So I know what everyone is thinking–Paul is teaching programming, yeah right…
Well I am sort of being a facilitator. The truth is I have a very special student, my 11 year old daughter. The broader story is that she has expressed interest in the stuff that I do for a while. Believing that a programming language might be more interesting to a pre-teen than configuring a router, I thought Python would be a perfect choice. I am the first person to admit that I’m an absolute n00b when it comes to this language. Fortunately it is fairly intuitive. Beyond that, there are some pretty good resources available.
So basically I showed her three things–the Learn Python the Hard Way site, how to use TextWrangler on a Mac, and how to use the terminal to execute the scripts. I then worked through the first couple of examples with her. To my delight, she kept going. I even got a call on my way to work yesterday requesting help troubleshooting an issue. I didn’t give the answer, but nudged her in the right direction. When I returned home, she was watching some related content on The Khan Academy.
The question for me is will she continue. I fully believe she has the ability to continue learning independently of me. It would be awesome to see her skills supersede my own (and with Python, that probably wouldn’t take that much). She says its cool and seems to enjoy it. If nothing else, it is exposing her to new ways of thinking and introducing her to possibilities.
Anyone else out there working with their children on similar projects?
I have been a long time reader of articles written by Colin McNamara. Authoring a blog that bears his name, Colin is working to evangelize the thought processes around DevOps into IT organizations. One of his latest articles called the value of the CCIE into question and probably created concern for anyone who felt like this certification was a golden ticket into all things tech.
This website is just an extension of Colin’s presence in social media. He spends a lot of time on twitter and his goals are clear. He wants to help people understand that the world of networking is changing in exciting new ways and that the changes should be embraced.
In a recent conversation on twitter, Colin made the following statement in regards to the work that was being done around SDN, DevOps and OpenStack.
@packetu @SomeClown We are trying to change the world, and address this transition as a community
Then quickly followed up with this comment
@BobL @packetu @SomeClown 1. change thinking 2. apply concepts. 3. grow beard
Disclaimer–I continually get requests for a list of the blogs, podcasts and people I follow to “keep up” in this industry. As a result, I decided to start publishing some of the blogs I regularly read. Links to other content from PacketU or affiliated social channels should not be thought of as a universal endorsement or indication of independence or neutrality for a given external site. Readers should assess ALL applicable content before proceeding with actions that could adversely affect their environment.
One of the challenges that must be overcome as servers are migrated to a cloud service provider is the ability to continue to reach all servers and securely communicate with them for various administrative and data transfer needs. NAT can provide a limited way to access hosts in this arrangement and may be sufficient for customer access. However, there is often the possibility of other communications requirements between on-premise hosts and the servers that are now located in the cloud. This article examines the use of the Brocade vRouter in a VPN configuration to address this challenge.
The customer, whom we will call ACME, has decided to migrate the server workload to a cloud service provider. This type of environment is typically known as IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). ACME will need access to the private IP addresses of its cloud servers from on-premise workstations. The communication also needs to be universally encrypted for secure transport.
The proposed solution is to implement a VPN to the Brocade Vyatta vRouter from an existing on premise appliance (Cisco ASA in this example).
The configuration relevant to VPN for both the Brocade Vyatta vRouter and the ASA can be found below.
I heard it on good authority today that Salman Khan will be delivering the closing keynote at Cisco Live. Sal Khan started a non-profit educational organization known as The Khan Academy that utilizes the web as a teaching and delivery tool. The primary goal of the organization is to provide a free, high-quality education to “anyone, anywhere” in the world.
Mr. Khan also authored a book called The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined that outlines his goal for a universally accessible world-class education. This keynote follows other recent closing day performances featuring the personalities of Sir Richard Branson (2013) and Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters (2012).
When the announcement is posted on a Cisco’s web site, I’ll link to it here. Stay tuned for other Cisco Live related announcements.
One of the vendors who presented for Networking Field Day 7 was a company formerly known as ActionPacked. This company was recently rebranded to LiveAction and the name is reflected in their product. LiveAction aims to be a QoS implementation and networking quality tool that fits into a Cisco environment. While there are some videos that were produced and recorded at NFD7, I think the shorter video below may actually bring network administrators and engineers up to speed on many of the relevant details of their offering.
Networking Field Day 7 Links
As many PacketU readers know, I spent this week in San Jose, CA as a Networking Field Day 7 delegate. For those who are unfamiliar with Networking Field Day, it is a well-run GestaltIT event that is funded by vendor sponsorship. In turn, this sponsorship provides technology vendors with an opportunity to discuss their products and ideas with a body of delegates, which is comprised of technology leaders, bloggers and practitioners.
While attending presentations, I formed a mind-boggling amount of thoughts about the vendors, their products, and the direction of the industry in general. Over the next few weeks I plan to share some of those thoughts. Today, as I sit in my hotel room, I think about some very high level, general and personal things that I’ve learned this week. These thoughts have little to do with any particular vendor. However, I wanted to take the time to capture and share them with others.
