Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Francine Richards

John Blakley is the senior network security engineer for a beverage sales, marketing, and distributing company. He says, “I like puzzles, and solving someone’s problem in the forums is like doing a puzzle!”

How did your networking career evolve?

 I started out in phone support, and became a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) in 1998. My first networking job involved setting up VPNs for clients. In 2001, I decided to change my specialty from Microsoft to Cisco. At that time people were not very familiar with Cisco, and I realized I had an opportunity to develop expertise with a growing brand. When I received my CCNA in 2003, doors started opening up. I went to work for a nationwide roofing distributor, where I managed all Cisco equipment and earned my CCSP at the same time. My next move was to become the director of IT for a data center that offered managed services—everything from server management to VoIP.

What do you do now?

I joined Glazer’s in 2008 and am currently the senior network security engineer. My primary responsibilities include firewall management and forensics. From time to time I still help out with routing, switching, and wireless. While at Glazer’s I received my B.S. in Computer and Digital Forensics and my CISSP designation.

How did you get involved with Cisco Support Community?

The community came up in search results when I was researching a routing issue we ran into back in 2008. I followed the forums for a while and saw that I could help people who had issues similar to ones I had encountered and solved. At the time, I was studying for my CCNP and I realized that answering questions would help solidify my knowledge. If I saw an interesting question, I’d try to recreate the issue in a lab to come up with a solution. These interactions made participating in the community addictive! I checked the forums from my phone, before and after work, and during lunch.

Where do you spend your time in the community?

I’m most active in the WAN, LAN, Security, and Firewalls communities. Sometimes I also peek into the Wireless and EEM (Embedded Event Manager) communities.

You’re very generous with your time. Why do you do it?

First, I like puzzles, and solving someone’s problem in the forums is like doing a puzzle! I use GNS3 Labs to replicate the user’s problem. Finding a solution that helps someone is personally satisfying. It’s always a pleasant surprise when I log in to discover someone has rated an answer I gave a year or two earlier. Second, getting exposed to new things helps me expand my knowledge. And finally, I like being part of a community. I’ve met a lot of great people on the forums, and it amazes me how much knowledge and experience other members have.

Any memorable experiences?

Once I worked with another community member to help someone with an EIGRP issue. It ended up being a 3-page conversation. Eventually I wrote a Python script to solve the problem, which had to do with monitoring peering relationships.

Any suggestions to fellow members to make the community even better?

Yes, please rate responses that help you. Those of us who answer volunteer our time, often during lunch or at home before or after work. Your rating acknowledges the time we’ve spent. It also helps the next person who may be experiencing the same issue because they can quickly see which solution worked. 

Community Member

Great article, many thanks

Giuseppe Larosa
Hall of Fame Master Hall of Fame Master
Hall of Fame Master

Hello John,

it has been very nice to read your VIP interview as you deserve it, for your effort in CSC forums in the last years, and my best compliments for your career in ICT.

You are one of the few that started making some questions and then later you became very active in helping other people.

I miss CSC and I'm thinking of attempting to return active next year if my job allows it.

Best Regards




    I have a query --   There is two office network running, both are using ospf and they are update their routing table accordingly . If I put a L3 device between them which is support only static routing

then is there any possibility of  communication  between these two office? .If yes then what to do? 

Community Member

John I have an issue that I have had for years.

Can you tell me why no one has designed a wireless hand set for models like<SPA525G> basically a regular style desk phone? All of the companies always say "Yes we do" but they are all taking about a wireless hand set like you would have at home,with buttons and the ability to dial out.

The house hold style of hand set can't be held on your shoulder and still use both hands.

It has been a very frustrating issue for a long time. If there was no curly Q wire from the hand set to the desk phone life would be a lot better, no spilt coffee, catching on all of the paper work ETC,  you would be able to get up from your seat to reach something across  the office all while still taking.

Is this something your company would look into.

There maybe financial benefit as well<battery pack, blue tooth module, happy customer>lol

Community Member

I need help  today  for hsrp on a ASR 9006  XR  and a ASR 920 XE   can not get them to see each other  so they are both ACTIVE any help would be  appriciated

Islam Khattab

Thank your for your simple reviews.

Islam Khattab

Getting Started

Find answers to your questions by entering keywords or phrases in the Search bar above. New here? Use these resources to familiarize yourself with the community:

Recognize Your Peers
Quick Links