Infrastructure and Cloud for Enthusiasts

[blog 02]# git commit

NSX Ninja Program Week 2

Recently I was back on UTC/GMT -5 time zone for the second installment of the NSX-T Ninja Program proudly hosted by James Asutaku and Isaac Valdez. James comes at us hard, fast and with massive amounts of architecture, while Isaac takes us into the technical weeds with an amazing ability to destroy a PowerPoint slide with amazing detail and the use his magic Zoom marker. 9-hour days starting at 1am AUS EST and the amount you brain is trying to take takes a toll on my middle-aged body I must admit.

Isaac Valdez Art Work

So, for the second week we had quite an expansive course covering VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 Deep Dive, VCF Multi-Cloud Architecture, NSX-T Application protection with L3 to L7 DFW, NSX-T L7 Protection, Identity Firewall & URL Filtering, Distributed IDS, Rest API, Tanzu Kubernetes and NSX Intelligence AVI Networks and Advance Routing Design. Phew did you get all that.?

 I absolutely loved the Advanced Routing Design as that is my core with NSX-T and have since implemented it in a production environment with outstanding results in performance and cross availability zone redundancy.

On top of all the lecturing the days were backed up with a huge amount of hand on labs to reinforce what we had mentally ingested. This meant extensive amounts coffee was required daily and frequently. There was no room for the ol “She’ll be right” on the labs as if we did not complete the labs on the day, it effected your labs and progress for the next day. This meant plenty of after hours lab time was on the cards, so you did not get behind (lunch time in my case).

The hardest part of the course I have so far was the 2 days on L4 to L7 security. Not because I could not understand it or fathom concepts, but have you ever tried to do serious security while you half a sleep. I take my hat off to all you Security Engineers and Architects out there for your dedication and sacrifice to the security cause, and I will admit, you are a special breed. It did my head in.

On the fourth day we had a 2-hour engineering presentation and demonstrations by the kind folk at ReSTNSX . These guys automate your life with NSX-T from Security Workflows, Day 2 Operations, Deployment, Migration, Object and Policy Mobility and across multiple deployments of NSX-T. In a nutshell these guy’s rock as it would take a full-time crack team of developers to produce the same results in house.

The best part of the NSX Ninja Program is also meeting like-minded people, and both James and Isaac encourage open dialogue and discussion on the topics including people’s experiences. There is a mountain of knowledge from people attending the course whose backgrounds are Network Engineers, Infrastructure Engineers and Architects. One such person I met this week was a gentleman by the name of Tom Grisham. Anybody who has dealt with NSX over the years will know him from his blogs and articles. Thanks Tom for connecting with me, the conversation, and pictures of cold Texas nights.

So just as by body has recovered from non-traveling jet lag and I had my head back down in my day job, the Ninja Program week 3 is about to start up again so stayed tuned for the review. Week 3 is going to be just as full on with Solution Architecture and having to present designs back to my peers on the program.

I will sign off this blog with a “Hop Smith IPA” from Akasha Brewing Company in New South Wales Australia. A nice West Coast style IPA @ 6.8%ABV and 60 IBU which I thought was fitting since I have spent so much time recently in USA hours.

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