Why the Heck Would You Use NSX?
Uncategorized / May 16, 2017

Back in 2012 there was quite the hubbub around VMware acquiring a company called Nicira.  At the time Nicira was known for software defined networking and a lot of people thought that this was a shot across the bow at traditional networking vendors.  As many of you probably already know, Nicira became VMware NSX, but I didn’t really ever see a heightened “war” of SDN involving the acuisition. Despite all the talk at the time, I never really got a good idea of what the actual value to an organization and since then I haven’t heard a whole lot except the standard SDN arguments:  you can automate the configuration of your network (in this case your virtual network), you can reduce the number of network configuration issues you have when you deploy a new host, etc.  And, while I don’t work a lot with super-large organizations, many of the companies pretty much gave a collective “Big Whoop!”.  A lot of them looked at their VMware environment and while hosts got added and removed, the overall virtual network didn’t have a whole lot of change, and they therefore didn’t feel like there was a big need for them.  So if that…

#NFD15 : Networking Field Day 15 Preview
slider , Uncategorized / April 3, 2017

I’ve known the guys behind and many of the delegates for Network Field Day for quite some time now.  In fact, the Network Field Day guys were kind of instrumental in helping me get Engineering Deathmatch off the ground.  I’ve even attended some of their smaller events, but this week I will be attending my first Network Field Day event as a delegate.  I’m pretty excited about this as it helps me continue to pursue my goal of getting my head and skillset expanded outside of the unified communications and collaboration realm.  There are a lot of really talented engineers that are part of this event, some that I know and some that I will be meeting for the first time.  It will be great to meet and see everyone again! There’s a lot of stuff going on for this event, and I’m hoping to give a brief overview of the companies that will be presenting at Network Field Day 15.  More to come later after I have seen the presentations and have some thoughts on what these companies are doing. Gigamon I’ve worked with a number of different partners that could sell Gigamon and sat through a number of presentations…

IT Will Steal Your Job (Title)
Uncategorized / February 16, 2016

Lately I have been thinking about some of the interesting terminology that IT professionals have in their job titles.  I have been wondering if professionals in other non-IT career fields get pissed off at those of us in IT for stealing their job titles.  While I haven’t ever been confronted about this myself, about a year ago my brother-in-law was joking with me that he couldn’t compete in Engineering Deathmatch, despite being an engineer. And that’s what really got me thinking about it.  According to the National Society of Professional Engineers there is a certification process that one must go through in order to call themselves an engineer that involves licensing boards, certifications tests and more.  By contrast, in my first “Systems Engineer” role, I had a degree…in marketing.  I have to imagine that there are some professional engineers (how I will distinguish non-IT engineers) out there that may get pissed off when they hear and IT person say that they too are an engineer. I don’t want to just pick on the term engineer, IT has many instances of, let’s say, borrowing titles from other professions.  For instance: architects, developers, designers, Cisco even has an associate level certification, which I…

It’s Hip to Be Squared
Uncategorized / December 18, 2014

A few weeks ago at the Cisco Collaboration Summit Rowan Trollope made several announcements of new products coming out from Cisco in the realm of collaboration.  One of them was a we service called Project Squared.  Rowan’s description of the service went kind of like this (HIGHLY paraphrased): Everything that you have typically had in an office or conference room in the past has been replicated in the digital world.  For instance, you used to have folders to store files in.  On your computer you have the same context.  You used to have a rollodex, now you have a contact list in Outlook or other contact management application.  The one thing that hasn’t been replicated for conference rooms is the room itself.  A place where you can keep all of the things that everyone needs to see. Again, he was a lot more eloquent in describing this than I was, but that is the general gist of what was said.  But what does that really mean?  A virtual room?  I’ll have to admit when I first heard it I was a little skeptical, I had always thought of Webex as the meeting room, but maybe I was missing something.  I’ve…

Memory Fake Out
Uncategorized / October 22, 2013

I have been working with a customer and their Cisco WebEx Meeting Server install for the past month or two.  Overall, I would say it’s a decent product in the very early stages of development.  My review of the product is maybe for a different time, I’m writing this to specifically address one odd issue and the roundabout way of how we had to deal with TAC to get to an almost resolution. A few weeks ago, this customer called me and said, “Hey John, the memory on the CWMs server keeps climbing in usage but no one is using the server yet.”  Apparently the memory usage as being reported by the server started off at approximately 30% used after a reboot and by the time that he contacted me it was up to over 60%.  We checked a couple of things and over the course of the next couple of days it was over 70%.  Being the new product that this is, I decided to open a TAC case, maybe there is some troubleshooting tool that I’m not familiar with. Within ten or fifteen minutes of the first conversation with my TAC engineer he says, “This is an expected…