Silver Peak LoogoSilver Peak was one of seven companies brave enough to demo their product in front of the Network Field Day delegates and the rest of the networking world at NFD11 in January. Silver Peak has a decade long history of providing WAN solutions focusing primarily on WAN optimization. That focus on WAN technology makes them a natural fit to enter the SD-WAN space and their SD-WAN product is exactly what they were showing off at NFD11.

The Silver Peak SD-WAN solution is named Unity EdgeConnect and consists of X86 based software that can run on commodity hardware or virtual form factors. Like most SD-WAN products, the primary goal of the solution is to abstract multiple sources of WAN bandwidth and provide intelligent decision-making regarding which paths WAN traffic should take. Rather than spending time here detailing every feature the EdgeConnect product offers, I’m going to focus on a couple of key features that piqued my interest. By no means does this indicate weakness in the areas I am not writing about. If you are interested in a more holistic view of the product offering, I highly recommend you watch the presentation here and check out the product information that can be found on the Silver Peak website. Read More →


CloudGenix is one of the sponsor companies presenting at Network Field Day 9. They are the very definition of a startup being less than 2 years old and coming out of stealth mode in April of 2014. The founders of the company are all former colleagues from Cisco.

The Product: Well, that’s an interesting question as there isn’t much information out there about it. Their website claims that they are developing a SDN solution for the WAN that is currently in private beta. I couldn’t find anything online that showed any technical description beyond the typical flowery wording about mapping business process/priority to network traffic flows.

SDN WAN technology is very interesting to me as I believe it is likely going to be the real driver for mass adoption of SDN. Most of the hype around SDN has had a focus in the datacenter, supporting large and complicated implementations of cloud or distributed applications. SDN in the datacenter is solving many problems that large organizations are having, but most mid-tier organizations just aren’t fighting those same battles. However, just about every organization I have encountered has had to make decisions around routing, security, resiliency and prioritization of their WAN circuits. Any technology that makes this process easier, and is capable of mapping business objectives to technical implementation, has the potential to be a catalyst of change in how WANs are deployed.

Conclusion: CloudGenix has the potential to be a very interesting product but with so little information out there about them it’s hard to tell. I imagine their presentation at NFD9 has the potential to be something that leaves us excited about the possibilities but there are just too many question marks to have a solid opinion going in. Either way, I am looking forward to hearing more about what CloudGenix is working on.

I have been logging a considerable amount of time behind the Cisco IOS CLI lately while working towards my CCIE R/S lab. I am lucky enough to have access to my own lab hardware for study but one of the things I identified fairly quickly was that resetting my devices between labs was taking a considerable amount of time. This time is non-productive as it isn’t being applied to learning new technologies but rather to the “process” of getting set up. I needed to find a way to quickly get all my devices back to a base configuration without expending a lot of time and effort. Here is what I came up with utilizing the TCL scripting engine on Cisco devices. Read More →

I just received the official word last week that I will be attending Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego, CA this year.  This is a conference that I have been looking to attend for some time now so I am excited to finally be able to take part in it.  I figured I would post my schedule on here for the generally curious and in the off chance that someone reading this might want to connect while there.

Cisco Live USA 2012 Read More →

A few weeks back I posted about attending training for my CCNP studies.  I had started/stopped studying for the ROUTE exam several times over the past year and was kicking off what I was hoping would be my final attempt at getting some momentum on this exam.  I am very pleased to share that last tuesday I took the ROUTE exam and passed the test with a healthy score.

For the most part the test was fair in the topics covered.  In typical Cisco fashion, I felt like someone who speaks english as a second or third language wrote the exam questions.  I much preferred the simulation questions as there are clear objectives and verifiable results.  Now that I have cleared the hurdle of ROUTE I have already started down the path of SWITCH and I am looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.

I’m quite excited as this week I will be re-initiating my pursuit of the CCNP route and switch certification.  This is something that I have started a couple times but has been sidelined due to various personal and work related reasons.  I am hoping that this time around I can get some momentum behind me and am happy to be kicking it off with some instructor lead training.  I am typically more of a self-learner (more of necessity rather than desire) but this time around my work is providing for me to attend the ROUTE class at Global Knowledge.

I picked ROUTE first as this is the area I have the least amount of experience in and will most likely take the most effort to achieve.  I was previously responsible for a number of larger campus/metro networks that relied heavily on switching concepts and little on routing.  In fact…when I started at the company everything in the network was controlled with static routes…in 2005…

Moving forward to the current day I am still a bit surprised that I’m here.  When I made the move to my current employer about 9 months ago it was as a  SysAdmin with a focus on Virtualization.  I have never been a “Network Engineer” in the truest sense since I have never had a job exclusively focused on packet manipulation.  My manager knew I had some skills in the area but it took my friend Jeff Fry leaving the organization to even give me the opportunity to do work on the network side of things.  Talk about some large shoes to fill…

I’m hoping the the uninterrupted time, combined with some live instruction, is just what is needed to get me moving towards my CCNP.