Network router cheat sheet

Beyond Cisco routers: a roundup of articles, opinion pieces and other network router content

The network router continues to evolve as traffic becomes greater and more varied. Here’s a roundup of our most recent coverage about routers from Cisco and others, as well as about router technology, management and security issues.

The network router continues to evolve as traffic becomes greater and more varied. Here's a roundup of our most recent coverage (with a few classics tossed in) about routers from Cisco and others, as well as about router technology, management and security issues:

More Network World cheat sheets:

Desktop virtualization cheat sheet 

100G Ethernet cheat sheet 

Ethernet switch cheat sheet

ARTICLES

What is a router?

Is a router still a router even if forwarding packets is just one of its many jobs? More and more applications, such as firewalls, VPN concentration, voice gateways and video monitoring, are being piled onto routers. Cisco's Integrated Services Router (ISR), for example, even boasts an optional application server blade for running scores of Linux and open source packages.

10G Ethernet shakes net design to the core

The emergence of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, virtualization and unified switching fabrics is ushering in a major shift in data center network design: three-tier switching architectures are being collapsed into two-tier ones.

5 best router and switch features you never use 

It's been said that Microsoft Word users only exploit 10% of the software's capabilities. The same might be true of those managing enterprise LAN switches and routers, a habit that might be costing organizations in unnecessary purchases and manpower at a time when every penny counts.

Six worst Internet routing attacks 

Here's our list of the biggest security incidents involving the Internet's core routing protocol, the Border Gateway Protocol. Some of these incidents were attacks; others were accidental misconfigurations. But all of them disrupted traffic to Web sites or entire networks because of incorrect routing messages being propagated across the Internet through BGP.

U.S. plots major upgrade to Internet router security 

The U.S. federal government is accelerating its efforts to secure the Internet's routing system, with plans this year for the Department of Homeland Security to quadruple its investment in research aimed at adding digital signatures to router communications. DHS says its routing security effort will prevent routing hijack attacks as well as accidental misconfigurations of routing data. The effort is nicknamed BGPSEC because it will secure the Internet's core routing protocol known as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).

Network coding: Networking's next revolution?

Some of high tech's biggest names – Microsoft, HP and Intel among them – are starting to embrace a technology called network coding in an effort to boost throughput, scalability and efficiency of everything from content distribution to wireless networks.

Router Man

The creator of the multiprotocol router reflects on the development of the device that fueled the growth of networking.

Enterprises cut costs with open-source routers Open-source is everywhere -- operating systems, application software, development tools. So why not routers, too? It's a question that Sam Noble, senior network system administrator for New Mexico Supreme Court's Judicial Information Division, pondered while looking for a way to connect courthouses statewide to a new centralized case management system.

Juniper switch enables mega-router creation 

Juniper's TX Matrix Plus is designed to enable service providers to unite up to 16 Juniper T1600 core routers into a single 25Tbps system. It can also work with the company's Juniper Control System (JCS) 1200 to allow the virtualization of routing systems, networks and services to create efficiencies by consolidating networks, services and functionality, Juniper says.

Cisco's huge router reaches 5-year milestone 

Five years ago when Cisco Systems introduced its CRS-1 core router platform some criticized it as overkill, but it has enabled a growth in network traffic that in turn has fueled demand for thousands of the devices.

Who says the router can't be sexy?

An interview with Chris Landry, senior executive director of worldwide design and experience at Cisco's consumer business group, about the design revolution, and evolution, at Linksys.

BLOGS/OPINION

The need to rethink routing

When IT organizations deploy new routers and switches they typically want those devices to have a very long life cycle. The challenge, however, is making sure that these devices can support not only today's requirements and the ones that are likely to be real in the near term, but also the requirements that will not manifest themselves for several years.

Future proofing your router purchases

Part of the challenge facing IT organizations as they rethink their approach to routing is that they need to ensure that the routers that they deploy today can support the current requirements and the current enabling technologies. IT organizations also have to ensure that these routers have the flexibility to provide support for the requirements and the enabling technologies that will emerge over the next several years. This is highly complex because it is impossible to predict with certainty the specific new requirements and technologies that will impact a particular IT organization in the future.

Beware the default router password 

In the past, much of the concern has been around home routers. So many home users just leave their routers with the default passwords, and this creates a rich target set for an attacker. But businesses are falling into the same trap, security experts say.

Open source shake-up in the routing market?

The enterprise world is increasingly familiar with the concept of open source, and its acceptance is quickly gaining steam. We have heard of open source operating systems, telephony platforms, productivity software... and the list continues. Now, IT budgets are tightened, forcing decision makers to look at more cost-effective alternatives. Even core network infrastructure systems are being shifted to open source solutions.

SLIDESHOWS

Evolution of the router

From its gestation period 40 years ago until now, the router has matured along with the Internet to become the linchpin of all communications - data, voice and video. Its application seems limitless as the Internet is enhanced to support more and more features and services

TESTS/REVIEWS

Cisco's ASR 1000 router built for 10-year future

With enterprises looking to consolidate data centers and devices, Cisco's new ASR 1000 series router offers a compelling message: Do more with less.

Netgear RangeMax Next Wireless-N Router

PC World says in its review: "The Netgear RangeMax Next Wireless-N Gigabit Router WNR3500 is a workhorse device that aced our throughput tests, especially at long range. For a 2×3 antenna router, it did impressively well with the 2×3 and 3×3 Intel adapter card. It also provides very good routing and firewall options, from Web content filtering (for parental control) to dynamic DNS."

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