20 useful sites for Cisco networking professionals

If you're studying for Cisco exams and just about to tear your hair

out, don't fret, there are many others in the same position, and many of them are writing up their experiences in their blogs and passing along hints and tips. Even if you're a CCIE pro, there's always room for personal improvement and expansion. With that in mind we've scoured the Web to bring you our top 20 most useful Web resources for Cisco networking professionals. Of course, we don't want you to forget the resources and blogs of Cisco Subnet and our own bloggers, so we'll give a recap of our own Cisco resources and bloggers at the end of our top 20 list. Compiled by Jim Duffy and Linda Leung

IPEXPERT SUPPORT CERTIFICATION TALK$2.3 million network from his home.

This site is an online Cisco certification discussion and technical support forum to assist network engineers who are preparing or who have already passed the expert-level Cisco career certifications. It is run by IPexpert, a company that provides instructor-led, online, audio, print and interactive training tools designed to assist candidates in passing the lab portion of the Cisco CCIE certification exam. One of IPexpert’s instructors is Scott Morris, a quadruple CCIE who operates a

SEEKING ALPHACisco Subnet blogger Joe Panettieri) blogging about Cisco business, earnings and share price. The site is useful for business-related discussions about Cisco and is particularly good if readers own shares in Cisco. Seeking Alpha focuses on the opinion and analysis of the investor-writers rather than news written by journalists.

A host of investors and pundits (including


A blog about Cisco product updates, sample configurations, technology explanations and certification assistance, hosted by Joe Harris, CCIE# 6200. It is designed to help engineers prepare for Cisco certification exams and serve as a source for internetworking strategies and advice. Contributors include Cisco certified and industry experts sharing an array of study tools and networking resources designed to assist in solving “real-world” networking problems.


CIPTUG is a forum where beginning and experienced users of Cisco IP telephony products can share experiences, insights, concerns and solutions. The Web site provides members with opportunities to collaborate, participate in conferences, and offers discounts on training and books. The site also allows users to network with Cisco and its partners, and influence product enhancement and direction.


This site offers tips and tutorials to users of Cisco and Linux products, including routers, VoIP and VPNs and firewalls. Tutorials are downloadable for a fee. The name, meanwhile, comes from a saying - "Even a blind hog occasionally finds an acorn." Blindhog is intended to offer answers to difficult networking questions through video tutorials -- or acorns.


CCIE Journey is the blog of a network engineer at a health care company located in Buffalo, NY. In it, he chronicles the trials and tribulations of pursuing a CCIE after working with Cisco equipment for eight years. Not only is it high drama – try pursuing a CCIE from Buffalo, of all places -- but the site also provides useful links to other blogs and sites of interest or assistance to those also on a CCIE quest.


Another in a long line of CCIE certification assistance sites. Internetwork Expert, so the site claims, lists candidates that have used the company’s products and services to pass the CCIE Routing & Switching Lab Exam. The site’s blog features discussions, tips and techniques on the latest developments in Cisco routing by three instructors.


Authored by Ivan Pepelnjak, a CCIE, 25-year industry veteran and author of several books on MPLS, VPNs and routing protocols, IOS Hints shares insights on routing and switching anomalies common – and uncommon – to Cisco’s venerable IOS router operating system. Cisco users can find commentary not only on IOS characteristics, but on IETF routing RFCs, hands-on experience with IPv6, and service level agreements. The site also links back to the author’s employer, a Slovenian network consulting and training company.

TECHWISE TVThis Old House for new Cisco products and market initiatives. It even has a cult status star figure in Jimmy Ray Purser. The site is wiki based, so everyone can join the fun! It also includes links to other wiki sites, including those for iPhone enthusiasts, HP printers and Oracle databases.

An example of how Cisco eats its own dogfood: geeks hawking Cisco technology in a talk show format over IPTV. Think


A CCIE steeped in designing and implementing converged enterprise networks offering technical reviews and articles on a variety of Cisco and non-Cisco technology issues. This is an opinion blog, not a CCIE certification assistance site. When he’s not blogging, McNamara is a senior engineer, focusing on advanced technologies with Eplus Technology, a publicly traded IT reseller and consultancy.

TERRY'S BLOGfirst outside of Cisco. Slattery led the development of the current Cisco IOS command line interface and his blog includes interesting, technology-light tidbits on the history of the IOS CLI, and on the ping program for determining the status of SNMP-managed devices. Slattery is something oF a legend in Cisco circles.

Authored by Terry Slattery, CTO and founder of network management company Netcordia, and the second Cisco CCIE number awarded – but the


Arden Packeer is a Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI #31090) and network consultant in Melbourne, Australia, and manages the ardenpackeer.com site. Budding and practicing CCIEs will find numerous resources on his site, which has a clear and fresh design. The site is easy to navigate with categories that include a blog, CCIE lab study tips, featured articles, IOS features & management, QoS & VoIP, routing protocols and security. Current featured articles include a tutorial on how to use Cisco MQC and NBAR to filter Web sites like YouTube, and how to set up a basic Dynamips lab using Dynagen.


Yet another site authored by a CCIE to help engineers earn CCNA, CCNP, Network+, A+, and Security+ certifications. The site also posts network certification updates and news. All insight, in question and answer format, is free.


The self-purported world of all things Cisco. It includes categories on CCNA certification, routing, security, VPN, switching, VoIP and wireless. The site was created and is operated by Jeremy Cioara, a CCIE who authors training guides and books on how to prepare for CCNA exams.

CISCO MARSNetwork Response blog.

