Cisco Live Follow Up And General Updates

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted here and I thought I would just post a quick update on what has been going on with me…

Cisco Live

As was stated in a previous post, I had the opportunity to finally attend  Cisco Live held in San Diego, CA this year.  The conference certainly lived up to the hype and was well worth the trip and time invested.  I think I was about half way into day 1 and I already had new ideas/knowledge that I wanted to lab up and bring home.  The logistics of running an event with 17k people has to be daunting but the staff at Cisco and the San Diego Convention Center did an amazing job in scheduling, herding, feeding and entertaining a rather large group of us geeky network folk.  As expected, the most valuable part of the conference was the personal networking that happened amongst the attendees.  I was able to meet and converse with many of the colorful networking voices that I follow on twitter as well as many others not necessarily associated with that group.

CCNP

One of the registration perks of cisco live is that you receive one free certification exam while at the conference.  I scheduled my CCNP Switch exam for Thursday afternoon just before the closing keynote.  When I had scheduled the exam I still had a month before the conference to study and figured I would have time in the evenings to cram some final concepts before taking the exam.  I couldn’t have been more wrong on both accounts.  We were in the final weeks of a datacenter closure at work which took entirely all of my time before the conference and then yeah…the parties.  Every night was fully occupied and I found myself on my way to the conference Thursday morning not having opened a book for the exam.  In my defense, switching has been my predominate focus in networking over the past few years so I had a good base of information but I was confident that there wasn’t any way I was going to pass the test.  I took about an hour before the exam to bone up on some of the concepts that I was unfamiliar with and then it was time…  I must have done something good (or clean living as a friend likes to put it) because I walked out not only with a pass but with a very respectable score on the exam.  With that out of the way I went off to watch Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage talk about all the cool stuff they do on Mythbusters.

Being completely overconfident, and ready for the next challenge, I scheduled my TSHOOT exam for the following week.  I figured that Tshoot would be a practical conglomeration of the previous two exams and was excited to see what the test looked like.  My thought process is that if I knew my stuff for Route and Switch that Tshoot should be a breeze.  I wasn’t completely wrong…  I thought Tshoot was the best of the three tests in the CCPN series as it gives real life scenarios in which you must use the knowledge you have to identify the device causing the issue, the technology involved in the issue and what command(s) are needed in order to rectify the problem.  It took a few minutes to get acclimated to the style of the exam (as it is not at all like the other Cisco exams) but once I was familiar with the process the whole exam just felt good.  I ended up acing this exam and successfully completing the CCNP process.

Work

As was briefly mentioned above, we have just completed a 6 month long project focused on closing out one of our primary US datacenters and migrating many of those services to other existing datacenters as well as building a new datacenter a little closer to home.  The project was technically challenging but was a success by every measurable metric.  It looks like more datacenter migrations might be in the future but for now I think all of us are enjoying not having the pressure of migrating business critical IT infrastructure and living in late night maintenance windows for weeks on end.  The next project on the horizon appears to be preparing for an expansion of our VDI platform as well as some general network related work that has been on the back burner while we have been focusing on bigger fish.

What’s Next

I think the most interesting thing on the horizon is that I’m contemplating an attempt at the CCIE Route/Switch certification.  I certainly am weighing all of the components as it is an incredible time commitment that not only would impact me but my family as well.  CCIE is certainly somewhere on the journey for me at some point but if I don’t pursue it now I probably will spend some time working towards non network related certifications…particularly looking at the VMWare’s VCP.

Well that certainly is more than enough blabbering on about myself… I’m hoping that with the completion of some of the time sinks I have been working on that I can start writing up some of the technical/commentary posts that I’ve had brewing in my head over the past few months.  If you’ve made it this far you’re a champ and thanks for reading!

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