Mid afternoon, around 3:00 pm, is a prime time for checking into hotels, and the same holds true for Disney’s many resorts. These days, when you check into a Disney resort, you’re given a Magic Band, but when I was working there in the year 2000, guests were given a Key to the World card. Guests used their card to open the door to their room, purchase food, buy merchandise, and get access to the Disney World parks. As a result, getting a call one afternoon around 3:00 pm that a couple of Disney’s resorts (specifically, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts) could not create Key to the World cards was a big deal.
Several of us piled into a company van and headed over to Epcot. We took an elevator down three floors below Future World and went into an equipment room containing the Cisco Catalyst switches servicing nearby resorts. The LED load indicator on the Cisco Catalyst’s supervisor engine indicated the switch was under a significant processor...
Back in 2000, when I was working at Disney World as a Network Design Specialist, all disney.com e-mail accounts ran on two e-mail servers affectionately known and Pain and Panic (named after the shape-shifting imps from Disney’s Hercules movie). Little did I know that those names were about to become all too real.
My biggest design project at disney involved replacing the network that interconnected the different theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and the Studios), along with some of the Disney resorts. At the beginning of the project, those locations were interconnected via FastEthernet (i.e. 100 Mbps) links, and when you looked at the physical topology superimposed on a map of the Disney World property, it looked like a smile, resulting in it being called SmileNet.
What I had to do was design a network with new Cisco Catalyst switches using Gigabit Ethernet (i.e. 1 Gbps) links. Redundancy was key in the design, meaning that...
Anyone that knows my family and me, knows that we are huge fans of all things Disney. Besides just being a guest at various Disney destinations, I was privileged to be a cast member for the Walt Disney Resorts in Florida. No, I wasn’t an on-stage performer. I was one of five Network Designers. However, Walt Disney saw everything in his park as a show, and as part of the show, employees were to be called “cast members.”
The Walt Disney World (WDW) network was made up of over 500 Cisco routers (counting Route Switch Modules (RSMs) in some of the multilayer switches), and thousands of Cisco Catalyst switches. When I was there, they had about 56,000 cast members, and they were the largest single-site employer in North America.
Recently, my family and I took another trip to WDW. During our stay, it occurred to me that much of what I know about Cisco networking, management, and entrepreneurship was learned from Disney. Some principles I learned during my...
Happy New Year!
If one of your goals for 2015 is to earn your CCNP R/S certification, you might want to check out a new video I did.
The video discusses the theory of GLBP, a First Hop Redundancy Protocol (FHRP) that’s much more than just an FHRP.
The video is one of the videos in my new SWITCH (300-115) Complete Video Course available for pre-order from Cisco Press.
You get pre-order the video course here: http://kwtrain.com/switchcourse
I hope you enjoy the video and that you make 2015 your best year yet.
Take good care,
Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945, CCSI 20061
For years, the debate has raged about which is better. Is it better to focus on getting certifications or to earn a college-degree? Excellent points are to be made on each side of the argument. This is the type of question I hear frequently, and I wanted share my thoughts. Now, the next time somebody asks me this question, I can point them to this blog post ;-)
Let me begin by saying that I’m a big fan of academia. I worked at a university (as the Network Manager) for about eleven years. My bachelor’s degree is in Electrical Engineering (BSEE), and I earned about 30 credit hours towards a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree. My oldest daughter just finished up her first semester of college. My other daughter is a senior in high school and has already been accepted to the university she wants to attend. My wife and I started a college fund for each of them when they were born, and it feels like we’ve reached a major...
You’ve got a massive Cisco Press library; you’ve bookmarked key websites; and you’ve even subscribed to my blog :) Hopefully, you are super disciplined, and you’ve carved out dedicated chunks of time for study and labbing.
The bad news is, not everyone falls into that category. Some Cisco certification candidates have the resources, but they are so overwhelmed at the magnitude of the task of preparing for an exam, they put it off. They say, “I need to make time for that.” Have you ever been there? I have. So, what’s the answer?
There are lots of time management techniques out there, and a lot of experts who argue time is something that cannot be managed. I’ll not enter into that debate here. Instead, I want to give you a little trick I picked up somewhere in my reading.
This little study “hack” can help you overcome that initial inertia. In fact, I’m using it right now as I write this blog post. So what is it?