Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Does Your Data Center Do?

Define & Market Your Data Center To Employees
Although data centers regularly reap respect from technical employees, others see them primarily as sounding boards for all their computer problems. Ask data center managers, and you’ll discover this distinct lack of respect is frightfully common. However, many of those same managers aren’t doing much about it.

Just as a business markets products to potential customers, it can also market its data center to its own employees, so they understand the complexities involved with building, running, and maintaining the center. Not only can this in-house marketing ease the frustrations inherent with the tech support process, but it can also open the door to new ideas spawned from employees who now see opportunity in a segment of the company they didn’t previously comprehend.

Find The Function

Effectively opening a data center’s door to employees requires more than simply grabbing a handle and pulling. Before a company explains to employees what its data center does, it needs a clear understanding of its data center’s purpose and how its activities affect each employee, from the newest hire to the CEO. Because most data centers serve to satisfy multiple needs, including storage, security, networking, and logistical parameters such as space, cost, accessibility, and others, this process can take time.

EMC’s data center personnel can use this internal company newsletter to illustrate technologies used in the company’s data center.

A data center manager should be able to concisely chart or outline the varying uses of the data center, placing adequate emphasis on processes deemed more crucial than others. But to gauge the impact of the center on employees, other IT personnel should also contribute to draw a clear picture of how different employees use data and other resources.

Surprisingly, the biggest challenge of marketing a data center to employees isn’t determining what the data center does or how it affects employees; it’s devising a way to explain it so that all employees can understand and appreciate it.

Language Barriers

As EMC’s director of hosting operations, Paul Brassil runs a data center that EMC uses to show both customers and internal employees the different technologies and challenges inherent in data centers. To Brassil, successfully relaying the value of the data center depends on his ability to avoid techno-babble when explaining the bits and bytes.

“The idea of storage or networking can be very daunting concepts at an enterprise level,” Brassil says. “It’s important that the person communicating out to the business can translate the terms to say, ‘You have a PC on your desk. It’s very much like a storage device,’ and I’ll explain why it is, so they can make a correlation in their mind to what’s going on in the data center.”

“A lot of people who are nontechnical could lose all conception of what the data center is all about,” Brassil adds. “It’s about being able to translate technology into business because the lion’s share of people who benefit from data centers are not technical people.”

Although EMC employees can view the data center in person, the company also uses a monthly internal newsletter called EMC Now to keep employees updated on data center happenings. For example, the newsletter might include an article that describes the company’s extranet and how it’s not a single box but multiple computers that allow N+1 availability. In this way, employees can learn to appreciate the challenges involved in providing that round-the-clock access.

“Employees need to understand all of the dimensions of the data center,” Brassil explains. “For an end user who is dealing with a specific problem, they may not be aware of everything else going on. For instance, say I lose Internet connectivity today. I may just be upset because I cannot do my job, and I call up my help desk and ask, ‘Why is this happening?’”

And it is here where the marketing concept can expand to reach and satisfy other areas. Education will inform employees how and why the data center operates, but toss awareness in the mix, and you will have employees who aren’t quick to lash out at data center personnel. Like major ISPs who use voice messaging to inform subscribers of current problems when they call, EMC uses similar messages on its help desk line so that callers don’t waste their time or technicians’ time with redundant questions.

Says Brassil: “At the end of the day, if the data center is always working perfectly, the end audience doesn’t really need to know that much about it. The critical juncture is when you have an outage or problem. That’s when the audience really needs to understand what a data center is. Being proactive in educating them will better prepare them if in fact you do have a problem.”

The Right Choice

In smaller companies the person best equipped to handle data center marketing is usually the person who oversees it, but according to Brassil, it’s best that this person understands both the technical and business sides of the company. “It comes back to finances. The job of IT is to make sure they’re running a financially sound organization. The business needs to make sure they’re spending the money on the right solutions. Otherwise the data center has no value. If you really don’t have that connection, companies are going to suffer.”

by Christian Perry

In-House Data Center Marketing 101

Marketing a data center to employees who aren’t likely to understandor even care aboutcomplex technical concepts can be an intimidating proposition. But there are steps you can take to streamline the process and make it worthwhile.

  • Chart the purpose and uses of your data center. Include all technologies it uses, even if only one employee uses it.
  • Talk with IT personnel to determine how the data center affects each employee, from executives to low-level workers.
  • Use varied communication methods to educate and alert employees about the data center. Print, email, Web, and phone can all be effective tools in this area. In-person demonstrations can also be useful, but don’t let them compromise regular security.
  • Choose a data center spokesperson who understands both the technical and business ends of company practices.
  • Use terminology that nontechnical employees can understand. Work with technologies and concepts they’re familiar with to illustrate complex issues.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How To Profit With Forums

Forums are one of the most effective free internet marketing strategies if done correctly. Many people participate in online forums for different reasons.

