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NS0-176 Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration candidate |

NS0-176 candidate - Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration Updated: 2023

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Exam Code: NS0-176 Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration candidate November 2023 by team

NS0-176 Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration

Exam Detail:
The NS0-176 exam, also known as "Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration," is a certification test designed to validate the skills and knowledge of IT professionals in implementing and administering Cisco and NetApp FlexPod solutions. Here are the details of the NS0-176 exam:

- Number of Questions: The NS0-176 test typically consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and may include scenario-based questions. The exact number of questions may vary, but it generally ranges from 60 to 70 questions.

- Time Limit: The time allocated to complete the NS0-176 test is usually around 90 minutes. However, the duration may vary depending on the specific test requirements and the test delivery platform.

Course Outline:
The NS0-176 test covers a wide range of courses related to the implementation and administration of Cisco and NetApp FlexPod solutions. The test assesses the candidate's knowledge in the following areas:

1. FlexPod Architecture and Design:
- Understanding the components, architecture, and design principles of Cisco and NetApp FlexPod.
- Identifying the requirements and considerations for deploying a FlexPod solution.
- Understanding the integration and interoperability of Cisco and NetApp technologies in a FlexPod environment.

2. FlexPod Implementation and Configuration:
- Installing and configuring Cisco UCS (Unified Computing System) components in a FlexPod environment.
- Configuring NetApp storage systems, including SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network Attached Storage), in a FlexPod environment.
- Implementing networking components, such as Cisco Nexus switches, in a FlexPod solution.

3. FlexPod Administration and Management:
- Performing day-to-day administration tasks, such as monitoring, troubleshooting, and capacity management in a FlexPod environment.
- Managing storage resources, including provisioning, data protection, and data replication.
- Implementing backup and restore strategies for a FlexPod solution.

4. FlexPod Upgrade and Expansion:
- Planning and executing upgrades and expansions of Cisco and NetApp components in a FlexPod environment.
- Understanding the considerations and best practices for scaling and adapting a FlexPod solution to meet changing business requirements.
- Implementing data migration and workload mobility strategies in a FlexPod environment.

Exam Objectives:
The objectives of the NS0-176 test are as follows:

- Assessing the candidate's knowledge and understanding of Cisco and NetApp FlexPod architecture, design principles, and components.
- Evaluating the candidate's ability to implement and configure Cisco UCS, NetApp storage systems, and networking components in a FlexPod environment.
- Testing the candidate's skills in administering and managing a FlexPod solution, including monitoring, troubleshooting, and capacity management.
- Verifying the candidate's knowledge of upgrade, expansion, and data migration strategies for a FlexPod solution.

Exam Syllabus:
The NS0-176 test covers the following topics:

1. FlexPod Architecture and Design
2. Cisco UCS Implementation and Configuration
3. NetApp Storage Implementation and Configuration
4. Cisco Nexus Switch Implementation and Configuration
5. FlexPod Administration and Management
6. Storage Provisioning and Data Protection
7. Backup and Restore in a FlexPod Environment
8. FlexPod Upgrade and Expansion
9. Data Migration and Workload Mobility in a FlexPod Environment

It's important to note that the test content and syllabus may be periodically updated. Candidates are advised to refer to the official test provider or authorized training providers to obtain the most up-to-date information on test details, objectives, and syllabus. Additionally, candidates are encouraged to consult relevant study resources and documentation provided by Cisco and NetApp to adequately prepare for the exam.
Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration
Network-Appliance Implementation candidate

