MISTFITS – It’s happening…

Great News Folks πŸ™‚
I’ve joined a very exclusive group of people united under the banner of Juniper Mist (praise Marvis, our robotic overlord, and savior) to show you all how awesome the solution has become. As you know, I’m working every day (and night) with the MIST System (mostly Campus Fabric with the EX and SD-WAN with the SRX) and it makes life as a network engineer/architect so much easier.

The new group also has a brilliant name: MISTFITS!

I’m very excited and thankful for this opportunity as some really BIG Names known in our Industry also joined – but we don’t want to spoil all the fun, do we? πŸ˜‰ More info coming soon – stay tuned πŸ™‚

HPE acquiring Juniper – so what?

As you might have heard, last week HPE and Juniper told the world, that HPE will be acquiring Juniper.

Nothing more, nothing less.
And yet, for some folks this was a clear sign, that ravens would flood the earth, Jehovah was coming and the world would end… Again: without knowing even a single detail of what will happen. It was just the headline “HPE will acquire Juniper”. I was (and probably still am) one of the very very few folks who genuinely believe that competitors should start to shit their pants right now because this new company will probably be the next leader in every space, taking a LOT of customers away from them. Unlike the “A&C Deathbringers” spreading a lot of misinformation already (probably because they are really really scared) I think this new company will shine in the networking space. Imagine a HUGE portfolio, fully AI-powered, covering EVERY field of networking and with access to not only network but compute and storage as well: M-I-N-D-B-L-O-W-I-N-G!
Both companies have a successful portfolio and both benefit from the other’s expertise. Will we see some products vanish? Who knows because exactly: It’s still to freakin early to tell…
We will probably see some new (AI)products, solving problems that we think are unsolvable today.

A lot of you reached out to me, asking me how I feel about the situation, asking If I am okay (that was really sweet – thanks) asking if I will continue my Journey towards my “All JNCIE” and most importantly:
Does it still make sense to get certified for any JNCI-A-S-P-E? (Got that question SO MANY TIMES)

Well: Getting JNCIS-MistAI-Wired certified earlier today (a really solid exam by the way – GREAT Job Folks) and signing up for my next JNCIE-ENT attempt hopefully shows my point of view.
Nothing has changed!

DAMN RIGHT I’m still following this goal – and why shouldn’t I?
And why should you stop getting your Juniper Certification?
Has anything changed? Not really
So why should I / should you worry about unlaid eggs?
Why should anyone think about every possibility that might happen, wasting our precious lifetime with scenarios that probably will never even become reality?
Folks – just breathe πŸ˜€

Let’s just wait for what will happen. Even if something happens in 2-3 years – can we change that?
Not really – so why waste energy on that (now)?

Even if your JNCI-A-S-P-E or your beloved device gets “cut” – do you lose the knowledge about the protocols?
The knowledge about the mechanisms of networking?

Not really. Remember: Juniper certifications are one of the most valuable in the entire networking community for a reason: because they are veeeeeery close to the daily work and the tech itself. As you can see in most blueprints, the exams all focus a LOT on the actual gears running behind the protocols and don’t just ask you “How does Juniper do this, that, these, those” – sure there are some questions about JunOS, the cli or a certain Juniper based GUI in some exams – but the concepts, the tech, the protocols are the same for Juniper, for Cisco, for Aruba, for Arista and what not.

Put me in front of ANY Device (assuming feature parity):
Sure It will take longer for me to check how the syntax is applied but without sounding cocky I bet every nickel that I have that once I’m finished, your device will do exactly what I want it to do – just like any EX or QFX πŸ˜‰

Why that is you ask? BIG-Surprise:
Same tech, same RFCs, same protocols (vendor lock-in protocols aside as nobody should use them in 2024 anyway to avoid a vendor lock-in)

It’s mindblowing how many “Analysts”, “NextGen-Network-Experts” and “Enterpreneurs” suddenly pop up like Trolls leaving their caves after a long winter to report that this is a bad thing just to grasp on that sweet sweet social click that “fear” creates. Do you know so little about networking? Do you really know what a Router does? I beg to differ if I read some articles even coming from big tech portals in our Industry – makes me question if the folks who actually knew stuff have already retired…

I have one clear piece of advice for anyone getting nervous at this stage of the acquisition:
Why don’t you just sit back, stop telling everybody (including yourself) that the world ends, take a sip of tea, and enjoy the ride – you might be surprised what’s coming =)

For me, the last week was already better than any movie I’ve seen so far.
I already filled my Popcorn up because I bet that new dystopian articles will follow πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Reflecting on 2023: Certifications, Courses, and Exciting Ventures Ahead

As we approach the end of 2023, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the achievements and milestones that have shaped my professional year. From personal and professional growth to exciting new projects, the journey has been nothing short of fulfilling.

