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SDNs: 8 Key Considerations Before You Make the Leap

July 9 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

Software-defined networks (SDN) aren’t for everybody. Through programmability and automation, they promise to make IT life easier. But depending on your IT shop, the benefit may not be worth the effort… or investment.SDN-strategy.jpg

There are eight considerations for IT shops evaluating SDNs, according to IT management software company Solar Winds. The checklist was compiled from interactions with customers considering or inquiring about SDNs:  

1) The industry in which the organization is operating

SDNs work for cloud providers or for any organization that experiences dramatically scaling workloads, says Sanjay Castelino, vice president and market leader of SolarWinds’ network management business. Financial services companies and retail fall into that category, where “the dynamic nature of the business drives IT to be flexible,” Castelino says.  

Some that do not fit this mold are publishing and healthcare, he says, two industries that are relatively stable, and not launching or moving around application workloads every day. “Their environments are not as dynamic,” Castelino says.  

2) The size of an organization’s network

While there is not a distinct bare metal server or virtual machine threshold for implementing an SDN or not, the rule of thumb is hundreds of IP addresses.

“For 50 IP addresses, it’s not worth the change,” he says. “For hundreds of IP addresses, you might need the automation.”
Castelino recommends doing capacity planning before considering SDNs.

3) The level of complexity of an organization’s network

If there are requirements for a lot of network slicing or segmentation for security and isolation, you might be a good candidate for an SDN. If there are lots of virtual LANs to configure and manage, or there are VLANs that require more automation than others, SDNs might be a good fit.

But change shouldn’t be made just for the sake of it, Castelino says.

“You don’t want to make changes that break things,” he says. “Policy is not a simple task to go implement. Have to have someone deeply steeped in network engineering.”

And you have to validate and test the environment multiple times, he adds.   

4) The Dynamic nature of an organization’s applications and workloads

This goes back to consideration No. 1: Are you a cloud operator or a hardback book publisher? How often are you launching new applications and closing others? How often are you moving workloads around? Is your environment static and predictable, or always changing, always moving and unpredictable?

5) The number of virtual machines within an organization’s network

“If you’re not at a few hundred, you’re probably early,” Castelino says. He reiterates that if an organization is running hundreds of workloads, it might be worth taking a look at SDNs. Below that level, and with SDN’s immaturity, it might be “way too early” to look at.

6) The organization’s need for agility, flexibility and scalability within the network

See Nos. 4 and 1: If you have a business or IT environment that scales quickly and changes dynamically, you want SDN. But the eventual ease of operations will come with some initial work. The time it takes to get into SDN is not small today, Castelino notes – it’s still at the bleeding edge of the technology curve.

“Network engineering skills and capital resources are going to be key,” he says. “It could be an expensive proposition so you need to ensure value on the other side.”

7) The organization’s need to simplify security measures and control access to applications

The benefit of SDN is that things get done the same way all the time, through policy, even though the environment is dynamic and always changing. Security and network access control in a dynamic environment can be a nightmare. It’s important to get policy enforcement right in this regard not only to ease operation but to ensure information stays where it should.   

8) The organization’s access to personnel and capital resources

If an IT shop doesn’t have network engineering expertise, or a personnel is stretched thin, SDN is not the project to undertake, Castelino says.

“There will be lots of bumps in the road,” he says. “It’s going to be a lot of work and take time.”

SDN deployments are done in parallel with the production environment, test, evaluated, validated and tested again before they are cut over to the production network. It takes time, people and money.

In summary, SDN holds a lot of promise. There are a lot of problems it can solve… but also a lot it can start if the environment is not conducive to the effort and undertaking to transition to an SDN-programmable and automated IT operation.

“The hype cycle can sometimes lead to an ugly bursting of the bubble,” Castelino says. “SDN has its purpose. But if it is marketed as a panacea for everything under the sun, you’ll see a lot of dramatic failures. It’s not ready for everyone but some can get a lot of value out of it. You just need to go in with eyes open.”

Review resources from http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/070213-sdn-271479.html

More Related:

12 Big Proposals for SDN IT Buyers

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Cisco Accelerates SDN Strategy with Dynamic Fabric Automation

July 4 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

Note: The original version of this article indicated that VXLAN was used for tunneling. As per Cisco's remarks in the comments section, Cisco is using a proprietary tagging encapsulation protocol. The article has been updated for accuracy and to express the author's views about proprietary protocols.

Cisco Systems' SDN strategy is taking shape via its announcement of Dynamic Fabric Automation. DFA is a data center fabric that uses an overlay network to provide orchestration, multitenancy and operational visibility. VMware, Juniper and Alcatel's Nuage also offer network overlays, but DFA has one significant difference: hardware integration in the physical network devices to support bare-metal servers or other physical devices.

DFA is orchestration software using a software network controller to manage a tunneling overlay network using a proprietary 24-bit tag in the Ethernet header to signal tunnel membership over the Fabric Path-based fabric to an endpoint.

Cisco recommends using Nexus gear deployed in a Spine-and-Leaf configuration, though it's not required. This appears to be a workaround for the lack of entropy in the Ethernet header, which would cause poor load balancing in MLAG network designs common in today's networks.

Announced at Cisco Live in Orlando Florida, this is the first demonstration of Cisco's SDN strategy, which Cisco is calling "Application-Centric Infrastructure."

Tunnel Management

DFA uses Cisco's Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) as a network controller for the tunnel overlay and manages all the physical and software devices in the Unified Fabric as a distributed control plane. Note that Cisco disagrees with the use of the term "controller" to describe the DCNM. It calls it a Centralized Point of Management (CPoM). Cisco's reasoning is described in the comments section.


DFA works at the device level through an existing feature in NX-OS called Configuration Port Profiles. The DFA controller applies port profiles to logical ports in the Nexus 1000V switch on hypervisor platforms and to the physical leaf-node switches. In this way, both physical and virtual devices can connect using an overlay network.

This control of the network edge, plus integration with cloud platforms such as OpenStack, provides the control for multitenant data centers. DFA enables multitenancy through the underlay network by managing all device configurations and by the use of proprietary overlay networking to isolate traffic.

The DCNM knows the location of endpoints and can graphically display the network slice of each tenant in the architecture, which simplifies troubleshooting and improves network visibility.

Cisco uses the misnomer of "Workload Aware Fabric Network" for this feature. The term implies that the network is adaptively handling traffic flows. In reality, the network controller knows the locations of servers and the network devices that are in the path.

The unified fabric is configured to support a distributed gateway where all leaf nodes share the gateway IP and MAC address for a given subnet. This enables transparent layer-2 functions across all the leaf nodes while also providing layer-3 routing at the network edge.

ARP traffic is terminated on each leaf and BUM traffic is significantly suppressed. Internally, the underlay uses /32 routing for each host to support dynamic L2 mobility at the edge of the network.