Especially in internet marketing forums, they use it for getting advice and answers to their questions.Another reason is finding new tools, products and marketing concepts that they can apply to their website or online business in general. Internet forums are also an excellent resource for contacting with other online entrepreneurs and build win-winand profitable joint ventures. Finally, you can promote your website in forums in indirect mode of course.

Taking advantage of forums can be focused on the link of your site you are allowed to place with your posts. However, this is not as simple as it sounds. Users must have a reason to click on your link. One reason could be a useful tip or resource you providewith your answer for instance. In the long run, you gain credibility and start becoming an expert in your field.

But how do you accomplish that? First, you must study carefully the forums before you join them. Check for their guidelines, their theme, the questions, the level of knowledge and experience the users have. After that, you group the questions in a specific block in order to provide the answers.

For example:


  1. How can I protect my website from theft?
  2. Where can I find HTML security software?
  1. HTML encryption software
  2. Hide your website’s code.
Now is the time for getting answers. You can find answers using search engines, or a recourse you have already used in the past or even a “how to” e-book you had purchased. There are many options. Don’t forget that you shouldn’t restrict yourself to one topic. You can repeat this procedure as many times as you want.You can provide your answers to forum users in three ways actually.
First, by informing the forum users with a website you saw, that contains the solution to the problem they have. This is the less effective way, because you are keeping them away from your primary cause, which is to visit your website by clicking your link.
Second, is to create a webpage to your website that contains the answer. This is an excellent way ofpromoting because it’s not a blatant advertisement (you are informing people) and on the other hand users visit your website.

Third, create a new website exclusively related on this subject.This way is extremely effective too, but you should keep in mind that you do have to spend some money for that (web hosting, domain registrar and definitely more time.

The catch here is that with the second and third option you can promote your website, which can include your affiliate programs or even your products without breaking the forum’s rules.
Of course you could ask, “Where can I find forums?” One way is using search ngines. Write in the search bar “internet marketing forums” and you will have manylistings but you should notice that only the active ones are worth your attention.

Another thing you should be careful about is how many users and posts the forum has every day. If there are one or two users then you should go away, although forums indexed by the search engines are important because a link of your website to this forum could mean indexing for your website too.

When you post to a forum, always use your name and not some kind of number or code like 22357. You want to gain credibility with your name and not with acharacterless number or fake username. Use your signature in every post, which should contain your name, 2-3 lines of text (that depends on how many lines the forum administrator permits you to use) and of course your site URL.

Monday, December 22, 2008

CCNP Certification eBooks

As I stated in one of my previous blogs, that Cisco certifications are among highly demanding certifications in IT industry and promissed to submit more and more links to download ebooks freely.

Here, today I am submitting links to the more selected and widely wanted eBooks;

  1. CCNP BCMSN Exam Certification Guide
  2. CCNP BCMSN Offical Exam Certification Guide
  3. CCNP BCRAN Exam Certification Guide
  4. CCNP BSCI Exam Certification Guide
  5. CCNP BSCI Official Exam Certification Guide 4th Ed
  6. CCNP CIT Exam Certification Guide
  7. CCNP ISCW Offical Exam Certification Guide
  8. CCNP ONT Official Exam Certificaition Guide
  9. Sybex CCNP Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks

All the submitted links to the selected titles are as usual free to download.

Good Luck Girls & Guys

Monday, December 15, 2008

CCNA Certification eBooks

Cisco products are used widely both on the Internet and in corporate intranets. At the same time, the Cisco Internet Operating System (IOS) has grown to be very large and complex, and Cisco documentation fills several volumes.

Cisco had also launched different certifications to evaluate the technical knowhow of the IT professionals using its products.

As the Cisco products and certifications are highly demanding and people look around to find the product and/or certification related eBooks around on the net, which is a time consuming and hectic job.

Here, I am submitting few links to the selected and mostly wanted eBooks;

  1. CCENT/CCNA ICND1 Official Exam Certification Guide 2nd Ed.
  2. CCNA – 15 Minutes Guide
  3. CCNA Fast Pass 3rd Ed.
  4. CCNA ICND2 Official Exam Certification Guide 2nd Ed.
  5. CCNA ICND 2004 Exam Certification Guide
  6. CCNA INTRO 2004 Exam Certification Guide
  7. CCNA Portable Command Guide 2nd Edition(640-802)
  8. CCNA Study Guide - 6th Ed (640-802)
  9. Cisco CCNA Certification Guide (640-507)
  10. Easy CCNA Cram Bible
  11. Sybex CCNA Study Guide - 5th Ed (640-802)

All the above submitted links to the selected titles are free to download. Next, I will post download links to more Cisco related books and materials.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Cisco Certifications: An Overview

IT, or information technology, professionals can benefit from having a Cisco certification through expanded knowledge and experience. Read on to find out what a Cisco certification is, how you can benefit, and what options are available.

