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how do i distinguish so many Cisco items?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by MichelleCisco, Nov 11, 2011.

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  1. MichelleCisco

    MichelleCisco Thread Starter

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    Our company is mainly doing Cisco networking devices business, and I am completely new in this field. There are so many different models, such as switches,firewalls,routers,modules,etc. They all got a long name, how do I distinguish them? There must be some rules,right?
     
  2. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Off the top of my head.

    The Catalyst series is a long running line from an old switching company Cisco acquired many years ago which ran Cat-OS. You really don't see Cat-OS any more as all the newer switches run IOS (the real IOS and not iOS.) The core line up is the layer 2 switch 2960s up to the big chassis 6500s.

    The Nexus line is the next generation of Catalyst which provides newer features and is the current switching platform Cisco is leading with as their flag ship and focused on data center environments. The Nexus line starts at the software vSwitch of the 1000 all the way up to the big chassis 7000. The Nexus line departs from the IOS operating system by using NX-OS which was derived from the OS used in the MDS (Fiber Channel.) This was partly done because of the focus of Nexus being a converged fabric switching platform.

    The MDS line as I mentioned is Cisco's fiber channel switching line. The switches start at the 1U 9124 and goes all the way up to the director class 9500 series.

    In their ISR routing line, the current routers start at the 1900 series and go up to the 3900 line. These routers support all the standard WAN interfaces, have provisions to run as VPN end points, unified communications, WAN acceleration, etc.

    The bigger routers are the 7200 and 7600 through to the ASR routers and includes the Catalyst 6500 switches as they can support different WAN interfaces and protocols.

    The ASA line is Cisco's firewall/security products which start at the 5505 and goes all the way up to the 5585. The ASAs support IPSEC VPNs and SSL VPNs. They also support IDS/IPS modules.

    The various service modules are add ons to the 6500s such as the ACE load balancer, FWSM firewall, NAM network admission module, etc.

    Other things Cisco has are WAN acceleration products, wireless, unified communications, unified computing systems, load balancers, etc, etc.

    I've been working with Cisco equipment for quite a few years. While my experience is pretty diverse across their product offerings, I by no means have been able to touch everything Cisco does. Only recently have I moved on to bolstering my experience with other competing vendors like Juniper, Brocade, Force10, Dell PowerConnect, and Aruba.

    The only advice I can give you is to just pick a specific product line like switching and just go through Cisco's website and read up on the data sheets. Only time and exposure will get you to any level of comfort with Cisco's offerings.
     
  3. MichelleCisco

    MichelleCisco Thread Starter

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    Thank you so much! It's very useful and really helps me a lot!
     
  4. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You're welcome and good luck on your networking journey.
     
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