Started with the Vol1 QoS section yesterday. It is quite massive, around 80 labs so while take some time to do them all. In the beginning it is mostly legacy stuff but still the newwer stuff is based on this so it never hurts to know the old way of doing things. It also gives us some perspective on history.
I think my plan while doing QoS will be to do as many QoS labs I can and leave one day for doing a Vol3 lab. That way I will still get some practice on the core technologies.
- You start correcting other peoples configs for overconfiguring
- Your fiancee has watched an entire season of desperate housewives in a week
- You’d rather do a quick lab in Dynamips than watch TV
- You would rather spend a week in Milton Keynes than in Rome
- You can setup an entire topology with config in Notepad from scratch
- You know that metric to ASBR DOES matter for OSPF E2 routes
- You don’t envision yourself as the router, you ARE the router
- You can look at a network diagram and identify routing loops on the fly
- You enjoy doing the devilish Vol4 labs that mastermind Petr Lapukhov created and get beat up by it
- You get upset when people confuse the RD and RT values in MPLS VPNs
Another milestone has been reached. I’ve now studied for a total of 600 hours for the CCIE. My current focus for now is going to be QoS. When I’m done with QoS I will take a mock lab at INE to see where I am at. I feel that my core is pretty good by now but there are still a lot of areas that needs more study. I’m soon starting my new job and I am going to check if I can attend a bootcamp. If I can I will probably go to Narbiks bootcamp in the UK in November. I’m also thinking about the best way to revise studies through notes. As you know earlier I have made flash cards but these take a ton of time to produce. I will do a post on my ideas in a couple of days.
Did some of these TS labs this week. They are very challenging but they are designed by Petr Lapukhov so they should be… I found these to be more difficult than the ASET TS labs. From what I’ve heard from Petr these labs are not specifically designed to help you do the TS at the lab but more of a learning tool to become very proficient in TS. If you can solve these tasks my guess is that the TS at the lab should not be that difficult except that the lab topology is much larger.
While doing one of the tasks I learned a new cool command from the solution guide, debug ip packet detail dump. The dump at the end is a hidden command and will show the contents of the packet. This can be useful when troubleshooting authentication if the key is in plain text. Newer versions of IOS seem to show the key in log messages but it could still be handy. This is how we use it.
As you can see, I do all of my labs with PuTTY to be comfortable with it on the exam.
For anyone that has watched Grease that line should be familiar. I have always loved training and always been a fit guy but I just don’t have the time for training that I used to. However I am starting to try to get back into shape by running and going to the gym. I think this is important for the lab.
There is also another meaning with this post and it is that I am going to study QoS which is a big part of the CCIE. If I find interesting things during those studies I might do some posts on the queues on 3560 and such. The program I am following has 4 weeks of QoS studies. I am a bit afraid that I won’t do any other labs during that time so I might mix it up with a Vol3 lab per week to keep the core topics fresh.
Did another TS lab yesterday. This one was a bit more challenging than the first. If I grade myself (no auto grading) I would have 6 or 7 out of 10 correct which is not too far away from the 80% passing score. I did not expect to be an expert at TS yet but this shows that I am on the right path. One thing that is annoying is that you don’t know the initial configurations and there is no solutions guide. You only get the final configurations that includes the correct configuration.
The next time I do one of these I think I will do a show run on all routers and download the config and then download final configs and do a diff to see what is different.
During these labs I have noticed that the wording is very important. Look at the following example
.6 TROUBLE TICKET 6
R10 and R11 are not seeing routes for the R21-R28 network or for the VPN “Foo” host 126.96.36.199. Determine the cause and correct the issue.
When I did the lab I interpreted this as that networks behind routers R21 to R28 are not reachable. However I think that what they really mean is that the link connecting R21 to R28 (running RIP) is not reachable in the domain. Depending on how you read the task you will get a very different result and do a lot of unnecessary steps.
I like that the topology is large since that is what we can expect at the lab. The user experience with topology diagram and connecting to routers seems to be similar to the real thing if we compare to the lab exam demo.
I might try some of the configuration labs later but for now I am mainly focusing on INE material.
If you work for a Cisco partner you have access to some perks like the PEC (Partner Education Central). What not many people know is that you also have access to labs via the PEC, if you are studying for the CCIE you want to check out the ASET (Advanced SE Training) labs that are made for the CCIE lab v4.
Earlier you had to pass the CCIE written as a prerequisite for access to the labs but since May 1st this is no longer so. I just completed a TS lab since I am focusing on TS this week. From what I’ve heard the lab I just took is very similar to the real thing. You have 2 hours to complete it and the topology is around 30 routers big. For many people when they do the TS at the lab it’s a shock because they are not used to topologies of that size. Here you will get used to that kind of topology. The devices are running IOU but perform much better than the crap floating around on the Internet.
Unfortunately you cannot get grading any longer, you will have to grade yourself. If you want to do real mock labs you can buy them from Cisco360 program. There are currently 2 TS labs and a bunch of configuration labs.
If you are a Cisco partner I highly recommend you to check this out.
I use mostly rack rentals when doing labs but INE has a bootcamp right now so they are fully booked for 2 weeks ahead. I decied to run some Vol3 labs on Dynamips and it turned out to work fine. There might be some layer 2 stuff you can’t do but other than that most stuff seems to work. I used the same script as I use to convert Vol1 configs and it also works for Vol3. So if you want to run Vol3 labs I just wanted you to know that it is possible to do so and you don’t need anything more than my Vol1 script to do it.
Just did this lab earlier today and wanted to post some stuff that might help people. I’ve posted earlier on how to quickly find out IP-addresses and masks with different commands. I played around a little more today and this is another one that works nicely.
And then we have an OSPF command that I don’t use often enough.
This commands shows the cost to reach the ABRs/ASBRs. This cost can be calculated manually but this way is faster for sure.
Found out an interesting thing while doing a Vol3 lab. We all know that EIGRP will not form an adjacency over a non common subnet unless special circumstances. What about OSPF? I had a lab task where I need to form an adjacency over an ip unnumbered link. To my surprise this works just fine. If you debug you will get a message like this:
*Mar 1 00:15:14.155: OSPF: Rcv pkt from 188.8.131.52, FastEthernet0/0, area 0.0.0.0 : src not on the same network
However the database is correct and routes are installed. If you want to try this yourself use two routers with a serial link between them and then do ip unnumbered from an Ethernet interface and enable OSPF as usual. Watch what happens. Does anyone have a good description of this behavior? I tried looking in the RFC but all I could find is this:
“All routers connected to a common network must agree on certain
parameters (Network mask, HelloInterval and RouterDeadInterval).
These parameters are included in Hello packets, so that differences
can inhibit the forming of neighbor relationships.”
“An adjacency is bound to the network that the two routers have
in common. If two routers have multiple networks in common,
they may have multiple adjacencies between them.”