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Cisco Power Calculator

If you are ever designing a network or deploying a new switch that will be providing Power over Ethernet, be sure to check your power draw with the Cisco Power Calculator (CCO login required):

You start by selecting the type of switch you are deploying. Then you can choose how many of each type of device you will be plugging into your switch and it will tell you how much power will be required.  Here is a sample of some of the devices they let you choose from:

  • 7961G-GE - 0.3071 amps (12.9W)
  • AP-1200 with a+g radios (12.4W)
  • CP-7971G (14.9W)

Also, if you are deploying non-Cisco phones or APs, there are several IEEE compatible devices listed toward the bottom of the list:

CCNA Official Cert Library, 3rd Edition

The latest and greatest CCNA Certification Library is available for pre-order. The seasoned author, Wendell Odom, has updated the material from previous releases with new content and exercises.

In addition to the books to prep for ICND1 and ICND2, the library includes a test prep engine, a network simulator, and videos. With 1500 pages included, this package is a great resource for anyone starting out on their CCNA journey.

The library package is scheduled to be available October 14, but you can pre-order today.

Modify Windows Server Password Policy

So, while playing with Windows Server 2008 R2, I found the minimum password requirements to be a bit too stringent for a lab environment. If you find yourself in a similar predicament and wish to lower the password requirements to near-nothing (not recommended for production environments), then follow these steps:

How to convert an IMG file to ISO using Mac OS X Disk Utility

If you are ever in a situation where you have an img (disk image) file, but you want it to be an ISO file so you can mount it rather than burn it, then we have something in common. I stumbled on a quick and easy process using the free Mac OS X Disk Utility (free if you have a Mac) and have created a quick video to demonstrate the steps. Check it out...

Update: Thanks to an anonymous commenter, the much simpler way to achieve the same results is to rename the file extension from img to iso. I just tested this and it appears to work. Who would have thought?

Implementing Netflow - ip route-cache flow vs ip flow ingres

If you have ever implemented NetFlow, you may have noticed there are different commands available under interface configuration mode to enable collection. If you aren't sure what the different is between ip route-cache flow and ip flow ingress, here's the simple explanation:

To enable flow collection on a whole interface (including sub-interfaces), use:

ip route-cache flow

To enable flow collection only on a specific sub-interface, use:

ip flow ingress

Free Cisco Press Chapter - Designing Voicemail Systems with Cisco Unity Connection

Cisco Press has been nice enough to offer us all a free chapter from the book Cisco Unity Connection.

The chapter covers the following topics:

  • Design Considerations: Understand the capability of Cisco Unity Connection as it pertains to current users, network design, codecs, voicemail ports, and projected growth.
  • Active-Active Cluster Pair: Explore the high availability and redundancy feature of Cisco Unity Connection using the active-active cluster pair configuration.
  • Voice-Messaging Design: Design the voice-messaging system using Cisco Unity Connection platform overlays by determining the proper server sizing, equipment, codec, feature, and capabilities.
  • Voice-Messaging Networking: Understand the various networking options available in Cisco Unity Connection version 8.x software.

CEF Troubleshooting Commands

Whenever you are faced with troubleshooting a routing problem and the routing table looks normal, don't forget to check CEF. Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) has been enabled by default for quite some time on most Cisco routers and has been known to cause issues from time to time.

I've created a list of a few of the most common (and a few not so common) CEF show commands that can help you track down a problem. Let's start with the basics - the FIB and the Adjacency table.

Forwarding Information Base (FIB) - This is a table that the router builds based on the routing table, but it's not the same thing as a routing table.  It contains the same forwarding decision information, but where the routing table would be like an encyclopedia of where to send packets, this is a cheat sheet.

Adjacency table - This is a table of all the layer 2, next hop information for the entries in the FIB.

How to change Windows Explorer default view to My Computer

If you have upgraded to Windows 7 from previous versions of Windows, you may have noticed a subtle difference when you open an explorer window – you see Libraries instead of drive locations. This was a subtle enough change that I didn’t really notice it for quite some time, I just knew that every time I opened explorer, I was looking at a completely useless view of folders.

So, I set out to find a way around this and Microsoft has kindly documented the procedure. For your convenience, I have shared the steps I followed below.

