A little under the weather today and I apologize for this episode publishing a few days late. Today we have an Ask Zig Episode. Rob from Tampa Florida asked this question on LinkedIn. “Do you think that pursuing CCIE data center makes as much sense as it used to?” Hear the Answer in today’s episode!
First off is their still value in the CCIE DC?
- The journey
- How much you can learn about yourself
- How much technology you can learn
- The Testing process / experience itself (Full Scale Labing, Stress management, Time management)
- Becoming an expert
- If you already have 2 or 3 CCIEs, there probably isn’t a good ROI
I think it depends on your end goal and your end destination
There are so many new initiatives that a DC Expert can and should focus on
- Automation, Programming, Orchestration
- Cloud (On-Prem, Pubic Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Multi-Cloud, Micro-Clouds, etc)
- Cloud Providers – AWS, Azure, Google
- Hardware Vendors (Cisco, Juniper, etc…)
- Vendor Certifications
What type of career path are you working towards?
- Are you going to end up architecting and designing Cisco Data Center Solutions with Nexus 9Ks, UCS, ACI, Storage Area Networks, etc…
- Are you going to be connecting on Prem DC environments to Cloud offerings such as AWS VPCs? You still will need to understand the technology of both CCIE R&S and CCIE DC tracks, probably not to the level of the CCIE Exams but you will still need to know the concepts and the theory of the technology
- Are you just going to be spending 90% of your time in the cloud space?
- Are you going to be hands on keyboard, typing away at the CLI or are you going to be in a Web GUI selecting dropdown’s to configure something?
- Its not as clear cut as it once was, but answering these questions will definitely help you determine what you should focus on.
Today’s DC Expert
Today, though this could and very well might change, I think a DC Expert needs to have a good mixture of the following Skillsets:
- Not saying that a DC Expert needs the certification here, but needs to understand and know the technology. The theory, the concepts, and be able to troubleshoot it if necessary.
- Definitely a must in today’s industry. These are things that are paramount today.
- How do you connect into a Cloud environment
- How do you design for redundancy between your on-prem and cloud environments.
- How do you troubleshoot cloud.
- How do you determine proper bandwidth levels between on-prem and cloud.
- Do you use a VPN type connection model into the cloud or do you use direct links from a provider?
Automation / Orchestration / Programming
- These three industry disruptors have changed and will continue to change this industry.
- They have positive effect on the bottom line for businesses.
- Understanding the difference between Automation and Orchestration, and where to use them.
- Programming concepts and experience is a must. Not saying every Network Engineer or Network Architect needs to run out right now to get a Degree in Programming. What I am saying is that you will need to understand programming concepts, frameworks, and terminology. You will need to have some perspective, so some basic programming courses would be highly value-able.
Personally, I still have plans, though they might dwindle over the coming years, of going after the CCIE in DC and the CCIE in Security. For me there isn’t a direct ROI, but I do believe these are very relevant in today’s industry. Rob, for you this will depend on what you are looking to be doing in the next 5 and 10 years. Will you still be in the same role you are in today? Do you thrive on DC technology, Cloud technology, and / or Security? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Work with me:
Through your participation in a healthy mentoring and coaching relationship, you will benefit greatly from the education, the experiences, the influences, leadership and even the resources provided. Learn how you can accomplish more, in one year, than you could accomplish in your career…in your business…and in your life.
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Zig Zsiga, CCDE™ 2016::32, CCIE™ #44883 has been in the networking industry just about 20 years. He is currently a Solutions Integration Architect at Cisco Systems. Zig holds an active CCDE and two CCIE certifications, one in Routing and Switching and the second in Service Provider. Zig also holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science from Park University. Zig is a father, a husband, a United States Marine, a gamer, a nerd, a geek and a big soccer fan. Zig loves all technology and can usually be found in the lab learning and teaching others. Zig is a co-organizer of The Boston Network Operators Group (www.bosnog.org), runs multiple CCIE Study groups, and is a newly published author. Zig lives in Upstate New York, USA with his wife, Julie and their son Gunnar.