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NS0-176 Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration
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Cisco and NetApp FlexPod Implementation and Administration
Question: 41
Which service may be used to manage users and groups in a vSphere environment?
A . Microsoft Active Directory (AD)
B . Network Time Protocol (NTP)
C . VMware vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI)
D . Domain Name System (DNS)
Answer: A
Question: 42
An administrator is deploying a FlexPod solution for use with VMware vSphere 6.0. The storage environment consists
of a two-node AFF8040 cluster running clustered Data ONTAP 8.3 with a single DS2246 disk shelf fully populated
with 800 GB SSD drives.
The system is configured to use Advanced Drive Partitioning (ADP). The administrator wants to ensure that each node
is configured with the same amount of recourses while also using hot spares for resiliency.
In this scenario, how many total disk partitions will each node have available for the data aggregate?
A . 12
B . 8
C . 11
D . 22
Answer: B
Question: 43
Which two are required for single-wire management for Cisco UCS C-Series? (Choose two)
A . UCS Manager 2.1 or higher
B . VIC 1240
C . Redundant Nexus 2232PP FEX
D . 10 GB LOM
E . FI 6200 family only
F . VIC 1225
Answer: AF
Question: 44
Which statement is true for Fibre Channel QoS System Class?
A . One can modify no-drop policy, and non FCoE traffic using natively the same class as FCoE will be remarked to 0
B . One cannot modify no-drop policy, and non FCoE traffic using natively the same class as FCoE will be remarked
to 0
C . One can modify no-drop policy, and non FCoE traffic using natively the same class as FCoE will not be remarked
D . One cannot modify no-drop policy, and non FCoE traffic using natively the same class as FCoE will not be
Answer: B
Question: 45
After deploying a FlexPod solution, which tool would you use to validate a successful installation?
A . Hardware Universe
B . Config Advisor
C . System Manager
D . UCS Manager
Answer: B
Question: 46
Given the following switch output, where would you expect see notification level messages?
N5K-1# show logging info.
Logging console: enabled (Severity: error)
Logging monitor: enabled (Severity: informational)
Logging linecard: enabled (Severity: emergency)
Logging fex: enabled (Severity: notifications)
Logging time stamp: seconds
Logging server: disabled
Logging logfile: enabled
A . On the console
B . On the terminal sessions
C . On the linecard
D . Notification messages will not be seen anywhere
Answer: B
Question: 47
You have a NetApp cluster and have just performed a storage failover giveback command from the CLI.
Referring to the exhibit, what is the status of the storage failover process?
A . The giveback failed because cluster-01 was not able to communicate with the partners cluster LIFs.
B . The giveback is partially completed waiting for node cluster-01 to provide back the partners SFO aggregate.
C . The giveback is partially completed waiting for node cluster-02 to provide back the partners SFO aggregate.
D . The giveback failed because the partner node was not in a waiting for giveback state.
Answer: C
Question: 48
An administrator just finished installing Windows Server 2012 (Core) with Hyper-V.
Now the administrator must deploy a new VM using PowerShell with the parameters shown below.
Name: web server
Memory: 10 GB
Hard Drive: Existing Disk (d:vhdBaseImage.vhdx)
Which PowerShell command creates the VM based on the Information in the scenario?
A . New-VM-Name web server-MemoryStartupbytes 1 GB- VHDPath BaseImage.vhdx
B . New-VM-Name web server MemoryStartupbytes 10 GB- VHDPath d:vhdBaseImage.vhdx
C . New-VM-Name web server- MemoryStartupbytes 10 GB VHDPath d:vhdBaseImage.vhdx -
NewVHDSireBytes 6000000
D . new- VM- Name web server- MemoryStartupBytes 10GB- VHDPath BaseImage.vhdx
Answer: B
Question: 49
You want to verify that you have configured Multipath HA correctly for all of the attached disk shelves on a NetApp
Which two commands would you execute from the cluster CLI prompt to accomplish this task? (Choose two.)
A . sysconfig -a
B . node run Cnode * -command disk show
C . node run Cnode * storage show disk -p
D . node run Cnode * sysconfig -a
Answer: AC
Question: 50
A Cisco UCS system is operating in FC End-Host Mode. The fabric Interconnects are uplinked into Nexus 5672UP
switches using native FC. The service profiles are unable to boot from SAN using FC.
When executing the show flogi database command on the Nexus switches, only the Fabric Interconnect port WWNs
are visible. No service profile WWNs are shown.
What caused this issue?
A . The Nexus switches do not have NPV enabled.
B . The Nexus must be configured for FCoE instead of native Fibre Channel.
C . The Nexus switches do not have NPIV enabled.
D . The zoning on the Nexus switches is incorrect.
Answer: C
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Thu, 02 Nov 2023 12:00:00 -0500 Brad Linder en-US text/html
Preventing and Avoiding Network Security Threats and Vulnerabilities

Potential attacks, software and platform vulnerabilities, malware, and misconfiguration issues can pose serious threats to organizations seeking to protect private, confidential, or proprietary data. Fortunately, various technologies – collectively known as unified threat management – make it easy to use virtualized or appliance-based tools to provide comprehensive security coverage.

With a combination of regular updates, monitoring and management services, and critical security research and intelligence data, you can vastly improve your business’s cybersecurity. We’ll explore how to erect defenses with UTM and implement sound security policies to cope with an array of threats.

What is unified threat management?

Unified threat management is an all-in-one security implementation that helps protect businesses from online security risks. A UTM solution includes features like network firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection and virtual private networks. Many businesses may prefer UTM software platforms, but hardware options, such as dedicated firewalls and router networking devices, are also available.

By implementing a UTM program throughout your organization, you provide a single security source for all of your information technology (IT) needs that can scale as your business grows. 

With a UTM guarding your organization, you get a streamlined experience with various security components working together seamlessly, instead of the potential issues that could arise if you integrated multiple services for each function.

Why is unified threat management important?

By its very nature, technology is constantly changing. Unfortunately, this includes cybercrime; as technology progresses and we become more connected, the number of threats keeps growing. 

A business can’t predict when or how the next data breach will occur. It could be through a text, email, pop-up ad, or even a vulnerability in your business website

This unpredictability is why it’s critical to implement a comprehensive UTM program throughout your organization. A UTM is like a cybersecurity force guarding against the most common vulnerabilities hackers could exploit. By essentially guarding every virtual entry point, a UTM is a great preventive security measure for any business.

Poor access management is the root cause of many IT hacks. Your business should tightly control who can access networked devices, cloud workloads and big data projects.

Why is unified threat management necessary?

The history of information security and palliative technologies goes back to the 1980s, when perimeter security (through firewalls and screening routers) and malware protection (primarily in the form of early antivirus technologies) became available. 

As threats evolved in sophistication and capability, other elements to secure business networks and systems became available. These solutions include email checks, file screening, phishing protection, and allow lists and block lists for IP addresses and URLs.

From the mid-’90s to the first decade of the 21st century, there was an incredible proliferation of point solutions to counter specific threat types, such as malware, IP-based attacks, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and rogue websites with drive-by downloads. This explosion led to an onslaught of data security software and hardware designed to counter individual threat classes. 

Unfortunately, a collection of single-focus security systems lacks consistent and coherent coordination. There’s no way to detect and mitigate hybrid attacks that might start with a rogue URL embedded in a tweet or email message, continue with a drive-by download when that URL is accessed, and really get underway when a surreptitiously installed keylogger teams up with timed transmissions of captured data from a backdoor uploader. 

Worse yet, many of these cyberattack applications are web-based and use standard HTTP port addresses, so higher-level content and activity screening is necessary to detect and counter unwanted influences. 

What does a unified threat management solution include?

The basic premise of UTM is to create powerful, customized processing computer architectures that can handle, inspect, and (when necessary) block large amounts of network traffic at or near wire speeds. It must search this data for blacklisted IP addresses, inspect URLs for malware signatures, look for data leakage, and ensure all protocols, applications, and data are benign. 

Typical UTM solutions usually bundle various functions, such as the following.

