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Why Spanning Tree Should Be Dead But Isn’t

Article | July 16, 2014

Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) is dead, or at least it should be. It’s too slow to converge when there’s a change, and it causes issues with performance because there is only one forwarding path. It was developed in 1985 by Radia Perlman at Digital Equipment Corporation to allow for redundant paths within a Layer 2 topology, which was great in 1985. In fact, it was huge! So much so, that it was later standardized by the IEEE as 802.1D, and we’ve been living with it ever since.

Which Is Easier to Configure: Cisco IOS or Juniper Junos?

Article | March 17, 2014

The short answer (and a common one in our industry): it depends. When comparing Cisco IOS with Juniper Junos, the decision to choose one over the other is difficult and often boils down to cost. Of course, there are other factors to consider.

Which Exams to Take: CCNA Composite vs ICND1 and ICND2

Video | Feb. 25, 2014

Global Knowledge instructor Kevin Schweers reviews the basic differences between the two paths to achieving CCNA certification.

Where Did That 169.254.x.x IP Address Come From?

Article | March 22, 2010

In my last post, we learned that the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a computer networking protocol used by hosts, identified as DHCP clients, to retrieve IP address assignments and other configuration information. DHCP uses a client-server architectur...

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’s the Difference between Video Conferencing and Telepresence?

Article | March 18, 2014

With the advent of video use in our everyday communications, a number of questions commonly surface. One of them is the question of terminology. What's the difference between video conferencing and telepresence? What is meant by immersive technologies? Frankly, there is no one single right answer.

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).

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.

What is a LAN?

Article | Sep. 12, 2017

If you’ve been around IT for even a few minutes, you’ve likely heard the acronyms “LAN” and “WAN” used by fellow technicians. But with all of the possible variations of networks—different sizes, different arrangements, and different protocols—how do you tell the difference between a LAN and a WAN and everything in between? The simple answer is one of scope and size.

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.