Archive for May, 2012


Tomorrow at 10am PST (-7 GMT) I will be hosting a vSeminar covering one of the new Troubleshooting Labs using our new 32 device racks. This session, as with all of my sessions, is being done hands on and should run about 5 to 7 hours. I will do a quick introduction covering our new racks, lab interface, and details for the Troubleshooting portion of the real CCIE Lab exam but the remaining time I will be doing a troubleshooting lab hands on. To sign up, use the link below and then go to before the session starts.

vSeminar Sign up

This vSeminar is the exact same style as my live bootcamps and that style is hands on. It’s far easier to learn troubleshooting and advanced networking in general if you can see someone experienced walk you through it so you can learn what their thought process is and how they go about the configuration, verification and troubleshooting. Then when you do it yourself it’s far easier since you’ve actually seen it done and not just heard it talked about during a PowerPoint presentation. ;-)

I’ll join in the live chat during the session so if you all have any curve balls you want to throw at me feel free. I love to be challenged ;-)

Here is the logical topology we will be using (click to download the PDF):

CCIE Troubleshooting Lab

Here is the physical topology:
INE R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Physical Topology

This session will be recorded and available free of charge as a sample for our new R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp.

Secondly in San Diego during Cisco Live we will be hosting four R&S CCIE Troubleshooting sessions for people to test out our new TS racks, labs and grading interface. If you would like to sign up and reserve a spot use the link below:

We will be giving out an iPad to the best score (fastest time as the tie breaker) from each session.

Lastly I have four weeks off between now and the end of the year that I’m not teaching a public or private CCIE bootcamp. I want to take that time and spend it doing 3 or 4 day technology focused bootcamps covering the following topics:

1. IPv6 (2 Days)
2. OSPFv2 and OSPFv3 (4 Days)
3. BGP (3 Days)
4. MPLS and MPLS VPNs (3 Days)
5. PfR/OER (3 Days)
6. IPv4 and IPv6 Multicast (3 Days)
7. QoS (3 Days)
8. IP Services (3 Days)

There sessions will not be a rerun of the current R&S ATC videos but will build on top of what is covered in them. So if there is enough interest for these, as there appears to be, I’ll run them live in Bellevue, WA this summer. Basically they will run six days a week for four weeks straight. The recordings will be available via download for purchase or streamed with an All Access Pass membership. I’ll post more details regarding these sessions next week.

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Tomorrow I will be doing a vseminar on how to prepare for the R&S CCIE lab and Friday I will be doing another vseminar going over our new R&S CCIE Troubleshooting labs and racks along with a full lab walk-through. The first vseminar will last 4 or 5 hours and the second will last roughly 5 or 6 hours. If you would like to sign up for a session you can use the link below:

vSeminar Sign Up

Before the official announcements goes out tomorrow, if anyone is attending Cisco Live in San Diego in two weeks and would like to attend our party on Monday night (11 June) at the Altitude Sky Lounge next to the convention center (free food, booze and drawings for iPads every 30 minutes) you can sign up using the link below:

INE Party Sign up

Additionally we have space reserved at the convention center and are hosting four CCIE Troubleshooting sessions (two Wednesday and two Thursday). These sessions will last 3 hours each and we will be offering free R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Labs using our new 32 device topology with automated grading. We are giving away an iPad per session to the person who completes the troubleshooting lab with the highest score and fastest time. These new labs will be made available to the public for purchase after Cisco Live. There is extremely limited seating for the troubleshooting sessions so sign up now if interested using the form below. For the INE party we have space for a few hundred people but hurry up and get there early before Brian McGahan eats all of the sushi! ;-)

INE Troubleshooting Sign up

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Here is the link to the PfR/OER videos as promised.

