Cisco

Juniper targets key new switch directly at Cisco Nexus 6000

Based on Broadcom Trident II, QFX5100 will support dense 10/40G and Virtual Chassis for smaller fabric alternative to QFabric

Juniper Networks is expected to soon announce a new switch for top-of-rack applications that supports Broadcom’s Trident II silicon for dense 10/40G Ethernet capabilities and competes directly with Cisco’s Nexus 6000.

Juniper is expected to tout throughput, latency, power consumption and table entry benefits of the QFX5100 over the Nexus 6001, sources say.

Specifically, the QFX5100 switch is said by sources to include 48×1/10G + 6x40G, 96x10G + 8x40G, and 24x40G with two expansion slots for 4x40G module variations. QFX5100 is also said to have latency improvements over previous generation QFX switches, the QFX 3500 and 3600, which average sub-microsecond latencies.

[DATA CENTER DIRECTIONS: Juniper switching boss talks technology challenges, Cisco Nexus 6000]

Support for Broadcom’s new Trident II silicon, which many in the industry – including Cisco’s Insieme spin-in, Dell and Arista Networks – are building new switches on, means QFX5100 will be optimized for 10/40G and have inherent support for the VXLAN specification for VLAN scaling. Co-authored by Broadcom, VXLAN is intended to scale VLANs from 4,094 to 16 million to accommodate the exploding number of virtual machines in the virtualized data center.

Broadcom’s Trident II chip is designed to support up to 32 40G Ethernet ports and 100+ 10G ports. Ports on the QFX5100 can be configured and channelized to support up to 32x40G or 104x10G, source say.

And as expected, QFX5100 will support Virtual Chassis capabilities via Junos release 13.2X50. Up to 10 member switches can be configured into a Virtual Chassis and managed as a single switch, with increased fault tolerance and high-availability, and a flatter Layer 2 topology designed to minimize or eliminate the need for Spanning Tree and other protocols.

The capability may also allow users to configure smaller fabric “pods” without the need for a QFabric Interconnect device. Indeed, Virtual Chassis will also work on existing QFX 3500 and 3600 switches with the new Junos release but only if the switches are in standalone mode – not as nodes in a QFabric.

Sources say the Virtual Chassis capability will usher in a new Virtual Chassis Fabric (VCF) architecture from Juniper that allows a 20-node mix of QFX5100, 3500 and 3600s, and Juniper EX4300 switches to form a data center fabric without a QFabric Interconnect. As such, VCF is a fabric alternative to QFabric, they say.

The Virtual Chassis capability was expected. The pods VCF produces could be interconnected for scale with Juniper’s new EX9200 switch, Juniper Senior Vice President Jonathan Davidson said last spring.

The 48×1/10G QFX5100 will be available this quarter. The other variations will be available in the first quarter of 2014. Virtual Chassis will also be available in the first quarter of 2014.

VXLAN gateway and Cloudstack integration will be available later in 2014, sources say.

Juniper declined comment.


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Microsoft unified communications Lync system moves closer to proverbial PBX replacement option

New Microsoft Lync features, services mean the unified communications platform will draw more customers; parity with Cisco, Avaya targeted

Microsoft is talking about its upgraded Lync unified communications platform, revealing client support for more devices, server features for better meetings and collaboration as well as integration with the peer-to-peer voice and video service Skype.

While it is clearly a good UC choice for customers with needs that align with Lync’s strengths, it’s not yet a platform that can jump in readily to replace traditional PBXs in environments heavily reliant on traditional desktop phones, experts say.

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USE CASE: Microsoft delivers missing Lync for telemed project

Still, Lync is getting closer and its new features are bringing it into closer parity with UC leaders such as Cisco and Avaya, they say.

In touting upgrades to Lync 2013 – no release date has been set – Microsoft highlights its adoption of H.264 scalable video coding (SVC), a video codec standard that makes it relatively simple to display video on a range of devices, meaning Lync can support participants on screens ranging from smartphones to room displays, says BJ Haberkorn, director of product marketing, Microsoft Lync.

In addition, video displays by Lync clients has been upgraded to show up to five participants on screen at the same time, an improvement from having just the active talker on displayed. The view of those five is optimized depending on the number of participants and what other conference tools are being used.

Lync 2013 adds voice and video over IP for all devices, meaning that a device connected to a Wi-Fi network can participate in audio and video calls despite being disconnected from a traditional phone link. So users equipped with smartphones and tablets can conference over IP networks.