  • Proxy services: Proxy services block revealing details of internal IP addresses on networks and examine communications and data transfers at the application level.
  • Stateful packet inspection: Stateful packet inspection distinguishes legitimate network communications from suspect or known malicious communication forms.
  • Deep packet inspection: Deep packet inspection (DPI) enables network packets’ data portion or payload to be checked. This protects against malware and permits data checks to block classified, proprietary, private, or confidential data leakage across network boundaries. This kind of technology is called data loss prevention (DLP). DPI technology also supports all kinds of content filters.
  • Real-time packet decryption: Real-time packet decryption exploits special hardware (which essentially reproduces software programs in the form of high-speed circuitry to perform complex data analysis) to permit deep inspection at or near network wire speeds. This lets you apply content-level controls even to encrypted data and to screen such data for policy compliance, malware filtering, and more.
  • Email handling: Email handling includes malware detection and removal, spam filtering, and content checks for phishing, malicious websites, and blacklisted IP addresses and URLs.
  • Intrusion detection and blockage: Intrusion detection and blockage observes incoming traffic patterns to detect and respond to DDoS attacks, as well as more nuanced and malicious attempts to breach network and system security or obtain unauthorized access to systems and data.
  • Application control: Application control (or filtering) observes applications in use – especially web-based applications and services – and applies security policies to block or starve unwanted or unauthorized applications from consuming network resources or accomplishing unauthorized access to (or transfer of) data.
  • Virtual private network: The best VPN services let remote users establish secure private connections over public network links (including the internet). Most organizations use this technology to protect network traffic en route from sender to receiver.

Modern UTM systems incorporate all these functions and more by combining fast special-purpose network circuitry with general-purpose computing facilities. The custom circuitry that exposes network traffic to detailed and painstaking analysis and intelligent handling does not slow down benign packets in transit. It can, however, remove suspicious or questionable packets from ongoing traffic flows, turning them over to scanners or filters. 

The UTM agency can then perform complex or sophisticated analyses to recognize and foil attacks, filter out unwanted or malicious content, prevent data leakage, and ensure security policies apply to all network traffic.

Since many businesses are shifting employees to remote work models, it’s more critical than ever to invest in VPNs for data security.

Unified threat management providers

UTM solutions usually take the form of special-purpose network appliances that sit at the network boundary, straddling the links that connect internal networks to external networks via high-speed links to service providers or communication companies.

By design, UTM devices coordinate all aspects of a security policy, applying a consistent and coherent set of checks and balances to incoming and outgoing network traffic. Most UTM device manufacturers build their appliances to work with centralized, web-based management consoles. This lets network management companies install, configure and maintain UTM devices for their clients. 

Alternatively, IT managers and centralized IT departments can take over this function. This approach ensures that the same checks, filters, controls, and policy enforcement apply to all UTM devices equally, avoiding the gaps that the integration of multiple disparate point solutions (discrete firewalls, email appliances, content filters, virus checkers, and so forth) can expose.

Top UTM providers

These are some of the most respected UTM providers:

  • FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW): Offering comprehensive online security features, FortiGate NGFW stands out with its ease of use, scalability, and support. By consolidating multiple security services within a single platform, FortiGate reduces security costs and improves risk management, while the automated threat protection prevents common attacks like ransomware, command-and-control, and other firewall incidents.
  • Check Point Next-Generation Firewall: Designed to provide versatile, intuitive online protection, Check Point NGFWs can perform more than 60 security services through a single dashboard. Check Point NGFWs come with the proprietary SandBlast Zero-Day Protection, which uses CPU-based threat detection to identify zero-day attacks sooner, and can scale on demand. With unified security management across your networks, clouds, and Internet of Things devices, Check Point NGFWs are an efficient UTM solution.
  • WatchGuard Firebox: Catering to SMBs and distributed enterprises, WatchGuard Network Security’s Firebox is a complete security platform that doesn’t sacrifice the user experience. Equipped with a powerful firewall, antivirus services, spam and content filters, and many other security features, WatchGuard Firebox is a complete UTM platform that’s ready to use right out of the box. 

Cyberthreat intelligence gives you a direct line into new and developing cyberattacks worldwide, so you can know the enemy and build an effective solution to prevent breaches.

How to choose the right UTM provider

When choosing a business UTM solution, you should seek the standard functions described above as well as these more advanced features: 

  • Support for sophisticated virtualization technologies (for virtual clients and servers, as well as virtualized implementations for UTM appliances themselves)
  • Endpoint controls that enforce corporate security policies on remote devices and their users
  • Integrated wireless controllers to consolidate wired and wireless traffic on the same device, simplifying security policy implementation and enforcement, and reducing network complexity

Advanced UTM devices must also support flexible architectures whose firmware can be easily upgraded to incorporate new means of filtering and detection and to respond to the ever-changing threat landscape. UTM makers generally operate large, ongoing security teams that monitor, catalog, and respond to emerging threats as quickly as possible, providing warning and guidance to client organizations to avoid exposure to risks and threats.

Some of the best-known names in the computing industry offer UTM solutions to their customers, but not all offerings are equal. Look for solutions from reputable companies like Cisco, Netgear, SonicWall and Juniper Networks. You’re sure to find the right mix of features and controls to meet your security needs without breaking your budget.

IT InfoSec certifications that address UTM

As a visit to the periodic survey of information security certifications at TechTarget’s SearchSecurity confirms, more than 100 active and ongoing credentials are available in this broad field. However, not all of the best IT certifications address UTM directly or explicitly. 

While no credential focuses exclusively on UTM, some of the best InfoSec and cybersecurity certifications cover UTM aspects in their test objectives or the associated standard body of knowledge that candidates must master:

  • ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Cisco security certifications – CCNA Security, CCNP Security, CCIE Security
  • Juniper security certifications – JNCIS-SEC, JNCIP-SEC, JNCIE-SEC, JNCIA-SEC
  • (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • SANS GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH)
  • SANS GIAC Certified Windows Security Administrator (GCWN)
  • Global Center for Public Safety certifications (CHPP and CHPA Levels I-IV)

Of these credentials, the generalist items (such as CISA, CISSP, and CHPP/CHPA) and the two SANS GIAC certifications (GCIH and GCWN) provide varying levels of coverage on the principles of DLP and the best practices for its application and use within the context of a well-defined security policy. 

