Month: February 2009

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Cisco PIX Firewall End of Life (EOL) Notice

As you continue to review and improve your infrastructure security, the time to update firewall security has arrived. Cisco’s End of Life (EOL) announcement for the Cisco PIX Firewall products in early 2008 is now accompanied by an additional financial incentive.

Now through July 31st, 2009 you can trade in your Cisco PIX security appliance for a credit of up to $15,000* toward the purchase of a Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance on eligible trade-in combinations.

The following details the time table under which the product’s lifecycle now falls.

Key Milestones


External announcement
End of sales for platforms and bundles
End of sales for accessories
End of software maintenance releases
End of service contract renewals
End of support/end of life

Jan 28, 2008
July 28, 2008
Jan 27, 2009
July 28, 2009
Oct 23, 2012
July 27, 2013

Those currently utilizing the PIX OS versions 7.0/8.0 will recognize similarities between it and the operation of the ASA; however, a few of the advantages the ASA products provide include:

A few additional links you might find of interest:

Contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

Cisco NEXUS Family of Switches – The Network’s Take On Virtualization

Addressing Network Challenges of Virtualization

Server virtualization is a challenge to server and network administrators. As server virtualization is deployed, the edge of the network or access layer is automatically extended into the server itself as each hypervisor deployed contains one or more virtual switches. This extension not only multiplies the number of switches that need to be managed, but also moves control of the network edge from the network administrator to the server administrator. That change makes the server administrator responsible for network design, configuration, VLAN creation, application security, monitoring, and troubleshooting. Having these additional responsibilities at the server level, with visibility from the network administrator cut off, can increase the risk of accidental misconfiguration, network loop creation, security holes, and slow problem resolution in server virtualization environments. Cisco helps you address these challenges with a new network technology for server virtualization environments called Cisco VN-Link.

At the heart of Cisco VN-Link is a Cisco NX-OS feature called Port Profiles. Port Profiles are a collection of network attributes such as VLAN assignment, quality of service (QoS) metrics, access control list (ACL) configurations, and other network properties that would traditionally be applied to a given network interface. Unlike traditional network provisioning, which usually requires ports to be configured independently, Port Profiles can be deployed on a group of ports simultaneously.

Collaborative VM Deployment

In a virtual server environment, Port Profiles are distributed through API integration to each hypervisor, where they are made available to server administrators as Virtual Center Port Groups in the hypervisor’s VM management tool (VMware’s Virtual Center). To provision a new VM, the server administrator simply selects the correct Port Profile using Virtual Center and Cisco VN-Link automatically configures the network layer for proper network connectivity and policy.

With Cisco VN-Link technology, network administrators define network policy with the available network properties and server administrators select the appropriate Port Profile for the application they are deploying. Thus network administrators can provide consistent provisioning and management of the network while maintaining the server administrator’s flexibility to rapidly deploy VMs. In short, Cisco VN-Link provides you with the ability to define and deploy consistent network and security policy while preserving autonomy for the different functional groups in your organization (network, server, security, operations).

With Cisco VN-Link, network administrators have a consistent set of troubleshooting tools to quickly diagnose and resolve network-related issues in their server virtualization environments. They can also use the advanced diagnostic features of Cisco NX-OS. For example, Encapsulated Remote SPAN (ERSPAN) allows network administrators to mirror a VM’s traffic to a packet analyzer elsewhere in the network. This allows for detailed analysis of traffic between VMs inside a server, which would otherwise be invisible to the physical network. By combining basic and advanced troubleshooting tools with Cisco debugging facilities, Cisco NX-Link increases visibility into the virtual network access layer to help reduce potential application downtime. As server virtualization deployments continue to grow, server administrators face a challenging new management model and shifting technical responsibilities. The additional network-centric workload may add delays in application deployment and failure recovery. Cisco VN-Link brings the deployment and management of the network back to networking experts while at the same time creating a collaborative management model that meets the requirements server administrators to support rapid VM deployment.

Consistent Operation and Serviceability


Cisco VN-Link technology is available within the Cisco Nexus product line, including the software-based Nexus 1000V and the hardware based Nexus 5000 and 7000 series switches.

Contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more or discuss the benefits of implementing the Cisco Nexuss within your environment.

For More Information

Contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more or discuss the benefits of implementing the Cisco Nexuss within your environment.

by Carissa Carissa No Comments

A Slacker in the Ranks? Search Engine Optimization

You have a web site, but is it working hard for you? Do you know how much of it is being used and by whom?

  • How many visits is my site receiving?
  • How many visitors are coming from search engines (e.g. Google) vs. directly or from other sites?
  • From which countries, states, and cities are they coming?
  • Which pages in my site are receiving the most attention? The least attention?


Many web site hosts offer statistics you can access to answer some of these questions — be aware that some include web crawler activity in their numbers, which skews the results. For crawler-free reporting and additional answers, there are other tools. One, which is free, is Google Analytics. It has a nice user interface.All you have to do is sign up and add a little script, which Google provides, to your common page footer. Analytics will then start collecting data and you can start viewing information. Once you build some history, you can get answers and then take steps to optimize your site for your offerings and your target market to make it work harder for you.Click here for a couple of quick, slacker-revealing things to try, as well as information about Keller Schroeder’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. If you are not responsible for your organization’s web site, consider forwarding this article along.

Contact Ray Pritchett at (812) 474-6825 ext. 348 for assistance in setting up Google Analytics or optimizing your site for search engines.

We welcome the opportunity to work with you.