As the end of the year approaches, it is time to make a review of the past year and see what I would like to do, what I must do, and what I can improve in 2020. In brief, here’s my last year review and resolutions for 2020.
This year was really intense for me; not only did I change company, but I also changed my main technology as a network engineer. I went from being a consultant in enterprise networking, doing routing, switching, wireless and security projects, to a position as senior network engineer in the data-center of the European’s fastest supercomputer (see position #6 at: https://top500.org/lists/2019/11/ ).
Of course, I already managed data-center networks in my career, but here everything is on a different scale: we move petabytes of datas, the servers are connected at 25, 40 or 100Gb, the Internet access is composed of multiple 100Gb links, the spine-leafs links are 4 x 100Gb links, etc. So, I had to learn a lot! And I take advantage of this post to thank the CSCS operations team and management who welcomed me and integrated me in the best possible way.
Cisco Champion for the first time
Besides that, I had the honor of being selected to be part of the 2019 Cisco Champion program. In a nutshell, the Cisco champion program is a group of people who like to discuss and share their knowledge about technologies. Cisco provides us the infrastructure and support to make this sharing as easy, efficient (and fun) as possible. With, for example: A Cisco Webex Teams private chat, newsletters, special events and presentations, participation to trials and beta-tests, and many many more. It is also an incredible opportunity to be in touch with some of the “rock stars” of our industry. I’m very happy and honored to be part of this community.
You can have more details on the Cisco Champion program here: https://community.cisco.com/t5/cisco-champions-public-documents/tkb-p/CiscoChampionsPublicDocuments
Cisco Live US
Despite the fact that I just started working at CSCS, I had the opportunity to participate at Cisco Live US, last June, in San Diego. I didn’t take much advantage of the networking and social part of CLUS this year, nor of the many opportunities offered to the Cisco Champion community. Because I spent most of my time in the breakout sessions to close the gap for the Data-center technologies. But: mission accomplished! I came back with a solid update of my data-center knowledge. Once again, Cisco Live is really fantastic!
Learning and certifications
On the certifications side, one of my goal for 2019 was to pass the CCIE DC written exam. I missed it by 50 points during CLUS. And, after that, I ran out of time because many other projects happened. Now, the Cisco certifications paths and exams will change early next year, so I already have set goals in this direction for next year, see below.
On the learning side, apart from CLUS, I had the opportunity this year to go to the Cisco DevNet express in Zurich, as well as a one-day workshop with Ivan Pepelnjak entitled “Using VXLAN & EVPN on active-active data centers”. Both events were excellent and gave me a good vision and interesting ideas on the future evolution of the data-center networks.
My goals for 2020
The next two weeks
For 2020, I already have quite a few goals. First of all, I’m on vacation for the next two weeks, between Christmas and New-Year, so of course it’s an opportunity to spend time with my family, but it’s also the perfect time to read a good book. I chose the latest book of Dinesh G. Dutt: “Cloud Native Data Center Networking: Architecture, Protocols, and Tools”:
What better way to enter the new decade?
Learning and certifications
Mid-January, I already have a one-week course organized by my company on Kubernetes. I have a lot to learn on this technology and I am looking forward to get a good knowledge foundation. After that, I am thinking of creating a lab integrating Kubernetes and the networking part, maybe with EVE-NG, Cisco VIRL2, or something else. I am particularly interested to see how Cisco ACI integrates with Kubernetes.
After that, I would like to take the new Cisco DevNet CCNP concentration exam “DCAUTO”: Automating and Programming Cisco Data Center Solutions
This will allow me to already have one foot in the Cisco Certified DevNet Professional certification, as well as in the Cisco Certified Data-Center Professional certification paths. A “core” exam in each technology will allow me to obtain both certifications. And this may open the doors to a possible CCIE DC and/or DevNet for 2021 or later… who knows.
Cisco Live US 2020 (?)
Normally, unless a last-minute change, I should be able to go to Cisco Live US in 2020. But that’s not confirmed at this time: fingers crossed!
Next year, I also have big projects planned in my company. I can’t say more yet, but it will certainly take me a lot of time and energy.
I have applied to be part of the Cisco Champion family again in 2020. Here again: fingers crossed!
And last but not least: I will try to publish more articles on my blog.
I take advantage of this post to wish you happy holidays and a happy new year 2020! Hope you have all a great time ahead!