Does setting the correct time on a router really matter? Actually, it does. In this edition of Cisco Routers and Switches, David Davis reviews the benefits of setting the correct time on your router, and he walks you through the three-step process to configure the correct time.
Last year, I wrote an article about why Cisco devices should
use Network Time Protocol (NTP) for their time synchronization needs, in which
I explained how to configure NTP on your Cisco devices (“Synchronize
a Cisco router’s clock with Network Time Protocol (NTP)”). Using NTP
is the ideal method for medium to large-scale networks.
However, if you have only a handful of routers, manually
setting the clock may be the easiest way to properly configure your devices’
times. Let’s walk through the process.
If a Cisco router boots up before you’ve configured a local
time or network time source, it will display the date as March 1, 1993. Here’s
Router> show clock *00:01:10.415 UTC Mon Mar 1 1993 Router>
This date’s appearance on log files is a good indication
that no one has set the router’s time source or local time. This is much more
likely than the router’s log entries actually dating back to 1993.
Does setting the correct time on a router really matter? While proper time
configuration isn’t necessary for a router to fully operate, that doesn’t mean
you shouldn’t set the right time. Here are some of the benefits of setting the
correct time on a router:
When setting a router’s (or switch’s) correct time, the
first step is configuring the proper time zone. This is the first step for a
reason: If you set the time first and then try to set to the time zone, you’ll
have to reset the time again.
The key point to remember is that it’s not enough to know that
you’re in the Eastern or Pacific time zone. You need to know how many hours you
are from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
For example, if you’re in the Eastern Standard Time zone in
the United States, you’re five hours behind GMT. You would indicate this to the
router with -5. If you’re unsure how many hours you are from GMT, the U.S.
Navy’s Web site offers a great resource—the World Time Zone Map.
After you’ve determined your time zone value, you can set
the time zone. For example, I live in the Central Standard Time (CST) zone, so
here’s how I would configure the router:
Router(config)# clock timezone CST -6
After setting the appropriate time zone, you need to
configure the router to adjust for Daylight Saving
Time. You can use the summer-time
command to accomplish this. Using our CST zone example, here’s how to configure
the router to use Daylight Saving Time:
Router(config)# clock summer-time CDT recurring
command tells the router to refer to Daylight Saving Time as Central Daylight Time
(CDT), which will automatically occur according to predefined dates and times on
the router. (You can use the same command to manually set the date and time for
Daylight Saving Time.) The recurring
option tells the router to use the accepted U.S. Daylight Saving Time rules for
the annual time changes in April and October.
After configuring the time zone and Daylight Saving Time, the
last step is to configure the router’s clock. You must do this while in Privileged
Mode—not Global Configuration Mode.
If you’ve never done this before, the format can be a bit
tricky. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Here’s an example:
Router# clock set 10:50:00 Oct 26 2006
After configuring the time zone, Daylight Saving Time, and
the clock, you can view the clock using the show
clock command. Here’s an example:
Router# show clock 10:51:33.208 CDT Thu Oct 19 2006 Router#
Keep in mind that most Cisco routers and switches don’t have
internal clocks that store the time when you power them off. That means rebooting
a device will lose the set local time. However, the time zone will remain set because
the router stores it in its configuration.
For more information on Cisco IOS time configuration, check
documentation for the various clock
commands. How do you set the time on routers or switches? Do you set it
manually or use NTP? What other router and switch syllabus would you like to see covered?
Share your comments in this article’s discussion.
Check out the Cisco Routers and Switches
Archive, and catch up on David Davis’ most recent columns.
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David Davis has worked
in the IT industry for 12 years and holds several certifications, including
CCIE, MCSE+I, CISSP, CCNA, CCDA, and CCNP. He currently manages a group of
systems/network administrators for a privately owned retail company and
performs networking/systems consulting on a part-time basis.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins dropped a bit of a bombshell during its earnings conference call Wednesday. That's when he told analysts the company had already sold over $500 million worth of equipment to the largest cloud computing companies for their AI needs.
The cloud companies (or hyperscalers as the tech world calls them) are buying from Cisco because they are experimenting with using Ethernet — the networking technology that Cisco is known for — for their AI needs instead of Infiniband. Infiniband is the high-speed networking technology more typically used by data centers, a market cornered by Nvidia when it bought leader Mellanox Technologies in a $6.9 billion in 2019.
