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Datagram Transport Layer Service - DTLS

Article | May 25, 2011

This week’s post highlights some of the features and implementation specifics regarding the Datagram Transport Layer Service (DTLS) protocol used in Virtual Private Networks with the Cisco AnyConnect® SSL client. I’ll provide some background as well as some screenshots and supported CLI commands.

Benefits of a Cloud Based Architecture

Article | May 26, 2011

In the fourth of his five-part series, Eric Strause explores the hardware and application benefits inherent in a cloud-based architecture.

Routing Decisions: Best Path Selection

Article | June 23, 2011

According to the OSI layer concept, routing, or best path selection, takes place on Layer 3 and is based on the logical address. In this post, we want to discuss some of the points in that statement.

Routing Decisions: Best Path Selection

Article | June 23, 2011

According to the OSI layer concept, routing, or best path selection, takes place on Layer 3 and is based on the logical address. In this post, we want to discuss some of the points in that statement.

ACUCW1 or ACUCW2 - Which Course is Right for You?

Video | July 21, 2011

Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications, explains the difference between our Cisco Unified Communications courses - ACUCW1 & ACUCW2.

Cloud Computing Security

Webinar – Recorded | Aug. 10, 2011

In this informative, hour-long webinar, Global Knowledge instructor Debbie Dahlin will explore an abundance of important cloud computing security issues. She will help you gain insight into the key cloud security issues of maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of corporate information and applications.

The 5 Phases of Hacking: Covering Your Tracks

Article | Aug. 30, 2011

An attacker needs to destroy evidence of his presence and activities for several reasons like being able to maintain access and evade detection (and the resulting punishment). Erasing evidence of a compromise is a requirement for any attacker who wants to remain obscure and evade trace back. This usually starts with erasing the contaminated logins and any possible error messages that may have been generated from the attack process.

T-SQL Basics: Anatomy of the Select Statement

Article | Sep. 19, 2011

Relational databases are important not only because of the information they store but, more importantly, for the data we retrieve from them. The select statement allows us to ask the database a question. It’s the way we retrieve information from the database system.

Private VLANs: Advanced Switching Tips and Tricks

Webinar – Recorded | Oct. 10, 2011

In this hour-long webinar, Global Knowledge instructor John Barnes will guide you through implementing Cisco private VLANs. He will review VLANs and 802.1q, and he will discuss private VLAN fundamentals and operation, covering primary VLANs and secondary VLANs. He will cover VLAN mapping and discuss using private VLANs between multiple switches. He will also provide a use case example.

Overview of GSS Functionality

Article | Oct. 13, 2011

The Global Site Selector (GSS) leverages the Domain Name System (DNS) to provide clients with reliable and efficient content services. Domain to IP address mapping is performed with consideration for availability, location, and load of content servers. Using the GSS in combination with Cisco’s Content Services Switch (CSS), Cisco’s Catalyst 6000 Content Switching Module (CSM), or Cisco’s Application Control Engine (ACE) allows users to create Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) networks.

GSS & DNS

Article | Oct. 18, 2011

Although the GSS can be configured to be authoritative for an entire domain, e.g. cisco.com (option 1), the GSS is designed to be integrated into an existing traditional BIND-based or any DNS system. The GSS operates as an A-record DNS server for Hosted Domains (HD) for which it has been delegated authority from a higher-level name server, which generally would be a name server (NS) controlled by an Enterprise or ISP. In addition to A-record support, the GSS is able to proxy for other query types using NS Forwarding and a back-end name server such as BIND.

Network Forensics Analysis: A New Paradigm in Network Security

Webinar – Recorded | Oct. 26, 2011

In this hour-long webinar, security expert and Global Knowledge instructor Phillip D. Shade will provide insight into the emerging network security science of network forensics analysis, a.k.a. security event analysis and reconstruction. Using case studies, you will examine the role of data retention in network forensics analysis, and you will learn about applying forensics analysis techniques to handle application-based attacks, VoIP call interception, and worms, bots, and viruses.