This is especially important to iPad users, he says, because the devices don’t support cellular phone networks. So they can join conferences, register presence and instant message other Lync participants.

The latest Lync client supports Windows 8 with a reworked interface that embraces touchscreens, which he refers to as the Windows 8 paradigm.

Peer-to-peer voice and video service Skype is federated with the upcoming Lync server. That means a corporate user working off a Lync enterprise network could provide and receive presence information with users of Skype. They could also establish audio calls with Skype users, but not video calls. Microsoft has that ranked as the next feature it will work on after the initial release of Lync 2013, Haberkorn says.

Last summer, Microsoft added Lync to Phone, a service that lets Lync users complete calls to and receive calls from the public phone network using the Lync Online Client. Such services are available only in the U.S. and U.K. through third-party public phone network providers.

Microsoft is pushing Lync to the application developers to include UC tie-ins to the applications they write. An app could include links to information about parties listed in the user’s address book and enable connecting with them directly from the application.

Microsoft has already done this with many of its productivity applications in Office where communications can be tapped via what is known as a rich content card that lists contacts’ name, email, phone, instant messaging and presence information. That can include information about others sharing documents via SharePoint in the SkyDrive cloud.

For example, OneNote is better integrated within Lync meetings for taking notes, and within Outlook it is simpler to send invitations to meetings.

When Lync is upgraded, it will have clients for PC desktops including Windows 8, Macs, iOS, Windows Phone and Android. That will support tablets – used mainly within organizations – as well as smartphones.

Lync’s look will be streamlined, cutting out the chrome that is now regarded as visual clutter, and making the overall look in step with what has been done to Office applications.

All this adds up to an improved Lync, but one that still isn’t for everybody, says Phil Edholm, president and principal at PKE Consulting.

The reason is that not all businesses have uniform communications needs. He divides workers into three groups: knowledge, information and services, Edholm says.

The knowledge workers, such as engineers or financial analysts, are the ones that need the wide array of features UC can provide such as conferencing, collaboration, instant messaging and presence to get their jobs done. They don’t rely on strict business processes as much as the other two categories of workers, but they need to communicate a lot with each other.
 

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They also need to communicate with information workers who do rely on business processes and who need sometimes to communicate with knowledge workers. An example: a contact center worker who uses set business processes to finalize sales but who occasionally needs to talk to a subject matter expert – a knowledge worker – to supply information to a customer before a sale can be closed, Edholm says.

Service workers, such as delivery truck drivers, use information to direct their tasks, but don’t need a UC infrastructure to do so.

“Lync is a toolset, and you need to decide who needs the tools,” Edholm says, and sometimes that means deploying it to a select group

For instance, a Scandinavian police organization client of Edholm’s had 30,000 workers only 3,000 of whom were knowledge workers. Those 3,000 needed unified communications, but most of the rest didn’t, leading the organization to install Lync for some but not all.

In a company with 90% knowledge workers and 10% information workers the situation would be different. It would make sense to install UC for everybody just to avoid multiple systems and their maintenance needs despite the fact that some of the workers would use just the phone capabilities.

In a typical mixed deployment such as the police organization, the legacy telephony system could tie into Lync. Those with just desktop phones could reach those with Lync and vice versa, but the desk phone users wouldn’t require new gear nor would they have to learn new ways of doing things, he says.

Lync becomes a challenge when it is deployed to people who only use its telephony features. “Lync is not structured to be a telephony-only system,” he says. “You can do it but it doesn’t lend itself to being easy to use and easy to install if it’s just telephony.”

That’s because while it may perform all the necessary functions, there may be different ways of carrying them out, which requires training.

For example, multiple line appearances where a phone can ring on an individual’s desk but also at the receptionist’s desk would be replaced functionally by presence, a different way of doing the same thing.

“The biggest resistance comes with going from traditional telephony to Lync,” Edholm says. “This is changing somewhat and will change even more with [the bring-your-own-device trend],” he says.

Edholm says he did a comparison of Lync vs. Cisco’s UC for collaboration, and he found that an important factor is what the UC system has to interface with.

If the organization considering UC has a Microsoft directory system, Microsoft business applications and Microsoft databases, as well as Microsoft personal productivity tools such as Office, it makes sense to use Lync. It was built with Office, SharePoint and Active Directory interoperability in mind, he says.

If an organization doesn’t use Microsoft email, calendaring and productivity apps, then adopting UC from Avaya, Cisco, Nortel or Siemens might make more sense, especially if the existing PBX is made by one of these vendors, he says. “It’s not the UC system alone, it’s the kind of workers you have and the other systems you use,” he says.

Lync itself seems to be moving away from controlling the traditional desktop phone in favor of a UC system that includes telephony run from a desktop PC and a server in the data center or the cloud, which has service providers showing interest in the platform.

BT, for example, is offering a new Lync-based cloud service called BT One Cloud Lync that provides Lync as a service with the infrastructure based in the BT network.

Similarly, West IP Communications offers a Lync service that supports Lync edge, mediation and federation servers in West IP data centers. The upside for customers, says Jeff Wellemeyer, executive vice president of West IP, is quality of service. If these components are located on customer premises for a widely distributed Lync deployment, it makes it more difficult to ensure quality of service to all branches.

Hosted Lync isn’t for all customers, though, particularly those whose media traffic is intended to stay within the LAN, minimizing WAN QoS as an issue, he says.

Wellemeyer says that customers tend to progress in their use of Lync features, perhaps starting with just instant messaging, adding presence, conferencing, collaboration and connecting to the public phone network with some softphone use.

Moving to Lync as a PBX replacement is considered a move for “someday,” he says. “We’re not seeing a lot of customers tearing out their PBXs and putting in a Microsoft infrastructure.”

They might use Lync supplemented by PBX technology. “They think Lync’s not there yet,” he says.

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Technology is advancing day by day in fact the new technology is no killing the old technology in reality it is advancing the previous versions, peoples are more and more easy and secure way to in technology usage, Microsoft is always been a very fast detector how to reshape the new technology is all software’s like Microsoft Office, Operating systems like windows XP to Windows 7, Internet Explorer 8 IE8, and more,

 

 

 

 

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Most of the bricks organizations are now becoming bricks and clicks organization, the requirement to advance these organizations required certified peoples to work with them and. A professional person holding Microsoft certifications in his hand is often valued over other workforce all around the planet. Among all on hand Microsoft certifications, one of the most accepted one is MCTS Training, Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist focus on emerging technological prospective and employing these concerns for progressing in Information Technology industry. If you have certain required abilities for this exam you can pass it quite effortlessly. These abilities take in the following:

 

Intro on MCTS Certification 
The MCTS certification is the one, which helps the candidate to step into the IT industry. MCTS also helps the professional who are already in the IT industry to get into a good position in the field. The candidates who are applying for the MCTS Certification should have experience about the network connectivity, desktop operating system, security, and applications. Those who are very good in these areas can have the MCTS certification without any problem and they may be experienced in a particular filed. The future of the certification will be very good and more demand will be there for MCTS certified professional. There are lots and lots of products that are developed with Microsoft Technology. Microsoft develops products which is very helpful for the users.

 

What expertise and skills MCTS certification demands? 
Though you can acquire a reputable status by obtaining this certification, but it obviously demands a few expertises’s that you must have. For this reason, you must be able in:
Computer network literacy 
Solving logon related problems 
Creating as well as maintaining the desktop applications 
Executing password resets and others alike

 

MCTS certification will enhance your
Windows technologies
MCTS: .NET Framework 2.0 Web Applications
Microsoft SQL Server technologies
Microsoft Exchange Server technology
Other technologies

 

To get this certification, you will require an experience of at least two years in implementing, troubleshooting, and debugging a given technology. One can say that this certification is the foundation for all the different Microsoft Certifications that are meant to validate your expertise in the functionality and features of Microsoft key technologies. As an IT professional, either you can demonstrate your in-depth knowledge in a given technical application or choose to earn as many MCTS training as you want to endorse your capabilities across a number of Microsoft products. However, it is all the more essential to constantly update your certification to enhance your competency under today’s robust IT scenario.

 

If your preparing for career change and looking for MCTS Online Training Certkingdom.com is the best online training provider that provide the all the and complete MCTS certification exams training in just one package, certkingdom self study training kits, save your money on bootcamps, training institutes, It’s also save your traveling and time. All training materials are “Guaranteed” to pass your exams and get you certified on the fist attempt, due to best training CertKingdom become no1 site.

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Thought I would make this post to give people the feedback about my first IT certification MCSE 2003. As this is rather a large subject covering a variety of areas, I have attempted to break these down Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer 2003 preparation into different segments with timelines.