What is Cisco Certification?

Cisco career certification is a computer networking certification provided by the company Cisco Systems, Inc. (or Cisco for short)-a company that provides networking solutions and devices for the internet. Why obtain a Cisco career certification? It makes you more marketable in the job world. Employers feel confident knowing that they have an IT employee with standardized and up-to-date training concerning their network infrastructure. If you already have a job, a Cisco career certification can give you greater knowledge (thus greater value) for the devices you work with.

Types of Cisco Certification

Cisco career certifications come in the following six separate categories according to Cisco Systems, Inc. :

  • Routing and Switching
  • Network Security
  • Voice
  • Design
  • Storage Networking
  • Service Provider

In addition, Cisco offers three levels of education depending upon how much you want/need to know about each category. The levels, represented here in order of lowest to highest achievement, are as follows:

  • Associate
  • Professional
  • Expert

There is one more training option Cisco offers-the specialist. The 'Specialist' is a certification focused on a specific technology, solution, or job role according to Wireless, Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, and security are just some of the specializations available to interested IT professionals. Furthermore, Cisco frequently adds new specializations.

Some Practical Advice

Naturally, it will be cheaper for you or your company to obtain Associate-level training in one category specific to your job than to obtain Expert-level training in all the categories. Evaluate your networking need, your learning style, and your budget to find the best program for you. Also, check for special discounts. For example, Cisco offers learning credits, which are good towards training sessions. These credits can be obtained from purchasing Cisco products among other ways.

To Learn More

Training is available from instructor-led courses, remote access labs, e-learning solutions, and seminars. Cisco even offers some free online classes. To learn more, search for a listing of all available training options, locations, and prices.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Data Centers and their Standards

It was not too long ago when using the term “data center” would draw an unsure stare. Today, the term data center is commonly used but we also know that some of you may be new to this industry and would like a simple explanation to “What is a Data Center?”A data center or computer room is a facility or room used to house mission critical computer systems and associated components for companies and organizations. It generally includes environmental controls (air conditioning, fire suppression, etc.), redundant/backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections and high security. A data center can be considered the brain of a company; without it business can cease to communicate, perceive, remember and create. The end result is a business that ceases to function.

Standards, Compliance and Recommendations for Data Centers and Management
Below you will find a listing of standards, codes, compliance and recommendations for data centers. We are continuing to compile a complete list of global standards and best practices for you.

International Construction Codes

  1. International Building Code (IBC)
  2. International Fire Code (IFC)
  3. International Plumbing Code (IPC)

Country and Local Jurisdiction codes and requirements for data center construction and maintenance.


(American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers)

  • Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments


(American National Standards Institute)

  • T1.336 Engineering Requirements for a Universal Telecommunications Frame (waiting publication)


(Electronic Industries Alliance)

  • EIA-310-D Cabinets, Racks, Panels and Associated Equipment


(National Fire Protection Association – US)

  • NFPA 75 Standard for the Protection of Information Technology Equipment
  • NFPA 1 - Uniform Fire Code™
  • NFPA 13 - Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems
  • NFPA 96A, Standard for Installation Requirements for Lightning Protection Systems
  • NFPA 780-2004, Lightning Protection Code

BSI (British Standards)

  • BS15000 / BS 15000, now fast tracked as ISO 20000, was the world's first standard for IT service management. The standard specifies a set of inter-related management processes, and is based heavily upon the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) framework.
  • BS7671: 2001 Requirements for Electrical Installations. (16 th edition IEE Wiring Regulations)
  • BS 7273-1:2000 Code of Practice for the Operation of fire protection measures
  • BS 6266:1992 - Code of Practice for fire protection for electronic data processing installations
  • BS 6266:1992 - Code of Practice for fire protection for electronic data processing installations
  • BS 7273-1:2000 Code of Practice for the Operation of fire protection measures
  • BS 5839-1: 1988 Fire detection and alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for system design, installation and servicing
  • BS 6651 (Protection of structures against lightning)
a. DISC PD 1001: A Guide to Electromagnetic Compatibility and Structured Cabling.
b. DISC PD 1002: A Guide to Cabling in Private Telecommunications Systems.
  • BS EN 50091-1:1993 - Specification for Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). General and Safety Requirements
  • BS EN 12825: 2001 - Raised Access Floors
  • BS 4434 - Safety and Environmental aspects in the design, construction and installation of Refrigeration appliances and systems
  • BS ISO 8995:2002 Lighting of indoor work places - Society of Light and Lighting, Lighting Guide 3: Addendum 2001

Telcordia Technologies

1. GR-63-CORE (NEBS) Physical Protection

CENELEC (Europe)

– Information Technology – Generic Cabling Systems Part 5: Data Centers
– CENELEC EN 50173-1 & -2 European Standards
– CENELEC – EN50310 – Grounding & Bonding

