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Technical Services News
December 2008

Proactive Diagnostics and Alerts in Smart Call Home Hit the Mark at Cisco Live

Watch an interview with Product Manager Tim Johnson that probes into the details of how Smart Call Home really works. More...

TAC Tip: Controlling RP CPU Usage when Using the Mini Protocol Analyzer for the 6500 and 7600 Series Platforms

TAC Escalation Engineer Rodney Dunn gives you some insight on how to minimize the Route Processor (RP) CPU impact when using the new Mini Protocol Analyzer on the 6500/7600 series platforms. More...

Cisco Introduces New CCIE Wireless Certification and CCIE Voice Lab Exam Enhancements

The demand for expert-level professionals proficient in the ability to design, install, deploy, and troubleshoot complex converged networks is growing exponentially. In an effort to meet this demand, Cisco has made two significant additions to its CCIE certification program. More...

Design Zone Provides Technical Resources for the Enterprise

Design Zone is an easy-to-use, web-based resource that helps provide you with the Enterprise knowledge you need. More...

Implementing a Firewall Services Module (FWSM) in a Virtualized Network

Virtualization is one of the fundamental elements of the FWSM. In this article, Ray Blair will explain how virtualization provides the ability to logically separate firewall instances into contexts, consequently providing separation of policies and leveraging the investment in hardware. More...

"Pushing the Boundaries of Collaboration" through TechWiseTV

This TechWiseTV episode explores the newest collaboration solutions from Cisco and shows you how they can overcome distance and time barriers. More...

New Cisco Product Documentation Available Online

"What's New in Cisco Product Documentation" is an online publication that provides information about the latest documentation releases for Cisco products. More...

Networking Professionals Connection

Check out current and upcoming events and discussions through Networking Professional Connection. More...


Security Advisories

Technical Documents

IP

Security and VPN

Voice and Unified Communications

Wireless

Field Notices

Security and VPN

Service Exchange

Storage Networking

Voice and Unified Communications

Recent Support Wiki Topics

Updated Technical Documents

Security and VPN

Voice and Unified Communications

Wireless

Proactive Diagnostics and Alerts in Smart Call Home Hit the Mark at Cisco Live

Smart Call Home registered high on the radar when TechWiseTV was looking for cool new products to feature at the recent Cisco Live in Orlando, Florida. They corralled Product Manager Tim Johnson for an interview that probes into the details of how the product really works.

Hear Tim explain the Smart Call Home feature and how you can determine who gets the alerts, including partners, and your own IT staff, and how the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) can resolve a potential issue before your network is affected. The proactive diagnostics and alerts are included in Cisco SMARTnet Service at no extra cost on a broad range of call home–enabled devices. You can easily configure your system to activate this powerful new feature. See how this feature dramatically speeds issue resolution.

Watch video: Get More from Your SMARTnet Service.

Learn more today.

TAC Tip: Controlling RP CPU Usage when Using the Mini Protocol Analyzer for the 6500 and 7600 Series Platforms

Packet loss troubleshooting can be a difficult task along a path through the network when hardware forwarding devices are used.

For the software forwarding devices, the Embedded Packet Capture feature was developed. An extension to that was implemented for the 6500/7600 series platforms to help users capture frames and export the traces to a PCAP file for offline analysis. The feature specific to those platforms is called the Mini Protocol Analyzer.

Check out the configuration guide online.

One of the concerns with this feature is what would be the CPU impact on the RP (control plane CPU) when enabling the feature and how to limit that? This is controlled by understanding the filtering mechanisms for the capture and also the order the filters are applied.

The filters are applied in the following order:

  1. VLAN filter is applied even before the packet is accepted by the span asic for replication. Impact: None as it's done in the hardware forwarding path.
  2. If a filter ACL is configured in the span capture submode the ACL will be applied in the hardware even before the rate limiter is applied. Impact: None as it's done in the hardware forwarding path.
  3. Packet length will be matched in software on the RP and if the Length doesn't match the packet will be dropped in software at the RP. Impact: Length checking on the packets that do make it through the previous filters will result in RP CPU usage and the amount will correlate to the rate at which the traffic reaches the RP.
  4. After packet length is checked the ethertype will be checked. This is also done in the software forwarding path on the RP. Impact: Same as packet length in that the CPU will be impacted by the rate at which traffic made it out of the hardware forwarding path.
  5. If there is a software filter ACL (exec-mode) configured that will be applied as the last step and only matching packets will be copied to the capture buffer. Impact: As with packet length and ethertype matching, the Exec mode ACL will also impact CPU usage slightly and will be determined by the rate of traffic passing the VLAN and span capture submode ACL filters.

By applying the filters at the most granular level starting with the ones that are done in hardware along with using the rate limiters to control the raw packets per second (pps) that will be copied to the RP CPU, the impact on the RP will be minimized.

The rate-limit for the raw packets per second is available via the "rate-limit" command under the monitor capture submode.