 

 

 

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What is Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE 2003)

Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer 2003 (or MCSE 2008) is the best-known and premiere Microsoft certification. It qualifies an individual as being able to analyze the business requirements for information systems solutions, and design and implement the infrastructure required. As of 2008, the MCSE is available for two different product lines; Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003, each of which requires a different set of exams.

 

For the MCSE 2003 certification, candidates must pass six core design exams (Four networking exams, one client operating system and one design exam) and one elective exam, for a total of seven exams. For the MCSE 2000, a candidate needs to pass five Core Exams (Four operating system exams, one design exam) and two electives. For the MCSE NT 4.0 (retired), a candidate needed to pass four Core Exams (Networking Essentials, Windows NT Workstation, Windows NT Server and Windows NT Server in theEnterprise) and two electives.


Core Exams for mcse 2003 certification


70-290 Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment

70-291 Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

70-293 Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure

70-294 Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 AD Infrastructure

The topic of these exams include network security, computer networking infrastructure, Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and other topics of both general networking interest as well as specific Microsoft products.

 

The following is MCSE specialization, Upgrade paths

 

MCSE on Windows Server 2003

• MCSE on Windows Server 2000

• MCSE on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0

• MCSA on Windows Server 2003

 

Specializations

• MCSE: Messaging on Windows Server 2003

• MCSE: Security on Windows Server 2003

 

MCSE on Windows 2000

 

Specializations

• MCSE: Messaging on Windows 2000

• MCSE: Security on Microsoft Windows 2000 Server

 

Train for your MCSA or MCSE 2003 Training on Windows Server 2003 and get closer to Windows Server 2008. The strength of Windows Server 2003 in the market today indicates that demand for related IT expertise will continue for years to come. The best way to demonstrate you have those skills—and to inspire confidence in a hiring manager, your team, and yourself on Windows Server 2003—is with the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credentials. These credentials will not retire.
The most efficient way for Microsoft 2003 exams training.

 

  1. MCQ’s  Training (multiple choice questions)
  2. Case Studies Training
  3. Study guides Training
  4. Labs Preparation
  5. Online Videos Training
  6. Audios Training
  7. Exams Testing Engines
  8. Scenarios Bases Question and Answers

 

When I started in the first line role, one of my initial questions was ‘what do I need to learn to get the best online mcse 2003 training at my home?’ I was given feedback from my friends whom boiled down to IT skills, MCSE 2003 would be preferential, but more importantly are your willingness to learn, attitude and aptitude.

 

I knew from the moment I had finished my initial training, that I was different to the normal bread of Helpdesk personnel. Rather than spending my time surfing the web, I had my head in a book reading and learning.

 

I also vetted all of my calls as if I was second line (even though I wasn’t). This did ruffle a few feathers, but I cleared it with my friend first and also made sure that a second line person approved my comments, before it went to third line. The feedback from my Team Leaders was it showed initiative and willingness to learn.
If your preparing for career change and looking for MCTS Training the best online training provider that provide the all the and complete MCTS certification exams training in just one package, certkingdom self study training kits, save your money on bootcamps, training institutes, It’s also save your traveling and time. All training materials are “Guaranteed” to pass your exams and get you certified on the fist attempt, due to best training they become no1 site 2009 & 2010.

In addition I recommend Certkindom.com is best and No1 site of 2008 which provide the complete Windows Server 2003 certified professionals training, Microsoft MCITP, Microsoft MCTS, Cisco CCNA, Cisco CCIE, CompTIA A+, IBM, Citrix, PMP, ISC, and lots more online training self study kits, saving your time and money on all those expensive bootcamps, conventional training institutes where you have take admission pay fees first and if you don’t want to continue no refunds no transfer to any other training course, If you planed to take CCNA or specialization in MCSE 2003 all the process starts again; as for getting online training can be much beneficial and you don’t need to take for fill any from to switch your training on any desire certification.

Greatest Tech Battles Ever Told

Greatest Tech Battles Ever Told
In honor of the patent war heating up between Apple and Samsung, we’re looking back at epic tech battles. The one thing they all have in common: the future of the universe hung in the balance. (Okay, not the universe but a really big market.)

Oracle. Apple. Google. Facebook. Microsoft. SAP. We’ve seen some of the biggest names in some of the nastiest battles over the years. The balance of power shifts, markets move, and there’s a disturbance in the Force. Call it Tech Wars.

 

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iOS vs. Android
It’s iOS vs. Android with the future of mobile as the prize. Want more drama? Throw in the fiery words of the most admired CEO in history, the late Steve Jobs: “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty.”

