Ep 54 – eiddoR

This week we talk to CCIE, Technical Solutions Architect, Cisco Press Author, Pilot, and Blogger – Roddie Hasan. Roddie has over 30 years of experience in networking, and today focuses on Cisco Software-Defined Access, among other technologies. We’ll hear how Roddie got into IT and what ultimately influenced him to choose networking. Roddie also shares his experience on obtaining his CCIE and becoming a published Author.

Get the book:
Cisco Software-Defined Access – https://amzn.to/3ydIvRK

You can find Roddie:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eiddor
Blog: https://ccie.tv/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr99uMkkIbWE8LW5PqYd1zw

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Transcript (Beta)

This is the art of network engineering podcast. In this podcast to sportiness technologies and talented people, we aim to bring you information to expand your skill sets and toolbox and share the stories of fellow network engineers.

We’ve all seen the stories, heard the tales. For years now, local networks have been flirting with packets demanding Internet access. Depletion of IPV for addresses is continuing rapidly. Of course, IPv6 is the ultimate answer. But adoption is slow.

We live in the age of the Internet of things in there were oh, so many. I’m pretty sure you can even connect your toilet directly to the Internet now. I mean, seriously, what the heck? Why would you do that?

Luckily, all these years there has been a service working tirelessly to keep the lights on, bridging that gap until IPv6 saves us all in that gap. Bridger. It’s me. I am that man in this is the R2 network engineering that mad dash.

All right. Thank you, NAT-man. I am AJ Murray @noBlinkyBlinky NAT-man is Tim Bertino @TimBertino. NAT-man, how are you doing?

Not too shabby. Nathman is an extremely low budget film,


it is unrated so anything can happen. Hmm.

Can we expect multiple sequels of Nathman like we have other popular. Oh, I hope not rhyme with that. I don’t know, I think I think we need. I don’t want to do that when I’m in or at least other characters that we might find in that

man, that man versus

animal. I’m just dyslexic battle.

Dan, Dan made it home from Vermont. Dan, how are you doing?

Well, I’m I’m a little bit sadder, but I made it home safely. So that’s all that matters, I guess.

I know my wife had to keep checking with me. She’s like, oh, you’re sad. You know, I miss my friend. I miss my buddy. We had so much fun. We did. He got really drunk, too. No, he didn’t.

No, we really didn’t. We have a lot to drink, we think.

We did. Yes, we did. Lots of beer was was consumed.

Andy, how are you? I’m good, A.J..

Not too much to report. I had some ice cream tonight.

Hey, that’s a good night.

I’m mad at you, by the way. Yeah. Because the time I had gone a fairly decent amount of time without without hitting the ice cream bucket and you started talking about it a few weeks ago. You’re welcome. Yeah, I appreciate that.

You can afford it. You look like all of 90 pounds soaking wet.

So have you got it just for you, Andy? Thanks, brother.

All right, guys, we do have a guest this evening, but before we introduce our guests, we’ll get through our normal playlist here. So Andy, can I get a goat scream for the winning? Grabbing out

what? Your battery in the battery area? Hey, look, there it is. Was that yours or mine? It sounds like you

have to ask Andy if you have to ask.

Wait a minute. My goats failing. Hold on.

That’s a failure, reply Cornetto.

Time for Mattocks. Word out. But we learned the

winning this week is Bill Murray. He passed his VCP seven. Oh, congratulations, Bill. Eric Smith passed the security plus exam. OK. This is my favorite win this week. The underscore EOC accepted a position as a network deployment engineer at Red River graduation night.

Did he know who works there?


Yes. He knows who works there. Thank you, Tim. You’re welcome. At your coworker, the underscore EOC.

We need to get him on, by the way. I know a little bit about him and he’s got a great story.

Yeah, I agree. I’m sure we will.

So he started or when does he start?

I believe he starts mid-August. Okay. Acceptance of position. And is working through that process, so we’ll expect to see him here in mid-August. Mick, Manny McMahon and me, if I can pronounce that right, Nicholas passed his definite associate and the MS1.

Are you familiar with the ECMs? No, no. That is engineering Cissoko Meraki Solutions. Oh, OK. So did they change the two parter? There’s part one and part two. And he’s completed part one and moving on to part two.

But more importantly, they passed the definite associate. That’s that’s a big one.

Yeah, that’s nice.

Yeah, we talked through that in the happy hour last week. That was really cool.

Yeah. Now, is that the. I’m not even trying to pronounce it. Ah, say the alphabet there. But is that the see him in a like 2.0?

Sure. So the the CMA is a partner related. I think it’s like partner only like partner and Cisco employee only kind of thing. And then the ECMs is the customer side. So I forget what it used to be called.

There was like a Cisco, there’s this and a which is the partner side. And then there was the C and O, which is the Cisco Meraki network operator.

Okay, Samone, it’s just a course you attend for a day. Yeah, I got you. Right.

Right. Gotcha. Yeah, Mike T got another security plus win, so congratulations, Mike. D.J., Ninja and Z, which I can only imagine stands for New Zealand, accepted their first network focused role at an MSB, of course, in New Zealand.

So congratulations menja awesome hard reset the screen name hard reset. Got their first IT job offer. So congratulations. Hard reset. Yeah, nice. Got some new patriots. The words Get the Patriot. So welcome aboard, Josh. Jordan. Manny and I got to say their last names because they’re both get the same first name and the same last initials.

So welcome. Bill Murray and Bill Maskey, Ethan and Javier, who joined moments ago just before we started recording. So I had to slide that on there. So welcome. Welcome. Thank you, Caitríona. Yes. Thank you very much. Appreciate that.

We really appreciate your support. Andy, can I get another goat screen?

I’ll try.

There we go. Got him warmed up.

Don’t stop. Be quiet. Your goat. Yeah. Once you get my good started, Ajja. Oh, boy. What kind of podcast is this? I don’t know.

My editing this one. This is going to be a yeah. Slice and dice. This one. Yep. OK. Very excited for our guests this evening. They are a Cissoko press author and sieci, i.e. 74 72. Everybody, please welcome Arati to the show.

Thank you so much for joining us.

Thanks for having me.

Everybody really appreciate you taking the time to be with us this evening.

Appreciate it. Thank you.

So, Randi, what do you do?

It’s in my bio.

So I that’s nice. Yeah, I’m a

technical solutions architect at Cisco Systems. Been there for 13 years, 13.

Wow. All right. Yeah.

So what does the day to day look like

of a of a TSA? So I’m at the

the worldwide level focused on DNA center software, defined access ice. So TSA is generally TSA is an overlay to the community generally, right. OK, Nancy would have a direct customer relationship with TSA or technical solutions architect would be brought in for as an SME, for a focus either of enterprise networks focus or away in focus or data

center focus. And then that’s that’s usually kind of at the area level. And then at the worldwide level, we’re kind of hyper focused on technology. So my focus is did a center software defined? So I haven’t had to really think too much about when beyond connecting it to sday or DNA center or data center.

I haven’t had to do much of that at most most the last three years and spent just doing DNA center and software client access.

So Vanessa is working with a potential client, and then they need like an s the access guru.

They’ll bring me in the bring me in to do a park or to do a demo or to help them in their lab or to answer to have architecture, discussions, that kind of stuff. So it’s pretty.

Are you the guy like your your build that stuff?

I will. If it’s on

site, I’ll help you build it on site or on the customer site, rather. We don’t have port facilities at Cisco, but I don’t. And then we’ll do demos, anything kind of presales are we kind of elite usually leave once the architecture and migration discussion is done.

Move on. It’s kind of a small group within this because we don’t scale that long.

So did you get in on the ground floor of SD access?

I did.

I was I was a TSA, an enterprise networks, TSA in the federal space at Cisco when DNA Center in SD Access came out. So my focus was included, that kind of stuff. So soon as SGA started the prerelease stuff and the demos and giving those, that’s when I started learning.

So you have been around since day one.

So speaking of you being like a TSA and you’re talking about SD access, what else have you done?

So, Ben, do networking for the 30 years, OK, believe it or not. So before you go before being Izzet, I was in SC, so I covered everything. For that, I was I was in the federal space as a network engineer.

The network design engineer at a federal entity for a few years. Did again mostly land and win stuff when it was called SD win. For that, I was with Sprint, did a lot of us a lot of wind stuff at Sprint as well, Cisco stuff.

And then so now networking goes back almost 30 years. But I also did Microsoft stuff and that where stuff at the same time is Solaris stuff. Auclair certified way back then as well. And then before I did everything I could.

How far are we going back then?

Doing great. Yeah, it’s origin stories are concerned.

I did everything I could to avoid getting into it. I was I was really I got started and I think I got my first computer in eighty four. And so I got started really early. I was really good at it.

Everybody called. I was the kid that would help them fix their printer or whatever. But I never wanted to do it as a lesson. You know, just just I did everything I could to avoid it. So I went I majored in music in college.

I drove a taxi for a couple of years.

Wait, what instrument? I play drums. You have to pickiness, drums,

drums, piano, drums was my main one. And then I play piano and moved back there. Which is a hobby, too.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s yeah. Do you have a kid at home?

I do. Yeah. Yeah. What do you

have? A Gretsch Maple that I rarely ever play.

Oh, nice. Yeah. Is that going to be the next episode? Yeah.

We’re going to have a jam session. Oh, me too. Many drummers.

Yeah. Yeah. If I start playing probably around the same time, I got a computer around 12 or 13 years old. So.

So I did everything in the music. Whatever you wanted to go in the music? I did. I did well. I didn’t want to go into it.

And of course, I was in bands in the eighties in high school and loved doing that kind of stuff and thought to get big hair.

I, I had

big Robert Smith, the cure hair. Yes, I did.

I guess I’m just discovering that right now. I still got a good head of hair,

but it was pretty big and most was the thing back then. So I just finished it with Hairspray and my mom would get mad because I would use all our hairspray.

So, you know, I tried I

tried everything, got it in music, drove a taxi for a couple of years. So cars sold insurance and mutual funds just did all kinds of crazy stuff. Wow.

You did have it. You had a diverse background there.

I did, yeah. And got married. Fairly young and had a kid and realized I actually needed to make some money and pay, you know, pay for things, so here we go, I’ll start doing Kinsolving. So I started doing consulting it, consulting officially in 92, 93.

OK, based on what skills?

So back then it was just pieces are just learning IPX and SBX back then. And then eventually at ninety three, five, one and four into.

