This is a post dedicated to people that have just started their CCIE studies. When I first started I wasn’t used to the type of diagrams used in the CCIE workbooks. Even though I have several years of experience and have used VLANs for a long time it was a bit confusing at first. Here are some advice for you to get started.

We need to find out how the devices are connected. We are also interested in what interfaces that are trunking. I do it like this, I open notepad and type:
sh cdp nei
sh int trunk

There should be an newline at the end. I then paste this into all the devices. This is faster than typing manually. Producing the layer 2 topology should not take more than roughly 5 minutes.

I can now see what devices are connected and what interfaces that are trunks. I draw four squares and type the switch names inside of them. I then draw the lines connecting them and type the interface number on them. I then draw circles for the routers that are connected to the switches. If a router has multiple connections I draw them as two routers instead of multiple lines from the same router.

This diagram is very important if we need to do traffic engineering at layer two. From what I have heard from the lab the diagrams are very good and the L2 diagram might be the only one that you want to draw.

I then look at the logical topology and identify all the VLANs. Some VLANs are local to the switch and some VLANs connect to routers and other switches. I make a list with the routers and their local port and to what port they connect to in the switch and what VLAN that should be used.

Then I use notepad again and from my list I look at what interfaces should be assigned to which VLANs and type

conf t
int f0/1
swi mo acc
swi acc vl 146

I do this for all interfaces and for all switches and then paste the config in the switches.

How do I know what VLANs need to be created. Well, the VLANs that have interfaces assigned in the local switch is a no brainer. We definately need them. Then you have to look at the transit path if you have a VLAN that spans several switches. Will this switch be in the transit path? If yes, then add the VLAN. If not, then don’t add it. You could just add all VLANs everywhere but that is overconfiguration and could lead to points missed even though I don’t think it is likely that they would deduct points for this.

I have scanned a picture from my notepad that I use when doing labs. You can see it below.

Vol1 diagramming and assigning VLANs
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5 thoughts on “Vol1 diagramming and assigning VLANs

  • September 24, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Nice. In addition to that I also draw circles for etherchannels around links and put R and T on top of routed and trunk links.

    • September 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Not bad, doing more mini labs recently. But I definitely need to find time for vol 2 labs.

  • September 27, 2011 at 3:03 am

    I am having a very hard time with consistent study. I may go a week of hard studying and get caught up in day to day life so I find myself going over the same information constantly. I did a couple labs about a month ago and I know if I booked the lab again I would probably find myself doing the same material. Any suggestions? I find it hard to be very consistent, I have been on the layer 2 technologies and Frame Relay for quite some time.

    • September 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      My recommendation is to pace yourself. Many people study like you do, hardcore one week and then slack the other. Studying 2 hours per day 5 days a week is more effecient than studying 4 hours per day 5 days a week and only every other week. In the first case your retention will be better since your studies are better paced. Try to find some time every day, just half an hour can make a difference.

      My current plan is to do one full Vol2 lab per week and 3 or 4 days with Vol1 labs. If you keep notes in your notebook you should be able to see what labs you have already done and what the difficulties with them were. If you have any further questions just ask here.


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