Benefit from Using Failover MAC Address

Article | Nov. 04, 2011

In this post I’ll focus on a topic that’s mentioned in the Cisco FIREWALL training class but isn’t emphasized there or in the online Cisco ASA documentation. When configuring failover on a pair of ASA security appliances, a situation can arise in which network disruption occurs due to the secondary ASA in a failover pair becoming active first and then the primary comes online second. Both the documentation and the courseware point out that this causes the secondary (and active ASA) to swap its interface MAC addresses with those of the primary. Being naturally skeptical about this behavior, I decided to investigate. The rest of this post illustrates my confirmation of this phenomenon.

ICMP Error Inspection on the ASA

Article | Nov. 21, 2011

The official Cisco CCNP Security FIREWALL training course (as well as other documentation) recommends enabling the inspection of the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), even though it’s disabled by default. The image below displays the recommended practice as configured in ASDM, but the curious student might wonder what the unchecked “ICMP Error” box is. That’s what I’ll focus on in this post.

The Investment Value of Training

Special Report | Jan. 02, 2012

This report discusses the growing significance of human capital and intellectual property on the performance, sustainability, and valuation of companies. It examines the business drivers for investing in the acquisition, development, and certification of knowledge workers as well as current technology and economic trends that are accentuating the critical need to invest in the education and training of employees and customers.

ITIL 2011: How Many Processes?

Article | Jan. 11, 2012

As long as I've been involved in service management, one of the perennial debates that's really never been resolved focuses around how many discrete processes ITIL describes. No such single list exists in the ITIL core books. However, section 4.1 of each of the ITIL 2011 core books shows the processes described within that specific book. When we deliver accredited ITIL training, if it is describe in section 4.1 of any of the ITIL core books, then it is considered a "process".

6 Common Avaya System and Session Manager Troubleshooting Solutions

Article | Jan. 24, 2012

As many of you work on integrating Avaya Aura System and Session Manager into your networks, the case for troubleshooting will indeed occur. There are built in tests in the System Manager that allow you to run tests on 14 different areas, including Session Manager. But what do you do with the results when you get them? I am going to outline six of the most common problems and solutions when installing and implementing System and Session Manager and what steps you can take to troubleshoot and correct the problem.

DHCP for Wireless LAN Clients

Article | Jan. 31, 2012

For us wireless folks that aren’t stellar routing and switching guys, one of the most daunting network tasks is integrating our WLAN infrastructure with the existing wired infrastructure and its services. Understanding wired design topics is pretty fundamental to installing or managing any network, so it really should be on our priority list to spruce up those skills. To give you a nudge on your journey, let’s talk about DHCP for wireless clients.

Hacking Back In Self-Defense: Is It Legal? Should It Be?

Webinar – Recorded | Feb. 01, 2012

Your business has been hacked, leaving you with a persistent bot; now what? In this hour-long webinar, security expert David Willson will discuss ways you can eliminate the threat in an act of self-defense or defense of property. As new laws are explored, old ones amended, and solutions sought, you'll take a look at thinking outside the box to give the good guys the advantage-or at least a fighting chance.

What is the Cisco UCS Manager?

Article | Feb. 01, 2012

The Cisco UCS is truly a “unified” architecture that integrates three major datacenter technologies into a single, coherent system: Computing Network Storage Instead of being simply the next generation of blade servers, the Cisco UCS is an innova­tive architecture designed from scratch to be highly scalable, efficient, and powerful with one-third less infrastructure than traditional blade servers.

How to Design a Cisco Wireless Lab

Article | Feb. 14, 2012

Previously, I talked about the logical and physical steps to building a basic certification lab, concentrating mostly on the CCENT/CCNA Routing and Switching level. Once you have that set of certifications under your belt, there are several options for specialization. Each of these advanced technology tracks serve as methods of enhancing your professional skill set as follows:

Cisco UCS: Spanning-Tree Need Not Apply!