Written by Chris Durkin, a Cisco Certified Security Professional working for a "leading U.K. security partner", Cisco MARS' tagline is "A technological journey into the myths and wonders of the Cisco MARS appliance." If it's to do with Cisco MARS and it moves, Durkin will blog about it. Recent blog items include a look at Cisco MARS 4.3.3 for Gen1 appliances and 5.3.3 code for Gen2 appliances, a deep dive into the Gen1 and Gen2, plus recommended reading materials for MARS newbies. Durkin also writes the

CISCO CENTRIC OPEN SOURCE COMMUNITYCisco-centric Open Source Initiative page on SourceForge.net, contacts for the developers and a link to Cisco.com's own embedded event manager scripting community.

If you want open source tools, scripts and utilities for your Cisco gear, COSI is the place to go. Tools can be downloaded for free but COSI warns that none of the widgets are supported by Cisco's Technical Assistance Center (TAC), so don't go running to them if you have questions about the open source tools. Among the available tools include ACL_maker.pl, a Perl Script that lets you manipulate Cisco access control lists and Ciscocmd, a Tcl/Expect script that you can use to send a set of commands to a large number of IOS target hosts and get a separated report for each node. The site also provides a link to the

CCIE PURSUITfirst post on April 3. 2007. However, one Cisco networking thing led to another and he eventually landed a job working with a very large Cisco-only network. Being immersed in Cisco protocols he decided to start pursuing Cisco certifications, starting with CCNA, then CCNP and CCIP. He began embarking on his CCIE on April 1, 2007. His blog follows his early days of building his CCIE lab (at work), his experiences with lab rental firms, as well as various Cisco tech tips to his thoughts on the new Cisco Nexus switch. He's come a long way since his "old skool" Microsoft NT certifications.

Following IT pros who are going for their CCIEs is always an eye opener, and CCIE Pursuit appears in many a blogroll. The Twin Cities-based CCIE pursuer was "stuck doing Cisco" during the dot-com bomb when he really wanted to get into Microsoft server support, he wrote in his

NETWORKING-FORUM.COMGoogle map of the world and pinpoints the regions where its participants are located. There were 4,606 registered users at the time of writing.

"Think you know Cisco? Think again" is Networking-Forum's tag line. The site is what the name suggests, a forum where networking pros get together to post questions about Cisco certifications, as well as Cisco products and technologies, covering routing and switching, security, IP communications, hardware and network management. Networking pros are required to register to participate in the forums, which also cover non-Cisco topics, including Juniper, home networking, tech discussions and lab challenges. The site also links to a


The DFWCUG claims to be the world's largest single Cisco users group, as well as one of the first, having been established for 11 years, and now boasts more than 1,400 active members. Technical presentations from its monthly meetings are posted in the downloads section and Cisco-related jobs may be found in the forum. It also has a comprehensive list of the other Cisco users group in the United States and the DFWCUG has helped many other CUGs in the country get off the ground.


This was a suggestion sent in by a reader: " I am responsible for BGP routing for our state network, I recently discovered CiscoNET.com and have found it quite useful. The public route server link makes it easy to check BGP routing and traceroute from location around the world." There are three sections to the site: Public Route Server, which CiscoNet describes is a large collection of public route server to view BGP route on the Internet; Search Knowledgebase, featuring popular articles titled "BGP sample configuration guide - Cisco," "Cisco 7200 Simulator - Dynamips installation for Windows," and "BGP Community String for Qwest AS209"; and a public forum where visitors chat about Gigabit Ethernet, SONET/SDH, and BGP, naturally.

You already enjoy the resources of Cisco Subnet, but just to bring everything under one blog, here's what you can find inside Cisco Subnet:

News: Our editors scour the Web every day for Cisco and networking-related news. You can subscribe to our daily news blog (named Cisconet) via our Cisco Subnet.

Giveaways: Every month we hold giveaways of books from Cisco Press and cool prizes from various Cisco Learning Partners.

Security Watch: We report on Cisco security advisories and security responses as soon as they're issued.

Bloggers: We have a stable of bloggers who are experts in their fields:

Brad Reese on Cisco: Brad Reese is research manager at BradReese.Com, advancing the careers of 600,000-plus certified individuals in the growing Cisco Career Certification Program.

Wendell Odom's Cisco Cert Zone: Wendell Odom, CCIE No, 1624, splits time between writing books for Cisco Press and teaching classes for Skyline ATS. His books include titles on QoS, CCIE R/S, as well as several titles related to CCNA certification, including his newest book Official Exam Certification Library (CCNA Exam 640-802) (Read a sneak peek of chapter 7). Follow Wendell's blog here. More free chapters from other Cisco Press books here.

Michael Morris: From the field: Morris is a Technical Team Lead and Network Architect at a $3 billion high-tech company. His background is in enterprise WANs working with telcos, and developing large-scale routing designs.

Jeff Doyle on IP Routing: Jeff is president of Jeff Doyle and Associates, an IP networking consultancy, and author of Routing TCP/IP, Volumes I (read an excerpt) and II. Read the transcript of our live online text chat with Jeff entitled "IPv6: Will matter to the enterprise in five years."

Jamey Heary: Cisco security expert: Jamey Heary, CCIE No. 7680, is a security consulting systems engineer at Cisco. Jamey is the author of Cisco NAC Appliance: Enforcing Host Security with Clean Access. Read a chapter from the book here.

Larry Chaffin: Putting realism into your network: Larry Chaffin, Ph.D, is the CEO/chairman and founder of Pluto Networks a consulting company specializing in VoIP, WLAN and security. He is also author of a number of books including Managing Cisco Secure Networks, Skype Me, Practical VOIP Security, and Configuring Check Point NGX VPN-1/Firewall-1.

1 2 Page 1
Page 1 of 2
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT