Routing and switching is my hobby as well as a skill to make a living. My friend recommended me to start a blog so that I can share my cisco configuration to more people in the net. Well, so I have decided to sign up and post all my previous configuration notes from my Facebook Notes to here.
I got my CCNA on 9th of November 2009, I took 3 months to prepare for the exam, through the process of learning I delved deeper into the topics and found that I actually like network engineering. Originally I intended to go further to prepare my CCNP but Cisco announced that CCNPv5 would soon be replaced by CCNPv6. I decided to wait for the new exam to launch, while waiting I attempted to prepare for CCNA-Security. CCNA-Security unlike CCNA cannot be learned through Packet Tracer. Packet Tracer is just a simulator and cannot launch a real SDM version 2.5 (Version 2.5 has been replaced by Cisco Network Assistant, and SDM has been discontinued), furthermore there were only limited command lines which cannot achieve the learning experience of CCNA-security.
Learning networking cannot be done solely by books, hands-on is an important catalyst too. I bought my first Cisco router – Cisco 871, originally I intended to buy 871W the vendor however never listened to my request, nevertheless Cisco 871 is still a very good router to start with. It has one routed interface (WAN) and 4 switch interfaces. From there I learned to configure Zone based firewall, due to budget constraint I ended up doing lab with GNS3 when practicing Site-to-site vpn using command line.
CCNA-Security hands-on is very SDM intensive, SDM is actually a very good learning tool, from the preference turn on the command preview option, you can see the configuration commands before delivering the commands into your router.
On the 15th of March 2010, I got my CCNA-Security. Since this was a relatively new certification, companies where I have interviewed did not know what this certification was about, and my interviewer could not even remember my certification title! LOL… wow…. CCNA and CCNP are still the leading entry level certification in the network industry.
Due to no project implementation experience, getting myself a network engineering job was arduous. The market was tough, employers were cautious. Finally I interviewed a company which is a system integrator, it is a SME size company, I compromised my own salary and benefit to work for my present employer, my goal is to gain more project experiences especially projects pertaining to Cisco devices.
I never stopped learning, and try to keep myself as current as possible. I would do hands-on lab using my two 24-port with 2 GBIC uplink Cat3550 EMI and two 2950 24-port ethernet switches. Later I bought an ASA5505 (Basic licence, adequate for lab to study ASA), and most recently I got myself five 2651XM routers and five WIC-2T cards, they are all refurbished but still able to use…. I hope to achieve an excellent career in network engineering field eventually.
I am sowing my seeds and hope to share my fruits with people who like me have great passion with cisco routing and switching.
I have targeted myself to earn the CCNP title by next year first week of January 2011, and hope to attempt the CCIE R&S lab exam by January 2012. Wish me luck 🙂