  • EN 50173:1995: Information Technology - Generic Cabling Systems.
  • EN 50173:2000: Amendment to EN 50173:1995.
  • Draft second edition EN 50173: Information Technology - Generic Cabling Systems.
  • EN 50174-1:2000: Information Technology - Cabling Installation – Part 1: Specification and quality assurance.
  • EN 50174-2:2000: Information Technology - Cabling Installation – Part 2: Installation planning and practices inside buildings.
  • prEN 50174-3: Information Technology - Cabling Installation – Part 3: Installation planning and practices outside buildings.
  • EN 50167: Horizontal Floor Wiring Cables with a common overall screen for use in digital communication.
  • EN 50168:Work Area Wiring Cables with a common overall screen for use in digital communication.
  • EN 50169: Backbone Cables, Riser and Campus, with a common overall screen for use in digital communication.
  • EN 60603-7 series: 8-Way RJ Connectors. [This series will mirror the IEC 60603-7 series.]
  • EN 50310:2000: Application of equipotential bonding and earthing in buildings with information technology equipment.
  • EN 50098-1: Customer premises cabling for information technology – Part 1: ISDN basic access.
  • EN 50098-2: Customer premises cabling for information technology – Part 2: 2048 kbit/s ISDN primary access and leased line network interface.
  • EN 61000-2-2: Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) – Part 2: Environment – Section 2: Compatibility levels for low frequency conductor disturbances and signalling in public low voltage power supply systems.
  • EN 50288-2-1: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 2: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 100 MHz. – Section 1: Horizontal and building backbone cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-2-2: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 2: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 100 MHz. – Section 2:Work area and patch cord cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-3-1: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 3: Sectional specification for unscreened cables characterised up to 100 MHz. – Section 1: Horizontal and building backbone cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-3-2: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 3: Sectional specification for unscreened cables characterised up to 100 MHz. – Section 2:Work area and patch cord cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-4-1: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 4: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 600 MHz. – Section 1: Horizontal and building backbone cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-4-2: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 4: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 600 MHz. – Section 2:Work area and patch cord cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-5-1: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 5: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 250 MHz. – Section 1: Horizontal and building backbone cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-5-2: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 5: Sectional specification for screened cables characterised up to 250 MHz. – Section 2:Work area and patch cord cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-6-1: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 6: Sectional specification for unscreened cables characterised up to 250 MHz. – Section 1: Horizontal and building backbone cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • EN 50288-6-2: Multi element metallic cables used in analogue and digital communication and control – Part 6: Sectional specification for unscreened cables characterised up to 250 MHz. – Section 2:Work area and patch cord cables. (Revision in progress.)
  • prEN 50xxx: Information Technology – Cabling Installation – Testing of Installed Cabling

TIA (Telecommunication Industry Association)

  • TIA-942 Telecommunication Infrastructure for Data Centers
  • In the U.S. & Canada key cabling standard is TIA-568 for cabling and TIA-569 for pathways and spaces.

BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Service International)

  • BICSI 002 Data Center Design and Implementation Best Practices


  • ITIL is best practices for IT Service Management.

ISO (International Organization of Standardization)

  • ISO 20000 is a series of best practices for IT departments to use internally. It also improves relationships with other companies or governments who want to do business with ISO 20000 certified companies.
  • ISO9000x
The ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families are among ISO's most widely known standards ever. ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards are implemented by some 887 770 organizations in 161 countries. ISO 9000 has become an international reference for quality management requirements in business-to-business dealings, and ISO 14000 is well on the way to achieving as much, if not more, in enabling organizations to meet their environmental challenges.
  • ISO/ IEC
2005 Information technology - Security techniques - Code of practice for information security management.
  • ISO/IEC 24764 Information Technology – Generic Cabling for Data Centre Premises (2007)
  • ISO/IEC 11801 & ISO/IEC 18010 International standards
  • ISO/IEC 11801:1995: Information technology - Generic Cabling for Customer Premises.
  • ISO/IEC 11801:1999: Amendment 1 to ISO/IEC 11801:1995.
  • ISO/IEC 11801:2000: Amendment 2 to ISO/IEC 11801:1995.
  • Draft second edition ISO/IEC 11801: Information technology - Generic Cabling for Customer Premises.
  • ISO/IEC 14763-1 TR3: Information Technology – Implementation and operation of Customer premises Cabling – Part 1: Administration.
  • ISO/IEC 14763-2 TR3: Information Technology – Implementation and operation of Customer premises Cabling – Part 2: Planning and Installation.
  • ISO/IEC 14763-3 TR3: Information Technology – Implementation and operation of Customer premises Cabling – Part 3: Testing of Optical Fibre
  • ISO/IEC 8877:1992: information technology – Telecommunications and information exchange between systems – Interface connector and contact assignments for ISDN Basic Access Interface located at reference points S and T.

