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Unlock the FULL Potential of your Cisco Catalyst Switches

October 15, 2009 - 5 Comments

The live show with Q&A is today at 10 AM PST.  If you missed it, have no fear, you can still watch it right here.


Looking for show notes? Keep reading!

Jennifer describes the Borderless Network

You know how the most important work always seems to get done by the most unknown people?  I personally like those unkown people…in fact, today’s show is about the unsung technologies that form the critical foundation for almost every process your business depends on.  For the next hour, we are bringing the goods.  Your network is literally the central nervous system for the successful delivery of mobility, security, voice and data and we are getting hands on with the experts as we break down the crucial elements you can’t afford to miss.



Segment 1 – It all comes down to the Network

TechWiseTV Technology Host Jennifer Geisler breaks down the key elements of a borderless network.  Security, Mobility and Performance are highlighted as key areas worth further exploration as Jennifer outlines the game plan for this TechWiseTV episode.



Segment 2 – Network Mobility Service ProtocolSalman Zahid

Jimmy Ray welcomes Catalyst Switching Expert Salman Zahid to the TechWiseTV lab as they break down the Network Mobility Services Protocol (NMSP) used to determine the physical location of a tracked entity in the network.

The Challenge
Businesses have gone mobile. The number of employees who expect access to network resources to improve
productivity has increased significantly over the past few years, and the trend shows little sign of slowing anytime
soon. Business mobility means consistent access to corporate applications over the right network for the right user
at the right time. Delivering this experience requires IT to give careful consideration to the network design. In addition to providing mobility services for wireless devices, IT needs to provide mobility within the wired network to track the location of users, invoke location-based policies, and track assets. (download .pdf with more info)


Acronym Guidance…


Segment 3 – Catalyst Integrated Security: AuthenticationRob Sloan on TechWiseTV

Rob Sloan and Jimmy Ray Purser highlight the Catalyst Integrated Security Features and demonstrate how to make use of Flexible Authentication (FlexAuth) as an option for those who may dread the thought of 802.1x

Great detail and more info from Jimmy Ray at

802.1x – closed and open modes

Open makes this a lot more flexible

Flex Auth

MAB – MAC Authenication Bypass

Communication with AAA server is crucial –

Very interesting reference from Jimmy Ray…AAA Dead Server Action could now be referred to as ‘Spare Tire VLAN’….fresh reference for an old (but very useful) feature!

Jamey Heary Article on 802.1x Options

Good TechChat on IBNS – Identity Based Networking




Cisco Revising CCIE R&S Certification

The upcoming Version 4.0 of Cisco CCIE® Routing and Switching certification will test hands-on troubleshooting, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and VPN networking



Segment 4 – Flexible Packet MatchingCarl Solder

Catalyst Switching Expert and TechWiseTV alum Carl Solder rejoins us as he and Jimmy Ray ‘spin the wheel’ for choosing their ideal performance tools.  Their goal – find one tool you should be using more of and break it down.

Acronym Guidance…

IPSLA – IP Service Level Agreement

FPM – Flexible Packet Matching

Check out this excellent hidden repository of Jimmy Ray genius where he took these features and more for the ‘turn-it-on’ series we did for awhile.


BONUS: Carl Solder appeared in WHAT OTHER TECHWISETV SHOW…and what did he cover?  (Contest question…free shirt for the first response on the blog)


Packet Header Descriptor Files (PHDF)

These downloads require registration – you can find it all at


“From Day Zero to Network Hero”  – “There’s a lot to learn about networks and protocols from packet captures. Besides, we think packets need as much Web 2.0 love as your spreadsheets.”



Segment 5 – Quality of ServiceQoS

Quality of Service options abound for the modern Cisco network but many engineers are overwhelmed by the percieved complexity.  Switching Expert Salman Zahid jions us in the lab to set the record straight and show exactly how to make them work for you.

Quality of Service (QoS) provides the capability to differentiate among different classes of traffic and to prioritize the traffic in times of network congestion, according to its relative importance. The primary goals of QoS are to provide guaranteed minimum bandwidth for identified traffic, control jitter and latency (required by some real-time and interactive traffic) and to improve loss characteristics. This paper assumes the reader is familiar with basic QoS concepts such as classification, congestion avoidance, and bandwidth allocation. The objective of this paper is to provide an overview and configuration examples of the rich QoS capabilities available on the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series supervisor engines.  (more).