PC vs. Mac

This is the greatest tech battle ever, played out on the small screen pitting the geeks against the cool kids. It is the battle from which all other battles have been judged. The words “I’m a PC, I’m a Mac” have become part of our culture. So who has won? Like Star Wars Jedi vs. Sith, the tide turns with every generation.

Oracle vs. SAP
Quick, what software can cost millions of dollars and take years to integrate? Hint: This complex software has derailed many CIO careers. There can be only one, of course, and it’s enterprise resource planning, or ERP. Oracle and SAP have gone head-to-head for years at this high-stakes poker table.

Facebook vs. MySpace
In the super-hot social networking space, Facebook rules the empire. But it wasn’t always that way. MySpace used to be the most visited social networking site in the world, riding pop culture, music and teenyboppers to lofty heights. Then came Facebook. It appealed to the young, college-educated professional and ushered social networking into the mainstream.

VHS vs. Beta
VHS and Beta are pretty much gone now, but the two technologies sparked the first battle for the living room — specifically, home movies. VHS, of course, won. It was the machine that launched a thousand rental stores across the country.

But nothing lasts forever, and VHS itself became victim to the DVD, which, in turn, is succumbing to streaming movies. Meanwhile, rental stores are getting torn down as quickly as a bad VHS machine chewed up the edges of a tape.

Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator
If you were following the tech scene in the 1990s, you’d remember the browser war between Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator — one that drew in the Department of Justice and put Microsoft in the crosshairs of a precedent-setting antitrust case. It led to the surreal sight of Bill Gates testifying and saying over and over, “I don’t recall.” That’s right, the same guy with the brilliant mind.

Database War
Only techie publications cared much about the great decade-long Database War between Oracle, Sybase, Informix, IBM and others. According to tech writer Eric Lai, the war started a fixation on performance measured by artificially enhanced benchmarks, which has “led to a distrust of benchmarks that lingers to this day.” Oh, Oracle won.

Bookstores vs. Amazon
Pity the humble, independent bookstore and even the mega bookstore. Book readers saunter in, explore different titles, gaze through books and then… whip out their iPhone and order it on Amazon. The massive online bookstore took a wrecking ball to the brick-and-mortar bookstore and upended an industry. The mayhem continues to this day. Heck, Amazon brought the phrase “brick-and-mortar” into modern-day vernacular.

Google vs. Yahoo
Remember when “search” was a neat little Web tool from companies with cute sounding names? It didn’t take long for search to become a powerful market driven by search engines with complex algorithms that generate tons of dollars of online advertising. Google stomped on Yahoo and became one of the biggest, baddest tech companies on the planet. Struggling Yahoo has had five CEOs in five years and now hopes ex-Googler Marissa Mayer can lead a comeback.

War Games (Nintendo, Xbox and Playstation)
Nintendo, Xbox and PlayStation have been battling it out in the gaming industry for years, from home video consoles to mobile platforms. It’s been fun to watch and play, and if you’ve got kids, you’ve probably paid for them all. The intense competition has led to grand advancements in gaming, including epic online adventures, awesome first-person shooting campaigns and the Wii. Gaming now is one of the biggest markets for consumer tech.

Google Apps vs. Microsoft Office
When Google Apps first appeared on the Web to go head-to-head with the venerable Microsoft Office suite, it didn’t look like a fair fight. Google Apps were quirky to use and didn’t feel ready for prime time. But tech wars can turn on a dime. Google Apps has since cut a swath out of Microsoft’s market share, although Office is likely to continue to dominate the all-important productivity market for the foreseeable future.

Jedi Yoda vs. Darth Sidious
Epic tech battles have the feeling of the universe hanging in the balance, kinda like when Jedi Master Yoda took on the Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith. In some tech battles, good did not always triumph over evil. In Star Wars, Yoda got his butt kicked, narrowly escaped, and slumped off into exile telling us what we already knew. “Failed, I have.”

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How to Use LinkedIn’s Skills & Expertise Section to Research Careers

Knowing what jobs match your skills is just as important as receiving the right career training when choosing a career. Luckily, LinkedIn has developed a great tool to help you learn more about the types of jobs that fit your skill set as well as give you ideas for career you many not have considered.

 

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The new tool is in the “Skills & Expertise” section, under the “More” tab in LinkedIn. On this page you will be able to enter a career title, skill or keyword into the Search box.