Out of the above list, the CISSP and CISA are the most advanced and demanding certs. The Cisco and Juniper credentials concentrate more on the details of specific platforms and systems from vendors of UTM solutions.

With the ever-increasing emphasis on and demand for cybersecurity, any of these certifications – or even entry-level cybersecurity certifications – can be a springboard to launch you into your next information security opportunity.

Eduardo Vasconcellos contributed to the writing and research in this article.

Thu, 19 Oct 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Concepts and Implementation of the Philips Network-on-Chip

John Dielissen, Andrei R¢adulescu, Kees Goossens, and Edwin Rijpkema Philips Research Laboratories, Eindhoven, The Netherlands


SoC communication infrastructures, such as the Æthereal network on chip (NoC), will play a central role in integrating IPs with diverse communication requirements. To achieve a compositional and predictable system design, it is essential to reduce uncertainties in the interconnect, such as throughput and latency. In our NoC, these uncertainties are eliminated by providing guaranteed throughput and latency services. Our NoC consists of routers and network interfaces. The routers provide reliable data transfer. The network interfaces implement, via connections, high-level services, such as transaction ordering, throughput and latency guarantees, and end-to-end flow control. The network interfaces also implement adapters to existing on-chip protocols, such as AXI, OCP and DTL, to seamlessly connect existing IP modules to the NoC. These services are implemented in hardware to achieve high speed, and low area. Our NoC provides run-time reconfiguration. We show that in the Æthereal NoC, this is achieved by using the NoC itself, instead of an additional control network. We present an instance of a 6-port router with an area of 0:175mm2 after layout, and a network interface with 4 IP ports having a synthesized area of 0:172mm2. Both the router and the network interface are implemented in 0:13µm technology, and run at 500 MHz.

1 Introduction

As systems on chip (SoC) grow in complexity, the traditional on-chip interconnects, such as buses and switches, cannot be used anymore, due to their limited scalability. Networks on chip (NoC) scale better, and, therefore, they are a solution to large SoCs [2–5, 7, 9–11, 14].

NoCs offer well-defined interfaces [2, 8, 14, 16], decoupling computation from communication, and easing design. It has been shown that NoCs can provide interfaces to existing on-chip communication protocols, such as AXI [1], OCP [12], DTL [13], thus, enabling reuse of existing IP modules [8, 15].

A disadvantage of large interconnects in general (e.g., buses with bridges, or NoCs) is that they introduce uncertainties (e.g., due to contention). Applications also introduce uncertainties as they become more dynamic and heterogeneous. All these complicate integration, especially in hard real-time systems (e.g., video), as the user expects the resulting system to be predictable.

In the Æthereal NoC, we advocate the use of differentiated services and the use of guaranteed communication to eliminate uncertainties in the interconnect, and to ease integration [8]. We allow differentiated services by offering communication services on connections that can be configured individually for different services. Examples of properties that can be configured on a connection are throughput and latency that can be configured to have no guarantees (i.e., best effort) or guaranteed for a particular bound. By providing guarantees, our NoC offers predictable communication, which is a first step in designing a predictable system.

In the next section, we present the Æthereal NoC, which offers both guaranteed and best-effort services. The NoC consists of routers and network interfaces. Our routers, described in Section 2.1, use input queuing, wormhole routing, link-level flow control and source routing. It has two traffic classes for the GT and BE data. For GT, time slots are reserved such that no contention occurs, while for BE, we use a round-robin arbitration to solve contention. The network interfaces, described in Section 2.2, have a modular design, composed of kernel and shells. The NI kernel provides the basic functionality, including arbitration between connections, ordering, end-to-end flow control, packetization, and a link protocol with the router. Shells implement (a) additional functionality, such as multicast and narrowcast connections, and (b) adaptors to existing protocols, such as AXI or DTL. All these shells can be plugged in or left out at instantiation time according to the needs to optimize area cost.

The network connections are configurable at runtime via a memory-mapped configuration port. In Section 3, we show how the network is used to configured itself as opposed to using a separate control interconnect for network configuration.

2 Concepts of the Network

The network on chip as is exemplified by Figure 1, consists of two components: the routers and the network interfaces (NI). The routers can be randomly connected amongst themselves and to the network interfaces (i.e., there are no topology constraints). Note that in principle there can be multiple links between routers. The routers transport packets of data from one NI to another. The NIs are responsible for packetization/depacketization, for implementing the connections and services, and for offering a standard interface (e.g., AXI or OCP) to the IP modules connected to the NoC.

The Æthereal NoC provides both best-effort and guaranteed services (e.g., latency or throughput). To implement guarantees, we use contention-free routing, which is based on a time-divisionmultiplexed circuit-switching approach, where one or more circuits are set up for a connection [14]. This requires a logical notion of synchronicity, where all routers and NIs are in the same slot. Circuits are created by reserving consecutive slots in consecutive routers/NIs. This is, the circuits are pipelined, in the sense that if a circuit is set from router R to router R’, and slot s is reserved at router R, then slot s + 1 must be reserved at router R’. On these circuits, data received in one slot will be forwarded to the next router/NI in the next slot. By setting up circuits, we ensure that data is transported without contention. In this way throughput and latency are guaranteed. We call this guaranteed traffic as guaranteed throughput (GT) data, as opposed to the best-effort (BE) data, for which no throughput guarantees are given.

As mentioned above, circuits are set up by reserving slots. These slots are reserved such that no more than one GT data is scheduled at the same time on an output port of a router or NI. BE data is transferred on the slots that are not used by the GT data: either the slots are unreserved, or the slots are reserved, but not used. BE data can be delayed because of the higher priority GT data, or because of contention on the ports.

