Rebooting the Blog and Looking Back

I have had a blog since the end of 2013, and I had a pretty good run of it too! I was writing a lot in 2014 – all fresh and hoepful! 2015 and 2016 were pretty decent as well, then I really trailed off quite a bit.

This month I’ve decided that I need to rescue my blog from the clutches of Wordpress by moving it over to live in Hugo and self hosting it in AWS (all that setup may be worth another post here at some point), and obviously write a few posts too! After getting the Hugo/AWS framework setup, obviously I had a fairly big task of snagging all of the content from Wordpress and getting it moved over. I didn’t really re-read things, but of course copying things over and making sure things looked OK gave me quite a bit of a journey back through time! I figured I’d just write breifly about some thoughts that popped into my brain whilst undertaking this little project… in no particular order/groupings:

  • Wow some wildly embarassing posts! Particularily the one or two that are just really really heinously bad Python/Ansible things! I think its cool to leave these up though, everyone starts somewhere ya know!
  • I did like… so much ACI stuff! Unsurprising to anyone that knows me – I spent a good two years really hammering ACI stuff all day while working for Lumos. It was a really cool ride – I was red-badged at Cisco so I got to see a bit of how the sausage was made, and I got access to basically all the things internally (software/docs/people/etc.). I still chat with my ACI friends quite a bit and it sounds like more or less ACI is the same old thing I know (just with of course added widgets, but nothing fundamentally new really), maybe I’ll get to play around again one of these days!
  • I don’t think – if it was my money – I would probably ever buy ACI. Where I am nowadays I would rather buy some whitebox switches, or at the very least vendor switches without all the add on stuff (in the ACI case – Nexus 9000s just without ACI licensing/APICs) and automate it myself. Thats of course a product of the last 5 years really just diving into the open source world and thoroughly enjoying it!! This is not to say ACI is bad (or good) just that if it was just me I’d just avoid all the extra cost of ACI.
  • SDWAN has made a lot of what I wrote about very early on totally useless! Some of my first posts were about DMVPN with PfR (this was pre-iWAN days to all you whipper snappers hehe) – can’t imagine anyone would be deploying any of that nowadays! I think the underpinnings of what I wrote about way back then is still totally useful/good though, SDWAN is of course doing many of the same/similar things, just in a packaged abstraction.
  • Qemu! This is more recent, but wow Qemu and running virtual routers locally is super handy. Early on the blog I wrote a bit about CCIE lab setup stuff – I recall having phsyical gear with a bajillion USB-Ethernet adapters to connect all my GNS3 routers to the physical switches. Today I pretty much just use vrnetlab or Qemu “directly”, but the value of being able to lab things up has, if anything, gotten even more important!
  • SSH… there are a few random posts about SSH and kex/cipher things (MacOS upgrade deprecated a cipher and things like that) – kinda wild that such a “simple” and ubiquitous thing is so crazy important and pervasive over time. I think you could probably write a blog post a week about SSH widgets and settings and never ever run out of topics! No real point to this one, just kinda saw SSH pop up randomly and thought “wow, ssh is pretty neat”!
  • Tech Field Day – I wrote a handful of posts coming off of Tech Field Day events. A big big big big big thank you to Stephen Fosket, Tom Hollingsworth and the whole TFD crew – I learned a ton from the events and made a lot of great friends!

This is I suppose a totally self-serving post, but was just an interesting opportunity to look back. I think the biggest thing that stuck out to me is that there is always something cool to poke and prod and learn about. Heres to another six (OMG, SIX?????) years of blogging!