilities to help channel partners profitably grow their business.
OnPlus is designed for VARs that are looking to create or expand their managed service offerings, providing remote visibility of the network and the devices attached to the network, through a scalable cloud-based service, OnPlus helps VARs deploy advanced network services for their small business customers from anywhere at any time. To monitor a customer network, VARs plug the OnPlus Network Agent appliance into a switch or router on their customer's network. The OnPlus Agent then transmits information about the customer's network to a secure data center for access by the VAR.
In addition to discovery and monitoring of anything with an IP address from any supplier, OnPlus enables remote connectivity to manageable network devices to facilitate troubleshooting and configuration. For select Cisco devices, OnPlus provides enhanced capabilities that automate typical administrative tasks. In addition, the network-centric capability of OnPlus complements existing classes of managed services tools such as remote monitoring and management and professional services automation.
"Liberty Technology focuses on making technology easy for both consumers and businesses. With Cisco OnPlus, you're able to get a more complete, 360-degree picture of your customer's network," said Ben Johnson, president of Liberty Technology, a Cisco certified partner. “We've used OnPlus in a number of scenarios from doing network surveys to quickly troubleshooting and identifying problems with customer's networks, which has greatly saved us time and of course money."
More Related: If you need to know more details of Cisco OnPlus, you can visit: http://blog.router-switch.com/2011/12/cisco-onplus-cloud-based-managed-services-launched-aimed-at-smbs/
Cisco steps back from close partner VMware to help firms build a private cloud using Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX Server, plus Cisco blades By Charles Babcock from InformationWeek
Cisco Systems Tuesday took a step back from its close cloud partner VMware, and launched CloudVerse, a set of integrated components to allow enterprises to build out private clouds running multiple hypervisors.
CloudVerse manages a combined set of pooled resources--including virtualized networking and storage as well as virtual servers--to create a highly automated cloud operation in the enterprise data center.
One of CloudVerse's components, Intelligent Automation for the Cloud, is a new software management system for the private cloud. That cloud can include Microsoft's Hyper-V, Red Hat's KVM, and IBM or HP hypervisors for their AIX or HPUX environments, respectively, as well as VMware's ESX Server, said Lew Tucker, Cisco CTO for cloud computing, in an interview.
Cisco calls CloudVerse a "framework" rather than a new product. It takes software components contributed by Tidal Software and newScale, both recent acquisitions, and puts them together in the Intelligent Automation for the Cloud product. The software components work with Cisco blades and networking to provide an automated operations environment for virtual servers.
CloudVerse's automated end user server provisioning depends on a service catalog and self-service portal engineered by newScale, which Cisco acquired for an undisclosed amount in April. It acquired Tidal Software in May 2009 for $105 million and its software provides insight into what resources an application was using. That helps when it comes to provisioning end user servers and rightsizing their resources.
An end user who needs applications on a new server in the enterprise "should get them out of a service catalogue, like downloads to the iPhone," said Tucker, who is the former head of cloud computing at Sun Microsystems. The future private cloud will account for 50% of enterprise data center computing by 2014, Tucker added. He based the statement on Cisco's first annual study of network traffic, the Cisco Cloud Index, which forecasts a rapid uptake in private cloud computing. Cisco is trying to get into a position, similar to IBM, HP, and Dell, where it's one of the primary hosts of those future workloads.
Cisco, for example, is already a close partner of VMware in the production of VCE integrated cloud server racks. VCE is a manufacturing consortium formed by Cisco and EMC, with VMware and Intel providing additional investment. VCE-integrated units, built with Cisco blades, EMC storage, and VMware virtualization, have gone into several prominent cloud data centers, including the New York Stock Exchange's Mahway, N.J., data center and SunGard's six cloud data centers.
But the VCE consortium's units are for cloud service suppliers. To reach private cloud builders, Cisco wanted an integration approach that included hypervisors in addition to VMware's, hence its CloudVerse approach. As usual, Cisco comes at the problem from the networking side. "The network used to terminate at the server," pointed out Tucker. "With CloudVerse, the network continues through the server port, goes through the Nexus 1000V switch, and terminates at the virtual server."
