Cisco Advanced Services Education and the Awesome Technical Knowledge Library

My fellow CiscoSubnet blogger Scott Hogg wrote a good blog the other day about free IT training in a down economy. With these difficult economic times, employers are cutting back or downright eliminating paid training courses. But, keeping your skill set up to par and learning new technology does not take a break during the recession. While I'm not going to provide free training tips, I do have a new training solution that could save a lot of dollars (hint: managers like that). Cisco, it seems, has quietly launched their own training service - Advanced Services Education (AES). I had not heard anything about AES until I stumbled upon it while doing research for the ASR-series blogs. According to Cisco.com, AES is broken down into three major areas:

  1. Education Offerings (EA) - classroom sessions, led by Cisco ASE team members, including intensive, hands-on lab work on network connectivity, device configuration, and troubleshooting.
  2. Curriculum Planning Review (CPR) - a service which aims to improve performance for those deploying or supporting IP networks by identifying training gaps and solutions.
  3. Technical Knowledge Library (TKL) - Customer organizations can subscribe to the Technical Knowledge Library to access Cisco white papers and other documentation that are authored by Cisco engineers. Cisco content networking equipment is placed in the organization's network, giving users full web access to knowledge content, including Cisco Advanced Services best practices

#1, EA, is training by actual Cisco employees on advanced topics which may not be available from traditional Cisco training partners like Global Knowledge. Plus, the training can be delivered via a virtual classroom, so traveling costs are eliminated. #2, CPR, is a professional service where a Cisco educational team assesses your team's current training needs and develops a training roadmap. But by far the most awesomeous part of AES is #3, the Technical Knowledge Library. Think of the TKL as a collection of every piece of training material ever produced by Cisco available for you to download and use. There are Networkers presentations, Cisco Press books, CPOC case studies, actual classes via webcasts, Cisco On Cisco information, and more. Plus, the TKL is delivered via a content engine that sits on your network and downloads updates from Cisco periodically. So, it can be local so it's fast and still have fresh content. What an amazing idea! All this content, readily available to your engineers to use when they need to, and no need to pay for Global Knowledge courses, or fly for training. In a word..."heavenly". I was so excited about TKL I sent my Cisco account team an e-mail asking about how to get it. And, I guess Christmas came a bit late this year, because they had included it as part of our Nexus Data Center purchases. EGGCELENT!!! We've had TKL installed for a couple weeks and it is heavenly! Maybe I'd like to learn about EIGRP:

Hmmm, yep, I think Jeff's book in PDF will do just fine:

and maybe after doing a little reading, I'll listen to a webcast:

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TKL is a fantastic idea. Put a plan together to get your management to buy one. Tell them to pool whatever training budget is left and get one. The training will be faster, better, and will save money on other classes and on travel. This is a good business solution.

Technical Knowledge Library Overview Technical Knowledge Library White Paper

More >From the Field blog entries:

My Interview with Cisco about the CCDE

The Cisco QuantumFlow Processor - The Engine in the ASR 1000 Series

NPA Awards for Professionalism - Nominations Have Begun

NX-OS Training Videos on YouTube

Good Luck to All CCDE Testers Tomorrow

Our Nexus Data Center Network - To vPC or not to vPC ....???

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