So Cisco, along with AMD, Arista, Broadcom, HPE, Intel, Meta and Microsoft, formed a technology coalition last month called the Ultra Ethernet Consortium to work on making Ethernet twice as fast as the fastest 400 gigabits speeds available today, and tweaking the tech to better handle AI.
"To date, we have taken orders for over half a billion dollars for AI Ethernet fabrics. We are also piloting 800 gig capabilities for AI training fabrics," Robbins said.
True, half a billion is an insignificant amount of revenue for Cisco, which reported a record $57 billion in sales for its fiscal year 2023 on Wednesday and $3.07 earnings per share.
But Robbins says this new AI cloud market will be triple or more the size of the original and, this time, he plans to make sure Cisco gets its share.
"This would probably be three to four times the opportunity size of the original cloud build out. And, you know, unfortunately for us, as it's been well documented, we missed the original cloud build out," Robbins said.
He's referring to how cloud companies that run huge data centers like Google and Facebook built their own data center networking tech or chose data center specialists like Arista Networks.
"But I can say with every bit of confidence right now that as we go through this AI transition to Ethernet we are super well positioned," he said adding that "we now are installed in 21 use cases across the top six of these providers. And we expect that that momentum will just continue over the next few years."
Morgan Stanley analyst Meta Marshall is intrigued but cautiously skeptical. In a post-earnings research note, she pointed out that there's "an intense investor focus" on companies positioned for the AI infrastructure build-out and Cisco's investors want to hear its AI story. After all, at about a $225 billion market cap, Cisco's valuation is one-quarter's of Nvidia's $1 trillion.
While the $500 million sold so far is currently "small in terms of revenue, growing relevancy within this customer base is important, particularly given scale of opportunity," she wrote. "While we still think Cisco has smaller share within these hyperscalers, increasing penetration is a positive."
Are you Cisco employee with insight to share? Reach Julie Bort through email, email@example.com, encrypted chat app Signal at 970-430-6112 or DM on Twitter @julie188 using a non-work device.
While many tech companies that serve enterprises are experiencing increasing caution from their customer bases, networking-hardware giant Cisco Systems (CSCO 0.94%) has been an exception. The company handily beat analyst expectations for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on July 29. Total revenue grew 16% year over year to $15.2 billion, while adjusted earnings per share shot up 37% to $1.14.
Shares of Cisco rose Thursday morning on the good news. Despite solid growth from the company over the past year, Cisco stock has barely edged out the S&P 500 in 2023. And over the past five years, it has lost badly to the broad stock market index.
With Cisco's business booming, should investors bet on a market-beating rally?
One of Cisco's core strategies over the past few years has been to grow its software business. While Cisco's security and collaboration segments are software-heavy, software has also become a more important piece of the core networking segment.
Software revenue grew by 17% year over year in the fourth quarter, and subscription software revenue was up 20%. By adding sources of recurring revenue, Cisco ultimately makes its revenue more predictable and less prone to big swings driven by economic conditions.
It was the core networking segment that did most of the heavy lifting for Cisco in the fourth quarter. Revenue in this segment soared 33% year over year and accounted for more than half of total revenue. The rest of Cisco's bigger segments were less impressive.
Internet for the Future, which includes optical networking and 5G-related products, grew by just 3%, while the security segment was flat. The collaboration segment suffered a 12% decline.
Soaring demand for artificial intelligence (AI) should help Cisco in the long run. Training advanced AI models involves building vast clusters of GPUs or other AI chips, and moving data fast enough across the cluster is critical. Cisco's Silicon One family of chips is designed for extreme data throughput. Although this AI-centric business isn't contributing much to the top and bottom lines right now, Cisco views it as a significant long-term opportunity.
While Cisco's fourth-quarter results were impressive, the company expects a significant slowdown entering fiscal 2024. It sees full-year revenue between $57 billion and $58.2 billion, up just 0% to 2%, compared to fiscal 2023. Profit will grow faster, with adjusted earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $4.01 to $4.08, representing 4% growth at the midpoint.
Cisco's product backlog exploded during the pandemic due to supply chain constraints, and now the backlog is being worked down as the situation improves. The backlog was still double the normal level at the end of the fourth quarter, although the company expects much of the excess to be worked off in the first quarter of fiscal 2024. As the backlog normalizes, so will Cisco's growth rate.
Cisco's growth will ebb and flow, depending on economic conditions and other factors. The company's sluggish forecast for fiscal 2024 shouldn't be a concern for long-term investors.