Were you self-taught because you didn’t go to school with South Korea?

No, I was completely. So I had a knack.

You taught you?

I did, yeah. I had the MSDOS three point two manual, and I just read manuals. I literally would read vendor manuals. That’s all we had. We didn’t have the first book I bought was in ninety six. It was the Unix System Administrators Handbook.

So you could get an interview and a job based on like, yeah, I read the manual and I know how to answer your questions, like is that how you say.

Yeah, I would just break stuff. I just, you know, decide I took

a part with the computer that my parents spent so much money on, and I broke it and then figured out how to fix it. And it’s really

nice. Yeah. Yeah. Because, you know, I think back, you know, back in the 90s and whatnot, like, you know, the Internet was just booming at that time. Right. And so, you

know, late, late 90s, it was. Yeah. Yeah.

What I’m getting at is that’s impressive that you were able to, you know, teach yourself this, because, you know, nowadays, I mean, we’ve got a plethora of things to learn from. We have, you know, online video courses. You can you can go to online, you know, regular college courses now.

It’s just insane. Like we’ve got all these manuals, we’ve got all these, you know, Fisher Cert guides, all that stuff. And you guys didn’t have all that back in the day. And and so that’s very impressive. I like hearing that.

Yet I still complain, Dan. Yeah, I know, right?

Yeah. We we didn’t have YouTube.

We didn’t

have. Right. There you

go to the library and use the Dewey Decimal

System. I absolutely used to do it at school systems.

And Andy and I

know Andy for our listeners that don’t know what that is. Can you please

put a link in the show notes?

So don’t do that. How do you transition from I am fixing the PCs to to networking.

So I started

working at a computer store in

ninety five, I think ninety

four right before Windows ninety five came out and I was building PCs and fixing and assembling PCs. And then it was a service called This Company Wants to Buy Five Pieces. We need to figure out how to connect them together.

And back then it was B and C Connectors and IPX. So I learned NetWare on my own to do that. And then he came out and I put IP and IPX on the same network with those cards and just kind of taught myself and figured it out at the shop and then kind of like the networking piece

I opened up. I helped start one of the first commercial ISPs in Canada. OK. And through that, I learned Unix and IP. I think I opened a tap case in like ninety three, 92, 93, and the tac engineer taught me subnet.

And that’s how I learned subediting. This attack engineer taught me a subnet

and then that was it. I’m not sure they do that anymore. So they probably don’t. I looked him up the other day

because I can look him up in the directory. He’s long gone. But I found the email. Here’s here’s what a network Maska is. And everything was still class will back then. And here’s why you can’t use this this mass with this IP address and

that a P one or a P two

is it’s OK.

So remember the case, man? It was a courier connecting a T a frame relay T one to twenty five hundred router to get this ISP up and running. And again,

that’s very cool. Like, did you print that email out? Because I print that out and like, you know,

Frank, should I do have I do have the email somewhere.

I looked it up a couple of months ago because I wanted to look up this guy just to thank them. Right. Because that was it. Like I did a lot of it stuff and I was good at computers and fixing computers.

And I was the guy that would call. But actual IP networking and networking in general was really because of this. I mean, I was doing Unix stuff at the ISP.

Yeah. Did you find networking as easy as you found working with hardware? I did.

I did. I was a they say math music folks that are good at music are also good at math. So I was always a good math guy. And so that was that was the easy part. And it was fun.

Yeah. Yeah. I just found it enjoyable to do. So I kept on. Now.

OK, so why did you go for your first Cisco, sir?

That would have been two thousand. So I got. I moved it from the Canada, the U.S. I had had my Mxi and I had my network certifications that the U.S. got my S.K in in late 99, early 2000.

Now, were

you were you still doing the consulting gig during all

this? Yeah, I was with a

company called Paraná. Andy might remember them. They were they were bought by Sprint, but they were one of the big consulting firms.

And that was before my time.

You did say decade? Yeah. I’m sorry. I’m just I’m just kidding.

And you could you could tell me to pound sand if it’s too personal. But why did you move from Canada to the states? Was it for job opportunities,

job or mostly job opportunities?

I was tired of the cold. I was tired of the snow. You know, it’s now it’s the opposite now. I’m tired of the heat. Right. I would give anything if it would snow right now because I could get a good night’s sleep.

So. So back then, you know, it was 98. The economy was booming down here, especially in Dallas. And the cost of living is really low. And your companies were throwing money left, right, center at you. They were flying you wherever for your just for an interview.

They would fly just to do a you just to do it. And they paid for the move and all that kind of stuff. So I just decided to go for it. And it’s just a good change. Different different cultures, different food down here.

So I, I was mainly with Paramatta that I was doing Cissoko stuff, Solara stuff and Microsoft stuff. And they wanted they really encourage certain stations back then at Sprint bottom. And so I got my I think in ninety I think it was early two thousand.

And then within six weeks I went to see a CD, a C CNPC CD. So I did an exam a week for like, oh, wow, seven or eight weeks. All three of those knocked out. Yeah. It was just

like, I don’t know how I do it. My fifth. Wait a minute.

What what exam’s

ACDA copycatted in five weeks?

Can grief. Oh, did you did you have a wife at that point or.

I did. I had a wife and I now know a life. A life for the wife. No, no, no, no. I mean, it’s the same thing, Daniel. I would I would work.

I would come home and read the book whenever the book was for that exam. Yeah. And I would just go and do the exam.

I, I don’t know how I did it, to be honest. Where the 800 page books.

Yeah. Yeah, they’re the big thick system guides. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know how I honestly I mean, I’m almost fifty right now and I don’t know how I was able to do that back then. How? I can’t read a brief page right now without falling asleep.

On the same way. Yeah. So so obviously,

you know, then the kind of next step in the progression of the CCRA and back then Sprint would pay for the lab. OK. But you had to use your own time to study. So I went to my. So I was like I think I was seven exams in for all those Cissoko exams.

In my eighth exam was the written.

So did you fail any of those seven, not one.

I have I have never failed a Cissoko exam in my life.

Casada like you.


So I think it’s honestly I think I’m just stubborn. It’s like I think my my mindset is if I fail

is I’m not going to do it again. So I’ll just go. Which is really a bad attitude, especially for your listeners, don’t you?

It’s OK.

I, I have an idyllic memory, so I’m able to retain stuff really easily. So what does eidetic mean? It’s like a photographic memory, but it’s more associative.

And how do we get one of those?

Yeah, it’s it’s a curse. It’s a curse, because

I can still tell AJ how how bad I felt when he tried to get me that dude podcast a few months ago. And I completely forgot about me because I still remember those feelings,

because I find out. So. So it’s

a curse. It’s a blessing and a curse.

What do you remember everything that’s ever happened to you? I can recall pretty much everything.

Yeah, it’s I might need a

reminder here and there, but as soon as I get

the reminder, it just pops

into my head. What’s your face from taxi? You remember that woman? I forget her name, the pretty woman from Taxi, one of the actress.

I mean, I think she has whatever

she remembers, everything that’s ever happened to her. She’s been on all these shows and like you can ask her anything she said today, the date, the weather like.

Yeah, it sounds awful. Yeah. Yeah, it’s good for exams, though.

It’s it’s good for exams and it’s good. It’s good for work. It really is good for because I can have a conversation with the customer and six months later they call me and say, remember this? And I’ll be like, oh, yeah, that’s right.

And then I can talk to you. You don’t have to take notes.


I can’t take notes. If I take notes, I actually forget.

I said, you’re not paying attention, right. Because you’re trying to say, yeah, yeah.

My my the part of my brain that remembers is focused on figuring out how to use a pen.

So. All right. He’s never going to

forget about Nathman.

Yeah. And that picture stuck. I won’t forget about Nathman or all

the jokes he made about Andy before he joined

up. Yeah. Yeah, I’m used to it. I’m a beat man. So.

So, CCRA, you were studying on your own.

Sprent was going to pay. I was going to pay for it. So I went did the written pass that first time. And so.

So what was the written like? Because if you’re to compare that to today, because terrible today, if you take the copy, you’re also taking these i.e. written. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no. Then, you know, there was probably multiple exams to do the copy and then you still had to do this essay written and then you still

had to do the CCI lab.

Correct. Yeah. So they the Q&A was the one exam day was one exam. PE was four more and then the other one in addition to C, C and. Yeah, and as you got higher, this the the certs were newer and they had been around for a few years by then.

So the exams were pretty good and pretty solid. But as you got further into up the chain of certifications, those exams got a lot sloppier, is not as many people were doing them or proofing them or giving each other.

OK, so by the time you got to the IEEE, so my numbers. Seventy four. Seventy two. So there were six thousand by then, right? Right.

And for anybody else, because no one was like one thousand twenty four. Not one. Yeah. Right.

Okay. Thank you. So so by the time I got to that exam is one hundred question Multiple-Choice, just like all the rest. But it was very rough. Very sloppy. I mean. But by then I was used to it because I had done the DPI was pretty rough as well.

And then got the got the CCI written out of the way, and I kind of made. And for those that are going to go for the CCI, I know it’s different now than it was when I did it back then.

But I kind of I wouldn’t let myself Labbe use lab equipment until I passed the written exam. Because the written exams. The MP, the that we’re all theory, you were you could learn on equipment and you can type OSPF 16 and configure and OSPF network, but that’s not going to help you in a multiple choice questions just

church, just not you need to know the timers. You need to know the default. You need to know this man versus this command as written, but not at the root of especially. And I think what I’ve seen happen with people I’ve mentored in the past is they’ll learn how to do it on the device and think they’re

going to face the exam, that the exam is wrong, because, you know, the old the old saying is that there’s the right answer to the wrong answer and then the Cissoko answer. So the Cissoko answer on the exam is doesn’t necessarily have to be the one that matches what you did on your router or switches the one

that you read in the book. The books are written for a reason. The blueprints are written for a reason. So I kind of band myself from touching network here on work related until I got the CCRA written out of the way.

And then once that was out of the way, I went on eBay and bought one rather at a time and built my own lab at home and spent six months, used all my vacation time in that six months and passed the exam on May twenty third.

Twenty one.

Wow. Your first shot? My first shot, it was a two day exam, so two

day and it had high p ipx apple to that boUi Adobe you Atim Lane. It had all the non IP protocols. One day was a IP, the other day was not IP. So it was a two day exam.

You you didn’t find out if you made it to the second day until the next morning. So you do your first hour should stress.

