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The Cisco UCS is truly a “unified” architecture that integrates three major datacenter technologies into a single, coherent system: Computing Network Storage Instead of being simply the next generation of blade servers, the Cisco UCS is an innovative architecture designed from scratch to be highly scalable, efficient, and powerful with one-third less infrastructure than traditional blade servers.
Previously, I talked about the logical and physical steps to building a basic certification lab, concentrating mostly on the CCENT/CCNA Routing and Switching level. Once you have that set of certifications under your belt, there are several options for specialization. Each of these advanced technology tracks serve as methods of enhancing your professional skill set as follows:
Anyone who’s managed switches over the years knows that the Spanning-tree protocol (STP) is both the best and worst thing to ever happen to the data center at layer 2 of the OSI model. On the plus side, the Spanning-tree protocol is what first allowed us to create redundant paths within our switching infrastructure, making our data center much more resilient to outages than ever before. Anyone who’s experienced a “broadcast storm” knows the full value of Spanning-tree in the traditional switching environment. We’ve also seen many improvements in Spanning-tree over the years to make it work faster and more efficiently (i.e. Rapid Spanning-tree, Bridge Assurance, and many others).
Configuring a wireless lab for study and testing capabilities is a bit more involved than you might think at first glance. Most of the requirements take place on the management devices, but the underlying switch infrastructure requires some preparations as well. The tasks involved are as follows:
Good question! There are lots of networks, so I’m sorry to say that it depends. Let me explain. The smallest computer-based networks are usually PANs or Personal Area Networks. They can connect a wireless keyboard, mouse, or other devices to a computer. You may find them wirelessly linking a printer to your computer. You may have noticed these all include wireless connections. A PAN most often uses wireless technologies like infrared and Bluetooth, so it is really a WPAN (Wireless Personal Area Network).
Examine fifteen common myths surrounding virtualization, including many that prevent IT administrators (or their bosses) from getting the maximum value from virtualization. This paper is designed to be vendor-neutral; in other words, the basic concepts and advantages are the same whether you choose to use Citrix XenServer, VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, or one of the many Linux-based solutions. We'll break the reasons into three broad categories (Cost/ROI, Performance, and Other), allowing you to focus in on a specific area if desired, or you can review the entire white paper for a broader view.
In my last post I discussed aspects of problem management in the context of a real-life situation regarding the first vehicle I owned. In that scenario, and throughout this series of posts, I’ve demonstrated a real-life situation from a standpoint of the incident and problem management processes that ITIL describes.
Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications, explains QoS.
The 'Go Further' video is an testimonial to the value of Microsoft Certification as a validation of technical skills. Whether you're just starting your IT career, or looking to advance it, certification can make a huge impact. Take a look at the video, and hear the stories of real MCPs.
In the previous post, we discussed the need for VXLAN in the cloud along with the issues it solves. In this post, we will focus more on how VXLAN works.
Here are some secrets, tips, and tricks for virtualizing your datacenter. We want to introduce some best practices for virtualization, while not being too biased towards one virtualization vendor or another. We'll use some common examples of products and tools that work with VMware's vSphere and Microsoft's Hyper-V, but with an eye toward virtualization in general, and not the specifics of any of the capable platforms that could be used). We will assume, however, that bare metal hypervisors, in other words virtualization platforms where the hyper visor is the OS, will be used as opposed to running a hypervisor on top of an existing general-purpose operating system (which is great in a lab, but terrible for data center projects).
These five "secrets" to virtualizing desktops will greatly increase the chance of a successfully VDI implementation. It is very important to plan for this; to balance the hardware environment to handle not just average but peak load; to properly size storage, not just for capacity, but for performance as well; to minimize the number of base images so that the costs of maintaining each can also be minimized; and to accept and embrace the fact that people will connect with a wide variety of devices, and to create a plan to accommodate as many of these devices as is feasible at the lowest cost.
