The musings of an IT Consultant


January 1, 2009  12:32 AM

My new years resolution….time to start preparing for the CCNP

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, as some of you may know, I’ve been studying a lot of Cisco lately and been working with it more and more in my daily work. I recently got my CCNA and now have set my sights higher.

For this new year I am going to start preparing for the CCNP certification from Cisco. This certification consists of 4 separate exams and is extremely hard from what I’ve heard. Also based on the difficulty level of the CCNA I can assume they are correct.

Over the next year I will be preparing for this and then writing the exams as time allows. I will keep you guys posted as to my progress. Why do I have a feeling that I am going to be a heavy contributor to Red Bull’s profits over the coming year? :)

If anyone has any suggestions as to great study material for these exams please let me know. I hear that the Boson material is really good and I am thinking of attending their boot camp for the CCNP.

-RP

January 1, 2009  12:24 AM

Rant about iPods…

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, i’d just like to take a moment to rant about iPods. I use my iPod all the time, in my house, in my car, and at work. I buy all my music off of iTunes and love using it.

My rant comes down to the memory. I think it is the biggest cash grab by Apple not to allow removable memory. I have now maxed out my iPod and I have to buy a new one just to get more music on it. Now this is a good business plan I suppose if people really want to spend the money to get a new iPod but I really have better things to do with my money than buy a new iPod everytime I need more music than it can hold.

I bought the largest iPod touch I could find when it first came out and now there are larger ones and I’ll have to buy one again. This is just so annoying and I think they should seriously rethink how they do this. If they really wanted to lock people in they could have come up with some proprietary expandable storage like Sony did and then they would still make money off of it.  Anyways, that’s my 2 cents.

-RP


January 1, 2009  12:16 AM

Future Shop is still here….

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So as you guys may have heard of late, Best Buy and Future Shop haven’t been doing too well. Best Buy is an American electronics chain and Future Shop is a Canadian one. Best Buy bought Future Shop a few years back now.

Anyways, this holiday season they haven’t been doing to good as I’ve mentioned before. Well now there has been mention of Future Shop’s demise. This has been wrong however as the mention was due to people thinking they were associated with Circuit City which isn’t doing too well.

Future Shop has nothing to do with Circuit city and is still doing fine. As a Canadian, I go over there all the time and they seem to still be as busy as ever this holiday season. However the numbers don’t lie and even though they are still here, they’re not doing so well. We’ll see what the new year brings us.

-RP


December 22, 2008  6:30 AM

More on Managed Services

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So I’m starting to see more and more companies coming up with Managed Services divisions in their IT consulting business as of late. Looks to me like some people see dollar signs and figure they can just jump on the band wagon and provide great service. This bothers me for a variety of reasons.

People new to the Managed Services game better know what they’re getting into, because if you’re not prepared you can easily make a bad name for your business in a hurry. If you quickly get the reputation for providing sub par service then other aspects of your business can suffer. Also if the service is not provided properly it can help sour the market for other businesses by inadvertently giving the name “Managed Services” a bad name based on just one company providing bad service.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are many people out there that can provide this service adequately. But I have seen (and they shall remain unnamed) some companies pick up the “Managed Services” mantle when they really have no business doing so. Instead they’re probably going to make a little money up front, and then cause their clients grief further down the road at the expense of their clients.

Managed services done properly should be a win-win situation for both parties (consulting company and the client). The consulting company reasonably makes some money off of the consulting and in turn the client receives a valuable service that is worth their hard earned dollars and helps their everyday business.

I hope the wannabes in this field are quickly identified and thrown out by the market. My 2 cents!

-RP


December 22, 2008  5:43 AM

3 Major Cables cut in the Mediterannean

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So 3 major cables were cut in the Mediterannean causing massive slowdowns and service disruptions to the Internet in certain areas of the globe. This is very similar to the cuts in February. The question is, was this intentional?

