Network Operations Engineer
After getting my Network+ and Security+ certifications, I knew that working at a NOC would be the best place to solidify my skills. In the Duke Energy NOC, my job initially was simply monitoring network alerts and engaging telco and our field technicians to perform repairs on-site. I quickly mastered these routine problems and began to take on more responsibilities and taking on projects of my own.
The documentation and knowledge base required heavy work so I took ownership of that problem and collaborated with others to solve it. I also took on the responsibility of leading communication on major service disruption events, in addition to being the lead for the weekend shift.
As I got closer to obtaining the CCNA, I began collaborating with the Senior Network Engineer team to roll out configurations and updates to the Cisco routers and switches. We used Ansible playbooks in addition to manual CLI configurations to achieve this. This type of worked helped me significantly to finally achieve the CCNA.
Alarms/Monitoring: Grafana, RKAT, Telenium, Solarwinds, Netpoller, Samsara, Thousandeyes, OneControl
Network hardware and architecture: Garrettcom, allied telesis, DNA Center, Cisco ACI, Cisco Prime
Documentation: MS sharepoint, VISIO, Confluence, Tangoe Rivermine, Cyberark
Ticketing: Netcool, Smart IT, Remedy/Mid-Tier, Service NOW
Device administration / SSH: NAPS, Avaya Site Administrator, Secure CRT, Putty
When I began working at Duke Energy it became clear very quickly that the team's documentation could use some serious work. I took ownership of the problem, but it was a tall order. How does someone create documentation for a company that they are new to, and in an IT domain which they are also new to? Well it required collaboration from the senior members of the team as well as a commitment to document every thing I learned while working there. If it wasn't in writing, I made commitment to write it down. With these two methods we were able to perform a dramatic upheavel of the documentation and knowledge base. The number of articles tripled, even when accounting for all the obsolete pages that were removed. And the weekly viewership quadrupled over the course of a year that I worked on this. Documentation is not an end-goal, rather it is an ongoing process. But I knew we had reached a sutsainable state when we finally stopped documenting old, established tools and processes and we only required documentation of new tools and processes as they came about.
IOS upgrades and configurations
After mastering the day-to-day operations and getting a wrangle on the documentation, I became interested in the configurations of the switches and routers. I began collaborating with the Senior Network Engineer team to roll out configurations and updates to the Cisco routers and switches. A majority of updates were performed using Ansible playbooks that had recently been implemented by the automation team. Those Ansible playbooks were also able to help move the network nodes towards having uniform security configurations. It was still necessary to perform about 30% of configurations and updates manually through CLI, since the automation was not complete yet. This type of worked helped me significantly to finally achieve the CCNA.