Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taking remote config changes to the extreme

Cisco announced this week that they conducted the first-ever software upgrade of an IP router in space. The Internet Router in Space (IRIS) program involves the Cisco 18400 Space Router -- hardened for radiation and launched on-board the Intelsat 14, a geostationary communications satellite.



The router runs Cisco IOS and is testing the idea of bringing the Internet into space to provide a mobile (at least widely distributed, if geostationary!) network that can adapt without reliance on a fixed and predefined infrastructure. One benefit envisioned is onboard routing to avoid the need to "double-hop" network traffic -- going from one site up to a satellite, down to a ground gateway hub, back up to the satellite and finally down again to the second location. A single-hop could route traffic on the satellite from one location to the other.

According to the release:






"Cisco updated the IOS® Software in the router aboard Intelsat 14 to enable a variety of capabilities for enhanced management that are already available for Cisco's terrestrial products including Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express, IPv6, Mobile IP and SNMPv3 MIBs (Simple Network Management Protocol version 3 Management Information Bases). It also enables additional security features, including hardware-based encryption."


What does this mean for you?
You can bet there was a whole team working on the upgrade of that router in space. But your routers are probably not radiation-tolerant, and it's likely you are responsible for more than a single router. At Uplogix we're solving your challenges with device upgrades -- whether they are remote (relatively) or just next door.

Making changes on devices you can't physically touch can be a little scary. Even if your devices aren't in orbit. It's all too easy to get cut off accidentally. You can avoid this with the Uplogix Surgical Rollback feature.

By applying configuration changes to devices through an Uplogix appliance, when there is an issue, the appliance can roll the device back to the last known good configuration and restore the network connection.

Here is a demo showing the feature:



Imagine scheduling an upgrade for all of your routers late at night. With Uplogix you could actually be out stargazing instead of verifying changes, because any routers with issues will roll back to the last known working config. 

Want to learn more about Uplogix features with the right stuff for your network? Check out the white paper, Making Cisco Stronger.