Network Learners has evolved brain shift towards latest trends of networking concepts. This includes cloud networking, NetOps, DevOps etc. Traditionally it was adopted by reading heavy books, like Routing & Switching by Jeff Doyle, Cisco Press books like QOS, MPLS etc.
These books are still considered rich source of knowledge in industry but as network job demands are versatile covering various cross functional concepts like storage, automation, SDN which has challenged people to stay connected to core topics. Its visible that focus has shifted from learning routing, switching, security building blocks towards easy means of clicking wizards which is predefined. This could be beneficial as short term goals but may cause deficit in innovation, thought leadership and may significant impact on fresh to mid-level experienced network engineers networking concepts.
Technology Trends :-
As mentioned in networking concepts topic, its advisable to plan out short and long term technical goals. chart out long term goals for next 2 years and identify small milestones (like small concepts) with theory and practicals and connect each concepts to help in achieving long term goals.
There is no predefined model which fits to all requriements but may help to gain long term career visibility while learning basic concepts.
Building small software based tools can help to develop innovative mindset – These Tools should solve
Industry Expectations from network Engineers :-
- One Man Army- This is a funny and marketable statement. Network Engineers are seen as Niche skilled resource – Evolving expectations from companies is to let them learn blends of application level architecture, storage, Devops , public cloud and virtualization.
- Granted Infrastructure owners- Onscreen visible web/desktop applications is assumed to perform every human need and offscreen infra behind is considered working/ highly available all times.
Core Networking Vendors :-
Cisco Systems :- Cisco has been Pioneer company in manufacturing networking products. Its Data Centre, Enterprise and Service Provider product portfolios encompass complete end to end design, architect and best practices deployment scenarios. Cisco Systems whitepapers and Documentations are still seen as bible on internet as first hand knowledge grabbing.
Juniper Networks :- Juniper Networks was established by Ex-Cisco Employee out of job frustration. They do also contain Data Centre, Service Provider, Security product portfolios but only few of them seems competent in market. Few Security Products like SRX firewalls or SP routers are considered stable products in market.
Arista Networks :- A very fast growing company, again formed by Ex-Cisco Leadership team, has products across Data Centre, Service Provider, Unified Communications. Their product behviors appears replica of Cisco routers and switches which bring ease of end customers or engineers to work on.
Network Automation :-
As industry demans, By virtue of complex architecture, Network deployments are highly time consuming and complex which challenges it to stay inline with cross functional domains. Network Automation has played significant role in bringing this gap together by abstracting core configuration templates across various parts of highly scaled deployments.
Traditionally network automation was limited with TCL/TK scripts, python scripts. These interpreters were highly time consuming and lots of code lines were written to cover a usecase. Thankfully python contains phenomenal community based libraries which help to an extent but lacks in full automation.
Latest DevOps tools like Ansible or Terraform transformed monolithic automation procedure towards end to end automation.