DFA Endpoints Source: Greg Ferro

It's not clear which specific Nexus devices support DFA today. As mentioned, Cisco recommends a Leaf/Spine design using an ECMP network core (FabricPath) between the spine and leaf nodes, which is only supported on specific switch models. DFA also uses iBGP to propagate some configuration data between elements of the tunnel fabric (although it's not yet clear what exactly this data is).

Cisco Plays To Its Strengths

It has been clear for some time that Cisco has not been leading Software Defined Networking technology and, to some extent, lost control of the SDN debate. It's trying to get it back. Cisco has started using a marketing term "Application-Centric Infrastructure" instead of "Software Defined Networking" and that message was consistently repeated at Cisco Live.

With DFA, Cisco is the only vendor today with a strategy to orchestrate physical tunnelling functions in network hardware (albeit with a proprietary mechanism with poor interoperability) with software network agents such as the Nexus 1000V.

This allows the deployment of overlay networks that connect both virtualized platforms such as OpenStack or VMware to non-virtualized devices and servers. Instead of supporting virtual workloads in a cloud platform like vCloud or OpenStack, Cisco can support any workload, anywhere.

This embracing of non-cloud systems will be attractive to many customers and attacks a weakness in existing software overlays such as Nicira, Contrail and Nuage that don't provide support for legacy network integration.

DFA looks to be a strong product that certainly meets customer needs, goes beyond competitive products and plays to Cisco's strengths integrating the physical and virtual networks.

Unfortunately, the choice of a non-standard and proprietary encapsulation is a significant drawback. While some customers may not be concerned about the use of proprietary technology, I recommend DFA be avoided because of it.

It's also clear that Cisco is betting a great deal on its Insieme project, which may offer a better solution for similar use cases. Cisco did not clearly explain Insieme at Cisco Live, so customers will have to wait for more information before making concrete plans.

About the author: Greg Ferro is a freelance Network Architect and Engineer. 

---News from http://www.networkcomputing.com/

More Cisco News:

Cisco Chambers: “IoE is the Next Big Transition for Businesses”

Internet of Everything, SDN Hot Topics in Cisco Partner Summit 2013

Cisco Delivers “Monster” Catalyst Switch, Routers for SDN Environments

Four Key Networking Predictions for 2013

Cisco’ Answer to SDN, Cisco ONE Introduced at Cisco Live

Cisco vs. Juniper: How Different are Their SDN Strategies?

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Why Attend Mobile Asia Expo (MAE ) 2013?

June 27 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

Mobile is connecting the world in a dramatic and breath-taking fashion. It bridgesMAE2013-SHANGHAI.png generations, builds communities, ignites ideas and tears down the barriers which separate us. Mobile Asia Expo will accelerate this effect by showcasing the mobile trends and solutions that will transform our lives today and tomorrow. Join us in Connecting the Future!

Mobile Asia Expo 2013 will include:

A world-class Expo, showcasing cutting-edge technology, demonstrations, products, devices and apps to mobile professionals and mobile-passionate consumers

A thought-leadership Conference for senior mobile professionals, featuring visionary keynotes and panel discussions and world-class networking opportunities

App Planet, where app developers can learn and expand their knowledge of the popular mobile app marketplace

New for 2013, the Mobile Asia Expo exhibition will feature the Connected City. The Connected City will demonstrate the current reality and future vision of ‘the connected life’ through a real city street in the heart of Mobile Asia Expo, creating an engaging, visionary, and “connected” experience.


New for 2013

Featuring something for everyone who has an interest in the mobile industry, Mobile Asia Expo 2013 will include many new event offerings:

Showcasing ‘Smart City’–Explore the ways that mobile technology is enabling cities to become more efficient through cutting-edge demonstrations from international exhibitors

More networking opportunities–Connect with the C-level leaders in the Asian mobile industry through a range of unique networking opportunities

My MAE online networking platform–Reach out to new contacts and set up meetings using our exclusive, dual language social networking tool

Doing business in China–Learn about buying and selling your products and services as well as finding the right partner within the Chinese market

Training opportunities–Participate in formalized mobile industry business trainings geared toward director & manager level employees

Even more Innovation Lab presenters–Hear from exhibitors, sponsors or partners on emerging technologies and new products or services in the very successful Innovation Lab


Who Will Attend?

Mobile Asia Expo will feature something for everyone who has an interest in the mobile industry. Expected attendees include:

  • B2B Mobile Professionals looking for outstanding networking opportunities with senior industry leaders and discussing emerging industry trends
  • Industry professionals looking to further their mobile knowledge and discover new products and technologies
  • Mobile Consumers interested in the latest in mobile technology and devices
  • Retail Buyers seeking new products and glimpsing the future of mobile
  • App Developers interested in learning the newest developments from the largest platforms


Why Attend?

The conference and exhibition programmes in the inaugural GSMA Mobile Asia Expo were attended by more than 15,500 visitors from 81 markets, attracting executives from mobile operators, software companies, device makers, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as government delegations.


While there are many benefits of attending and being part of the Mobile Asia Expo 2013, our event has continued to grow and evolve around some fundamental values:

Bringing Together the Mobile Ecosystem: Mobile has become part and partial of our daily lives today. GSMA brings together mobile operators and different players in the mobile ecosystem in this annual mobile-focused occasion where mobile innovations, ideas and business deals are being fostered and accelerated.

Where the World meets Chinese and Asian Audiences: This is an international event where prestigious international exhibitors, partners, speakers and press are invited to bring mobile innovations, products and services in front of the prospective industry audience in this rapidly growing market of China and pan-Asia.

Inheriting Professional Quality of Mobile World Congress: Backed up by the professional team behind the industry-renowned Mobile World Congress, Mobile Asia Expo is going to drive a first-class conference and exhibition experience in the state-of-art facilities of Shanghai New International Exhibition Centre.

Bringing ‘Consumer Experience’ to the Exhibition Floor: Different from the traditional tradeshow setting, Mobile Asia Expo brings ‘Consumer Experience’ in the exhibition floor design and provides opportunities for both trade and consumers to experience the forefront of new mobile technologies in an unconventional setting.

More Related Info and Topics of MAE you can visit:

http://www.cisco.com/web/CN/solutions/sp/mae/index_en.html and http://www.mobileasiaexpo.com/

More Cisco News and Reviews:

Cisco’s Exhibition of MWC 2013: Bringing Hybrid Wireless Networking Products

WMC2012: Cisco Bridges Wi-Fi, Cellular Net

Internet of Everything, SDN Hot Topics in Cisco Partner Summit 2013

Join Us at Cisco Live US 2013

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Cisco Unveils pxGrid For Identity, Device Context Awareness with Cisco ISE

June 18 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking


Cisco is introducing a new framework for sharing context-aware information to a variety of third-party security providers. The networking giant said it will use pxGrid to make Cisco ISE the central repository for context-aware security architecture via a new ecosystem of partners.Cisco-Announces-pxGrid-For-Identity--Device-Context-Awarene.jpg

Cisco already has a broad set of mobile device management (MDM) vendor partners for Identity Services Engine (ISE). This week, however, Cisco added a new collection of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and threat detection vendors that are integrating with ISE via pxGrid. The initial set of partners includes HP ArcSight, IBM, Lancope, LogRhythm, Splunk, Symantec and Tibco.

