Posts with #cisco technology - it news tag
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.
Right, interview is so common for us, but the more important is some famous companies' special interview. If you need to finish a interview like CISCO'S, how will you answer these questions as follows:
1) What are the names of your technical round interviewers
2) Do you know my name?
3) Tell me about yourself, your family background... so on..
4) What are you looking for in Cisco” or what attracts you or why do you want to join cisco.
5) Tell me a situation/ issue where you identified a problem on your own, and drove to resolve it.
6) Tell about most difficult team project u have worked on.
7) What type of work environment is suitable and which environment you hate/is frustrating?
8) Tell about the mistake you learned from
9) Tell about accomplishment you are proud of...
10) what have you learnt in 4 years of your BTech.
11) Give an example of biggest/most demanding team leading or you have talked about something to a group like given a presentation or seminar etc..
12) Describe a situation where you and your partner/professor had a conflicting view, but you were still able to get across your point or how did u get around obstacles that prevented you from completing the task/project.
13) Tell a situation in which you took the lead without being asked to do so and why? or you saw some opportunity which came suddenly and how did u react? or you found some your results or your work which were not up to the mark, what did u do to rectify? or done more than what was required? Or situations in which you found the job could be done much easier and others weren’t following it..? Or did some job which doesn’t come under your job role/description but was beneficial?
14) Tell me about your values in your life.
15) Tell us what you know about our company.
16) Tell me some of your strengths and weaknesses..
17) Interested in doing MS?
Cisco IOS software is installed in the manageable Cisco switches for better LAN management. It delivers network services and enabled networked applications. The Cisco IOS has a command line interface that helps users to execute the Cisco IOS commands.
Cisco Switch Commands
The Cisco switch IOS has different EXEC modes with distinctive prompts. These modes execute different Cisco switch commands. Each mode has a set of specific commands.
The fundamentals of the Cisco IOS User Interface are as follows:
- Uses a command line interface
- Operations vary on different series of switches
- Type or paste entries in the console command modes
- Enter key instructs device to parse and execute the commands
- Two primary EXEC modes are user mode and privileged mode
- Command modes have distinctive prompts
Cisco IOS Software Exec
There are two main EXEC modes for entering the Cisco switch commands:
- Limited switch examination
- Command prompt on the switch is switch
- Detailed switch examination
- Enables configuration and debugging
- Prerequisites for other configuration modes
- Command prompt on the router is switches#
Cisco Telnet Commands
There are two primary ways to access a Cisco manageable switch to use command line interface.
- Out of band Console connection
- Via Ethernet through Telnet
Telnet is a utility used for remotely logging into a device. To telnet a Cisco IOS switch from a computer, type the following command on the CMD computer’s terminal:
Telnet IP address of the switch
Just like: Telnet 192.168.0.253
Cisco Catalyst 1900 Switch Commands
The following are some basic Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch commands:
- Show running-config: This command displays the memory status of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show interfaces: This command displays detailed information about all the interfaces of Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show interfaces Ethernet 0/1: This command displays detailed information about a specific 10baseT Ethernet interface of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show interfaces Fast Ethernet 0/26: This command displays the detailed information about a specific 100baseT Fast Ethernet interface of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show ip: This command displays the ip configuration of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show Mac-address-table: This command displays the Mac addresses of the devices that are currently connected to the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show Mac-address-table security: This command displays the address table size and the addressing security of each interface of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show VLAN: This command displays the status of current VLANs enabled on the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show VLAN-membership: This command displays the VLAN membership of all the ports on the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show Spantree 1: This command displays the complete information about the spanning tree protocol 1 that is enabled by default on the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Copy nvram tftp: //host/dst_file: This command sends the configuration to a TFTP server.
- Copy tftp: //host/src_file nvram: This command downloads the configuration from a TFTP server.
- Delete nvram: This command resets the system configuration to factory defaults.
Show Cisco Switch Commands
Here are some show commands of Cisco switches:
- Show version: This command displays the hardware and software status of the Cisco switch
- Show flash: This command displays the files and directories in the flash of the Cisco switch
- Show interfaces: This command displays the detailed information about all the interfaces of the Cisco switch
- Show interfaces fast Ethernet 0/x: This command displays the detailed information about the specific interface of the Cisco switch
- Show interfaces VLAN 1: This command displays the ip address configuration of VLAN 1
- Show running-config: This command displays the status of RAM
- Show startup-config: This command displays the status of NVRAM
- Show-mac-address-table: This command displays the MAC address of the devices that are directly connected to any switch port.
