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Ethernet Switching vs. Fiber Channel Switching

Article | June 06, 2012

Both technologies, Ethernet and FC, satisfied the two conditions at that time, but there was a catch. Read more. 

Cloud Computing - It's a Business Model

Video | June 08, 2012

Global Knowledge practice director for cloud solutions, Hank Marquis, explains the people, process, and technology aspects of cloud computing.

What is Twisted Pair and Does It Work?

Article | June 12, 2012

“Twisted Pair” is another way to identify a network cabling solution that’s also called Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881. Indoor business telephone applications use them in 25-pair bundles. In homes, they were down to four wires, but in networking we use them in 8-wire cables. By twisting the pairs at different rates (twists per foot), cable manufacturers can reduce the electromagnetic pulses coming from the cable while improving the cable’s ability to reject common electronic noise from the environment.

Service Management Jobs – Intermediate Level Interview Questions

Article | June 13, 2012

As mentioned in last week’s post, interviews that require ITIL Intermediate level knowledge will most likely be targeted to specific process areas and activities. If I interviewed someone for a job that required ITIL Intermediate level knowledge, in addition to other questions about the specific technical responsibilities of the job, I might ask the following questions:

CCNA v1.1: IPv4 Address Classes

Article | June 29, 2012

This week we'll review the IPv4 Address Classes including subnet masks, examples of Class C, Class B, and Class A subnet masks, and planning IPv4 addresses.

Cisco Call Manager vs. Call Manager Express

Video | July 05, 2012

Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications, explains the difference between Cisco's Call Manager Express & Call Manager.

Outcomes and Outputs

Article | July 25, 2012

Previously I discussed service providers and their risks in the example of my involvement with a landscaping company. ITIL clearly states that services, “…deliver value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve…” However, sometimes organizations and people focus on outputs as opposed to outcomes, which sacrifices some of the value of the service. This leads to a question, what is the difference between an outcome and an output?

Importance of Lessons Learned in Project Management

Article | July 27, 2012

Lessons learned is a theory, or conclusion, based on evidence at a given time and describes what went wrong (as well as what went right) throughout the lifecycle of a project. Although it’s completed during the project closeout process, it should occur during the entire project lifecycle to ensure all information is captured and documented. Consequences of not having a project review of lessons learned are the increased likelihood of repeating actions that might have caused:

Everyday Services and Technology

Article | Aug. 01, 2012

In the last two posts I discussed aspects of services in the context of some landscaping work that I’m having done. This is clearly what many people would call a “non-IT example.” I often use similar examples in my classes. However, I might initially describe an example that seems unrelated to IT, but will conclude with a challenge to students. That challenge is, “identify the IT in this example.” The truth of the matter is that most businesses these days are underpinned by some form of information technology. In fact, technology has become so ingrained into everyday services that often even the service providers themselves don’t realize how technology supports their business.

What is the Difference Between Bridges, Hubs, and Switches?

Article | Aug. 14, 2012

The most obvious difference is that hubs operate at Layer 1 of the OSI model while bridges and switches work with MAC addresses at Layer 2 of the OSI model. Hubs are really just multi-port repeaters. They ignore the content of an Ethernet frame and simply resend every frame they receive out every interface on the hub. The challenge is that the Ethernet frames will show up at every device attached to a hub instead of just the intended destination (a security gap), and inbound frames often collide with outbound frames (a performance issue).

How to Apply Knowledge Management to Project Management

Article | Aug. 24, 2012

Knowledge Management examines how we acquire, organize, manage, share, and utilize knowledge and information. The Internet gives us an overwhelming amount of information on a daily basis — and the volume of information available is growing rapidly! One of the biggest challenges for individuals and organizations involved in project management is to make the best use of this knowledge and information so they can operate more efficiently, improve decision making, and sustain a competitive advantage.

Data Center Basics: the Differences Between IOS and NX-OS

Article | Sep. 04, 2012

As we discussed previously, Cisco created the Nexus Operating System (NX-OS) to power its next-generation data-center switching platform. While this new OS shares many similarities to the original IOS, there are some definite differences that you need to be aware of as you begin using it.

Which ITIL Processes Relate to a Data Center Operations Group?

