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Nominations Open: Be a Champion for Collaboration

October 16, 2014 at 6:18 am PST

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Particular songs often come to mind when I’m thinking about certain words. It’s usually a 1:1 relationship of song to word, but the mental jukebox for champions seems to vary between Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and “Gonna Fly Now,” also known as the theme from “Rocky.”

When I join a Cisco Champion Radio episode or read a blog post from a Cisco Champion, one of those songs often serves as the soundtrack only I can hear.

Who are the Cisco Champions? Perhaps you should be one. Now is the time to nominate yourself or a colleague for consideration for 2015!  Let’s start with the biggest questions:

  • Are you passionate about collaboration technology?
  • Do you love expanding and sharing your knowledge?

Yes? OK, let’s move on to the next round. Read More »

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Evolution of the Super Administrator

Large enterprise organisations are traditionally siloed from an IT perspective. You have the Server Team, the Network Team, the Storage Team, the Security Team, the Application Team; you get the idea.  There are usually politics involved, where the IT Division resembles a kindergarten with playground arguments and disagreements.

THE GAME IS CHANGING!  With the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), Hyper-Convergence, the “Goldilocks Zone” and Network Virtualisation, you are seeing the rise of the “Super Administrator” – the one person who has the skills that span every silo.  That individual can lay cables, install hardware, configure a router or switch, install a hypervisor, configure directory services, build a VM, configure Windows Server, carve a LUN, zone fiber-channel, configure application firewall rules, manage a hybrid cloud, troubleshoot VDI and present a NAS share. Read More »

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The Evolution and Impact of Collaboration Technologies

As I sit here on an airplane en-route to San Jose with my MacBook Pro at hand, heading to an industry-leading networking event (albeit on my own time, yes – this is officially vacation), I’ve found myself reflecting on collaboration technologies and how I’ve seen them evolve in the short 15 years I’ve been working with them. After all, it has become one of those things that I spend the majority of my day doing these days, working as a partner engineer specializing in Collaboration.

One of my first experiences with collaboration technologies was back during my third IT job, sometime circa 2001, only a few short years after the Cisco acquisition of Selsius networks brought the Call Manager product to us, and I was working for a company supporting what we now call ‘telepresence’; back then we simply referred to it as  ‘video conferencing’. These immersive environments (calling them ‘life-size’, as we did back then, seems kind of silly now) were not all that different from what you see today; projectors, nice furniture, and an executive meeting room experience. Read More »

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Cisco Certifications

IT Certifications are Popular! Hiring Managers are looking at candidates who have experience on the current technology they are hiring for, as well as their certification credentials. This helps them get a better picture of their abilities.

Being a certified technician or engineer answers a few questions before you step in the door for a first interview. Hiring managers will know that you are interested in your education and more important, that you are staying up to speed and relevant in the IT industry.

Why Cisco Certifications? Lets talk about Cisco certifications in general. So what can I say about them? In my opinion, they are challenging. Yes they are.  But the truth of the matter is that they are achievable, and becoming certified will be very beneficial for your career.

In this article I will give you ideas and materials to effectively prepare for certification exams and pursue certification goals. I will start off by sharing my experience and how being Cisco certified has made a difference for me. Then I will present you with a quick guide on How to get Started. I will be listing few resources that I have used which have helped me tremendously. Last but not least, I’ll explain How to be relevant in the IT industry. Read More »

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Book Review : CCIE Security v4.0 Practice Labs by Natalie Timms

I have been studying for my CCIE Security since late last year, with a short hiatus after Cisco Live due to health issues -- more on that in a later post. When I saw that Natalie Timms -- former manager for the CCIE Security exam program, was writing a book focused on practical labs for the exam, I was thrilled! I had to get my hands on a copy.

I had met Natalie a few years ago in San Diego at Cisco Live, and she is simply an awesome lady. Sharp, funny and very talented; needless to say I had high expectations of her book.

I did not get a copy of the book in time for it to help much with my lab studies for an attempt in mid-June, but walking out of the lab and then reading this book was eye opening.

All CCIE Security candidates want to read this book. It provides a focus on the scope and types of tasks you will face on the real lab, without going anywhere near actually teaching the exam. You cannot memorize this book and pass the lab -- you WILL fail if you try. It is a very fine line to walk and the author nailed it! Read More »

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