Time flies when you’re having… work?

Been a helluva week, folks. I honestly never thought I’d have so many projects in the air at the same time. Lots of very time sensitive projects at work and – did I mention? – my family’s moving in 2 weeks. Yowza.

I am in the process of building up a lab mock-up of a client’s network infrastructure. The client is huge, with over 600 locations worldwide and a presence in literally every major American city. Up to recently, their approach to network design was to hook the wires up and pray. (ed. note: This is not considered “industry best practice”.) When they needed to push out a new version of software or a change in their configuration, they just did so on the live, production network and hoped they could recover it if everything went “boom.” Well, not when I get through with ’em.

The lab will contain at least 1 of every single piece of hardware they use. It will be connected together in exactly the same way using ATM , Frame-Relay, and ISDN simulators so that when we’re one, the lab will look, feel, and work exactly as the real mccoy. So far, I have 4 Cisco Catalyst 6509 switches with router blades, 2 Cisco Catalyst 4006 switches, 1 Cisco 3660 router, 1 Cisco 8510, 6 Cisco 7204 routers, and 23 Cisco 3620‘s. That’s about $1.2 Million retail. And I’m only two-thirds of the way done. This is, by far, the largest single concentration of this kind of gear that I’ve ever dealt with and – frankly – I’m like a kid in a candy shop. I’m a CCNP at this point and was looking ahead to the next certification level, the CCIE. The prep work for that test generally takes about a year and requires about $6000 – $9000 in equipment.

I’m going to get to study with gear that’s orders of magnitude more powerful than what’s normally available. Gonna be fun…

I’ve been keeping an eye on the news and politics, too, but haven’t had the chance to sit down and write coherently about it. Look for more this weekend.