Article | Feb. 15, 2012

Anyone who’s managed switches over the years knows that the Spanning-tree protocol (STP) is both the best and worst thing to ever happen to the data center at layer 2 of the OSI model. On the plus side, the Spanning-tree protocol is what first allowed us to create redundant paths within our switching infrastructure, making our data center much more resilient to outages than ever before. Anyone who’s experienced a “broadcast storm” knows the full value of Spanning-tree in the traditional switching environment. We’ve also seen many improvements in Spanning-tree over the years to make it work faster and more efficiently (i.e. Rapid Spanning-tree, Bridge Assurance, and many others).

How to Configure a Cisco Wireless Lab

Article | Feb. 28, 2012

Configuring a wireless lab for study and testing capabilities is a bit more involved than you might think at first glance. Most of the requirements take place on the management devices, but the underlying switch infrastructure requires some preparations as well. The tasks involved are as follows:

What Kind of Network Am I On?

Article | March 01, 2012

Good question! There are lots of networks, so I’m sorry to say that it depends. Let me explain. The smallest computer-based networks are usually PANs or Personal Area Networks. They can connect a wireless keyboard, mouse, or other devices to a computer. You may find them wirelessly linking a printer to your computer. You may have noticed these all include wireless connections. A PAN most often uses wireless technologies like infrared and Bluetooth, so it is really a WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network).

Virtualization: Myths vs. Facts

White Paper | March 05, 2012

Examine fifteen common myths surrounding virtualization, including many that prevent IT administrators (or their bosses) from getting the maximum value from virtualization. This paper is designed to be vendor-neutral; in other words, the basic concepts and advantages are the same whether you choose to use Citrix XenServer, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, or one of the many Linux-based solutions. We'll break the reasons into three broad categories (Cost/ROI, Performance, and Other), allowing you to focus in on a specific area if desired, or you can review the entire white paper for a broader view.

Incidents and Problems - Workarounds

Article | March 14, 2012

In my last post I discussed aspects of problem management in the context of a real-life situation regarding the first vehicle I owned. In that scenario, and throughout this series of posts, I’ve demonstrated a real-life situation from a standpoint of the incident and problem management processes that ITIL describes.

Defining QOS (Quality of Service)

Video | March 15, 2012

Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications, explains QoS.

Go Further with Microsoft Certification

Video | March 15, 2012

The 'Go Further' video is an testimonial to the value of Microsoft Certification as a validation of technical skills. Whether you're just starting your IT career, or looking to advance it, certification can make a huge impact. Take a look at the video, and hear the stories of real MCPs.

VXLAN: What is It, and Why Do We Need It - the Conclusion

Article | March 26, 2012

In the previous post, we discussed the need for VXLAN in the cloud along with the issues it solves. In this post, we will focus more on how VXLAN works.

Five Secrets for Successfully Virtualizing a Data Center

White Paper | April 04, 2012

Here are some secrets, tips, and tricks for virtualizing your datacenter. We want to introduce some best practices for virtualization, while not being too biased towards one virtualization vendor or another. We'll use some common examples of products and tools that work with VMware's vSphere and Microsoft's Hyper-V, but with an eye toward virtualization in general, and not the specifics of any of the capable platforms that could be used). We will assume, however, that bare metal hypervisors, in other words virtualization platforms where the hyper visor is the OS, will be used as opposed to running a hypervisor on top of an existing general-purpose operating system (which is great in a lab, but terrible for data center projects).

Five Secrets for Successfully Virtualizing Desktops

White Paper | April 04, 2012

These five "secrets" to virtualizing desktops will greatly increase the chance of a successfully VDI implementation. It is very important to plan for this; to balance the hardware environment to handle not just average but peak load; to properly size storage, not just for capacity, but for performance as well; to minimize the number of base images so that the costs of maintaining each can also be minimized; and to accept and embrace the fact that people will connect with a wide variety of devices, and to create a plan to accommodate as many of these devices as is feasible at the lowest cost.

