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Topic # 144184 9-May-2014 22:37
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Been doing IT for a year and a half now full time and really enjoying it. Doing my first Microsoft server exam through work (which I really need to book and sit) and they have put me through Watchguard firewall training. Really like the network and server side of IT more than the desktop support side which I have to deal with as well. We are a small support team and so we have to handle everything, we do some external customer support as well. We are an MS partner, so we don't handle and linux stuff, but I play with that at home.
What would you recommend to get better at the networking side and what sort of qualifications are worth going after in general?  




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  Reply # 1041219 10-May-2014 00:49
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Buy yourself a mikrotik router board (maybe the rb951) and play with it lots.

RouterOS is dam good and you will find it hard trying to sell anything else to customers once you know mikrotik exists.
Campbell software run the mikrotik training courses, so do Go Wireless if you want the piece of paper.

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  Reply # 1041305 10-May-2014 12:16
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If you want to learn networking, do CCNA. It's not just vendor specific, it will really teach you the basics of moving bits about. INE offer a streaming course for free: http://www.ine.com/self-paced/ccna/bootcamps.htm
O
r $US 99 for the download option. Networks can all be simulated with GNS3, learn how to use it. The GNS3 guys will soon be leveraging IOU (IOS On Unix) to enable switching in GNS3 also. At the moment you either have to get a real switch or two, or use Packet Tracer. PT however is a bit limited, although fine for CCNA. You could do a CCNA course somewhere, if work pays for it. Expensive otherwise. I self studied for CCNA and CCNP, so it is doable. The other option is to do Network+, didn't do it myself but I think it's good too.

After CCNA it would be beneficial to play around with some other gear. Juniper, Barracuda, Fortinet, Mikrotik etc.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1041830 11-May-2014 19:54
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Great thanks very much. We actually have a Microtik unit that came back from a Wellington office our staff moved in to. Might grab it off the bosses desk and have a play with it if it is still working.
CCNA sounds like a good start. We have been configuring routers and firewalls at work as part of a big network transition and every now and again I find I am lost and lacking some knowledge on networking. A better understanding of how networks connect would be a really big help. will have a look at the other options posted too.




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  Reply # 1041971 12-May-2014 09:14
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+1 for CCNA, grab some cheap lab gear off TM and start playing :)




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  Reply # 1042018 12-May-2014 10:25
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+1 for CCNA. If you can get your hands the right Cisco IOS software have a look at GNS3/dynamips, provides a virtualised environment for routers/firewalls. It is a little limited in functionality but should be cheaper (GNS3/dynamips is free), quieter and takes up less room than "real" lab kit.

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  Reply # 1047123 17-May-2014 17:50
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The CompTIA Network+ exam is a great place to start before jumping into the CCNA
I took the network+ exam a few years back and it's full of quality material




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