The term "life cycle" implies two things: that a process is perpetual and that the sequence of events is obligatory or uni-directional. There is no beginning or end to a life cycle and the sequence of events cannot change. A seed cannot go directly to being a mature plant nor revert back to the blossom stage.
XenApp 6.5 brings a host of features and benefits that most companies will need as the technology continues to evolve and user requirements continue to expand.
During a recent ITIL foundation class, a student asked an interesting question. She wanted to know: “What is the difference between a project and a service?” To be honest, I haven’t spent much time thinking about this distinction. However, I think that those of us who practice ITIL consulting and training should have good answers to questions such as this. Here’s how I answered this question.
IT departments have multiple opportunities and challenges as a result of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) invasion. The most common opportunity is to reinforce enterprise network security from both the inside and the outside. Supporting BYOD also offers more monitoring and tracking of activities that provide a more detailed view of network traffic flow. Alternatively, it will be a challenge for some IT departments to give up control over which devices may access their enterprise network. Another challenge will be to have the users doing configurations for network access, which adds human error to a crucial part of the process. The opportunities and challenges BYOD represents are real. Enterprises must make their network infrastructure BYOD ready to meet the onslaught.
What's the correct sequence of activities for handling an incident? Find out why categorization occurs before initial diagnosis in the ITIL incident management process flow so you can answer this common ITIL Foundation exam question.
None of us have much time to waste, so what can you do when your environment changes quickly and you need to come up to speed on a device that you have never seen before? You find the quickest way to bring yourself up to speed. Some of you will have experience with other vendors’ equipment, and some of you will not have much experience at all; therefore, we will focus on topics that will get your feet wet the quickest and have you talking Junos in no time.
Network security is everyone's concern, and this applies to computer security as well. Many security breaches occur due to user ignorance of basic security principles, not malicious intent. Network and computer security are like an onion - there are multiple layers. Good security begins with understanding what you can do to keep your systems safe and implementing a layered approach. If you depend on one program or feature to secure your computer, then when (not if, but when) that dependency is breached, you may have personal information stolen or even have your computer taken over.
Everyone has been involved in a learning program or project that has not delivered its intended impact. Across organizations, remarkably similar but preventable missteps are made in needs identification, learning strategies, program development and implementation. Instructor Tom Gram, Senior Director of Professional Services at Global Knowledge, will present six classic mistakes learning professionals make that reduce chances for success along with evidence-based practices to help prevent them.
Here are seven tips for working with vSphere, including: Logging in via Command Line, dealing with connection problems using ssh to an ESXi host; network performance issues; possible storage problems; Log Files to View in vSphere ESXi 5; network performance troubleshooting; migrating to a virtual machine using VMotion.
Both technologies, Ethernet and FC, satisfied the two conditions at that time, but there was a catch. Read more.
Global Knowledge practice director for cloud solutions, Hank Marquis, explains the people, process, and technology aspects of cloud computing.
“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.
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:
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rodger Foster, our senior Cisco instructor, reviews how multiple gateways are used to provide redundancy in the network.
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.
As mentioned earlier, one of the most useful pieces of guidance that ITIL provides relates to the categorization of suppliers. ITIL describes four categories of suppliers:
This white paper has three main goals. The first is to generate a better understanding of the cloud in both the business and IT communities. The second is to describe the major components of vCloud and the virtual datacenters they provide. The third is help businesses visualize and understand how vClouds could be beneficial in addressing their specific IT needs.
New in Windows Server 2012 is the Unified Remote Access (URA) role. In Windows Server 2008 R2, DirectAccess and Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) were two separate roles. In fact, they could not be co-located on the same server. In Windows Server 2012, DirectAccess and RRAS can be co-located, allowing for what is now legacy remote access VPN client connectivity (L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and SSTP). This means that the Unified Remote Access provides DirectAccess, Remote Access VPN, and site-to-site VPN and can now serve as your complete remote access solution.
