Tag Archives: LAN & WAN

Cisco today confirmed it will lay off about 7% of its workforce – about 5,500 jobs

During its earnings announcement the company said total revenue actually increased 3% to $48.7 billion for its fiscal year ended July 30. Still, the company faces challenges in its core switching and routing business.

“Product revenue growth was led by Security at 16%. Collaboration, Wireless and switching product revenue increased by 6%, 5%, and 2%, respectively. Service Provider Video, NGN Routing and Data Center product revenue decreased by 12%, 6%, and 1%, respectively,” Cisco stated.

We expect to reinvest substantially all of the cost savings from these actions back into these businesses and will continue to aggressively invest to focus on our areas of future growth.”Or as Cisco put it: “Today, we announced a restructuring enabling us to optimize our cost base in lower growth areas of our portfolio and further invest in key priority areas such as security, IoT, collaboration, next generation data center and cloud.

Sounding more optimistic CEO Chuck Robbins said:

“We had another strong quarter, wrapping up a great year. I am particularly pleased with our performance in priority areas including security, data center switching, collaboration, services as well as our overall performance, with revenues up 2% in Q4 excluding the SP Video CPE business,” Robbins said. “We continue to execute well in a challenging macro environment. Despite slowing in our Service Provider business and Emerging Markets after three consecutive quarters of growth, the balance of the business was healthy with 5% order growth. This growth and balance demonstrates the strength of our diverse portfolio. Our product deferred revenue from software and subscriptions grew 33% showing the continued momentum of our business model transformation.”

Reports earlier this week had the networking giant cutting as much as 14,000 jobs. Others have speculated Cisco would make a sizable cut in its workforce this year giving its growing stable of acquisitions and its shifting software emphasis. Cisco has acquired 15 companies under CEO Chuck Robbins tenure, which is now early into its second year.

Most recently the company bought cloud security firm CloudLock; other cloud-based technology from Synata; network semiconductor technology from Leaba and Software as a Service (SaaS) provider Jasper.

In recent history– the year end earnings report — hasn’t been kind to Cisco employees. The company has laid off a little over 11,000 employees total in late summer reductions since 2012.

Juniper swallows silicon photonics player Aurrion

“We expect that Aurrion’s breakthrough technology will result in fundamental and permanent improvements in cost per bit-per-second, power per bit-per-second, bandwidth density, and flexibility of networking systems,” said Pradeep Sindhu, co-founder and CTO of Juniper Networks wrote in a blog announcing the acquisition.

With an eye towards better handling bandwidth-ravenous video streaming and data center to data center traffic, Juniper today said it would buy fabless photonics manufacturer Aurrion for an undisclosed price.

The end result? Dramatically lower cost per bit-per-second for networking systems, higher capacities for networking interfaces, and greater flexibility in how bandwidth carried on light is processed inside the electronic portions of networking systems,” Sindhu wrote.“Aurrion has invented breakthrough technology that combines the economies of scale pioneered by the silicon industry with the unique properties of light to carry information over long distances at significantly lower cost.

Industry researchers at MarketsandMarkets recently highlighted the hot silicon photonics arena saying that high-bandwidth applications are driving the need for the technology that could see a compound annual growth rate of over 22% between 2016 and 2022 and a market worth over $1,078.9 million by 2022.

“Active components include optical modulators, photo detectors, wavelength-division multiplexing filters, switches, and lasers integrated within a single device, providing a smaller form factor with the help of silicon photonics. The advancements in silicon photonics-based networking services would lead the silicon photonics market. The demand for the installation of silicon as an optical medium in photonics device for high-speed data transmission with low cost is growing,” the researchers wrote in a recent report.

The key players in silicon photonics market are Cisco, Intel, IBM Mellanox Technologies, Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., STMicroelectronics N.V., Infinera, Finisar, Luxtera, DAS Photonics, and Aurrion, the researchers stated.

A ThousandEyes Can Help You To Understand Your Apps Better

Cisco Live, the world’s largest network event, kicks off next week in Las Vegas. Every year at the conference, Cisco and many of its technology partners announce new products or features that hopefully capture the attention of Cisco’s customers.

ThousandEyes put some news out ahead of the event by announcing it uses Linux containers to run its network performance monitoring (NPM) software to track Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISR) and Aggregation Service Routers (ASR).