Rodney Dunn, Escalation Engineer, Cisco TAC

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Note: All tips published in the Cisco Technical Services Newsletter are reviewed by Cisco technical support engineers; however, the Cisco Technical Services Newsletter and Cisco cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of these tips.

Cisco Introduces New CCIE Wireless Certification and CCIE Voice Lab Exam Enhancements

The demand for expert-level professionals proficient in the ability to design, install, deploy, and troubleshoot complex converged networks is growing exponentially. According to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Cisco:

  • 36 percent of the global companies surveyed reported that they have dedicated wireless specialists in their IT organizations, a number that will almost double in the next five years.
  • 69 percent of the companies surveyed expect to have a dedicated voice specialist in their organizations within five years, up from 40 percent currently.

In an effort to meet this demand, Cisco has made two significant additions to its CCIE certification program:

Cisco CCIE Wireless Certification

The Cisco CCIE Wireless certification assesses and validates wireless expertise. Candidates who pass the CCIE Wireless certification exams demonstrate broad theoretical knowledge of wireless networking and a solid understanding of wireless local area networking (WLAN) technologies from Cisco, the market leader in WLAN technology.

Benefits of CCIE Certified Wireless Certification include:

  • Greater opportunity for salary increase and job advancement in wireless networking industry
  • Validates expertise in major aspects of WLAN technology
  • Provides next step for individuals interested in a career in managing or working with Cisco wireless technologies

The written exam for CCIE Wireless will be made available through Pearson VUE on February 17th, 2009. The lab exam for CCIE Wireless will be made available in April 2009.

CCIE Voice Lab Exam Enhancements

In addition to the release of the new Cisco CCIE Wireless certification, Cisco has refreshed the lab exam for its popular CCIE Voice certification. The refreshed CCIE Voice Lab Exam v3.0 addresses critical skills that voice professionals must have, including the ability to define integrated network services and mitigate future performance problems. Successful candidates demonstrate the skills to help companies increase productivity, and speed innovation.

To find out more about CCIE Wireless Certification, the exam for CCIE Voice certification, and access to the latest blueprints and study materials, visit the Cisco Learning Network.

Design Zone Provides Technical Resources for the Enterprise

Design Zone is a consolidated resource for Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs), including Design Guides, System Assurance Guides, and Application Deployment Guides. You can also find white papers, videos, and other technical reference materials. Content is divided into categories that are organized under the headings of network architectures, technologies, and industry solutions. This easy-to-use, web-based resource helps provide you with the Enterprise knowledge you need.

If you want more information regarding proven systems and solutions that are developed, tested, and documented to facilitate faster, more reliable, and more predictable deployments, please take advantage of this useful resource today.

TechWiseTV: "Pushing the Boundaries of Collaboration"

Enabling more effective collaboration among teams of people that extend far beyond the safe confines of your corporate firewalls is quickly becoming vital for businesses of all sizes. How can you empower your employees to work more transparently with partners, suppliers, and customers at a myriad of locations while maintaining effective security and control?

This TechWiseTV episode explores the newest collaboration solutions from Cisco and shows you how they can overcome distance and time barriers. Learn how you can overcome the technology walls among organizations while preserving security and simplifying network management. Discover how you can turn your network into a true global collaboration platform by integrating disparate business applications, communications devices, and web-based tools across independent workspaces. Explore the technical issues and see the latest collaboration solutions from Cisco on TechWiseTV, including:

  • The architectural challenges and realities involved in federating presence technology
  • Cisco TelePresence 500, allowing personal offices to hold one-on-one meetings or to join large, multipoint Cisco TelePresence calls
  • Cisco WebEx Connect, empowering disparate companies to easily create virtual, customized workspaces over an open yet secure platform

Learn more and register to view today.

New Cisco Product Documentation Available Online

"What's New in Cisco Product Documentation" is an online publication that provides information about the latest documentation releases for Cisco products. Updated monthly, this online publication is organized by product category to direct you quickly to the documentation for your products.

In addition to many new and revised Cisco IOS documents, highlights of the December release include documentation for the following:

  • Cisco MDS 9000 Family
  • Cisco NAC Appliance
  • Cisco Unified Service Monitor

View the latest release of "What's New in Cisco Product Documentation" online or as an RSS feed today.

Upcoming "Ask the Expert" Events and TechTalks from NetPro

Networking Professionals Connection (NetPro) is an interactive website where you can discuss Cisco networking products and technologies with Cisco experts and networking professionals around the world.

Upcoming events on Networking Professionals Connection include:

  • "Ask the Expert" events, which allow you to discuss specific networking issues online with Cisco engineers:
    • "Email Security," now through December 24
    • "Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)," now through December 24
    • "Unified Communications Express," January 5-16
    • "Identity and Access Control Using Cisco Secure ACS 5.0," January 5-16
    Note: "Ask the Expert" events are subject to rescheduling. Please refer to the URL above for the most current schedule.

  • TechTalks are online webcasts that focus on particular technology subjects. You can view the latest event schedule, register to attend a live session, and view archived presentations on the web any time.

To attend an event or participate in a discussion forum, visit Networking Professionals Connection.

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