- Show port-security: [interface] [address]: This command displays the port security options on the interface
- Show history: This command displays the last ten commands that are executed in the switch configuration
- Show line: This command is used to view the brief information about all the Cisco switch lines
- Show line console 0: This command is used to view the detailed information about the specific line of the Cisco switch
- Erase startup-config: This command is used to erase the nvram of the Cisco switch
Cisco Switch Configuration Commands
- Configure terminal: This command is used to enter the global configuration mode of the Cisco switch
- Hostname: This command assigns the Cisco switch’s hostname
- Enable password: This command sets the enable password of the Cisco switch
- Enable secret: This command sets the encrypted password of the Cisco switch that is used for entering into the privileged mode
- Interface VLAN 1: This is a global configuration command used to configure the VLAN interface of the Cisco switch
- Interface fast Ethernet 0/x: This command configures the specific interface of the Cisco switch
- IP address: This command configures the ip address of any interface of the Cisco switch
- IP default-gateway: This is an interface configuration command to set the default gateway
- Speed: This command sets the speed for the interface of the Cisco switch
- Duplex: This command sets the duplex setting for the interface of the Cisco switch
- Line console 0: This command is used to enter in the specific line configuration mode of the Cisco switch
- Password: This command sets the password of any line of the Cisco switch
Upgrading IOS on Cisco routers and network switches is highly recommendable because of the following reasons
Patch critical vulnerabilities: Just like any other network device or application, Cisco routers and switches are also prone to security holes. And because routers and switches are critical to network infrastructure, you should plug these security holes as soon as possible.
Incorporate new features: Unless an update is simply a bug fix, every new release of the Cisco IOS includes new features. Upgrading your routers and switches in a timely manner means you’ll have more features to potentially make your job easier.
Stay current: “Staying current” with the latest IOS may sound like a flimsy justification to upgrade, especially when you consider your daily task list. However, when you consider the many different tools that communicate with the router’s IOS, staying current can take on a new importance. For example, if you’re using a SNMP network management tool, it may require your router to run a certain version of the IOS.
Things You'll Need
Microsoft Windows 7 computer with telnet client and TFTP service installed
IP address of the Microsoft Windows 7 computer
Cisco router with telnet service enabled
IP address of the Cisco router
Cisco IOS image located in the TFTP service root directory
Password for the Cisco router telnet connection
Privilege Exec mode password for the Cisco router
Steps to upgrade IOS on Cisco router
1. Click the "Globe" button, then select the "Search" box, and then type "cmd." Right-click on the command line icon that appears and click "Run as Administrator." The command line window will appear.
2. Enter "telnet x.x.x.x," on the command prompt, replacing the "x.x.x.x" with the IP address of a Cisco router, and then press the "Enter" key. Telnet will then connect to the Cisco router.
3. Enter the telnet password when requested on the command prompt, and then tap the "Enter" key.
4. Enter "enable" on the command prompt, and tap the "Enter" key. Type the Privilege Exec password for the Cisco router when requested, and press the "Enter" key.
5. Enter the "copy tftp flash" command on the command prompt, and then tap the "Enter" key.
6. Enter the IP address of the Windows 7 computer on the command line as the IP address of the TFTP server from which to copy the new IOS image, and then tap the "Enter" key.
7. Enter the exact name of the IOS file on the command prompt when requested, and then tap the "Enter" key.
8. Enter the name of the IOS file as the destination file name and tap the "Enter" key.
9. Type "Y" when the "Erase flash: before copying? [confirm]" message appears, and press the "Enter" key. The new IOS file will then be copied to the router flash drive.
10. Enter "configure terminal" on the command line, and then tap the "Enter" key.
11. Type "no boot system" and press the "Enter" key. Then type "boot system flash:ios_filename," except replace the "ios_filename" with the exact name of the IOS file that was just transferred to the Cisco router, and then tap the "Enter" key.
