If the world doesn't explode tomorrow..I'm gonna go for my Network+ Certification

It's finally here! School's on winter break. Freedom from academics, for a whole month. What am I gonna do with all this free time I now have? Watch TV, play video games, study Mayan calendars?  I know! I'll study even more for my CompTIA Network+ Exam next month.

 After my Business and Social Media class ended last Thursday I purchased a Network+ exam voucher from my instructor +Anthony Stanislawski . He offers them to current and former students who have taken his ITnet 101 Network+ course, and I made sure I picked one up. Broke and student, are a synonymous status for me right now, and whilst the $125 price tag hurts my already deflated pockets, not getting the discounted voucher and forking out $253 to take the test eventually would not be the smartest of fiscal decisions. That's when I realized, I have a whole month off, and there's no better time to try to get certified than now. All the material is fresh from class and I have time to memorize all the detailed stuff. After signing up at Pearson Vue I checked their available dates and it turned out there was only one available next month in January! That's out of 5 testing sites too, so I lucked out there.

As a side note the correct test to take for those with vouchers is JK0-019. The JK0-019 is the same as the N10-055. The CompTIA Network+ will be the first major certification step towards my IT career. So, assuming the world doesn't explode tomorrow, I'll be here brushing over my CBTnuggets and TestOut material.


Taking the TestOut Network Pro Exam and Certification

I recently took the TestOut Network Pro Exam for my Network+ class at MATC and I decided to post a quick video about the experience. The TestOut Network Pro exam actually leads to getting the Network Pro Certification as well.

**UPDATE 4/2/2013**
As of this date there is a compatibility problem with the Chrome browser and TestOut. I highly recommend NOT using Chrome when taking the test. That was the reason for the crashes.

Information about the exam and certification can also be found HERE.


Internet... in Outer Space. A DTN story.

One technology that has peaked my interest lately is a form of "intergalactic" internet protocol called Disruption Tolerant Networking. I've had a chance to do some research on it and for the life of me I cannot understand why it fascinates me....but it does. Disruption/Delay Tolerant Networking, or DTN for short, is an answer to the shortcomings of using TCP/IP in space.

In short, TCP/IP protocols do not function well in the vastness of an interplanetary network. Why? Because TCP/IP works well on a terrestrial based network where the distances are relativity short (if one can imagine a packet from the US to China as being short) and destinations between nodes are typically at a fixed position. Packets travel down a wire (or through the air and eventually down a wire) to their destination. Acknowledgments are are made, connections open, and data transfers. It's this session connection that makes the world go round. So what does this have to do with DTN? Well in outer space destinations are not at a fixed locations. Satellites travel around moons or planets which in turn revolve around the sun. There are plenty of time where these devices cannot be reached due to planetary blackouts. Trying to establish a 3 way handshake when all devices are moving throughout space is very difficult and prone to disruption and delay. Because of the vastness of space, such connections would be impossible to maintain. Travel time alone to mars would require that satellites be aligned at a specific moment to communicate. This is just not practical when dealing with the distances we have to work with in space. That's where DTN routing protocols operate at a "store and forward  method. Meaning meaning data can be sent to an interplanetary satellite. That satellite would send a confirmation back to it's source notifying of message received  Then it would store the data until it could transmit the data to the next "hop". When the next hop received the data, it too would send confirmation back to its sender and it would store and forward the data on when the next available hop along the path to it's destination was available. This process would continue until the data eventually reached it's destination. This method of delivery is extremely fault tolerant to the extreme time that transmission takes in outer space, and the ever changing position of these transmission satellites.

I won't (and probably couldn't) get into all of the details that DTN has to offer, but that is a brief summary of how it works and why it works better in outer space? Does this mean we will be buying gifts from amazon from Mars anytime soon? Probably not, but it does open up a lot more possibilities about data transfer in space. The internet doesn't have to stay on planet Earth. It can stretch as far as we are able to go, and with the use of Disruption/Delay Tolerant Networking we may be able to take it farther than that.

If you'd like to know more (or still have no clue about what kind of Star Trek tech I'm talking about) check out this video on how it works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWtRTzXJvtI