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Defending Your Console

A new problem has arisen in CCNA class: We have a lab that asks the students to enable a debug command; the debug overruns the console buffer to the extent that commands cannot be entered, and this goes on for more than an hour!

In my 15 years of teaching CCNA classes, we have always taught the dangers of using debug commands on production equipment. To demonstrate this, we would have the students run the debug ip packet command, let it run for 30 seconds, and then turn it off. Of course, turning off the debug is challenging, so we would teach the trick of turning the debug off before we would turn it on: adding the undebug all command to our command history buffer.

Running this test on the 2500 series and 2600 series routers would usually cause a crash and a forced reboot. After we changed the lab equipment to the newer ISR 2800 series, the same demonstration no longer resulted in a router crash; however, it introduced a new problem: loss of control of the command line.

The sheer amount of debug messages would cause the command line to be unusable. The debug messages continued to overrun the console buffer for over an hour before we would finally run out of patience and power cycle the router. In a lab scenario, this causes the students to take an excessive amount of time to finish their lab, and for people studying for certifications, it wastes precious study time. A better way to manage debugs is needed. We would like to see the debug messages (they can be very helpful in both troubleshooting and understanding how protocols function), but we would also like to retain control of the command line. Read More »

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Value of Cisco Certifications: Making Money Vs. Study

Imagine that you see a Tweet today inviting you to apply for a part-time networking job, something you can do in addition to your normal job. You appear to be qualified for the job, and the work looks interesting as well. However, it requires enough of your time so that you would have to set aside your current professional development plans, including study for that next Cisco certification. The job lasts one year.

Would you take the job, setting aside your certification plans for a year? How much money would you need to make in that job before it would entice you to abandon your learning and certification plans for a year?

This post works through a couple of ideas (like the above) about how to quantify the value of a certification. Many people expect that more skills and certifications will give them more Read More »

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We all start at Square One

I’ve been thinking about what to write for a while now.  I’m involved in some really cool projects right now, pervasive wifi in a theme park, using CMX with many zones at that same theme park and upgrading some public schools to newer equipment with full coverage wifi in the classrooms.  I think each of those would make a great post and I plan to touch on them soon, but this post will be on a comment that an intern made to me while we were upgrading a school recently.  “I can’t believe a Sr. Network Engineer is helping me cable a rack.”  I didn’t think much of it at the time but I did start thinking about it on the way home. Read More »

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Summary: The Value of Certifications – A Top Five List

I hold Cisco certifications in high regard not only for providing excellent training for supporting Cisco products but for first and foremost providing a firm foundation and platform on which to grow as a network engineer.

Read my full article to find out my top five reasons for certifying.

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The Value of Certifications – A Top Five List


I’m new to the blog writing world but have been in the networking industry for several years now.  When I got started back in 2007, I was working my first job after graduating college and was recruited into a communications role, fresh out of the help desk, which I had landed the year prior. Cisco’s career certifications program literally picked up where schooling left off and helped me find my career passion and carve a path.  So here following, I’m going to give my top five reasons for certifying and continuing to climb Everest.

  1. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know”. When you learn on the job, it’s one thing to get something implemented but it’s another to truly understand how it works. Certification forces you to go back and fill in the knowledge gaps. Read More »

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