An Introduction to PMI’s Project Management Life Cycle

Article | April 06, 2012

The term "life cycle" implies two things: that a process is perpetual and that the sequence of events is obligatory or uni-directional. There is no beginning or end to a life cycle and the sequence of events cannot change. A seed cannot go directly to being a mature plant nor revert back to the blossom stage.

10 New Features for Citrix XenApp 6.5

Article | April 09, 2012

XenApp 6.5 brings a host of features and benefits that most companies will need as the technology continues to evolve and user requirements continue to expand.

The Difference Between a Project and a Service

Article | April 11, 2012

During a recent ITIL foundation class, a student asked an interesting question. She wanted to know: “What is the difference between a project and a service?” To be honest, I haven’t spent much time thinking about this distinction. However, I think that those of us who practice ITIL consulting and training should have good answers to questions such as this. Here’s how I answered this question.

12 Steps to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Success

White Paper | April 16, 2012

IT departments have multiple opportunities and challenges as a result of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) invasion. The most common opportunity is to reinforce enterprise network security from both the inside and the outside. Supporting BYOD also offers more monitoring and tracking of activities that provide a more detailed view of network traffic flow. Alternatively, it will be a challenge for some IT departments to give up control over which devices may access their enterprise network. Another challenge will be to have the users doing configurations for network access, which adds human error to a crucial part of the process. The opportunities and challenges BYOD represents are real. Enterprises must make their network infrastructure BYOD ready to meet the onslaught.

Incident Management Process Flow – Which Comes First, Categorization or Initial Diagnosis?

Article | April 18, 2012

What's the correct sequence of activities for handling an incident? Find out why categorization occurs before initial diagnosis in the ITIL incident management process flow so you can answer this common ITIL Foundation exam question.

Introduction to Juniper Junos

Article | April 23, 2012

None of us have much time to waste, so what can you do when your environment changes quickly and you need to come up to speed on a device that you have never seen before? You find the quickest way to bring yourself up to speed. Some of you will have experience with other vendors’ equipment, and some of you will not have much experience at all; therefore, we will focus on topics that will get your feet wet the quickest and have you talking Junos in no time.

Seven Security Myths of Windows 7

White Paper | May 10, 2012

Network security is everyone's concern, and this applies to computer security as well. Many security breaches occur due to user ignorance of basic security principles, not malicious intent. Network and computer security are like an onion - there are multiple layers. Good security begins with understanding what you can do to keep your systems safe and implementing a layered approach. If you depend on one program or feature to secure your computer, then when (not if, but when) that dependency is breached, you may have personal information stolen or even have your computer taken over.

When Learning Fails: Six Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Webinar – Recorded | May 12, 2012

Everyone has been involved in a learning program or project that has not delivered its intended impact. Across organizations, remarkably similar but preventable missteps are made in needs identification, learning strategies, program development and implementation.  Instructor Tom Gram, Senior Director of Professional Services at Global Knowledge, will present six classic mistakes learning professionals make that reduce chances for success along with evidence-based practices to help prevent them. 

Seven Tips for Troubleshooting VMware vSphere5

White Paper | May 31, 2012

Here are seven tips for working with vSphere, including: Logging in via Command Line, dealing with connection problems using ssh to an ESXi host; network performance issues; possible storage problems; Log Files to View in vSphere ESXi 5; network performance troubleshooting; migrating to a virtual machine using VMotion.

Ethernet Switching vs. Fiber Channel Switching

Article | June 06, 2012

Both technologies, Ethernet and FC, satisfied the two conditions at that time, but there was a catch. Read more. 

Cloud Computing - It's a Business Model

Video | June 08, 2012

Global Knowledge practice director for cloud solutions, Hank Marquis, explains the people, process, and technology aspects of cloud computing.

What is Twisted Pair and Does It Work?

Article | June 12, 2012

“Twisted Pair” is another way to identify a network cabling solution that’s also called Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881. Indoor business telephone applications use them in 25-pair bundles. In homes, they were down to four wires, but in networking we use them in 8-wire cables. By twisting the pairs at different rates (twists per foot), cable manufacturers can reduce the electromagnetic pulses coming from the cable while improving the cable’s ability to reject common electronic noise from the environment.