This year has been great in terms of learning and professional development. I am proud that I could re-certify all my certifications that have not only enriched my knowledge but have also opened up new opportunities in my career. My dedication to continuous learning has led me to explore numerous (new) courses, providing a well-rounded understanding of the ever-evolving landscape in my field. Juniper did an AMAZING Job by making sure that the courses were up-to-date with the latest trends and tech developments. I can now also say that I have been sitting in every course officially available (trust me, not an easy task) and the AATP was a HUGE help. It allowed me to strengthen my knowledge, meet new folks, and share new ideas and concepts – exactly what I was hoping to achieve with this.

Certifications are (in my opinion) still the BEST WAY to show what you are capable of as they allow a third party (customer, employer, etc.) to quickly verify your skill level without having to test this themselves. Sadly, more and more folks seem to disagree, letting certs expire – but don’t worry, that’s not impacting me at all. I believe in this value and I will continue to re-certify (and even certify higher) as I believe in this system. Also, the certs are needed to even be considered for bigger, impactful, or public sector projects – something that a lot of folks lately seem to forget about… As the level of knowledge of new colleagues starting in IT sadly constantly seems to drop (at least from what I see every day) and true Experts are rarer than ever, Certifications are the probably single most important measurements. Most are hard to achieve (trust me, I know what I’m talking about) but that’s what makes them so valuable. I seriously hope they stay on that difficulty and that the difficulty will not be dropped to a minimum (like schools, driving tests, and such) where at some point everybody is certified, nullifying the value completely.

Some folks asked me about this so I wrote down some Numbers (my journey 2023):
Active Certifications: 22
Training-Courses visited: 16
Hours spent on learning (after hours):
Roughly 780!
That’s 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, but probably way more since I also labbed on the weekends due to my JNCIE prep studies.

One of the most exciting developments in 2023 has been the transition into the role of Lead Architect for our Juniper Enterprise Team. This role brings with it increased responsibilities and the chance to contribute to innovative projects. I am thankful for the trust placed in me and am eager to make a positive impact in this leadership position. I can proudly say that I’m finally working at a place that feels like β€žhomeβ€œ. A significant part of my professional journey this year has been the privilege of working closer than ever with Juniper. The collaborative mindset and the opportunity to work with the most talented professionals have been key in my personal and professional growth. I look forward to continuing this journey in 2024

And let me tell you: I’m just getting started πŸ˜‰

2024 will be full of exciting projects and hopefully, 2! new JNCIE Titles

I can’t wait to see you all next year. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all of you!

I achieved a part of my all-time-goal and got all written Juniper Certifications :)

I’m REALLY REALLY excited to share some news with all of you – those of you who will be in Madrid this July for the TechSummit 2023: Prepare to party πŸ˜€

With the EoL of both the JNCIP-Cloud and the JNCIE-Cloud, I can officially announce that after working tirelessly for the past 12 years I now hold each JNCIA, each JNCIS, and each JNCIP that is currently available πŸ™‚

And you know what? I didn’t even realize this was happening until I tried to register for my last missing P (JNCIP-CLOUD) for the TechSummit this year and “failed” to register due to the EoL-Announcement which I completely missed…

But don’t worry – I still have a LOT to study for (and panic in the exam room) and I will hopefully still meet some of you at the certification booth in Madrid this year. Just because I can’t sit in a written exam anymore doesn’t mean I can’t wish everyone going for an exam all the best in-person πŸ™‚ And trust me: If I can do it – YOU CAN DO THIS πŸ™‚

With both Cloud P and E gone, “all that’s left” (Yeah – I said it out loud…) for me is the
JNCIE in ENT, DC, and SP – so prepare Exams, because I’M COMING FOR YOU!

It will be a lot of hard work, will require my full attention (after all it’s the Masterclass of Exams), and will cost me even more grey hairs + also a lot of sleep. However, if you ask me it’s totally worth it (anyone who ever took an E-Exam will know what I mean). The path towards an E-Level-Exam is filled with so much knowledge and so many new things to learn, how can anyone not enjoy this? πŸ™‚

HUGE HUGE shoutouts go out to 2 very important people in my career that always helped me and whom I could always ask for advice during my Juniper certification journey: Staci and Adam
I literally cannot thank you both enough for always supporting me and always guiding me and the community πŸ™‚ You folks are special and you are the reason that I stand here today and I will never forget that!
Additionally, I want to thank the Team at Axians Networks & Solutions for creating an environment that allows me and all of my wonderful colleagues to shine and work on so many awesome projects!

