CCNA Exam Experience and Happy New Year

IF you have been paying attention to me on twitter the last few days I was whining about studying for the CCNA. Even though I work with switching on a regular basis for the past 5 years there is still lots of little details you forget about when it comes to the intricacies of how a network works. That being said, I don’t normally work on border routers ever anymore. It has probably been 3 years since I configured a router to route, I mostly play with Layer 3 switches for Inter-VLAN activity. I was surprised by how much has changed since I last passed the CCNA in 2006. Some quick non-test question disclosing thoughts.

  • No Subnetting or Binary math conversions! What? You Say. Yes I was disappointed too.
  • Normal questions on VTP, VLANs, routing, IP.
  • Know ACL and EIGRP, no OSPF this time around and almost zero about RIP
  • Upset by there still being Frame relay questions, I mean come on really? DLCI and Inverse ARP?
  • Extra IPv6 questions and wireless LAN too. I did not really like prepare for WIFI and IPv6 so I am very glad that didn’t cost me.

I used some online practice tests to fine tune what will be tested. I can’t just memorize answers I need to actually practice the SIMs and Labs. So practice tests for me are perfect for this.

Best of all I can relax over the New Year holiday and not worry about VLANS and network masks and all of that… Have a great 2012 everyone.

A Year Later

Around this time last year I blogged that I was joining EMC as a Sr. vSpecialist. Well that is just what happened and at the beginning of the year I started at EMC. I have been between Georgia and Florida quite a few times sharing with customers about VMware and EMC. It has been great fun and lots of hard work.

Some Highlights:

  • vSphere 5 was released, always fun to meet with customers and share what is new and how it can help them out.
  • Demos, showing customers actually what is available to simplify their environments. The Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) is a big one, also View 5, the VNXe VMware provisioning wizard, the Cisco UCS (I even help out my Cisco brothers). This in addition to showing off EMC storage.
  • Chances to share the wonders and pros and cons of vMSC with VPLEX.
  • Even more out there for me being the former VMware installation guy, introducing people to Greenplum, Isilon, how “big data” relates to their business, hadoop, vFabric, Springsource, Cloudfoundry
  • I even wrote a Ruby on Rails app that shows me my twitter status updates(slightly better than Hello World) that runs on Micro CloudFoundry (but not CloudFounry public if you can help I will take it).
  • Went to EMCworld and VMworld in Las Vegas. Was so busy did not get to see as many people from the community that I wanted. Something that needs to be fixed next year by me.

    The Lab
    The Lab
  • Passed VCP 5
  • Work with an amazing team of people that get me because they are a lot like me.
  • Personally we had our third child in August so it has been especially chaotic around this house (probably resulting any many blog ideas getting forgotten long before they reach the web).

    The new one
    Just like her Daddy

All together I am stoked that it seems like there is something to learn everyday and that keeps me very excited. Really looking forward to next year.

My First Big Data

Ok while I was on vacation away from all things virtual last week. Some reason I had some deep thoughts about Big Data. At least deep for me. So this is mostly incoherent rambling, but I want it written down in case it happens.

What I kept coming to is how will data be used in a way that is NOT trying to sell me some XYZ product?

Mostly I think about big data as pulling public (or private) data about me in order to gain some edge to get me to buy the next tablet or phone.

I don’t know much about the entire big data industry, but I thought there must be more, and isn’t just about finding what I think about a brand on the twiiter.

Researchers – create a bunch of data about X. Give us cool graphs on the internet about how X and Y intersect. I feel this is extremely important. The next cures will be created outside a lab and 50 test subjects. Obvious Jon, I bet someone has already said that.

My linked in network

Innovation – can the next big thing be the output of some insane amount of data? How do I create a solution to a problem everyone has but they don’t know about yet? How can it be beyond the Social media craze. Big data is bigger than social networks. The next idea needs crush Google, Apple, Twitter and Facebook. I know there are armies of geniuses at those companies but the next thing will be created by someone we don’t know. Maybe I can use big data to find that person before anyone else?