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PHASE 1 – Moving layer 3 to Nexus

The time has finally come to implement the Nexus switches into our production network! I have mixed emotions of both excitement and nervousness because this is the first time I have ever done a change over of this magnitude.  However what excites me the most is the experience I am going to gain from doing such a large migration. To help the our team stay organized we have broken down the migration into three phases. I will only talk about phase 1 for now.

Phase 1 entails introducing the Nexus into our core network and moving layer 3 routing from our 6509′s to it. ¬†Basically what will happen is we will shutdown all the vlan’s on the 6509′s and bring them up on the Nexus. Besides just moving layer 3 to the Nexus we also plan on moving a single floor switch to a 5548. Reason being is that we want to take this migration as slowly and methodically as possible. Also if the switch move goes smoothly we may even move over a couple more. One other task that we have planned for that night is moving a highly populated blade center to the Nexus. This will help take a load off the 6509′s and also allow us to begin on migrating the rest of our blade centers (if the move is successful of course) .

Oh and best of all? The maintenance window for these changes is 10pm to 7am!!! I have not pulled an all nighter like this in a long time but I am so ready for it. In the next couple days I am going to try and change around my sleeping pattern so that way when it comes Saturday I won’t be a zombie. I’m sure the Redbull and Starbucks will also help :) I will report back on either Monday or Tuesday on how the night went.

Continuing the Nexus Grind

So I have still been learning a ton about Nexus these past few weeks and I am starting to feel pretty comfortable at the NX-OS command line. It’s pretty similar to IOS which is good. One thing that took some getting used to for me was enabling specific features. For example, I spent about 15 minutes scratching my head on why I couldn’t create an SVI…and then I facepalmed when I realized I had to enable the interface-vlan feature. I won’t be making that mistake again :)

My configurations have been pretty basic and currently I am still experimenting with vPC’s. Below will be a picture of my current topology. It’s crazy to think how much I have learned in such a short time period and I am loving every moment of it! You really don’t realize how much work goes into building a data center until you actually have to from the ground up. I have been really enjoying learning about data center technologies and I really think I am going to make it my niche in the coming years.

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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!!! :)

 

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