The PxGrid is a publish-and-subscribe framework through which security products can collect contextual information from ISE, such as user, device, network connection and location. They can then use that information to improve their own analytics. Since pxGrid is bi-directional, these SIEM and threat detection vendors can also send instructions to ISE to revoke or modify network access.

Cisco's decision to align with the SIEM market struck at least one analyst as an odd choice.

"SIEMs are an old technology," said John Katsaros, principal at Internet Research Group. "Some would call it ancient. If you look at it going forward, SIEMs are going to be phased out. I don't think they're going to be around for more than a couple more years."

Instead, Katsaros thinks Cisco should be aligning its security strategy with big data. RSA predicted this shift late last year and evangelized the notion at the RSA conference this year.

Rather than interconnecting different security platforms, Katsaros thinks vendors should be helping enterprises build data warehouses for security management. "Big data makes it more affordable to capture, keep and mine security information. Why (Cisco isn't) going in that direction is beyond me. They didn't show us anything that shows they have a better way of doing things than with big data techniques."

With pxGrid, Cisco ISE adds context everywhere

Kevin Skahill, director of Cisco's secure access and mobility group, said the vendor's plans for pxGrid go well beyond the SIEM and threat-detection market.

"We see potential to do this integration with many other platforms," he said. "PxGrid is a publish-and-subscribe technique that provides a single framework that partners can develop once (with). It allows partners to customize and secure what contexts get shared, because not every partner wants the 80 different attributes that ISE can provide."

Nor is Cisco ISE necessarily being pitched as the heart of a context-aware security architecture, Skahill said, adding that the pxGrid framework will allow vendor partners to share context directly with each other. Cisco is submitting pxGrid to the IETF and other standardization bodies for consideration, he added.

Carefusion, a global manufacturer of medical devices, is an alpha adopter of the pxGrid integration, using a combination of Cisco ISE and Lancope's StealthWatch NetFlow analyzer.

"We are using the ISE and Stealthwatch combination to help secure our wired VPN and wireless access," said Bart Lauwers, Carefusion's vice president of IT infrastructure. "One problem we were facing was how to correlate all this data (from Stealthwatch) and ensure that we're taking the right action. In our alpha deployment, we had the ability to examine historic behavior, determine what the impact (of an incident was) do a full assessment of what the threat was and when it happened and install a rule to prevent it from happening again."

Lauwers said the integration will allow his team to identify and remediate threats instantly, rather than the weeks or months it could sometimes take.

PxGrid also integrates Cisco ISE into SDN

Cisco will also integrate its software-defined networking strategy with pxGrid, said Dave Framptom, vice president and general manager of Cisco's secure access and mobility product group.

"The Cisco ONE controller will be one of the consumers of context from ISE with pxGrid," he said. "Then that controller can take that information and help direct an action in the network."

PxGrid is available now to prospective partners and will be generally available for customer use in the first quarter of 2014.

Reviews from http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com

More Cisco Related:

Cisco pxGrid Aims for Greater Network Security

Cisco Platform Exchange Grid (pxGrid) Overview


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Mobility Without Complexity: Four Tips to Prepare Your LAN for 802.11n

June 13 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

Businesses have long recognized the benefits of wireless networking: flexible network connectivity, improved productivity, and lowered cabling costs. As the demand for reliable and predicable wireless support for time-sensitive applications (such as video streaming and real-time collaboration) has risen, many organizations have made the decision to deploy 802.11n to meet their higher performance requirements. Successful deployment and operation of a 802.11n wireless network depends heavily on the wired


LAN that supports it. To take full advantage of the performance enhancements and scalability offered by 802.11n, the four easy-to-follow suggestions below can help to simplify deployment of a 802.11n wireless network on your wired LAN to maximize network efficiency. 

1. Prepare for growth.

Bandwidth provisioning: The main driver to deploying an 802.11n network is to take advantage of the increased bandwidth it provides for multimedia applications. The lower speeds of an 802.11a/g wireless network resulted in unreliable and undesirable consequences for bandwidth-intensive voice and video applications. Now, with the improved performance in 802.11n, and enhanced reliability, it is possible for your wireless LAN to function as predictably as a wired LAN.

To utilize the full potential of 802.11n, sufficient bandwidth must be provisioned in the wired LAN to support the increased traffic demands. A 1:1 ratio of 1Gbps port per 802.11n access point is a safe rule; less obvious is how to properly provision the uplink ports.

10GE uplinks provide the bandwidth necessary to backhaul traffic generated by multiple access points or other bandwidth-intensive devices supported by a single PoE switch. 10GE uplinks provide a reliable and predictable response to the 802.11n wireless LAN demands. 10GE provides the support necessary to decrease latency in time-sensitive applications.

If you are not ready to make the move to 10GE, you can use the existing 1Gpbs uplinks.

However, it is important to be aware of traffic demands on the switch to avoid excessive network disruption. As your network needs grow, a 10GE uplink is recommended.

Cisco solution: The Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series Switches with StackWise Plus are an enterprise-class line of stackable wiring closet switches that facilitates the deployment of secure converged applications while maximizing investment protection for evolving network and application requirements. Combining 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations with 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks, the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E enhances worker productivity by enabling applications such as IP telephony, wireless, and video.

The Cisco TwinGig Converter Module supports the multistep approach to deploying 802.11n by providing a flexible way to easily deploy 10GE without network disruption. The converter module allows for 1G to be used until traffic demands on the network demand a 10Gig uplink.

This converter module is supported in the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E PoE switches and allows for easy 10GE deployment as the 802.11n bandwidth demand increases.

2. Eliminate complexity and lower costs.

Power over Ethernet (PoE): The benefits of wireless networking are increased productivity and decreased complexity and cost. An integral part of this equation is the ability to provide power through PoE switches. By providing the delivery of power over the existing LAN Ethernet cabling to the connected devices, PoE removes the need for costly and complicated electrical upgrades and reduces labor costs associated with deployment.

For example, electrical outlets are not usually placed in hard-to-reach areas. Wireless access points, in contrast, are typically placed in ceilings to maximize wireless coverage. By simply using the existing LAN conduit, which is typically run inside walls and over ceilings, a wireless access point can be powered where electricity was previously not available. By eliminating the restriction of placing access points only where power outlets are available, a more flexible and reliable wireless network can be realized. The end results are maximum wireless network coverage and availability for the end users.