Service Management Jobs – Intermediate Level Interview Questions

Article | June 13, 2012

As mentioned in last week’s post, interviews that require ITIL Intermediate level knowledge will most likely be targeted to specific process areas and activities. If I interviewed someone for a job that required ITIL Intermediate level knowledge, in addition to other questions about the specific technical responsibilities of the job, I might ask the following questions:

CCNA v1.1: IPv4 Address Classes

Article | June 29, 2012

This week we'll review the IPv4 Address Classes including subnet masks, examples of Class C, Class B, and Class A subnet masks, and planning IPv4 addresses.

Cisco Call Manager vs. Call Manager Express

Video | July 05, 2012

Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications, explains the difference between Cisco's Call Manager Express & Call Manager.

Outcomes and Outputs

Article | July 25, 2012

Previously I discussed service providers and their risks in the example of my involvement with a landscaping company. ITIL clearly states that services, “…deliver value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve…” However, sometimes organizations and people focus on outputs as opposed to outcomes, which sacrifices some of the value of the service. This leads to a question, what is the difference between an outcome and an output?

Importance of Lessons Learned in Project Management

Article | July 27, 2012

Lessons learned is a theory, or conclusion, based on evidence at a given time and describes what went wrong (as well as what went right) throughout the lifecycle of a project. Although it’s completed during the project closeout process, it should occur during the entire project lifecycle to ensure all information is captured and documented. Consequences of not having a project review of lessons learned are the increased likelihood of repeating actions that might have caused:

Everyday Services and Technology

Article | Aug. 01, 2012

In the last two posts I discussed aspects of services in the context of some landscaping work that I’m having done. This is clearly what many people would call a “non-IT example.” I often use similar examples in my classes. However, I might initially describe an example that seems unrelated to IT, but will conclude with a challenge to students. That challenge is, “identify the IT in this example.” The truth of the matter is that most businesses these days are underpinned by some form of information technology. In fact, technology has become so ingrained into everyday services that often even the service providers themselves don’t realize how technology supports their business.

What is the Difference Between Bridges, Hubs, and Switches?

Article | Aug. 14, 2012

The most obvious difference is that hubs operate at Layer 1 of the OSI model while bridges and switches work with MAC addresses at Layer 2 of the OSI model. Hubs are really just multi-port repeaters. They ignore the content of an Ethernet frame and simply resend every frame they receive out every interface on the hub. The challenge is that the Ethernet frames will show up at every device attached to a hub instead of just the intended destination (a security gap), and inbound frames often collide with outbound frames (a performance issue).

How to Apply Knowledge Management to Project Management

Article | Aug. 24, 2012

Knowledge Management examines how we acquire, organize, manage, share, and utilize knowledge and information. The Internet gives us an overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis — and the volume of information available is growing rapidly! One of the biggest challenges for individuals and organizations involved in project management is to make the best use of this knowledge and information so they can operate more efficiently, improve decision making, and sustain a competitive advantage.

Data Center Basics: the Differences Between IOS and NX-OS

Article | Sep. 04, 2012

As we discussed previously, Cisco created the Nexus Operating System (NX-OS) to power its next-generation data-center switching platform. While this new OS shares many similarities to the original IOS, there are some definite differences that you need to be aware of as you begin using it.

Which ITIL Processes Relate to a Data Center Operations Group?

Article | Sep. 19, 2012

I recently responded to a message on LinkedIn from a regular reader of this blog. He asked several questions which I will answer over the course of several posts. As part of his first question, he described a strategy report that his group is producing. The audience for this strategy report considers ITIL important to the future of their business, and so he must describe which ITIL processes his data center operations group works most closely with.

10 SQL Terms You Should Know

Article | Sep. 24, 2012

Some of you might just be starting out as a database administrator and need to know what a basic Transact-SQL query is for Microsoft SQL Server 2012, others might already be creating database objects. Either way, we put together a list of a few terms regarding Microsoft SQL Server that any database administrator should know.