The search results provide you with a wide variety of topics and information to explore and help you decide which career is right for you. Some examples of the information you will find include:

Skills defined. A description of the related career is displayed in the center top of the page. This description includes the primary industry of which it’s a part, but view these descriptions with a grain of salt. The definitions are taken from Wikipedia and have varying levels of accuracy. The small arrow in the box that is pointing up or down is an indication of the amount of positive or negative growth expected from that career field.

Affiliated expertise. A list of “Related Skills” is shown to the left of the description that provides general guidance about other careers that use skills similar to the terms you entered into your search. This list provides you a window into an expansive circle of opportunities that align with your skills.

Professionals with similar skills. This section, located under the career description provides you a list of LinkedIn members who have listed skills similar to those you entered into your search. Viewing these profiles will allow you to see these individual’s career histories (both present as well as past positions) and what keywords they list to summarize their professional experience and abilities. Knowing how others in your desired career field describe themselves should give you ideas on what keywords you want to use in your own profile. Finally, this section will show you how many of these people you are connected to through LinkedIn.

Historical and predicted growth. The small chart located at the top right of the page provides insight into growth trends of the career. Is the career growing or contracting? Are there particular aspects of the career that are experiencing expanding at a quicker rate? The chart shown in this section will provide the answers.

Notable employers. The “Related Companies” section lists notable employers in your area of interest. This section will direct you to their company page. Take advantage of this feature to learn more about the company’s services, products and culture as well as potential job openings.

Find related groups. Why do LinkedIn groups matter? Groups provide one more avenue to explore a career, including the roles and responsibilities of the people in that career, where they work, and their thoughts about the industry. Groups also provide a way to connect with professionals in that career and start building your professional network. For those reasons, be sure to check out the groups section listed on the lower left side of the page.

Opportunities and Openings. Even if you’re not ready to send in your resume, reading the various job descriptions can prove worthwhile. Job descriptions allow you to see what employers are looking for in terms of skills and experience. They can also show you what type of work will be expected in a given career so you can determine whether it suits you or not. Additionally, you’ll be able to monitor what keywords employers are using so you can be sure to have these terms in your LinkedIn profile.

The LinkedIn “Skills & Expertise” section is a terrific launching pad to begin evaluating your career options. Using this tool will help you weigh all potential job opportunities, their key characteristics and responsibilities and who in your network may be an asset as you pursue a career path. But, the section is not just for job search newbies, it can also help more seasoned professionals determine how to expand existing skills or prepare for a career change.

How To Create a Study Plan for PMP Exam Certification

You can start your study for the PMP Credential today. Simply follow our Step-by-Step PMP Study Plan, and prepare for the exam easily, without hassles.

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PMP Exam Study Plan

Preparing for the PMP exam is quite unlike what you did in school and college. Here the focus is not on memorization, but understanding the concepts, best practices, guidelines, and project management framework, as per PMI’s PMBOK Guide (currently Fourth Edition since July 2009).

UPDATE: June 2011 – Although the PMP Exam is changing on August 30, 2011, it is still based on the PMBOK Guide Fourth Edition.

Most of the people I come across have heard about PMP from their friends or colleagues and are interested to gain the professional certification in Project Management.

However, they mostly lack the experience of project management. Most have worked on small projects, and may not have been in a Project Manager position for a significant amount of time. I have written previously about the eligibility criteria for the PMP Exam.

Further, they may have limited knowledge of all the project management knowledge areas, as not all are required for most small day to day projects. No wonder the casualty rate for first time PMP exam takers is so high.

So, when it comes to preparing for the PMP Exam, you need to have a plan that is specific, practical, time-bound and achievable. Without a good game plan, you may simply be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work, or just run out of steam mid-way…

One good Study Plan for PMP that I often recommend to my students is as follows.

1. Quickly enroll in a PMP Exam Preparation Workshop in your city. You can most certainly find one, and you can look up our PMP Training Directory if you need assistance. PMI has local chapters in major cities in almost each country, so you can ask the local PMI chapter for assistance, recommendations or suggestions of upcoming PMP boot-camps.

These boot-camps may be 4 day or 5 day in length, are are quite intensive. Some companies even run them on weekends, so you don’t have to take leave from your busy project schedule.

Another alternative to Classroom Training is to Study Online for your PMP Exam. Yes, you can do this now, and study at your own time and convenience. Using Online PMP Exam Preparation Classes, you can also get the 35 PDUs or Contact hours, and they are considered valid for the PMP Exam.

2. Assess the gap in your knowledge: After you’ve attended the PMP Exam Preparation training of usually 35 contact hours ( a pre-requisite of PMI before you can take the exam), you will realize how big is the gap in your knowledge and the PMI’s project management framework.

You should ask questions such as:

* In which knowledge areas do I have the least knowledge?
* In which kind of organization types have I never worked at?
* What kind of HR theories do I follow, and which are new to me?
* What kind of professional and social ethics are the norm in my company and my country?
* Is there a significant difference in my understanding and the best practices?

With the answers, you will be able to assess the amount of study you need to do, and how close or far you are from the PMP Certification exam.

3. Filling up the PMP Certification Application Form: The next thing you should do is to fill up your PMP Certification application at the PMI website. It generally gets approved within a week, if not audited, and you can then straight away take the Code given to you to schedule your exam at the Prometric website.

UPDATED June 2011: In Singapore, there are now 2 Prometric centers, and it takes at least 6 to 8 weeks before you can get a free slot for the exam. This is a boon in disguise, because you DO need atleast 6-8 weeks of earnest study time, to fill the knowledge gap, and prepare for the PMP exam properly. After all, you do want to pass it in your first attempt. It isn’t cheap and you are probably stealing time away from your family, so get it right the first time.

4. Firm up Your Study Plan in earnest: Once you know your PMP certification exam date, you can then work backwards to today, and calculate the amount of days you have left at hand. This is all you have now, so use it wisely.

A good study plan is to ensure you have enough time to read, understand, and try your hand at mock PMP exam questions.

Get the PMP Exam Preparation Books, and start reading. You can also start with the PMBOK Guide, but it not a very easy read, and is commonly known as the remedy to cure insomnia. If you can’t sleep, start reading any chapter, and within a couple of pages, you might be fast asleep.

My recommendation is to read Rita Mulchahy’s PMP Exam Prep Book, 6th Edition, which aligns to the PMBOK Guide Fourth edition. By the way, both books are easily available at Amazon or your nearest bookstore.

5. Suggested PMP Exam Study Plan:
Assuming that you have atlest 6 weeks before the exam, spend the time as follows

First Round of Basic Study – Rita’s PMP Exam Prep Book

* 2 Days for Project Management Framework
* 18 Days for the 9 Knowledge Areas (2 days each)
* 2 Days for Professional & Social Responsibility

For each day of study, read the base material, and create a mind map or write the key points on 4 by 6 index cards. You must attempt a few mock exam questions from each knowledge area, as you finish reading it. This will give you an idea of the kind of questions that come in the PMP exam.

Second Round – Test the Knowledge
Now that you have done one full round, start every morning and spend 5 minutes drawing the 42 Project Management processes on a piece of paper – just like on the PMBOK guide, page 49. Initially it will be hard, but with daily practice, you will be able to make it very quickly.

The second thing you need to do daily is to write down the Earned Value Calculation Formaulae on a daily basis too. Soon you will be able to write them out quickly. Make this a habit, and it will prove to be of immense use in the exam.

* 2 Days to review the entire mind map or cards, and make sure you still remember the key concepts.
* 1 Day to do a full mock test of 200 questions. There are many free or paid tests available that you can use to access your level of understanding, speed of answering and depth of knowledge. I found this online test to be a very Good PMP Exam Simulator.

Third Round – Strengthening

* 10 Days to review the framework and 9 knowledge areas each from PMBOK Guide, Fourth Edition. Each day do 30-40 mock exam questions
* 1 Day to do another full mock test of 200 questions. You should see huge improvement from the past test, or else you need to identify the knowledge areas where you seem to score the least.
* 4 days – study only the weak knowledge areas again, and attempt to fill the gap in your knoledge.

These 3 stages alone take about 40 days, which is about 6 weeks.

Take Action – Write Down Your PMP Study Plan
Like everything else in life, Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Go ahead, get up and take some action. Don’t just keep reading post after post and get overwhelmed by the exam.

One of the best things we have seen that really works is to write your Study Plan, and then share it with your spouse, friends, and inform me. You can Post your PMP Study Plan on the PM Forum for all to see and encourage you. Once you share it with someone, you have shown your commitment, and you are more inclined to follow through. Your friends, spouse, and I will encourage you and make sure you have the time to study, and get the PMP Credential to boost your career options and credibility.