In today’s cloud-first, mobile-centric digital world, almost all applications are highly distributed and are likely to pass through a Cisco router. In the late 1990s, Cisco touted that 90 percent of the world’s Internet traffic passed through Cisco routers. Today it’s likely that ALL traffic, internet and application, pass through these devices.

It’s often said that you can’t manage or secure what you can’t see. ThousandEyes addresses that by letting customers see what’s happening at a granular level by tapping into the network. The router is an outstanding platform for this, as all traffic that goes into and out of a branch office must go through the router. So, it’s the one platform that can be used to “see all.”

Last year, Cisco made it possible to run a container on its routers, which have long become a de facto standard for enterprise routing. ThousandEyes is taking advantage of this capability by deploying its software agent as a container on top of Cisco router operating systems. Customers can now get increased visibility and insight into the router, as well as the applications that pass through the router. This can be particularly useful for branch offices where it’s often difficult to deploy a probe or other type of monitoring tool.

 

Containers lighter than virtual machines

Cisco has supported virtual machines on its routers for a few years, but containers are a much lighter-weight alternative that requires fewer resources and can be deployed quickly without the complexity of requiring new hardware.

 

Given the rise of the cloud and distributed organizations, this increased visibility is critical in enabling organizations to deploy new applications in branches quickly and have a clear understanding of what impact that is having on the network and other applications.

ThousandEyes gathers data from two sources, the enterprise agents deployed on products like the ISRs and ASRs and cloud agents that are deployed in over 120 data centers located at various points around the world. The data is then aggregated and analyzed in the ThousandEyes console. Network managers can use this information to look for congestion points that cause a degraded experience, misconfigured devices, chronic problems or other factors that can hurt application performance.

The shift to containers should enable ThousandEyes and other monitoring vendors that rely on agents to deploy more agents in more places because containers are lighter than virtual machines.

Over the past few years, Cisco has made comments about becoming more open and embracing third-party solutions. The ThousandEyes partnership is an excellent example of how becoming more open will benefit Cisco’s customers. The increased visibility will help network teams see application traffic all the way to the branch office, a historical blind spot for network engineers.

24% off TP-LINK AC1900 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band AC Router

The AC1900 router from TP-LINK supports 802.11ac, the latest Wi-Fi tech. It operates on the 5GHz band as well as 2.4 for older devices. Dual USB 3.0 and 2.0 let you easily share files and media across your network.

This story, “24% off TP-LINK AC1900 Wireless Wi-Fi Dual Band AC Router – Deal Alert” was hublot replica watchesoriginally published by TechConnect.

Amazon currently has it listed for 24% off its typical list price of $170, so you can buy it now for $130. Over 2,700 customers rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars (read reviews).

The AC1900 strives to create a stronger, faster and more reliable network that efficiently manages many connected devices simultaneously.

Apple totally fixes serious flaw in AirPort wireless routers

Apple has released firmware updates for its AirPort wireless base stations in order to fix a vulnerability that could put the devices at risk of hacking.

According to Apple security, the flaw is a memory corruption issue stemming from DNS (Domain Name System) data parsing that could lead to arbitrary code execution.

The AirPort Utility 6.3.1 or later on OS X or AirPort Utility 1.3.1 or later on iOS can be used to install the new firmware versions on AirPort devices, the company said in an advisory.

As is typical for Apple security announcements, the company did not release details about possible exploitation scenarios and did not assign a severity rating for the flaw. However “arbitrary code execution,” especially through a remote vector like DNS, is as bad as it can possibly get for a vulnerability.

What is not clear is whether the data parsing issue is in the DNS server or DNS client functionality.

A router like AirPort can serve as a local DNS resolver for devices on a network. This means that it receives DNS queries from computers and passes those queries upstream through the global Internet DNS chain.

The company released firmware updates 7.6.7 and 7.7.7 for AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11n Wi-Fi, as well as AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations with 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

 

On the other hand, routers also act like DNS clients, asking other DNS servers on the Internet to resolve host names.

 

Another unknown is the privilege with which attackers would execute malicious code if this flaw is successfully exploited. If the code is executed under the root account, it could lead to a full device compromise.

By controlling an AirPort device, attackers could launch various attacks against local network computers. They could hijack search queries, insert rogue ads into Web pages and even direct users to malicious websites when they try to access legitimate ones.

If the error is in the parsing of queries received from LAN computers, it would limit the attack to the local network. Whereas, if the flaw is in the parsing of DNS responses, it could be exploited remotely.

