It’s hard to believe, but another year has swooshed by, and it’s time to shut down my virtual office and disappear until mid-January. Of course I’ll be around in case of urgent support problems – I will read my email, but won’t reply to 90% of the stuff coming in.
I hope you’ll be able to find a few days to disconnect from the crazy pace of networking world and focus on your loved ones. I would also like to wish you all the best in 2022!
In February 2018, Irena Marčetič joined ipSpace.net to fix the (lack of) marketing. After getting that done, she quickly took over most of sales, support, logistics, content production, guest speaker coordination… If you needed anything from us in the last few years, it was probably Irena answering your requests and helping you out.
She did a fantastic job and transformed ipSpace.net from Ivan and an occasional guest speaker to a finely tuned machine producing several hours of new content every month. She organized our courses, worked with guest speakers, podcast guests and hosts, participated in every guest speaker webinar to take notes for the editing process, managed content editing, watched every single video we created before it was published to make sure the audio was of acceptable quality and all the bloopers were removed… while answering crazy emails like I need you to fill in this Excel spreadsheet with your company data because I cannot copy-paste that information from your web site myself and solving whatever challenges our customers faced.
Unfortunately, Irena decided to go back to pure marketing and is leaving ipSpace.net today. Thanks a million for all the great work – we’ll badly miss you.
It’s time for another this is what we did in the last six months blog post. Instead of writing another wall-of-text, I just updated the one I published in early January. Here are the highlights:
- Completed webinars: Kubernetes Networking Deep Dive, Cisco ACI Deep Dive
- Totally unplanned: AI/ML in Networking
- New content in existing webinars: NSX-T Federation, Leaf-and-Spine routing designs, deep dive into reliability theory, AWS Gateway Load Balancer and Network Firewall, Azure Virtual WAN, multi-vendor data center EVPN deployments, networking part of Introduction to Cloud Computing webinar.
- Updated content: configuration and state management automation tools.
- Work-in-progress: Network Automation Concepts
That’s about it for the first half of 2021. I’ll be back in early September.
One of our subscribers sent me this question:
I am a system administrator working primarily on server/storage virtualization. How would you recommend I take full advantage of the subscription while not being in networking full-time?
Let’s start with the webinars focused on technologies and fundamentals:
- If you’re interested in networking fundamentals, go through the first part of How Networks Really Work — stop when you feel it’s turning into a deep dive.
- As a sysadmin, you probably work within a data center environment. Data Center Infrastructure for Networking Engineers is another fundamentals-focused webinar worth exploring.
- Involved in multi-site DC deployments? Check out the Data Center Interconnects and Designing Active-Active and Disaster Recovery Data Centers.
- On the storage side, there’s Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Deep Dive and The Network Impact of NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF).
However, it looks like most of those materials focus on developers (no wonder – they are the most significant audience), with little thought being given to the needs of network engineers… at least according to the feedback left by one of ipSpace.net subscribers.
As I started Software Gone Wild podcast in June 2014, I wanted to help networking engineers grow beyond the traditional networking technologies. It’s only fitting to conclude this project almost seven years and 116 episodes later with a similar theme Avi Freedman proposed when we started discussing podcast topics in late 2020: how do we make networking attractive to young engineers.
A while ago, someone made a remark on my suggestions that networking engineers should focus on getting fluent with cloud networking and automation:
The running thing is, we can all learn this stuff, but not without having an opportunity.
I tend to forcefully disagree with that assertion. What opportunity do you need to test open-source tools or create a free cloud account? My response was thus correspondingly gruff:
It’s almost exactly three months since I announced ipSpace.net going on an extended coffee break. We had some ideas of what we plan to do at that time, but there were still many gray areas, and thanks to tons of discussions I had with many of my friends, subscribers, and readers, they mostly crystallized into this:
You’re trusting me to deliver. We added a “you might want to read this first” warning to the checkout process, and there was no noticeable drop in revenue. Thanks a million for your vote of confidence!
Almost exactly a year ago Miha Markočič joined the ipSpace.net team. He was fresh out of university, fluent in Python, but with no networking or automation background… so I decided to try my traditional method of getting new team members up to speed: throw them into the deep water, observe how quickly they learn to swim, and give them a few tips if it seems like they might be drowning.
It worked out amazingly well. Miha quickly mastered the intricacies of AWS and Azure, and created full-stack automation solutions in Ansible, Terraform, CloudFormation and Azure Resource Manager to support the AWS and Azure webinars, and the public cloud networking online course.
After deciding to take a slightly longer coffee break I went through the list of outstanding projects trying to figure out which ones I could complete in first half of 2021, which ones I’ll get to “eventually” and what’s a lost cause.
We squeezed as many guest speakers as we could into the first half of 2021. Here’s what we managed to do:
Long story short: ipSpace.net is
going on an extended coffee break on June 24th 2021 reducing the scope of activities on July 1st 2021. You can stop reading; the rest of the blog post is full of details you probably don’t care about.
What exactly does that mean? Since this blog post was published in January 2021, we pretty much figured out a way forward, and I’m glad we let engineers considering our subscriptions know months in advance what might happen.
Anyway, after investing two lifetimes into this project, and a few planned changes coming just before our regular summer hiatus (see below) it’s time for
a longer break an adjustment. ipSpace.net will revert back to Ivan working on some interesting stuff.
As always, it’s time to shut down our virtual office and disappear until early January… unless of course you have an urgent support problem. Any paperwork ideas your purchasing department might have will have to wait until 2021.
I hope you’ll be able to disconnect from the crazy pace of networking world, forget all the unicorns and rainbows (and broccoli forest of despair), and focus on your loved ones – they need you more than the dusty router sitting in a remote office. We would also like to wish you all the best in 2021!
One of my subscribers trying to figure out how to improve his career choices sent me this question:
I am Sr. Network Engineer with 12+ Years’ experience. I was quit happy with my networking skills but will all the recent changes I’m confused. I am not able to understand what are the key skills I should learn as a network engineer to keep myself demandable.
Before reading the rest of this blog post, please read Cloud and the Three IT Geographies by Massimo Re Ferre.
Tom Hollingsworth wrote another must-read blog post in which he explained what one should do before asking for help:
If someone comes to me and says, “I tried this and it failed and I got this message. I looked it up and the response didn’t make sense. Can you tell me why that is?” I rejoice. That person has done the legwork and narrowed the question down to the key piece they need to know.
In other words (again his), do your homework first and then ask relevant questions.
The mission of ipSpace.net is very simple: explain new networking technologies and products in a no-nonsense marketing-free and hopefully understandable way.
Sometimes we’re probably way off the mark, but every now and then we get it just right as evidenced by this feedback from one of our subscribers:
I was given short notice to present a board-level overview of VMWare NSX-T for an urgent virtualization platform change from Microsoft. Tech execs needed to understand NSX-T’s position in the market, in its product lifecycle, feature advantages, possible feature deficits, and an idea of the level of effort for implementation.