CloudVerse works with Cisco's Unified Computing System blades and Cisco networking, along with another new software component, Cisco Network Services Manager, to deploy virtualized assets. Network Services Manager handles the virtualized network side of a cloud deployment, making sure the virtual server has the correct amount of network bandwidth and network security. That makes it a competitor with HP's CloudSystem Matrix and Dell's Virtual Integrated System.
One of the strengths of Cisco's UCS is its ability to offload converged network and storage traffic from virtual machines through the Nexus 1000V switch to its nearby network switching fabric. That allows smoother I/O for multiple virtual machines on a single host.
In 2012, Cisco will offer ASR 1000 and 9000 Series routers, which will allow virtual machine administrators to identify workloads and move them between the enterprise data center and the cloud--or different cloud data centers. That will be enabled though another CloudVerse software component, Cloud-to-Cloud Connect, Tucker said.
In effect, Cisco is trying to pave the route to future hybrid cloud computing by offering its CloudVerse integration framework today, with some elements, like the ASR routers, still to come. Early adopters of the CloudVerse approach include Silicon Valley Bank, Orange Business Services, Verizon Terremark, Telstra, Fujitsu, Telstra, and ACS, a Xerox company.
The first Cisco study of cloud network traffic, as reported in its cloud index, projected that global cloud traffic will grow more than 12 times its current level by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes a year. That's equivalent to four days of "business class" video for every person on Earth, the cloud index report said. One zettabyte is a billion terabytes. In 2009, the Internet was estimated to contain one half zettabyte of information, according to Wikipedia.
TheInfoPro study finds Cisco and Juniper down, Check Point and Palo Alto up in firewall popularity contest
In the security popularity contest of the moment, Cisco and Juniper are down and Palo Alto Networks and Check Point are up when it comes to network firewalls, according to one research firm.
Research firm TheInfoPro asked 182 IT security professionals -- said to hail from the Fortune 1000 companies -- about what security products they're using, what they're considering changing and where their priorities and budgets are for next year. In summing up the results, which TheInfoPro treats much like an enterprise security popularity meter, Palo Alto Networks has jumped over the past year from less than 1% in its poll to 4%.
Though still top dog overall, Cisco, which two years ago had 55% of the hearts of the IT security managers in the poll, is now down to 40%, losing ground in network firewalls mainly to Check Point, now at 39%, and Palo Alto at 4%, with Juniper Networks at 11%. Other firewall vendors used by the enterprises include SonicWall, McAfee, Fortinet, WatchGuard, open source, Nortel, Nokia, Citrix and CA.
According to Daniel Kennedy, research director for information security and networking at TheInfoPro, a division of 451 Group, "it's the application tracking" that's the big lure in today's firewall choices, and Palo Alto Networks, though only just beyond the startup phase with its application-aware firewall with this focus, is showing a clear pull in popularity.
Palo Alto was named the "most exciting vendor" in the poll the research firm did for this study; FireEye came in second with its anti-botnet products, even though anti-botnet products per se were not rated to be very high on the list of immediate plans by the respondents.
According to TheInfoPro report, entitled "Information Security Wave 14," about 37% of the poll respondents expect to see an increased security budget in 2012, with most others saying spending is expected to stay at current levels.
Sourcefire and McAfee are reportedly the "top vendors respondents will spend more with in 2011." Data-loss prevention was considered a priority, and there Symantec led the pack. In its assessment of what security vendors are the "most vulnerable" to the possible loss of their existing customers, Fortinet topped the list.
When it comes to endpoint anti-malware (antivirus/anti-spam) protection in the enterprises of those security managers polled, Symantec wins the favor of 39%, McAfee 34%, Trend Micro is at 15%, Sophos at 5%, with the remainder a collection of several "others." Although Russia-based anti-malware firm Kaspersky Lab has been working hard to break into the enterprise market in a big way, Kennedy said he sees no evidence that this has yet happened in the North American market.
Kennedy says researchers at TheInfoPro also discussed the topic of virtualization with the 182 IT security professionals, asking if they were concerned about it from a security point of view. He says many seem to be "up in the air" about decisions in this regard. "I'd say it's confused," says Kennedy. "They want to use their existing security in virtualized environments. Sometimes this seems to apply, other times not." He said many seem to be sorting out what to do, particularly in the terms of any anticipated cloud-security development.