Quality of Service on the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Supervisor Engine 6-E

AutoQoS – Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth…

More on using AutoQoS


Cecilia Vacherand is a Cisco Employee, friend of the show and worked with Jimmy Ray in his past life at HP…  I had to share her little rant on QoS:

You know, being a SE all these years I’ve spent a lot of time in my car and been stuck in traffic jams that have had me beating my head against the steering wheel. There will be three lanes totally backed up and then you look over to the left and the dang commuter lane is EMPTY! Okay, I get the idea behind having a special lane for people that commute together but it does NOTHING to help the other lanes that are at a standstill.

It seems to me that if the priority lane is not being used then other traffic should be able to use it. And, you know, that is exactly like Cisco’s QoS. We enforce priorities for the traffic that needs it but when a priority queue is empty, we allow traffic to hop onto the empty queue. It’s all in the way Cisco implements QoS, either Shared RR or Shaped RR…depending on how you configure it.

Performance isn’t just about speed anymore, it’s about moving traffic more intelligently.



Segment 6 – Designing the Borderless Network

Join us on the whiteboard as we review the key elements in a borderless architecture and illustrate their relationship in the network.


The Borderless Networks Experience event will unveil a new generation of technology from Cisco that will allow your organization to:
·        Use video in new ways to enhance collaboration, productivity, and business innovation
·        Adopt new IT service delivery models that let you access any service, at any location, from any device
·        Accelerate business growth while reducing your operational costs and environmental impact
·        Americas – Tues., Oct. 20, 11:00 PST (18:00 GMT)
·        Europe – Tues., Oct. 20, 14:00 CET (13:00 GMT)
·        Asia Pacific – Wed., Oct 21, 13:30 Beijing (5:30 GMT)
·        Marie Hattar – Vice President, Network Systems and Security Solutions, Cisco
·        Ross Fowler – WW Vice President, Borderless Network Architecture
·        Tony Bates – Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Enterprise, Commercial and Small Business Group

More Info in their Blog Entry

The Borderless Networks Launch has yielded some interesting looks at the future:



Thank You!


Thank you to for all their support, access to authors and great new books on such a regular basis.  Shout Out to the awesome support we get from Jamie Adams!


Thank you to Jinx the Jimmy Ray Wardrobe (show Robb some love…)  The rest of you check out their stuff – very very cool gamer gear, geekery


Speaker Bio’s

Salman Zahid, Catalyst Switching Expert

Salman has been with Cisco for 7 years . He started out as a TAC engineer in LAN switching team and joined the Catalyst 4500 marketing team a couple of years ago. As a marketing engineer in Catalyst 4500 group , he works on  training Sales engineers , working with a broader product management and engineering teams on defining requirements for future products and marketing current products and software services.Salman is CCIE # 16404 and has an MS in Electrical Engineering.


Carl Solder, Switching Expert

Carl Solder is a 13 year Cisco veteran and currently works with the Catalyst modular switching technical marketing team. In his current role he works primarily with internal Cisco engineering teams on defining next generation switching technologies as well as working with Cisco systems engineers to support their customers who run the catalyst 6500 and 4500 platforms. During his time at Cisco he has also worked in the field as a systems engineer serving customers primarily in the enterprise space as well as a consulting engineer for LAN switching technologies looking after Cisco’s customers across the Asia Pacific theater. Carl has been part of the Cisco distinguished engineering team for the last two years and is a 10 year CCIE in routing and switching (#2416).

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  1. pcapr - thanks for the comment as well as the twitter shout out!

  2. Jimmy, thanks for the plug: Here's one of my favorite sites: pcapr"". Glad we could help!"

  3. How do I get a copy of that colorful QOS chart?

  4. Robert! Great job. (Thanks for reading the shownotes too by the way). Drop me your contact info at techwisetv@cisco.comRobb

  5. BONUS Answer: Carl Solder He appeared on Switching Secrets for Multimedia"" and he talked about PISA"