Hi Brian,

How do I switch between devices when using a Cisco access server?

There are two ways to connect to devices attached to an access server, you can terminate your exec session on the access server itself (one terminal window for all sessions), or you can terminate your exec session on the device connected to the access server (one terminal window for each session). In the CCIE Lab Exam you will have the option to do either, so pick whichever method works best for you and stick with it during your preparation.

When you terminate your exec session on the access server you then “reverse telnet” to the individual devices connected to the access server. Normally to do this you first login to the access server and then issue the “show hosts” command to see the host mappings. Next, reverse telnet to them by typing the hostname and pressing enter. To get back to the access server issue the escape sequence CTRL-SHIFT-6-X. To do so hold ctrl and shift, hit 6, release all keys, then hit X. From the access server you can then open new connections or resume connections that you already have open.

When you terminate your exec session on the device connected to the access server, i.e. by telnetting to the access server at port 2001, you cannot issue the escape sequence to reconnect to the access server. In this situation you would open multiple terminal windows if you wanted to connect to multiple devices.

For more information watch this class-on-demand video on using an access server.

About Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13:

Brian McGahan was one of the youngest engineers in the world to obtain the CCIE, having achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching at the age of 20 in 2002. Brian has been teaching and developing CCIE training courses for over 10 years, and has assisted thousands of engineers in obtaining their CCIE certification. When not teaching or developing new products Brian consults with large ISPs and enterprise customers in the midwest region of the United States.

Find all posts by Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13 | Visit Website

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5 Responses to “How To Use A Cisco Access Server”

  1. ippaku says:

    Very helpful guide for learning to access the remote Labs. I have always used other vendors Access Servers and most of those are web based so this was a great walk through to confirm what I thought.

  2. Nick says:

    I would prefer the reverse telnet to ports 2001, 2002 etc and have many terminal windows open at the same time. This will help you to see all the configurations of the devices very quickly.

  3. The problem with this in the actual CCIE lab exam is that the older version of SecureCRT they use does not support tabs. This means in R&S you’d have to have 10 windows open for the 6 routers and 4 switches. It can be very time consuming to keep clicking the taskbar and figuring out which session is which.

    In either case whatever you are most comfortable with you should stick with. Additionally our rack rentals support both options, connecting to the access server and then reverse telnetting, or opening multiple windows/tabs to the individual devices.

  4. Vivek says:

    Hi Brian,

    How do I send a set of common commands to all devices active from the terminal server ?


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