Great Project...need some feedback

nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi,

Well the boss asked myself an a colleague to completely replace the entire network and implement the new kit to support Voip for the whole of our division (an entire country).

We are basically replacing everything including the core, switches and remote offices. its a massive project (costing £millions)and one i am looking forward to. Now a guy from our parent company will design it and we have to implement it. i have basic experiance with cisco and was about to start studying for my ccna soon so i am hoping it will go hand in hand.

I was just wondering if anyone could give me any good links on network design, data and voice vlans, advanced switching and mpls. because i dont have huge experiance with the technology but is something i want to get into and when i am speaking about it i want to know what i am talking about !

If anyone has been in a similar situation and could share there experiance?

Once the infrastructure has been replaced then we will also be heading the voip project...like i say its a great chance and one i want to grab with boths hands, so any help will be much appreciated.

also any tips from the pro's etc will be much appreciated because i know how gd the advice is around here.
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Comments

  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    I personally love using cisco's online articles..

    http://www.ciscopress.com/articles/index.asp?st=42095


    If the other guy is handling design, then it sounds like you will get a lot of hands on experience. The CCNA would be perfect for such a task. We did a complete redesign of our network (roughly the size of PA), and I got to do a large majority of the configuration tasks..incredible learning experience. I would get hot on your CCNA studies. They'll be invaluable. Especially since they'll be fresh in your mind.

    As far as the VOIP, my education has been pretty informal. Once the CCNP is completed, I'll gear my studies more towards the little nuances that make up VOIP. You can still learn a lot about VOIP by on the job training..although your troubleshooting skills will be somewhat limited, as you will understand how to do things, not the why. Still, I would jump at the opportunity..which it sounds like you're doing.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 171Member
    You might ask over in the CCVP forum to see if those guys can help you. Congrats on the big project. I can speak from experience (i had something similar, it was routing and switching and not voip) and if you have very little experience it will be stressful during installation and troubleshooting but once you get it turned up and accepted you'll look back and see how far you came. Its like traveling through the mountains by foot in the middle of winter. It really really sucks, you think you are going to die, but once you make it through and see the light on the other side you look back at all of the things you went through. You also realize how much experience you now have.

    Just remember to have fun while you are doing this. That'll help ease it along.
    :D
  • dtlokeedtlokee Posts: 2,381Member
    Get in touch with Cisco they will off you all sorts of pre-sales engineering (either directly or through a partner) for such a project. There are hundreds of design guides on Cisco's website in the product support part, but you may want to pick up a CCDA book for a good overview.

    Sounds like a good learning experience for you.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    thanks for the replies fella's.

    I cant wait for it to start. This is the kind of work ive been interested in lately but havent been able to progress it due to the amount of uni work on. Also i think it will go great with my ccna studies.

    The project will probably last several months at least so it will keep me going for a little while. icon_lol.gif

    The initial phase will include replacing the entire routing and switching infrastructure - this is the 1st project, whilst putting in kit to support Voip. Then Voip will be a totally seperate project but following on from the initial first project.

    @phreak....how did you feel after the project in terms of experiance and understanding the technology? and have you progressed in networking since doing your project?

    anyone else feel free to comment or make an input because im on cloud 9 at the min !
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  • malcyboodmalcybood Posts: 900Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    My company are just going through something similar and we're now more or less at implementation stage. We're replacing current WAN MPLS network for an NGN MPLS network with a different supplier. It includes 26 MPLS sites that will be migrated and we have to ensure our current VOIP system works between the 2 networks during the migration as we're doing a phased migration as opposed to a "big bang"

    I would say you should familiarise yourself with some standard design rules from the CCDA book by Diane Teare. I found this to be very helpful.

    The basic process that we have used to date goes pretty much hand in hand with the Cisco PPDIOO model, you should familiarise yourself with this model. The rough steps so far for us;
      Audited existing network to perform gap analysis Identify key business applications to benefit from the new WAN Prepared an RFP document to send to potential bidding parties Invited 4 different suppliers to tender for the Request For Proposal (RFP) Each company presented their RFP response with high level design solution & cost model Narrowed down to 2 suppliers and had further technical/commercial workshops Performed reference checks with current customers of new suppliers & Gartner Identified clear "winner" after further negotiations (price)

    Currently stuck at the contract (lawyers zzzzz) stage but we have been doing proof of concept testing which has been all good so far.

    From the financial side of things you could ask the suppliers to present amortised costs over 3 & 5 years. This cuts down the chunk coming from the IT directors yearly budget from i.e. close to 1 million to 350,000 if it were a 3 year model, leaving more money in the kitty for you to ask for a pay rise lol. Depends if money is no object or not whether you take this approach.