In the following sections, we describe in detail the router and NI architectures.

2.1 Router Architecture

Routers send data from one network interface to the other by means of packets. Such a packet consists of one or more flits, were a flit is the minimal transmission unit. As a transmission scheme we use wormhole routing, because of the low cost (the buffer capacity can be less than the length of a packet) and low latency (the router can start forwarding the first flit of a packet without waiting for the tail). To reduce queuing capacity of a router, and thus the area, input queuing is used, as shown in Figure 2.

We select source routing as an addressing scheme, because it allows topology independence, while at the same time has a low cost: no expensive (programmable) lookup tables are needed in the router. In source routing the path on which the packet travels is included in the header of a packet. In Æthereal, this path is a list of destination ports, from which each router on the path removes the first element for its own use.

In the Æthereal network guarantees are given by statically calculating the GT schedule. In this way conflicts at the destination ports at each router can be avoided. In fact a pipelined circuit switching network is set-up. Since the network is distributed, also the circuit switching configuration, being the time at which GTpackets arrive and to which destination port they have to go, has to be distributed In earlier versions of the Æthereal router [14], this was done in ”local” slot tables. When programming a GT connection, all slot tables on the path are consulted to avoid con- flicts in the schedule. In this way distributed programming is enabled, which is essential for large networks. However, for the next years we expect the network to be small and a centralized programming scheme is chosen, for which no ”local” slot table is needed. The area cost of the ”local” slot table is quite high because first of all, the table itself costs area (approximately 25% of the total area of a router with 6 bidirectional ports and 256 slots), and second the programming unit, and the connected additional port on the router have to be provided (an additional 25%). In this paper we present a NoC with centralized configuration. We include the switching configuration (the path) in the packet header, and, as a consequence the slot tables are removed from the routers.

Besides the path, the header also contains information for the Network interface, which is explained in section 2.2.1. As explained, a network packet is build up of one or more network flits. For the current Æthereal network, the flit size is chosen 3 to optimize the data clock frequency and control frequency. The information of the type of flit is annotated in the first element of the sideband information, being the id. The format of the flits is shown in Figure 3. The figure shows that the flit contains a header and 2 payload words. Only the first flit of a packet has a header and as a consequence, the next flits can have 3 payload words. Note that when packets consist of multiple flits, the overhead of the header is reduced. The amount of valid words in the flit is stored in the size field. The end of the packet is notified by the eop flag in the sideband information. As an example, Figure 4 shows how a packet, containing 10 payload words can be build up.

GT and BE-flits are semantically the same, but they are handled differently by the scheduler: GT-flits are always scheduled for the next cycle. The BE-flits are scheduled to the remaining destination ports according a round-robin schedule. Ones a first flit of a BE-packet is send to a certain destination port, than port remains locked until the packet is finished: the port does not schedule BE-flits from the other input ports. In this way the interleaving of BE-packets is avoided, which makes implementation simple and cheap. Note that BE-packets can still be interleaved with GTpackets. For GT-flits the interleaving amongst themselves has to be avoided in the static schedule.

The router has a controller and a data path elements. In the data path, the input messages, from either routers or network interfaces are parsed by the header-parsing units (hpu). These units, shown in Figure 2, remove the first element for the path, send the parsed flits into GT or BE queues and notify the controller that there is a packet. The controller schedules flits for the next cycle. After scheduling the GT-flits, the remaining destination ports can serve the BE-flits. In the case of conflicts (e.g. two BE-flits address the same destination), a round-robin arbitration scheme is applied. The controller sets the switches in the right direction for the duration of the next flit cycle. Furthermore the read commands will be given to the fifo’s.

To avoid overflow in the BE-input queues, a link-level flow control scheme is implemented. Each router is initialized with the amount of free space in the connected routers and network interfaces. Every time a flit is send to a next router, the free space counter corresponding to that destination port is decremented. When a router schedules a flit for the next slot, it signals its predecessor that the free space counter can be incremented. Since GT-packets follow a pipelined circuit, a GT-flit is always send to the next router in the next cycle, and therefore link-level flow control can be omitted.

2.1.1 Implementation

We synthesized and layouted in a 0:13m technology a prototype router with 6 bidirectional ports, and BE input queues of 32-bit wide and 24-word deep each (see Figure 5). In the floorplan the area-efficient custom-made hardware fifos, that we use for the BE and GT queues, are clearly visible. The design is fully testable using the well known scan-chain test method, and power stipes are included. The total area of the router sums up to 0:175mm2. The router runs at a frequency of 500 MHz, and delivers a bandwidth of 16 Gbit/s per link in each direction.

2.2 Network Interface Architecture

The network interface (NI) is the component that provides the conversion of the packet-based communication of the network to the higher-level protocol that IP modules use. We split the design of the network interface in two parts: (a) the NI kernel, which packetizes messages and schedules them to the routers, implements the end-to-end flow control, and the clock domain crossing, and (b) the NI shells, which implement the connections (e.g., narrowcast, multicast), transaction ordering, and other higher-level issues specific to the protocol offered to the IP. We describe the architectures of the NI kernel and the NI shells in the next two sections, and the results for their implementation in Section 2.2.3.

2.2.1 NI Kernel Architecture

The NI kernel (see Figure 6) receives and provides messages, which contain the data provided by the IP modules via their protocol after sequentialization. The message structure may vary depending on the protocol used by the IP module. However, the message structure is irrelevant for the NI kernel, as it just sees messages as pieces of data that must be transported over the NoC.

The NI kernel communicates with the NI shells via ports. At each port, peer-to-peer connections can be configured, their number being selected at NI instantiation time. A port can have multiple connection to allow differentiated traffic classes (e.g., best effort, or guaranteed throughput), in which case there are also connid signals to select on which connection a message is supplied or consumed.