Cisco's home Wi-Fi unit will keep its own brand but stop making devices as it creates a domestic super-router
Cisco Systems' Home Networking Business Unit will keep both its Linksys brand and its place in the parent company as Cisco pares down its business, but the unit is also sharpening its focus.
Linksys has stopped making devices that connect to networks and is strictly focused on the networks themselves, said Brett Wingo, general manager of the business unit, in an interview last week. Like Cisco itself, which discontinued the Flip video camera and the Umi consumer telepresence product earlier this year, the home networking unit is going back to what it's best known for: wireless routers.
However, those routers are taking on a larger role at the center of consumers' use of multimedia, particularly video, Wingo said. Users want to watch video from a variety of sources and on many different devices, but many home networks can't effectively link all those components, he said.
"What consumers want is, they want this problem solved," Wingo said.
Linksys routers are designed to deliver the best quality possible by detecting all the devices connected to a home wireless network, determining what their capabilities are for playing different types of content, and making sure the network is secure. The routers also can tell where the wireless signal is strong enough to deliver what's desired, Wingo said.
But Cisco wants those routers to take on an even bigger role, serving as the main meeting place between the home network and the Internet or service-provider network. Rather than have carrier gateway boxes, Internet-connected thermostats, smart TVs and other devices all linking to the outside world on their own, consumers can have one box that handles many connectivity functions.
Routers are "sitting idle and not doing things a lot of the time, and you can have them do more and you can run more services on them," Wingo said. "The hardware that's capable of moving video around the house or displaying software onto a screen ... those types of things can be done in the router in a lot of cases."
Through industry standards, Cisco plans to make its routers into hubs for devices from all vendors, so consumers aren't locked into just buying Linksys, he said.
Cisco has a strong faith in IEEE 802.11n wireless to deliver video around a home. In fact, it expects wireless to win out over all other types of home networks, partly because so many consumer electronics devices are equipped with wireless technologies. However, Linksys routers do include provisions for incorporating wired technologies such as powerline and coaxial cable.
What allows Cisco to become the center of home networks is the company's expertise in video across service provider, enterprise and home networks, Wingo said. The engineering teams at Linksys and Cisco's enterprise businesses now pass ideas back and forth, he said. It brings intelligence from that experience into the software in Linksys wireless routers, which are more than just routers or access points but video processing devices that can do part of the work of delivering video appropriately to TVs, tablets and other devices, Wingo said.
Some of these intelligent routers will be delivered and managed by service providers. But part of Cisco's strategy involves changing the way consumers buy home networking gear in stores. Routers and other gear are often sold on price, and consumers end up with networks and consumer electronics that don't work well together, Wingo said. The problems can be complex, involving wireless bandwidth, processor performance and broadband speed, but failures often just end in frustration.
Cisco thinks it can solve consumers' problems in one trip to the store and simultaneously rise above the price wars. It won't do this by building the Linksys or Cisco equivalent of Apple stores, but will instead train sales staff at retailers such as Best Buy, Wingo said. Sales representatives should start asking about a shopper's home network as soon as they start shopping for anything that might need the network, such as a game console, he said.
It shouldn't be too hard for Cisco to make its Linksys routers into the central device in a home network, even with multiple vendors' equipment, said Parks Associates analyst Kurt Scherf. But the key to doing so will be selling them as gateways through service providers, he said.
"Consumers are much more happy to allow their service providers to be the IT manager," Scherf said. "You will still buy products off the shelf and connect them to a home network, but gateways will be doing the managing and monitoring."
Scherf applauded Cisco's strategy of helping train retailers to sell networks and networked products, which he said was a key to the success of Linksys before it was acquired by Cisco in 2003.
But he wasn't so quick to dismiss wired networks in homes, citing the wide variety of types of homes and infrastructure around the world. "I don't think you can say that one networking technology is going to win," Scherf said.
Notes: More news and info about Cisco, Internet, Networking and IT, etc., you can visit http://blog.router-switch.com/
Cisco provides a network that can securely and reliably handle all types of traffic, throughout the entire network, over virtually any media, while providing consistent service delivery to all users.