    No doubts you'll enjoy doing this and learn a hell of alot from it. If you need any more advice feel free to ask icon_cool.gif
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just an update...man im bummed out!

    i originally thought that we would be doing all the configs, install etc etc but now its a case of someone else doing the configs for all the routers/switches and we will be just going round mounting them and pluging in the cables!

    I know that any experiance from it is better than none but i had huge aspirations for this.

    I thought that this was a great chance to finally get some real hands on and have spent alot of my own time reading up on things for it! i know the additional reading wont go to waste but im still hugely dissapointed allout.gif
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  • CiscoCertsCiscoCerts Posts: 112Member
    oh man that sucks!!! Sorry man icon_sad.gif
  • GlynixxGlynixx Posts: 138Member
    Sorry nel.

    Quick question tho: Will the people that will be doing the configs be on site or are they doing it remotely? If they are on site, buy them lunch and then see if you can saddle up to them. Maybe they will help you write some configs or teach you some stuff.

    Good luck!
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  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Glynixx wrote:
    Sorry nel.

    Quick question tho: Will the people that will be doing the configs be on site or are they doing it remotely? If they are on site, buy them lunch and then see if you can saddle up to them. Maybe they will help you write some configs or teach you some stuff.

    Good luck!

    Sadly, they are doing it remotely - 300 miles away!
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  • malcyboodmalcybood Posts: 900Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    nel wrote:
    Glynixx wrote:
    Sorry nel.

    Quick question tho: Will the people that will be doing the configs be on site or are they doing it remotely? If they are on site, buy them lunch and then see if you can saddle up to them. Maybe they will help you write some configs or teach you some stuff.

    Good luck!

    Sadly, they are doing it remotely - 300 miles away!

    Are you sure about this? It usually works where a field engineer puts a standard config on the router and changes a few IP addresses then contacts the senior NOC engineers if they have any issues.

    I can't see how they can manage the box and "bring it up" unless there is some sort of partial config on it. They simply can't connect to an unconfigured "out of the box" unless you're consoled in.
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    malcybood wrote:
    nel wrote:
    Glynixx wrote:
    Sorry nel.

    Quick question tho: Will the people that will be doing the configs be on site or are they doing it remotely? If they are on site, buy them lunch and then see if you can saddle up to them. Maybe they will help you write some configs or teach you some stuff.

    Good luck!

    Sadly, they are doing it remotely - 300 miles away!

    Are you sure about this? It usually works where a field engineer puts a standard config on the router and changes a few IP addresses then contacts the senior NOC engineers if they have any issues.

    I can't see how they can manage the box and "bring it up" unless there is some sort of partial config on it. They simply can't connect to an unconfigured "out of the box" unless you're consoled in.

    Yeah, well one router and one switch has had a basic config just so he can access it remotely. so he can create a config. then he will send us all the configs and they will be copy/pasted.
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  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    nel wrote:
    malcybood wrote:
    nel wrote:
    Glynixx wrote:
    Sorry nel.

    Quick question tho: Will the people that will be doing the configs be on site or are they doing it remotely? If they are on site, buy them lunch and then see if you can saddle up to them. Maybe they will help you write some configs or teach you some stuff.

    Good luck!

    Sadly, they are doing it remotely - 300 miles away!

    Are you sure about this? It usually works where a field engineer puts a standard config on the router and changes a few IP addresses then contacts the senior NOC engineers if they have any issues.

    I can't see how they can manage the box and "bring it up" unless there is some sort of partial config on it. They simply can't connect to an unconfigured "out of the box" unless you're consoled in.

    Yeah, well one router and one switch has had a basic config just so he can access it remotely. so he can create a config. then he will send us all the configs and they will be copy/pasted.

    You have had some good advice on this thread. Try not to be too disheartened. Whatever tasks you are assigned do them to the best of your ability. As a network designer and former network support professional I can tell you how invaluable it is to have implementors doing a professional job no matter how menial it may seem.. like cabling. On the upside you don't have the worry of trying to interpret a complex design and come up with configurations you dont understand. So I would say roll with it, be helpful and take time out to really try and understand those configurations over time. To that end the CCNA will help you as will some basic MPLS/Voice awareness, but at all times concentrate on the basics first and foremost and try to get those down. With luck you should have access to the equipment post implementation and be afforded a chance to look around on the live environment with some show commands.

    It's still a great learning opportunity as so much is changing there. Make the most of it, and have a read of that design document.

