Another Cisco Live went with all its usual new product announcements and marketing drives for the next big thing. This year I have been more busy than usual with meetings with customers and I have not participated in all the technical sessions of previous years. In the end this actually allowed me to pay more attention to the real needs of customers rather than just technology. One of the elements that emerged most frequently was the need for more attention to the quality of the code.
Keeping up with the new releases of the various manufacturers is an important part of the job of every network engineer. Usually it is enough to see the videos available online but from time to time it is necessary to take one more step. Cisco has released the new Catalyst 9000 family that integrates with 1/20/2019 12:11:45 PM and ISE to build an SDA network. The Catalyst 9k family, strong of IOS XE, also allows programmability levels not previously possible.
A community value is more than the sum of its members. Cisco Champion members make it special, I’m honored to be again part of it this year.
I really enjoy discussing network design and deploy details with colleagues, customers and fellow network engineer. I find these discussions challenging, stimulating. An open, sincere and collaborative discussion gives a chance to better understand the real needs, fears, doubts of other professionals and to validate knowledge, expose gaps and most of all I learn a lot. This is still valid when discussing Data Center design or simpler topics like how to cable switch stacks.
I’m pleased to announce that my blog has been selected as a finalist in the Most Entertaining category of the IT Blog Awards, hosted by Cisco This blog is a project that I have been carrying out for years in the (little) free time between a demanding job, the study and the family. I think it is important to dedicate time to the blog because it has allowed me to meet many awesome people, actively participate in the community and make my contribution to the ecosystem that has helped me at the beginning of my career.
I’ve been working on a data center migration from regular switches to a Cisco ACI fabric in the last couple of months. I can’t say that’s enough to be defined as an ACI expert but I’ll share here what I learned from the experience. The project started with a Network Centric approach for an one-to-one migration from the previous network. After the migration new VRFs are being created in App Centric mode with contracts.
Recertification is part of the life of all active CCIEs. The process used to be an option between passing a CCIE written exam, passing a lab or getting Emeritus after 10 years, losing all CCIE privileges. Beginning June 2017 Cisco introduced the Continuing Education Program as a new way to recertify expert level certifications. The CE program allows to collect credits when attending eligible Cisco events or training. With 100 credits you earn the recertification.
Asset management, documentation and monitoring are important parts of any IT Ops team but at the same time they are boring, repetitive, error prone. Last summer I spent some time investigating the possibility to integrate open source projects I like to create a Minimum Viable Product for asset management/monitoring and learn something during the process. This is far from being something complete or production ready but I think it worth to share before it get lost in some abandonware repository on my laptop.
Every time I manage a change to a customer network I have a chance to taste the many shades of possible IT Operations maturity levels. I collected some best practices over the years about how to reduce risk and speed-up the change and testing process. I’ll share some in this post. Improvements and suggestions are welcome in the comments of the post or on my Twitter account.
As most IT professionals I usually configure network devices in a lab environment before the actual installation at customer site. I try to limit the installation as much as possible to a simple box moving process, spending most of the change window in a previously defined validation process. In this particular case I deal with a data center core network that includes 8 Nexus 9k switches configured in 4 VPC pairs and a bunch of links between them.