Article | Sep. 19, 2012

I recently responded to a message on LinkedIn from a regular reader of this blog. He asked several questions which I will answer over the course of several posts. As part of his first question, he described a strategy report that his group is producing. The audience for this strategy report considers ITIL important to the future of their business, and so he must describe which ITIL processes his data center operations group works most closely with.

10 SQL Terms You Should Know

Article | Sep. 24, 2012

Some of you might just be starting out as a database administrator and need to know what a basic Transact-SQL query is for Microsoft SQL Server 2012, others might already be creating database objects. Either way, we put together a list of a few terms regarding Microsoft SQL Server that any database administrator should know.

What Happens If I Have More Than One Switch With Redundant Links?

Article | Oct. 11, 2012

That depends on their configurations. For example: While it makes very good sense to include redundant physical links in a network, connecting switches in loops, without taking the appropriate measures, will cause havoc on a network. Without the correct measures, a switch floods broadcast frames out all of its ports, causing serious problems for the network devices. The main problem is a broadcast storm where broadcast frames are flooded through every switch until all available bandwidth is used and all network devices have more inbound frames than they can process.

Meeting Customer's Needs Through Agile Development

Article | Oct. 12, 2012

There is a reason why the Agile methods are becoming mainstream. They can work! Although every Agile practice is not necessarily appropriate for every organization, each practice has delivered real value to many organizations, and some Agile practices can be used by anyone! This four part series explores twelve ways in which the Agile methods are valuable. I’ll bet that you will find more than a few that could be valuable for you!

What Happens if I Have More Than One Switch With Redundant Links? Part 2

Article | Oct. 18, 2012

Now that the network is installed, each switch has a bridge ID number, and the root switch has been elected, the next step is for each switch to perform a calculation to determine the best link to the root switch. Each switch will do this by comparing the path cost for each link based on the speed. For paths that go through one or more other switches, the link costs are added. The switch compares this aggregate value to the other link costs to determine the best path to the root switch.

Zero Day Exploits

White Paper | Oct. 23, 2012

For several years, most news articles about a computer, network, or Internet-based compromise have mentioned the phrase "zero day exploit" or "zero day attack," but rarely do these articles define what this is. A zero day exploit is any attack that was previously unknown to the target or security experts in general. Many believe that the term refers to attacks that were just released into the wild or developed by hackers in the current calendar day. This is generally not the case. The "zero day" component of the term refers to the lack of prior knowledge about the attack, highlighting the idea that the victim has zero day's notice of an attack. The main feature of a zero day attack is that since it is an unknown attack, there are no specific defenses or filters for it. Thus, a wide number of targets are vulnerable to the exploit.

Maximizing Self-Awareness for Business and Leadership Development

Webinar – Recorded | Oct. 25, 2012

Self-awareness is a very powerful tool for leaders in every type of business or organization. The more leaders can maximize their self awareness the greater the impact on business performance, employee engagement and leadership and development initiatives. Self-awareness is the central component of personal development and emotional intelligence. For most leaders today it is still underdeveloped and frequently underemployed. Better understanding of this important leadership trait is critical for leadership and organizational success.

Meet Customers' Needs Through Agile Team Development

Article | Oct. 26, 2012

We already covered the first three of the twelve advantages of Agile software development. These three advantages focus on team development and refining the process. Advantage #4: Motivated Development Team The positive relationship with a reasonable and satisfied customer is only one of the reasons why many developers prefer to work on Agile projects. The other main contributor is that they tend to value working in self directed teams (which the Agile methods require for success).

Configuring VLANs on a Switch

Article | Nov. 01, 2012

Depending on the switch vendor, the exact steps will vary on how to set up and configure VLANs on a switch. For the network design shown, the general process for setting up VLANs on the switch is:

Upgrading to ESXi 5.1 - Best Practices

White Paper | Nov. 02, 2012

If you are upgrading to ESXi 5.1, there are some important facts that you should consider first. Upgrading involves many stages and processes that must be performed in a specific order. Many of these processes are one-way and do not provide a "back button." If you do not use care and consideration in your upgrade plan, you could possibly lose important data and configuration; and potentially even lose contact with your servers.

