Can you be an effective engineer with just one laptop?

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by jdkirby, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. jdkirby

    jdkirby Guest

    Slightly off topic, but I'm dealing with the man and wondered:

    For all you engineers who work on large Cisco networks (including 24x7
    field calls and design) running Windows Active Directory, do you think
    you can be effective with only one lap top computer?

    We now report to the CFO, and although we've had dedicated laptop and
    desktop machines for 10 years, they don't see why we can't just get
    buy with a single laptop per engineer for all of our work. Maybe we
    can but it seems like it would be a real PITA. Do I need that second
    computer or am I just being a spoiled baby?

    jdkirby, Jun 1, 2007
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  2. jdkirby

    Trendkill Guest

    I have always used a laptop and a desktop. Allows me to VNC or do a
    few things at once. Plus allows me someplace to put monitoring or
    trial software and not worry about not being able to take my laptop
    home and stuff. Don't know why you would need 2 laptops though?
    Unless you want one for work, and one for home/travel/etc...which IMO
    is a waste...
    Trendkill, Jun 1, 2007
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  3. jdkirby

    jdkirby Guest

    Ok, I'm not insane yet. All we're asking for is one desktop and one
    laptop for exactly the reasons you state. But apparently I'm full of
    BS and "why do you need that when no one else does and what do you
    guys really do over there anyway?", etc. I'm hoping some response
    from here will help fuel my argument.
    jdkirby, Jun 1, 2007
  4. jdkirby

    Trendkill Guest

    You could probably get away with one shared linux/windows box or
    whatever that allows multiple client VNC at the same time. That way
    you can run what you need from local but avoid spending money for each
    engineer you have (if you have more than one :) ). The bottom line
    is a lot of times I need to run nightly bandwidth/utilization reports,
    and I can't do this if my laptop needs to go home with me.
    Additionally, and not the case with me since I work for a very large
    financial institution, but if you don't have money for sniffers and
    rely on ethereal on your laptop, you are out of pocket on email or
    whatever while your laptop is tied up with console connections, lab
    work, or sniffing.

    I don't think you necessarily will have a fool-proof argument, but you
    should have some kind of ground to argue on. Worst case, buy a refurb
    pentium 4 with a gig of ram, should do you fine. My laptop is where I
    need the computing power, the desktop is for crash and burn trial/
    monitoring apps, a place to VNC into and run some stuff from, etc.
    Just try to come to some solid ground between your basic requirements
    and cost analysis. No reason why you can't spend a few hundred bucks
    and meet them half way.
    Trendkill, Jun 1, 2007
  5. jdkirby

    MC Guest

    I architect solutions at my company. I use a dual monitor linux box
    running vmware for multiple windows VM,s. once VM for office work, one
    for network administration and other tools and one for testing and I
    have a standalone desktop running windows as a backup and other PC can
    run tasks on that take a while and leave it running. I also have another
    older desk top running linux for testing, running dedicated tools for on
    the spot troubleshooting. I have a linux laptop that has a vm windows as
    the one I have with me when not in the office and another laptop
    dedicated for just testing, packet captures, auditing.

    I only work as well as the resources available and do not mind not
    working at all when they are not available (Mostly depends on managers
    attitudes). Last time I only had one machine and it broke, I got to BS
    around the water cooler for an entire day without having to do anything,
    the idea of only having one machine per person for the top engineers did
    not last long after that.
    MC, Jun 1, 2007
  6. jdkirby

    Peter Guest

    To put it simply... Yes.

    I work in a Global Corporate and for over 25 years have supported
    Networking environments from IBM SNA down to 100bps Async channels,
    and have only ever had 1 PERSONAL machine (the last 12 years its been
    a laptop). However I have always had corporate SHARED Resources
    (Servers) also available to me. I guess it comes down to what type of
    environment that you need to operate in, and in my case there are
    almost zero parts of our network that are standalone, so where there
    is an isolated segment, 2 machines can be a great help. If 2 machines
    are needed in that case then 2 people can attend.........;-)

    I can see scenarios where 2 machines may allow for more efficient use
    of my time, however I guess thats weighed against the cost of support
    for 2 machines.
    Peter, Jun 1, 2007
  7. jdkirby

    T. Cam Guest

    I'm with MC: I have one laptop, but it has a virtual machine on it to
    aid network troubleshooting. For example, inside the VM, I test new
    dialup or IPSec connections, with default route pointed through the VPN
    or modem connection. But my productivity environment's routing table
    doesn't change.
    T. Cam, Jun 4, 2007
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