Ciscoworks LMS 4.0 End of Life Announced

Cisco has put the kibosh on Cisco Works LMS 4.0! In a recent End of Life announcement, the dates for it's final life span have been laid out. That's right, the age old product that sales managers insist on bundling with everything they sell is now going by the wayside. And for most of you out there you are probably sighing in relief. But don't get too comfy with the thought of Cisco Works' demise, it really isn't going away.

Cisco Prime is the latest and greatest network management software package coming from the bowels of Cisco's application development group. In all reality it just looks like they renamed the product from Cisco Works to Cisco Prime and slapped a new GUI on it. Maybe we won't notice? (keep crossing your fingers Cisco). That's sort of the truth, but I've got an inside scoop, so keep reading if you want to know more.

Microsoft Patch Tuesday - August 2011

Our Redmond friends have released a bundle of new patches for their products today. Several patches address remote code execution vulnerabilities, even for more recent OS/browser combos such as win 7 64/-bit and IE9. Recommend updating to avert pwnage.

Check out the official bulletin for more details.

Shuttle PC Announces New Warranty and Lifetime Support

Over the past several months I have been evaluating various options for creating a home-brew ESXi system for my home lab. The requirements of such a system obviously include a lot of memory and a multi-core CPU with the various virtualization technologies. In addition to fast specs, the system also has the added requirement of being small and quiet (since it would be in a home office environment). That has me looking into smaller footprint systems such as Shuttle PCs.

Well, while perusing their site I came across an announcement made last week in which select, newer Shuttle PCs will come with a Lifetime warranty. Directly from the press release:

Configuring Clientless SSL VPN (WebVPN) on Cisco IOS Routers

A Tekcert member recently posted a question in the forums regarding IOS Clientless SSL VPN, a.k.a WebVPN. This prompted me to test the functionality in a lab environment and post my findings. To make it easier to find, I decided to make it a full-blown blog post. So, here we go...

The first step I took was to get a router with 12.4T code running on a LAN with a desktop connected to it. The following configuration is broken into chunks to help break down the process.

Configure basic settings on the router, including hostname, domain, usernames, etc. (not all of this is required for WebVPN to work, but it is what I had on my router so you're getting it all):

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Sup 2T

The latest and greatest 6500 supervisor has hit the streets. Boasting speeds of up to 2 terabits per second, the Sup 2T appears to bring a much needed refresh to the flagship cat switch.

A 6500-E with the Sup 2T can now push 80Gbps per slot. New 6900 series and 6800 series modules provide support for the 80Gbps speeds. Port densities come in a variety of options including 16-port 10-gig and 48-port 1-gig.

If you have already invested in the 6500-E chassis and are looking to expand your 10G footprint, this might be something worth reviewing.

Specifics on the Sup 2T can be found in this Cisco PDF.
For full specs, check out the product page here.

Humanoid Robots are taking over the world, one job at a time


So, the word on the street is that Foxconn is going to be laying off a ton of their living, breathing employees and replacing them with 1 million robots. These aren't the robots we know and love from ages past. No, these are light-saber fighting, ninja robots that assemble iPhones for a living.

A little research turned up the company ABB, which has created a humanoid robot that has arms that move very similarly to human arms. These machines can be programmed to do simple, repeatable tasks such as welding and painting. Check out this video to see the range of motion on this thing:

Pop Quiz - Spanning-Tree Protocol

Here is another pop quiz for another Friday:

1. What is the 802.1d spanning-tree port role for every port on a root bridge?
A) Root
B) Blocking
C) Designated
D) Nondesignated

2. Every switch running IEEE 802.1d spanning-tree protocol has a Bridge ID (BID). How is the BID derived?
A) The BID is the base MAC address.
B) The BID is created from a bridge priority value, optionally an extended system ID, and the switch's base MAC address.
C) It is a random number generated based on when the switch is powered on.

3. Select the correct steps that a port goes through when transitioning to forwarding when using IEEE 802.1d:
A) Forwarding, Blocking, Listening, Learning
B) Blocking, Forwarding, Listening, Learning
C) Blocking, Learning, Listening, Forwarding
D) Blocking, Listening, Learning, Forwarding

Answers below...

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Dr. Radut