The reference fallacy

Short version: Based on my experience, large majority of good jobs in Canada and America are fulfilled based on merit – your qualifications, experience and soft-skills. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you won’t get a job until you get to know someone inside a big company. Focus on your merit instead; do certifications, improve your communications skills, achieve more, work hard and work smart!


Being blessed with the opportunity to mentor hundreds of individuals over the last decade or so, I am always learning about real and perceived obstacles to employment or advancement faced by many individuals.

One of the most consistent perceived obstacle is the false belief that a reference from an inside a large organization is required to get a good job. One of the key sources of this false belief are cultures from which many of my mentees are from, particularly India, Pakistan and other Asian countries. I am a Pakistani-Canadian, and I have seen this in practice myself. It’s certainly true that many people in these countries get jobs based on nepotism, reference, favoritism and bribery. It’s an unfortunate fact.

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IP/Ethernet to Fibre Channel Translation Guide (Including Brocade FOS vs Cisco NX-OS)

Being very familiar with NX-OS based Fibre Channel (FC) Fabrics, when I was presented with a Brocade (now Broadcom) FC fabric, first thing I googled was “Cisco to Brocade FC translation” and a few other variants. My searches mostly came up empty. That’s why I decided to create my own “translation” table.






This table will definitely help me in being able to learn about and manage Brocade FC fabric.

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Free Brocade Fibre Channel Training

Continuing on with a series of free and/or cost effective training options, here is yet again another blog post about free training! – this time courtesy of Brocade (aka Broadcom).


Now this training would be quite job specific and/or organization specific. If you are already working in an environment where Brocade fibre channel infrastructure exists, want to learn about Fibre Channel technology in general, or have an interview coming up where you need to brush up on your fibre channel skills, this is a great FREE resource to get you up to speed.

How can you get started?

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Free CISSP Course on

UPDATE: Check out my more recent blog post on how to achieve your CISSP certification

I feel like I have been on a roll with blogs relating to free or very cost effective training options!

Latest in the series is a great FREE course by Kelly Handerhan on


This course is really meant as an introductory course to CISSP. In it, you will gain about 20-30% of the knowledge you need to pass the CISSP exam. You will need to supplement this course with other training material if you plan attain the CISSP certification…

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Great quality and FREE ACI Training!

I just came across this great quality AND FREE Cisco ACI Training by LumosCloud!


Just about 15 months ago, I paid good money for the first version of their training. This newer version, available for free at the link above, seems to be just as great in quality and super comprehensive too.

Of course, Cisco has some pretty great ACI labs also available for free on dCloud (which I have mentioned a couple of times before). With the above combination, you can learn Cisco ACI in pretty great depth.

I am still trying to figure out what the catch is with the Lumos’s free training. Until then, enjoy! 😉

Packet capture on NX-OS

NX-OS has had the great Ethanalyzer feature since very early versions. It allows you to perform limited packet captures directly on your NX-OS based switch!


It is however a pain to use practically and has lots of limitations. One of the biggest limitations is that it can only capture traffic hitting the CPU – so you are limited to control plane and management plane traffic only. That however is key to solving many problems that are often associated with (or blamed on) the network.

Here is an example that captures, displays and filters ARP packets processed through the switch these commands are being performed on.

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