Cisco keeps giving this week by allowing any desktop to join - for free - into any existing Telepresence video, and the quality of this video is really, really good. John Chambers recently said that Video is already the #1 traffic driver over Cisco's internal network, and that by 2013 it is expected that over 90% of all traffic over the internet will be based on Video. There's never been a better time to be training for Unified Communications!
Just announced at the Cisco Partner Summit yesterday, Cisco is making Unified Presence, IM and it's Jabber client for Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Cisco Cius, Blackberry and all Android devices completely FREE. This probably has something to do with how badly they've been spanked in Presence server and client sales by Microsoft basically giving away the presence features of Lync (although MS does make you pay when you want to add Voice/Video features to those clients - just as Cisco will). At any rate and for whatever their reasons and motivations - I personally think it is a very, very smart move for Cisco. It's also one that makes complete sense seeing that UCM v9 is about to go into beta testing next week. Understanding that the Jabber client can interact with video from any IP phone or Telepresence unit, and the fact that Cisco announced that this free Jabber client and Presence support is not only for those with existing IP Phones, but for every member of any enterprise with a UCM server, this makes the announcement all that more powerful. This doesn't include Voice or Video, but those can be enabled later with a simple license upgrade. Still not bad at all - especially with the new Jabber client for Windows, and the fact that once installed it enables all MS Office apps to have native presence tied into them directly to Cisco Jabber. This was the entire reason that Cisco purchased Jabber.
Just wanted to throw out a quick reminder to all of you involved day-to-day with Cisco Unified Communications in some fashion. Tomorrow I will host a free vSeminar on configuring and utilizing Active Directory as a source of LDAP user synchronization and authentication with the Cisco UC architecture servers.
In our CCDP bootcamp, we examined Cisco’s implementation of Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS) in some detail. One blog that I promised our students was more information about how large enterprises or Internet Service Providers can enhance the scalbility of this solution.
First, let us review the issues that influence its scalability. We covered these in the course, but they are certainly worth repeating here.
Remember that VPLS looks just like an Ethernet switch to the customers. As such, this solution can suffer from the same issues that could hinder a Layer 2 core infrastructure. These are:
- Control-plane scalability - classic VPLS calls for a full-mesh of pseudo-wires connecting the edge sites. This certainly does not scale as the number of edge sites grow - from both operational and control-plane viewpoints.
- Network stability as the network grows – Spanning Tree Protocol-based (STP) infrastructures tend not to scale as well as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) solutions.
- Ability to recover from outages – as the VPLS network grows, it could become much more susceptible to major issues for customer connectivity in the result of a failure.
- Multicast and broadcast radiation to all sites – remembering that the VPLS network acts as a Layer 2 switch reminds us that multicast and broadcast traffic can be flooded to all customers across the network.
- Multicast scalability - multicast traffic has to be replicated on ingress PE devices, which significantly reduces forwarding efficiency.
- IGP peering scalability issues – all routers attached to the cloud tend to be in the same broadcast domain and thus IGP peer, which results in full-mesh of adjacencies and excessive flooding when using link-state routing protocols.
- STP loops – it is certainly possible that a customer creating an STP loop could impact other customers of the ISP. STP may be blocked across the MPLS cloud, but it is normally used for multi-homed deployments to prevent forwarding loops.
- Load-balancing - the use of MPLS encapsulation hides the VPLS encapsulated flows from the core network and thus prevents the effective use of ECMP flow-based load-balancing.
Here is the recommended reading list that several asked for from our CCDP Bootcamp. Thanks again to all that attended for the awesome participation and discussions.
One of the fun things for me about helping with the new CCDP Bootcamp is learning about technologies you do not get exposure to in the "traditional" Routing and Switching curriculum that are based on mid-level and low-level Cisco hardware. One of those technologies that our new course will cover is Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD). This technology is found on Cisco 6500/7600 series routers, as well as 12000 series and Carrier Routing System (CRS-1 Routers).
Our BGP class is coming up! This class is for learners who are pursuing the CCIP track, or simply want to really master BGP. I have been working through the slides, examples and demos that we'll use in class, and it is going to be excellent. :) If you can't make the live event, we are recording it, so it will be available as a class on demand, after the live event. More information, can be found by clicking here.
One of the common questions that comes up is "Why does the router choose THAT route?
We all know, (or at least after reading the list below, we will know), that BGP uses the following order, to determine the "best" path.
So now for the question. Take a look at the partial output of the show command below: