17 May 2011

HP Enterprise Networking Products Technical Qualification

Along my path to the Master ASE Networking Infrastructure 2011 I made a quick stop acquiring the pre-sales certification for the data center A-series platform.  There was a significant amount of studying I had to do on IRF (awesome), RRPP, and L2/L3 MPLS.

HP A5820
I have a pair of A5800s waiting to be unboxed and racked to be my A-series playground but the racking and power situation needs some sorting before that stage.  I thought I would be mostly playing with IRF, but now that I know more about RRPP it is something I definitely want to get my hands on.

10 May 2011

Microsoft UC + Skype

I'm sure I am not the only one thinking this but with Microsoft picking up Skype, it is going to be a huge win for Lync 2010.  Skype is notorious in the enterprise UC space for NOT integrating or playing nice with anyone, and every enterprise CXO uses Skype when they travel.

Now if Microsoft does this right Lync will be federated with Skype sometime soon, which is always the #1 question I'm asked when I show customers Lync and is the only "public IM" federation they care about.

UPDATE 12:15 10 May 2011:  In this morning's joint Ballmer & Bates press conference they have confirmed that they are targeting Lync + Skype integration to bring Skype access to the enterprise.  Awesome!

09 May 2011

Hey! You are a network guy, get all these HP certs please...

Just started a new new job with a new kind of partner.  I've been working with Cisco partners for pretty much my entire IT career so I have been heavily insulated from other routing and switching platforms.  I saw this job as a opportunity to diversify and to make a clean break solely being a Cisco solutions architect for CUCM.  Here I'll be selling and supporting HP, Juniper, and Cisco networking solutions.

The plan is for me is to get my Master ASE in Network Infrastructure, quickly.  I have already obtained my AIS and ASE by "upgrading" from my Cisco certifications which was a few online tests.  Here are my thoughts on each.

AIS - Network Infrastructure 2011
This entry level cert for HP networking required me to be familiar with both the HP E-series (legacy ProCurve) and the HP A-series (legacy H3C) platforms.  These products have a massive amount of overlap in product lines  that serve the same purpose, as well as completely different software platforms.  That was the challenging part, getting my head wrapped around all these products and their capabilities.

ASE - HP ProCurve Campus LANs 2010
Doesn't look like this one will qualify me for the current Master ASE (2011 version), but getting this certification only took a single online test I could take because I have a CCNP Voice.  Much less drilling on the product platforms, but it was a fair assessment making sure I understood routing protocols, wireless, and 802.1x.  The questions on VRRP kicked my ass because I've been under that Cisco rock for so long I forgot everything I learned when I installed  Nokia IPSO :)

HP Networking Lab
While I do have a decent amount of hands on experience with the E-series switching platform, I have no experience with the A-series (H3C) products which appear to be solid products on paper.  My company is putting together a lab where I will have a couple A-series switches and routers at my disposal in addition to a bunch of E-series switches, and A-series wireless (interesting).  Come back later and I'll let you know what I think about this platform for the enterprise after I've played with it for awhile.