Comparing Cisco IOS, NX-OS, and IOS-XR

career success Mar 28, 2017

It was 1989 when I first laid hands on a Cisco router. Specifically, it was a Cisco AGS+ router. Well, actually, it was called a “brouter,” because it did both bridging (software-based Layer 2 switching) and routing. The version of Cisco IOS it ran was some flavor of 7.x, but at that time, the operating system had not been given the Internetwork Operating System (IOS) name.

Since that time, Cisco has paraded out a variety of additional operating systems, many of which are now defunct. Some of those operating systems came through acquisitions. For example, in the mid-1990s, Cisco started building up their line of Cisco Catalyst switches by acquiring Grand Junction, Kalpana, and Crescendo. Switches coming from these various lineages ran different operating systems. Cisco also came out with different operating systems for their hubs, load balancers, security appliances, unified messaging modules, etc. However, Cisco IOS was long viewed as the defacto Cisco operating system,...

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Introduction to Python for Cisco Network Professionals

career success ccna r/s Mar 20, 2017

The day-to-day tasks of Cisco network engineers are in the midst of a major industry shift. Specifically, we’re moving away from traditional command line interface (CLI) commands, and moving towards having programs do the work for us. The industry term for this new environment is Software Defined Networking (SDN). Cisco’s SDN product suite is called ACI. As an example, we could write a program to talk with a Cisco APIC controller, which could then send out commands to multiple Cisco devices (e.g. routers and switches).

This change is going to require Cisco engineers to become proficient in programming, and the most common programming language for SDN is the Python programming language. Unfortunately, the challenge of learning a new programming language can be a bit daunting even to seasoned engineers.

Fortunately, this video will break the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) surrounding Python. Specifically, in this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to download Python...
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Understanding EIGRP Part 6 (Router ID and Neighborship Requirements)

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Feb 23, 2017

This blog post wraps up our series on Understanding EIGRP by discussing two final topics:

  • The EIGRP Router ID
  • EIGRP's Neighborship Requirements

Let's begin our discussion by considering the EIGRP router ID.

EIGRP Router ID

Each EIGRP-speaking router has an associated EIGRP router ID (RID). The RID is a 32-bit value written in dotted decimal format, like an IPv4 address. A router’s EIGRP RID is determined when the EIGRP process starts. Interestingly, EIGRP uses the same steps to RID calculation as does OSPF. The following list identifies these step, in sequential order:

Step 1. Use the configured RID value (using the eigrp router-id rid EIGRP router configuration mode command).

Step 2. If no RID is configured, use the highest IPv4 address on a loopback interface in the up/up state.

Step 3. If no loopback interface is configured with an IPv4 address, use the highest IPv4 address on a non-loopback interface.

Interestingly, while EIGRP requires a router to have a RID, the...

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Understanding EIGRP – Part 5 (Static Neighbors)

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Feb 05, 2017

Typically, an EIGRP-speaking router dynamically discovers its neighbors, by sending multicast Hello messages. However, there is an option to statically configure those neighbors, and communicate with them via unicast messages. This is rarely done, but could on rare occasion be useful.

Consider for example a Frame Relay WAN. Imagine that router A has an interface configured with ten Frame Relay permanent virtual circuits (PVCs). At the other end of two of those PVCs resides EIGRP-speaking routers. However, the other eight PVCs do not have an EIGRP-speaking router at the far end. In such a topology, if router A’s WAN interface was participating in EIGRP, then router A would have to replicate its EIGRP Hello message and send a copy out all ten PVCs, resulting in an increased processor burden on router A and increased the bandwidth usage (unnecessarily) on the eight PVCs not connecting to an EIGRP router. This is the type of situation that would benefit from our statically...

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Fundamentals of the Internet of Things (IoT)

It's another one of those buzzwords we're hearing a ton these days, the Internet of Things, or IoT for short.

But what exactly is it, and how's it going to impact us as networking professionals? That's what you'll learn in this new video: 

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Understanding EIGRP – Part 4 (Passive Interfaces)

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Jan 31, 2017

Sometimes, we might want a router interface to participate in an EIGRP routing process (in order to advertise that interface's network) without that interface sending out EIGRP Hello messages. That's what we'll cover in this blog post.

By the way, this is the fourth posting in a series on Understanding EIGRP. If you missed any of the earlier postings, you can check them out here:

Previously, we talked about the network net-id wildcard-mask command issued in EIGRP router configuration mode. This command causes two primary actions:

  1. Sends EIGRP Hello multicast messages out any interface whose IP address falls within the network address space specified by the network command.
  2. Advertises the subnet of any interface whose IP address falls within the network address space specified by the network command....
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Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS) Routing Protocol Fundamentals

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Jan 20, 2017

In our Cisco routing and switching studies, we commonly study routing protocols such as RIP, OSPF, EIGRP, and BGP. However, there's a very scalable, fast converging, link-state routing protocol that often gets overlooked and forgotten. It's Intermediate System to Intermediate System (or IS-IS for short).

IS-IS is primarily found in service provider environments, but even if you're not in the service provider world, you still might run into it at some point during your career. So, I wanted to create a video to take away the fear, uncertainty, and doubt from IS-IS. In this video, we'll look at the basic theory surrounding IS-IS and then go through a simple configuration.

 Enjoy the video!

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945

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Understanding EIGRP – Part 3 (EIGRP Timers)

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Jan 09, 2017

Once of EIGRP’s claims to fame is its fast convergence in the event of a link failure. However, one thing that might slow down this convergence is timer configuration. That's the focus of this blog post, which is the third in a series of posts on Understanding EIGRP. If you missed the first couple of posts, you can get them here:

Let's beging our discussion of EIGRP timers by considering a situation where two EIGRP neighbors are directly connected to one another. If the physical link between them fails, each router’s connected interface goes down, and EIGRP can fail over to a backup path (that is, a feasible successor route). Such a situation is shown in the following figure:

 

Routers R1 and R2, shown in the above figure, are directly attached to one another. Therefore, if the cable between them physically breaks, each of the router interfaces connecting to that link go down, and EIGRP realizes that it...

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What is Cisco IWAN (Intelligent WAN)?

ccie r/s ccnp r/s Jan 05, 2017

One of the buzzwords you hear a lot in our industry these days is Cisco IWAN. But, what exactly is Cisco IWAN, and what can it do for us? That's what you'll learn in this video.

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It's Time to Pivot

Uncategorized Jan 01, 2017

One of the big buzzwords you hear surrounding tech startups is pivot, which is what happens when a company is moving in one direction and makes a strategic decision to go in another direction. For example, the company we now know as Twitter was once known as Odeo, which was going to offer a way for people to subscribe to podcasts. However, with iTunes becoming a dominate force in podcast subscriptions, the decision was made to pivot to a micro-blogging platform.

Sometimes, we need to make a pivot in our own careers based on what we anticipate happening to the industry. For example, many local bookstores have disappeared because of Amazon.com. Blockbuster went bankrupt in their video rental business with the advent of NetFlix and streaming video services.

The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.” –Oren Harari

Let’s now consider the networking industry. Personally, I’ve been working with Cisco routers since 1989...

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