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boot process

Posted on 2007-03-20
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when you compare and contrast the boot process of a computer to that of a cisco router.  what types of memory is on the router, and how can the back-up configurations be saved.
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Question by:mmgn
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Cisco routers utilize four different types of memory, with each type providing different functions.
RAM(Active IOS, Programs, Active Configuration File, Buffer) ,
 NVRAM(Backup configuration file),
 Flash memory(OS), and ROM(OS) are the four types of memory used.


http://www.2000trainers.com/cisco-ccna-07/ccna-router-boot-process/
http://www.joshgentry.com/cisco/cisco.htm
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System Architecture:
Like a computer, a router has a CPU that varies in performance and capabilities depending on the router platform. Two examples of processors that Cisco uses are the Motorola 68030 and the Orion/R4600. The Cisco IOS software running in the router requires the CPU or processor to make routing and bridging decisions, maintain routing tables, and other system management functions. The CPU must have access to data in memory to make decisions or to get instructions.

There are usually four types of memory on a Cisco router:

ROM—ROM is generally the memory on a chip or multiple chips. It is available on a router's processor board. It is read-only, which means that data cannot be written to it. The initial software that runs on a Cisco router is called the bootstrap software and is usually stored in ROM. The bootstrap software is invoked when the router boots up.

Flash—Flash memory is located on a processor board SIMM but can be expanded using PCMCIA (removable) cards. Flash memory is most commonly used to store one or more Cisco IOS software images. Configuration files or system information can also be copied to Flash. On some high-end systems, Flash memory is also used to hold bootstrap software.

RAM—RAM is very fast memory that loses its information when the system is restarted. It is used in PCs to store running applications and data. On a router, RAM is used to hold IOS system tables and buffers. RAM memory is basically used for all system operational storage requirements.

NVRAM—On the router, NVRAM is used to store the startup configuration. This is the configuration file that IOS reads when the router boots up. It is extremely fast memory and is persistent across reboots.

Although CPU and memory are required components to run IOS, a router must also have various interfaces to allow packet forwarding. Interfaces are input and output connections to the router that carries data that needs to be routed or switched. The most common types of interfaces are Ethernet and serial. Similar to the driver software on a computer with parallel ports and USB ports, IOS has device drivers to support these various interface types.

All Cisco routers have a console port that provides an EIA/TIA-232 asynchronous serial connection. The console port can be connected to a computer's serial connection to gain terminal access to the router. Most routers also have an auxiliary port that is very similar to the console port, but is typically used for modem connection for remote router management.

Example 4-1 shows the console output of a new Cisco 3640 router that has just been started. Notice the processor, interface, and memory information that is listed.

taken from : http://www.ciscopress.com/articles/article.asp?p=101658&rl=1
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