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Tag: workflow

Effectiveness – Network Truths, Principles and Fallacies

Effectiveness – Network Truths, Principles and Fallacies

I gave a 13-minute talk to the Irish Network Operators Group (INOG) recently. In this 13-minute video I argue that you can become more effective, and happier, by standing back and reflecting on how you work, leveraging existing truths, fallacies and principles. I introduce The twelve networking truths and the 8 Fallacies of Distributed Computing. I then describe a handful of my own learnings and fancy terms like Chestertons Fence and the Gordian Knot. Check out the video folks, I’d love your feedback.

Network config backups – just the beginning

Network config backups – just the beginning

An emergency switch replacement can ruin your day. However, having network config backups is not enough. Restoring full service may not be as easy as just copying the running configuration from your RANCID CVS repo, or your colleagues hard drive. Restoring the ‘identity’ of your original switch is a multi-step and somewhat complicated process.

Planning projects instead of burning benjamins

Planning projects instead of burning benjamins

Engineers are often unstuck by poor planning and get hit with large financial penalties as a result. Projects can become mired in delays and complications due to unforeseen costs and expenses. There are some unavoidable bumps in the road, but most could be foreseen and eliminated in advance. I want to share a few tips based on some experiences I’ve had over the years.

Career – Zen and the art of network maintenance

Career – Zen and the art of network maintenance

Getting Zen ‘Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance‘ by Robert Pirsig is a modern classic.  When I first read this book I didn’t quite get the zen I was looking for. But then again maybe I was trying too hard which isn’t very zen-like.  It is a wonderful book and although I missed many of the metaphors I gleaned some solid advice on how to enjoy my work. I think Pirsig’s motorcycle maintenance tips can help us in our…

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Does config automation demand inflexiblity?

Does config automation demand inflexiblity?

Imagine you’ve just designed and deployed a data center. It was hell but you are smiling. Your design is homogenous, simple and elegant. A greenfield datacenter full of shiny, identical network devices. Because the design was so consistent and repeatable you scripted the generation of the device configurations without too much hassle. This is a network with an easily ‘provisioned’ network configuration. But day-one provisioning is only one part of the puzzle.  The real prize is a centrally ‘controlled’ network configuration, where all config…

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RFQs: Get Value from your VAR

RFQs: Get Value from your VAR

Today we’re going to take a look at a very specific aspect the network project delivery workflow; seeking a quote from a value added reseller or VAR.   A VAR re-sells equipment and services on behalf of network equipment vendors.  In this post we’ll look at what a VAR is and how to reduce the time lost on equipment ordering.  Like RMAs,  RFQs are not sexy, but mishandled RFQs can burn a lot of time that you could otherwise spend…

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