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Cisco VXC-2212: Hardware 


 


 

 



Cisco vcx-2212

To start with a bit of Cisco Marketing speak:

Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) is the first solution to combine Cisco Collaboration, Cisco Borderless Networks, and Cisco Data Center architectures, creating an outstanding offering that eliminates the feature gaps of existing virtualization solutions.

Cisco Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) 2100 and 2200 Series endpoints are critical elements of this new solution. Workers demand access to data, applications, and services anywhere, at any time, and across a diversity of operating systems, device form factors, networking environments, and work preferences. At the same time, workers expect an uncompromised and unencumbered user experience, with comprehensive media and collaboration services.

Cisco meets these requirements with the Cisco VXC endpoints. These endpoints provide workers with secure, real-time access to business applications and content, anytime and anywhere, without compromise of the rich collaborative user experience for which Cisco is known

Essentially the Cisco VXC 2212 is a conventional VIA Eden based thin client but marketed as part of the Cisco VXI. The net result of this is that Google didn't find me much detail about the VXC-2212 outside of this context and a side-effect of the communications equipment tie-in is that VXC-2212 runs from a 48V supply. (FYI The 2100 series is based on the Teradici 1100P PCoIP device).

There is no date of manufacture on the unit I have, but date moulded in the plastic foot shows that was produced at the end of 2011. Cisco stopped selling the VXC-2000 line in July 2013.

Specifications

Processor
   Type
   Speed
VIA Eden
1GHz
Memory
   Flash
   RAM
128MB
512MB
Video
   Chip
    VGA
    DVI-D
    Dual display
Chrome 9 HDA
1920 x 1200 @60Hz 8/15/16/24 bpp
1920 x 1200 @60Hz 8/15/16/24 bpp
Two independent frame buffers
Ports
   Network
   USB
   Serial
   Parallel
   PS/2
10/100/1000
4 x USB2.0
0
0
0
Power
   Supply
   Plug
   Off
   Idle
   Running
48V 0.917A (Label)
?? coax
2W
6W
10W
Dimensions
H x W x D (mm)205 x 75 x 105 (Inc Stand)

Power measurements taken using a PoE supply.

The embedded operating system is Cisco's Virtualization Experience Client(?).

CPU

Some details from /proc/cpuinfo.

vendor_id	: CentaurHauls
cpu family	: 6
model		: 13
model name	: VIA Eden Processor 1000MHz
stepping	: 0
cpu MHz		: 1000.000
cpu cores	: 1
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge cmov pat
     		  clflush acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 tm nx pni est tm2 xtpr rng rng_en
     		  ace ace_en ace2 ace2_en phe phe_en pmm pmm_en

PCI

The output of Linux's lspci:

00:00.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 Host Bridge: Host Control (rev 03)
00:00.1 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 Error Reporting
00:00.2 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 Host Bus Control
00:00.3 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 DRAM Bus Control
00:00.4 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 Power Management Control
00:00.5 PIC: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 APIC and Central Traffic Control
00:00.6 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 Scratch Registers
00:00.7 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 North-South Module Interface Control
00:01.0 VGA compatible controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 Chrome 9 HCM Integrated Graphics
00:0f.0 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 EIDE Controller
00:10.0 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev a0)
00:10.1 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev a0)
00:10.2 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xxxxx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev a0)
00:10.4 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev 90)
00:11.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875 Bus Control and Power Management
00:11.7 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX8xx South-North Module Interface Control
00:13.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VX855/VX875/VX900 PCI to PCI Bridge
00:14.0 Audio device: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8237A/VT8251 HDA Controller (rev 20)
01:03.0 Ethernet controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6120/VT6121/VT6122 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (rev 11)

Power Supply

VXC-2212 power socket The unit requires a 48V supply. It can either be powered directly or via the ethernet cable - Power over Ethernet (PoE). I don't know the exact dimensions of the local supply power plug but the power socket on the unit is pictured left. The required plug is a coax plug with a central pin.

A data sheet I found on the VXC-2212 mentions using the Cisco Power Cube 4 power supply that is rated at at 48V 0.9A. Looking around I located some Power Cube 4 PSUs that cost several times the money that I paid for the VXC-2212 in the first place - so I moved on.