What I Learned
1–There will be a lot of change in the next few years Continue reading
Network Field Day 7 Starts tomorrow! Delegates will be attending sessions by Avaya, Brocade, Dell, Extreme Networks, Juniper Networks, LiveAction, Plexxi, Pluribus Networks, and Tail-f. Most delegates come with tough and thought provoking questions for the vendors. For those attending via Livestream, questions can be relayed to the event by tweeting them with the hashtag #NFD7.
The NFD 7 Crew!
This week’s presenter schedule is as follows– Continue reading
I’ve made the argument over and over again that the world is ready for a highly specialized workforce. There used to be a need to generalize and develop many disciplines due to geographic limitations that we have *mostly* overcome with the use of technology.
Using tools like WebEx, GoToMeeting and Skype, it is conceivable that a subject matter expert can provide a lot of value to people all over the world. This breaks down many of the boundaries of geography and the need to diversify in order to simply maintain adequate work. This also opens up a lot of opportunities for individual consultants while streamlining the businesses access to these experts.
This definition of niche, as it relates to this article, has evolved over time for me. I use to think that a good approach to becoming a technology rockstar was an evolution in which the individual started as a “jack of all trades”. A person in this type of role learns a lot, but it isn’t typically deep knowledge. Continue reading
The ping command is a pervasive troubleshooting tool used by network administrators and engineers. One important, but sometimes overlooked, detail is the source that is used by the traffic it creates. By default ping uses the IP address of the outgoing interface as the source of ICMP Echo messages. When this command is issued from a router with multiple interfaces, a positive response may not necessarily confirm the expected connectivity between two networks.
The video below outlines the scenario in detail and demonstrates why it is sometime important to specify the source when attempting to validate connectivity.
It often seems like my enthusiasm for new technologies is met with resistance. This is legitimized by statements like, “Sure SDN Will happen quickly–like IPv6.” While that is a statement I can relate to, I think this is an apples to oranges comparison.
I realize that the first IPv6 RFC actually appeared over 15 years ago (December 1998) and its deployment status has still not reached mainstream. I have repeatedly made the statement that it is an important technology that should and will be embraced. On the other hand, it often seems that the SDN movement is happening at a faster pace. The question is why?
Before sharing what I believe to be the answer to this question, let me define the assumptions I make for the perspective of this article.
SDN–Software Defined Networking including protocols for flow management (such as OpenFlow) and orchestration (Puppet, Chef, etc).
IPv6 Mainstream Deployment–most sites, subscribers and applications have and use native IPv6 connectivity.
SDN Mainstream Deployment–software defined networking would be considered mainstream when is widely used where advantageous to do so.
Posted in Rant, Technology
Tagged rant, SDN
I spend a considerable amount of time on the Cisco Learning Network. This forum caters to those studying for Cisco Certifications and learning specifics of Cisco Products. Although there are many advanced and expert contributors, the site seems to be predominantly consumed by those early in or just starting a networking career. I regularly see techs who are getting frustrated, and sometimes giving up, because they can’t get that first job.
I also often hear another side to this argument. The other side is from businesses who say they can’t find qualified technical candidates to fill their openings. It is obvious to me that there are risks that business aren’t willing to accept and refuse to place lesser qualified individuals into these roles. Technical education and certifications alone don’t always provide businesses with the comfort level they require to fill a position.
My belief, although I haven’t specifically researched the statistics, is that there is a high ratio of entry-level job seekers to the jobs available. It is also my belief that most employers are seeking a disproportionate number of advanced and mature individuals as their technical resources. This article outlines six challenges that I think entry-level network technicians should plan to face and overcome as they attempt to enter the job market.
1. No Experience, No Job–
This is one of the more frustrating catch-22 situations for technology job seekers. The problem is that it is difficult to obtain a job without experience and challenging to demonstrate experience without finding a job. Continue reading
One of the areas that our industry seems to struggle with is terminology. For example, if your coworker is talking about a packet, are they using specific terminology for a layer 3 protocol data unit? Alternatively, are they loosely using the terminology the way many others use it and could be speaking of any data transfer between hosts?
Sometimes the lines are blurred in other ways. For example, what differentiated a protocol from an application? We all seem to agree that RIP is a routing protocol but some claim BGP is a routing application. Although I’d be the first to admit that BGP has more complexity and maintains a lot of state, It is odd for me to hear that this acronym is for the Border Gateway Protocol Application.
Ethernet, IP and IPv6 are all protocols, I don’t think anyone would argue against that. Is there no controversy because they are lower on the OSI model? TCP and UDP, even though located above IP in the same model, would likewise be considered protocols. Continue reading
Posted in Rant