Uptime Institute Data Center Tier Classification

– Uptime Institute provides certifications for reliability of the physical data centers. Uptime Institute originated Tier system that places a 1-4 tier rating based on reliability of facility as a whole.

Sarbanes Oxley Section 404

– is a United States federal law passed in response to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals including those affecting Enron, Tyco International, and WorldCom (recently MCI and currently now part of Verizon Businesses).

SAS 70

– Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 70, Service Organizations, is an internationally recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – US)

– Title II of HIPAA, the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers.

PCI Compliance

– Payment Card Industry (PCI) cardholder security program is a contractual requirement for businesses that handle cardholder information for Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Diner’s Club.

CA 1386/1950

– The California Security Breach Information Act, 1386/1950, has made a major impact on any agency or company doing business in California that deals with computerized personal information.


– The Basel II Framework describes a more comprehensive measure and minimum standard for capital adequacy that national supervisory authorities are now working to implement through domestic rule-making and adoption procedures. It seeks to improve on the existing rules by aligning regulatory capital requirements more closely to the underlying risks that banks face

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

  • The Standard IEEE 519-1992 entitled “IEEE. Recommended. Practices and Requirements for. Harmonic Control in Electric Power Systems”
  • IEEE – IEEE Standard 1100-1999
  • IEEE Standard 142, Chapter 3 (IEEE Recommended Practices for Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems)
  • IEEE Standard 80 (IEEE Guide for Safety in AC Substation Grounding)
  • IEEE Standard 80 (IEEE Guide for Safety in AC Substation Grounding)
  • IEEE Standard 142 (IEEE Recommended Practices for Grounding of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems)

CBEMA (Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers' Association)

– The CBEMA have their own set of certifications for data center equipment

IEC (International Electro technical Commission)

  • IEC-61000
  • Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)- Part 4-2: Testing and measurement techniques - Electrostatic discharge immunity test
  • IEC 60603-7: 8-Way RJ Connectors for Frequencies below 3 MHz.
  • IEC 60603-7-1: 8-Way Screened RJ Connectors for Frequencies below 3 MHz.
  • IEC 60603-7-2: 8-Way Unscreened RJ Connectors for Frequencies up to 100 MHz. (Category 5).
  • IEC 60603-7-3: 8-Way Screened RJ Connectors for Frequencies up to 100 MHz. (Category 5).
  • IEC 60603-7-4: 8-Way Unscreened RJ Connectors for Frequencies up to 250 MHz. (Category 6).
  • IEC 60603-7-5: 8-Way Screened RJ Connectors for Frequencies up to 250 MHz. (Category 6).
  • IEC 60603-7-7: 8-Way Screened RJ Connectors for Frequencies up to 600 MHz. (Category 7).
  • IEC 60874: Connectors for optical fibres and cables. •
  • IEC 60950:1991: Safety of information technology equipment, including electrical business equipment.
  • IEC 61000-5-2: Electromagnetic capability (EMC) Part 5: Installation and mitigation guidelines Section 2: Earthing and bonding.
  • IEC 61156-*: Multicore and symmetrical / quad cables for digital communications.
  • IEC 61935-1: Generic cabling systems - Specification for the testing of balanced communication cabling in accordance with ISO/IEC 11801 Part 1: Test methods.
  • IEC 61935-2: Generic cabling systems - Specification for the testing of balanced communication cabling in accordance with ISO/IEC 11801 Part 2: Patch cords and work area cabling.

EN (European Standards)

  • 50310-2000 – Grounding & Bonding
  • European standard EN1047 Computer Rooms

NEC (National Electric Code - US)

– All of Code
– NEC Article 250 Grounding

ANSI/TIA/EIA Combination (ANSI – American National Standards Institute)

  • ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.1 - Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard, Part 1: General Requirements
  • ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2 - Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard, Part 2: Balanced Twisted Pair Cabling Components
  • ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.3 - Optical Fibre Cabling Components Standard
  • ANSI/TIA/EIA-569-B - Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces
  • ANSI/TIA/EIA-606-A - The Administration Standard for the Telecommunications Infrastructure of Commercial Buildings
  • ANSI/TIA/EIA-607-A - Commercial Building Grounding and Bonding Requirements for Telecommunications

TIA/ EIA (Telecommunication Industry Association & Electronic Industry Alliance)

