Archive for February, 2007

Blown away: Netwokers EMEA 2007

 | 23 Feb 2007 23:33

EEK, just noticed I’d not written anything about attending Networkers yet. Well I had a whale of a time and not just because of a rather cool ‘customer appreciation event’, the former Cisco party. But because I was able to attend a fabulous Techtorial and I managed to discuss a lot of issues with key people from Cisco.

Networkers has really changed my view on Cisco, the technical guys there were really interested in what we, the customers, had to say. They welcomed open discussion during their sessions and handed out business cards galore. I even received mail during the weekend after with answers to questions I posed during face-to-face Design sessions in between the presentations/normal sessions.

I must clarify that I registered my sessions very early and I planned it meticulously. I’ve only been to level 3 sessions which kept me safe from hot air marketing talk etc. Also I agree with Cisco when they say that what you get out of it is what you put into it and it really paid off for me. I’ve got so much info to take back with me and process that I’m glad I made so many notes. It surely was way more valuable than a month of full time classroom training.

Further things that impressed me were: Explanations of road-maps, a few of them even more than 12 months ahead. How approachable everyone was. How I managed to baffle one of the speakers during an MPLS VPN Design session I walked into; MPLS VPN hub-and-spoke via a firewall without using a vlan per vrf. There is no solution…

Better stop here else I’ll never stop. I will probably divulge into one or more of the subjects I attended some time in the future, but I’d better not promise anything… 😉

CCIE R&S page updates

 | 23:12

Oh, lest I forget again. Check out the CCIE R&S pages. Since restarting my studies, I’m updating them regularly again so be prepared to find new gems in there. Or just browse it for some of those “oh yes” moments if ‘new’ it’s so new for you any more. We all forget this stuff if we don’t regularly remind ourselves, I do anyway…

3550 & 3560…

 | 23:07

I’ve heard reports of the lab containing more and more L3 switches these days. Looks like I need to update my lab hardware to incorporate some L3 switches. The 3550 is EOS but even second hand overly expensive, the 3560 is not cheap either. I’m hoping my employer is willing to get some as I’ve now got two other colleagues gearing up for their CCIE. I might have a trick up my sleeve but you’ll have to come back later if you want to know the outcome of that one.

I currently use a combination between a normal router and a vlan on my L2 switch for all switch related tasks but I guess Cisco is adding NAC (IEEE802.1x) and other advanced L2/L3 switching tasks into the lab. Which is kinda logical seeing as even I’m looking at the L3 switches as Ethernet access cpe’s.

Day return R’dam – Paris

 | 21 Feb 2007 08:32

It’s kinda strange the way traveling in Europe has no simple formula. I fly to the UK from R’dam to Stanstead and I fly to Hamburg, also from Rotterdam. But going to Paris feels like going as far as, let’s say Greece.

The dilemma is this that there is no direct flight from Rotterdam to Paris. If one insists on flying then one will have to hop via Amsterdam or London which makes it inefficient and expensive. I could take the train to Schiphol (Amsterdam) but that will take at least an hour add to that the longer check-in times compared to R’dam airport and you’re looking at a minimum of 2,5 hours front door to ‘window or isle’ seat.

The Saga continues with arriving in Paris after 1:15 flight and then having to find a cab to our office. According to my manager the cab from CDG (Charles de Gaulle) will take 1 to 1,5 hours. My total would now come to a minimum of 4 hours and 45 minutes door to door.

As most often though there is a simple answer, the Thalys. It’s cheap if you don;t go for first class and there’s no check-in time. Above all I can get on at Rotterdam Central, it takes 3:11 from R’dam to Gare du Nord and I am allowed to work on my laptop the whole way. The cab only took 30 minutes to the office and the bus into R’dam is the same I as for all other options. Total travel time? I left home at 7:15 and got to the office at 12:15.

5 hours? Yes 5 hours due to an unforeseen wait for a cab. On top of this the first cab driver evicted me from the cab after only 20 meters as he couldn’t find the address on any of his ancient maps, “address does not exist, please leave my cab”! The second cab driver said no problem and sped off, he did take me the scenic route though as he missed a turn…

All in all the Thalys route was faster, cheaper and with a lot less risk of delays or overbookings. Oh and did I mention that the cab was only 20 eur inward as opposed to the 100 Euro I payed last time from CDG into the center of Paris? For those who’re wondering, outward it took about 45 minutes and cost me 34 as it was rush hour…