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Cisco add-on cards

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  • Cisco add-on cards

    I work with a software company. I finished CCNA last year. After that i joined a company who deals in Cisco products. There i leanet a lot about Cisco technologies. I left that company due to some personal reason's.

    I want to discuss about "Cisco add-on cards". Many IT professionals now a days hungry to become an CCNA and students as well from engineering colleges. Not bad. More people to configure Cisco router's.

    I found most people who just studied CCNA from some computer institutes are not really aware about Cisco's add-on cards i.e. Serial cards, voice cards, BRI interface cards. Its is really very important to have hands on experience how to attach those cards, which router has inbuilt s 0/0 , voice cards. And also equally imp to know how to remove RAM from router carefully. Not many engineers get chance to open router by sliding its cover and look inside.

    When i opened big Cisco 2600 series router, i was amazed. Just a circuit board with some chips molded on it in very descent manner. Just like we see on mainboard/Motherboard of desktop PC . And for this box, Cisco Systems charge us
    more than 1500 US$. Is it really worth? May be yes because they spend a lot of money for R & D to make better circuit boards for router's. But the price is too high.

    Point is, not many people know about routers physical structure, it's extended capabilities and planning which router to buy. Of course David knows it all. He is a Cisco expert and most of you i guess. Hey David can you explain little bit about Cisco's voice cards?

    I know i can find detailed info at Cisco's web site. But i am curious to know if you already using those voice cards or voice gateways in your organization or you have any experience with it. Its very different to read document at respective vendors web site and to read a comment from a techie who always use that equipment/device .

    I just tried normal cards like WIC1-T , WIC2-T & V.35 , Smart serial cables. I never got chance to see voice cards or BRI cards or ISDN cards and to test them. Any comment from your side?

    Amey Abhyankar.
    All in 1
    Solaris,Linux & Windows admin + networking.

  • #2
    Re: Cisco add-on cards

    Amey Abhyankar,
    Thanks for your post!
    And thank you for your kind words.
    I would be glad to help with your module questions.
    Keep in mind that cisco add-on cards are generally called:

    NM's = network modules, for example, can hold WIC cards or do other
    WIC = WAN interface cards

    Here is a link to all the modules that work with Cisco 2800 series routers:

    Differnt modules are compatible with different router models.

    You said that you were interested in voice modules.

    There are, of course, NM and WIC's for voice. There is a NM-2V, that holds two Voice WIC's, or VWICs. There are different types of Voice WICs, such as VIC2-2FXS. You use different types of VIC cards for different types of voice connections (connecting to a fax machine vs a digital PBX vs a regular analog line).

    At my company, we currently don't use Cisco voice over IP but we have tested it and I have some Cisco voice cards. I have placed test calls and setup dial plans with them. The real Cisco VoIP configuration comes into place when you configure Cisco Call Manager.

    I hope that helps. Let me know what other questions you have.

    David Davis - Petri Forums Moderator & Video Training Author
    Train Signal - The Global Leader in IT Video Training - Free IT Training Products
    Personal Websites: &


    • #3
      Re: Cisco add-on cards

      They're physically all about the same looking except for the connectors. They only fit in one or two places and you generally don't want to drop them in hot. The voice cards have DSPs on them. There are some specialty cards that have things like harddrives on them (Unity Express voicemail, content caches, etc).

      There's a whole different world when you get into all the modules for the chassis switches and routers (i.e 6500/7600 series, 4500s, 7200s, etc.)
      Brian Desmond
      Microsoft MVP - Directory Services