A Day in the Life....

I thought I'd have some fun with a blog and write about "a day in the life" of....well.....my life as Team Lead and Network Architect. Last Friday will do since it was a full day. Got up at 5 AM, but hit the snooze till 6 AM. That's unusual since I am usually up at 5 AM so I can get to work early. I live on the East Coast, but most of my co-workers are on the West Coast, so early mornings are very nice to catch up on e-mails and other work. Things usually get moving (new e-mail, meetings, phone calls, etc) by around 11 AM Eastern each day. I hopped in the shower and then breakfast. I had my work laptop with me in bed last night (yes, doing e-mail at night) so I fire it up to check the overnight e-mail. First though, I have to VPN into our new Cisco ASA VPN device we are demo'ing. Logging in is much better and the connection is faster. Nothing too exciting in the e-mail inbox though. An updated extranet design for a partner connection in Bangalore from our AsiaPac engineer I need to review is the only interesting thing. I read through news on My Yahoo and then shut down and make some lunch (salad, trying to lose a little weight) before kissing the wife and off to work. I am spoiled since I only live four miles from the office. That has been very, very nice over the last 2 1/2 years. I hit the office by 7 AM and unpack at my desk. It's Friday morning, so free bagels at work. I grab a bagel and a Diet Coke and head back to the desk. I clean up the rest of the e-mails and review the Bangalore extranet design by 8 AM. The next 3 hours I'm free with no meetings, so I have time to catch up on projects and other tasks. I should spend time reading about the Wireless LAN analyzer software we have and prep for a wireless survey for the new data center we are building, but I'm too distracted by the WAN acceleration boxes we installed the night before. As I have blogged about before, we have a separate Lab MPLS network and the night before we installed a two demo WAN Acceleration boxes on this network. So now, I'm playing with the WAN accelerators; copying files back and forth with CIFS over the WAN, checking web pages, and looking at stats. In short, it's damn impressive. There's a difference. And I found a way to demo the difference between accelerated vs. non-accelerated traffic to the same remote server from my PC, so now I have to show everyone else! I'm calling people and showing people at my desk. One of my co-workers suggests I just setup a meeting later and show everyone else, so I set the meeting up. By now it's 12 PM and time for real meetings. The first one is about the new building we are opening soon with 600 desks. One of the engineers on my team is doing the network design and I am doing the IPT design, but I'm responsible for all of it since I am the team lead. Quick update to the PM about the designs and BOMs and then I'm back to the WAN accelerators. I grab my salad for lunch and check news again on My Yahoo and then the next meeting comes up. This one is the weekly IPT Architecture meetings I am running. As the Team Lead I am responsible for written architectures for all communications technologies. We have done a fantastic job with the network architecture over the last 3 years, but the IPT architecture needs some work. It was implemented quickly last year and now we are doing the work (afterwards) to document the architecture. Fortunately, the consultants left a lot of documentation to start with. This meeting lasts about 45 minutes. I wrote three sections of the architecture in the wiki page earlier this week, but the other guys were too busy last week to get anything written. So, I had to push deliverables out a week. Next, I have a meeting about some VoIP quality issues we are experiencing to EMEA which takes about an hour. After that I have to call about plane tickets to Networkers. I'm taking the family this year to Disney World so trying to find the best deal. By now it's around 3:30 PM so I run downstairs to our Friday Beer Bash. Yes, I work in high-tech and we have a Beer Bash every Friday afternoon. Free beer and food. This after the free bagels in the morning makes it very easy to get fat here; hence the reason for the salad at lunch. The final meeting of the day is the WAN Acceleration demo. I log into my conference bridge and fire up e/pop and about 10 people join to see the demo. The demo goes great; people are very impressed. Our operations director even wants to know how fast we can implement it. That will be a bit since there is a lot of requirements definition, research, and network design left to be done. Today's demo was about "what" WAN acceleration can do for us, not "how" we are going to do it. But, it was still a huge success. After the meeting, I clean up a few more e-mail and I'm out the door around 5:15 PM. Not too bad today. Now I have to get home quickly (ok, it's only 4 miles) and cook dinner (yes, I cook dinner at home). ;-) A full, yet very successful, 10-hour day. What's your day like?

More From the Field blog entries:

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Tips on spending your time well at Cisco Networkers, plus: bring back the CCIE party!!

* NX-OS - Some Software For all that New Nexus 7000 Hardware

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* The DC3....err....Nexus 7000 brings some exciting hardware to the DC LAN

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