Since I cannot register for an Exam anymore, I have a Voucher to give away πŸ™‚
It’s valid for any written Exam (A, S, or P-Level) and is valid until 2024. I don’t like the idea of first come first serve so this giveaway will be a bit different: DM me on Mastodon, or Twitter (yes, I opened my DM’s there), or write me a Mail and tell me, what exam you want to try and why. You don’t need to send me an essay but maybe more than just “give voucherz pleaz” πŸ˜€
The giveaway is open until July 11th and I will reach out to the winner on July 12th – maybe I can even deliver this voucher in Madrid if you are there πŸ™‚

Juniper vEvo is out

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Something good before the weekend starts: Prepare your Labs folks πŸ™‚
vEvo is finally here!!!!!


Docs: https://www.juniper.net/documentation/us/en/software/vJunosEvolved/vJunosEvolved-kvm-deployment-guide/vJunosEvolved-KVM/topics/vjunosevolved-understand.html

More Info soon – happy labbing πŸ™‚
And ICYMI: the new EVE-NG has support for the vEX Template πŸ™‚

vjunos-switch / “vEX” Template for EVE-NG

Here is the official “unofficial” Template: vEX-EVEng.zip
Alternative Link: https://jncie.eu/vEX-EVEng.zip
HUGE Shoutouts to everybody who helped to get this up and running during the last few days!
Tippin my Fedora for you πŸ™‚

The vEX (EX9214 virtual) is finally out!

As some of you have noticed, we got a little something: https://support.juniper.net/support/downloads/?p=vjunos
That’s right – it’s the new vEX that I already mentioned due to some rumors floating around in my last Webinar is finally out πŸ™‚

It’s available for download now if you have a Juniper Account. Sadly, the image seems to have some issues and unfortunately, no one was reachable yet to discuss these issues from the Juniper side. If you are a Juniper dev for the vEX and like what we do with the EVE-NG Team then please reach out to me directly!
The Version is already fully supported in EVE-NG but there are still a lot of questionmarks left when it comes to the implementation and the configuration.

Hopefully, next time early access is granted to the folks doing extensive testing for virtual solutions (WINK WINK) to be able to solve the first questions BEFORE the image is released – this would have solved some confusion for sure πŸ˜‰

Anyways – Let’s hope the vEX delivers what was promised (fully integrated into MIST including Campus-Fabric) so that we can finally have a virtual MIST Lab πŸ™‚ I keep you posted once I’ve tested this image extensively myself.

Update 2023-04-25:
Juniper’s vEX (vjunos-switch) dev reached out to me so we can work on the remaining questions πŸ™‚ THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Update 2023-04-26:
Here is the official “unofficial” Template: vEX-EVEng.zip
HUGE Shoutouts to everybody who helped to get this up and running during the last few days!
Tippin my Fedora for you πŸ™‚

mARVIS “Vaccine” – now with EX4400 Cloud Infusion :D

When Covid really hit everyone I asked my Wife to create this for me πŸ™‚
I designed the Sticker and she filled this with Water (I mean pure concentrated AI magic fluid) – thought you folks might like this πŸ˜‰

Ending the vQFX shenanigans – changing the serial number

Have you ever encountered this really nasty “bug” where your vQFX will turn into the Linecard (LC) Role? Yeah – welcome to the club!

Thankfully you can avoid this (most of the time if the vQFX shows some mercy) by changing the Serial Number. My guess is, that the vQFX sees the remote PFE with the very same S/N and tries to bind to it – which will fail and therefore put the RE into the LC-state.

First power up your vQFX – you will immediately be presented with the current S/N during the very first messages when the RE boots:

Login as root and edit the file called /boot/loader.conf (trust me, it’s there) πŸ˜‰

Scroll down to the very bottom and you will see the S/N:

Now you need to know a bit of vi-magic: use the shortcut “dd” to delete the line where your cursor is at (or manually go to the edit mode and delete the last line). Save the file (:wq!) – if you don’t force(!) it, the device will tell you this is a “read-only” permission. After that, reboot the RE.

Notice now, that this time during boot, there is no S/N – so the Junos bootup routine will generate a new one for you:

After the device boots, you can either issue “show chassis hardware” or re-enter the same /boot/loader.conf file to see our new and shiny S/N – with this, the vQFX will not try the usual shenanigans again – well, hopefully…

Hope this helps you on your Lab-Quest πŸ™‚