That’s brutal. I allowed to curse on this podcast because so lots of fun. So I,

I went I did the first day. And you sit down, you do the exam and you know, you’re stressed. Everybody’s talking about this. This is so difficult. You’re never going to pass first time. And there is me like I’m not going to do this again if I don’t understand that.

So I did it got through the first eight stressed out. And you go back to the hotel. I did it in San Jose. I woke up at three in the morning and in my head was shit. I forgot to send communities like that.

Was this that was like. And for those listening, is it the same communities as the

BGP command you need to actually pass the communities on to to the neighbors. So I woke up remembering that I forgot to type me because I had practiced every scenario leading up to the exam and I knew what to type.

And so you get into the lab the next day to the lab room the next day. And if there’s a booklet on your desk, you sit and you start day two. And if there’s not, you wait for the doctor to call you up so they can review what goes wrong.

Everything was done in person. Back in the lab, you had a rack beside your your your table and you had the cable at cabling, gave you points the way you cabled your equipment, because they would for troubleshooting, they would bend the pin.

So you had to straighten the pins out to figure things out. Wow. So you got points for the way you cabled your network. You got points for a network diagram. You had a big sheet of construction paper on your desk that you had to color in with pencils to do your routing protocols and your ass numbers.

And redistributing Mark where you research points were was it was a grind?

Was that the first version of Visio right there? Yeah, the sixty four parts of what

they gave caveman visio. Man five, five, five pencil

crayons that a sheet of construction paper. Nice.

So pardon pardon my ignorance here Roddy but. Was were there concentrations for the CIA back then or was it just route switch that there was one,

i.e. there were

three there was a sky blue, which was based on the mainframe delice w IBM stock. You’re saying trigger

words for me right now, which might be IBM or Adobe LSW.

Yeah, I that was I was. But when I was working in federal deals, w was my thing.

So I know who the CIA blew. That was I

think there was a security one now. There wasn’t a security one. There was a when ESP one. So CXP sky blue and CIA roots, which I think those were the three. And then later came the voice in the security.

Gotcha. Yeah. And they aspe one resol employee and it was all strata come ATM stuff.

And did you say that was in 2001, right?

  1. I got my. I just hit my twenty year anniversary just a couple of months ago.

Nice. Yeah. Congrats on that. Thank you.

Did you get your plaque and all that stuff?

Yeah. Long story. No, not yet. I’m still

working. OK, I have my my original plaque. I have my

10 year plaque, but they haven’t sent me my 10 year.

I got you. I got you. Yeah.

So before the IEEE, you mentioned doing the KNP or the CDP. Did you just want to get into design or was it just something to do?

It was just something to do. You back then you only needed the CNA to be able to write the CCI written. But it had been told I talked to a couple of guys that were at Sprint at the time, and they said, get get all of the certifications on your way up, even if you think you’re not

going to use it or it’s not something you want to do. It’s DPE was one extra exam on top of the N.P. or two extra exams because

just a week, right? Yeah. Well, we do. Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. Yeah, maybe I’m oversimplifying it, but because back then it was. Yes, you are.

Yeah. It was just product knowledge, right? It was, it was six hundred rueter. What model of this router has this kind of interface that kind of OK? At the time, though, I was in pre-sales with Sprint, Paraná, they were called back then.

And so that’s not helped. So, you know, it did help me get into I didn’t really have an idea of what exactly I wanted to do in networking. We just did know I was a consulting engineer back then.

So that’s what we did. I sold network stuff and I implemented network stuff and everything counted. Right.

Gotcha. So you’re saying while you were at Sprint, you were actually consulting doing that?

OK, gotcha. Yeah, I was a kid.

The thing I can’t remember my exact title, but yeah, my title at Sprint, I was a consultant, a network consultant. No, I didn’t actually work for Sprint proper running their network. I was a salesman. Yeah.

Okay. Gotcha. So it sounds like because we’re in 2001 right now. Right. That that’s where we’re at and on this timeline. And so you were in consulting from 92, 93 ish all the way up to 2001. Pretty much.

Okay. Yeah, it’s interesting. I don’t think we’ve heard that yet. So when starting their first gig is consulting. So. So is that the same as a contractor or consultant?

Yeah, in a way, it wasn’t we didn’t we weren’t a body shop, so it wasn’t like you would get somebody in for six months just to be a network engineer. It was more presale stuff. I did a lot of pre sales during that time.

Yeah. Which, you know, is good and bad, I guess. I mean, that’s what I’m doing again now. So it kind of came around for of full circle. Yeah.

Yeah. So like SC is a pre sales

position or not? It is. SC is a preacher at

Cisco as high as a pre sales position? Yeah.

Yeah. Right. So you kind of went from did you go from consulting to SC like like formally?

No. So I went from

consulting and I got on to a project at a federal entity and got home from the project. And the guy guy there just actually recently passed away. He called me up and said, hey, we really like the work you did here.

You want to come to our lead network design engineer. Oh, OK. So that was it. So I went there. I was there for six years. And then so I was you by then. Obviously see it better than you.

OK. And so so yeah, this story ended. So I passed past. Got it, got the number and went back to doing whatever I was doing and ended up as a network design engineer network. Yeah, network design engineer. I think it was my formal title for this federal entity for six years

that the CCI, you change your life. Did you get better jobs?

More money? Yeah. Back then. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Back then, absolutely. I mean, Sprint had the deal. If I passed, they would pay for everything. And then if I passed, I would get this bonus or this pay increase at the time when jobs when consulting gigs would come up.

Customers were asking for cecilians. So it opened up a lot of consulting jobs within Sprint on behalf of Sprint. While I was there. Right. So there were no society needed for to do this, that I qualified for that.

Once I got my say, yeah, it was almost immediate. It was like the day after I got back, I started getting, hey, do you want to go do this gig somewhere else or do you want to go to this?

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Yeah, it was worthwhile. And you did it in less than a year, right?

I did it in six months.

Yeah. So why do you only have one?

It’s so easy. Yeah, that’s a good question. Yeah, I only like Eipe.

I don’t like IPv6.

Let’s beat up on Piecyk now. You know, I

was never a security guy. I was never a real voice. The voice focused words. I probably could have done the service vider one because I did do a lot of emplace while I was at Sprint. Yeah. And the blue one may have been handy, but the blue one had retired, I think, by about 2004.


Yeah. So. So how long were you there at Sprint then? Because we were at two chiasm one. That’s when you passed your I.D.. So how long were you still at Sprint for then?

I was at Sprint for three years, from ninety three to ninety eight to twenty one.

OK, so after you get your ideas.

Yeah, 98 to 22. So she

doesn’t bounce

for some. I stayed my mandatory one. So funny story. So the other agreement was. But they would they would move me down from Canada and they would sponsor me for all the stuff. And I had to stay a year after my Sikhi and a year after the sponsorship was done.

Well, they decided to get out of the consulting business and they were going to start laying folks off that were in my division and that I wasn’t going to be one of them. So I went to my. So this this customer called me and said, hey, we want you over here.

This was in 2002. We want you at this federal entity. Love the job you did. What do you say? So I called my bosses for it and say, can you lay me off?

That is a funny story. I it’s something we’ve heard that either. What are you talking about?

I said, yeah, I got a lot of stories. They said, what are you talking about? I said I said, it’ll save you have to layoff so-and-so. I’ve got a job lined up. They’re going to close the division eventually, anyway, I got to find something else within Sprint or find something else, it’s done.

So it did. I got my severance. I got all my stuff covered and fast to the next job a week later. So that was I was at the federal entity for six years.

For six years. Yeah. Yeah. And where did you say your title was some sort of like a design network?

Design engineer. OK. But I did.

Some operations as well, implementations, but overall, I was responsible for. I can’t. I can’t tell you who it is, but it

was yeah, you know, that’s a

very large, important national network and it covers all areas of the U.S. And so I, I was kind of at the top of the food chain at that point. So I could I was in charge of network, the land designs, the land designs, connecting all the sites together, making sure everything talked to the mainframes with the.

That’s where my deal is. W stuff came in and then eventually Internet connectivity and orders and that kind of stuff.

Did did they let you see the aliens?

No. No, because remember, I am Canadian, so I was technically he was a walking one. Yeah. It’s not a

sacred place, but it’s just not one that I talk about. Yeah. Yeah.

So so in your six years there, did you did you gain over a lot of experience in that six years or so? So what I’m what I’m getting to is did you ever feel like you were starting to.

There’s a there’s a term going around our discord thanks to river and discord arrest out. Right. Like do you feel like you you were not not being challenged at this job or did did you do a lot of growing in this job?

What I did a lot of growing probably for the

first four

years. First for, you know, until I

got the network to a point where it was modern and stable. So we converted from twenty five links to four, and that was project one. Right. So that we did get through that kind of stuff and then get rid of we we started taking out mainframes and places and replacing them with servers.

OK. Right. And then virtualization, virtualization started to come in. So we had to get rid of now we get rid of the Solaris servers and bring in Linux servers so that they could run virtualization and then the Windows stuff.

And so getting that stuff connected, the network getting lips to move between data centers. But this was all new. Right. So once I think once I got to that point, I think I kind of peaked from a technical perspective, at least from what not that I knew everything, but for what my employer needed.

I got it. I got it all done. And that’s my last thing, was getting the win stuff off of frame relay, because I had put the frame relay in initially. And then a few years later, we’re yanking out the Premiere and putting a lesser distance, getting Jerry and IP sec working over that, using Internet as a backup

, getting everything connected, virtually overtops using overlays. Can you know? Yeah.

Yeah. Can you also hit on. So you said something that that I don’t know if you wanna say triggered me or not, but so I’ve been at my job for about nine years or nine years. Like last month.

And you said that you got the network to where you were wanting it. Right. And you said in about four years, like, how does that feel? Because I haven’t gotten mine to where I want yet.

So it’s like, did did you

get over that mountain? You were just like, oh, finally, it’s the way I wanted it designed.

Yeah, it’s it’s a good feeling. I mean, it I’ve been fortunate.

I’ll tell this to anybody this I’ve been really lucky. I’ve had some really solid managers that trusted me and that knew what I was good at and knew that if I wasn’t good at something, I would say I wasn’t good at it or I wouldn’t pretend to be something like something I don’t want to do in this

industry is tell people, you know, something that you don’t know because it shows. So my managers, I’ve been really lucky with managers throughout my career, honestly, from day one. And he trusted me. And he he would come to me and say, this customer wants this.