  • TIA/EIA-568-A: Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard.
  • TIA/EIA TSB 67: Link Performance Transmission Specifications for Field Testing of Unshielded Twisted Pair Cabling Systems.
  • TIA/EIA TSB 72: Centralised Optical Fibre Cabling Guidelines.
  • TIA/EIA TSB 75: Additional Horizontal Cabling Practices for Open Offices.
  • TIA/EIA TSB 95: Additional Transmission Performance Guidelines for 4-Pair 100 W Category 5 Cabling.
  • TIA/EIA-568-A-1: Propagation Delay and Delay Skew Specifications for 100 W 4-pair Cable.
  • TIA/EIA-568-A-2: Corrections and Additions to TIA/EIA-568-A.
  • TIA/EIA-568-A-3: Transmission Performance Specifications for Hybrid and Bundled Cables.
  • TIA/EIA-568-A-4: Production Modular Cord NEXT Loss Test Method and Requirements for Unshielded Twisted–Pair Cabling.
  • TIA/EIA-568-A-5: Transmission Performance Specifications for 4-Pair 100 W Category 5e Cabling.
  • TIA/EIA/IS-729: Technical Specifications for 100 W Screened Twisted-Pair Cabling.
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.1: Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard, Part 1: General Requirements.
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.1-1: Transmission Performance Specifications for 4-Pair 100 W Category 6 Cabling.
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2: Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard, Part 2: 100 W Balanced Twisted-Pair Cabling.
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1: Transmission Performance Specifications for 4-Pair 100 W Category 6 Cabling.
  • TIA/EIA-568-B.3: Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standard, Part 3: Optical Fiber Cabling Components.
  • TIA/EIA-569-A: Commercial Building Standard for Telecommunications Pathways and Spaces. (Addenda 1 & 2 published, addenda 3 & 4 in draft.)
  • TIA/EIA-606: Administration Standard for the Telecommunications Infrastructure of Commercial Buildings. (Revision in progress.)
  • TIA/EIA-607: Commercial Building Grounding and Bonding Requirements for Telecommunications. (Revision in progress.)
  • TIA/ EIA - PN -3-0092 - Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centres (Draft document)

DCML Data Center Mark up Language

– DCML was created to manage the complexity of data centre environments, facilitate exchange of information between data centre components and establish a foundation for “industry-wide utility computing.

SML Service Modeling Language

– In Development - The initiative calls for the creation of an XML-based standard, called Service Modeling Language (SML) - The goal of SML is to establish a lingua franca for computing resources — servers, networking gear, applications and the like — to exchange operating information, such as security requirements or performance problems.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Top Tech Certifications for 2009


This handful of top tech computer certifications was chosen based on what I hear from all of you readers out there. The choices were made based on the profitability of the certifications, the relevance in today's market, and from the popularity of the certifications discussed here on

I have tried to include salary information for each of these certifications but the figures are just averages. Salary is always commensurate with experience and location.

The CCIE always ends up on lists like these, and with good reason. With a pass rate of only 26% it is certainly the most difficult of all IT certifications. Once you place this on your resume, you know you have a truly impressive credential and can expect to earn an average salary of $93,000.

With the economic climate these days, big business needs auditors more than ever. The CISA is designed to certify audit skills, both technical and ethical. According to, the average CISA can earn as much as $115,000.

The CCSE is another high level security certification that created for individuals who work with Checkpoint products and must maintain secure VPNs. The demand for this certification is evident in the pay as shown on PayScale.

The Microsoft Certified Solution Developer certification is designed for people who like to problem-solve. You are expected to know about enterprise solutions and Microsoft products. You will be expected to use business analysis skills to decide which solution is best for a particular environment or business. Here is the PayScale for the MCSD.

The Project Management Professional certification is here because it is another that requires an extensive amount of skill and experience to obtain. Once you have passed the exam and fulfilled the requirements you can pull in around $101,000 (based on a ZDNET Salary Survey).

Notice a theme on this list? Security certifications are very hot right now. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional demands a good salary (around $94,000) and can be obtained with just a few years of experience or equivalent education. Only one exam is required.

If you can configure networking and security on a Red Hat OS then the Red Hat Certified Engineer is a great certification for you. The exam is not actually an exam, it's a five-hour hands-on test of your Linux skills. You certainly can't braindump your way through this one. Although it is not exactly entry level, Red Hat has several training programs for all levels of experience. Once you get through the testing process your salary could jump to $83,000.

SCJP 6.0
Ideal for all web developers, the SCJP is a start on the path to many other development certifications. You can build on the SCJP to get the SCJD (Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform), SCWCD (Sun Certified Web Component Developer for the J2EE Platform), SCMAD (Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer), or the SCBCD (Sun Certified Business Component Developer).
You can also use your SCJP 6.0 Certification toward the Oracle Certified Solution Developer and Oracle Certified Enterprise Developer programs, and the Master CIW Enterprise Developer certifications.
SCJP 6.0 covers a few new topics including Console, NavigableSet, and NavigableMap. Salaries for SCJP certified professionals range from $75,000 to 100,000.

The CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification is a great choice for project managers who can verify 1,500 hours of project management experience (versus the more demanding 3-5 years of experience for a PMP). The CAPM is for team members who support projects.
The group that offers the CAPM and PMP is the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PMI is highly respected in the industry and the demand for good project managers is steadily growing. These two facts put together are the reason why the CAPM is on the list. Once you are certified you can earn up to $75,000.