What Happens If I Have More Than One Switch With Redundant Links?

Article | Oct. 11, 2012

That depends on their configurations. For example: While it makes very good sense to include redundant physical links in a network, connecting switches in loops, without taking the appropriate measures, will cause havoc on a network. Without the correct measures, a switch floods broadcast frames out all of its ports, causing serious problems for the network devices. The main problem is a broadcast storm where broadcast frames are flooded through every switch until all available bandwidth is used and all network devices have more inbound frames than they can process.

Meeting Customer's Needs Through Agile Development

Article | Oct. 12, 2012

There is a reason why the Agile methods are becoming mainstream. They can work! Although every Agile practice is not necessarily appropriate for every organization, each practice has delivered real value to many organizations, and some Agile practices can be used by anyone! This four part series explores twelve ways in which the Agile methods are valuable. I’ll bet that you will find more than a few that could be valuable for you!

What Happens if I Have More Than One Switch With Redundant Links? Part 2

Article | Oct. 18, 2012

Now that the network is installed, each switch has a bridge ID number, and the root switch has been elected, the next step is for each switch to perform a calculation to determine the best link to the root switch. Each switch will do this by comparing the path cost for each link based on the speed. For paths that go through one or more other switches, the link costs are added. The switch compares this aggregate value to the other link costs to determine the best path to the root switch.

Zero Day Exploits

White Paper | Oct. 23, 2012

For several years, most news articles about a computer, network, or Internet-based compromise have mentioned the phrase "zero day exploit" or "zero day attack," but rarely do these articles define what this is. A zero day exploit is any attack that was previously unknown to the target or security experts in general. Many believe that the term refers to attacks that were just released into the wild or developed by hackers in the current calendar day. This is generally not the case. The "zero day" component of the term refers to the lack of prior knowledge about the attack, highlighting the idea that the victim has zero day's notice of an attack. The main feature of a zero day attack is that since it is an unknown attack, there are no specific defenses or filters for it. Thus, a wide number of targets are vulnerable to the exploit.

Maximizing Self-Awareness for Business and Leadership Development

Webinar – Recorded | Oct. 25, 2012

Self-awareness is a very powerful tool for leaders in every type of business or organization. The more leaders can maximize their self awareness the greater the impact on business performance, employee engagement and leadership and development initiatives. Self-awareness is the central component of personal development and emotional intelligence. For most leaders today it is still underdeveloped and frequently underemployed. Better understanding of this important leadership trait is critical for leadership and organizational success.

Meet Customers' Needs Through Agile Team Development

Article | Oct. 26, 2012

We already covered the first three of the twelve advantages of Agile software development. These three advantages focus on team development and refining the process. Advantage #4: Motivated Development Team The positive relationship with a reasonable and satisfied customer is only one of the reasons why many developers prefer to work on Agile projects. The other main contributor is that they tend to value working in self directed teams (which the Agile methods require for success).

Configuring VLANs on a Switch

Article | Nov. 01, 2012

Depending on the switch vendor, the exact steps will vary on how to set up and configure VLANs on a switch. For the network design shown, the general process for setting up VLANs on the switch is:

Upgrading to ESXi 5.1 - Best Practices

White Paper | Nov. 02, 2012

If you are upgrading to ESXi 5.1, there are some important facts that you should consider first. Upgrading involves many stages and processes that must be performed in a specific order. Many of these processes are one-way and do not provide a "back button." If you do not use care and consideration in your upgrade plan, you could possibly lose important data and configuration; and potentially even lose contact with your servers.

IP Version 6 Address Types

White Paper | Nov. 05, 2012

In 1998, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) released RFC 2460, outlining the technical specifications of IPv6, which addressed the shortcomings of the aging IPv4 protocol. As with any evolution of technology, new elements exist in the protocol that may seem strange and unfamiliar. This certainly includes address representation, space, and so forth, but also includes a number of different types of addresses as well. A subset of these new addressing types has corresponding types in IPv4, but many will seem significantly different. The purpose of this white paper is to examine addressing classifications in detail and outline their functions within the context of the protocol.