IP Version 6 Address Types

White Paper | Nov. 05, 2012

In 1998, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) released RFC 2460, outlining the technical specifications of IPv6, which addressed the shortcomings of the aging IPv4 protocol. As with any evolution of technology, new elements exist in the protocol that may seem strange and unfamiliar. This certainly includes address representation, space, and so forth, but also includes a number of different types of addresses as well. A subset of these new addressing types has corresponding types in IPv4, but many will seem significantly different. The purpose of this white paper is to examine addressing classifications in detail and outline their functions within the context of the protocol.

Juniper's Wonderful Command Line Interface (CLI)

Article | Nov. 05, 2012

Regardless of your vendor preference or your experience on the Juniper JUNOS CLI, assuming you have a point of reference to another vendor, your first thought when experiencing JUNOS is, “I have been here before.” The CLI is familiar, convenient, and polished. The similarities between JUNOS CLI and another CLI such as Cisco’s IOS are not what I want to focus on here however; it is their differences I want to focus on. But first, when you connect to a JUNOS powered device and access Operational Mode (see Brad Wilson’s blog post Introduction to Juniper Junos), it looks very much like the User EXEC Mode in IOS. In fact, there are a lot of JUNOS commands that are very much like the IOS User EXEC Mode commands.

Switches and Multiple VLANS

Article | Nov. 08, 2012

This short example illustrates basic VLAN operation. Examining VLANs in a large-scale installation can show the full benefits of VLANs. Consider that this is a small portion of a large corporate headquarters with 5,000 devices connected in a 20 building campus.

What is a Service Portfolio?

Article | Nov. 14, 2012

ITIL describes a service portfolio as a collection of the overall set of services managed by a service provider. A service portfolio describes a service provider’s boundaries and promises across all of the customers and market spaces it serves. I like to think of a service portfolio as describing the past, present, and future collection of services offered by a service provider. The figure below shows a high-level view of a service portfolio.

Service Portfolio Real World Example – Cloud Services Provider

Article | Nov. 28, 2012

In a recent post, I gave an overall description of a service portfolio and the key components of a portfolio. Here, I will describe how a cloud services provider might implement an ITIL service portfolio. A cloud services provider will regularly have a set of services under development, a set of service in live operation, and a set of services that are retired.

Rapid Spanning Tree

Article | Nov. 29, 2012

The STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) standard (IEEE 802.1d) was designed when the recovery after an outage could wait a minute or so and be acceptable performance. With Layer 3 switching in LANs, switching began to compete with routers running protocols because they are able to offer faster alternate paths. Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP or IEEE 802.1w) brought the ability to take the twenty seconds of waiting for the Max Age counter plus fifteen seconds of Listening plus fifteen seconds of Learning or fifty seconds down to less than one second for point-to-point connected and edge switches and six seconds for root switches.

IP Version 6 Transitions Mechanisms

White Paper | Dec. 05, 2012

As with the adoption of any new technology, the move from IP version 4 to IP version 6 will take a number of years to complete. During that transition phase, various mechanisms will be necessary to continue support of the older protocol as the newer gains widespread momentum. In addition, there has been some evolution even within the availability of these mechanisms, some of which have already passed from general use into deprecated status. Network engineering professionals already proficient in the use of IPv6, as well as the available coexistence mechanisms, will undoubtedly stay in high demand throughout this process.

Risk Management with RSA’s Archer GRC Framework

Article | Dec. 05, 2012

Risk is something we deal with on a daily basis. Living in New Jersey and having the occasional storm, I’ve recently performed my own risk assessment determining the value of certain assets and activities and made a decision on what I was willing to spend to reduce risk to what I perceived as an acceptable level. My management of risk was a rather simple case. Sure, in my revised business continuity plan for my home, I’ll make sure that I have more D cell batteries, have my garage door adjusted so it opens manually again, more food I can heat on a stove and that doesn’t rely on refrigeration, and finally I’ll consider a whole house gas generator that uses natural gas, which has always been available to power critical systems like the sump pump in my basement. What if, however, I was a really large business? One with lots of components and interdependencies that require a tight integration in order to succeed? How and where can a large volume of information necessary to management, business continuity, and disaster recovery be correlated and communicated to those individuals who, because of their roles and responsibilities, need to make the critical decisions regarding the management of risk?