Earning the MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) certification shows that you are not just a developer. You also have the skills to analyze and design leading-edge Microsoft enterprise solutions. This is a certification for software engineers and software architects. Salaries for MCSD's range from $70,000 to over $100,000.

Monday, November 17, 2008

About IT Certifications

By Warren E. Wyrostek

Less than 10 years ago, certification was a surefire way to enter the growing IT sector. But certification no longer guarantees that you will be able to find a high quality job in IT. It still has its place, but the IT certification industry has faced some systemic problems that no one has addressed since its emergence. Warren Wyrostek calls on personal and real-world experience to share the top 10 problems with IT certification.

Since the early part of this decade, when I wrote several certification articles for InformIT, IT certifications have changed a great deal, and the industry’s perception of certifications has waned. IT certifications have fallen out of favor in the eyes of many.

Less than 10 years ago, I had no reservation about recommending a certification to a person interested in entering the IT sector. Certification and the training needed to "earn" an IT certification was a great way for a career changer, a displaced worker, or someone simply looking for a career to get a foot in the door on a growing field and land a good job with a lot of growth potential.

Certification no longer guarantees that you will be able to find that kind of job in IT. It still has its place, but the IT certification industry has faced some systemic problems that no one has addressed since its emergence.
Having jumped hook, line, and sinker into the certification world in 1995, I have a bit of historical perspective about where we have been and where we are and what the problems are.

But before we can fix the problems, we have to define those problems. On to the problems.

1. Certifications are Vendor-Centric
IT certifications, as they are currently marketed, are vendor-centric. Their purpose is to quantify a person’s understanding of some of the functionality of a vendor’s product.

A vendor’s certification helps a potential client feel a sense of ownership when it comes to a product. Those who support a vendor’s IT products are encouraged to certify in the product(s) to validate their skill levels.

The problem is that every vendor has its own set of certification criteria; none of them match, and there is no uniformity. Whatever Vendor A says you should know is what you need to know in order to achieve validation.

If you have ever taken a Novell exam, a Microsoft exam, a Cisco exam, and/or a CompTIA exam, you probably have been told to answer the questions on the exam the way the given vendor wants you to answer the questions.

Don’t worry if the answer is ridiculous; if you want to get certified, give the Novell answer, or the Microsoft answer, or the Cisco answer, or the CompTIA answer. For the same question, each vendor could potentially have different correct responses. This is maddening at best.

2. Certification’s Life Cycle Is Short!
Because IT certifications are vendor-centric, a vendor can revise, revamp, or completely redo a certification as often as it wants. Much is based on the life cycle of a given product, such as an operating system. If you want to feel like you are simply chasing your tail, keep up your certifications based on a vendor’s whim and whimsy for how long they feel a product’s life cycle is.

Here’s a good example from my experience. In 1995–1996, I earned the Microsoft MCSE for NT 3.51 through a lot of hard work. Not six months later, however, Microsoft changed the MCSE requirements for the MCSE in NT 4.0. The seven exams I took for 3.51 no longer had legs. I had to take six or seven more. So I did.

Well, guess what happened in 1999–2000? Windows 2000 came out, along with a whole new series of exams—which almost killed me. Now in less than 4 years I had taken close to 21 exams to earn 3 Microsoft certifications that I needed to teach the most up-to-date Microsoft classes. Several years later, Windows 2003 came out with two more upgrade exams, which so far I have not taken/passed because of disgust with the process. I will probably have to take them before long because the Longhorn roadmap "encourages" MCSEs to be at least 2003 to avoid taking all exams again.

Now a sane person would say that I did not have to be MCSE-2003 if I did not have to teach those classes. I have supported Windows Server 2003 since it was in beta without a MCSE-2003 and never had a problem.

I would agree until recently, when I was talking to an HR recruiter who told me that a company that was interested in me would not consider any of my experience unless I had the latest-and-greatest MCSE. Three earlier MCSEs and 15 years of field experience made no difference. If I did not have the MCSE 2003 they would look elsewhere.

Guess what? They looked elsewhere.

3. Certifications Are Not Real-World Oriented
Because certifications are vendor-oriented, they do not prepare you for the real world. Every vendor would have you believe that every enterprise environment is made up of only their platform or application. In today’s market nothing is farther from the truth. Every environment is integrated.

No environment is made up of just Microsoft, or UNIX, or Novell, or Linux. The real-world enterprise is made up of at least two platforms, and tens if not hundreds of applications from a host of vendors. The real world is a fully integrated environment. If you are focused on one vendor’s platform/application, could you in practice manage a real-world enterprise comprised of numerous platforms, or do you have to outsource what you don’t know—thereby giving up ownership to someone else?

If you earn the MCSE from Microsoft, are you qualified to administer a Lotus Notes environment or a Cisco environment? If you are a certified Linux admin, are you qualified to manage a Windows 2003 environment running SQL 2005?