For each connection, there are two message queues (one source queue, for messages going to the network, and one destination queue, for messages coming from the network) in the NI kernel. Their size is also selected at the NI instantiation time. Queues provide the clock domain crossing between the network and the IP modules. Each port can, therefore, have a different frequency.

Each channel is configured individually. In a first prototype of the Æthereal network interface, we can configure if a channel is best effort (BE) or providing timing guarantees (GT), reserve slots in the latter case, configure the end-to-end flow control, and the routing information.

End-to-end flow control ensures that no data is sent unless there is enough space in the destination buffer to accommodate it. This is implemented using credits [17]. For each channel, there is a counter (Space) tracking the empty buffer space of the remote destination queue. This counter is configured with the remote buffer size. When data is sent from the source queue, the counter is decremented. When data is consumed by the IP module at the other side, credits are produced in a counter (Credit) to indicate that more empty space is available. These credits are sent to the producer of data to be added to its Space counter. In the Æthereal prototype, we piggyback credits in the header of the packets for the data in the other direction to Excellerate network efficiency. Note that at most Space data items can be transmitted. We call sendable data, the minimum between the data items in the queue and the value in the counter Space.

From the source queues, data is packetized (Pck) and sent to the network via a single link. A packet header consists of the routing information (NI address for destination routing, and path for source routing), remote queue id (i.e., the queue of the remote network interface in which the data will be stored), and piggybacked credits (see Figure 3).

There are multiple channels which may require data transmission, we implement a scheduler to arbitrate between them. A queue becomes eligible for scheduling when either there is sendable data (i.e., there is data to be sent, and is space in the channel’s destination buffer), or when there are credits to send. In this way, when there is no sendable data, it is still possible to send credits in an empty packet.

The scheduler checks if the current slot is reserved for a GT channel. If the slot is reserved and the GT channel is eligible for scheduling, then the channel is granted data transmission. Otherwise, the scheduler selects an eligible BE channel using some arbitration scheme: e.g. round-robin, weighted round-robin, or based on the queue filling.

Once a queue is selected, a packet containing the largest possible amount of credits and data will be produced. The amount of credits is bound by implementation to the given number of bits in the packet header, and packets have a maximum length to avoid links being used exclusively by a packet/channel, leading to congestion.

On the outgoing path, packets are depacketized, credits are added to the counter Space, and data is stored in its corresponding queue, which is given by a queue id field in the header.

2.2.2 NI Shells: The interface to the IP

With the NI kernel described in the previous section, peer-to-peer connections (i.e., between on master and one slave) can be supported directly. These type of connections are useful in systems involving chains of modules communicating peer-to-peer with one another (e.g., video pixel processing [6]).

For more complex type of connections, such as narrowcast or multicast, and to provide conversions to other protocols, we add shells around the NI kernel. As an example, in Figure 7, we show a network interface with two DTL and two AXI ports. All ports provide peer-to-peer connections. In addition to this, the two DTL ports provide narrowcast connections, and one DTL and one AXI port provide multicast connections. Note that these shells add specific functionality, and can be plugged in or left out at design time according to the requirements. Network instantiation is simple, as we use an XML description to automatically generate the VHDL code for the NIs as well as for the network topology.

In Figures 8 and 9, we show a master and slave shells that implement a simplified version of a protocol such as AXI. The basic functionality of such a shell is to sequentialize commands and their flags, addresses, and write data in request messages, and to desequentialize messages into read data, and write responses. Examples of the message structures (i.e., after sequentialization) passing from NI shells and NI kernel are shown in Figure 10.

In full-fledged master and slave shells, more blocks would be added to implement e.g., the unbuffered writes at the master side, and read linked, write conditional at the slave side.

2.2.3 Implementation

We have synthesized an instance of a NI kernel with a slot table of 16 slots, and 4 ports having 1, 1, 2, and 4 channels, respectively, with all queues being 32-bit wide and 8-word deep. The queues are area-efficient custom-made hardware fifos. We use these fifos instead of RAMs, because we need simultaneous access at all NI ports (possibly running at different speeds) as well as simultaneous read and write access for incoming and outgoing packets, which cannot be offered with a single RAM. Moreover, for the small queues needed in the NI, multiple RAMs have a too large area overhead. Furthermore the hardware fifos implement the clock domain boundary allowing each NI port to run at a different frequency. The rest of the NI kernel runs at a frequency of 500 MHz, and delivers a bandwidth towards the router of 16 Gbit/s in each direction. The synthesized area for this NI-kernel instance is 0:13 mm2 in a 0:13m technology.

Next to the kernel there are also a number of shells to implement one configuration port, two master ports, and one slave port. These shells add to the are another 0:04 mm2, resulting in a total NI area of 0:172 mm2.

3 Network Configuration

As mentioned in Section 2.1, in our prototype Æthereal network, we opt for centralized programming. This means that there is a single configuration module that configures the whole network, and that slot tables can be removed from the routers.

Consequently, only the NIs need to be programmed when opening/ closing connections.

NIs are programmed via a configuration port (the DTL MMIO port on which the Cfg modules is connected). This port offers a memory-mapped view on all control registers in the NIs. This means that the registers in any NI are readable and writable using normal read and write transactions.

Configuration is performed using the network itself (i.e., there is no separate control interconnect needed for network programming). This is done by directly connecting the NI configuration ports to the network like any other slave (see NI2’s configuration port in Figure 11).

At the configuration module Cfg’s NI, we introduce a configuration shell (Config Shell), which, based on the address configures the local NI (NI1), or sends configuration messages via the network to other NIs. The configuration shell optimizes away the need for an extra data port at NI1 to be connected to the NI1’s configuration port.