Hottest New Certifications for 2013

Article | Jan. 05, 2013

So what makes a new certification "Hot"? Is it the perceived qualitative value? Or is it the possible increase in salary? Is it just the fact that so many are seeking that one particular certification? How about the governing body of the certification? Or maybe it is a combination of one or more of these? Whatever the case, there are new certifications (and some that have been completely re-written as to be a new certification) that are perceived to be the "ones" to possess and will be highly desirable in 2013.

Learning How To Learn Hadoop

White Paper | Jan. 11, 2013

Learning how to program and develop for the Hadoop platform can lead to lucrative new career opportunities in Big Data. But like the problems it solves, the Hadoop framework can be quite complex and challenging. Join Global Knowledge instructor and Technology Consultant Rich Morrow as he leads you through some of the hurdles and pitfalls students encounter on the Hadoop learning path. Building a strong foundation, leveraging online resources, and focusing on the basics with professional training can help neophytes across the Hadoop finish line.

Using Tunneling to Transition to IPv6

Article | Jan. 15, 2013

One of the many useful features of tunneling is to carry non-IP traffic across an IP network, and this is still the case when dealing with IPv6 traffic. This transition mechanism makes use of a configured tunnel to transport IPv6 over a native IPv4 network, which may consist of two sites or more. Unlike the previous transition mechanisms, tunneling is not monolithic; while the basic principles may be similar, the operations are different. The following chart gives a breakdown of the current, major tunneling types in use, particularly in a Cisco environment:

VMware vSphere Essentials

White Paper | Jan. 23, 2013

This vSphere Essentials white paper will give you a basic understanding of some of the concerns or planning points to consider as you get ready to deploy vSphere in your organization. This is a glimpse into some of the essential things to consider for implementing vSphere. This will focus on some of the basics that vSphere administrators run into when installing the latest features and not realizing they still have some older versions implemented.

Top 10 Cybersecurity Risks: How Prepared Are You for 2013?

White Paper | Jan. 24, 2013

Rather than looking back over the past year, organizations and individuals need to start assessing cybersecurity threats that lie ahead in the New Year. While there is always the chance for a new threat or risk to be unearthed this year, often the risks of the New Year are predicable from the trends of attacks from the previous year. However, other factors need to be considered as well, including new technologies, new software and applications, mobility, etc. Here are my predictions of the areas to watch for new security threats. When it comes to cybersecurity, we have a lot to look out for, take precautions against and be paranoid about.

What Traffic Goes Into Each QoS Class?

Article | Jan. 25, 2013

This is another topic of heated debate, and it changes from network to network, but I found a simple approach that works in most cases. Since I have four queues and four classes of traffic, I need to categorize my important traffic into four classes. Strictly for explanation purposes I took some liberty in defining four categories of traffic that are very effective in both large and small networks. These classes are: Real Time Protocol (RTP), Network Management (NetMgt), Business Critical, and the Default.

What is Supplier Management?

Article | Jan. 30, 2013

Organizations that plan for and conduct supplier management according to defined processes and boundaries are more likely to receive predictable, high-quality goods and services from their suppliers in a timely manner.

4 Tips and Tricks for Microsoft Windows Group Policy

Article | Feb. 07, 2013

There exists a need to properly read, deploy, and examine the results of Group Policy. By its architecture, Group Policy Deployment to the Clients or Servers can be erratic and latent, or even non-existent throughout your Enterprise Organization, frustrating Administrators who are rolling out the Group Policy to Client or Server computers. To help mitigate this behavior, I compiled these insights into a two part series from real-world examples, experiences, and fixes that have worked for me. I know that these Tips and Tricks will work for you, too.

HSRP - Hot Standing Routing Protocol

Video | Feb. 14, 2013

Rodger Foster, our senior Cisco instructor, reviews how multiple gateways are used to provide redundancy in the network.

The Business Process Analysis for a Project Manager

Article | Feb. 15, 2013

Enterprises, whether they are commercial, non-profit, or government entities, are operational organizations that operate through the execution of hundreds of processes. The quality of these processes affects every aspect of the enterprise and these processes are rarely static. Business Process Analysis (BPA) is the discipline of examining processes so that they may be changed to align with enterprise objectives.