I think since there is no way to adequately protect these cables, they are at the absolute mercy of anyone who would want to sabotage them. The question is why? I guess I could think of all sorts of conspiracy theories but I’m really not that kind of guy. Instead if it was intentional, I’d just like to say to the people who did it – get a life!

If it was accidental, then we need to look at strengthening the cables in some way so they are not accidentally cut in the future. On the other hand, that would be a huge job to secure that much cable considering how far this stuff runs from point A to point B and could end up being prohibitively expensive.

-RP


December 22, 2008  5:30 AM

Steve Jobs stepping away from MacWorld!

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So here’s something strange, Steve Jobs is not doing the keynote at MacWorld! This is very strange considering this is where he would typically make major announcements. Also MacWorld is a huge deal for Apple lovers around the world.

This is definitely a disturbing trend, first Novell cancels BrainShare and now this. Is this a sign of things to come? Will we see more and more large conferences getting cancelled in favour of online webinars and communities? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the online stuff, but I still think there is a place for conferences where people get to look at products and interact with each other in the real world.

I hope the rest of the industry doesn’t start going this way, this could be a sign of our tough economic times hitting the IT world.

-RP


December 22, 2008  5:23 AM

PayPal Canada comes up with a way to combat scams!

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So recently PayPal announced a new security measure for PayPal Canada. It’s called a security key.

The way security keys work is that you go to login to the resource in question and when you go to login it asks you for a second factor of authentication – in this case the security key. You push a button on your security key and it displays a number which you then type in and you gain access to your resource.

This kind of authentication should be used more frequently in my opinion. Anyone can look over your shoulder and see your password, or guess your password if it’s a week password using social hacking but with a security key you really up the level of security for yourself.

I encourage people to use two factor authentication, not just with your PayPal but to try and implement it with other resources that you need to secure in your networks.

-RP


December 20, 2008  2:41 AM

Passed yet another Cisco exam!

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, so I passed yet another Cisco exam. This is the 642-383 exam. This exam is specifically written by employees of companies that are Cisco partners. It is the Cisco Express Foundations Field Engineer exam and is a requirement for certain levels of partner status.

The exam was infinitely easier than writing the CCNA and anyone who passed the CCNA should have absolutely no problem writing this exam.

There are two other exams that a company needs to write as well, the similar one for sales people and there is another one for system engineers. All three exams together are part of a partner level requirement for Cisco.

On the bright side of all this exam writing, I like these requirements even though they are a chore to get through. Why is that? Because it validates a companies ability to provide Cisco services to the industry. It’s a great idea! Now if only they got people to double check the mistakes in their exams…. :)

-RP


December 20, 2008  2:36 AM

BlackBerry Storm sells out at Telus in Canada

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

So here I was all ready to get a BlackBerry Storm for my wife when it comes to Canada. I diligently signed up for the alerts from Telus to be the “first” to be informed when it came to Canada.

Instead what happened was the Storm came and left and apparently I was the last to know. Admittedly I had my head deep in the books from studying for various certifications and I was out of touch with the outside world. However I was led to believe I’d have some heads up time from Telus which I didn’t get.

Instead, Telus sent me an email letting me know they are already sold out. Oh well, guess I’m waiting for the next batch that ships. On the bright side Telus offered me 50 bucks towards a new Storm when they come out to apologize for the impending wait.

-RP


December 20, 2008  2:08 AM

Novell cancels BrainShare!

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hi folks, this just in from the conference world – Novell has cancelled BrainShare! This is a huge deal!

For those of you that don’t know, BrainShare is the most important conference for Novell over the past 20 years. For them to cancel this sends a message to the public clearer than any words that might be spoken. Novell is in trouble.

They are talking about switching to online learning etc. but nobody believes for a second that Novell is willingly doing this because BrainShare was always the best way to showcase everything that is Novell.

I for one think that Novell should seriously re-think this and bring BrainShare back!

-RP


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