In Figure 12, we show the necessary steps in setting up a connection between two modules (master B and slave A) from a con- figuration module (Cfg). Like for any other memory-mapped register, before sending configuration messages for programming the B to A connection, a connection to the remote NI must be set up. This involves two channels, one for the requests and and one for the responses between NI1 and the configuration port of NI2. This connection is opened in two steps. First, the channel to the remote NI configuration port is set up by writing the necessary registers in NI1 (Step 1 in Figures 11 and 12). Second, we use this channel to set up (via the network) the channel from configuration port of NI2 to the configuration port of NI1 (Step 2). The three shown messages are delivered and executed in order at NI2. The last of them also requests an acknowledgment message to confirm that the channel has been successfully set up.

After these two configuration channels have been set up, the remote NI2 can be safely programmed. We can, therefore, proceed to setting up a connection from B to A. For programming NI2 (B’s NI), the previously set up configuration connection is used. For programming NI1, the NI1’s configuration port is accessed directly via Config Shell. First, the channel from the slave module A to the master module B is configured by programming NI1 (Step 3). Second, the channel from the master module B to the slave module A is configured (Step 4) through messages to NI2.

4 Conclusions

In this paper, we present the Æthereal network on chip, developed at the Philips Research Laboratories. This network offers, via connections, high-level services, such as transaction ordering, throughput and latency guarantees, and end-to-end flow control. The throughput/latency guarantees are implemented using pipelined time-division-multiplexed circuit-switching.

The network consists of routers and network interfaces. The routers use input queuing, wormhole routing, link-level flow control and source routing. It has two traffic classes for the GT and BE data. For GT, time slots are reserved such that no contention occurs, while for BE, we use a round-robin arbitration to solve contention. We show an instance of a router with 6 bidirectional ports, and BE input queues of 32-bit wide and 24-word deep each implemented using custom-made fifos. This router has an area of 0:175mm2 after layout in 0:13m technology, and runs at 500 MHz. This has been achieved by omitting the slot tables, and making low area cost decisions at all levels.

The network interfaces have a modular design, composed of kernel and shells. The NI kernel provides the basic functionality, including arbitration between connections, ordering, end-to-end flow control, packetization, and a link protocol with the router. Shells implement (a) additional functionality, such as multicast and narrowcast connections, and (b) adaptors to existing protocols, such as AXI or DTL. All these shells can be plugged in or left out at instantiation time according to the needs to optimize area cost.

We show an instance of our network interface with a slot table of 16 slots, and 4 ports having 1, 1, 2, and 4 channels, respectively. All queues are 32-bit wide and 8-word deep, and are implemented using custom-made fifos. These fifos also implement the clock domain boundary allowing NI ports to run at a different frequency than the network. The NI kernel runs at a frequency of 500 MHz. The synthesized area for the complete network interface is 0:172 mm2 in a 0:13m technology,

The network connections are configurable at runtime via a memory-mapped configuration port. We use the network to con- figured itself as opposed to using a separate control interconnect for network configuration.

In conclusion, we provide efficient network offering high-level services (including guarantees), which allows runtime network programming using the network itself.


  • [1] ARM. AMBA AXI Protocol Specification, June 2003.
  • [2] L. Benini and G. De Micheli. Powering networks on chips. In ISSS, 2001.
  • [3] L. Benini and G. De Micheli. Networks on chips: A new SoC paradigm. IEEE Computer, 35(1):70–80, 2002.
  • [4] E. Bolotin et al. QNoC: QoS architecture and design process for network on chip. Journal of Systems Architecture, 49, Dec. 2003. Special issue on Networks on Chip.
  • [5] W. J. Dally and B. Towles. Route packets, not wires: On-chip interconnection networks. In DAC, 2001.
  • [6] O. P. Gangwal et al. Understanding video pixel processing applications for flexible implementations. In Euromicro DSD, 2003.
  • [7] K. Goossens et al. Networks on silicon: Combining besteffort and guaranteed services. In DATE, 2002.
  • [8] K. Goossens et al. Guaranteeing the quality of services in networks on chip. In J. Nurmi, H. Tenhunen, J. Isoaho, and A. Jantsch, editors, Networks on Chip, pages 61–82. Kluwer, 2003.
  • [9] P. Guerrier and A. Greiner. A generic architecture for onchip packet-switched interconnections. In DATE, 2000.
  • [10] F. Karim et al. An interconnect architecture for networking systems on chip. IEEE Micro, 22(5), 2002.
  • [11] S. Kumar et al. A network on chip architecture and design methodology. In ISVLSI, 2002.
  • [12] OCP International Partnership. Open Core Protocol Specifi- cation. 2.0 Release Candidate, 2003.
  • [13] Philips Semiconductors. Device Transaction Level (DTL) Protocol Specification. Version 2.2, July 2002.
  • [14] E. Rijpkema et al. Trade offs in the design of a router with both guaranteed and best-effort services for networks on chip. In DATE, 2003.
  • [15] A. R¢adulescu and K. Goossens. Communication services for networks on chip. In S. Bhattacharyya, E. Deprettere, and J. Teich, editors, Domain-Specific Embedded Multiprocessors. Marcel Dekker, 2003.
  • [16] M. Sgroi et al. Addressing the system-on-a-chip interconnect woes through communication-based design. In DAC, 2001.
  • [17] A. S. Tanenbaum. Computer Networks. Prentice Hall, 1996.
Sun, 05 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
GOP School Board Candidate Accused of Creating Bogus Academic ‘Network’

A Republican school board candidate in Pennsylvania is accused of inventing a bogus academic “network” to attack books promoting diversity.

Christopher Bressi, backed by the conservative group Moms for Liberty, is seeking to flip the Downingtown Area School District to the GOP. And according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, he’s relied heavily on something called the “Society of College Medicine” to do that.

Members of the school board began receiving emails from the “society” back in the summer of 2021, warning of books that had supposedly been “red flagged” by academic experts. Signed by the “Violations Department,” one such email warned school district administrators to remove White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo from the studying list. Subsequent emails flagged other supposed violations for “extremely divisive” studying material, with the “society” writing that the school district had been ranked “in the bottom tier of all schools we assess globally.”