The benefits of PoE switches do not stop there. Deployment of a PoE switch provides the benefit of being able to control the APs in the plenum (the space between the structural ceiling and a drop-down ceiling) and power off (and on) wireless access points from the switch or WLAN controller.

Power management: After PoE switches are enabled on the LAN, power management of the switches and connected devices can be as simple as setting the automatic thermostat in your home. The Cisco Catalyst PoE switches support Cisco EnergyWise, an advanced green IT technology that allows businesses to measure their power usage and create policies to reduce power consumption when the network is not in use, such as turning off power to “sleeping” devices, such as voice-over-IP (VoIP) phones and printers, during hours when the business is closed.

The Cisco Catalyst PoE switches and Cisco Aironet products are designed to work in concert in providing power-optimized solutions. The Cisco Aironet 1140 Access Point supports Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) adaptive power management, which allows businesses to schedule when the access point radios are available.

Maintaining the predictability and reliability of an 802.11n network is having device features that perform as configured. Many 802.11n devices have power demands that exceed the 802.3af standard. A frequent, undesirable tradeoff is disabling features when the device is starting to approach the limits of the 802.3af PoE standard. The Cisco Aironet 1140 Access Point works within the 802.3af power specification without compromise to performance, feature set, or power usage.

By coupling the power management capabilities of the Cisco Catalyst PoE switches and the Aironet access points, you can set policies to schedule power usage according to your business needs. And, through careful planning, you can deploy a wired and wireless network solution that provides a simple way to significantly save on overall business operating expenses.

3. Automate devices.

Automate switch deployment: Cisco Catalyst switches support many ease of use features.

To simplify switch deployment and minimize chance for error, the Cisco 3750E offers DHCP AutoInstall. This allows the switch to automatically receive its IP address upon initialization and, once the IP address has been obtained, automatically download the appropriate configuration file.

By automating the deployment process, the AutoInstall feature allows multiple switches to be deployed easily and uniformly, without the risk of administrator input error.

Simplify moves, adds, and changes: The dynamic nature of a wireless network demands real-time responsiveness in the wired LAN. The network should be able to adjust to changes in the network with minimal interference. Cisco’s Auto Smartports significantly decrease deployment time and increase accuracy and consistency by automatically detecting devices connected to its ports. Cisco Catalyst switches use Auto Smartports macros to apply precreated, common switch port configuration scripts and, through automation, lower administrative costs and network response time.

Set network policies: To maximize the benefit of an 802.11n converged environment, it is important to balance resources and address the possibility of resource contention throughout the LAN. Automated network services, such as auto-QoS, allow for easy configuration of traffic prioritization in order to reliably deliver data to time-sensitive applications.

Grant secure user access: Security is another area where creating policies is vital to simplifying wireless deployment. Cisco Identity-Based Networking Services (IBNS) are an integrated solution that combines the management of authentication, access control, and user policies to secure network connectivity and resources. It also provides an account of user activities to provide visibility and safeguard the network. By providing centralized policy-based management for network security policies, the need to manually configure user rights on a perport basis is removed, and overall network administration is greatly simplified, thus decreasing cost and potential for downtime.

4. Protect your investment.

802.11n is a new technology that is experiencing high early adoption rates, and the implementation of its deployment needs to be done in a well-thought-out and prudent manner.

Intelligent networks are built with a strategic vision to keep them at maximum efficiency and top performance. To make sure your business has done the best to protect its upgrade to an 802.11n network, here are a few quick questions you should ask:

Is my wired network ready to support the demands of an 802.11n wireless network?

Can I easily upgrade the performance of my LAN switches without network disruption?

Using 802.3af-compliant PoE switches, can my 802.11n wireless access point perform at full performance and security without any feature constraints?

Can my switch vendor guarantee interoperability between my PoE switch and my 802.11n wireless access point?

Do my switches and wireless access points collaborate to help me manage my business operational costs and lower my environmental effects?

Why Cisco?

By creating high-performance network infrastructures and continuing to lead industry innovations, Cisco has created reliable and responsive environments that accelerate the deployment of applications and services over a single network.

Cisco wired and wireless solutions allow for businesses to use their network more efficiently and more effectively through reliability and consistency. Cisco’s end-to-end solutions reduce complexity and lower complexity, resulting in lower administrative costs.

Additionally, rigorous interoperability and performance testing is done between Cisco devices to guarantee maximum results. There is no interoperability guesswork. The Cisco Catalyst PoE switches and the Cisco Aironet 1140 provide the performance, power, and security needed to support the demands of an 802.11n wireless network.

Cisco understands that as early adopters of the 802.11n wireless network, businesses are making the decision to lead rather than follow. By driving standards forward, helping customers plan for the future, and enabling network excellence, Cisco is committed to its customers’ success.

Note: Cisco has more than 200 offices worldwide. Addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers are listed on the Cisco website at www.cisco.com/go/offices

More Cisco News, Reviews and Tutorials you can visit: http://blog.router-switch.com/

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Startup Aims SDN Technology at Cisco WANs

April 25 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

Glue Networks developing automation tools for managing WAN operations

SDNs aren't just for data center networks, despite the best-use-case-scenario arguments for network virtualization and flow management pervading the industry.


SDNs can automate and manage WAN operations as well. Google is using OpenFlow to interconnect data center over a WAN.


And startup Glue Networks is targeting Cisco's installed base of WAN routers as a sweet spot for its SDN WAN offerings.


Major IT trends such as SaaS, private clouds, BYOD, mobility and voice/data convergence are stressing the quality of links in an enterprise WAN, as analyst Lee Doyle notes here. WAN links now require improved security, lower latency, higher reliability and support for any device in any location to accommodate these trends.


SDN can help enterprise IT accomplish this without the expense of upgrading individual WAN links, Doyle notes. The technology can allow for prioritization of key applications and traffic types, ease provisioning for new sites, new applications, and changed traffic priorities, enhance security and more tightly link WAN service to specific applications.


That's what Glue Networks is after. Glue's gluware software runs in the cloud and provides a cloud-based service for turning up remote sites and teleworkers worldwide. It is designed to lower the cost of private WAN networking by automating those operations and handling ongoing maintenance, monitoring, life-cycle management and feature extension.


Some of those features might include Cisco's WAAS Express, ScanSafe, ISE, MediaNet and TrustSec services.


The software automates the provisioning of voice, video, wireless, LAN networking, IP addressing, PKI security, firewalls, VLANs and ACLs, and allows users to configure a meshed, spoke-to-spoke, low-latency infrastructure that is QoS-enabled, the company says.


The company's gluware Teleworker software resides in the cloud and acts as a control plane to create a secure data plane for teleworkers to connect to the corporate network. Teleworkers can self-provision their equipment with a single click and no IT support, Glue claims.


