Had it with servers

strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
I've decided today that I want to change direction in my career path. I have been doing server admin, support, implementations for about 7 years now but I am just growing bored of it. I'm not saying I know it all but it is boring me.

I want to make the move to networking, real networking like Cisco. I have had a little bit of experience with Cisco switches and routers, have a very good knowledge of networking and a fair bit of experience with D-Link network products - I know thats its nothing like Cisco.

I am currently studying for the security exams to do my MCSE:Sec so I will probably finish that off first (got exam booked for this Sat) but then I'll go back to the CCNA which I started and stopped about 3 yeasr ago.

A pure comms job would be good, get into Pix firewalls, Voip, Wireless (already quite experienced without Cisco) and even SAN, which something else I'm interested in. A job that mixes both comms and server support/implentation would also suffice.

So other then this rant about me being bored I do actually have a question. With the toughness of todays market, considering I am fairly senior as it is now, how hard would it be to move from Servers to Networks given my certs and exp. And I'm not talking technically because I know I could handle that but I mean within companies. Maybe a combination job should slot me in quite good.

Questions - Anyone else get that feeling? Anyone in a job that does allow them to do both Networks and Servers and if so what size company?

Comments

  • NoodsNoods Member Posts: 168
    A company that had a similar position with the need for those services is either going to be large, possibly an ISP, or have very many internal users. If I were you, I would find a way to see not only what jobs were open in those companies, but all jobs in those companies.
  • darkuserdarkuser Member Posts: 620 ■■■□□□□□□□
    if you have a good foundation and knowledge of osi you shouldn't find it too hard and should progress pretty quickly. most things cisco are standards based and the cisco-centric things get made into rfc's anyway
    best thing you could do would be pick up 2 2501's and serial x-ver and a switch.
    rm -rf /
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    I have already worked for large companies, and the one I'm in is very large. It makes it harder because everything is so segregated, I have never even met the comms guys.

    I do have a good understanding of the OSI, especially the first 3 layers but after that I have forgotten most of it, will need to do some revision.

    I am thinking a medium sized company might be good to start in who needs an all rounder network admin person, that way I have something to offer them as well as me being able to learn. Well, I'll stay put and work toward my CCNA and then go from there.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    strauchr wrote:
    Questions - Anyone else get that feeling? Anyone in a job that does allow them to do both Networks and Servers and if so what size company?

    I just copied this from one of my other posts.

    Job title is Systems Administrator/Network Engineer.

    Charge of...
    Systems title I do all servers, web servers, SUS, exchange all clients & everything else I don't want to think about now.

    Networking title I do all Cisco work. 7,000 ports across 4 locations, couple big routers, ALOT of 2950s, 80+ VLANs, some crap 3500's, couple PIXs, bandwidth optimization/allocation, lots of fiber, WI/FI Aeronet & VPN connections along with roaming clients.
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    Garv221 - thats the sort of job I need right now. I had something similar a few years back but didn't get into the Cisco stuff I wanted to, the company was maybe to small and a basic cisco "guru" and a consultant come in. Anyway, what size company (Sites, users, IT dept. staff) is it and what type of company.
  • rossonieri#1rossonieri#1 Member Posts: 799 ■■■□□□□□□□
    garv221 wrote:
    Networking title I do all Cisco work. 7,000 ports across 4 locations, couple big routers, ALOT of 2950s, 80+ VLANs, some crap 3500's, couple PIXs, bandwidth optimization/allocation, lots of fiber, WI/FI Aeronet & VPN connections along with roaming clients.

    ...wow, how about using NMS, garv :D
    the More I know, that is more and More I dont know.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    strauchr wrote:
    Garv221 - thats the sort of job I need right now. I had something similar a few years back but didn't get into the Cisco stuff I wanted to, the company was maybe to small and a basic cisco "guru" and a consultant come in. Anyway, what size company (Sites, users, IT dept. staff) is it and what type of company.

    I don't really like to mention what company or what we do..But its 6 sites, thousands of users sepearated by vlans, a certain vlan contains all servers & stuff. IT dept is me, a programmer & a couple help desk part time guys doing stuff I don't have time to.
  • WebmasterWebmaster Admin Posts: 10,292 Admin
    strauchr wrote:
    Questions - Anyone else get that feeling? Anyone in a job that does allow them to do both Networks and Servers and if so what size company?
    I've been in the same position, never got to the point were servers weren't included in the job, but a mixed sysadmin/netadmin job is often the way to get into the cisco arena. I've had jobs at both very small (2-3 servers, couple of routers and some switches, 50-250 clients) to very large (6000 clients, hundreds of servers and routers and switches, 50+ locations) where I administered both servers (nt4+ex5.5) and networks (cisco). But, at the larger companies, being 'allowed' to touch the cisco equipment is usually for the same reason as at smaller companies. At the larger ones, they usually have a WAN admin (or similar job title) who manages the entire network end-to-end, including the backbone. The actual configuration, troubleshooting, and monitoring of network (in my case always cisco) devices is often not entirely centralized, and performed by someone else (as far as I've experienced mostly the local branch sys/server admin). In my case, being an MCSE sys admin and getting my CCNA at that time made all the difference.

    In general, you may have more luck at a smaller company because there a sys admin and net admin are usually one and the same person. The problem with smaller companies however is that their environment is often not very dynamic. Once the Cisco devices are configured correctly and are up and running, they don't require much maintenance.

    Just curious, did you consider this switch to networking before moving from Australia? 5 years ago when I was looking for work abroad, I noticed a lot of good Cisco jobs in the UK and that the Cisco certifications are well respected. Don't know how it is these days though. Whatever you decide to do, getting your CCNA cert is probably the first step you should take. It certainly won't hurt to add that one to your resume.

    Good luck!
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    I actually had the same feeling in Australia although it didn't bother as me as much because I did more than just servers I was also doing Exchange, AD, Wireless, Citrix etc. but it was still getting to me. I think it is just this job I've landed here in the UK. It is nothing but Wintel server focused and I mean nothing but. No Citrix, no Exchange (They use Notes and I don't get to touch that), no AD, security, Group policies nothing. There is a dept. to handle almost everything it seems.

    I have always been interested in routers, switches, wireless, VPNs, PIX firewalls, Voip etc. but never got to really get into it and it seems like a good time since I am a senior in IT now, have a few certs and bored with doing mostly MS work.

    I have quite a lot of experienc with MS routing, VPNs, firewall (ISA) and D-Link wireless, managed switches and routers so I am not totally new to networking at all. The Cisco stuff just looks so cool and interesting to me at the moment. Then again so did Active Directory at some stage.

    Well I'll finish off MCSE Security as I only have one more exam to go (just passed 70-298 on Saturday - Wahoo!) and then go the CCNA. I don't think having the CCNA will hurt at all and will probably balance my certs on my resume out a bit. I don't think I'll abandon servers altogether just maybe this job.
  • filkenjitsufilkenjitsu CCNA R&S, CCNA SP Member Posts: 564 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Can I have your old job if you don't want it? icon_wink.gif
    CISSP, CCNA SP
    Bachelors of Science in Telecommunications - Mt. Sierra College
    Masters of Networking and Communications Management, Focus in Wireless - Keller
  • strauchrstrauchr Member Posts: 528
    Sure, when I find the job I want :)
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