This recording was taken during my 10 Day R&S Bootcamp here in our new Bellevue, WA classroom so if you ever wondered what one of my bootcamps were like, now you’ll know ;-) I did keep the jokes down since it was streamed live and being recorded. Also here is a picture of the bootcamp from the last day. A couple students had early flights and missed the picture but the gentleman on my right was the Bing employee that I was referring to in a couple of the jokes. Hopefully he’ll now be infamous ;-)

If anyone has any other topics they would like to see covered let me know. I want to do a session next week on how to prepare for the R&S CCIE Lab but I could also do an additional technical topic. Let me know what you all would like to see: IOS QoS, Layer 2 QoS, ZFW, Multicast Troubleshooting, MPLS VPN Troubleshooting, etc. I could take a lab from the new R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp and walk through it. Here are a couple of the topologies we are using: Link

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**** Update ****

The videos for the session will be available tomorrow. A link will be included in the newsletter that’s going out tomorrow along with that I’ll be posting the link here. Additionally I want to do a three or five day online class covering PfR with labs as even though the seminar ran a full day I felt pressured to get a lot covered in that time plus I want to cover some of the new features that aren’t available in 12.4(15)T. Someone could easily see more points in PfR than say OSPF or MPLS in the CCIE lab today so it’s not a topic to take lightly. If there is enough interest I’ll run the class. We could price it around the $499 price range for the live version to include rack time for the week to do the labs. Let me know what the level of interest is and we could get it on the schedule.


It’s 8:30pm here in Bellevue, WA and I just finished the PfR/OER section of the 10 Day R&S CCIE Bootcamp that was broadcast live online. The session started at 9:30am this morning with a break for lunch and we ended up with roughly 10 hours of video. We had over 5000 unique IP addresses connect during the session and at the peak we were pushing nearly 80GB with our content provider. If you didn’t attend the live session, the recording will be available at the end of this week or first part of next week. I covered everything from basic PfR/OER configurations using static routes and BGP to very advanced PfR/OER configurations using PBR with GRE tunnels. This should be what everyone needs to help them prepare for the CCIE lab and fully understand PfR/OER.

I’ll post an update once the video is available. Additionally I’ll publish the diagrams, initial configurations and some lab scenarios with final configuration so you can follow along with the video.

Lastly I’ll ensure that this video is made available to our customers free of charge. Unlike some vendors who want to nickel and dime you to death by charging you for material that should be included in their main products, I’m going to ensure if you’re an INE customer you get access to the video free of charge.

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Don’t forget that on Monday, May 21, INE begins our 5-Day CCNA Wireless course.
If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time to do so here.

The course will be streamed live, online here.

Look forward to seeing everyone on Monday.



Continuing on in our series on CCD, today we’ll look at the 3rd video (the shortest) in that series (video #55) from our current 62-hour CCNP Voice v8 bootcamp.

  • CCD via SAF :: Overview (29m)
  • CCD via SAF :: CUCM Inter-Cluster Call Routing (1h 32m)
  • CCD via SAF :: CUCM Call Routing with PSTN Failover (29m)
  • CCD via SAF :: CUCM Call Routing during SRST Fallback (48m)
  • CCD via SAF :: CUCM to CME Call Routing (54m)
  • CCD via SAF :: Inter-Cluster RSVP via SIP Preconditions (21m)

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R&S CCIE Training Video Updates:
As most of you already know we’ve totally redone nearly all of the R&S CCIE training videos over the past year. I’ve removed for sale the vast major of what I will call for lack of a better term, sub-par, R&S CCIE videos that were done in the past by some of our former instructors. After being gone for nearly two years and coming back a year ago I reviewed the quality of the videos in question and the feedback from our customers and decided that these videos where not up to the traditional standard of INE’s products and services. We will continue to add more R&S CCIE videos in the future but they will only be done by Brian McGahan or myself.

R&S CCIE Workbook Updates:
We are in the process of testing out a few options to move the workbooks away from a traditional MS Word document format for authoring and PDF for the final product release. This legacy format makes it hard to make even the smallest change without becoming a major project. We are looking into switching over to a web based format (i.e. wikipedia style) that will allow for a faster updating process and better overall reader experience. We will still offer the PDFs for offline viewing and printing but the latest version will always be available through your members site account. By moving it to the web you will be able to optimize and customize your flow through the products. My personal goal is to move away from a separate product model (R&S Vol I, Vol II, ATC Videos, Mock Labs, etc, etc, etc) to a single all encompassing product (workbook and videos) by the end of 2012.

New Troubleshooting labs for Volume II are going to be in beta starting in June with final release by the end of June. We’re updating the configuration labs after the TS labs are released. The new Volume III will be released starting this week. I’m working on some changes to the Volume I workbook and hoping to start releasing them next month also.

