Monthly Archives: July 2013

Expectations of your first networking job

So I am just about 3 months into my first networking job and things are going great. I have been learning a ton and working on technologies that I never expected to have a chance to touch so early on in my career. However not all has been great. There are times where I am given work and I say to myself “How is this the responsibility of a network engineer”? I am someone who will get the work done no matter if it falls under my title or not. After all I am trying to help the company succeed, not be someone who constantly complains about the work they are getting. Also I remind myself of all the great things that I get to work on as well. One example of this “petty” work I get is escalated desktop support calls. I am not used to this because at my last job as a desktop engineer I would never escalate a ticket to a network engineer. Typically that would only be an absolute last resort.

I sometimes have to take a step back and realize that I am still very new to the IT field let alone the networking field so having these expectations is unreasonable. Everything has been going great so there is no reason for me to get annoyed or flustered. I am on the bottom of the totem pole so what did I expect? I often feel that many people that are getting into the networking field for the first time feel a lot like I do right now. So I am telling you just take a step back and look at the bright side of things. Continue your studies and show your worth in your everyday actions.

 

CCNP Switch Study Update – 7/25/13

So this week was my 3rd week of studying and damn was it awful….I fell victim to a stomach virus Sunday night and had to take off work Monday and Tuesday. I was really upset about having to take off of work because I have not even been with my employer for 3 months yet. However he was very understanding and told me not to worry about it. He even sent me home Tuesday morning when I dragged myself in/ Obviously this meant my studies went completely to hell on those days too. Honestly, I still feel pretty under the weather but I am going to push forward, I hate going 3+ days without at least looking at the material for 30 or so minutes.

Below is what I completed on WEEK 2. It was a pretty productive week!

Week 2 (L3 & Redundancy & Security) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday -L3 Switching: InterVLAN Routing
-L3 Switching: Understanding CEF Optimization
Chapter 6 X
Tuesday -Redundancy in the Campus:HSRP,VRRP,GLBP
-Redundancy in the Campus:HSRP,VRRP,GLBP p2
Chapter 11 X
Wednesday
-Campus Security: Port Security and 802.1X
-Campus Security: VLANS and Spoofing Attacks
Chapter 13 X
Thursday -Campus Security: STP Attacks and other Considerations
-Campus Securty: VACLs
Chapter 16 & 17 X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday Campus VOIP: Overview, Considerations, Auto QOS X

Dream.

Cisco Nexus Self-Study Training

Well to top off my CCNP Switch studies I have also been learning about Cisco Nexus. One good thing I have found about this is that a lot of topics from my CNCP Switch are reinforced throughout my Nexus studies. I am not really going for any type of data center certification just yet, however my current company is implementing Cisco Nexus so I kind of have to familiarize myself with all things Nexus. I don’t want to get left behind while all the other engineers understand Nexus and I am always having to ask them questions about it. Basically I am just going through the CCIE Data Center Nexus INE videos to get some kind of grasp for the technology. I feel like I am trying to tackle something that is so far beyond my skill set, but this is something I have to get under my belt.

Currently in our test lab we have 2x 5548s. 2x 6248s, 1x UCS, and 1x Nexus 7010. Another rack is being put together and will basically have the same hardware installed. I really enjoy Data Center technologies and I think it is something that I want to become my main focus in the future. I am not going to lie though, I feel even MORE overwhelmed now. I always take a step back though and think to myself how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity, and that within a years time I will have progressed so much. Heck, just 2 years ago I was taking my A+!

 

First time consoled into a Nexus!!! :)

 

CCNP Switch Study Update – 7/17/13

So I am about 1.5 weeks into my studies and have already covered a lot more material then I had expected. Last week I was able to cover the following:

Week 1 (VLAN & STP) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday -The Switches Domain: Core Concepts and Design

-VLANS: Configuration and verification
-VLANS: In-Depth Trunking
Chapter 2 X
Tuesday VLANS: VTP Chapter 3 & 4 X
Wednesday -STP: Foundation PVST Concepts Part 1
-STP: Foundation PVST Concepts Part 2
Chapter 5 X
Thursday STP: RSTP Concepts and Config Chapter 7 & 8 X
Friday Chapter 9 & 10 X
Saturday Ether Channel: Agg. Redundant Links X
Sunday OFF

The first 4 chapters were a breeze…and then came STP….I don’t know what it is about these study guides but they always start out so fun and easy and then they punch you in the face with a confusing topic :(. lol. Right now I am just trying to get a solid overview of all the topics so I am not stressing to much if I don’t understand something perfectly.