4. Certifications Have Been Devalued
This next problem is no secret. IT certifications have been devalued since their heyday in the mid- to late 1990s. The reasons for the devaluation could be the basis for a book. Some of the major reasons why many in the industry do not respect IT certs are the following:

  • Brain dumps let you get all the questions on a live exam. You can then pass the exam without knowing the technology.
  • Paper certs: those who have used brain dumps or so-called study guides that many sites sell to prep a person for the live test questions. People earn the certification without training and without experience, and advertise themselves as experts. This makes everyone look bad and devalues the certification process.
  • Testing issues are legendary. There are some vendors, such as Microsoft and Cisco, which are trying to improve the value of the testing experience by incorporating simulations. But in my opinion it is a band-aid. Knowledge-based cognitive exams are awful. Many are poorly written, poorly edited, not real-world oriented, and not in tune with the needs of the industry.
  • It is difficult to truly accept whether candidates know their stuff based on these exams. If you pay enough, a trained chimp could pass many of these exams.
  • Practicums, which in my opinion are the best testing methodology currently available, are not widely used. When a practicum is done right, knowledge and experience are absolutely needed. Brain dumps are useless. What matters is skill.
  • In short, testing has been inconsistent and all over the map devaluing certification.

5. No Oversight Body
Because certifications are vendor-centric, no one is overseeing the whole process.

6. Degree vs. Certification vs. Experience
There is still tension in the market over the value/need for a degree versus the need for a certification versus the need for experience. The battle rages on with absolutely no resolution.

Because certifications have been devalued, what is really needed when you want to apply for a job in IT? A degree? If so, which degree covering which disciplines?

Many universities offer the CIS or MIS degree. But when it comes to running an enterprise environment, don’t you need to know a bit more than what is offered in the CIS or MIS programs to administer a multi-platform/application environment?

Nevertheless, most advertisements require a degree. What about the folks like me who came up when the CIS or MIS were not even on the radar? How many Master’s degrees does a person need to get a job? Academics look down on certifications, yet they require numerous certifications when they are hiring staff to support their infrastructures.

I have several former students who have Master’s-level degrees and no certifications. They ask me which certs to get so that they can get a good job; they cannot find one with just an MIS.

So how do we assess a person’s skills and experience? Maybe there should be a balance between certifications, education, and experience. What about the person who has no degree, has no certs, but has 20 years’ experience and could write most of the books except s/he is too busy running the enterprise 24/7?

The answer is that the degree wins in 2007/08, which puts those with certifications and/or experience at a distinct disadvantage.

7. HR People Are Not In Touch with the Real World
HR people, including headhunters/recruiters, give no guidance and do nothing to help the situation in IT. In fact, most just muddy the waters by asking for a laundry list of certifications that are completely other-worldly.

I have met no one who meets a majority of the requirements that most HR folks list on IT jobs.

  • Some want no part of certifications.
  • Some "demand" the most up-to-date certifications.
  • Others want it all.
This leads to complete confusion when planning a course of action if someone wants to enter IT through the certification path. If I were coming into IT now and looked at some of the unrealistic certification criteria required for entry-level jobs, I would find another way to make a living. It is discouraging.

8. Budget Cuts
Cuts have killed training dollars—and consequently the certification market—because it costs money to get certified. So unless you bypass the training with brain dumps, you will not entertain certification as a viable path because training is not available.

Additionally most employers will not train their folks toward certification because of the fear of losing their investment. When people get certified, they start looking for greener pastures. Employers are gun-shy, especially in times of budget cuts.

9. Glut of Certified People
This one should probably be higher in the list. But it is a major reason for the waning interest in certification. There are just too many certified IT folks—those that know what they are doing and the paper certs who have killed the market.
Simple supply and demand. When the supply goes up, the demand goes down. There has to be a way to weed out those who have killed the market.

If the supply were not as high, the demand and wages would improve.

10. No One Knows Which Certs Matter
No one really knows which certs you need to get a job, to get a foot in the door, and to prove that you know your stuff, while not scaring people off.

In short:
  • No one knows how many certs you need.
  • No one knows which certs have value today.
Until those two points are addressed, people get fed up and move onto to another path. If a guru could tell you to get this cert and you will get a good job, you would be all over it. But those days are over for many of the reasons previously mentioned. Will one cert do it for you or do you have to have 10 or 20?

The best advice I can give you at this point is to assess what the environments are using in your geographical area and what the demand is. Then look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself whether that is what you want to do. If you have passion for it, get the needed certs.

So we have problems. Significant problems. I would not give up on certification. Next, I will outline my solution to the problems with IT Certification: A New Program that revisits what now exists but presents it in a new package. It does not address all the problems, but the majority of them are put in their place, and I don’t have to tear the building down to renovate the kitchen.

Stay tuned.

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