I’ve always been curious about networks. I remember opening up an old Linksys Router and discovering the physical circuit, the processor and integrated memory.
But my official networking life didn’t start until my coworker taught me the basics of routing. The first thing I learned was how to log in and enter commands within the command line. The second was CRC errors. These small lessons peaked my interest and by the following week I was digging in and researching how the devices worked. The first Cisco device I had the pleasure to meet was a Catalyst 6500.
I had no idea what I was doing, but I was eager to learn. Software verses firmware, “.bin”’ extensions, encapsulation, connections from LAN to WAN, wiring. The more I researched, the more I liked it and realized this was what I really wanted to do.
The Journey Continues
My networking life continued in Network Support. I remember open tickets, contact carriers that I had never heard of asking me to provide the exact time of the bounce, grabbing logs, demarcation, follow-up, monitoring for 48 hours straight. I felt like a father watching over his son, feeding him and making sure he was safe and secure.
Top 2 Networking Emergency Moments:
A carrier went down during business hours, due to an OC-48 card crashing in London. Half of our clients were affected
An undersea fiber broke, affecting Asia, the Middle East and Europe (Sea-ME-WE 4). I still remember its name
What I Learned
Through the years I’ve learned how to design, implement, monitor and troubleshoot network related issues, but I’m still learning and discovering every day. For instance, I’ve learned how to study in English. I enjoy the learning process, but early on it was all in Spanish. The transition to English was kind of scary.
I’ve also discovered pleasant surprises about Cisco. Sandra Lerner, one of the Cisco creators back in 1984, lives in Northern Virginia not far from when I used to live. And one of the DUAL Algorithm creators is a Mexican teacher, named J.J Garcia-Luna-Aceves. DUAL is the Algorithm used by Cisco in the EIGRP routing protocol.
Now that I’m in the networking world, I see my future clearly. I’m still deciding about my area of focus -- Security, Routing and Switching Wi-Fi, etc., but I keep learning and adsorbing. At some point, I would like to teach about networking.
What have you learned on your networking journey? What’s your top networking emergency moment?
Cisco Instant Access is a concept that was launched at Cisco Live Orlando last year. For those of you familiar with the Nexus product line, think Fabric Extender (FEX). The first customers are starting to implement this concept now. The whole point of Instant Access is explained with the picture below.
To the left is the traditional network with multiple access switches located in closets, uplinked to the distribution layer or straight to the core in a collapsed core design. Every access switch is a point of management which needs configuration, software maintenance and feature compatibility with other access switches. Read More »
I am pleased to announce that Catalyst 6807-XL and 6880-X are shipping now! Launched at Cisco Live Orlando this year, Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches are programmable campus backbone switches optimized for 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. They are built for rich 10/40/100G services for BYOD & collaboration, support programmability and simplicity, and have the DNA of Catalyst 6500.
Catalyst 6807-XL is a modular seven-slot switch with up to 880 gigs per slot and 11.4 terabits per second of switching capacity. Catalyst 6880-X is an 80 x 1/10G portsswitch in compact form factor with advanced campus services. Catalyst 6800ia is a stackable access switch built for Catalyst Instant Access that started shipping in October.
Cisco will host a live backbone switching webcast on Wed Dec 4, 2013 to discuss BYOD, mobility, security and how Cisco backbone switching addresses these customer needs. This is the second webcast in the Cisco switching webcast series. You can view the first one, Cisco access switching webcast, at any time as it is now an on-demand video.
This backbone switching webcast comes at a critical time, as BYOD and mobility are creating major impact to the workplace. According to a recent study on BYOD and mobility,
75% of employees think that the IT department should help secure personal devices used at work;
63% of IT pros say the biggest network issue will be the increased bandwidth requirements;
39% of them say that network latency is a problem because of mobile devices;
And 39% of them have seen serious issues tied to network performance as a result.
There are a lot of great technologies that have outstanding business benefits but are not widely deployed. For example, 802.1X for wired networks can determine appropriate network access based on user identity and additional contextual information. The technology is already built into the network to help customers improve their network security. If you ask your peers in the industry, however, you may hear that many of them have not turned on 802.1X on their switching network. Why? Depending on who you ask, you might get different answers from different people. But one common response is that IT staff is too busy with so many burning issues on their network so they don’t have time for something like 802.1X. It’s not just about this technology. They never have enough time to do testing, troubleshooting and configuration changes. That’s why any solutions that can help simplify and streamline networks and IT operations will go a long way. Read More »