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Networking blogs: CCIE exam advice, integrating the overlay network

In this week's blog roundup, get CCIE exam study tips, find out how CISOs can keep control of IT, and learn more about integrating overlay networking.

Lessons learned from the first go at the CCIE exam

After his first stab at the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Lab Exam in Routing and Switching didn't go so well, network engineer Roger Perkin set about revamping his study patterns. He lays out a new schedule on the Packet Pushers blog, where he explains how the adjusted structure will give him more time with his family without sacrificing too much time in the lab. Refocusing his study habits will help too, Perkin says, and he offers his best tips for staying focused and managing time. He also emphasizes the importance of verifying your performance and points out the advantages of studying on the go and keeping an in-depth technical blog.

Find out Perkin's tips for lab exam prep and why he says the key motivator is having the test date booked.

Overlay and physical networks: The question of integration

Overlay networking may be in the early stages of development, but already the technology is foundational for many companies and is promising to be a game changer for enterprise security. That's according to Ethereal Mind blogger Greg Ferro in his latest installment of a multi-part series on overlay networking. He continues the theme of optimism around the infrastructure as he explains how the overlay model will move networking away from the challenges of physical connectivity. This will allow engineers to create and manage services rather than keeping up competency. Some integration may be necessary for peace of mind, and Ferro tackles how that can work with diagrams and descriptions of the various possibilities. For his part, however, Ferro believes having substantial bandwidth in the underlying network makes an overlay system based on tunnels possible, without any integration into the physical layer.

Learn all you ever wanted to know about overlay networking -- and perhaps a little more -- with Ferro's detailed rundown.

The CISO's dilemma: How to keep IT under control

IT is spiraling out of control in the face of consumerization, cloud and mobile technologies, says ESG analyst Jon Oltsik. As applications, devices, servers and software take on lives of their own, the benefits of productivity and cost-efficiency come at the price of security. The loss of some control seems inevitable, but chief information security officers can compensate by tightening the reins on other areas. Oltsik recommends adapting authentication methods, bolstering knowledge of device identities, automating data governance and improving security analytics. Understanding the risk areas is key to identifying how to adjust policies, controls and monitoring to keep tabs on activities continuously.

Read why Oltsik believes granular intelligent integrated technologies are a critical element in keeping a handle on IT.

Is OpenStack a threat or opportunity for VMware?

There's a lot of confusion around the relationship of OpenStack to the VMware portfolio. It's not clear whether the technologies are competing or complementary, or whether supporting OpenStack is a differentiator or the status quo -- or both. At this stage, according to Enterprise Management Associates' Torsten Volk, it's up to VMware to make the choice between either supporting the OpenStack technology or competing with it head on. Given that VMware already has a market lead with its vCloud platform, Volk says the virtualization giant should take advantage of this and offer interoperability with OpenStack.

Get the scoop on what OpenStack could offer VMware and the potential of its as-yet unproven capabilities in the production environment.

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