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Networking Update: Cisco buys Ubiquisys, strategies for analyzing VoFi

Madelyn Stone, Editorial Assistant

Cisco makes moves on small-cell tech with Ubiquisys buy

Emerging from the U.K. with a tricky name and a specific focus in what's known as small-cell technologies,

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privately held Ubiquisys might not have seemed a major draw for a global IT leader. But Cisco scooped up the developer for $310 million as part of a push to boost its mobility expertise. Ubiquisys' experience with femtocells spells advances for Cisco along the lines of mobile in-building coverage and location-based services, according to ESG Global analyst John Mazur.

Read more from Mazur on what the Cisco acquisition of Ubiquisys meansfor mobile operators and Cisco's business strategies.

Tactics for VoFi integration and analysis

As wireless speeds continue to accelerate, services like voice over wireless (VoFi) are primed for adoption, according to WildPackets' Jay Botelho. Once organizations have transitioned their VoIP to a wireless network, the VoFi application will be another data flow to scrutinize -- using packet analysis that should mirror the testing of a wired network. Continuous, simultaneous, distributed packet capturing is necessary for a fully managed network, Botelho explains, in order to capture entire calls, identify roaming events and measure timing.

Visit Botelho's post on LoveMyTool for more on VoFi integration and analysis.

More evolution needed for F5 relevancy

F5 Networks' iRules are a relic by IT standards, dating back to the early 2000s and operating through 25-year-old Tool Command Language (TCL). Steven Iveson of Packet Pushers says TCL has fulfilled its purpose well, but that, with the pace of F5's expansion and the onslaught of software-defined networking (SDN) developments, it may be time for a change. Modernization of the scripts seems likely, as F5 has scooped up SDN startup LineRate Systems, which uses the Node.js platform for its iRules equivalent. Whether or not F5 moves to replace iRules, Iveson argues that evolving to take advantage of SDN developments is a must.

Get Iveson's take on the changes F5 should make to stay a relevant player in the networking space.

Reverse-engineering firewall policies

The chance to re-engineer his company's firewall policy meant challenge and opportunity for John Herbert, as he shares in a Lame Journal blog post. Given management's go-ahead to adapt the company's firewalls from ineffective routers to actual security mechanisms, he and his colleagues worked backward to engineer a firewall policy based on the incoming traffic. They used a Securify tool to hand-pick acceptable traffic over a period of weeks, then exported the collected policy base to the firewall, avoiding scripting entirely.

Check out Herbert's tips and caveats for reverse engineering a firewall policy.

Troubleshooting connectivity delays with packet analysis

Keeping packet analysis skills sharp can save you time and frustration, as Jeremy Stretch emphasizes in a Packet Life post. A customer's patchy connectivity issues after a firmware upgrade resisted explanation despite various tests on speed, traffic and access switches, so Stretch ran a packet analysis at the site. Five-second delays in the packet timestamps put him on the trail of the culprit: an antivirus server.

Read Stretch's rundown on using packet analysis skills to pinpoint the unexpected cause of a lagging Internet connection.


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