For the last 18 months or so I’ve been studying for the CCIE R&S. I took about 4 months off recently to focus on other technology, and right now I’m back at it with a schedule and pace that seems to be working very well for me so far.
There’s a new story being told in the networking industry. The CCIE isn’t what it used to be, and pursuing it doesn’t make as much sense as in years past. My initial response to this is simple: BALONEY.
The networking community loves bad grammar. We love correcting mistakes and making silly jokes about it on social media. I appreciate how many of my online friends have rallied around such faux pas as the infamous premise/premises conundrum, and it warms my heart when half of my Twitter circle gently and lovingly corrects a poor, misguided engineer who tries to make a word plural by adding an apostrophe and an ‘s’. This is all a part of the geeky culture to which we all belong, but how important is grammar really?
Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed a few tweets and blog posts regarding the immaturity of network automation methods and the danger in utilizing those methods in production networks. Though I agree that processes always have room to mature and that wiggling wires in a production environment always poses some risk, I believe this new emerging narrative in social media makes several assumptions that aren’t necessarily true.
School’s out, but I can’t wait for the fall semester to start. I don’t even know what class I’ll be teaching, but I know it’ll be awesome, and it’s going to be the best class I’ve ever had.
How do I know this? A few reasons, actually.
Getting the job done, whether blog-worthy or not, always gave me a deep sense of accomplishment in my work. Besides, it’s always the junior engineers cutting over IDFs in the middle of the night that get to expense all the pizza they want.
Network devices have become so powerful that concern over hardware resources have all but disappeared. Modern routers, switches and firewalls can handle much more than their predecessors, and network designs are changing as a result. Network designs are shifting from the classic three-tiered model of a switched access layer and routed distribution and core layers to a completely routed design. Read the rest of the article at TechTarget’s SearchNetworking site.
Why aren’t our wired LANs more like WLANs? Wireless vendors have already been doing for years what switch manufacturers are only starting to get into in the last couple years. A rough comparison of a few attributes of typical wired and wireless networks shows striking differences in how we manage our LANs and WLANs.
We don’t think in five paragraph essays. At least I don’t. We think in small explosions of ideas in a nebulous, non-linear cloud of word pictures. It makes sense in our own minds, but try to communicate those ideas to someone else, and we find that sometimes we don’t have as clear a picture of our own ideas as we thought we did.
Change control isn’t so bad. With the underlying goal of risk mitigation, good change control can save a network engineer from the dreaded resume generating event we sweat over during cutovers.
Read the rest of the article at the PacketPushers site.
Network engineers like redundancy. It’s not that we just want double of everything – we want the networks we design and manage to be super fast, super smart, and super resilient. In the LAN and in the data center we’ve been logically joining network switches using technologies such as Cisco StackWise, the Virtual Switching System and Virtual Port Channels with fabric extenders in order to consolidate control and data plane activities and provide greater fault tolerance, easier management and multichassis etherchannel for path redundancy. These are great benefits, but they can be reaped only by proper design. Otherwise, an engineer may introduce more risk into the network rather than make it more resilient.
I can’t help myself. Even though I couldn’t wait to get out of a teaching career in my mid/late 20s, I still teach a class every semester at a local community college. I don’t plan to ever stop.
For those of us in the trenches, for those of us designing networks, for those of us configuring hardware and writing proposals for the next fiscal cycle: it’s time we start to take rightsizing the network more seriously. Read the rest of the article at the Packet Pushers website.
Amidst discussion of SDN ambiguity at Networking Field Day 11, SD-WAN stood apart as something we understood, and I think that’s because we understood its use case very well.
My experience leads me to think that information security is, in actual practice, more a matter of reacting to something bad that happened in the news shaking up the C-level enough to do something. But I don’t think the solemn promises of tighter security and subsequent actions match up. I may not be able to spot a tell like Patrick Jane, but something doesn’t seem right.
This post is a short, sweet and to the point copy/paste resource for configuring Cisco’s Virtual Switching System.
Being a good network engineer requires a strong technical skill set. In fact there’s an entire industry devoted to technical training in networking technologies. We know that persistent technical training is necessary to keep pace with constant changes in technology, so I’m sure we agree that technical proficiency is important for the network engineer. If you don’t have a deep understanding of how VPN technology works, you’ll have a very difficult time troubleshooting a site-to-site VPN without the help of some [unnamed] technical assistance center. But is that all that’s required for a successful career in networking?
Few fields require the continual professional development that IT does, but few fields offer the incredible rewards that a commitment to developing the skills of our trade can provide. Many factors come together to shape if, why, and how we advance in our field, and though I can speak only of my own experience, I believe the lessons I’ve learned from my journey so far may be of some value to others also on a similar path.
This week’s post will cover basic information gathering and configuration of Cisco Nexus switches. I’ll be using the 5500 series as my example and covering the basics without getting into features such as fibre channel, VSANs and that sort of thing.
A brief overview of Cisco Nexus switches.