12. Type the "exit" command at the command prompt and tap the "Enter" key, and then type "write memory" and tap the "Enter" key.
13. Enter the "reload" command on the command prompt, and then press the "Enter" key. The Cisco router will restart and boot into the new IOS.
What is a Network Protocol?
A protocol is a set of rules that governs the communications between computers on a network. These rules include guidelines that regulate the following characteristics of a network: access method, allowed physical topologies, types of cabling, and speed of data transfer.
Types of Network Protocols
The most common network protocols are:
- Local Talk
- Token Ring
The follow is some common-used network symbols to draw different kinds of network protocols.
The Ethernet protocol is by far the most widely used. Ethernet uses an access method called CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection). This is a system where each computer listens to the cable before sending anything through the network. If the network is clear, the computer will transmit. If some other node is already transmitting on the cable, the computer will wait and try again when the line is clear. Sometimes, two computers attempt to transmit at the same instant. When this happens a collision occurs. Each computer then backs off and waits a random amount of time before attempting to retransmit. With this access method, it is normal to have collisions. However, the delay caused by collisions and retransmitting is very small and does not normally affect the speed of transmission on the network.
The Ethernet protocol allows for linear bus, star, or tree topologies. Data can be transmitted over wireless access points, twisted pair, coaxial, or fiber optic cable at a speed of 10 Mbps up to 1000 Mbps.
To allow for an increased speed of transmission, the Ethernet protocol has developed a new standard that supports 100 Mbps. This is commonly called Fast Ethernet. Fast Ethernet requires the use of different, more expensive network concentrators/hubs and network interface cards. In addition, category 5 twisted pair or fiber optic cable is necessary. Fast Ethernet is becoming common in schools that have been recently wired.
Local Talk is a network protocol that was developed by Apple Computer, Inc. for Macintosh computers. The method used by Local Talk is called CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance). It is similar to CSMA/CD except that a computer signals its intent to transmit before it actually does so. Local Talk adapters and special twisted pair cable can be used to connect a series of computers through the serial port. The Macintosh operating system allows the establishment of a peer-to-peer network without the need for additional software. With the addition of the server version of AppleShare software, a client/server network can be established.
The Local Talk protocol allows for linear bus, star, or tree topologies using twisted pair cable. A primary disadvantage of Local Talk is speed. Its speed of transmission is only 230 Kbps.
The Token Ring protocol was developed by IBM in the mid-1980s. The access method used involves token-passing. In Token Ring, the computers are connected so that the signal travels around the network from one computer to another in a logical ring. A single electronic token moves around the ring from one computer to the next. If a computer does not have information to transmit, it simply passes the token on to the next workstation. If a computer wishes to transmit and receives an empty token, it attaches data to the token. The token then proceeds around the ring until it comes to the computer for which the data is meant. At this point, the data is captured by the receiving computer. The Token Ring protocol requires a star-wired ring using twisted pair or fiber optic cable. It can operate at transmission speeds of 4 Mbps or 16 Mbps. Due to the increasing popularity of Ethernet, the use of Token Ring in school environments has decreased.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) is a network protocol that is used primarily to interconnect two or more local area networks, often over large distances. The access method used by FDDI involves token-passing. FDDI uses a dual ring physical topology. Transmission normally occurs on one of the rings; however, if a break occurs, the system keeps information moving by automatically using portions of the second ring to create a new complete ring. A major advantage of FDDI is speed. It operates over fiber optic cable at 100 Mbps.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a network protocol that transmits data at a speed of 155 Mbps and higher. ATM works by transmitting all data in small packets of a fixed size; whereas, other protocols transfer variable length packets. ATM supports a variety of media such as video, CD-quality audio, and imaging. ATM employs a star topology, which can work with fiber optic as well as twisted pair cable.
ATM is most often used to interconnect two or more local area networks. It is also frequently used by Internet Service Providers to utilize high-speed access to the Internet for their clients. As ATM technology becomes more cost-effective, it will provide another solution for constructing faster local area networks.
The most recent development in the Ethernet standard is a protocol that has a transmission speed of 1 Gbps. Gigabit Ethernet is primarily used for backbones on a network at this time. In the future, it will probably be used for workstation and server connections also. It can be used with both fiber optic cabling and copper. The 1000BaseTX, the copper cable used for Gigabit Ethernet, is expected to become the formal standard in 1999.
