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Networking Technology

ISDN Switch Simulator on the Cheap? 26

smartmux wonders: "I've starting working on earning a CCNA certification, and part of the requirement for this cert and the 'professional' level cert is to know and understand how to install ISDN BRI circuits. Getting the Cisco router equipment to configure is easy and relatively cheap, but real ISDN lines or an off-the-shelf ISDN simulator is way too expensive. I'm not a *nix guy, so I thought I'd ask here -- is it possible to take an old PC, a couple of ISDN network cards, and an open-source PBX (like Asterick maybe) and make a simple ISDN switch to let my two routers talk?"
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ISDN Switch Simulator on the Cheap?

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  • I assume it's a written test anyway. So why would you need to know how to do any of this in practice anyway? Do you expect the others with this kind of certification to have any practical experience?
    • The CCNA exam has questions that are done on a simulator to simulate configuration or troubleshooting on a router. Most of the ISDN involved on the exam is theory, but he could be asked to show practical knowledge as well.
  • Cisco has been improving CCNA by giving the labs a little more depth, but they sure don't want to give up the ancient technology. This is my biggest beef with Cisco and their certification programs.

    Who uses ISDN in a new installation anyway? These days you either go great guns with an OC3 or better between office locations or you use business/consumer grade DSL or Cable modem and VPN between office locations. I still hear of new T1 installations every now and then for certain critical uses where latency, se
    • by fmaxwell ( 249001 )
      Who uses ISDN in a new installation anyway?

      Companies that are directed to by their DoD customers. Companies doing point-to-point networking with existing facilities -- often to facilities in Europe.

      Not every networking installation is a dot-com looking for Internet connectivity.
    • by karnal ( 22275 )
      Ever hear of a PRI T1?

      ISDN is still highly used, to this day. In fact, our videoconferencing bridge allows all sorts of connectivity options - one of which we use is multiple "bonded" ISDN channels. So we can get 384k out of 6 channels...
      • Which reminds me of my weirdest ISDN troubleshooting call. We had 4 lines (8xB channels) setup for use with a video confrencing system. Well one day the system just refused to dial. We tried all the basic troubleshooting, but all the lines showed as up. So we call out the telco guys. They check the lines and say everything looks good. This is at the end of the day. The next day we go to make a call, and again can't dial out. So we make another call to the telco. The telco technician comes out with some go a
        • Re:Complain to Cisco (Score:2, Interesting)

          by tmasssey ( 546878 )
          I nearly lost my biggest client for exactly the same problem.

          They had (and theoretically still do have) an ISDN videoconferencing solution. However, they almost never used it. Then one day, the big boss (the actual owner of the 1,000-person international company) came and wanted to VC back to headquarters in Germany. Didn't work. The problem was the same as above: the LD service on the ISDN line was misconfiugred, and we could not make International calls. So not only was it a problem that prevented

    • Re:Complain to Cisco (Score:3, Informative)

      by anticypher ( 48312 )
      Who uses ISDN in a new installation anyway?

      Me, for one. Not exactly a new installation, but I just converted a bunch of E1 lines from R2 signalling to ISDN. It took about 4 hours, 3 of which were experimenting and testing to make sure the signalling was correct, then about 10 minutes to switch over each E1 and monitor call reliability. Next week I have to bring a whole system over to SS7, and start to convert the far end from R2 to ISDN. It's a standard Cisco job.

      I'm not a big fan of the Cisco certs, but Ci
    • Every lottery terminal I've seen in the UK uses ISDN, I wouldn't be suprised if other "appliance" technology like credit card terminals or alarm systems do as well.
    • Who uses ISDN in a new installation anyway?

      Here in Europe it's relatively common for people using the second option you suggest (DSL) to have ISDN fall-back in the event of failure of the DSL line. This is relatively easy to acomplish with a Cisco 1801.

    • Who uses ISDN in a new installation anyway
      (for the pupose of this post i will use normal broadband to reffer to dsl/cable interner services)
      anyone who wan'ts on demand and very dependable conectivity (normal broadband whilst cheap doesn't have particualarlly high uptime gaurantees) but doesn't use it enough of the time to justify a dedicated cuircuit.

      or anyone who wants more than dialup, can't afford a dedicated cuircuit and can't get normal broadband.

      or anyone who has lots of pots and would like a few more
    • Dial backup. A lot of people, me included, still use ISDN to back up their T1 lines.
  • And I can tell you you dont have to know much about ISDN. Certainly dont need an ISDN switch..

    I started studying for the CCNA by preparing for the CCNP. Thats how I study. I bought 2 1600 routers, 7 2500 and 1 2600 routers. Also got 2 switches and started working on them. Next I bought tonnes of old machines to remoteboot, load linux using PXE, and run gated to increase the number of 'routers' I had so I can just work on them and fix them, and therefore know all networking. I bought arcnet cards, atm cards
    • It sounds like you were trying to talk to your bell's data people. You need to get ahold of one of their business voice reps to get that isdn. They sell it, it's very common. Most businesses with 10+ lines will go ISDN PRI, and if they sell PRI, they sell BRI too. Find the guy that sells the PRI's and bust his balls till he helps you out with a BRI. That's how you get BRI's. Not sure how hot that works if you don't have any business relationship with the sales guy beforehand though.
  • There are companies who rent time on systems that have all of the elements you might see on the test available. Here is only one of many examples tm/ []. Just do a google search for "rent time cisco ccna" and you'll have plenty of options appear. Probably a better use of time than setting up systems just for testing...but that's just my opinion.
  • There is a small company in Bothell WA that makes (or used to make?) a line of POTS, ISDN and T1 simulators as of at least three years ago. You can usually find their products on eBay for reasonable costs. Last I heard their products are quite good and have been used by other's in your position in the past. Peter
  • by geirt ( 55254 ) on Sunday December 11, 2005 @07:54AM (#14232606)

    Well, you guessed right, Linux can do this!

    A few links:
    Linux 2.6 and mISDN HowTo []
    PBX4Linux []

    Have fun!

  • Why don't you get a small SoHo switch. Those are avaliable for about $200 and you can have up to 3 internal S0-buses which will talk Euro-ISDN.
    Typical companies are Siemens or Telebau. A Telnet Willy 4ab from Telebau should be sufficient and somewhat cheaper than even the cheapest simulator.
  • Boson NetSim (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I studied for my CCNA by taking a CCNA prep course at the community college. For the price, I got tons of hands on time with the hardware. What they also supplied was a program called Boson NetSim from []. Think of it as a entire network simulator. Drag and drop routers, terminals, switches, and connections, then click to log in to any of them. The simulated hardware behaved the same as the real hardware we had, the downside being that we didn't have to troubleshoot bad cables, or someone
  • Costs 300 Bucks, and has an ISDN Bus. And is nice SoHo Router with integrated VoIP capabilities.
  • Hands on is important and all but ISDN is a dead horse. There are many newer and better things out there now. At best you will see 1 or 2 ISDN questions and they will be basic questions. I got the CCNA back in 98 and as I recall there weren't more than a few ISDN questions back then! I'm sure the same goes for the CCNP/DP. If you go for the CCIE, then you need to know more. The fact that you are just now attempting the CCNA means that the CCIE will likely not be doable for another few years. By then ISDN ma

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