My time with Cisco EX90

Got my hands on Cisco EX90 (that was malfunctioning) & here is my impression of it - sucks balls.

The box has poor support for rs232 , has a special cable provided separately (USB to serial) without which it won't jack up on console at all. Yes I tried everything & the damn thing needs a specific ft232r driver to make it work. Speed settings are 38400 with no flow control & parity, post which the sucker boots up in admin mode with xConfig disabled. Now vendor nowadays have a very pragmatic approach to make CLI as difficult for the folks they intended to create. They tackle this problem by creating pseudo-shells (with limited capabilities,generally have limited to no debug facility, sometimes you really feel lucky if you are able to read proper logs ) which miserably fail to provide full view of what the heck is wrong with the device/service. The Result? After pulling hairs and cursing the box, you eventually dial 1-800-100-1364 to share your plight, resulting in more revenue for Cisco & you end up drinking more beer than you usually do in a bad manner. After all, a frustrated tinkerer is a good customer.

Coming to the point, Cisco has xConfig running over standard bash, which is more or less a limited configuration mode so that you can recover the device. But heck, since it was booting without it, I configured "rootsettings on Cisc0" , logged out and logged in as root with Cisc0 as password & jumped into a bash shell over Linux 3.4. Some more exploring and found  the environment was pretty loaded on factory defaults ; (as compared to trimmed, hardened network devices I have seen), heck, its having Python 2.6 :)

Not wasting anytime I configured the box with a static IP & tried upgrading it with 7.x code, which as expected failed. Upgrade gave unable to create squashfs on dmesg, at that moment I pretty much sighed & handed over things to Cisco Collab guy. I was already unimpressed with its poor recovery capabilities & time would not permit any more r&d on a production device.

Note to self: need to get my hands dirty once its dismounted.


Need to say something ? Spell it out :)