Our internal customers, this application has this requirement. So we figure out how to get this done. I would say this is how it’s done. They would come back and say, well, I met so-and-so on an airplane and he said not to do this.

And I would say, don’t listen to that crap. My boss, my boss would go back to them and say, no, we’re not going to do it that way. So I didn’t get a lot of pushback. OK. Not that I was always right, because I was still growing and still learning, but I was I was given a lot

of flexibility to do things the right way because I kind of had a methodology. I knew I knew the concepts between behind and availability and redundancy and all that kind of stuff. I wasn’t as very methodical in my approach what configuring it as a network or designing a network.

So I was given a lot of freedom, flexibility. Not everybody has that I can appreciate. So it can be tough. But yeah, I felt it felt good. It. It freed me up to once I was done. It freed me up for some of the silly things that customers would ask for, and that’s kind of where it started

wearing thin a little bit. And it’s like, you know what, maybe I need to get back into consulting, but, you know, working. The difference for me, at least, because I started off consulting and then I went into an actual network position where I owned the network.

I got an appreciation for outages. What those cost in terms of money and reputation. Right. I got an appreciation for being on call all the time. I got an appreciation for what that takes and being careful when you’re considering something and planning something properly before you can figure it so you don’t cause an outage.

And then and this is something to help me and my skyy checking your work after you do it, no matter how good you are and how smart and how many times you’ve done it. Everybody makes mistakes. And if you know those verification commands or you know what to test and what to look for when you’re done, you’re

going to save yourself so much time down the road. Especially if you don’t answer your phone and somebody else has to troubleshoot it, right, so.

We’ve been there solid advice, they’re very leery.

So you left there. You climb that mountain, you left there and you went to Cisco.

Yeah. My ultimate goal once I started getting my keanna and stuff was to work at Cisco. I was just I just that was just where I wanted to be. And honestly, it was that Ptak engineer that inspired me.

And I just like I said, you know what? I want to work there. And so. Twenty eight. So 15 years later, 15 years after I had that encounter or the interaction with the tech engineer, I was at Cisco 2008, ajoint Cisco.

And I’ve been here ever since.

Nice. What was that first job? Cisco.

Yes, it was hard only because they have a pretty involved interview process. Right. My first job was as a network consulting engineer covering large financial accounts at Cisco. And in that time, that’s presales that was post sales. And I did post sales for four, five years at Cisco.

And still consulting, but sales consultant. So I would help them when they would add to their network. But I was still kind of having the same discussions, the architecture, discussions and design discussions that I was having when I was doing pre-sales evidence was I didn’t have a number.

And I would also be the one that they would call if something went wrong.

So this might be a dumb question. I call tech when something goes wrong. So what what is post sales, exactly how they differ from support.

So if if you have if you’re a large customer. And you’ve got a global network that needs so so TAC is great, but Ptak doesn’t necessarily know your network and the time it takes to open a case. Tell them your problem.

Figure out the solution. The problem they don’t have time to remember or to learn your network. So advanced services exists for customers that want to buy a block of ours.

Well, you’re a dedicated architect to certain clients, right?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re dedicating certain clients.

So you have familiarity with their staff, with their processes and also processes for the Canadian people, their staff, their processes, their their network. You’re engaged with them throughout your contract, not your your contract with their contract with Cisco.

You can be a dedicated resource. You can cover three or four accounts. Kind of like an Etsy, right. As he’s would generally know their account. So nces that as they recall back then, I don’t know what they’re called something else now, but Networx consulting engineers knew their accounts and so they would still call Tilk.

So they called me and said, hey, we’re having this issue. I would say open Takase. I’ll have a look at it in the morning. But if they needed help moving the case along or getting bug scrubs done or researching code or Ptak tells them to do something, they would run it by me.

That’s the kind of stuff we weren’t Ptak. And we were very careful to position ourselves not being tapped, because I don’t have a lab where I can test every scenario.

So now. So if you pay enough, you get one of you.

Yes, that’s it.

Yeah, that’s exactly it. You get one to me or five of me. Yeah.

In my work as a partner during deployments and stuff, I’ve worked with advance services and talk about sharp.

Yeah. Yeah, it’s it’s

I, I didn’t I had fun because I was doing peer networking, but what I found when I was in advanced services, I did learn, but I didn’t I only learned what my customer. I had no opportunity to learn what I didn’t know that Cisco made servers until I got out of advanced services because my customer didn’t use

UCS. Yeah, I knew what they bought and because I would only see it when I would show up and I’d have to go help them install it or put it in. But it was the ease and the TSA that we’re ahead of the game in that new Cisco products.

I didn’t learn about I didn’t know a product or an OS until I actually the customer needed it. I didn’t have time to go learn. I didn’t get to go see the announcements and all that kind of stuff.

So in that way, I kind of feel like I lost a couple of years. I mean, it wasn’t a waste. I did get better at networking and I got really, really good at Nexus seven thousand sixty five hundred, but I didn’t know some of the other stuff that Cisco was doing.

So you said when you were just starting out into networking that you wanted to work at Cisco. Did you have an ultimate goal of what you wanted your role to be or you just wanted to get in the door and see what happened?

I just wanted to get in the door and see what happened. I would I was I would have gone to task. I would have gone to as I would have gone to be able to go gone today. OK, I just wanted to be at Cisco.


So how did you pick your position? Like, was it the first that came up? Or you’re like, well, I’ve been a consultant before. I’ll do that for Cisco.

Yeah, it was the first

the first that came up. They offered me a job and I took it. Yeah.

Is the culture as good as I hear?

Yeah, it is. And that’s to to answer Tim’s

question, I know I had a question like I, I was an important question. I don’t want to forget it. But everything you’ve heard about Cisco, I mean, of course, it depends on your manager and your team, but it’s a really good place to work.

I mean, they don’t have the startup mentality that a lot of startups still have. And a lot of companies do think we don’t. You don’t get the free sodas in the in the break rooms anymore. But they they they they are very good at empowering employees and trusting employees.

We don’t. One of the things that drove me nuts about being in federal. And when I worked at the federal entity was our laptops were so locked down to a point of being almost useless. So we had to be patient.

So, you know this story.

So, you know, we can’t tell you

where I work. But you’re preaching to the choir there.

It was it actually got as bad as we had to carry two laptops. I can have a laptop that I can access my network devices with and I can have a laptop that I could do my emails with.

Right. And it was just very slow. So you know what I’m talking about, right. So at Cisco, I did one of the

first first things I get is I get this packet with my laptop and its cover sheet saying, OK, it’s got windows wherever we are up to back then XP or something on it. If you want to install your own ass or OS, you’re on your own.

But go for it. Here’s how you access the network.

You actually have admin privileges on your work, but

I still do are still even in 2021. I do. I mean, we have they’ll still make sure my screensaver

set to 10 minutes and that I have a password that changes every six months. But at the federal place, we had to change our stupid password every month and we didn’t have single sign on. So I was changing 20 passwords every month and they had different password requirements up trash.

And my old employer, I

realized they had to describe a different password requirements. And then they would lock the laptop

down and lock. You can install security because we don’t have this. And I have a license. No, you can’t install it. You don’t have admin rights. So I have to open a ticket to get them to install a piece of software for me that I need to do my job right.

And it was just so frightening. You know, we can laugh about it and complain about it, but it actually was stressful because I would. Those laptops are so bad, they would take like 10 minutes to boot up.

Right. And I was sitting there, my pagers going off,

and there’s an outage in Philadelphia. Some guy named Andy did something wrong. Yeah, I got it.

I’m waiting for a very plausible I’m waiting for my laptop to boot up. And it because it’s sitting

there doing the decrypt process that some goofball engineer put on there. Right. So anyway, they’re very empowering. They’re very trusting. So even today, we get control over you. But, you know, who knows? Of course, depends on your manager.

But it’s a fun place to work. There’s the cool part, and this is why I don’t know that I’ll ever leave, as there’s always someone smarter than you. Hmm. And that’s the way you learn. Right. And and honestly, to to a person at Cisco, I’ve never once gone to somebody for help and had them say, I’m too

busy, I can help you go somewhere. And I’ve been here 13 years. I’ve never want to come across that mentality. Every TSA or see or as you see or AM is always willing to help you on your customer, whether they get paid on it or not.

Right. I could go to attack guy and not have to open a case to get a question answered. I could go. They don’t sit there and say, oh, open the package and I’ll answer the question. Just hit them up on our chat program is the answer.

Right. So, yeah, it’s a great it’s a great place to work, honestly. I mean, you know, if they don’t pay startup money, it’s a big company. We have sixty thousand employees, but. I like it here. I do like it.

It’s awesome.

Yeah, A.J., what did you want? Yeah, I know you guys, you

have a question? Yeah.

Yeah, I was just going to, you know, kind of prompt you. How did you get from that post sales into pre-sales?

So so would that be the systems engineer job?

That was

my job. Yeah. So funny. There’s another funny story.

So I was in L.A. for

five years covering a large financial account and the. See that covered?

The place I used to work, the federal entity,

was moving to another account.

Hmm. So my boss, my ex boss at this federal entity asked Cisco,

can we move Roddie over to the RC


So nobody asked Rotty if that’s what he wanted.

Nobody asked. Right. So they had this conversation. This is that’s a good point, Tim. So they had this conversation.

I had no idea. I hadn’t talked to any of these folks five years. And I get a call from the account manager and he says, hey, I was just talking to so-and-so at the customer. And I was like, oh, how’s he doing?

He’s like, he’s good, but there he is leaving and they want you to be dressing.

So full circle again,

I end up moving from advanced services to the sales organization and federal to cover to be the for my old employer.

So I built I had built that network.

So I knew the network. Yeah, I knew the funkiness. The government places, the federal institutions do. I knew the processes. I knew the politics. I knew the staff. I knew all the people there. So I didn’t that was a cool again, I’ve been so lucky I didn’t have to learn that stuff as well as learn how to

be an SC. I got you right. I got to learn how to be Annecy in an environment that I was 100 percent Premiere Pro. That’s pretty. I didn’t have to introduce myself to anybody, I didn’t have to go and say, OK, here’s how I do things.

They knew how I did things. They knew how to talk.

They knew what to expect. Basically.

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, again, very, very, very lucky. I mean, I don’t yeah, I don’t I’ve been really lucky in my career. Those kinds of things I was there for as. Yes. On that account for three years.