Course director Jim Thomas explains how our custom labs, which utilize external hosts, ISR routers, and DMZ, provide a real-world environment for students.
Chief Technical Architect Craig Brown discusses the Windows 7 certification and skills tracks available to Global Knowledge students.
Once an organization has categorized suppliers, one of the benefits that is quickly realized is an understanding of how supplier changes affect the buying organization and vice-versa. Changes are the modification, addition, or removal of something from the environment. The scope and scale of each change can be different. Change management covers everything from regular, low-risk, operational modifications all the way to significant organizational strategic shifts.
Cloud forensics involves exploring issues a company and its forensic examiner may face when suffering a breach of company information in the cloud. If they need to collect information from the cloud to determine what happened, to determine what was lost or compromised, for remediation, for civil litigation, or for some other action, what issues will they face? And, how can they collect the data? Although this white paper discusses many legal issues, this is not a legal "how-to" article. The purpose is to provide some insight into cloud forensics.
Resource Pools are often misunderstood, disliked, and untrusted by vSphere Administrators. However, resource pools can be very useful tools for administrators who want to configure resource management without having to individually configure each VM. This leads to the administrator’s desire to explore the proper usage of resource pools.
A video covering our Cisco Unified Communications courses - ACUCW1 & ACUCW2 - by Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications.
Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications, discusses Cisco Unity, Unity Connection & Unity Express.
Diane Teare, Global Knowledge's Cisco Course Director, discusses the advantages to taking our CCNA Boot Camp.
Global Knowledge Course Director and Lab Topology Architect Joey DeWiele, a specialist in Unified Communications, explains presence.
The OSI model is a conceptual tool used to discuss and describe network functions. The use of a standard reference model is essential to communicate ideas as well as create new technologies. It is a good idea to be familiar with the OSI model, the features assigned to each layer, and examples of common protocols or technologies associated with the OSI layers.
The utility that many senior VMware administrators rely on to address performance and troubleshooting issues is the built-in utility called ESXTOP. The tool has been built in to the hypervisor, and can be used in both ESXi and the old ESX host. The first tool many VMware Administrators rely upon is esxtop, to check real-time performance on an ESXi host using a command-line tool such as ssh to start the esxtop CLI utility. This paper will introduce and demonstrate how to start and use esxtop, specifically looking at the CPU fields. In addition, we will cover information that can be used to help with performance issues of the CPU. The esxtop utility is an excellent tool to use when you want to observe an individual ESXi host's performance.
One of the most important steps in mastering a new technology is learning the associated terminology or vocabulary. In the IT field, this can be a very challenging step, as much of the terminology is often used inconsistently. This white paper defines the terminology associated with IT virtualization. It is mainly vendor-agnostic, but it does provide some vendor-specific terms, product names, and feature names used by VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft.
The OSI model is a conceptual tool used to discuss and describe network functions. The use of a standard reference model is essential to communicating ideas as well as creating new technologies. It is a good idea to be familiar with the OSI model, the features assigned to each layer, and examples of common protocols or technologies associated with the OSI layers.
A local area network (LAN) provides a path of communication, allowing the delivery of packets of data, voice, or video originating from the sender (logical source address) to the receiver (logical destination address). Ethernet is the most common LAN used. As you start to learn about networking, remember that communication and the movement of large numbers, whether it is people, cars, mail, or network traffic, have a commonality. Everything you know and use in your daily life can be compared to the way traffic moves.
Business complexity, technology innovation and a new understanding of how we learn at work are causing the learning profession to re-think how they develop and sustain human performance and behaviour change. As a result new methods and approaches are emerging that promise to change the landscape of learning and development meeting in the coming years. This session will provide an opportunity to learn about the following trends and their application.
This paper proposes a unifying model for project plans. A distinction will be made between the outputs of project planning and the project plan itself. The significance of this distinction is to allow projects of all types to be described at a high level, in a common language, regardless of the type of analysis used to develop the plan.