Cisco Subnet's top 10 Cisco stories of 2008

What a year it has been watching Cisco. We've waited with bated breath for Cisco's next big acquisition - it has acquired five firms this year but nothing that compares in size to 2007's $3.2 billion purchase of WebEx - reported its first job cuts in years, and saw Cisco introduce a twice-a-year patch schedule for IOS. We'll spend this month taking a retrospective look at Cisco in 2008, and close the year with a few predictions. Pay close attention because there will be a quiz at the end of it (see how much Cisco news you remember by taking our 2007 Cisco quiz).

First up, let's take a look at the 10 most-read Cisco Subnet blog posts of 2008.

10. Close to tears at Cisco's shareholder meetingAn attendee to Cisco's annual shareholders' meeting in November wrote that he was close to tears after

watching a video of Cisco CEO John Chambers' visit to the Sichuan Province of China, immediately after the area suffered a devastating earthquake last summer. Matthew Rafat writing in said attendees were shown a video of the effects of the earthquake and Chambers' efforts to help rebuild the infrastructure. According to Seeking Alpha Cisco donated $45 million to the rebuilding efforts.

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9. Linksys customer service number offers a different kind of 'service'

This happened in November 2007 but the post is our ninth most-read blog post. ValleyWag reported that Linksys mistakenly printed on its product box a number to a sex-talk chat line. As Cisco spokesperson, John Earnhardt explains in his Platform blog: "The day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., Linksys offered a special on its Wireless-G Home Router (WRH54G). Because this product is also offered in India, Linksys unintentionally failed to change the tech support number supplied with the product on materials in the box (Quick Install Guide and User Manual). The technical support number is a Toll-Free 1800 number owned by Linksys in India intended for our customers in India. Because of this error, customers who purchased the product in the US have a 1800 technical support number that does not dial into Linksys technical support."

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8. The cold evidence of Cisco's hiring freezeQ1 earnings conference call in November, Cisco CEO John Chambers said the company would institute a hiring freeze among other efforts to cut costs as the vendor rides out the economic downturn. Later in the same month, Aaran Rakers, an analyst at Wachovia Capital Markets calculated that Cisco's total number of job listings plummeted 93% in one week.

During Cisco's

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7. Cisco puts CCIE learning on the fast-track

program that incorporates e-learning and hands-on practice labs to run head-on against third-party boot camps, which Cisco says are not up to par. The program will be made available through select authorized Cisco Learning Partners, and prompted two Cisco CCIE training labs, IPexpert and Internetwork Expert to publicize about why they declined to join the program.

In October Cisco rolled out Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE - Routing and Switching, a six-month

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6. Cisco warns of flaws in Cisco ASA 5500, PIX, Cisco Secure ACS

In September, Cisco warned of multiple security holes in its security appliances that if exploited, could result in a reload of the devices or disclosure of confidential information. The company also issued a fix to a vulnerability in its Cisco Secure Access Control Server, that was discovered by external security researchers.

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5. Cisco issues 11 security alerts for IOS, plus one for Cisco Unified Communications Manager

In March, Cisco announced that it would adopted a twice-a-year patch cycle for IOS, scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of March and September. For its September 2008 security alert, it plugged 11 IOS security holes, as well addressed a vulnerability in Cisco Unified Communications Manager. The IOS vulnerabilities affected IOS running protocol-independent multicast, SIP, MPLS, SSL, and more.

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4. Video: Out goes Cisco, in comes ShoreTel VoIP for the City of Oaklandvideo by IDG News Service about the City of Oakland, which swapped out a Cisco VoIP system for

 a ShoreTel system. The video shows why the city chose ShoreTel, how the system integrates with the rest of the city's office infrastructure and why the system isn't used by the city's 911 emergency network.

This is a

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3. BusinessWeek: Fake Cisco gear could be used to spy on the U.S.

A BusinessWeek investigation into counterfeit computer components turned up an FBI report warning that fake Cisco gear could be used for espionage. Its investigation claims that fake components have been used in warplanes, ships and communication networks.

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2. Cisco cuts jobs in Richardson, Texas

In October, Cisco confirmed that it is to lay off 129 jobs at its Richardson, Texas facility. The job cuts are part of a decision to halt operations within its Broadband Telephony Services unit at the facility and the cuts are occuring between Oct. 8 and Dec. 8. Cisco said the layoffs are not related to the troubled economy.

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1. 20 useful sites for Cisco networking professionalsOur most-read Cisco Subnet post is our pick of 20 useful sites for Cisco networking professionals. We published the list in February and since then we've come across plenty more useful sites, so watch this space as we're planning to update the list soon. If you own or know of a site that should be on the list, please send an e-mail to Linda Leung (

See the full list

Thanks for reading Cisco Subnet in 2008!

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