Ultimate Objective of this PMP Study Plan
You need to think differently to gain the PMI’s perspective of answering questions. We have written several posts in the past, which show you how to think and act in the correct way, the best way, which aligns wth the PMI’s way of thinking, to get the most out of any situation, and ace the PMP exam easily, on your first attempt, and be qualified, certified with PMP.

Never stop learning, simple

I am currently engaged with mentoring some young technology start-up businesses.  What strikes me about these companies is that they spend the majority of their time utilising their skills to deliver their product.  They are agile, knowledgeable and very hungry to succeed and to create.

When do they find time to “learn” new emerging technologies?  They seem to have learnt it “on the fly” as they go along – such is the pace of technology at the moment.  With cloud computing, mobile computing and social media now becoming the current “bubble”, I realised just how easy it is for anyone in IT to become out of date quite rapidly.

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There is an old saying which says “use it or lose it” and I will add “use it, grow it and keep your eyes open to what is happening around you, always”.   In this process we must keep learning.

Stopping learning, even for a few months or a whole year can make a huge difference.  It is like being having a motor car – use it regularly and it works fine (sure it may need a little maintenance), but leave it parked outside for a year unused and the battery will be flat, tires a bit softer, oil a bit tired, the gas will have lost its vitality etc.  (Of course it does depend on where you park it – it may not even be there when you return!)

Learning is the same, especially in IT (and most other professions – like medicine, law, tax etc) we need to keep up to date, and even a few months “out of the game” will render us less sharp, and left with an uphill battle if we want to regain our status.

If “IT” is our career, then we need to learn on a regular basis, via personal learning, e-learning, books, attending classes, or as I am realising, by working with very sharp entrepreneurs who are leveraging the three technology areas listed above without even breaking into a sweat.

What are your experiences of keeping yourself in the best shape you can?

Firewall Fundamentals

The essential guide to understanding and using firewalls to protect personal computers and your network

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    An easy-to-read introduction to the most commonly deployed network security device
Understand the threats firewalls are designed to protect against
Learn basic firewall architectures, practical deployment scenarios, and common management and troubleshooting tasks
Includes configuration, deployment, and management checklists

Increasing reliance on the Internet in both work and home environments has radically increased the vulnerability of computing systems to attack from a wide variety of threats. Firewall technology continues to be the most prevalent form of protection against existing and new threats to computers and networks. A full understanding of what firewalls can do, how they can be deployed to maximum effect, and the differences among firewall types can make the difference between continued network integrity and complete network or computer failure. Firewall Fundamentals introduces readers to firewall concepts and explores various commercial and open source firewall implementations–including Cisco, Linksys, and Linux–allowing network administrators and small office/home office computer users to effectively choose and configure their devices. Firewall Fundamentals is written in clear and easy-to-understand language and helps novice users understand what firewalls are and how and where they are used. It introduces various types of firewalls, first conceptually and then by explaining how different firewall implementations actually work. It also provides numerous implementation examples, demonstrating the use of firewalls in both personal and business-related scenarios, and explains how a firewall should be installed and configured. Additionally, generic firewall troubleshooting methodologies and common management tasks are clearly defined and explained.

Cisco launches new routers aimed at wireless carriers

For carriers, Cisco is pitching its wireless network routers as a way to speed up IPv6 migrations, improve returns on investment and make service management easier.

Cisco on Monday rolled out a new set of routers designed to allow wireless carriers to deploy mobile services more easily.

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With the move, Cisco is aiming at Alcatel Lucent, which is a major player in wireless networking gear and betting heavily on low power and its new processors. In addition, Juniper is also targeting wireless network providers. Cisco’s routers are installed at more than 500 service providers globally, including Comcast, NTT Plala, PCCW in Hong Kong, China Telecom and Tata Communications.

These telecom equipment makers are chasing carriers that are likely to struggle to keep up with traffic. Cisco estimates that there will be two network connections for every person in the world.

Cisco called its latest wireless effort the Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers Systems. The idea behind the collective platform is to allow carriers to deliver mobile, video and data services faster.

Specifically, Cisco introduced three wireless service provider offerings:

ASR 901 is a cell site router designed for 2G, 3G and 4G services.
ASR 903, an Ethernet access router for mobile applications.
ASR 9001, a smaller version of the ASR 9000 edge router.

These products run on Cisco’s network virtualization, which mixes various parts of a network into one 96 Tbps system, as well as the company’s mobile framework.

For carriers, Cisco is pitching its wireless network routers as a way to speed up IPv6 migrations, improve returns on investment and make service management easier.

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