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Cross-referencing Cisco and Nortel commands

Is there a cross reference command list for Cisco and Nortel routers? I am inheriting the responsibility of maintaining both in our company and it would be helpful to find the like command from one to the other.

As you know, a Cisco router is configured using a command line, sometimes described as the IOS interface. A Nortel router uses a GUI interface program that runs on your PC. It's called Site Manager, and the firmware is now known as BayRS. The Site Manager software has become reliable in recent times, but make sure that you have later releases of code in your routers. In "olden times" the particular Site Manager releases were required for a particular BayRS, so beware.

In my opinion, Site Manager is a really good idea. It shows all of the options, even the ones you don't know anything about. You can create and manage config files offline and then copy them in later, or reboot the router to them at a scheduled time.

You will struggle with the differences between Nortel and Cisco routers. But don't let the interface slow you down. It is only the way that you program it. Once you get used to it, there are a number of things that are really very good and BayRS does just about everything that Cisco IOS does.

But generally the simplicity of IOS wins out for me. At 2:00am in the morning, with a person who struggles with connecting a console cable, the IOS command line is king. Not many features, no GUI interface, but it is there.

Hope this helps.

This was last published in October 2001

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