Network Architect

ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior MemberEuropePosts: 1,008Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi guys,
I have CCNP and CCNA-V, and I'm more and more interested in network architecture/design. Could anybody guide me as to which path is preferred, to become a network architect:
1.continue the hard work and pursue CCIE R&S? or
2. gain knowledge in various Cisco technologies: CCNA-S, CCNA-W, CCNA-Datacenter... then go for the Design track?

Wass
من طلب عزائم الأمور ، هان عليه بذل النفس فيها - محمد إبن ابي عامر
www.keyboardbanger.com

Comments

  • instant000instant000 Posts: 1,745Member
    What I have noticed in network architect job descriptions:

    Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:
    - they typically want a broad base of knowledge across security, VoIP, R&S, wireless
    - Visio Guru :D
    - Network Documentation
    - Communications/Presentation
    - People Management
    - Financials

    Experience:
    - they typically want design experience
    - they typically want implementation experience

    Credentials:
    - they typically want professional level certs for technology/design, expert level is a plus
    - they typically want bachelor's degree, master's is preferred

    Example job postings:
    Sr. Network Architect at TriZetto Corporation in Greater Denver Area - Job | LinkedIn
    Enterprise Network Architect at Peabody Energy in Greater St. Louis Area - Job | LinkedIn

    So, I recommend a more holistic approach, as gaining the certs is nice, but having the verifiable experience with the technologies is even better.
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    ccnpninja wrote: »
    Hi guys,
    I have CCNP and CCNA-V, and I'm more and more interested in network architecture/design. Could anybody guide me as to which path is preferred, to become a network architect:
    1.continue the hard work and pursue CCIE R&S? or
    2. gain knowledge in various Cisco technologies: CCNA-S, CCNA-W, CCNA-Datacenter... then go for the Design track?

    Wass

    You should get a job first, preferably in consulting. Fix some bad networks. Fix bad networks with the existing equipment instead of simply trying to sell them brand new cisco gear. Fix 4 digit dialing problems across sites. Set up iSCSI properly (with jumbo frames and least cost multi-pathing) on ESX and Windows.

    Certs are good mmmmkayyy but you need to get in the weeds for at least 5 years before you will even approach architect level.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran ■■■■■■■■□□ Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd suggest a degree and getting as much practical experience with networking as possible.
    instant000 wrote:
    Experience:
    - they typically want design experience
    - they typically want implementation experience

    The above in particular! Instant000's job ad is a good model: "Mimum of 10 years experience in networks including 5 + designing, developing, configuring, and implementing enterprise networks with diverse solutions from multiple vendors. Cisco CCDP or CCNP or partial CCIE. Expert level knowledge of protocols - BGP, OSPF, etc. and WAN network circuits and technologies."
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Obviously getting experience is first and foremost on the list. What certifications to get depend on what kind of network you want to design. Getting a bunch of Cisco enterprise voice certs and then wanting to design a service provider network isn't a good plan. Want to design DC networks? Get some DC experience and work on that track. Networking itself is a vast field and you need to find your niche.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropePosts: 1,008Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hi guys,
    I actually work as a network admin in a financial institution, and 95% of the hardware I work with is Cisco.
    @it_consultant: I worked as a support consultant in the past two years. I worked on Nortel and Cisco networks. I moved to the current job because I wanted exposure to Cisco voip stuff.
    @networker050184: I do not target SP networking, since I've not worked with that technology. By network architecture, I aim more of enterprise network/voip stuff.
    من طلب عزائم الأمور ، هان عليه بذل النفس فيها - محمد إبن ابي عامر
    www.keyboardbanger.com
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    Probably your second route is the better idea, the bar to be called "architect" is pretty high, in my opinion. Most of the time the differentiating factor has nothing to do with certifications, rather it has a lot to do with experience. Its great that you work with 95% Cisco stuff, but Cisco doesn't have 95% of the switch route market; I think it has a mere 30% of the VOIP market. You simply wont be an architect in general terms if you only know one manufacturer.

    If you aren't serious about learning storage and converged networking, don't bother with the CCNA-datacenter. If you are serious about storage networking, then get your BCFA as well. Much of the FC and converged networking runs over Brocade and rebranded Brocade hardware.

    If you are serious about VOIP then you have to learn Avaya and Shoretel, they represent huge chunks of the VOIP marketplace.

    As other people pointed out, I don't think you can certify yourself into an architect.
  • vanquish23vanquish23 Posts: 224Member
    Learn Visio and use crayons, be sure to stay in the lines. Lol jk. Thats our joke in our team because we are always fixing the Network Design Engineers mistakes before the changes are implemented.

    Follow the Cisco Design track and get a job in a data center and really play 100 questions with the Design Engineers.
    He who SYNs is of the devil, for the devil has SYN'ed and ACK'ed from the beginning. For this purpose, that the ACK might destroy the works of the devil.
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Posts: 973Member
    Wut happened to CCDA?
    They discontinued that?
    meh
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    There is still the CCDA, CCDP and CCDE. I've never met anyone that designs networks that has any of the design certifications though. They just aren't really sought after.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropePosts: 1,008Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys! I'm going with the second option, like it_consultant have mentioned. And I'll back it up with reading tech posts on forums.
    من طلب عزائم الأمور ، هان عليه بذل النفس فيها - محمد إبن ابي عامر
    www.keyboardbanger.com
  • pertpert Posts: 250Member
    There is still the CCDA, CCDP and CCDE. I've never met anyone that designs networks that has any of the design certifications though. They just aren't really sought after.

    Really? I've heard the opposite and was about to do this track.... Now I'm worried =/
  • down77down77 Posts: 1,009Member
    The CCDA/CCDP is very popular among Cisco Partners to meet certification requirements. I know a number of "Network Architects" with these certifications who are working for partner organizations.

    As others have said, having hands on and verifiable experience will always be more important than certification.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
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