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Interview with Top Contributor - Narayan Subramanian

Narayan Subramanian

Narayan Subramanian

Narayan Subramanian, a network designer in India, considers Cisco Support Community unique because it focuses on real-life issues. "On the Community, you can find answers that aren't in any books," he says.



Q: How did you get involved in the networking industry?

A: I've always been fascinated by the Internet world. After I earned a bachelor's degree in engineering, I went to work for NCR, as a customer support engineer, which involved networking issues. Four years ago I joined MphasiS as an engineer in the Network Operations Center. I've since been promoted to network consulting and design. I'm a CCNP and am working towards achieving my CCIE in Routing and Switching. I'm also interested in security.

Q:Tell us a little about your company.

A: MphasiS provide infrastructure technology outsourcing, applications services outsourcing, and business process outsourcing services. Our clients are Global 1000 companies around the world. EDS acquired MphasiS in 2006, which increased our service portfolio and offerings.


What challenges influenced you to use the Cisco Support Community?

A: I joined MphasiS just as we were beginning to migrate to an MPLS network. We were encountering many issues. One of my friends recommended the Cisco Support Community as a way to get answers more quickly than I would with Cisco TAC, in some cases. I remember that my first question involved redistribution of EIGRP [Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol] into BGP [Border Gateway Protocol]. I got a response immediately and was able to solve the problem. This inspired me to participate actively in NetPro.

Q: other tools do you use to get answers to your networking questions?

A: Typically I first look on Cisco Connection Online. If I don't see an answer there, I'll search the Cisco Support Community for answers. If the answer isn't already on there, I'll post a question.

Q: Are you a member of other communities?

A: I participate in But that forum focuses on certification, where the community focuses on solutions to real-life problems. That's why it stands out as a practical tool.

Q: What is the most useful or inspiring conversation you have found on the Support Community to date?

A: I'd say it was a conversation about OSPF [Open Shortest Path First] routing protocol. Someone asked how OSPF calculates a router ID when multiple OSPF processors are running simultaneously. It was a very good question and several of us participated. Answers to this type of question are typically not available in books.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment to date in your networking career?

A: A. I'd say it was migrating my company's legacy network to an MPLS-based network with the minimum possible downtime.

Q: What was the toughest issue you've resolved on Cisco Support Community?

A: Someone posted a question related to mutual redistribution between the BGP and OSPF protocols. Although OSPF had a higher administrative distance, it was winning over BGP to learn the routes. I helped the member understand why this was happening.


Q.What is your overall impression of the Cisco Support Community?

A: The Community is a very valuable tool for people to share their practical experiences. The search feature is good, and I follow some of the Ask the Expert forums, including a recent one on Unified Communications.

Q. How often do you come to the Cisco Support Community?

A:A. I visit most days, and sometimes multiple times a day.

Q. Do you have any suggestions for possible changes or modifications to the site?

A: I would like to see the server speed improved. Also, many more people would participate if they were only aware of it. I'd like to see Cisco promote the Support Community more.

Q. Do you have a message for your fellow Cisco Support Community users?

A: My message is, keep up the good work! Also, kindly show your appreciation to the people who answer your questions by rating the responses.


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