Compare the Network Protocols
Twisted Pair, Coaxial, Fiber
Linear Bus, Star, Tree
Twisted Pair, Fiber
Linear Bus or Star
4 Mbps - 16 Mbps
Twisted Pair, Fiber
Linear Bus, Star, Tree
Network Diagramming Software
Edraw Network Diagrammer is a new, rapid and powerful network design software for network drawings with rich examples and templates. Easy to draw network topology, Cisco network design diagram, LAN/WAN diagram, network cabling diagrams, active directory, network planform and physical network diagram.
The Cisco ASA 5510 security device is the second model in the ASA series (ASA 5505, 5510, 5520 etc.) and is fairly popular since is intended for small to medium enterprises. Like the smallest ASA 5505 model, the Cisco ASA 5510 comes with two license options: The Base license and the Security Plus license. The second one (security plus) provides some performance and hardware enhancements over the base license, such as 130,000 Maximum firewall connections (instead of 50,000), 100 Maximum VLANs (instead of 50), Failover Redundancy, etc. Also, the security plus license enables two of the five firewall network ports to work as 10/100/1000 instead of only 10/100.
Next we will see a simple Internet Access scenario which will help us understand the basic steps needed to setup an ASA 5510. Assume that we are assigned a static public IP address 100.100.100.1 from our ISP. Also, the internal LAN network belongs to subnet 192.168.10.0/24. Interface Ethernet0/0 will be connected on the outside (towards the ISP), and Ethernet0/1 will be connected to the Inside LAN switch.
The firewall will be configured to supply IP addresses dynamically (using DHCP) to the internal hosts. All outbound communication (from inside to outside) will be translated using Port Address Translation (PAT) on the outside public interface.
Let's see a snippet of the required configuration steps for this basic scenario:
Step1: Configure a privileged level password (enable password)
By default there is no password for accessing the ASA firewall, so the first step before doing anything else is to configure a privileged level password, which will be needed to allow subsequent access to the appliance. Configure this under Configuration Mode:
ASA5510(config)# enable password mysecretpassword
Step2: Configure the public outside interface
ASA5510(config)# interface Ethernet0/0
ASA5510(config-if)# nameif outside
ASA5510(config-if)# security-level 0
ASA5510(config-if)# ip address 100.100.100.1 255.255.255.252
ASA5510(config-if)# no shut
Step3: Configure the trusted internal interface
ASA5510(config)# interface Ethernet0/1
ASA5510(config-if)# nameif inside
ASA5510(config-if)# security-level 100
ASA5510(config-if)# ip address 192.168.10.1 255.255.255.0
ASA5510(config-if)# no shut
Step 4: Configure PAT on the outside interface
ASA5510(config)# global (outside) 1 interface
ASA5510(config)# nat (inside) 1 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0
Step 5: Configure Default Route towards the ISP (assume default gateway is 100.100.100.2)
ASA5510(config)# route outside 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 100.100.100.2 1
Step 6: Configure the firewall to assign internal IP and DNS address to hosts using DHCP
ASA5510(config)# dhcpd dns 184.108.40.206
ASA5510(config)# dhcpd address 192.168.10.10-192.168.10.200 inside
ASA5510(config)# dhcpd enable inside
The above basic configuration is just the beginning for making the appliance operational. There are many more configuration features that you need to implement to increase the security of your network, such as Static and Dynamic NAT, Access Control Lists to control traffic flow, DMZ zones, VPN etc.
And so it begins. After a bleak summer that included 6,500 job cuts, Cisco Systems (CSCO) is working hard to raise its voice and rally partners. Channel Chief Edison Peres has issued a video blog to crystallize the company’s partner strategy. Andrew Sage, Cisco’s VP, Partner Led, is set to provide strategy updates soon. And CEO John Chambers (pictured) recently rallied the Cisco sales force to further support partners. All of the chatter includes Cisco executives talking about the “Next Cisco.” But has the Next Cisco really arrived?