    Good luck!
  • tech-airmantech-airman Posts: 953Member
    nel wrote:
    Just an update...man im bummed out!

    i originally thought that we would be doing all the configs, install etc etc but now its a case of someone else doing the configs for all the routers/switches and we will be just going round mounting them and pluging in the cables!

    I know that any experiance from it is better than none but i had huge aspirations for this.

    I thought that this was a great chance to finally get some real hands on and have spent alot of my own time reading up on things for it! i know the additional reading wont go to waste but im still hugely dissapointed allout.gif

    nel,

    You have to look at it from the company's perspective. They NEEDED the network setup as fast as possible which means little to no wasted time for you to "figure out and learn" how to configure the networking devices. You mentioned "...i have basic experiance with cisco and was about to start studying for my ccna soon..." Speaking from experience, I completed the entire CCNA curriculum and courses through my Cisco Networking Academy in a time period of one year. So unless you literally dropped everything you were doing between the time frame of Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:21 am of the first post and this post of Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:30 am trying to cram for the CCNA, without using braindumps, and compress a 1 year CCNA program in the Cisco Networking Academy into your one month, your skills may not be up to speed that would be required for a project of this magnitude. According to Cisco, CCNAs are supposed to be able to "...The Cisco CCNA network associate certification validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN. " Since you mentioned "...We are basically replacing everything including the core, switches and remote offices. its a massive project (costing £millions) and one i am looking forward to. " you have to ask yourself the honest question "would I trust a £millions project to replace everything in the core, distribution, and access layers without even having a CCNA?"

    Now, I understand that you're like a lot of us trying to get as much "hands on experience" as possible. I am not trying to discourage you from studying towards and earning your CCNA. But based on the project description in the first post, the relevant skill levels required seemed to be as a minimum of the CCNP for the infrastructure phase and the CCVP for the VoIP phase.

    Ultimately, it sounds like it was a management decision and they decided. Keep studying and get certified as soon as possible.

    Source:
    1. CCNA - Career Certifications & Paths - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/le2/le0/le9/learning_certification_type_home.html
  • malcyboodmalcybood Posts: 900Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    nel,

    I agree with Turgon's comments.

    believe me you will learn so much if you are pasting configs in as you ma not want to hear this but i'll bet my bottom dollar a project that size will not go 100 percent smoothly and they will need 'eyes and hands' on site to console into the router and help resolve any issues.....if they send their own engineer, ask questions and if you can help as you are interested.

    you know, it may be a router config issue, a local loop issue, fiber/dsl fault but you will learn about the different types of comms faults at a high level if nothing else which will enable you to talk the talk and walk the walk .uch more than just saying 'it was the router' you will learn to put some science behind reasons why installs fail initially.

    I know you're disapointed man but look at the bigger picture. I would also add that many larger companies with multiple locations are outsourcing the operational side of things these days to an ISP so they can concentrate on the 'network management' and ROI and let someone else worry about the 'day to day' stuff like router configs etc.

    I'd say get this project under your belt and then if you still don't feel fulfilled from the learning curve and want to learn more about the operational side of things you need to try and get a job in an ISP or managed service provider.

    I hope this helps and puts a slightly more positive slant on it for you.
  • AlanJamesAlanJames Posts: 230Member
    We went through the same task about 1.5 years back, everything went to cisco voip. It is a MASSIVE task, and you can still learn a lot with external contractors doing the configs.

    There is a lot involved from, infrastructure, correct design, QOS <-- very important with VOip

    So don't be too bummed, as you will still learn a lot from it :)
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    AlanJames wrote:
    There is a lot involved from, infrastructure, correct design, QOS <-- very important with VOip
    Yeah -- if you're feeling left out, read the QOS Mistake thread over in the CCVP Forum. I think I decided in that thread it was the people who should have known better who messed it up. icon_eek.gif

    Just imagine what you could have done. icon_lol.gif

    Then think about the experience you'll be able to put on your resume about running this thing once its built and working. Add some Certifications -- and the corresponding knowledge and skills -- on top of that, and you could be looking at a better paying future :D

    And finally think about how much sleep you're NOT going to loose trying to figure all this stuff out on the fly. It's still a great opportunity, so get as involved with it as you can. And the great thing is, any mistakes you learn from will be someone elses. icon_lol.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • nelnel Posts: 2,859Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies fella's. I am totally realistic where they are coming from but i was only going by what i was told. believe me i will take any experiance i can no matter how big or small and hope it will pay off in the end because i cant see an isp job coming along anytime soon.


    But like i said, i was told we would have plenty of time to learn it from the ground up and make sure there was someone in the dept who knew it inside out. because we have many systems where no one has a clue how it works and what to do when it breaks.

    aww well, back to the drawing board i guess. I'll keep you updated!
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