Glue's products are essentially a software-defined dynamic multipoint VPN offered as a monthly software-as-a-service subscription. It includes a central policy-based controller, applications with "CCIE intelligence," and an API to configure the OS using the applications.


Glue's gluware also includes tools for alert notification based on thresholds; hardware ordering logistics and router provisioning workflows; end-user and administrator monitoring portals; repository of network configurations, end-user data, and reporting and monitoring data; agents to proactively monitor the health of the network and deploy large-scale configurations; and an orchestrator to generate hardware configurations, check for errors and conduct "self-healing" operations.


Glue says its addressable market is the $12 billion worth of 16 million Cisco WAN routers installed globally. Glue expects Cisco to have 23 million WAN routers installed by 2017.


Glue was founded in 2007. It has about $6.2 million in funding from a $4.5 million Series A round in 2011, and $1.7 million in convertible notes in 2012. The company's investors include Keiretsu Forum, San Joaquin Angels, Sierra Angels, Sacramento Angels, Sand Hill Angels, Harvard Angels, Halo Fund and Angel Forum.


Glue is headquartered in San Francisco and the company's executive team is comprised of officials from Yelofin Networks, Cisco, Agilent, Intel, INX and MTV Networks.


---News from http://www.networkworld.com/news/2013/041213-glue-networks-268664.html


More Related Cisco News:

Cisco SDN Strategy Doubles Cisco Software Business

Cisco Combines Wired, Wireless and SDN into Its New Catalyst Switch

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Understanding EIGRP by FAQs

February 26 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

This DOC contains frequently asked questions (FAQs) about IP Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP).


Q. Does EIGRP require an ip default-network command to propagate a default route?

A. Although EIGRP can propagate a default route using the default network method, it is not required. EIGRP redistributes default routes directly.


Q. Should I always use the eigrp log-neighbor-changes command when I configure EIGRP?

A. Yes, this command makes it easy to determine why an EIGRP neighbor was reset. This reduces troubleshooting time.


Q. Does EIGRP support secondary addresses?

A. EIGRP does support secondary addresses. Since EIGRP always sources data packets from the primary address, Cisco recommends that you configure all routers on a particular subnet with primary addresses that belong to the same subnet. Routers do not form EIGRP neighbors over secondary networks. Therefore, if all of the primary IP addresses of routers do not agree, problems can arise with neighbor adjacencies.


Q. What debugging capabilities does EIGRP have?

A. There are protocol-independent and -dependent debug commands. There is also a suite of show commands that display neighbor table status, topology table status, and EIGRP traffic statistics. Some of these commands are:


Q. What does the word serno mean on the end of an EIGRP topology entry when you issue the show ip eigrp topology command?

A. For example:

show ip eigrp topology

P, 2 successors, FD is 46163456

via (46163456/45651456), Serial0.2, serno 7539273

via (46163456/45651456), Serial2.6, serno 7539266

Serno stands for serial number. When DRDBs are threaded to be sent, they are assigned a serial number. If you display the topology table at the time an entry is threaded, it shows you the serial number associated with the DRDB.


Threading is the technique used inside the router to queue items up for transmission to neighbors. The updates are not created until it is time for them to go out the interface. Before that, a linked list of pointers to items to send is created (for example, the thread).


These sernos are local to the router and are not passed with the routing update.


Q. What percent of bandwidth and processor resources does EIGRP use?

A. EIGRP version 1 introduced a feature that prevents any single EIGRP process from using more than fifty percent of the configured bandwidth on any link during periods of network convergence. Each AS or protocol (for instance, IP, IPX, or Appletalk) serviced by EIGRP is a separate process. You can use the ip bandwidth-percent eigrpinterface configuration command in order to properly configure the bandwidth percentage on each WAN interface. Refer to the EIGRP White Paper for more information on how this feature works.

In addition, the implementation of partial and incremental updates means that EIGRP sends routing information only when a topology change occurs. This feature significantly reduces bandwidth use.


The feasible successor feature of EIGRP reduces the amount of processor resources used by an autonomous system (AS). It requires only the routers affected by a topology change to perform route re-computation. The route re-computation only occurs for routes that were affected, which reduces search time in complex data structures.


Q. Does EIGRP support aggregation and variable length subnet masks?

A. Yes, EIGRP supports aggregation and variable length subnet masks (VLSM). Unlike Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), EIGRP allows summarization and aggregation at any point in the network. EIGRP supports aggregation to any bit. This allows properly designed EIGRP networks to scale exceptionally well without the use of areas. EIGRP also supports automatic summarization of network addresses at major network borders.


Q. Does EIGRP support areas?

A. No, a single EIGRP process is analogous to an area of a link-state protocol. However, within the process, information can be filtered and aggregated at any interface boundary. In order to bound the propagation of routing information, you can use summarization to create a hierarchy.


Q. Can I configure more than one EIGRP autonomous system on the same router?

A. Yes, you can configure more than one EIGRP autonomous system on the same router. This is typically done at a redistribution point where two EIGRP autonomous systems are interconnected. Individual router interfaces should only be included within a single EIGRP autonomous system.

Cisco does not recommend running multiple EIGRP autonomous systems on the same set of interfaces on the router. If multiple EIGRP autonomous systems are used with multiple points of mutual redistribution, it can cause discrepancies in the EIGRP topology table if correct filtering is not performed at the redistribution points. If possible, Cisco recommends you configure only one EIGRP autonomous system in any single autonomous system. You can also use another protocol, such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), in order to connect the two EIGRP autonomous systems.


Q. If there are two EIGRP processes that run and two equal paths are learned, one by each EIGRP process, do both routes get installed?

A. No, only one route is installed. The router installs the route that was learned through the EIGRP process with the lower Autonomous System (AS) number. In Cisco IOS Software Releases earlier than 12.2(7)T, the router installed the path with the latest timestamp received from either of the EIGRP processes. The change in behavior is tracked by Cisco bug ID CSCdm47037.


Q. What does the EIGRP stuck in active message mean?

A. When EIGRP returns a stuck in active (SIA) message, it means that it has not received a reply to a query. EIGRP sends a query when a route is lost and another feasible route does not exist in the topology table. The SIA is caused by two sequential events:

  • The route reported by the SIA has gone away.
  • An EIGRP neighbor (or neighbors) have not replied to the query for that route.

When the SIA occurs, the router clears the neighbor that did not reply to the query. When this happens, determine which neighbor has been cleared. Keep in mind that this router can be many hops away. Refer to What Does the EIGRP DUAL-3-SIA Error Message Mean? for more information.