In the video blog, Peres reinforces the fact that 80 percent of sales involve partners:
As expected, Cisco has also simplified its messaging. Instead of focusing on roughly 50 markets, Cisco is zeroing in on five opportunities:
- Core (routing and switching/Cisco routers&Cisco switches)
- Data center/virtualization
- Architectures for business transformation
Some folks on Wall Street are embracing Cisco’s streamlined focus. Auriga USA, an institutional broker, predicts that Cisco can grow faster than rivals over the next years while taking market share from Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks, according to Tech Trader Daily,
Still, let’s not forget that Cisco stumbled badly only a few months ago. First, the company essentially said “all is well” during Cisco Partner Summit (Feb. 28-March 3, 2011). But by April, Chambers conceded that Cisco had lost its focus. Cisco soon killed the Flip video camera. And by August 2011, Cisco cut roughly 6,500 positions.
But here’s where things get extra interesting. Sometime around the time Cisco started layoffs, Wall Street began to think that Cisco was in better shape than some of its rivals. And more recently, Hewlett-Packard’s decision to potentially sell or spin-off its PC division may have triggered some distractions within the halls of HP… potentially helping Cisco to gain some ground in the server market (though servers are not part of HP’s potential PC spin-off plan).
Yes, Cisco still has massive market share in switching and routing. And folks like Peres and Sage have the channel’s respect. But here’s one remaining riddle: How exactly does Sage’s role differ from Peres’s role? The VAR Guy expects to gain more answers and insights within the next few days…
Cisco is a large manufacturer of networking hardware, inter-network operating systems, network routers, switches and other similar devices. The actual design and layout of each product controls what types of Cisco memory can be used in the system device. This also influences what functions the memory serves in the system.
Cisco has four main types of memory in its hardware.
Dynamic Random Access Memory
Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) is designed to work with computer systems that have two device requirements. One requirement would be the job that the processor memory performs. This is an operation that allows for exclusive memory access by the CPU, which it uses when executing software running on the Cisco IOS platform. Critical data such as configuration settings or routing tables are stored in the processor memory. The second requirement would be the function that the shared memory performs. This takes any and all data that comes in and out of the system and buffers it to what is called the packet memory. It is sent there before being transmitted over the network interface.
Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory
Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) is a memory system often unchangeable by consumers. When the system is being manufactured, it is one of the last stages left to complete. EPROM memory is installed with two components. One is the boot loader, which allows a system that may fail to find a bootable image in the flash memory and allow an alternate boot option. The second component is a ROM monitor, which comes with a user interface and options for troubleshooting any possible failures of the ROM chips.
Non-Volatile Random Access Memory
Non-Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM) performs the duty of storing configuration information used by Cisco IOS during booting and start-up. The NVRAM allows the functionality of the Cisco Software Configuration Register (SCR), which sole function is allow a device to be booted and chosen from the multiple IOS images stored in flash memory.
Flash memory has the widest variety of uses from all the Cisco memory types. The primary use for flash memory is to store bootable IOS images from which the system can define and use to start up. Most of the computers have installed the onboard flash memory the device uses to boot, but in some higher end systems, they can have the ability to boot up from a image stored on a removable flash memory card.
Cisco markets the 3900 Series Integrated Services Router, or ISR for short, as their cutting edge option in office network technology. The unit offers an upgradable motherboard. This allows owners to update hardware as more powerful options become available without having to purchase a new router. Cisco also appeals to environmentally conscious consumers with their EngeryWise dual power supplies, which lower electricity costs and support essential redundancy requirements. It is occasionally necessary to reset this powerful networking device, restoring it to factory default settings.
Two Metods to Reset a Cisco 3900 Router
1. Enter "config-register 0x2102" from the router's command prompt window. This gives you access to global configuration mode.
2. Enter "show version." The response should read:
router# configure terminal
router (config) #config-register 0x2102
router (config) #end
Repeat the "show version" command.
The response should now read "will be 0x2102 at next reload."
3. Enter the command "write erase." This will erase the current start-up configuration.
4. Reload the software by entering the "reload" command. Do not save when prompted.
The system display should read:
System configuration has been modified. Save? (yes/no): n
Proceed with reload? (confirm)
Confirm that you want the reload to proceed.
5. Wait for the reload. The dialog box will read:---System Configuration Dialog---
Would you like to enter the initial configuration dialog? (yes/no)
The router has been reset.
