Monthly Archives: October 2013

A New Opportunity on the Horizon

I never thought that I would consider leaving my first networking  job in just 7 months. Here is the back story.  There has been this company in my area that I have been following for a long time and constantly checking for openings there. This company is rated in top 50 best places to work in the country as well as a huge number in employee satisfaction. I am going to leave the name of this company anonymous.

So this past Monday I received an email from glassdoor.com with my daily “15 network engineer openings in your area” and to my surprise the company I have been following for almost a year had an opening for a Junior Network Engineer. I felt like my heart skipped a beat as I quickly opened up the job description. Reading through the job details I could tell this was perfect for me. They are looking for someone with some LAN/WAN network support experience as well as a degree. Most importantly they are looking for someone that has a passion for networking and learning. I quickly updated my resume and sent it on its way.

Withing two days I received an email from HR saying that they want to schedule an initial phone interview. Ecstatic as hell that my resume was even seen by them we set up a meeting for Thursday at noon. Which is today :). Last night I did my normal research of the company so I can show that I am serious about this opportunity. While doing research on the company I also came across a post that read “Hardest Companies to Interview For” and what do you know the company that I am interviewing with is on that list! My heart sank slightly as I read through tons of potential interview questions. I began to doubt myself feeling scared about this whole entire interview. Then a quote came to mind. A quote that is perfect for my very situation. A quote that sends chills down my spine whenever I read it.

“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may never exist. Fear is a choice.”

So today is the day, I sit here waiting for noon to arrive so I can take the phone call and hopefully impress the person on the other end. Working for a top company in the country is something that not many people have the opportunity to even interview for. I feel very fortunate to have even been given this chance. But I know that there is only one person that made this all happen, ME! I am the one that studies everyday! I am the one that loses countless hours of sleep! I am the one that refuses to give up and stop pushing myself to my limits! I deserve this chance and now it is once again all up to ME to make this happen!

Vision.

I’m going to Cisco Live!!!

Yes! Yes! Yes! I was told yesterday by my supervisor and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! I never expected to be going to Cisco Live so early in my career. Just thinking about all the CCIEs that I will be in the presence of makes me slightly nervous. I feel this will be a great learning experience as well as a chance for me to meet a ton of new people. The best part about this is that I will be surrounded by individuals that all share the same passion for networking that I have. Cisco Live this year will be held in San Francisco. I have been to California once before and I loved it. It’s a beautiful state with amazing weather. I have hopes to maybe even work in the area one day :)

I plan to document my trip to Cisco Live on my blog as well as give a live feed at my twitter @NetworkingLink Obviously the day is still months away but I just wanted to share the good news!

Floor switch and blade center migration

For the past two weeks me and another engineer have been coming in an hour earlier everyday to move our access layer switches to the Nexus 5548s. It was quite the tedious process but at the same time it was a great experience. This move involved migrating the access switches to 10Gb as well as utilizing Etherchannels up to the 5548s. The 5548s also had to be configured with etherchannels/vPCs down to the access layer. We did 1-2 IDF closets a day so the process did take quite some time. However this morning we finished it all up :)

This past weekend we had a maintenance window from 1am to 7am. During this time frame we had to migrate 7 blade centers to the Nexus 7010. There were also a few other tasks that we needed to do such as moving over some management cables and a few “not so important” servers. Again etherchannels and vPCs needed to be used between the Nexus and Bladecenters. All in all it was a pretty smooth transition. The last thing we need to do now is remove some left over items that are still hanging off the 6509s. After that the Nexus migration project will come to an end :(

 

CCNP Switch Study Update – 10/23/13

It’s been really hard to get back into my study groove. Things keep popping up and the late maintenance nights at work have been exhausting. Also I am heading to New Orleans this Thursday until Sunday. It is going to be a much needed vacation :)
I should be ready for the exam by week 20!
Week 14 Switch. Simp Lab Completed
Monday Chapter 8 2.5hr X
Tuesday Chapter ~9 1.5hr X
Wednesday Chapter 9 2hr X
Thursday 1.75hr X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF
Week 15 Switch Simp. Lab Completed
Monday Chapter ~10 X
Tuesday Chapter 10 + Read other 1.5hr X
Wednesday Read 1hr X
Thursday Read up on Security 1.5hr X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF

CCNP Switch Study Update – 10/7/13

Week 12  Video/Switch Simp. Lab Completed
Monday Lecture 40-42 X
Tuesday OFF
Wednesday Chapter 1, 2 X
Thursday Chapter 3 X
Friday OFF
Saturday Chapter 4 X
Sunday OFF
Week 13  Switch. Simp Lab Completed
Monday Chapter 5 2hr X
Tuesday Chapter 6 1.5hr X
Wednesday WORK LATE
Thursday Chapter 7 2hr X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF

Phase 2 – Floor Switch Migration to 5548UPs

Phase 2 of the network migration involved moving all the floor switches, which are currently connected to the 6509s, onto our 5548 distribution layer switches.  One of our buildings is populated with 3750s and each IDF closet has two 1Gb uplinks up to the core. Our other building is populated with 2950s also with 1Gb uplinks to the core.  Currently no floor switches are using etherchannels. Which means that 1 port from each IDF is in an STP blocking state. Obviously this is not ideal. For this phase we will also be migrating all the 3750s to use 10Gb uplinks as well as utilizing port channels between 3750 stacks.  The 2950s unfortunately will have to stay on 1Gb uplinks however they will also utilize portchannels.

Before I go on I just wanted to let everyone know that this  phase was completed yesterday night. We ran into some problems with the configuration on the Nexus 5ks. One in particular was a vlan was missing from the vlan database. The strange part about this was that the vlan showed in the vlan allowed list on the trunk links. You would think that some sort of error would have showed on the log. Another issue that we had was that some vlans were missing on the peer-link vlan allowed list on the 5ks. Besides those two issues the night went rather smoothly.

To be honest though, the most difficult part about this whole night was making sure that the fiber cables were properly flipped. As you know fiber has a Tx and Rx so the run between the access switch and the 5k has to match up. This can get confusing though when you through fiber patch panels into the mix. We had one person at the 5ks and one person going to each floor switch to swap cables and verify configuration.

All in all it was a successful night. As of right now we will not be moving anything else for about 2 weeks. At that point we want to completely remove the 6509s from our network as well as moving the rest of the blade centers to the Nexus.

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