But the so-called Society of College Medicine does not exist beyond a single website that was apparently set up by Bressi, according to the Inquirer. The website purports to be a “School Safety & Emergency Preparedness Website & Network” but appears to feature no content of its own, instead providing a collection of links and information pulled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Why would this person who has been acting so underhandedly to target our school district now want to be on the school board? That’s a concern,” one local parent told the newspaper.

Bressi has said in campaign videos that one of his priorities is to “keep politics out” of schools, and he says he is only running for the school board “at the behest of concerned parents.”

But he reportedly cited his own “Society for College Medicine” to stoke outrage about what he described as the “bigotry” of critical race theory in a local Facebook group. While he claimed the numerous “red flag” warnings sent to district officials had been effective, school board members were already well aware that the whole thing was a sham, the Inquirer reports.

“There is no Society of College Medicine, let alone a violations department,” Justin Brown, the district’s director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, was quoted as telling board members in an email. “This is simply someone trying to troll the district.”

The “Violations Department” nevertheless sent several follow-up emails to district officials demanding a response and making increasingly bizarre claims, including that children “exposed” to “CRT” books should immediately get counseling.

Bressi has not yet commented on the matter.

Thu, 02 Nov 2023 03:24:00 -0500 en text/html
Exit Polls Exit Polls 2018


Icons and Symbols

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Political Parties

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  • Libertarian

Exit polls are surveys of a random demo of voters taken after they leave their voting location, supplemented by telephone interviews to account for absentee or early voters in many states. Pollsters use this data to assess how voters feel about a particular race or ballot measure, as well as what they think about a range of issues.


  • All times ET.
  • Not all candidates are listed.
  • CNN will broadcast a projected winner only after an extensive review of data from a number of sources.
  • Results data may not always add up to 100 percent due to rounding.
Sat, 06 Aug 2022 11:09:00 -0500 en text/html
Avigilon AC-APP-16R-PRO Access Control Professional Appliance with 16 readers No result found, try new keyword!Avigilon™ Access Control Manager (ACM) Professional is a web-based, access control network appliance designed for small- to medium-sized installations, with up to 32 readers. Intuitive and easy to use ... Tue, 26 Dec 2017 04:59:00 -0600 text/html Garafolo: Rex Ryan has emerged as 'a top candidate' for Broncos' defensive coordinator role

In a segment on 'The Insiders', NFL Network's Mike Garafolo provides injury updates for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, and Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey as the two AFC North rivals gear up for a pivotal showdown on 'Thursday Night Football' in Week 11 of the 2023 NFL regular season.

Thu, 16 Feb 2023 10:19:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Pilot Candidate

Pilot Candidate follows the story of 5 new trainees who are judged to be particularly promising due to their high EX power. Among them, we find the brainy Clay, the rather psychotic Hiead and the brash young lead character, Zero. And we're talking about BRASH. This guy brings the word "hothead" to a whole new level. He's also not the smartest boy in the world, managing even to get lost while trying to get to his own welcome ceremony. As he wanders the hallways of GOA, Zero finds himself being subconsciously called to the hangar of the Goddesses. A misstep accidentally lands him in the liquid-like cockpit of a Goddess. Worse luck, she suddenly starts to synchronize with Zero (where have we seen this before...) but since Goddesses are specifically calibrated for their pilot, this should mean his death. Of course, this being anime, the only possible outcome ensues: the Goddess connects successfully with Zero. And then, she speaks to him in a vision.

Although this is the first small hint that Pilot Candidate is more than just a giant robot battlefest or a school-for-superpowered-kids anime as the first episode can lead one to think, those two aspects are not absent in the least. The candidates are training to be pilots, after all, so there's no shortage of giant robot fights. On one side the candidates have training battles and simulations, and on the other the Goddesses fight against the Victim swarms. Unfortunately, this is where we find the biggest flaw with Pilot Candidate: the mecha battles are all made with computer animation that looks more than a bit primitive compared to most series that use CG. But then again, this is merely an annoyance. The 2D animation, on the other hand, is very good (somewhat reminiscent of Nadesico) and has outlandish costume designs. Fans will ask "sure it has giant robots and good animation, but what about the character development?" No need to worry there; a bunch of teens (including the girls assigned as repairers to the candidates) thrown together into an intense training environment is always a good recipe for friendship, competitiveness and other interesting/problematic relationships.

With a healthy dose of character development and some nice combat action besides, what else could one want? Ah yes, the plot. Pilot Candidate is certainly not lacking in that department. Although the first episodes may provide you the impression that this is an unimaginative "formula" anime, plenty of mysteries are hinted at as the series progresses. Some of the pilots have secrets in their past, secrets that seem to link them to the Goddesses in a very special way. And the people in charge seem to have a hidden agenda, something about "the time being near". Not all is what it seems. What exactly are the Victim, and why are they attacking mankind? What are the Goddesses exactly? And what really is this mysterious "EX" power? How does it relate to the Goddesses, the Victim, and what does it mean for the future of humanity? The questions seem endless and the answers are well hidden. The only downside is that some patience will be required for the full scale of the plot to be revealed, especially since this first 12-episode season ends on a "to be continued" note.

So while in surface there is plenty of mecha combat and human drama, there is also a tantalizing plot slowly building in the background. All the ingredients of a good sci-fi romp are united in this anime and, despite some flaws here and there, they all work to make a very enjoyable show. This is sure to leave you wanting for more.

Thu, 13 Jun 2019 06:47:00 -0500 en text/html
Rosenthal: Two WRs who could be 'tag-and-trade' candidates No result found, try new keyword!PFF's Sam Monson: Tackle Dawand Jones could be a starter for the Cleveland Browns. NFL Network's Judy Battista: New York Giants' roster has changed completely to provide Giants quarterback Daniel ... Tue, 23 Feb 2021 04:42:00 -0600 en-US text/html

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