And then what does it do?

What does it you do? So I’m not trying to be. No, that’s a good question.

It’s it seems like a really great gig. We’ve talked to a couple. Yeah, I’ve never talked to a Cisco SC, but. You know, you’re a very technical guy. You built the network. What does that SC role look like for you, like what do you have to learn and do differently that you were doing in your engineering job

? Yeah, it’s it’s a different it’s a different.

So Cissoko now calls are eskies. They call them essays. And I have to correct myself sometimes. So now it’s system architects instead of system Virginia Junior Seau. And he is the. So an account team at Cisco is made up of an account manager and an essay.

So the account manager does the number of sales, these type stuff, and the essay does the technical sales. So the AI is responsible for recommending a platform to fit a requirement or recommending a solution to fit a requirement.

Learning the customer network, learning how what they need, anticipating what they might need in the future. You’ve got a bunch of these routers that are going to be end of sale in a year. Let’s start planning to migrate away.

Here’s the new platform. Essay will go on and do tech talks to tell them about new platforms and new software features.

It’s a hard it’s

I would say that the SC position or as a position at Cisco is a hard decision. Hmm. And it’s mostly because you are responsible for all things Cisco.

Was going to ask you, do you only have a narrow set of products? No.

At all? No. An essay is a generalist, so you have to know routers, switches, data center, enterprise security, collaboration, storage servers. What else do we do? Whatever cloud stuff, all the stuff that we do and say, Hachemi, you can’t you can you can’t know everything about everything, unfortunately.

But that’s what makes it hard, as you have to know at least a little bit about everything. So so you can at least have the first conversation and then know who to call to bring it. So then you would bring in T.S.A..

Right. So a lot of essays have a Calabro background. So their focus is collapse of the really strong collab, but they’re not so strong on routing and switching. So they’ll bring it T.S.A. and sooner than a regular essay.

Right. But that’s what makes the job hard, is you have to keep on top of all of those solutions and technologies and know what Cisco is bringing out, because you’re responsible for making sure those solutions get in front of customers.

So how did you personally gauge how deep you had to go in any given discipline?

I don’t know that I thought about

it too much, Tim, I and my career, I was a route switch guy, so that was the no brainer for me. I mean, so when when we would come out with the Nexus stuff, I would learn I wasn’t a.

You mean when I was working at the federal entity, we didn’t have access right. To cats. About a hundred was the switch of the data center and the switch. The campus didn’t. There was no distinction between data center technology.

So when I became by the time I became an essay, there were the data center was its own world and had its own product line. So I guess I wanted to just using data centers, example, I wanted to get as good a data center as I was at campus and Branch Technologies.

OK. But I didn’t want to get into being really good at firewalls and really good at telepresence or really good at sort of just I didn’t have an interest. Now, is that true?

Yeah, I do want to say I appreciate your pun. You said that at your core, your about switchgear.

Appreciate it. Okay. I that was intentional. Yeah, absolutely not intentional.

Thank you, Tim, for pointing out my bias.

So we spent a lot of time on your story and how you got to where you were, which is amazing just before we run out of time. I have no idea what SD access or DNA center are. Oh, so I don’t know when we want to pivot to that.

But if you could just do like a high level because they’re your areas, right? They are, yes. The book UROD. And so can you teach a dummy like what is this stuff really quick and like?

Well, yeah, right

before you get into that, though, but why why SD access? Because there’s a certain book in a. Oh, yeah. Like how did you get into that, you know.

So she didn’t.

For some reason, I thought we just finished the intro. It’s just the whole podcast

because it goes by myself. I’ve caught myself like I’m

you proud of you’re talking way too much about

yourself, but I guess.

Well, you’re an interesting cat who’s done a lot. And I’m really learning a lot from this. So that’s you know, now we’re at the part for me. We’re like, well,

what is this? Who’s an expert at? And I just I thought I was just

supposed to introduce myself. I didn’t realize that the podcast would actually be my story, which is kind of cool. I just.

OK, so. Yeah, so Dan

wants to know why I got into ASTIA or why a customer should get into

it. So there’s a book out there.

There is a book out there. Yeah, I’m trying to get to your book. I wrote a book. Yeah, that’s all right. Yes. So OK. So Andy, I’ll come back to your

question after I talk about my book that I really don’t publicize whole. You don’t know. I’m just not comfortable doing it.

But I guess so. We fast forward

a little bit. So I was an essay for three years, and then I was a TSA still in federal covering just enterprise technology. So land and when and then I had this opportunity come up about three and a half years ago, focused on DNA center a.D.A.

So about a year and a half, two years ago, a friend of mine had written a couple of books for Cissoko Press, we were just kind of talking back and forth. And I said, you know, one of my kind of bucket list items was to write a book.

That’s what I got started reading when I started to do my certification. So. And he said, yeah, you said when I talked to the to the the publishing house once in a while, there’s a topic that comes up that I think would be good at.

We’ll do it. So a couple of months later gives me a call and said they want an e-book. Are you in? I said, sure,

let’s do it. Oh, yeah. Do you have a writing background? No, I mean, are we counting blogs and trolling people on Twitter? I was like six guys, man. I should have been trolling. I guess I should

write a book on trolling people on Twitter.

No, I had

I’d never written anything beyond. I mean, I’ve written white papers and written kind of architecture documents and stuff like that. But I’d never written anything like a book and.

I do want to talk about the book experience a little bit,

because it’s yeah, people a lot of people ask me, and so he said, yeah, let’s write a book on Sa’dah. So I was like, OK, it’s been on my list. I always wanted to have my name on a Cissoko press book because I knew a lot of authors and they were always really sharp and always helpful.

I want to be one of those people,

so I’ll never do it again. Just wait. That’s that’s the entire experience that I did it and I’ll never do it again.

It’s I’ll tell you, man, it’s a mine. It is it is a different experience, and I can write I can write an email, I can write tiar, I can go back and forth with A.J. I could write a blog post about food and networking and talk about it, but I’m going to write the way I speak.

Hmm. When you’re writing a book. First of all, you you have deadlines, right? I’m writing a blog post, I have like 15 posts and drafts right now

that have been there for like two and a half years. I know that’s not his right. So, I mean,

I have posts on like IPv6, so like I’ll never get to them. Right, because I believe this is never going to be a thing.

So I, I

should get at it that way to

it. Oh, no. I really mean every bit. So we’ve got that right. Yes. So you get this

this you know, here’s your milestone’s, right? You want to get one fifth of the way through by this day, one, two fifths, three, 350, four, etc..

And, you know, I kind of got in my head

what I want to talk about. But I sat down to do this damn book and I started writing it like a lab guide. And I thought, this isn’t going to fill a book. This is like 15 pages at best.

Right. And so I called the my

buddy who coauthored it, Jason Goule. And I said, and I’m writing this, and it just doesn’t feel right. I’m writing a lab guide and I know we don’t want a lab. And so we kind of gave me some ideas because he had written a couple of books before and I started doing it, but I just kept running

out of words. And you hear authors, tactical, not tactical, talk about sitting in front of a blank word document, not knowing what to type. I was like that every damn day.

I mean, I know my shit.

I know Sa’dah at this point. I know how to talk about SDI. I know how to sell S.J I know how to help people test you. How do you how do you write about it in a book? So I started and I went into the oh, here’s the history of automation, I think, OK, I’ll start historical and

maybe that’ll kind of give me some ideas. And so I did a little bit of that and talked about Ansible and all that kind of stuff. So I sent some drafts to the publisher and they came it was marked to hell.

So you can’t use you. You can’t use wi you can’t use my you to use has to be impersonal.

How many how many passwords that they have to cut out to you? Yeah. Just curious. Personal. The impersonal, you know, way of writing is intentional.

It is. It it’s like so, you know, again, I would if I read on my

blog post right now, I would say, you know, next thing you’re going to do is do this and then we’re going to see what happens. Right. You can’t write something like that in an official book. Be more engaged, and that’s not well, you think.

I don’t know why. Right. I don’t get it. But it’s that’s the rule.

And it’s just I’m not saying people shouldn’t do it. There are some fantastic to suppress authors, authors out there. And I’ve learned a lot from those books.

I’m just beating up on the you know, because it’s in fashion.

Yeah, but.

But it just wasn’t for me. Like I couldn’t I can write in my natural language in the way I speak and. Because maybe it’s just maybe I’m weird, right, because but because of the way my brain works, communicating that stuff has to be communicated in my style.

I’m sitting there and you tell me to write this, but write it in this way. I really struggle. And it took me I missed deadline after I felt so bad for Jason. And he was getting crap from the publisher because I was the deadline and we got it done.

We have done at two coauthors and we got the book done. And it’s been out, I think, since August. So it’s been out for almost a year. Just got a couple of copies there, I believe. I do believe he’s going to probably steal one and be helping the others.

So the book is about software,

Cissoko software to find access. And so answered to get to your question, Andy. You want to hold it up there

and there it is. I say,

listeners to the people actually get to watch these videos.

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Oh, you did your hair. I like this one. But you’re blue for some reason, Mr. Poppets. Very, very, very. Yoho’s very bad. His new nickname. Wait, wait.

How does how does it feel to hold that book like when it’s done and you suffered through it and now you’re on a Cissoko press book? I mean, that’s got to be a high watermark, right?

Like, yeah, I’ll never do it again. Right. But I was it felt good. No, that’s a good question. It really is. That’s a great


I and I’ve

had people ask me, it feels great. I have my name on Cisco. You can I have an author page on Amazon. Hmm. Right. You Google my name now with software defined access or Cissoko. Now you’re getting hits for my book, not shitty blog posts that I wrote down

or tweets where I’m trolling IPV six people. You’re actually getting a legitimate

author page on Google and an author page on Amazon. So that’s pretty cool. That is really cool. Yeah, it was. I think I was I think I was so anxious to get it done because I was so it took a lot of me just it was so stressful because of the whole language thing and being able to

talk. I don’t know that I enjoyed it as much as I should have. I wish I had I wish I had it. Yeah, it’s a big deal and it’s a big deal. And it kind of opens up things people can introduce me as author.

I don’t consider myself an author. I wrote some pages for a book, but but yeah, it is you know, I can sit there and say, look, I you know, I probably read my first Cissoko press book in ninety eight.

Ninety nine. And, you know, here we are twenty three years later. And I have my name on one now.

