So, I’ve been rationalising a small remote site’s network infrastructure and thought I would use some existing spare kit to try to “improve” the network  architecture. So, there was a Cisco 2800 series router and some little switch with a couple of servers plugged into it. Not much but important enough. I figured I would deploy a second 2800 and add a HWIC-D-9ESW to both 2811s. Join them with Etherchannel and set-up GLBP between the routers before the traffic headed onwards.

So a couple of obvious caveats – The Cisco 2800 (and 1800 and 3800 series too) is nearing end of supported life. This is on a budget and new kit is not an option currently.  A shiny new pair of layer three switches would have worked too – simple dual network links with some dynamic routing. Many ways to skin this fish 🙂 Anyhoo. I came across a few limitations of my plan

1) The HWIC-D-9ESW has a hard limit 0f 15 VLANs (which needs to include the VLANs 1002/1003/1004/1005, so 11 usable VLANs). Not very many if you plan on joining the ESW modules to an existing VTP domain with a few segments.

2) The HWIC ESW modules can’t do Etherchannel. So bonding a pair of links between two ESWs or between an ESW and another switch is not possible

3) Cisco do not support GLBP on SVIs with ESWs. Hmm, HSRP and VRRP are supported however. (I did setup GLBP between an SVI on each device and GLBP appeared to work. I didn’t do thorough testing though, so there are likely to be some gotchas- even though it seems to work).

Some of these limits are described in “Switch Virtual Interface for Cisco Integrated Services Routers” (PDF), “Cisco HWIC-4ESW and HWIC-D-9ESW EtherSwitch Interface Cards“, “Cisco 2800 Integrated Services Routers“.

So, long story short, two routers using HSRP with a single link between them (could use two links and have STP block one) each connected to the upstream connection. At least now the remote office has some level of network resilience.

The point of this post – in case you missed it!! – was that some “simple” features one takes for granted on “normal” Cisco kit can be lacking or missing entirely one lower end devices. Once again, it pays to completely check the vendor support matrices and feature sets. In this instance, it was quite tricky to find a definitive list of available (or disabled) features.


Well this is going to be a bit of a ramble as opposed to an articulate article. It comes from my frustration with Android’s bugs and Google’s seemingly unwillingness to respond. If one takes a look at

one can see a number of long lingering bugs which have not been addressed yet. Sure, loads of bugs have been fixed and Android continues to improve. I’ll come back to “improve” below. My gripe is with the bugs, which have been around for a while, that break functionality or standards.

For instance – proper handling of IMAP folders, IMAP drafts, IMAP IDLE support, Exchange sync if you delete e-mail messages while disconnected from your Exchange server, IPSEC L2TP PSK VPNs broken. These are bugs in features that are needed for mainstream business use in a smartphone. Sure not all consumers will run into all these bugs but with the recent #PRISM leaks and continuing concerns around privacy I’m sure more people will start using “their own” (for some definition of own as opposed to BIG providers such as Gmail/Hotmail/etc) IMAP servers and IPSec VPNs.

Business users will typically either use Exchange or IMAP (OK there are still some Lotus Notes users too – ever seen that mentioned on a stock Android device??) coupled with VPNs.  Both of these key features are crippled or lacking in one or more ways. Additionally, Android’s handling of recurring calendar appointments is poor to lacking resulting in potential frustration for business users. I guess haves “issues” in these area and offering a working Gmail app plays right into Google’s plan of owning everyone’s data and obviously mining said data for ad revenue!!!

Android is no longer a “new” operating system and has been through various updates along the way. Simple things like working, reliable e-mail should “just be there”. One should not need to install app (K9 mail for instance) after app (OpenVPN) to get working functionality that is supposedly built in to the OS. As Android ages it appear to be more of a way to make more money for Google than a concerted effort at a proper phone OS.

  • “improve” – yes new releases of Android come out every year or two with new wizzy-flashy graphics to dazzle the eyes. But come on – lets get the basic underlying functionality fixed before rolling out even more buggy code!


Well I’ve done a few “winter” runs recently with the temperatures hovering between 1 and 5 degrees celcius. They have been chilly runs and I’ve had to wrap up in several layers to stay warm. On the plus side, I’ve not had to run in any rain, sleet or snow yet this winter.

The fun thing I’ve been doing to help pass the time and not think about being chilly is to look for Christmas decorations and lights. In the past week or so I’ve seen many more Christmas trees through windows and other assorted Christmas decorations on front doors and around houses. It really does make running in the cold more pleasant.

Well last night’s lake swim will be one of the last of the season I guess. Too dark too soon.  The swim itself went ok, only 1000m before I decided to call it a night. I did notice my wetsuit rubbing on my neck though, which it has not done before. Maybe it was trying to make me faster by dragging me by the scruff of my neck?


I’ve got three weekends of racing ahead before my tri season ends. Once the races are over I’ll ease off a bit while trying to keep things ticking over. Maybe a late in the year 10km before a short break. After the break the training will resume in preparation for next year’s big races….

Just listening to New Order’s “Crystal”. Brings back many fond memories of Filthy’s, late tipsy night’s and the fateful day that was the concert in Finsbury Park.

That day consisted of rain, rain and more rain, right up until New Order came on stage. A good review is here.

Ahh those were the days, over 10 years ago….


Well, some of you astute followers of mine noticed that there was some unusual behaviour of the blog earlier today. This was due to the blog software being upgraded and migrated to a new server. It seems that the WordPress export/import feature doesn’t work quite as well as one would hope, particularly in relation to images and other uploaded media.

All issues should be resolved now and the blog should be working as expected.


So, I was looking over my past events last night and noticed something that I had forgotten. I noticed that I had less than one month between my first ever triathlon and my first half-Ironman race. WOW. That was pretty gutsy for me. I look back now and am not sure I would recommend such behaviour. It does however, make me think about just what is possible when one puts their mind to something.Maybe that Ironman race next year isn’t so bad afterall.

I did a “sortof” triathlon in training yesterday. Did a 1600m swim set, a 15mile bike ride and a 2mile run. Transistions were pretty slow (ok, a trip to buy groceries between the swim and bike) however. The 15 mile loop may become a time-trial course of sorts for me over the coming months. It’s got some decent stretches for TT aero-bar position and has a short-sharp hill at about 10miles. I look forward to reducing the time to complete the loop 🙂

Well I did some simple statistics pulling from WKO+ for the past three seasons. I based a season from December through to end November of the following year.

date from       01/12/2010    01/12/2009   01/12/2008
date to         30/11/2011    30/11/2010   30/11/2009
run duration    45h47:02       82h01:12    65h07:36
run distance    527.126km      957.505km   727.656km
bike duration   15h28:04       115h46:42   158h04:18
bike distance   260.632km      2409.497km  4337.618km
swim duration   6h04:00        30h26:00    36h58:00
swim distance   18.45km        94.031km    104.613km

(Yes, I realise we’ve not quite got to 30/11/2011 yet… so will update the 2011 season once it completes)

The figures include treadmill and Computrainer sessions along with training sessions and races.

I hope that I manage to do more training over the 2012 season – probably slightly down on the 2009/2010 season due to less free time these days. Maybe I should set some training targets for the 2012 season?

The bike average speed varies somewhat due to extensive use of the Computrainer in the 2009 season – due to the ERG training I was doing at a relatively higher wheel speed than on the road the average speeds are inflated.  So the times are probably more useful to compare than pure distances.