Hello. After someone earns their CCNA (or CCNP now that you don't have to go through CCNA) and gets hired on as a systems administrator, what should they check for in a Cisco switch and router environment? What do real-world switch/router administrators do when they look at an already-installed/configured switch at the new job? I can only assume that not every new job will require a new switch/router install, and that person will need to "keep the ball rolling" and keep network infrastructure operations running smoothly from the last administrator who was there. Thanks.
New Router/Switch Administrator - Real World
What do real-world switch/router administrators do when they look at an already-installed/configured switch at the new job?
Find what the expectations are for your job role first. Not necessarily just the job description but what is actually expected in terms of who you're supporting and is there a service level you're trying to maintain.
You need to understand the topology, protocols and devices on your network. Without this understanding, the configurations on each router and switch make no sense. You do not know what is allowed on your network and what is not. Context is everything. For example, without these basic networking facts, ACLS, route-maps will mean very little to you.
Also, If you do not know the equipment models and limitation of the devices you're supporting, For example, you may not know there's a difference between a 3750 and a 3570-x and that the replacement of one with the other may not do what you need.
When working with routers and switches, you also need to know what method you will be using to access those devices to verify, troubleshoot and if necessary to change the configuration. For example though, I may be old school and say "console cable all the way." Your company may say, nope...Cisco DNA Center. You've got to know your tools too.
All these things are important if you're not the designer or implementation guy for the network you serve.