So, yes, I’d have them all over my

house and be given to people like, look what I did. That’s I. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s what I’ve been doing. And it came out kind of

during the pandemic. So I wasn’t able to we didn’t have a book signing this bill. And that was all right. Yeah. We were supposed to have a book signing. It’s just a lot of us and it’s just a lot of Europe.

But those got called off.

Well, well, next year what we can do that. Twenty twenty two in Vegas. I’ll be able to get your book signed by you. Is that if

they if they’re going to do. Yeah. Regardless whether or not there’s a book signing, Andy, I’ll go and I’ll sign

the book for Alison. Yeah.

You can finally figure out what the access is.

Yeah. And have a

conversation. Breakout session. Yeah.

There you go. Meet the engineer.

So you talked about timelines. Were you getting to write this is part of your Tsay job or was this all on your own time?

It’s all my own time.

Oh, yeah. It’s it just prid like saying you got to be on a book or like the Cissoko, say, hey, we’re going to give you a bonus because you’re on up now. There’s only 10 percent of sales. Sounds like a

program you get.

It’s a separate it’s yeah. It’s writing for Cissoko. Press has nothing to do with working at Cisco. I don’t know which you

and the publisher and

the publisher. Yeah. Yeah, my my boss knows because I told him that I was writing it. Other than that, there’s absolutely no tie and I get paid from the publisher. Okay. You know, again, you don’t I didn’t do it for the money.

I don’t. Yeah. Yeah. Right. You don’t write. There is writing books to make money is don’t do it because you don’t like it.

But I did it. I mean, I did it because I love the technology. Right. I didn’t do it.

It was it wasn’t an ego thing. It was there was some pride there. I did want to have my name on it. And, of course, Cisco Press. But that was just more of a cool not because I want my name out there.

I plan on a different career, man. I’m fifty years old. I’m at where I’m at and I’m happy where I’m at.

But isn’t it interesting how difficult it is to put into words or like to take the technical stuff that you know how to do and how it works? Like I remember when we were starting out and then we played around with some YouTube stuff.

And like like it’s it’s so difficult. Like, I know how to do this. I do it for a living. I do it every day. But then to try to explain it and put it into words and have it make sense and bring somebody along, it’s just really, really difficult.

It’s tough.

And I can do it so.

So I could do it talking to you interactively. No problem. I can give a Cisco Live presentation and talk about SD access. Right? I’ve done lots of those those.

But putting it in a form is a different thing, putting

it in a form, especially

in something where a certain amount of content or words are expected.

Yeah, right. That’s pressure, too. It is.

And not every technology is conducive to a book. And I’ll say that about FDA, right? It’s matured and changed. The gooi has changed drastically since we did the book and the books. Only a year old, so. Mhm. Yeah, it is.

It’s tough. And I, I was like I said, I’m proud, proud that I got my name on it. Proud that I got it done. I’m glad I got it done. I don’t regret it one single bit, but one of the draft blog posts.

In my on my blog is why I wrote a book and why I’ll never do it again.

I want to read that post. Spoiler alert. Just listen to this episode. Yeah. Are you a Patriot member and you should join the Patriot. Yeah, that’s nice.

So, Cerutty, let’s answer Andys in these questions now. What? At a high level, what is as the access.

So. I’m going to try not to be sales on purpose, because, again, I’m

I’m really not if you want, I’m really not sales.

And so software to find access is I modify my language. So we’re supposed to say Cisco software to find.

Right, right.

We’re not allowed to say USTDA or just so Cisco software defined access.

Andrew is is is an overlay

as a fabric technology for the campus and branch. And what it that so if you’re familiar with Asiye, it’s kind of like aiki. But for the fabric, for the campus and branch where you have users and Iot devices versus servers and applications,

can I ask you an embarrassing question? We’re in the trust tree. Right.

And it depends on who’s editing this episode.

Yeah, that’s a question.

What the hell’s the fabric, OK.

Yeah, I don’t like that word.

I shouldn’t use it.

I don’t either. People keep explaining it to me. And I think it’s a bunch of damn switches tied together somehow. But I don’t get it.

It’s it’s a it’s a. I don’t know who can explain it better than me, so.

Well, the way I look at it is it’s a bunch of virtual people. You know, if you want. But I just. Yeah, I don’t know when. As soon as you said Fabrica Mike, I still don’t know. Do you use like which brand of fabric fabric softener do you have to use, you know, cynically make it act right

and all that.

Yeah. So now is an abstraction. Is it the fabric? I would I would

call it an abstraction. You’re basically you’re glomming a whole bunch of network devices together to perform one to look cohesive so that you can plug anything into that. Glam of NOWER devices in and have it be the same,

but of all these disparate pieces.

Yeah. Instead of necessarily having an object.

Yeah, it’s a it’s logical, right? Exactly right. So if they don’t have to be directly connected together. Right. Your fabric could ride over a whole bunch of infrastructure. But so technically, your employees network is a fabric. Right, you’re rippin from side to side, B is a fabric fed ramp.

It’s an overlay. Right. It’s an overlay

with those with those be considered threads.

Are you getting

mad at this? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pull you off and distract. So, OK, so I think I got fabric at my core.

I’m a distribution guy.

That’s how you do upon Dan. So to answer that, that, too.

And you just you said it would get weird. So software defined access is an overlay technology. I prefer that word. Thanks, A.J.. And so what did what? I’ll get into the features in a minute. But what it allows you to do is basically set up this overlay between your floors, buildings, sites, department departments, the departments, more biological

. Yeah, absolutely. And wear anything that wherever you plug in your your your laptop or your Iot device. It and a better way to say this.

It doesn’t matter which port you can connect to any any

port on this fabric’s which will behave on a

specific port. Right. Right.

You don’t have to statically assigned the VLAN or make sure that that beeland has access to this defo gateway, because this is where the router is with this layer three. Right. Everything’s kind of overlaid on top. So it’s software and software defined, and that’s where we get into the data center part in a minute, but it’s an

overlay technology using the land and list to accomplish this. Right. So you have a bunch of layer three capable switches that are set up as routed access. Right. That’s your underlay. OK. And if you remember the way Cisco used to recommend to do networks probably eight years ago is we wanted layer three on every switch and every

switch is the default gateway. So NZDF access fabric, that’s how you configure your underlaid, because the underlays role is to forward layer three packets as quickly as possible wherever they need to go. OK. Those packets. Are the FDA overlay package.

OK, so when you send a ping to Dan, regardless of where Dan’s laptop is plugged in, that package is going to get encapsulated by your access switch. And it will be sent directly to the lookback address of the switch, the ban is connected to it.

Hmm. Right. So it’s not going to go through the network natively. It’s not going to have the same disbands destination IP address all the way through the network, the destination IP address. As soon as that packet leaves, your switch is going to be the loopback address of the switch that Dan is connected to.

And then that could be excellent tunnel. The excellent tolit. It’s exactly the excellent uses Lisp as the control plane and find out where Dan lives. Right. So it’ll say, OK, this pack, it’s going to 10 one or sorry, f, e, a B colon a

one four seven colon.

Oh, wait a minute. We’re not using that technology.

So it’s going to go to 10 one, one,

one, and it’ll do a list lookup, say, hey, where is 10, one on one list build the control plan will say it’s on this switch. Here’s the loopback address to the switch. The switch will then encapsulate it and be excellent and send it directly to that switch.

So the beauty is there can be anything in between those switches. OK. It’s layer three all the way through the network. So you can use SCMP to load balance between your lines. So you’re no longer there’s no spanning tree.

Right. Which is. So that’s when I want to be the sales guy that started when when I when I want to be the sales guy, I

find the oldest person in the room

and tell them that they’re going to get rid of Andy. You’re going to get rid of Sansho. You’re never going to have to worry about a

spanning tree loop or root bridges or priorities or any of that stuff ever again, because I love every switch. Is layer three connected to every other switch? Every link is a point to point slash thirty or slash 31, depending on how weird you are.

And then I’m going to throw the statement, I’m going to troll the slash.

Thirty one people next. So.

Hey, listen, it should be slash thirty one. It’s a point the point. There’s no reason to waste time. Oh, my gosh.

There we go. Look at my my serenity. Now, my opinion. You just want to live in a lower body in any

broadcast address or gateway and a

point to point, because that’s what the guy that invented IP said to do. Yes, but he was wrong then. You know what? Why send a broadcast but also point them off when we standardize on IPV? Andy, you can do whatever you want with whatever technology.

Right now, I’m changing

the phrase it’s now get off Andys overlay.


Listen, if a slash 31 didn’t work, he should have wrote the protocol so that a slash thirty one wouldn’t. All right. Well, we found out who the weirdo of our group is.

So anyways, I thought the point to point connections, obviously, like the ad thing was bad, but

man, nothing matches

the answer you want. So so anyway, so talking about. Oh, so you get rid of fantasy.

That’s that’s what I do. I find the oldest guy in in the room named Andy, and I tell him, hey, you get rid of spanning tree because everything is layer three. We’re going to use it to bounce across these layer three.

So we’re going to use your links efficiently. You can, even if you’re really weird, have non Cisco devices in between. If you if your mandate, because you work at a federal agency, says you have to have other devices and you want to put a.

Juniper Rueter in between your two fabrics, which is you can do that, did it juniper out or can brute layer three packets between the two? It’s good.

Did did that hurt to say that

it looked a little painful? I was just wondering how to use the F word before I said it.

So it’s not a magical feature in a Cissoko image.

It’s standards based.

It’s OK.

Yeah, it’s naturally whatever it is.

Yeah, it’s based on. And you just have to

be able to root on your

switch and your good. Yeah, you. Well, the nonsense Cisco switch doesn’t even know that it’s Sa’dah, right? It’s just routing a layer through packet from point to point. He doesn’t care. He’s not part of that conversation. He doesn’t know about the Zoolander list.

So where’s that magic happening on the

edge to these two end point switches? Right, that the axis

has to be Cissoko. Yes, that’s the members of your fabrica.

You’re going to have a border, which is how traffic gets in and out of the fabric, the control plane, which is like the dnes server for the stuff and an edge switch, which is your axis. So all of those functions have to be Cissoko, Catalist ninety three hundred ninety five hundred ninety four.

Does it have to match the the the 9000 series? Because I know like in Asia, you have to have the Nexus nine, like the ninety three hundred nine, so.