Juniper's Wonderful Command Line Interface (CLI)

Article | Nov. 05, 2012

Regardless of your vendor preference or your experience on the Juniper JUNOS CLI, assuming you have a point of reference to another vendor, your first thought when experiencing JUNOS is, “I have been here before.” The CLI is familiar, convenient, and polished. The similarities between JUNOS CLI and another CLI such as Cisco’s IOS are not what I want to focus on here however; it is their differences I want to focus on. But first, when you connect to a JUNOS powered device and access Operational Mode (see Brad Wilson’s blog post Introduction to Juniper Junos), it looks very much like the User EXEC Mode in IOS. In fact, there are a lot of JUNOS commands that are very much like the IOS User EXEC Mode commands.

Switches and Multiple VLANS

Article | Nov. 08, 2012

This short example illustrates basic VLAN operation. Examining VLANs in a large-scale installation can show the full benefits of VLANs. Consider that this is a small portion of a large corporate headquarters with 5,000 devices connected in a 20 building campus.

What is a Service Portfolio?

Article | Nov. 14, 2012

ITIL describes a service portfolio as a collection of the overall set of services managed by a service provider. A service portfolio describes a service provider’s boundaries and promises across all of the customers and market spaces it serves. I like to think of a service portfolio as describing the past, present, and future collection of services offered by a service provider. The figure below shows a high-level view of a service portfolio.

Service Portfolio Real World Example – Cloud Services Provider

Article | Nov. 28, 2012

In a recent post, I gave an overall description of a service portfolio and the key components of a portfolio. Here, I will describe how a cloud services provider might implement an ITIL service portfolio. A cloud services provider will regularly have a set of services under development, a set of service in live operation, and a set of services that are retired.

Rapid Spanning Tree

Article | Nov. 29, 2012

The STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) standard (IEEE 802.1d) was designed when the recovery after an outage could wait a minute or so and be acceptable performance. With Layer 3 switching in LANs, switching began to compete with routers running protocols because they are able to offer faster alternate paths. Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP or IEEE 802.1w) brought the ability to take the twenty seconds of waiting for the Max Age counter plus fifteen seconds of Listening plus fifteen seconds of Learning or fifty seconds down to less than one second for point-to-point connected and edge switches and six seconds for root switches.

IP Version 6 Transitions Mechanisms

White Paper | Dec. 05, 2012

As with the adoption of any new technology, the move from IP version 4 to IP version 6 will take a number of years to complete. During that transition phase, various mechanisms will be necessary to continue support of the older protocol as the newer gains widespread momentum. In addition, there has been some evolution even within the availability of these mechanisms, some of which have already passed from general use into deprecated status. Network engineering professionals already proficient in the use of IPv6, as well as the available coexistence mechanisms, will undoubtedly stay in high demand throughout this process.

Risk Management with RSA’s Archer GRC Framework

Article | Dec. 05, 2012

Risk is something we deal with on a daily basis. Living in New Jersey and having the occasional storm, I’ve recently performed my own risk assessment determining the value of certain assets and activities and made a decision on what I was willing to spend to reduce risk to what I perceived as an acceptable level. My management of risk was a rather simple case. Sure, in my revised business continuity plan for my home, I’ll make sure that I have more D cell batteries, have my garage door adjusted so it opens manually again, more food I can heat on a stove and that doesn’t rely on refrigeration, and finally I’ll consider a whole house gas generator that uses natural gas, which has always been available to power critical systems like the sump pump in my basement. What if, however, I was a really large business? One with lots of components and interdependencies that require a tight integration in order to succeed? How and where can a large volume of information necessary to management, business continuity, and disaster recovery be correlated and communicated to those individuals who, because of their roles and responsibilities, need to make the critical decisions regarding the management of risk?

