2021: Thinking Forward

Who doesn’t love to make plans and have goals? It’s January of 2021. Let’s not discuss what happened last year. Many of us accomplished different things and many of us did not. No matter what happened last year, I’d like to look forward to making plans for this year. However, making plans is not enough. Executing is what needs to happen. Sometimes our execution is derailed by many outside factors throughout the year. This will happen. I believe it is best not to thrust all of our worries on the things we cannot control. Let’s focus our energy on the what is within our reach. As a network engineer, there are a few goals I want to briefly write about. I am hoping writing it will help keep me accountable. Continue reading “2021: Thinking Forward”

2020 Cisco IT Blog Awards

I have been nominated as a finalist in the 2020 Cisco IT Blog Awards! I feel blessed to have something I started last year be selected. My main goal in my blog is to motivate others in their IT career. We are all in this together. I have been selected as a finalist for the Most Inspirational category. One thing is for certain, I love to write and I love to motivate.

My one ask as we close this year out is that you take a moment and vote. Look through all the blogs and follow all of the good talent out there in each category. The winners will be announced early next year.

You can vote and check out the entries here: https://www.ciscofeedback.vovici.com/se/705E3ECD2A8D7180

The Occasion for Segmentation

Today’s networks have security and visibility requirements that can warrant complicated designs. A proper routing design takes time. Implementing security takes some thought. Having a properly segmented network goes beyond tossing a bunch of VLANs on a switch. One of the goals in a segmentation design is to engage the business and find out the who, what, where and why of communication in the network. If you know those business purposes, you can design around it. You can implement routing and firewall rules to control who or what has access to certain assets. In this entry to the blog, I have implemented a basic segmented network using EVE-NG. Let’s take a tour! Continue reading “The Occasion for Segmentation”

DNS Security With Palo Alto

I blame DNS! Oh wait, that’s not what I am writing about. Domain Name Service (DNS) is a foundational piece to communication. Unless you know every IP address for every website you want to visit, you are going to need DNS. Users and services all over the world rely on DNS to seamlessly communicate. What a great opportunity for attackers to lead users to malicious destinations. DNS Security provides us a way to stop malicious requests from users’ devices from ever reaching those destinations. There multiple solutions out there to secure the DNS-layer. The focus of this entry is to explore Palo Alto’s solution to DNS Security. Continue reading “DNS Security With Palo Alto”

Study Tips for the Time Challenged

If you are reading this, you are probably trying to study and a very important question has come up: “How do I even make time?”. I look across social media and that is one question that seems to be a concern for many of us. Whether you are studying for a certification, class or even to acquire a new skill, time must be dedicated. If you can show up at every test without taking the time to study and you ace each test, there is no need to read further. However, if you are like the rest of us who often struggle juggling work, family, and everything else that comes behind it, the next few paragraphs will hopefully provide some encouragement. Continue reading “Study Tips for the Time Challenged”

3 Things Engineers Need from Leaders

Being a manager does not make you a leader.
Now that I have your attention, I’ll dive in a little deeper. Think of it in terms of creating a meal. You can look at your pantry and see you are missing certain ingredients to your recipe. You go out to the store and purchase those ingredients. You come back and toss the ingredients in the pantry. Done! The meal has been created. Well actually, no. You have the ingredients you need, but nothing else was done. You still have to spend time putting the ingredients together, cooking the meal, making sure the taste is right, add a ton of salt and pepper, and finally serving it. It’s easy to gather the ingredients listed in a recipe, but it might not be as easy to turn that recipe into the perfect meal. It takes time and effort. The same applies to an engineering team. As a leader, or perhaps a chef, having the ingredients is not enough. In order for an engineer to grow in an environment, work must be done. Yes, some of it falls squarely on the shoulders of the engineer, but some of it comes from leadership. My goal here is to discuss three ingredients that a leader can combine that can make a difference in their team. Continue reading “3 Things Engineers Need from Leaders”

Simple Cisco Text File Changes

As we are busy diving into the world of programming and automation, I’d like to remind everyone of a way to make simple config changes to a Cisco switch or router using a text file. This might not be a breakthrough, but it helps when making changes to switches or routers when those changes can possibly disconnect you from the device. Imagine working on a re-IP of a switch or even a point to point link. You have your notepad ready to go. There is a new IP and default route and all you have to do is copy/paste. You paste in the IP and lose connection. Your default route change never actually pasted because you lost connection right after the IP change. You can no longer connect to the device; panic ensues. What might be a better way to make this change and avoid the “Uh oh!” moment? Continue reading “Simple Cisco Text File Changes”

5 Tips for New Engineers

Next year will be my tenth in a network engineering role. I’ve seen team members come and go, leadership change and roles changes as well. Nothing is ever static, especially the technology. For those looking to enter a network engineering role or are simply young in their IT career, I wanted to jot down a couple of tips that I hope can help them be successful in their roles. I originally was going to make this network-centric, but honestly it applies to any type of role you might be in. Continue reading “5 Tips for New Engineers”

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