Q. What does the neighbor statement in the EIGRP configuration section do?

A. The neighbor command is used in EIGRP in order to define a neighboring router with which to exchange routing information. Due to the current behavior of this command, EIGRP exchanges routing information with the neighbors in the form of unicast packets whenever the neighbor command is configured for an interface. EIGRP stops processing all multicast packets that come inbound on that interface. Also, EIGRP stops sending multicast packets on that interface.


The ideal behavior of this command is for EIGRP to start sending EIGRP packets as unicast packets to the specified neighbor, but not stop sending and receiving multicast packets on that interface. Since the command does not behave as intended, the neighbor command should be used carefully, understanding the impact of the command on the network.


Q. Why does the EIGRP passive-interface command remove all neighbors for an interface?

A. The passive-interface command disables the transmission and receipt of EIGRP hello packets on an interface. Unlike IGRP or RIP, EIGRP sends hello packets in order to form and sustain neighbor adjacencies. Without a neighbor adjacency, EIGRP cannot exchange routes with a neighbor. Therefore, the passive-interface command prevents the exchange of routes on the interface. Although EIGRP does not send or receive routing updates on an interface configured with the passive-interface command, it still includes the address of the interface in routing updates sent out of other non-passive interfaces. Refer to How Does the Passive Interface Feature Work in EIGRP?For more information.


Q. Why are routes received from one neighbor on a point-to-multipoint interface that runs EIGRP not propagated to another neighbor on the same point-to-multipoint interface?

A. The split horizon rule prohibits a router from advertising a route through an interface that the router itself uses to reach the destination. In order to disable the split horizon behavior, use the no ip split-horizon eigrp as-numberinterface command. Some important points to remember about EIGRP split horizon are:

  • Split horizon behavior is turned on by default.
  • When you change the EIGRP split horizon setting on an interface, it resets all adjacencies with EIGRP neighbors reachable over that interface.
  • Split horizon should only be disabled on a hub site in a hub-and-spoke network.
  • Disabling split horizon on the spokes radically increases EIGRP memory consumption on the hub router, as well as the amount of traffic generated on the spoke routers.
  • The EIGRP split horizon behavior is not controlled or influenced by the ip split-horizon command.

For more information on split horizon and poison reverse, refer to Split Horizon and Poison Reverse. For more information on commands, refer to EIGRP Commands.


Q. When I configure EIGRP, how can I configure a network statement with a mask?

A. The optional network-mask argument was first added to the network statement in Cisco IOS Software Release 12.0(4)T. The mask argument can be configured in any format (such as in a network mask or in wild card bits). For example, you can use network or network


Q. I have two routes: and How can I deny while I allow in EIGRP?

A. In order to do this you need to use a prefix-list, as shown here:

router eigrp 100


       distribute-list prefix test in


       no eigrp log-neighbor-changes


       ip prefix-list test seq 5 permit

This allows only the prefix and therefore denies


Note: The use of ACL and distribute-list under EIGRP does not work in this case. This is because ACLs do not check the mask, they just check the network portion. Since the network portion is the same, when you allow, you also allow


Q. I have a router that runs Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) and EIGRP. Who does load-balancing when there are multiple links to a destination?

A. The way in which CEF works is that CEF does the switching of the packet based on the routing table which is populated by the routing protocols such as EIGRP. In short, CEF does the load-balancing once the routing protocol table is calculated. Refer to How Does Load Balancing Work? for more information on load balancing.


Q. How do you verify if the EIGRP Non Stop Forwarding (NSF) feature is enabled?

A. In order to check the EIGRP NSF feature, issue the show ip protocols command. Here is the sample output:

show ip protocols

  Routing Protocol is "eigrp 101"


  Outgoing update filter list for all interfaces is not set


  Incoming update filter list for all interfaces is not set


  Default networks flagged in outgoing updates


  Default networks accepted from incoming updates


  EIGRP metric weight K1=1, K2=0, K3=1, K4=0, K5=0


  EIGRP maximum hopcount 100


  EIGRP maximum metric variance 1


  Redistributing: eigrp 101


  EIGRP NSF-aware route hold timer is 240s


  Automatic network summarization is in effect


  Maximum path: 4


  Routing for Networks:


  Routing Information Sources:


  Gateway         Distance      Last Update


  Distance: internal 90 external 170


This output shows that the router is NSF-aware and the route-hold timer is set to 240 seconds, which is the default value.


Q. How can I use only one path when a router has two equal cost paths?

A. Configure the bandwidth value on the interfaces to default, and increase the delay on the backup interface so that the router does not see two equal cost paths.


Q. What is the difference in metric calculation between EIGRP and IGRP?

A. The EIGRP metric is obtained when you multiply the IGRP metric by 256. The IGRP uses only 24 bits in its update packet for the metric field, but EIGRP uses 32 bits in its update packet for the metric field. For example, the IGRP metric to a destination network is 8586, but the EIGRP metric is 8586 x 256 = 2,198,016. Integer division is used when you divide 10^7 by minimum BW, so the calculation involves integer division, which leads to a variation from manual calculation.


Q. What is the EIGRP Stub Routing feature?

A. The Stub routing feature is used to conserve bandwidth by summarizing and filtering routes. Only specified routes are propagated from the remote (Stub) router to the distribution router because of the Stub routing feature. For more information about the Stub routing feature, refer to EIGRP Stub Routing. The EIGRP stub feature can be configured on the switch with the eigrp stub [receive-only] [leak-map name] [connected] [static] [summary] [redistributed] command. This feature can be removed with the no eigrp stub command. When you remove theeigrp stub command from the switch, the switch that runs the IP Base image throws this error:

EIGRP is restricted to stub configurations only

This issue can be resolved if you upgrade to Advanced Enterprise Images. This error is documented inCSCeh58135.


Q. How can I send a default route to the Stub router from the hub?

A. Do this under the outbound interface on the hub router with the ip summary-address eigrp X This command suppresses all the more specific routes and only sends the summary route. In the case of the, it means it suppresses everything, and the only route that is in the outbound update is One drawback to this method is that EIGRP installs a route to Null0 is the local routing table with an admin distance of 5.


Q. What are different route types in EIGRP?

A. There are three different types of routes in EIGRP:

  • Internal Route—Routes that are originated within the Autonomous System (AS).
  • Summary Route—Routes that are summarized in the router (for example, internal paths that have been summarized).
  • External Route—Routes that are redistributed to EIGRP.


