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Balancing certification studies with family and work

When it comes to furthering your career in technology, the name of the game is certifications. But studying for certifications requires time and energy and both of those are pretty scarce when you’re already working full time. You’ve just gotten out of work where you’ve had to use your body and brain for the last 8+ hours and now you’re wanting to punish yourself again with a grueling session of protocols, and ports. Now add to that, if you’re a family man like me, a demanding personal life. A spouse, and maybe even some kids give the whole situation some added complexity.family

You’re not alone! Most of the professionals in our industry have this problem. It’s easy to become overwhelmed, but remember back to the first time you decided that you wanted to work in this industry. It was fun to constantly learn something new, and solve problems with the new knowledge gained from that education. And with some effort, it can still be fun!  Read More »

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Summary: The We’re Listening Blog: What Are We Doing About the #1 Task on Cisco.com?

When I think about what we’ve done recently to improve our customers’ experience with Cisco, the Cisco Support Website immediately jumps to mind. The web team actively consults customers and seeks new ways to improve the web support experience. I’ve invited Glenn Schleicher, who leads the team, to discuss our software download initiative and the impact our customers are seeing.

Glenn Schleicher By Guest Contributor Glenn Schleicher

As we try to fully appreciate how online pain points affect you, stories like this one really stick with us.

The “Overnight Wiring Closet” Remedy

Imagine that you are Cisco partner “Bill,” who shared this method for getting large UCS software images:  At the end of his day Bill would leave his laptop in his last customer’s wiring closet, start the download for the image he’d need the next day, hope it wouldn’t be interrupted overnight, and then retrieve the laptop in the morning before traveling to his next customer’s network upgrade.

Surely Cisco can do better than that in distributing software for its product lines.

Read the full article: The We’re Listening Blog: What Are We Doing About the #1 Task on Cisco.com?

Los Angeles Unified School District – iPads for Everyone!

September 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm PST

Earlier this year, Los Angeles Unified School District announced a $30 Million deal with Apple to distribute iPads to every single one of their estimated 650,000 students. This marks a milestone in public education as the first ever school district to deploy this kind of device to each and every student. Over the past several years there have been many pilots and test classes involving the oft-named ‘one to one’ approach to technology in the classroom; one device for each learner, however there has not been a rollout of this scale, anywhere.school childern using ipad

How does this shape the future of education for LAUSD students, and more importantly, how does this reflect on the evolution of the classroom for the 21st century student? Read More »

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IoE: Dead or Alive on Wireless

September 12, 2013 at 2:51 am PST

When we examine the average wireless client on a network today, we see a few options. There is the smartphone, the tablet, or the laptop. Even the Apple TV and Roku are often based off of similar technology and chipsets. All of these devices connect to a wide range of services, often consuming large amounts of bandwidth: we stream music while we browse; we video chat with friends, family, and coworkers across the globe; catch up on our favorite shows or sports teams. Occasionally, we do all of these things at the same time.

Our current wireless networks are built to handle this type of traffic. With 802.11AC, it is clear that we will be ready for anything that our standard client will encounter in the near future.  But what happens when the standard client model is broken?  The increasing shift to an Internet of Everything (IoE) forces us to face this question about the future of wireless clients.

There are lots IoE devices already on the market, and the next couple of years will see developments not that dissimilar from those during the “internet revolution” of the late 90′s. Finally, the average user will have the access and the ability to afford the smart homes we have been dreaming of for the past thirty-plus years. Read More »

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Solving the Network Location Problem with LISP Part 2

September 4, 2013 at 11:32 am PST

Hey Bro, Do you even LISP?

So in the last article, we discussed a bit of why a solution like LISP ( Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol) is required. To summarize, there aren’t enough IPv4 addresses to go around and there are too many IPv6 addresses to let them ‘roam’ using traditional routing methods. Available in IOS (15.1X+) and NX-OS with standards currently being developed within the IETF LISP Working Group, LISP provides a promising solution to mapping IP nodes to locations on the Internet.

zazzle

Zazzle

If you read the last article, by now some of you are saying, “John, the devices that roam, such as mobile phones, can simply acquire new addresses on the most local network. Why do we need LISP?” It is true this is how we do it now, and it works reasonably well for most users and applications. While it would be nice to seamlessly stream as we move from one network to another, that is more of a luxury feature than a necessity.

The Case for LISP

Let’s forget about mobile devices for just a moment and consider virtual machines and cloud computing. Virtual machines (VM) themselves are increasingly mobile. If I want to do maintenance on some bare metal, I can migrate that VM to another node but if my IP address is going to change, this adds a series of complications in updating services and applications such as DNS (Domain Name Service), to point at the correct address. These name to address mappings can be cached causing significant delays between a desired move and an actualized result when the cache finally expires. Read More »

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