When a DNS client asks a server to resolve a domain name, the query is eventually passed to one of the Internet’s 13 so-called root DNS servers — in reality clusters of servers. Those servers indicate the authoritative DNS server for the queried domain name and it’s that authoritative server that replies with the requested information.

Attackers could register rogue domain names and configure the authoritative DNS server for them to respond with specifically crafted data that would exploit the flaw. They would then have to trick a computer from behind an AirPort router to send a DNS query for one of their domain names, for example by tricking a user to click on a link.

Giving the potentially serious impact of this vulnerability and the fact that DNS is a critical service that can’t be easily disabled, users are advised to install the updated firmware as soon as possible.

Flaws Shows Cisco small-business routers, firewalls to hacking

Three models of Cisco wireless VPN firewalls and routers from the small business RV series contain a critical unpatched vulnerability that attackers can exploit remotely to take control of devices.

The vulnerability is located in the Web-based management interface of the Cisco RV110W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, RV130W Wireless-N Multifunction VPN Router and RV215W Wireless-N VPN Router.

While exploiting the buffer overflows requires attackers to have an authenticated session in the device’s Web-based interface, the XSS flaw can be triggered by tricking authenticated users to click on specifically crafted URLs.

“A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary script in the context of the web-based management interface for the device or allow the attacker to access sensitive browser-based information,” Cisco said in an advisory.

Cisco Systems warned about the vulnerability in a security advisory Wednesday, but no patches are yet available. The company plans to release firmware updates that will address this flaw on affected models sometime in the third quarter of 2016.

The XSS flaw makes it difficult for users to find a mitigation strategy in the absence of patches, because it can be combined with the other vulnerabilities. For example, if users disable external management in their devices in order to protect them from the critical vulnerability, the devices will still be exposed through the cross-site scripting flaw.

It can be easily exploited if the affected devices are configured for remote management since attackers only need to send an unauthenticated HTTP request with custom user data. This will result in remote code execution as root, the highest privileged account on the system, and can lead to a complete compromise.

Worse yet, this is not the only unpatched vulnerability that exists in these three Cisco devices. The company also warned of a medium-severity, cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw and two medium-risk buffer overflows that could result in denial-of-service conditions.

 

Free network software will radically change how routing works

Radical new ideas are hitting network technology these days.

On Tuesday, one new startup promised to make switches fully programmable. Another, routing software company 128 Technology, said it would fix the Internet.

What 128 is proposing is a fundamentally different approach to routing, one that the company says will make networking simpler and more secure.

 

INSIDER: 5 tricks to improve poor TCP performance

As the Internet gets fragmented among private networks, it’s getting harder for companies to deliver applications and services to their customers, he said.

The Internet was designed just to send packets from a source to a destination, but it’s evolved into a platform for delivering content and services among large, private networks. These complex tasks call for capabilities beyond basic routing, like security and knowing about the state of a session, said Andy Ory, 128’s CEO. He was the founder of Acme Packet, a session border controller company Oracle acquired swisss replica watchesin 2013. His new company is named after Route 128, the famed Massachusetts tech corridor where its headquarters is located.

“The network itself does not participate in security,” he said. “A session-aware routed network could participate in security.”

Rather than try to replace all the routers on the Internet, 128 will introduce Linux-based routing software that can run on any server. These virtual routers will be able to create deterministic paths between them while coexisting with conventional routers.

It would take a broad ecosystem to roll out a change as big as this across the Internet, so 128 plans to submit its technology to standards bodies. But there are ways to use it that don’t require the whole Internet to play along: For example, a carrier could use the routers within its own network, or an enterprise could implement them within a data center.

Conventional routers aren’t really equipped for those tasks, he said. So network engineers have added load balancers, firewalls, tunnels, MPLS (multiprotocol label switching), deep packet inspection and other components to augment routers. The complexity is starting to catch up with us, Ory said. “It worked for 20 years. But we’ve reached a point where it just doesn’t work anymore.”

The solution, according to 128, is deterministic routing that can select, manage and enforce a path across the Internet. This would ensure traffic moves safely and with the right level of service between, say, a corporate LAN and Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud. That could help solve a lot of the problems network users face, including things like espionage and identity theft, Ory said.

 

The company’s business model will be as unconventional as its approach to routing: It won’t sell hardware and its software will be free. To make money, 128 will sell licenses to use the software based on the amount of data the customer sends through the virtual routers.

The software is commercially available now and in trials with customers. The company expects it to be processing live traffic later this year.