The data sheet also mentions the PoE specifications: PoE-802.3AT (25.5W) and PoE-802.3AF (12.95W). I found several "PoE 48V 0.5A Injector Power Adaptor UK Plug" on eBay for ~£7.50. I managed to pick one up for under £4. (The text in the listing did mention the 802.3af standard). The only downside I think is that this unit (POE-48005) only supports 10/100 and not gigabit speeds.

The label on the bottom of the VXC-2212 says 48V 0.917A. However in the specification for the VXC-2212 it does say, under power consumption, "12W - 20W depending on connected peripherals".

If (like me) you go down the PoE route then you may need to be careful. On the face of it a PoE unit capable of delivering 05.A @ 48V sounds like a 24W supply. However there is the matter of the actual 802.3af spec (12.95W), voltage drops in the ethernet cable and the efficiency of the power regulator in the VXC-2212. A Cisco manual also talks about power management on the USB ports - it apparently switches off USB ports 3 and 4 if powered from an 802.3af source. However it doesn't say whether this power management feature is embedded in the BIOS or part of the operating system. (See USB section below for more details).

Expansion

For a view of the top and bottom main board in the Cisco VXC-2212 please click here.

Flash: DOM module on Cisco VXC-2212 motherboard The Flash memory is easily replaceable. It's a DOM plugged into a standard 44-pin IDE interface. It's just a little bit of a hassle taking the unit apart to get at it. (See the disassembly tab).

RAM: RAM module on Cisco VXC-2212 motherboard The RAM is a standard DDR2 SO-DIMM. The one fitted is manufactured by Apacer and is a 512MB part labelled 512MB SOD PC2-6400 CL6. I haven't experimented here so I don't know the maximum size of RAM supported. As with the DOM, whilst it's easy to replace, It's just a little bit of a hassle taking the unit apart to get at it. (See the disassembly tab).

USB: There are four USB 2.0 ports. It's not too clear what's going on here. Cisco's documentation does say:

The USB ports on the Cisco VXC 2112/2212 operate at two power levels:

  • Low: 0.5 watts
  • High: 2.5 watts

USB ports that operate at the low-power level can only power USB devices that consume up to 0.5 watts of power, and USB ports that operate at the high-power level can power USB devices that consume up to 2.5 watts of power.

USB ports on the Cisco VXC 2112/2212 that operate at high power cannot individually power any non-compliant USB accessory that requires more than 2.5 watts of power. To power devices that require between 2.5 and 5 watts of power, you can use a USB Y cable to connect the accessory to USB port 3 and 4 of the client (when these are operating at high power).

In addition, if no device is connected to a port, the Cisco VXC 2112/2212 cannot reallocate the available power from this port to a device on another port. For example, if USB ports 1 and 2 are operating at low power and no device is connected to port 2, the Cisco VXC 2112/2212 cannot redirect the power allocated to port 2 to power a high-power device on port 1. In this case, the maximum power limit on port 1 remains unchanged at 0.5 watts.

Low-power USB devices (0.5 watts or less) are typically keyboards, mice, and joysticks, while high-power USB devices (greater than 0.5 watts) are typically bus-powered cameras, hubs, and some USB Flash drives.

You may need to experiment with any USB peripherals you want to use to see what's happening.

Also included is the table below that shows the various possibilities:

Power SourceUSBMonitorConfiguration
Port 1 KeyboardPort 2 MousePort 3 accessoriesPort 4 accessories DVI PortVGA Port 
802.3afPowered
(low)
Powered
(low)
UnavailableUnavailable PoweredPoweredBasic
802.3atPowered
(high)
Powered
(high)
Powered
(high)
Powered
(high)
PoweredPoweredFull
UPOEPowered
(high)
Powered
(high)
Powered
(high)
Powered
(high)
PoweredPoweredFull
PWR-CUBE-4Powered
(high)
Powered
(high)
Powered
(high)
Powered
(high)
PoweredPoweredFull

I take basic to mean system with mouse and keyboard but nothing else as the other two USB ports are non-functional.

My initial experience here, with keyboard (port 1), mouse (port 2) and generic 1GB Flash drive (Port 3) is that, from power up this combination would boot and run Tiny Core (but see the Firmware tab for some issues). However, if the standard Cisco firmware got a look in along the way, it said "There is not enough power to enable this device" and decided to power down port 2 (the mouse).

Interestingly, with no Cisco firmware installed, the system just enables ports 1 and 2 and ports 3 and 4 are dead. (Remember I'm doing this with a 802.3af PoE power supply).

Click here for photos of the top and bottom of the internal main board.

 


Any comments? email me. Added April 2016