R&S CCIE Rack Updates:
We’re currently using the Cisco 360 topology for my live bootcamps and will start to rent out the racks to customers in June when I’m not running a live bootcamp. The topology is identical using all ISRs (1841, 2811, 3825) and four 3560s but the material is 100% INE’s. Additionally the traditional INE R&S topology will be updated to remove the 2600XMs and consolidate the backbone routers starting in June. Not much will change other than the Serial interfaces on R1 and R2 from S0/0 and S0/1 to S0/0/0 and S0/1/0. All R&S rack rentals will also move to a 3 hour rental block as opposed to the standard 6 hour block. This will allow for more flexible starting and ending times.

R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp and Racks:
I’m running the first R&S CCIE Troubleshooting bootcamp the following week here in Bellevue. We have 14 dedicated Troubleshooting racks each using 27 1841s, 1 2811 (FRS) and 4 3550s. You will be able to rent these racks in June in 3 hour blocks and access the same lab material that is used in the Troubleshooting live bootcamp. We will also be beta testing instantaneous grading for them in late June/early July.

Lastly I would like to once again extend the invitation out to any former student who attended an INE bootcamp that wasn’t taught by me to reseat one of my bootcamps. Contact Jeremy Brown at or myself directly.

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Update: Congrats to Mark, our winner of 100 rack rental tokens for the first correct answer, that XR2 is missing a BGP router-id.  In regular IOS, a router-id is chosen based on the highest Loopback interface.  If there is no Loopback interface the highest IP address of all up/up interfaces is chosen.  In the case of IOS XR however, the router-id will not be chosen from a physical link.  It will only be chosen from the highest Loopback interface, or from the manual router-id command.  Per the Cisco documentation:

BGP Router Identifier

For BGP sessions between neighbors to be established, BGP must be assigned a router ID. The router ID is sent to BGP peers in the OPEN message when a BGP session is established.

BGP attempts to obtain a router ID in the following ways (in order of preference):

  • By means of the address configured using the bgp router-id command in router configuration mode.
  • By using the highest IPv4 address on a loopback interface in the system if the router is booted with saved loopback address configuration.
  • By using the primary IPv4 address of the first loopback address that gets configured if there are not any in the saved configuration.

If none of these methods for obtaining a router ID succeeds, BGP does not have a router ID and cannot establish any peering sessions with BGP neighbors. In such an instance, an error message is entered in the system log, and the show bgp summary command displays a router ID of

After BGP has obtained a router ID, it continues to use it even if a better router ID becomes available. This usage avoids unnecessary flapping for all BGP sessions. However, if the router ID currently in use becomes invalid (because the interface goes down or its configuration is changed), BGP selects a new router ID (using the rules described) and all established peering sessions are reset.

Since XR2 in this case does not have a Loopback configured, the BGP process cannot initialize.  The kicker with this problem is that the documentation states that when this problem occurs you should see that “an error message is entered in the system log”, however in this case a Syslog was not generated about the error.  At least this is the last time this problem will bite me ;)


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CCIE SPv3 Rack Rentals – which include IOS XR – are now out of beta and available for normal scheduling via the INE Members’ Site. The rack topology is based on our CCIE Service Provider Version 3.0 Lab Workbook and the CCIE Service Provider Version 3.0 Advanced Technologies Class.

Currently each session costs 20 tokens, and each session is 3 hours long. If you purchase tokens in bulk this basically means that SPv3 rack time is around $3 per hour. Token based sessions start on Monday May 7th. People who booked beta sessions before this time (i.e. through Sunday) will still maintain their free sessions. Anyone who booked a beta session on Monday May 7th or later has had your session removed. You can of course add them back through the scheduler, but the sessions are no longer free to book after the end of this weekend.

A brief video on how to use the new scheduling system and SPv3 Rack Rentals is available here.

We’re continuing to add functionality to the new scheduler and its control panel, which includes choosing a config to pre-load before a session starts via the control panel, remote power control via the control panel, loading product configs, saving your current configs, renaming your previously saved configs, downloading your previously saved configs, and re-loading your previously saved configs onto a current session or session scheduled in the future.

If anyone runs into any problems with the scheduler or any of its features please submit feedback so we can get these issues addressed as soon as possible.

Thanks and good luck in your studies!

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