In March 2014 I was a team lead for a small networking team in an Angolan ISP. After 5 years contributing the best I could to get the company of it’s feet, the time was coming for the progression many wished in their professional careers. I was invited to be the head of IT. Niiice!!! Continue reading

Packet Capture Capabilities of Cisco Routers and Switches (Mind Map)

From very early in my networking career I have been fascinated by protocol details, packet captures and the features of my top 3 application troubleshooting tool: Wireshark.

Getting the captures on the endpoints (clients/servers) is relatively easy but things can get difficult when you want to capture traffic somewhere in between and is hard to do port mirroring (SPAN) on some remote switch.

Packet Capture Capabilities of Cisco Routers and Switches is an old video (4 years is old right?) posted on the Cisco Support Forums that highlights different methods to get on box packet captures in Wireshark .pcap format or in text output.

The video is an hour long but if you’re in a rush I made it easy for you by summarizing the video in an “easy to read” mind map. grouped by IOS, NX-OS and IOS XR. Continue reading

CCNA Data Center – My Journey

On April 11th 2017, well on the edge and on the last day before the old CCNA DC exams expiring I finally gog my CCNA Data Center certification, more than a year after starting the studies.

Was it hard? Yes, but no so much for the content.

The idea

My journey started with the decision late 2015, with some experience and after putting my hands on some Cisco Nexus switches I decided to go ahead with certification. Continue reading

Running Cisco UCS Platform Emulator on VirtualBox

My studies of Cisco Data Center technologies have led me to Cisco UCS (Unified Computing Systems). To manage a UCS domain Cisco provides us with the UCS Manager software. This software runs on switch-like devices called Fabric Interconnects acting as the “doorways” between the UCS domain and “the world”.

For all of us studying and needing to understand it without access to a bunch of expensive servers, Cisco was kind enough to create the UCSPE (UCS Platform Emulator) as a free downloadable virtual machine.

Since I’m not a good friend of VMWare and can’t have a bare metal hypervisor, my “playing” focuses mostly on Virtualbox but there is a small detail that must be taken care of:


Problem: After importing the UCSPE appliance you can’t access the GUI even after changing adapter 1 to Host-only or Bridge. Continue reading

The end of “classic” IOS

If you’ve been in IT and networking in the last 5 years, you definitely know the 1st family of Cisco ISR (Integrated Service Routers) 1800, 2800 and 3800. If that’s true, you also seen the transition to ISR G2 (1900, 2900 and 3900) and felt the frustration of the new licensing model.

Well, last month, the end of ISR G2 was also announced and the recommended platform to migrate to in this range are the 4000 ISR.

7600 routers, the old school warriors also had their End-of-Sale announcement and the replacement should be the ASR 9000.

What does this have to do with the title?

Lately (15 years?) Cisco has been introducing new routers working with new operating systems:

  • ASR 1000 running IOS XE in the enterprise edge and aggregation
  • ASR 9000 running IOS XR in the Service Provider core and edge
  • Nexus switches running NX-OS in the Data Center

All of these new OS’s are modular and bring only advantages when compared to the old IOS (Internetwork Operating System).

ISR 4000’s are no longer running IOS but IOS XE. ASR 9000 – recommended for the replacement of 7600’s – runs IOS XR. 2960 and 4500 switches have left IOS and have been running IOS XR for some years now.

This trend clearly shows us that the well known “classic” and monolithic IOS we came to love and hate since the 90’s is coming to an end. After these announcements, there are very few that still run “pure” IOS.

Is there a reason to worry?

No. Fortunately, NX-OS and especially IOS XE is keeping syntax and CLI (Command Line Interface) similarities with the original IOS. The notable differences are underneath in software architecture (Linux Kernel), modularity, memory protection and high availability. Only IOS XR has big differences but you can get the hang of it quickly with a few month’s practice (have a look at XRv)

You want to know a bit more?

Difference between IOS, IOS XE and IOS XR

Cisco NX-OS

Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers Software Configuration Guide: Software Packaging and Architecture

2900 End-of-Sale Announcement

3900 End-of-Sale Announcement