CCNP Switch Study Plan

Please note that this guide should be altered to fit your study habits. This is a merely to help you organize yourself in your studies. Some days you may do more or less then what is expected.
Materials Used:

CBT Nuggets
The Bryant Advantage
CCNP Switch OCG (Cisco Press)
CCNP Switch Simplified
101 CCNP Labs
Cisco SLM Switch Manual
Week 1 (VLANS) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday The Switches Domain: Core Concepts and Design Chapter 2
Tuesday -VLANS: Configuration and verification
-VLANS: In-Depth Trunking
Chapter 3 & 4
Wednesday VLANS: VTP Chapter 5
Thursday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Week 2 (STP) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday -STP: Foundation PVST Concepts Part 1
-STP: Foundation PVST Concepts Part 2
Chapter 7
Tuesday STP: RSTP Concepts and Config Chapter 8
Wednesday Chapter 9
Thursday Chapter 10
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Week 3 (EtherChannel & L3 Switching & Redundancy) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday Ether Channel: Agg. Redundant Links Chapter 6
Tuesday -L3 Switching: InterVLAN Routing
-L3 Switching: Understanding CEF Optimization
Chapter 11
Wednesday -Redundancy in the Campus:HSRP,VRRP,GLBP
-Redundancy in the Campus:HSRP,VRRP,GLBPp2
Chapter 12
Thursday Chapter 13
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Week 4  (Security) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday -Campus Security: Port Security and 802.1X
-Campus Security: VLANS and Spoofing Attacks
-Campus Security: STP Attacks and other Considerations
-Campus Securty: VACLs
Tuesday Chapter 16
Wednesday Chapter 17
Thursday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Week 5 (VoIP & Wireless & Monitoring) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday Campus VOIP: Overview, Considerations, Auto QOS Chapter 14
Tuesday -Wireless LAN: Concepts and Design p1
-Wireless LAN: Concepts and Design p2
-Wireless LAN: Frequencies and 802.11 Standards
-Wireless LAN: Understanding the Hardware
Wednesday Chapter 15
Thursday -The Switches Domain: Additional Life Saving Tech
-Monitoring: Your Pulse on the network
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up
Week 6 (VLANS & STP & VTP) The Bryant Advantage SLM/101 Completed
Monday Lecture 2-5 Lab
Tuesday Lecture 6-8 Lab
Wednesday Lecture 9-10 Lab
Thursday Lab
Friday Lab
Saturday Lab
Sunday Lab
Week 7 (Adv. STP & Security) The Bryant Advantage SLM/101 Completed
Monday Lecture 11-15 Lab
Tuesday Lecture 16-19 Lab
Wednesday Lecture 20-23 Lab
Thursday Lab
Friday Lab
Saturday Lab
Sunday Lab
Week 8 (Multilayer & Design) The Bryant Advantage SLM/101 Completed
Monday Lecture 24-27 Lab
Tuesday Lecture 27-31 Lab
Wednesday Lab
Thursday Lecture 32 Lab
Friday Lab
Saturday Lab
Sunday Lab
Week 9 (Voice & Multicast & Wireless & Queueing & AAA) The Bryant Advantage SLM/101 Completed
Monday Lecture 33-36 Lab
Tuesday Lecture 37-39 Lab
Wednesday Lecture 40-42 Lab
Thursday Lab
Friday Lab
Saturday Lab
Sunday Lab
Week 10 (LANS/VLANS/STP) CCNP Simplified Lab Completed
Monday Chapter 1 Lab
Tuesday Chapter 2 Lab
Wednesday Chapter 3 Lab
Thursday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Week 11 (Adv. STP/EtherChannel/Sec.) CCNP Simplified Lab Completed
Monday Chapter 4
Tuesday Chapter 5
Wednesday Chapter 6
Thursday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Week 12 (Multilayer/Redun./Wireless) CCNP Simplified Lab Completed
Monday Chapter 7 Lab
Tuesday Chapter 8 Lab
Wednesday Chapter 9 Lab
Thursday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Week 13 (QoS) CCNP Simplified Lab Completed
Monday Chapter 10 Lab
Tuesday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Wednesday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Thursday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Friday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Saturday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab
Sunday Review/Flash-cards/Catch-up Lab

CCNP ROUTE PASSED!!!

And boy does it feel good! I took the test early Saturday morning and came out with just below a 900. I really wish I could have scored above a 900 but hey a pass is a pass. It’s weird to think that I have been working on this certification for 5 months. Time has really flown by. Guess what the next 5 months of my life is going to entail? Yep you guessed it…onto the Switch exam. I just informed my employer of my pass and they are very excited for me. I am also happy that they are going to reimburse me too. I will be posting the Switch study plan hopefully later today.

CCNP Route Scheduled!

Its been 20 weeks since I began studying for my CCNP Route exam and the time has finally come to show what I have learned! I scheduled my exam for this Saturday at 8am, reason I am taking it so early is because I am going to the beach afterwards :).  Hopefully all goes well and I pass so I can have an enjoyable weekend of rest and relaxation at the beach. If I pass Route then I plan to dive right into my Switch studies on Monday. I am still working on the CCNP Switch study plan. However expect to see it posted in the following week. Just to recap here is what I have used to prepare for my CCNP Route exam. 

  • Cisco Press FLG Route
  • CBT Nuggets
  • The Bryant Advantage
  • 101 CCNP Labs
  • Cisco Student Lab Manual: Route
  • GNS3vault.com

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