Cisco is proud of being a recognized worldwide leader in networking. Now, when the technology industry is going through a period of dramatic change, it remains the market leader in multiple areas, such as routing and switching, unified communications, mobility, and security. The company helped catalyze the industry's move toward IP, and, now that it is fully under way, Cisco is at the center of fundamental changes in the way the world communicates.
Innovation, something indispensable, helps Cisco and famous companies win customers’ praise. And this reputation is caused in part by the Cisco development strategy of "build, partner, and acquire." Beyond corporate innovation, Cisco also helps to shape innovation throughout the industry by actively participating in virtually every group concerned with networking standards.
To be simple, as a company whose own success depends on its network systems, Cisco fully understands this relationship. In today's environment of mergers, acquisitions, and global expansion, businesses now require network systems that enable technology innovation and business-critical services not only at the headquarters, but across geographically disparate corporate campuses, throughout the branches, and out to remote workers. Cisco can provide an end-to-end network, composed of systems specifically designed to address the unique needs of each place in the network, connected by a common infrastructure and a common operating system and manageable from a central location as a single, cohesive entity.
Because Cisco envisions the network as a whole, it designs and develops products, technologies, and solutions that provide business benefits across the entire network. Consider, for example, the enablement of advanced technologies. Advanced technologies, such as voice over IP (VoIP), require the support of intelligent network services. Although many networking vendors support these services, the level and methods of support often vary from one device to another and from one place in the network to another, making configuration and interoperation difficult. With Cisco network systems, intelligent network services, such as quality of service (QoS) and encryption, are consistently supported and preserved across the entire network, enabling the same secure and high-quality service delivery regardless of whether the user is at headquarters or in a local branch.
Cisco applies this same broad view to network management, providing tools to manage the network as a whole. For example, the Cisco integrated services routers use 802.1ag to provide end-to-end service manageability. Another example is the Cisco Network Application Analysis (NAPA) Solution, which also takes a holistic approach to management, providing an end-to-end view as it monitors and analyzes the entire network to optimize the relationship between application performance and network resources.
Moreover, Cisco understands the relationship between all elements of the network: that an improvement in management or security capabilities can often mean a decrease in performance. Cisco is constantly looking for innovative ways to eliminate these types of tradeoffs. One such innovation is the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 32 Programmable Intelligent Services Accelerator (PISA), which eliminates the tradeoff by providing hardware acceleration of intelligent services, such as stateful application intelligence and day-zero security services, at multigigabit speeds.
In most cases, the network of a company or organization is not a single island. It is likely made up of multiple networks, including one or more campuses, some number of branches, remote teleworkers, and one or more data centers, all connected through a WAN or MAN. These businesses and organizations require solutions that work across the entire network, throughout all "places in the network."
Cisco understands and addresses the unique requirements of each place in the network:
• Campus: Market factors are causing a shift in corporate structures. Reduced time to market translates to a greater need for interaction throughout a company. And as these companies become more adept and more dependent on technologies for this interaction, the network must provide a platform that enables and promotes enhanced communication and collaboration.
Cisco provides a platform designed for collaboration with the Campus Communication Fabric, which enables application proficiency, secure multimedia communications, improved productivity and innovation, business continuity, and efficient operations over a flexible infrastructure.
• Branch/WAN: Historically, branch users have not been given the same priority as users at headquarters, enduring less-than-optimal response times, receiving a subset of services, and experiencing downtimes that are not tolerated at headquarters. But this is changing. Because of the increased number of acquisitions and mergers, along with the focus on local presence and global expansion, remote office workers have gained significant importance in the equation for business success. Today's branch users require the same consistent delivery of services and applications as headquarters users.
Cisco gives branch users an equal status with the Empowered Branch, which integrates the widest set of services and applications while optimizing their interoperability and performance for a consistent branch experience. At the WAN headend, Cisco offers services aggregation solutions that combine virtualized services integration, bandwidth optimization, and application intelligence to provide secure, intelligent routing of applications across the enterprise WAN.
• Data center: The rapid proliferation of new applications combined with the increased complexity of these applications mean that IT managers require data center architectures that are more resilient, more adaptable, more manageable, and capable of serving users across geographically dispersed locations.
Cisco data center solutions are built on the principles of consolidation, virtualization, and automation to provide the security, availability, manageability, and optimized application delivery that enable superior service delivery and application performance.