1. Enter the command "config-register 0x2142."
The response should read:
Router (config)#config-register 0x2142
Repeat the "show version command."
The response should now read "will be 0x2142 at next reload."
2. Reload the software by entering the "reload" command. Do not save when prompted. The system should read:
System configuration has been modified. Save? (Yes/no): n
Proceed with reload? (Confirm)
Confirm that you want the reload to proceed.
3. Wait for the reload. The dialog box will read:
---System Configuration Dialog---
Would you like to enter the initial configuration dialog? (Yes/no) Enter "no."
4. Change the configuration register setting to 0x2102. Enter "config-register 0x2102." Enter "write memory." This will overwrite the running configuration.
5. Enter the "reload" command. The system configuration dialog will appear again. The router is reset.
Competition between HP and Cisco has reached epic heights in the past few years, from data center wares to tablets. Here's why Cisco Cius survived even as HP pulled the plug on its TouchPad tablet.
With the TouchPad experiencing one of the shortest product lifecycles in IT in the last few years (some argue the Microsoft Kin had a shorter lifespan, but it did get a temporary resurrection), analysts are pointing the finger for its untimely death at a major switch in HP’s strategic focus, product launch delays and confusing marketing. With the TouchPad officially on the chopping block seven weeks after launch, what’s in store for other business tablets, most notably the Cisco Cius?
The simultaneous announcement that HP would be selling off its PC unit really shows a difference in the vendor’s focus since the days of Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd, both of which were focused very much on the PC business. Current CEO Leo Apotheker, however, is a different kettle of fish, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. King noted that Apotheker is a data center and software guy, and with terrible sales of the TouchPad in the first few weeks after launch, there was clearly a willingness to abandon the product.
“Certainly patience wasn’t the order of the day,” King said.
According to Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of Enderle Group, HP’s acquisition of Palm delayed the release of the TouchPad. Designed to compete with the first generation of the Apple iPad, by the time it hit the market in July, it already seemed out of date and the consumer market had already spoken. Meanwhile, other tablets being released right now were designed to compete with the iPad 2.
Mixed marketing messages also may have contributed to the early demise of the TouchPad, Enderle said. Was it a consumer tablet or a business tablet?
“The TouchPad was kind of a mixed beast. It didn’t have a lot of business attributes to it. The advertising was clearly focused on the consumer. It got lost,” Enderle said.
It seems clear that mistakes were made, but what does this mean for business tablets entering the market, most notably one of HP’s biggest rivals, Cisco and its Cius tablet?
It’s likely to be good for Cisco, said Michelle Warren, president of MW Research & Consulting. Although there has been a lot of iPad adoption by executives in the business world, IT departments are struggling with managing and securing the devices. They’re looking for an alternative, and the Cisco Cius, which was designed specifically for enterprises in mind (Cisco’s own messaging is not aimed at the consumer at all), is getting some notice. Warren said the Cius is becoming a popular choice, even though it hasn’t even launched yet. When the Cius does launch, it will have one less competitor in the business tablet space, and it’s unlikely Cisco will drop the Cius product line, she said.
“There is a need for it in the enterprise space,” Warren said. At the very least, it was designed for enterprise apps and will be easier to manage and secure.
However, the question regarding all tablets that sell at or above the iPad's price point is whether they can be viable in an Apple-dominated business, King said. There is likely more leeway for business tablets like the Cius, he added.
“Apple is very clearly consumer-focused, although the company insists the iPad and iPhone are ready for the enterprise. I think that’s arguably incorrect, but it may have been a problem with the TouchPad because HP was trying to market it as being used by both businesses and consumers,” King said.
To its credit, Cisco has been very clear about its intentions for the Cius, he said. Its primary strengths are in enterprise computing and collaboration.
“The environment right now for tablets is extremely challenging, but I think Cisco is obviously in a place where they’re working very hard to curtail costs and reduce red ink,” King said. “If the Cius was really bleeding money, it could be destined for the boneyard, but I think what the company has done to date, at least, is get rid of those products that weren’t within the purview of its enterprise focus, like getting rid of the Flip and some of its other consumer-centric product areas. I think the Cius probably resonates enough with the company’s overall enterprise-centric mandate that it would make less sense for Cisco to put down production on that than it would on something on the more consumer-centric side of the business.”