At around $55 per share, Cisco stock trades for about 14x adjusted earnings. That looks reasonable and perhaps attractive, as long as the company can accelerate growth past fiscal 2024. The company also pays a solid dividend that currently yields about 3%.
While Cisco stock looks like a solid investment, a huge rally doesn't look like it's in the cards. Fiscal 2024 will be a relatively tough year, compared to fiscal 2023, and there's always a chance that worsening economic conditions will cause Cisco to come up short of its guidance. Also, the stock's valuation isn't so low that a big multiple expansion looks likely anytime soon.
The bottom line: Cisco stock is a buy, but don't expect it to trounce the broader market.
It was about this time last year that some CEOs stood up, pounded their tables, and announced, “Everyone back to the office after Labor Day.”
And it’s clear what happened. In the interaction between many millions of workers in a hard-to-hire atmosphere; public opinion that held if people could work at home during the pandemic, they probably could at least part of the time now; and executives demanded compliance; hybrid work was largely the winner.
Cisco has revealed its intent to acquire Working Group Two (WG2), a Norwegian company that is said to have pioneered a cloud-native mobile services platform that’s fully application programming interface (API)-consumable and highly programmable.
Emerging from a Telenor laboratory in 2013, WG2 began after being frustrated with the inability to use mobile networks to conduct innovation, prompting a rebuild of the mobile network for a new age. The overarching goal of the firm was to create a “radically innovative, radically simple and radically affordable” modern mobile core, something the company said was a key component in advancing the mobile industry.
WG2 said there’s at least one reason why mobile users haven’t seen much product innovation coming out of their telecom operator over the past few decades. It claimed mobile network machinery is “not just a beast, it’s also a beauty”, adding that mobile telephony is perhaps the most successful, distributed and standardised technology the world has ever seen. The big idea behind WG2 was to “bring out the beauty in the mobile networks and revitalise the entire industry”, making connectivity truly valuable again.
Backed by Telenor Group and Digital Alpha, a fund with a long-standing, strategic Cisco partnership, WG2 was spun out as an independent entity from Telenor in 2017. Today, the company comprises a team of 90 dedicated professionals, primarily software engineers based in Europe, Japan and the United States. In 2022, it helped customers deliver 527 million SMSs, make 354 million voice calls and transfer 33 petabytes of data.
To grow and prosper, WG2 said the telecom industry must strive for simplicity, global scale and programmability, and that it must also nurture marketplaces and ecosystems of developers to build global platforms, just like the tech industry at large.
Putting the acquisition into context, WG2 noted that Cisco will build on the as-a-service model to realise benefits for the full mobile industry, having already seen success with internet of things (IoT) and private networks. It said the as-a-service delivery model allows for consistent deployments, reduced complexity, global scale, programmability, and continuous innovation and security management.
By expanding this model to cover the entire spectrum of mobile use cases, WG2 was confident Cisco could provide simplified access to the company’s technology while enabling customers to focus resources on their core business and deliver new use cases faster.
For its part, Cisco said millions to billions to trillions of connected devices coming online was making IoT the single greatest digital business transformation that most of us will see in our lifetime. It said communication service providers must scale to support it, which means connectivity must be simplified for both deployment and management, and the mobile business service must evolve to become a much more lucrative offering.
Cisco noted that WG2’s platform uses the web-scale playbook and operating models, which makes it a natural fit with its Mobility Services Platform.
“WG2’s technology and team beautifully align with the same approach: simplifying the mobile network architecture to deliver a radically innovative mobile service,” said Masum Mir, senior vice-president and general manager at Cisco Provider Mobility, in a blog post. And with WG2 and the Cisco Mobility Services Platform, we’ll be able to boost our service edge deployment and API-first strategy for application development partners, enterprise customers and service provider partners.
“WG2 and Cisco have a unique synergy,” he said. “We share a common ambition to deliver a global, programmable mobile core as a service, and are remarkably aligned to this shared vision.
“The goal? To enable our Communication Service Provider customers to cover ground faster, as we work together to monetise their 5G investments,” said Mir. “The consumption model is simple and comprehensive, supporting all stakeholders. The end result is a mobility services platform that can dramatically simplify mobile network deployments, provide enhanced edge experiences, enable new and advanced use cases, as well as support simple application development.”