Yeah. So it’s Cesc for Catullus 9000 series. All of them. And the catalyst thirty eight fifty in the Catullus thirty five sixty all support SDI the ISR for case support the border function. Because you might want to have a router’s a border instead of a switch.

And then there are some other different models that are.

Well now, now you’ve piqued my interest here. I’m curious why the thirty five sixty legacy.

It’s it was a learson when we came out with

this nine K hadn’t come out yet. So as came out about eight months before the ninety three. Probably a year before the cat. OK, so we were we had already designed it, but we we came out with kind of just after each other.

So the cat thirty eight fifty and the thirty six fifty the layer three people on licensable support.

OK. Now, so let me ask this. Do you have to have a certain OS for that?

I mean, it’s going to be current anything now. So he has to has been out for five years old.

So like on the ECI side, you know, you have to have the inex OS, the Asai mode kind of thing. So you don’t have to have.

No, it’s asexually.

OK, it’s just your plane asexually. And so the other things that before I forget, the other things that it gives you, so you get the fabric. And so that’s the fabric piece and being able to plug in. But it also has the excellent implementation we’re using supports scalable group tags for seats or secure group tags, depending on

what you want to call them, which allow you to mark your traffic. Based on the authentication and authorization process. So when you log in, your port is enabled for anyone to say you’re going to log in username and password.

IPv6 thinks ice is going to that

have a policy. I got to stop. I said I ice ice has a policy

that says, OK, you’re allowed in. I’m going to look at my ID and that password matches. And it’s I’m going to put them on this VLAN and I’m going to assign them this to you because using group engineers.

And then Dan loggin, same process happened, but Dan might be ingroup accounts. Right. So all of your traffic and issues, it hits a network is going to be marked in the engineering group, all dance traffic is going to be marked in the accounts all the way through.

That will stay in the Beachland header is the.

The policy is

that it’s just a

tag. That’s the market. Right.

And then and then you can write policies that say permit based on the tax permit, engineering to accounting Dinni ingenuity, accounting. They’re written as standard or standard ACLs, almost, right? They’re not stateful. It’s not a firewall. But you can have what they call micro segmentation within the fabric very easily.

So am I writing these policies? In DNA center or in ICE?

Yeah, so I’m going to. So that’s that’ll get me to the day center topic. So DNA center orchestrates. The state configuration. So when you when you want to build your network, you either discover or onboard your devices in the center so they can be preexisting if you manually configured your underlain or you can pull them out of

the box and put them and do what we call LAN automation, which will build the underlay automatically for you based on whatever parameters you give it. So it’ll go into a brand new factory out of the box switch and the switches come and play it plug and play mode.

Now they have four, six, six, seven years. Right. It’ll discover it. It’ll push the appropriate underlying configuration to it. It’ll give it a name and IP address. It’ll onboard it into the center and then indignation or you pick your fabric rules.

I want this switch to be an an edge switch. I want this switch to be my board or I want this switch to be the control plane. I want this these authentication policies, dot one, X map, whatever it will orchestrate all the configuration on the switch, as well as some of the configuration in ice.

So you start to build your authorization authentication policies in ice. But you’re. Security policies, so the permitting accounting to engineering you actually do in DNA center and DNA sender will push them to ice. There’s no magic. This is trussing, right?

This is Cisco Kossak. So all the policies are still live in ice, and ice is the one that pushes the policies down to the edge, which is whenever you log in. But the orchestration and the configuration is done in Indianness.

Did you have a wind question? So if you’re doing. Veselin, across the network, you’re doing Veselin across the way, and you got to have jumbo frames enable that, correct?

You should have jumbo frames, and so we tell you to have jumbo frames in it. So how does that. One hundred and fifty bytes. I think you need so you you got to get up to six fifty somehow.

OK, so how would that work with like SD win if you’re leveraging diey that maybe the carrier doesn’t support that. How do you make Sa’dah function? Sorry, Cisco software defined access. How could you make that function? Does it fragment or do you just say, no, sorry, it’s not going to work?

No. So.

St. Cisco software defined access is a is a campus branch technology, it’s not a wind technology, so we don’t actually support stretching of fabric across a.

OK, so you just treat it as separate sites. I’m just trying to piece together.

So what will happen is if if

one is the host at one side is on state fabric in the house, on the other side is not all of the excellent stuff gets stripped as soon as it leaves the border. So, again, you don’t have your empty wissam’s if you’re running a technology called multisite, which allows you to do and end SGA or end to

end segmentation. I think right now at. I don’t want to say this without knowing for sure. I think right now we still require six hundred MTU across the way, and if you want to do multisite. OK, but I have to confirm that yet.

Yeah, because you have to allow for the overhead. I mean, obviously the. The old solution for us old folks is to adjust the PM to you on the end hose or to use it. That seems to be a just mess on the edge, which will work, but it won’t work with Euterpe.

So if you’ve got Euterpe traffic that’s 50 underbite, it’s going to get it’s going to get dropped or fragmented, which is worse. Right.


OK, so A.J., I don’t think we want to go too much further in SD access because I think we want to actually do an episode just on access, right?

Oh, yeah.

We were getting fired up.

So these are the questions. We should certainly get questions. Yeah, I love it.

I love them. Back to the great.

So, yeah. So I just want to go like a little bit deeper into the DNA center as being like the central hub of it. And then and then we can put a bow on it.

Sure. So to do center will orchestrate

software to find access so that software defined access. Oresteia is one of the applications in DNA center. DNA Center also does software image management. So you can I’m going to start to sound like a salesperson now, but you can upgrade each define your golden image per site, per building, per floor, per platform, per model, and automatically upgrade

those devices to that version of code. Download it from Cisco automatically. You can schedule it to stage it ahead of time. You could schedule to reboot it later. You could scheduled to happen right away. Software image management is another one.

Hold on. Yes. How do you deal with the licensing?

So you hesitated, rotty? I did, because it sounds stuff has changed.

Yeah, well, it sounds magical. It’s about it is magic how to deal with. But then you got to deal with the licensing. You can’t just push stuff without buying licenses.

It’s magical now. You know, so so we have now. That’s a good question. So we we have changed

things a little bit recently. However, we don’t distribute images based on license features. We’ve had one image philosophy now for a few years. So there is one ninety three, 48 eight. That’s forty eight image out there for. Seventy six three.

There’s not one for services, there’s not one for enterprise, you don’t we don’t have different images for different lights and more. So the licensing is actually in the configuration. Oh, OK. Right. So you enable your license on your switch.

You can have a talk to smart licensing to validate online, or you can download a path and then enable it locally. So image distribution, upgrading your router license doesn’t matter. It’s the configuration will hold the license information. OK, OK.

Sweet. I hated that answer so much.

He’s done, he’s gone, Adoree, he’s anti rage quited once again. He’s got that stance, which

is now because he knows he doesn’t have to worry about losing anyone, which is great. So Swim is the name of that feature and DNA center software image management. It does templates. So you can again, based on your config, you can type in configuration templates in DNA center and have it roll those templates out to different platforms

, different buildings, different sites. You can standardize based on any of those parameters or criteria that it has assurance, which is like a monitoring platform that will it’s the strength right now are very wireless centric. So it can look at the onboarding process.

It’ll tell you all your Sanaa’s and all your wireless stuff, know wireless parts. And all these words don’t mean anything to me, but I’ve seen them on screens. So I know they’re I know they’re legit. So I don’t tell you what the scenario is.

And if there’s any interference and rogue apps and all that kind of stuff, it allow you to place apps based on strength. It doesn’t have all of the features that Cisco Prime has found of Cisco prime is the big thing right now with wireless, with Cisco Wireless.

But most of those features are being copied into Cisco DNA. So. It lets you see the usage on your devices, usage on your links. We have application assurance which will actually get down to Office 365, is having issues in this building.

This router is part of that conversation. This is how many users are affected because we’re getting all the user information from ICE. Right. This is how many users are affected. Here’s this device, it’s unhealthy. This is probably the cause of the problem.

So that’s kind of things that insurance will do. It’s based on. It takes information from S&P syslog, NetFlow streaming telemetry. And correlates it all together and matches it against a known set of issues that it’s in the database, that database comes from 30 odd years of packages.

So they basically said, what are what of our customers? What are the most common issues our customers have run into over the last 30 odd years? Let’s put those into insurance and let’s get it. Sure. Let’s teach decenter insurance how to recognize these issues based on this specific message and syslog or this message is in a trap

or this message in that or this kind of pattern in that. So it will do that. It’ll give you it’ll tell you what the issue is. It’ll give you a list of suggested actions. If the suggested action is something you can do on a switch that’s in the or a router, you can click perform action now and

it will actually go through that action. It’ll say open attack case and send them a show IP, SPF, neighbor, click here to get that command. So you click the button that pops up to show IP. Hmm. OK. I’m I really I know I sound like a sales guy now because

I know you do some magic so. Well, some of that stuff is good. Some of that stuff works most of the time. It’s not it’s not magical yet, but I think it will get there.

I like the direction they’re going. I really do. Otherwise I wouldn’t be as passionate about it when I talk.

Does it make anybody else like weirded out that, you know, we spend all this time learning Seelie and now everything’s getting pushed to like Gooi and just.

Yeah, it’s weird, right? It took me took me six

months to be on board with this because I went through the experience of Asai, like Dan mentioned, where you have to run a different code base or a different image or different mode on the switch where you didn’t have access to the sea a lot.

And that really that really pissed me off.

I, I

was so furious. And then so I get into Asda and we’re doing the same thing. It’s like, no, stay away from sealife, because if you type of command, there’s a chance of DNA change going to reverse. And so honestly, it took me six months to JUSTMENT.

So it really did. I really had a lot

to let a lot of things go. And I run into this when talking to people about this whole time. It’s again, it’s usually the oldest person in the room, and it’s like, I’m not going to give up Mights

and Avel password and and that’s

true and that’s not where I’m going with it, because it seems like the benefits and the magic of I mean, it’s totally worth it if I’d be fine never touching it. So I figure if I could get all the benefits that you’re spelling out.

Yeah, that I think the

the the caveat I give is that that assumes that we that we Cissoko got everything right.


Yeah, right. Which if you could do in this lifetime, you know that there are always going to be. So now are things are getting better? Where do I trust automation? More absolute. I started doing stuff about four and a half, five years ago, and there were a lot of times where I needed to get into the Seelie

to verify things. I never jump on the Seelie right now other than to reset around it.

So that’s what’s scary is you’re handing over the keys to the kingdom to this.