Q. How do you redistribute an IPv6 default route in EIGRP?

A. For redistributing an IPv6 default route in EIGRP, a sample configuration is shown here:

ipv6 prefix-list DEFAULT-ONLY-V6 seq 10 permit ::/0

route-map DEFAULT_2EIGRP-V6 permit 10

match ipv6 address prefix-list DEFAULT-ONLY-V6

router eigrp Starz_EIGRP

address-family ipv6 unicast

redistribute static route-map DEFAULT_2EIGRP-V6


Q. How does EIGRP behave over a GRE tunnel compared to a directly connected network?

A. EIGRP will use the same administrative distance and metric calculation for the GRE tunnel. The cost calculation is based on bandwidth and delay. The bandwidth and delay of the GRE tunnel will be taken from the tunnel interface configured on the router. The tunnel will also be treated like a directly connected network. If there are two paths to reach a network either through a VLAN interface or tunnel interface, EIGRP prefers the Virtual-Access Interface (VAI) VLAN interface because the VLAN interface has greater bandwidth than the tunnel interface. In order to influence the routing through the tunnel interface, increase the bandwidth parameter of the tunnel interface, or increase the delay parameter of the VLAN interface.


Q. What is an offset-list, and how is it useful?

A. The offset-list is an feature used to modify the composite metrics in EIGRP. The value configured in the offset-list command is added to the delay value calculated by the router for the route matched by an access-list. An offset-list is the preferred method to influence a particular path that is advertised and/or chosen.


Q. How can I tag external routes in EIGRP?

A. You can tag routes that EIGRP has learned from another routing protocol using a 32 bit tag value. Starting with ddts CSCdw22585, internal routes can also be tagged. However, the tag value cannot exceed 255 due to packet limitations for internal routes.


Q. What are the primary functions of the PDM?

A. EIGRP supports 3 protocol suites: IP, IPv6, and IPX. Each of them has its own PDM. These are the primary functions of PDM:

  • Maintaining the neighbor and topology tables of EIGRP routers that belong to that protocol suite
  • Building and translating protocol specific packets for DUAL
  • Interfacing DUAL to the protocol specific routing table
  • Computing the metric and passing this information to DUAL; DUAL handles only the picking of the feasible successors (FSs)
  • Implement filtering and access lists.
  • Perform redistribution functions to/from other routing protocols.


Q. What are the various load-balancing options available in EIGRP?

A. The offset-list can be used to modify the metrics of routes that EIGRP learns through a particular interface, or PBR can be used.


Q. What does the %DUAL-5-NBRCHANGE: IP-EIGRP(0) 100: Neighbor (Tunnel0) is down: holding time expired error message mean?

A. This message indicates that the router has not heard any EIGRP packets from the neighbor within the hold-time limit. Because this is a packet-loss issue, check for a Layer 2 problem.


Q. Is there a IPv6 deployment guide that includes EIGRPv6?

A. Refer to Deploying IPv6 in Branch Networks for more information.


Q. From the 16:29:14.262 Poison squashed: 10.X.X.X/24 reverse message, what does poison squashed mean?

A. The router threads a topology table entry as a poison in reply to an update received (the router sets up for poison reverse). While the router is building the packet that contains the poison reverse, the router realizes that it does not need to send it. For example, if the router receives a query for the route from the neighbor, it is currently threaded to poison. Thus, it sends the poison squashed message.


Q. Is it normal that EIGRP takes over 30 seconds to converge?

A. EIGRP taking longer to converge under heavy CPU usage is a normal behavior. EIGRP convergence is faster when you lower the hold time. The lowest values for hello and hold time are 1 second and 3 seconds respectively. For example:

Router(Config)# interface Fa0/0

!--- (Under an interface directly connected to EIGRP peers.)

Router(Config-if)#ip hello-interval eigrp 1

Router(Config-if)#ip hold-time eigrp 3

Note: Make sure that the hold time is changed on both ends.

For more information on EIGRP performance related issues, refer to How to resolve EIGRP performance problems.


Resource from


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Virtual Private Clouds Offer Customers SLA Security

February 19 2013 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

As public cloud SLAs take heat from analysts, some enterprises say virtual private clouds offer the right mix of cloud agility and managed services reliability.


A virtual private cloud (VPC) offers on-demand Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) external to a customer's data center, but it runs on a dedicated infrastructure, rather than a multi-tenant infrastructure. It is usually connected to each customer using a virtual private network (VPN) or another direct network connection, rather than the public Internet.


As such, a virtual private cloud can offer higher service-level agreements (SLAs) than public clouds, contracting for up to 100% uptime in some cases.


Finding the SLA that's Just Right

Some purists might consider this managed hosting rather than cloud computing, but these distinctions aren't relevant to customers such as Taylor Erickson, vice president of IT at Lanx Inc., a company that specializes in spinal care and surgical products in Bloomfield, Colo.


Lanx moved its SAP application and Active Directory to a virtual private cloud hosted by Virtustream Inc., last fall. Virtustream's xStream virtual private cloud gives the company a five-nines (99.999%) uptime SLA. Penalties start at 99.949% uptime, and were negotiated by Lanx with the help of an analyst firm to review the contract, Erickson said.


With the choice between Virtustream's xStream VPC and a public cloud provider Erickson declined to name, the virtual private cloud SLA was just one of the reasons the company chose Virtustream.


In fact, enterprise managed hosting providers such as ViaWest and Hosting.com tend to offer 100% uptime SLAs , but Virtustream's demonstrated expertise at hosting SAP appealed to Lanx, as did Virtustream's cost, which can be as low as half that of such services.  


And 99.999% uptime was still more than the company might have been able to provide on its own. For example, a week after the company's migration, an air conditioning unit in Lanx's building failed, and the server room temperature soared to 98 degrees.


"But our mission-critical SAP was up and going because we'd migrated to a cloud provider," Erickson said.


Virtual Private Cloud a Happy Medium between Public and Private Cloud

Other users say public cloud, which tends to be the lowest-cost and most elastic of all service types, has undeniable appeal, but that using it requires very careful planning.


We're all used to pushing a hoster over a barrel to get what we want. We get that, but they custom configure the environment just for us and they sign us up for a three-year commitment.

                      ---James Staten, analyst with Forrester Research


"You can never take [public cloud] off the table," said Dave Robbins, senior vice president and CIO of Ellie Mae, maker of an electronic loan origination platform and based in Pleasanton, Calif. "But if you're going to do it, what's your architecture and strategy to do it?"


Just carving out public cloud IaaS space without respect for regional diversity or how to get an ecosystem in place to exploit application delivery can be very low cost, but it's very low value as well, according to Robbins.


"It's a more complicated picture than most people think through," he said. "You have to look at the entire architecture."


In the meantime, Ellie Mae has found a happy medium in a Tier 3 Inc., virtual private cloud, tied in to an on-premise FlexPod environment that uses Cloupia, now owned by Cisco Systems Inc.


Space on Tier 3's infrastructure was used by the company last year as it migrated from an older infrastructure to the new one built on FlexPods, and simultaneously launched new products and services. Some production applications ran in Tier 3 as this process took place, and the company also uses Tier 3's VPC for QA and test systems.


VPCs Bridge a Disconnect between Public Cloud SLAs and Enterprise Expectations

Some SLAs are cryptic, but what's really more of a problem is the typical enterprise customer's disconnect in expectation from what they normally get from hosting providers and managed service providers and what they're going to get from public cloud, said James Staten, analyst with Forrester Research.