Cisco Systems' (CSCO) fiscal fourth quarter results beat analyst estimates. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.14 per share versus a $1.06 estimate, while revenue of $15.20 billion was better than the expected $15.05 billion. The tech giant's first quarter earnings forecast was also better than Wall Street anticipated. Yahoo Finance Live breaks down the report.
- All right, Akiko. Let's take a look at Cisco. The stock under a bit of pressure here following its most recent earnings release. And taking a look at the numbers, they actually beat on both the top and bottom line for their fiscal fourth quarter here. When you take a look at revenue coming in at $15.2 billion, the estimate was for $15.05 billion adjusted EPS of $1.14. The estimate was for $1.06.
Going back to that sales number, they're breaking down a little bit further into their businesses services revenue, coming in line with expectations at $3.55 billion product revenue. Beating here to the top side, $ 11.65 billion. The estimate was for 11.47 billion.
Taking a look at some of their guidance numbers here, Cisco sees full-year adjusted EPS of $4.01 to $4.08, which was pretty much in line with what the street was looking for consensus there. Was for $4.04, this is for full year 2024. When you take a look at the Q1 expectations, revenues is expected to come in $14.50 billion to $14.7 billion.
That was slightly higher than what the Street was looking for at $14.57 billion a year. Yet we're looking at the stock under a bit of pressure and the focal point here is obviously Cisco, a good gauge, as just how much companies are still spending on IT.
There was some speculation going into this report that maybe we could see a weak report because of how companies-- they're either not spending as much or reallocating some of that spend towards AI. But at least when you look at the top and bottom line numbers for this most recent report and also their Q1 guidance, it looks pretty decent. Yet the stock under a bit of pressure
- Yeah, down about 1.3% right now.
Cisco announced today that Ali Amer has been appointed Managing Director for Global Service Provider Sales in the Middle East and Africa at Cisco.
In his new role, Ali will be responsible for helping telecommunications service providers transform their networks, businesses and customers’ experiences to capture the opportunities created by the digital era. In addition to driving the segment’s sales strategy and growth across the Middle East and Africa, he will also focus on streamlining business operations, including sales and channel strategy, business development and customer support.
Amer will report to Peter Karlstromer, Senior Vice President for Global Service Provider Sales, Cisco EMEAR. He will work closely with the regions’ mobile operators to develop their digital transformation roadmaps as they evolve their business and revenue models to meet the growing demand for data services and financial and commercial services.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce Ali as the new leader for our Service Provider business in the Middle East and Africa,” said Karlstromer. “Ali is a highly regarded leader known for his close working relationships and deep understanding of the telecoms industry landscape. His expertise and ability to build high performance teams will undoubtedly accelerate our momentum in delivering the digital ecosystem and network infrastructure that our customers need to capture rising opportunities.”
Amer joined Cisco in 2013, most recently serving as Managing Director for Cisco’s Service Provider segment in the Middle East and Turkey. He brings to the role over 25 years of industry experience and was previously the Senior Telecom and IT Consultant in the same unit, advising multinationals and start-ups on market entrance and go-to-market strategies in the region. Prior to Cisco, Amer spent fifteen years at Motorola Networks rising to the position of Vice President and General Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where he ran an organization of 2,500 employees and business professionals with annual revenues in excess of $1 billion.
“I am excited to take on this expanded role within our Service Provider business as Cisco continues to push the envelope with solutions, technologies and a vision that drives exponential value and success for our customers and partners,” said Ali Amer, Managing Director, Global Service Provider Sales, Cisco Middle East and Africa. “With its significant growth potential, a rapidly expanding population, and increasing smartphone penetration, the telecommunications market in the Middle East and Africa is at an important junction. Cisco’s technology capabilities and strong partnerships will play a pivotal role in enabling SPs to become truly intelligent network operators that are able unlock opportunities, enhance business agility, and drive service innovation and customer-experience enhancement.”
The next phase for the Middle East and Africa telecommunications sector will be defined by an explosion in data demand. The annual Cisco Visual Networking Index™ (VNI) forecast projects a 12-fold increase in Middle East and Africa mobile data traffic from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 65 percent. By 2021, the Middle East and Africa will have 2.4 billion networked devices (up from 1.7 billion in 2016) and 1.4 networked devices per capita, while 75 percent of all networked devices will be mobile-connected in 2021.
Across the Middle East and Africa, strong growth in mobile users, smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) connections combine with network speed improvements and growth in mobile video consumption to significantly increase mobile data traffic over the next five years.