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Interview with Top NetPros - Paresh Khatri
pkhatri - Paresh Khatri, Australia
Paresh Khatri is a network solutions specialist with Alcatel
Australia. "NetPro is a very impressive tool, and the fact that
it's a global meeting place makes it all the more attractive," he
Q. How long have you been in the networking industry and
why did you get involved in it?
A. I studied in Brisbane, Australia and
received Bachelor of Engineering degrees in electronic systems and
information technology. My first job was in my home country, Fiji,
which is an island nation north of New Zealand. I worked for the
Internet services division of the incumbent service provider,
Telecom Fiji Limited, for more than two years. After that I was
hired as the IT manager for Inland Revenue and Customs, a Fiji
government agency. This job made me realize that I am much more
interested in networking than management and systems work. I moved
to Australia and began working for AAPT Limited, the third-largest
telecommunications carrier in the country. When AAPT decided to
outsource networking engineering and operations to Alcatel, I began
working with Alcatel. Now I am part of the Alcatel team that
designs new data services for AAPT, which has a nationwide
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network.
Q. What do you consider the greatest accomplishment in
your networking career?
A. Without a doubt, it was implementing an MPLS
VPN for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. One reason was the size
of the project: 1200 sites. But the bigger challenge was planning
the migration to have the least possible impact on the customer,
which included developing a proper rollback strategy if things
didn't go as planned. One accomplishment was migrating 500 sites in
a single night, which took a lot of planning.
Q. How did you hear about NetPro?
A. I stumbled onto a link to NetPro from
Cisco.com in 2004. I had begun studying for my CCIE® in routing and
switching and thought I had discovered an error in some Cisco
documentation. NetPro seemed like it would be a good place to put
in a query. Someone at Cisco responded to me immediately, and
within a week of my posting, the error was fixed. That was a very
favorable first impression of NetPro.
Q. What is the value for you in subscribing to
A. NetPro has quite a mix of peopleCisco
employees as well as users around the world. It is valuable to hear
about real-life implementation experiences to supplement Cisco's
perspective. Recently I have been using NetPro to learn about the
approaches to MPLS traffic engineering taken by global users.
NetPro has also helped me study for the CCIE exam, which covers
certain topics that I don't deal with day to day, such as
multicast. Participating in forums by browsing through
questions-and even answering some of them-keeps my knowledge
Q. How do you use NetPro to find solutions to everyday
A. Typically I start with Cisco.com and search
by keywords to find a relevant application note. If I'm not
successful there, I use the NetPro search function to see
discussions on the topic. That is generally effective. But if I
don't receive any answers, I'll put up a question. For example,
recently I wanted to know the level at which Cisco had implemented
some multicast protocols. I couldn't find the answer on Cisco.com,
so I posted the question on NetPro. Someone from Cisco responded
within a day. I also like "Ask the Expert", which is a conversation
that's moderated by a Cisco engineer. The last one I attended was
on MPLS VPN.
Q. What is the toughest issue that NetPro helped you
A. When I was first learning Enhanced Interior
Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), I was confused about how the
feasible distance was computed after EIGRP ran a local computation.
EIGRP is not an open protocol, which makes it more difficult to
find low-level information. On NetPro, I had my questions answered
right away by a Cisco engineer who is intimately involved with
Q. What is your overall impression of
A. NetPro is a very impressive tool. The fact
that it's a global meeting place makes it all the more attractive.
It's an effective way to get your questions answered quickly
because it attracts participants from around the world.
Q. How often do you come to NetPro?
A. I'm pretty much there all day!
Q. Do you have any suggestions for possible changes or
modifications to the site?
A. It would be helpful if someone from Cisco
would review the forum topics and consolidate a few. If a topic
receives only one or two posts a week, maybe it could be combined
with another topic. I would also like to see a forum for questions
Q. Do you have a message for your fellow NetPro
A. If people would provide as much information
as possible when posting queries, including snippets of
configuration files, it would help them as well as us by reducing
the back-and-forth exchange. Never include public IP addresses and
passwords in the configs! I would also like to encourage NetPro
users to rate the posts, both to acknowledge the efforts of people
who give their time and to make it easier for other users to find
the most useful content.