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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.

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.

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:

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 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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.