"We're all used to pushing a hoster over a barrel to get what we want. We get that, but they custom configure the environment just for us and they sign us up for a three-year commitment," he said.


Customers pursuing public cloud services tend not to want to be locked in to such commitments, and in some cases using a standardized service is going to be preferable to one custom-managed for the user, Staten said. But in these cases, the SLA is going to be lower.


Article written by Beth Pariseau from


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Spanning Tree Protocol Priorities

November 29 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

STP is vital for detecting loops within a switched network. Spanning tree works by designating a common reference point(the root bridge) and systematically building a loop-free tree from the root to all other bridges. All redundant paths remain blocked unless a designated link fails. The following criteria are used by each spanning tree node to select a path to the root bridge:

  1. Lowest root bridge ID - Determines the root bridge
  2. Lowest cost to the root bridge - Favors the upstream switch with the least cost to root
  3. Lowest sender bridge ID - Serves as a tie breaker if multiple upstream switches have equal cost to root
  4. Lowest sender port ID - Serves as a tie breaker if a switch has multiple (non-Etherchannel) links to a single upstream switch


We can manually configure the priority of a switch and its individual interfaces to influence path selection. The values given below are defaults.

Switch(config)# spanning-tree vlan 1 priority 32768

Switch(config)# interface g0/1

Switch(config-if)# spanning-tree vlan 1 port-priority 128


So where do these configured STP priorities come into play? There is no BPDU field for priority; instead, both bridge and port IDs have their administratively configured priorities embedded in them. Note the Bridge Identifier and Port Identifier fields in this Wireshark capture of a PVST+ BPDU:



Although the bridge ID field has been conveniently split into a bridge priority and MAC address for us by Wireshark's protocol descriptor, it is actually a single eight-byte value. The following field, which contains the port ID unique to each interface, is similarly composed at one-fourth the size.



Because this switch is running PVST+, the VLAN ID (1) is added to the configured bridge priority of 32768 (the default priority) for a sum of 32769. The unique bridge ID, taken from a MAC address, is appended to this value to form the complete bridge ID. Similarly, the port ID is formed by prepending the 4-bit port priority (the default value of 128, or 0x80) to the interface ID, which happens to be 0x001 because we are connected to the first physical switchport. These two values form the complete port ID of 0x8001.

---from http://packetlife.net/blog/2008/may/5/spanning-tree-protocol-priorities/


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What Hardware Vendor IPv6 Support

October 11 2012 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Networking

There are many tested IPv6 networks deployed across the world. For actual deployment, however, all the companies need to ensure that the vendors who support companies’ network have the requisite IPv6 enhancements.IPv6-Hardware-Vendor-Support.jpg


There are two categories of IPv6 enhancements. The first is the set that supports the packet forwarding (more commonly referred to as routing) process and the other set comprises enhancements that support the computing or host infrastructure.


IPv6 enhancements of the first category include larger address formats (the ones that affect the routing table size and structure), better routing protocols such as Open Shortest First Protocol (OSPF) and Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and good support for optional extension headers (which streamline the packet forwarding process) such as the Routing Header. And, the second category of enhancements comprises enhancements to the Domain Name System (DNS), the Stateless Auto-configuration (plug and play) process, upgraded Security, and updates to the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).


Keeping these requisite enhancements in mind, let us now discuss what kind of support ten of the premier networking vendors are equipped to provide:


Apple Computer

The open source, UNIX-based OS X operating system from Apple Computer allows for advanced BSD networking and has a TCP/IP stack and advanced sockets. Versions 10.2 and later of this operating system provide good support for IPv6.


Cisco Systems

As this vendor has been actively involved in the development of IPv6, it provides very good support for IPv6. In fact, the vendors support for IPv6 can be observed in all its products. Further, the documentation of IOS 12 has extensive details of the IPv6 features, such as Automatic and Configured tunneling, BGP extensions for IPv6, MTU Path Discovery, Neighbor Discovery, updated routing protocols, and Stateless Auto-configuration, supported in each platform.



The new HP-UX11i provides support for several IPv6 features such as automatic and configured tunnels, advanced and basic sockets application programming interfaces (APIs), IPv4/IPv6 dual stack protocols, Path Maximum Transmission Unit (PMTU) Discovery, and Stateless Auto-configuration. The new HP-UX11i runs over Infiniband, FDDI, and Ethernet links.



The GR2000 carrier-class gigabit routers from Hitachi provide IPv6 at forwarding rates of a maximum of 26 Mpps and maximum line rates of 2.4 Gbps. The custom Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) of this system have a dual stack IPv4/IPv6 architecture and support packet filtering, IPv6 over IPv4 and IPv4 over IPv6 tunneling, and Stateless Auto-configuration among other IPv6 features.



Since the release of the IPv6-enabled AIX system in1997, IBM has shown support for IPv6 and has continually added IPv6 support to its products, such as DB2 for Windows v9.1, Unix, and Linux.



The IPv6 protocols for Linux are developed by a volunteer-run collaborative effort referred to as the Universal Playground for IPv6 (USAGI). This project was undertaken to remove the bugs in Linux implementations that made it difficult for a Linux-based system to conform to the IPv6 specifications.



Naturally, when all vendors are providing support for IPv6, Microsoft cannot be far behind. Most of the new versions of the Windows operating system, including Windows Vista, Windows Server Code, Windows Server 2003, and Windows CE .NET have built-in IPv6 enhancements and facilitate an orderly transition from IPv4 to IPv6.


Nortel Networks

Nortel Networks is working towards providing IPv6 support since the 1990s. The most recent generation of Nortels Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 offers wire speed and terabit performance. Nortel products also provide other IPv6 enhancements such as IPv6 Multicast, IPv4 to IPv6 Tunneling, Neighbor Discovery, and Stateless Auto-configuration.



The IP on NetWare that comes with NetWare 6.5 uses IPv6 as the native transport protocol on its server platform. The IPv6 features supported by Novell include Automatic and Configured tunneling, Basic Socket Interface Extensions, Neighbor Discovery, Stateless Address Auto-configuration, and Transmission Mechanisms for hosts and routers. Please note that with Novell, IPv6 works as an add-on component to the existing TCP/IP protocol stack.


Sun Microsystems

The Solaris 10 operating system by Sun Microsystems offers support for important IPv6 programming interfaces and specifications. It offers the advantage of Internet Key Exchange (IKE), which lets systems connect by using authentication and encryption, and integrated IP Security (IPsec). This vendor also facilitates dual stack tunneling, such as IPv6 over IPv4 and vice versa. For more details on the IPv6 support provided by a specific vendor, visit the IPv6 section on the vendor website or refer to system documentation specific to the vendor.


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