Happy 2-Year Anniversary - A Reminder to Focus on What's Really Important in Network Engineering

Written Architectures with Template Designs Should Form the Basis of Everything You Do

This Saturday, July 4th, marks the two year anniversary of my "From the Field" blog on Network World. It's been a great and demanding experience. Best I can tell, I've written over 140 blogs in those 2 years on everything from Webtorials to Routing iSCSI with 10GIG. There are usually around 10,000 to 15,000 unique readers of my blogs each month. I have to thank Network World for marketing Cisco Subnet so well and I have to thank my loyal readers who wait each week to read my eloquence (come you three readers, I know you). ;-) The majority of my work has centered around three main areas. The first is the Cisco Nexus line of switches which, over the two years my blog has existed, were in development, released as a product, and used in our new data center.

Nexus Blogs http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/38587 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/38325 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/38063 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/33311 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/32995 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/26796 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25825 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25129 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/24907 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/24529

The second main area of my blogs has been the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification; in particular, my passing the CCDE last fall, becoming one of the first three in the world to attain that certification.

CCDE Blogs Passing the CCDE is Starting to Sink In Holly Crap I Passed the CCDE!!!! Did I Pass the CCDE? CCDE Practical Beta is a Beta CCDE Practical Beta Exam is Tomorrow CCDE Practical is a Go! Sneak Preview of the CCDE Practical Exam Clearing the Air on the CCDE Practical Beta Exam CCDE Practical Beta Test Cancelled CCDE Written Goes Live. I Passed. Can You? Will Cisco's Master Architect Certification Test Leadership? More Thoughts on Network Engineers and the CCDE Separating Network Design and the CCIE Took the CCDE Written Beta Test Today Insight on the New Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) - Part III Insight on the New Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) - Part II Insight on the New Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) and Network Infrastructure Architect Certification

However, the single most important thing I have blogged about in the last two years need to be highlighted and reinforced more often. The key to stable, scalable, and effective network design has little to do with Nexus switches or multiple certifications or the latest whiz-bang gadget some vendor will sell you. The best way to a great network is a solid written architecture based on template network designs. Having a written architecture to document your standards (BOMs, configurations, IOS levels, routing, etc) along with repeatable network designs in the form of template drawings will make your network a crown jewel in the IT portfolio. If you don't have a written architecture and templates now, start today! If the economy has your budget constrained, start working on a written architecture and templates (hint: they are really cheap to do, only cost labor hours). If you're interviewing for a new job, don't talk about how many different pieces of Cisco hardware you know, talk about how you would bring a written architecture and templates to your prospective employer. If you think about it, a written architecture and templates are an amazingly simple concept that few people and organizations do. Don't be typical, be different!

Written Architecture and Template Blogs http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/17176 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/17657 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/21681 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/22723 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/22950 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/23415 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/23606 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/23721 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25947 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/26046 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/26457 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/33909 http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/42139

PS - I'm taking next weekend off for the 4th of July, so no blogging. :-)

More >From the Field blog entries:

Using FCAPS for IP Telephony Management

Not a Lot of Excitement for Networkers This Year?

Cisco ASA IP Phone Proxy - My New BFF

Too Many IOS Versions, Something's Gotta Give Soon

(Network) Engineering a Merger

Applying Accounting Measures to Data Networking Financial Performance

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