Confused on Certifications

Hello, (for those who dont know me)


I've been working in IT now for almost 8 years and started off in Desktop Support/Helpdesk - moved into the NOC at an ISP and proceeded into Managed Services (Cisco, Telecom) so I've gained lots of experience in ISP networks and installing Cisco gear. I am CCNA/CCNA Voice and ADTRAN certified.

My current role is a Network Administrator - They hired me due to my Cisco knowledge but... we dont necessarily have any Cisco "work" to do Basically nobody here knew Cisco is what it comes down to.
My roles are basically, Work escalated tickets for Desktops/Laptops, break fix, Active Directory, VMWare, Backups, Data Center type work (Servers and projects) and Cisco. I do about 20% Cisco now in my daily job such as documentation and fixing the occasional issue. Nothing like the MSP/ISP's i've worked for, very different in the corp.

My question is basically this: Do I pursue my CCNP? I've been thinking about it but with the little advanced Cisco work I do, I feel as if I might not use it to my full ability. I was thinking of going the MCSE 2003 route before it expires in July since our entire infrastructure is all on 2000/2003 Servers and we're using VMWare 4
I'm trying to see if I should switch my 'career' more toward the infrastructure engineering side vs the vanilla Cisco route...
Any suggestions?

Comments

  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    drkat wrote: »
    My current role is a Network Administrator - They hired me due to my Cisco knowledge but...
    First, one reason Cisco certifications are in high demand is because they don't just teach Cisco. They teach networking in general. Once you know how to troubleshoot OSPF or BGP, it's straightforward to do that with any particular vendor's gear.
    we dont necessarily have any Cisco "work" to do
    The better question is, do you do much in the realm of networking (routing/switching)?
    Desktops/Laptops, break fix, Active Directory, VMWare, Backups, Data Center type work (Servers and projects) and Cisco. I do about 20% Cisco now
    If 80% of your work is on end systems (PCs / Servers) rather than the intermediate systems (routers/switches) that make the network work, and you enjoy the work you're doing, then the CCNP probably shouldn't be your first, second, or third priority. :)
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    to answer:

    1. They saw the Cisco certs and since they have a cisco backbone and I have experience in that area that made me an ideal candidate. I'm also in charge of the entire cisco network btw.
    2. With this new job? None :) it's completely flat lan - then we just have MPLS to connect the offices so it's pretty stable. Previous jobs? All the time :)
    3. Yes 80% of the work is more on the infrastructure/systems side and little R&S if any.. and definitely nothing complex..

    I mean the biggest project I might do this year is implementing VLSM and some server room design, like I said we're pretty flat so no real vlan seperation etc - however even that gets put behind some of the more systems stuff like the dell san upgrade and migrating different servers into VM

    So I guess I sort of answered my own question.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    drkat wrote: »
    Hello, (for those who dont know me)


    I've been working in IT now for almost 8 years and started off in Desktop Support/Helpdesk - moved into the NOC at an ISP and proceeded into Managed Services (Cisco, Telecom) so I've gained lots of experience in ISP networks and installing Cisco gear. I am CCNA/CCNA Voice and ADTRAN certified.

    My current role is a Network Administrator - They hired me due to my Cisco knowledge but... we dont necessarily have any Cisco "work" to do Basically nobody here knew Cisco is what it comes down to.
    My roles are basically, Work escalated tickets for Desktops/Laptops, break fix, Active Directory, VMWare, Backups, Data Center type work (Servers and projects) and Cisco. I do about 20% Cisco now in my daily job such as documentation and fixing the occasional issue. Nothing like the MSP/ISP's i've worked for, very different in the corp.

    My question is basically this: Do I pursue my CCNP? I've been thinking about it but with the little advanced Cisco work I do, I feel as if I might not use it to my full ability. I was thinking of going the MCSE 2003 route before it expires in July since our entire infrastructure is all on 2000/2003 Servers and we're using VMWare 4
    I'm trying to see if I should switch my 'career' more toward the infrastructure engineering side vs the vanilla Cisco route...
    Any suggestions?

    Yep, get your storage networking certs. I won't knock a CCNP cert but if you want a diverse set of certifications it probably is absolutely fine to have one cisco and one ad tran cert on the networking side. I can find 10 CCNPs for every quality SAN networking engineer out there. Pretty soon, based on the switches coming out of Brocade, Cisco, and Juniper; our ethernet is going to look a lot more like a storage fabric anyway.

    I wouldn't discourage the Windows route but if you have a foundation built on experience, it might be a waste compared to the more intense technical certs. I won't take another Microsoft test for at least another three years. I am going down the Brocade Ethernet/Fabric certs this year.
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    it consulant - can you elaborate more?
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    I think you should look into TOGAF 9.0

    ;)
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    drkat wrote: »
    it consulant - can you elaborate more?

    On the ethernet fabric becoming like a SAN fabric?

    IEEE 802.1aq - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    TRILL (computing) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Cisco and Brocade offer switches (Nexus and VDX) which create an ethernet "Fabric" in which each rBridge holds a master copy of the topology. Juniper uses a director level switch which holds the topology. Avaya has a 802.1aq set of switches but I am unfamiliar with their operation. Enterysis says they are releasing a 802.1AQ line but who knows then that will be available.

    At any rate, the future of the datacenter is in these flexible ethernet fabrics connected by data center bridges. Virtualization demands along with the simplicity and speed of layer 2 networks is driving this need. Totally converged datacenters (voice, ethernet, and storage ((FCIP, iSCSI, FCOE)) on the same fabric is where everyone wants to be.

    Right now there is a group of clowns who know the SAN and are otherwise unaware of what the heck a "Bridging Loop" is because that doesn't exist on the FC side. We have a group of network clowns who don't know and don't care about what an ISL is and how to assign tokens to the same. The two need to marry and have a lovechild called a 'converged network engineer'. Hopefully it goes somewhat better than the marriage of phone guys and network guys icon_smile.gif.
  • drkatdrkat Banned Posts: 703
    Heh - I think I'm just gonna go ahead and put off certs for awhile, work the job and figure it out later :) but I appreciate everyones input.

    I've just done so much stuff these past years that my skillset is a bit complex. Gotta give it some time to weed the un-necessary skills out. I'll just keep building my skill set, and if a cert fits it fits, if not I'm not worried about it. I have my current certs and I'll keep them current - my certs are not a measurement of my ability.
  • jimmyhelujimmyhelu Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hah as an it tech myself I love fixing computers messing with servers and networks so my route is A+, ccna, ccni, linux+ which would get into the 6 figures. I am also going to college for networking and communications management so u have to decide what do u rlly love doing.


    I do some programming as well (java/php) but that's just on the side for self-purposes like coding myself a program to file unemployment online automatically without waiting 5 hours between server lags, etc. Don't know what u like the most? Try it all, read tutorials online for preparation of every certification u mentioned, the one u think of as the more fun its the ones u gotta go for.
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