First Blog Post and What to Expect Going Forward

I’ve finally gotten around to making my first blog post after having this site for almost two years now, as I’m currently studying for the CCIE Security expect most of my posts to be about the technologies found in this exam, and different lab topologies that I’m using, assuming they are my own content and not from someone else’s workbook. However, as my interests include a lot of different technologies such as routing and switching, data center designs, and network automation. So there will likely be posts about using Python to automate networking changes, or even my latest BGP reconfiguration project.
One question I do want to address as I’m sure it’ll be asked is why go for a CCIE today when SDN or automation are everyone’s favorite buzzwords. First I’m a firm believer in understanding how and why things work fundamentally. This way of thinking was ingrained in me with my first mentor and has stuck with me throughout my career. If you’re going to deploy an SDN solution be it orchestration or automation depending on what your definition of SDN is; you still need to understand how and why things work under the hood. Yes, a GUI will obfuscate a lot of the technical stuff, but when it breaks you will still need to understand the underlying technologies to efficiently troubleshoot the problem. Simply put a CCIE for me is a starting point to a better understanding of the how and why things work. From there I can build on my API and scripting skills to make my life easier and do less work at night.
How am I studying for the CCIE Security? To start I’m working my way through reading any Cisco Press book that relates to a topic covered on the exam, including the evolving technology section. Since I love reading I can read through a book in a few weeks time while still understanding what I’ve read. I’ve also set up the community edition of EVE-NG as a lab and built out small labs for ESA, VPN, IOS Firewall, and Firepower. As I read through the books I do labs to practice with each technology so that I’m applying it as I go through. Now I’m not full-blown lab mode yet as I’m still working towards the written, but once that is completed I’ll move on to workbooks and larger labs that combine technologies. I’ll also be taking the Micronics Security Zero-to-Hero class starting this October. Once I’ve completed this I’m planning on taking the written portion of the exam. Then it’s on to full-time labbing, reading RFC’s and other documentation for a deeper understanding. Also probably re-reading specific chapters or sections from my growing collection of books.
Overall my goal is to have my CCIE  Security written completed in February or March of 2019, with the lab completed by June 2020.