Hottest New Certifications for 2013

Article | Jan. 05, 2013

So what makes a new certification "Hot"? Is it the perceived qualitative value? Or is it the possible increase in salary? Is it just the fact that so many are seeking that one particular certification? How about the governing body of the certification? Or maybe it is a combination of one or more of these? Whatever the case, there are new certifications (and some that have been completely re-written as to be a new certification) that are perceived to be the "ones" to possess and will be highly desirable in 2013.

Learning How To Learn Hadoop

White Paper | Jan. 11, 2013

Learning how to program and develop for the Hadoop platform can lead to lucrative new career opportunities in Big Data. But like the problems it solves, the Hadoop framework can be quite complex and challenging. Join Global Knowledge instructor and Technology Consultant Rich Morrow as he leads you through some of the hurdles and pitfalls students encounter on the Hadoop learning path. Building a strong foundation, leveraging online resources, and focusing on the basics with professional training can help neophytes across the Hadoop finish line.

Using Tunneling to Transition to IPv6

Article | Jan. 15, 2013

One of the many useful features of tunneling is to carry non-IP traffic across an IP network, and this is still the case when dealing with IPv6 traffic. This transition mechanism makes use of a configured tunnel to transport IPv6 over a native IPv4 network, which may consist of two sites or more. Unlike the previous transition mechanisms, tunneling is not monolithic; while the basic principles may be similar, the operations are different. The following chart gives a breakdown of the current, major tunneling types in use, particularly in a Cisco environment:

VMware vSphere Essentials

White Paper | Jan. 23, 2013

This vSphere Essentials white paper will give you a basic understanding of some of the concerns or planning points to consider as you get ready to deploy vSphere in your organization. This is a glimpse into some of the essential things to consider for implementing vSphere. This will focus on some of the basics that vSphere administrators run into when installing the latest features and not realizing they still have some older versions implemented.

Top 10 Cybersecurity Risks: How Prepared Are You for 2013?

White Paper | Jan. 24, 2013

Rather than looking back over the past year, organizations and individuals need to start assessing cybersecurity threats that lie ahead in the New Year. While there is always the chance for a new threat or risk to be unearthed this year, often the risks of the New Year are predicable from the trends of attacks from the previous year. However, other factors need to be considered as well, including new technologies, new software and applications, mobility, etc. Here are my predictions of the areas to watch for new security threats. When it comes to cybersecurity, we have a lot to look out for, take precautions against and be paranoid about.

What Traffic Goes Into Each QoS Class?

Article | Jan. 25, 2013

This is another topic of heated debate, and it changes from network to network, but I found a simple approach that works in most cases. Since I have four queues and four classes of traffic, I need to categorize my important traffic into four classes. Strictly for explanation purposes I took some liberty in defining four categories of traffic that are very effective in both large and small networks. These classes are: Real Time Protocol (RTP), Network Management (NetMgt), Business Critical, and the Default.

What is Supplier Management?

Article | Jan. 30, 2013

Organizations that plan for and conduct supplier management according to defined processes and boundaries are more likely to receive predictable, high-quality goods and services from their suppliers in a timely manner.

4 Tips and Tricks for Microsoft Windows Group Policy

Article | Feb. 07, 2013

There exists a need to properly read, deploy, and examine the results of Group Policy. By its architecture, Group Policy Deployment to the Clients or Servers can be erratic and latent, or even non-existent throughout your Enterprise Organization, frustrating Administrators who are rolling out the Group Policy to Client or Server computers. To help mitigate this behavior, I compiled these insights into a two part series from real-world examples, experiences, and fixes that have worked for me. I know that these Tips and Tricks will work for you, too.

HSRP - Hot Standing Routing Protocol

Video | Feb. 14, 2013

Rodger Foster, our senior Cisco instructor, reviews how multiple gateways are used to provide redundancy in the network.

The Business Process Analysis for a Project Manager

Article | Feb. 15, 2013

Enterprises, whether they are commercial, non-profit, or government entities, are operational organizations that operate through the execution of hundreds of processes. The quality of these processes affects every aspect of the enterprise and these processes are rarely static. Business Process Analysis (BPA) is the discipline of examining processes so that they may be changed to align with enterprise objectives.