Cisco cuts 4,000 jobs, Sourcefire not impacted

Cisco are apparently “rebalancing” their workforce by some 4,000 (5%) of their global headcount.

Despite relatively strong earnings figures, Cisco are pushing ahead with plans to eliminate a significant quantity of posts across the entire business portfolio. Exactly where the axe is to fall is currently not clear.

A recent Network World article suggests that the recent acquisition of SourceFire will not be impacted by this cull.

Barry Hesk
Intrinsic Network Solutions


Using non Cisco SFPs in Cisco equipment

2nd December 2011

Using non Cisco SFPs in Cisco equipment

My thanks to Jason at Paradigm Networks for this little gem…


Ever wondered what would happen if you tried to inter-connect ProCurve and Cisco switches with a low cost 10 GbE DAC cable?

The Cisco switch would grumble about the HP SFP.

Here’s a way round it:

switch(config)# service unsupported-transceiver
switch(config)# no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid

After issuing the first command, you will get the following :
Warning: When Cisco determines that a fault or defect can be traced to
the use of third-party transceivers installed by a customer or reseller,
then, at Cisco’s discretion, Cisco may withhold support under warranty or
a Cisco support program. In the course of providing support for a Cisco
networking product Cisco may require that the end user install Cisco
transceivers if Cisco determines that removing third-party parts will
assist Cisco in diagnosing the cause of a support issue.

Barry Hesk

Call Waiting on Cisco 6921, 6941 and 6961 Handsets

7th October 2011

Call Waiting on Cisco 6900 Series handsets

An additional update to one of our previous posts.

As mentioned previously, the Cisco 6900 series handsets only support one call per line. This means that Call Waiting, which is supported on 99.9% of other handsets does not work on the 6900s out of the box. The only way to configure Call Waiting is to assign a line to another button on the handset (assuming you have one spare) and then configure “call forward busy” on the first line to send calls to this.

Only one word for this. Ugly.

Buyer beware. The 6900s look very attractive because of their price point, however the more we see, the less we like.

6900 Series Handset

Barry Hesk

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Release 8.6(2) Upgrade

7th October 2011

Cisco Unified Communications Manager Release 8.6(2)

Nice little challenge if you’re upgrading any Cisco MCS7825H3 servers to CUCM 8.6(2) or indeed Unity Connection to the same release.

In a nutshell, the upgrade process converts the RAID on the server from hardware to software based and effectively results in a total reformat of the machine during the process. A few points about this:

  • You need to attach an external USB storage drive with a minimum size of 16GB (CUCM) or 128 GB (CUC) to the physical server. During the upgrade the server will dump off its current config to the USB drive and then import it after the format is complete.
  • The USB drive will be reformatted during the operation so beware!
  • Obviously this means that remote upgrades will not be possible, and physical access to the machine will be required.
  • Finally, as the server is formatted, you cannot switch back to the old version like you can on most other upgrades. The only way to revert the software is to reimage the entire server, and restore from DRS backup. Ouch!

A link the release notes is here which provides more details on the process.

Because of the RAID conversion, the process can take at least a couple of hours longer than previous upgrades.

Not as straight foward as other upgrades it is fair to say.

Barry Hesk

Cisco UCM and Unity Connection VMware on non Cisco hardware

5th October 2011.

Cisco UCM and Unity Connection VMware on non Cisco hardware

Finally. Finally. Finally.

Cisco now officially support deployment of key Unified Communications applications included Communications Manager and Unity Connection on non Cisco hardware when using VMware.

The use of VMware was meant to speed up deployment and provides all of the key business benefits that are brought to the party by virtualization. However, Cisco’s previous insistence that formal support would only be provided when running VMware on Cisco’s own UCS hardware platform was in our minds (a) ridiculous and (b) a massive inhibitor to deployment of new installations.

It’s only a start. It is only selected HP and IBM server configurations that will pass muster with Cisco TAC and the VMs must be built with Cisco’s own OVA templates, however we have to acknowledge that Cisco have finally listened and it’s a step in the right direction. VMware is meant to remove hardware limitations and requirements so we can only hope that Cisco add to their supported platforms list as time moves on.

Barry Hesk.