solomon abavire kobina's blog

The Paper Certifications

Paper certifications are a hot issue with IT professionals—those who have certification but no experience, and those who don’t have certification but have years of on-the-job experience.

In the beginning, certifications were a sure-fire way of getting your foot in the door. Companies desperately needed knowledgeable professionals to get the job done. But, as the number of certifications granted has increased dramatically over the years, the value of a certification has decreased—and so has the cost involved in earning it.

Why Internet over the Sky is Different

The reality of satellite communications systems on aircraft is that they operate differently from the communications systems in homes and offices. This is because with an airplane you’re in a big metal tube moving 450 knots at 40,000 feet. Just the nature of the physics involved means that, from a communications
point of view, you may have to do some things differently than you would do in a stationary setting.

Even professionals can be socially engineered

Here’s how a colleague fell prey to a social engineer because he didn’t think before he spoke. One day, He was having trouble with his high-speed Internet connection. He contacted his ISP and told the tech-support guy that he couldn’t remember his password. This sounds like the beginning of a social engineering stunt that he could’ve pulled off, but he got taken instead. The slick tech-support guy paused for a minute, as if he were pulling up his account info, and then asked, “What password did you try?”

Will the march of science halt in Crimea?

If oil and natural gas weren't enough of an issue, economic sanctions would also affect space, as Russia holds a key link to the International Space Station. While McCain may not have been planning any trips to Siberia, any Americans planning on stopping by the International Space Station (ISS) will find themselves out of luck, as Russia is “the only country to operate a space shuttle that can take astronauts to the International Space Station.

CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5: Coming soon!!

The announcement for the R&S CCIE v5 update should be coming soon (November timeframe) and the switch over for the lab sometime around March 2014. Cisco Live Europe has a R&S v5 Technical Breakout scheduled for anyone attending. The update to version 5 appears to be a 100% virtual lab environment similar to how the troubleshooting section of the lab is done now. The major benefit of the lab going virtual is that the topics covered will be platform independent.

Now a Board Member of Cisco Certification Research Board

This is part of the letter and it reads, ''On behalf of Cisco, we'd like to thank you and welcome you to the Cisco Certification Research Board. This is an elite group of Cisco Certified Professionals. It's our sincere hope that you will take these opportunities to provide Cisco with your opinions and knowledge.''

Thanks all !!!

Migrating CCIE Voice Certification to CCIE Collaboration Certification

Learning@Cisco is committed to helping the expert Voice technical community transition to the recently announced CCIE Collaboration certification. Three migration options will be offered as part of a CCIE Voice to CCIE Collaboration certification conversion program. Eligibility requires a CCIE Voice certification (active or suspended) as of February 13, 2014.

Cisco Issues 2 Millionth Certification; Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Industry-Leading CCIE

Worldwide growth of certification program demonstrates need for qualified networking talent across industries.

Breaking News: US Army Funds TeleCommunication Systems’ SNAP 3T Systems

TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) has received $2.8 million in incremental funding from the U.S. Army for Secret Internet Protocol Router and Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Access Point (SNAP) Tactical Transportable TROPO (3T) deployable communications systems. The U.S. Army Project Manager for the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (PM WIN-T) Commercial Satellite Terminal Program is funding these procurements through the Army’s $5 billion World-Wide Satellite Systems (WWSS) contract vehicle.

Get Educated: The Local Number Portability (LNP)

With the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in the United States (and the Telecom Act of 1997 in Canada), a series of competitive changes were required in the network. For years when competitors tried to compete with the Bell System, their efforts were stymied. Part of the reason was the competitor's ability to serve a new customer. Whenever the new competitor offered to serve a business or residential customer, customers were required to change their business or residential telephone number to use the new Local Exchange Carrier (LEC).


On March 26, 2013, Cisco announced updates to their associate-level certifications. CCENT is now the only prerequisite certification for the newly-created CCNA Routing and Switching certification (formerly CCNA) as well as the CCNA Voice, CCNA Wireless, CCNA Security, and CCDA certifications. The changes reflect the evolving job market and the latest Cisco technology, including IOS v15, IPv6 Support, IOS licensing, and a simplified 802.1x security implementation. For full details, visit

The following are the new Cisco CCNA Code Numbers:

Hiring IT Consulting Services: Na Problem oh!!!

Talk is cheap -- at least when it comes to marketing IT consulting services. Any consultant can have a flashy website or impressive brochures. But how can you be sure you're hiring the right IT consultant for the job?

I've been on both sides of the table with this issue as a senior IT professional and as a consultant. Here are some questions that need to be asked when a company is shopping for IT consulting services, but, unfortunately, aren't asked often enough:

The New CCNA Security 640-554 IINS Exam: No more SDM

The following topics are general guidelines for the content likely to be included on the Implementing Cisco IOS Network Security (IINS) exam. However, other related topics may also appear on any specific delivery of the exam. In order to better reflect the contents of the exam and for clarity purposes, the guidelines below may change at any time without notice but takes effect from from 1st October, 2012.

Common Security Threats 

  • Describe common security threats

Security and Cisco Routers

How will we get newly hired employees up to full productivity?

Companies initially lose money on newly hired employees. It can often take several months before they “know the ropes” well enough to make a real contribution. They are certainly not adding value to the company if they are spending their time figuring out where to sit, who their team members are, or how to fill out their healthcare benefit plans. It is therefore important to make the on-boarding process as quick and efficient as possible. High performing employees in particular find the on-boarding phase frustrating.

How will we keep employees after they are hired?

It is extremely expensive for organizations to go through the process of hiring candidates only to have them quit early into their tenure. Candidate turnover within the first year should probably be considered a failure in the staffing process, since something about the job and candidate clearly did not match. Retention after a year is more a function of how employees are managed and the career opportunities they see within the organization rather than staffing.

Computing and the Cloud: Not new!!

The information technology industry has a funny way of reinventing itself every decade or two. We were doing virtualization back in the heyday of the IBM mainframe, and today we’re all making a big deal of virtualization as if it’s something new. We redistributed the power of IT from centralized mainframe computing to every desktop through client/server computing, and today we’re busy recentralizing IT through the architectural equivalent of mainframe computing in the sky.

Get Educated!

Certification professionals are just that—professionals—and as such, Cisco/Juniper/Microsoft/Novell/VMWare/SAP jobs reflect minimum qualifications similar to other professional positions. Many of the positions you see posted at Cisco/Juniper/Microsoft/SAP, its partners, and customers require at least a Certificate, Diploma, and Bachelor’s degree. Often, an MBA or other Master’s degree is desirable if not mandatory is what's my beef you know.

Common Hiring Mistakes

At some time or another you’ll probably discover that you misjudged a candidate. You may discover that someone you thought would be fine doing network support is a stellar performer and has great potential. Or, you may find that the candidate you thought was ideal turns out to be a dud. Hopefully, your errors in judgment will be more of the former than the latter. To avoid out-andout mistakes, be on the lookout for the following:

Stupid Cisco Old Tricks

Cisco switches and routers had an interesting bug in their Web servers a while back. This bug allowed you to bypass the authentication in the Web server and gain access to selected commands on the device. It was really simple, and I was quite amazed that no one else ever had figured it out before I saw it some years back (hell, I even kicked myself for not thinking about it earlier).

MPLS and the OSI Reference Model: Where does MPLS fit in?

OSI Reference Model

Let's start from the bottom layer as the normal practice, and that's Layer 1, or the physical layer, and the top layer is Layer 7, or the application layer as we all know.

Whereas the Layer 1, the physical layer concerns the cabling, connectors, mechanical, and electrical characteristics of every computer technology.


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