Is Junior of Virtualization post a good starting point to Networking Career?


(Kamil K) #1

I would love to ask this question because I have recently managed to get a job offer for such post. Furthermore while I have no previous experience with this particular field I have obtained my CCNA and now I am halfway through with my CCNP material studies.

The only problem I am facing here is that I fell in love with Networking and Cisco technologies (at least configuring on routers/switches and seeing how things are working together using wireshark) and I am not sure if this would be a step forward for me that could eventually bring me to my dream job of a Network Engineer?

To actually get this job I would have to sell my house and move back to the country I come from (obviously a huge risk) and I just wanted to know if this position is relevant to what I want to achieve and you guys are certainly more experience than me in terms of getting a job in it :slight_smile:

At the moment I am just a postman and anything I do does not really relate to Networking at all and I have tried to find a job in the UK for 3 months and still no luck, apart from one response there was nothing yet.

It is definitely uncategorized topic but I wanted to ask whether you think this move could make sense to go this way (so far I do not see virtualisation nearly as exciting as Networking itself and this is my biggest issue to date I guess).

Regards,
Kamil


(Rene Molenaar) #2

Hello Kamil,

Let me try to describe what networking and virtualization mean, today, and in the future.

Today, networking is mostly about routing & switching, wireless, security (ASA / firewalls), Voice over IP, and some storage. Right now, we use the CLI to configure things but the world is shifting to network automation. APIs and json/yaml/xml files where we use scripts or a bit of programming (like python) to get the job done.

Virtualization today (in computing) is mostly about Vmware, ESXi, KVM, virtual machines, etc. There is also a whole world of virtualized storage but that’s another story. What you see today is that we are moving away from virtual machines to containers. Docker and especially Kubernetes are hot topics today. I migrated networklessons.com from virtual machines to docker containers and kubernetes and absolutely love it :slight_smile:

There is some overlap between the two but not much. When you work with virtual machines, you’ll need to understand how VLANs work, and perhaps stuff like VXLAN for L2 connectivity between virtual machines. In larger companies, there’s usually people that work on one of the two, not both.

There is some networking involved with docker and kubernetes and I think there is some opportunity there. Most people know one of the two technologies, but don’t know how to integrate the two.

If networking is your thing then I would stick to learning networking, don’t get sidetracked by focusing completely on virtualization. That’s easy to say though when you can get a job right away in one of the two fields so that’s something you have to think about :slight_smile: I would also check what the virtualization job exactly means. What are they using? what technology? what do they intend to use in a couple of years from today?

Rene


(Kamil K) #3

Hello Rene,

First of all I really appreciate your answer as I am really puzzled in what should I do based on this job offer so thank you for clearing this a bit more for me. I have used ubuntu dockers but only in GNS3 so my knowledge is very limited ( I have also used some virtual machines in VirtualBox and VMware buddy). What is worth to mention is I only ever used it as a tool for another purpose, like having proper hosts in GNS3.

The thing they are using right now is mainly KVM , OpenStack and I believe they have asked me to learn about Kubernetes and Ansible, and also Python which I love but just do not have enough time to learn while learning for my ROUTE exam right now haha.

I must admit Rene that my biggest problem was always to find this Holy Grail of what I want to do and I have done some programming, created two websites (from scratch, no templates) also played a bit with some Machine Learning and Data Science, also have hacked into my own lab while doing some simple Ethical Hacking and learning it for very good price, on top of that I have loved a Calculus 1 course and have always had a problem with specialising in something.

I would like to think that networking has became that holy grail for me as I am putting a lot of time into it daily (apart from working I can easily spend 4 - 8 hrs a day sometimes more just because I love it and want a job in it but it is not easy to get one).

Moreover I would love to go into security as well after I get solid knowledge on Networking Topics and I would love to think that I am slowly getting there. Right now I am definitely a different person in terms of what I know when compared to me from about 6 months ago hehe (the guy from Poland was literally trying to shut me up during my job interview cause I could not stop talking about networking :stuck_out_tongue: )
I was a bit nasty as well and I wanted the whole technical part to be in english (even though we were both polish speakers lol) and I have motivated this with the fact that I am learning everything in english anyway :smiley:

Furthermore the biggest problem that I am facing right now is that people obviously want experience from me but nobody wants to give me a chance ( I am afraid that they look at my CCNA as that I have brain dumped it or something) to even talk about the subject and see what I am made off :slight_smile:
Hence why I have decided to go for CCNP next to hopefully give myself a fighting chance and I want to learn CCIE material even if w/o any exam (which I won’t be able to afford) just for the pure knowledge (and it was funny to see like 5 routers on the CCNP exam as I am normally playing with around 10+ in my labs that I find/create haha).

I am really sorry for this super long response … but I just can not shut up if it comes to talking about my dreams these days and I have already had enough of just delivering people mail (it is important and all but I am not made for this I would love to do networking so much more).

Best Regards,
Kamil


(Rene Molenaar) #4

Hi Kamil,

No problem, I do my best to share whatever I can :grin:

What I really like about networking is that pretty much everything we learn is based on protocols and standards. I used to be a Microsoft/Linux engineer back in the days. With Windows (Server), your knowledge quickly becomes obsolete. Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista experience is worthless now. Knowing these older versions helps when learning newer Windows server versions but it’s a rat race where you have to keep up learning new technology to replace the old technology. This is the problem when you spend your time learning “products”. The basics of Linux haven’t changed so that’s studying time well spent.

In R&S, you learn about IP, IPv6, Ethernet, etc. These are all protocols. People come up with new drafts, they become standards, eventually, we use them and they don’t get replaced easily. In other tracks like wireless things move a bit quicker but it’s still about 802.11 standards/protocols.

Even if networking is not your main job, learning the stuff in CCNA/CCNP R&S is useful. There is quite some networking involved with things like Kubernetes so it’s good to understand what happens behind the scenes.

I like technology like KVM/OpenStack/VMWare/Hyper-V. It is a world that changes quickly so I always I feel it’s a bit like Microsoft Windows where you have to keep catching up. Learning python and Ansible is very wise though. We use ansible and python in network automation.

Doing something next to networking is not a bad idea. There are a LOT of people who have CCNA R&S, there are also a lot of people who have CCNP R&S. Even the number of CCIEs increases. I talked to CCIEs who only knew R&S and nothing else and they had trouble finding work.

There are fewer people who have CCNP R&S and some other skills, perhaps in another track like security or wireless or something different like Linux / a bit of virtualization. The more skills you have with some useful overlap, the better.

Rene