You trust this total ecosystem in the. Okay, here you go. Don’t don’t destroy me. But companies

have I mean, I worked I

did a good job with that stuff, Miraki. Right. Right. You’ve never seen a Muraki Seelie. It does. It doesn’t exist.

So it can be done. I think that

I’m not going to criticize Cisco at this point. But what we’re kind of trying to do this on a platform that has a history of the Seelie first and now iOS sexy. But previous to that, it was Ilson.

We got folks that have been in this industry for a long time that have always done it this way. And we’re still calling it Catalyst’s, right? If you had said Catalist OS when I was getting my Skype, it was it was Catto’s.

It was the SEC commands like the stuff has been around for a long time. And people are are used to using it and it’s ingrained in them. First thing you want to do is know your enable password so they can go in and can take things right.

So, yeah, if we can get it right, it is it’s it’s great. And I think honestly, it is better now. It is a lot better now. We have six months to stop. Hesitating with the automation.

Wow. Amazing. Also sounds expensive.

Well, that’s a conversation for another day.

Yeah, there are a lot of other things that DNA center does. So if we ever

if we do another one of these and I can screen share, I can demo DNA to go through, the

100 percent want to do this. Absolutely. For sure.

I would love to do that. Yeah. OK, I’ll cut down on the puns in the jokes.

Oh, no, don’t do that. This Covid. So this has been great. Oh, I fly airplanes. I am a pilot. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, yes. I forgot about that.

I did forget your copious free time when you’re not getting every certification there is.

I haven’t flown in like eight years, but I did get it just to get it. That was a bucket list. Cissoko pressing and getting my pilot’s license and with your bucket list.

Nice stuff

for you. I do want to bring one thing back up from. Yeah, towards the beginning of the show, because I think we cut you off. You were telling a story about your secret lab and you got through the first day.

You walked self up in the middle of the night because you forgot the Sun community or you thought you did. What did the second day, the morning you walked in, what happened?

So second day. So you really have no idea

how you did. Right. You get in there because it’s it’s it was a nine hour day. Your Dossett from traveling in a couple of days before. So you’re already tired. You go and you do that full day. You’re overwhelmed, even though you’ve done practice labs and you really have no idea.

So I go to the hotel, wake up 3:00 in the morning, say, oh, shit, I forgot to send communities, walk in. I see the booklet on my desk.

And I realize

I bought myself another three hours of this, so the first half of the second day is all of the non Eppie stuff that I talked about so that we IPX will talk to you as an audience member. So you get again.

So there’s a new booklet now with new exercises and new scenarios that you have to do, that you have to configure, and that takes you to lunch time. So same process you go for lunch, and when you come back, if there’s a book put on your desk, you sit down

and you

complete the lab. If there isn’t, you’ve failed. You’ve got to sit and wait for the profit. So I go to line to come back. There’s a book under my desk, so now is the troubleshooting. So I don’t know how it’s done now.

So I know that the lab is just a one day lab now back then. And I mentioned earlier we had the physical equipment was all there. And they wouldn’t just mess with your configurations, they would mess with your cables, they would take a T1 cable and they would jam it in upside down, well, if you’ve ever used

it to one cable, it doesn’t go upside down. They do it upside. So the pins would bend. So you’d have to look and identify event. Chuck the cable and grab another cable. And so this was the troubleshooting.

So I, I got.

Got there. Got the troublesome section that was that was the part I was looking forward to the most. Once I once I got to that part, I was I was like, I love television because I had all my config memorized.

So first thing I did was do a show run.

And I did well, I didn’t type that got rid of that command.

Oh, that’s that’s different that I don’t get rid of that Covid. Oh, I that photographic. There was a different line between

these two commands. I got to add that command back in so that that part was easy. Got the physical stuff that my connectivity up and running and I passed. And the only thing I got wrong in the two days was that stupid sent me in.

And you woke up, he said like 3:00 in the morning.

And and I was like, yeah, I knew I got it wrong. Yeah, it was I you know, I’ve been lucky. I was I was prepared.

I, I really did burn up all of my. All of my vacation time to do things. Mm hmm. And that’s not easy to do when you got shoes for at the time at a four year old daughter. So I would take I would spend the day with her and then I would be up all night, literally.

She went to bed. I would be up all night in my lab. And I had a stack of six, twenty five hundred, a bunch of back to back T1 cables. And I had an Estienne emulator and I had.

A terminal server that I would have to catalist switch and I would just go through scenario after saying back then you had to buy these scenarios online and then they’d send them to you and big stacks of paper and reams of paper scenarios.

So I basically went through every scenario every night, all night until I had them all memorized. But I was still trying to this is the comment I made earlier about verifying thing I would even though I had to memorize and exactly what to do for every single one of them, I got more practice doing the show commands

in the verification commands, know what to look for, to know that it worked, because that would still make a typo. Right. But at that point, I knew if I made a typo, I knew exactly what. But it’s just because I looked at that output so many times and it was repetitive, repetitive, so the repetition helped me a


And your lab instead of sleeping, is

that what you said? Yeah, I

would I would maybe sleep. I drop Robert school in the morning at eight o’clock, eight thirty. I’d sleep for like three hours and then I’d get up and start working again. And I let’s start doing other stuff.

So like three hours a day. Sleep more? Yeah, for six months.

That was the vacation time was. No, that was

like five weeks of vacation where I was really hardcore. But the six months per area was still. Yeah, I was still doing a minimum of six, seven hours a night. So I was working. And then I come home and then spend some time with my kids.

It didn’t mess with your retention or your mental health or anything, just guessing yourself.

I was now I was 30. I had plenty of energy

just last week. I’m 31. There’s there’s no way I could do it. Yeah. I mean, I think the that was tough.

It was tough. But I don’t know. I honestly don’t know how it is. I really don’t know. I won’t say it was easy. It was tough. I just I don’t know that I could do it now. But part of it was I really I really loved the technology.

Like it’s like today I’ll go mess with I don’t do any docker’s part of my day job. But I’m I’m trash and containers all day long. It’s just stuff I like doing. It’s interesting. So, um, so that stuff you networking has always been interesting to me.

So it was fun for me to do that. It wasn’t it didn’t feel like work or it was a challenge for sure, because I was learning a lot about the protocols. But it’s just fun. No, but you do.


Oh, excellent. Well, he is rotty, he has never failed a Cissoko exam. He is CCRA 74 72. He is a Cissoko press author. The book is Cisco Software Defined Access. We will drop a link to our show notes and you can pick it up there and wherever books are sold, I’m sure.

Rodney, where can people find you? Twitter. Back.

What you got

today? I’m going to lock my Twitter after this.

You know,

I’m just I’m just thinking, A.J., I may have failed one of the research for that six years ago, but it’s a different story for another time.

But they said that I was like, oh, that helped.

And that no, that is exactly what the listeners needed to hear, that you got to fail.

Yeah, that’s correct. Yes. Yes. Don’t don’t

don’t do anything that I’ve done in the last 30

years that don’t have the attitude

that I’ve had in the last three years now. Yeah, I think so. The question was, where can you find me? You can find me on Twitter, usually trolling people. My handle is doesn’t have a pronunciation. I don’t know.

This is for you on here. You guys know my handle. Do you know what it means? No idea.

The squirrely

no, no Arabic, that’s

Arabic, that’s my name in Arabic, but what is my hair? What is my my Twitter ID?

Hmm. Eido?

Yeah. Do you know

what it is?

No, I do not. Come on. All right, so it’s literally my first name backwards. Oh, that’s so. And it’s right here. It’s right in front of my face. So we automatically go to acronyms. It’s just what we do.

Yeah, the squeaky the squiggly

stuff that you pointed out and is my name in Arabic. So, yeah, the squiggly stuff.

That’s what they call it. Yeah. Sorry, I, I didn’t want to

be Andy insensitive, so I just use the language

they used today by my Twitter. My handle is eEye

DDR, which is my first name backwards, which now everybody knows the secret. Yes, that’s

that’s where I hang almost. I do have a YouTube channel, actually.

The I’ve got some videos up on that YouTube channel if you want to Google me, but

you can watch your YouTube

channel. I have just Broady. I don’t know. Hassan, YouTube. Yeah. Yeah, I think I find it. Yeah.

Yeah. It’s it’s I know I’m not good at self promotion. I’m really not going to stop

trying to do it. I believe there’s a there’s a blog in there, too. Right. Oh, there’s a blog dot TV. OK, so the blog is mostly technical.

Not Cisco centric, per se. But there’s also some cooking stuff on there, because I am also I also love to cook. It’s my theory.

You’re you’re in Texas. Have you been

to Franklin Barbecue?

Have been to Franklin Barbecue? Yes. Yes. How is it if you like barbecue, it’s good.

I love barbecue. I’m reading his book. He’s my hero when I come to Texas. Definitely. Please go to Franklin Barbecue.

We can.

It’s in Austin. It’s about four and a half hours away for me. But you let me know and we’ll get down there.

It’s like an hour and a half. Wait in line, right, to get this, guys?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, it’s good. It’s it is. If you like barbecue.

I’m not huge on barbecue, but if you like barbecue it, it’s good barbecue for sure.

All right, man. Yeah, that’s nice. Yeah.

All right, Randi, thank you so much for joining us. Any any last minute words?

No. Thanks for coming. This is a lot of fun. Wasn’t as weird as Tim

made it out to be. I knew he was going to like that. And I had now. And I honestly, again, if I if I,

I would have thought there’s no way he came up with that, just based on my tweet. So I feel better that you already had that plan. Yeah.

No, it was a good

time, guys. I’m glad we finally got to do this. You know, I give you guys I give you shit about forgetting about me, but

well, much, much deserved shit.

I feel lucky to be here and hopefully have come back and do a demo for you.

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Absolutely.

Anytime, guys.

It’s actually. Well. Yeah. Join us again next week for another episode. Thanks again, Ronnie, and have a good night. Everyone, this is A.J. If you like what you heard today, then make sure you subscribe to our podcast on your favorite pod catcher, smash that bell icon.

You get notified of all of our future episodes. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We are at are of net, and that’s part of an AT&T. You can also find us on the Web at Art of Network Engineering dot com, or we post all of our show notes.

You can read the blog articles from the co-hosts and guests and also a lot more news and info from the networking world. Thanks for listening.

Published by The Art of Network Engineering

A podcast for network engineers focused on tools, technologies, and talent people.

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