Network Systems Components You Need to Know
When you look closer into each of these network systems, you find components that are industry leaders in their own right. Cisco provides one of the most robust, intelligent lines of integrated services routers, along with one of the most comprehensive, feature-rich portfolios of network switches.
Cisco routers allow organizations to build a foundation for an intelligent, self-defending network, featuring best-in-class security services and routing technologies for a low total cost of ownership and a high return on investment. These routers offer:
For the branch, Cisco provides a portfolio of routers designed for secure wire-speed delivery of concurrent wireless, data, voice, and video services with superior investment protection. Cisco integrated services routers embed security, mobility, LAN switching, and voice services inside the router as a single resilient system for ease of deployment, simplified management, and lower operating costs. They also support leading-edge WAN technologies, such as:
In addition to convenience, the Cisco integrated services routers provide investment protection. The integrated design enables a 70 percent reduction in operational expenses when compared to deploying multiple overlaid components in a branch to achieve the same services. Additionally, the modular design of the Cisco integrated services routers allows for easy integration of new services as well as the expansion of existing ones.
At the headend, Cisco offers an extensive WAN and MAN aggregation platform portfolio, which also provides a comprehensive set of highly secure, concurrent, and integrated services. Cisco services aggregation routers provide exceptional performance with aggregation speeds of up to 2 Mpps and support for as many as 16,000 Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) sessions and 5000 VPN sessions per chassis. For optimization, these routers also support Network-Based Application Recognition for application optimization and OER. To help ensure the security of your network, these routers include support for IP Security (IPsec) encryption, an integrated stateful firewall, and support for identity-based access control.
Cisco offers a comprehensive portfolio of intelligent network switches, with a continuously expanding suite of intelligent services and advanced technologies to strengthen, simplify, and extend the value of the network infrastructure. As a leader in switching technology innovation, Cisco is constantly developing new ways to enable its customers to get more from their network infrastructure. Many Cisco innovations have evolved into industry standards, including Cisco EtherChannel (now the 802.3AD standard), Power over Ethernet (now the 802.3af standard), Multiple Instance Spanning Tree (now the 802.1s standard), and Interswitch Link (now the 802.1q standard).
Cisco Catalyst switches are based on a superior design that employs a centralized architecture, which simplifies expansion and upgrades. They also use application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology, which is better suited than merchant silicon (used by many other switch vendors) for the delivery of advanced features.
Additionally, Cisco Catalyst switches provide:
• Superior service delivery from the wiring closet to the core, from the data center to the WAN edge with 10/100/1000 to the desktop, Fast Ethernet through 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections, and predictable wire-rate switching performance (even with QoS enabled)
• High level of availability with In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) and hot-swappable modules, which enable easy upgrades without service interruption, and nonstop forwarding with stateful switchover (NSF/SSO), which reduces the mean time to repair (MTTR) by allowing extremely fast supervisor switchover that is virtually transparent
• Exceptional scalability through options such as virtualization, which provides for the centralization of services and security policies while preserving the high-availability, manageability, security, and scalability benefits of the existing campus design (centralized management and security), and Power over Ethernet, which simplifies the addition of new endpoints
• Superior security with integrated support for identity-based access control and Cisco Catalyst integrated security features, as well as Cisco firewall and intrusion detection modules
For your business growth and success, this network should be a Cisco network. When you join the intelligent, resilient routing offered by the Cisco routing portfolio with the innovative high-performance switching offered by Cisco Catalyst switches; connect them through reliable, scalable Cisco IOS Software innovation; and manage them with the automated, integrated management offered by the Cisco network management portfolio, the result is a highly available, adaptable infrastructure that delivers secure, pervasive services through a cohesive network platform upon which you can deploy technology solutions that address today's business challenges and enable tomorrow's business success.
Having Cisco network systems throughout your network helps to accelerate deployment of new technologies, reduce the learning curve in your IT staff, protect the integrity of your network and the data that crosses it, and enables your users to achieve higher levels of productivity and responsiveness.
Add to this Cisco industry leadership, financial stability, commitment to innovation, and dedication to customers, and it is clear that Cisco is an excellent choice for your network systems: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.