Archive for August, 2012

Aug
28

We’ve added a few more SPv3 racks to the rental pool this morning. There are also a couple reserved specifically for students who attended the live SPv3 bootcamps. We will be adding a few more in the next couple weeks to bring our total to 13 (12 rental and 1 development). Additional we are looking into adding SPv3 Mock Labs that will use 4 x XRs, 12 x 7200VXRs and 8 ISRs in the future. Sales is currently into the demand for this product.

As many of you know I’ve taken over the CCIE SPv3 product line from Brian McGahan and I’m going back through the workbook to add additional content and full scale labs. I’ve made a few changes to the racks after teaching the last SPv3 Bootcamp. The 2 x 2600XMs were updated with 4 x ISRs running IOS 15.1 for added CE functionality (IPv6 VRF support, etc). Additionally we’ll be adding 4 more POS interfaces to each XR over the next two weeks. This will allow the racks to be interconnected during the bootcamps and mock labs plus allow them to be used for large network testing (24 x XRs 72 x 7200VXRs, 36 x ISRs, etc).

Good Luck!

Aug
17

Edit: For those of you that want to take a look first-hand at these packets, the Wireshark PCAP files referenced in this post can be found here

One of the hottest topics in networking today is Data Center Virtualized Workload Mobility (VWM). For those of you that have been hiding under a rock for the past few years, workload mobility basically means the ability to dynamically and seamlessly reassign hardware resources to virtualized machines, often between physically disparate locations, while keeping this transparent to the end users. This is often accomplished through VMware vMotion, which allows for live migration of virtual machines between sites, or as similarly implemented in Microsoft’s Hyper-V and Citrix’s Xen hypervisors.

One of the typical requirements of workload mobility is that the hardware resources used must be on the same layer 2 network segment. E.g. the VMware Host machines must be in the same IP subnet and VLAN in order to allow for live migration their VMs. The big design challenge then becomes, how do we allow for live migrations of VMs between Data Centers that are not in the same layer 2 network? One solution to this problem that Cisco has devised is a relatively new technology called Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV).

As a side result of preparing for INE’s upcoming CCIE Data Center Nexus Bootcamp I’ve had the privilege (or punishment depending on how you look at it ;) ) of delving deep into the OTV implementation on Nexus 7000. My goal was to find out exactly what was going on behind the scenes with OTV. The problem I ran into though was that none of the external Cisco documentation, design guides, white papers, Cisco Live presentations, etc. really contained any of this information. The only thing that is out there on OTV is mainly marketing info, i.e. buzzword bingo, or very basic config snippets on how to implement OTV. In this blog post I’m going to discuss the details of my findings about how OTV actually works, with the most astonishing of these results being that OTV is in fact, a fancy GRE tunnel.

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Aug
15

We’ve added a few online seats to the R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp that is being held here in Bellevue, WA starting October 1st and streamed online live. The online seats include your own dedicated rack of 28 ISRs and 4 switches along with grading for the week plus the weekend following the bootcamp. Additionally if you are an AAP (All Access Pass) member and a little venturous you could do the Troubleshooting Bootcamp using GNS3 without costing you anything. You will need a decent machine to run 32 devices in GNS3 or could use something like Amazon’s or RackSpace’s cloud servers. I’ll post the instructions on how to install and run GNS3 using Amazon’s and RackSpace’s cloud here on the blog. It’ll cost roughly 30 cents per hour to run a server powerful enough for the troubleshooting topology but you only pay Amazon or RackSpace for the hours when the machine is running. So roughly $12 in server fees for the full bootcamp.

This isn’t like other troubleshooting bootcamps in that we are the only company offering a full troubleshooting topology using 32 device topology (28 routers and 4 switches) along with lab grading. One of the offerings out there teaches troubleshooting using PowerPoint slides but the last time I checked Microsoft’s PowerPoint isn’t on the lab blueprint ;-) Here is a sample topology from the bootcamp:

CCIE Troubleshooting Lab

Additionally I spend a ton of time hands-on breaking down the tickets and their technologies. Roughly 8 hours per day is spent going over the previous evening’s tickets. If you have any questions regarding the R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp feel free to email me directly. My email is bdennis@ine.com.

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Aug
14

As any CCIE candidate knows, there is no escape from the hours and hours of reading that comes along with preparing for the written exam and the lab exam.  The new CCIE Data Center certification is no exception. There is a lot of prerequisite reading that should be done before sitting down at the keyboard and pounding away at the CLI, and we have compiled a manageable list that we are recommending candidates to go through before attending our upcoming CCIE Data Center Live Online Bootcamps.

This list, like our bootcamps, is broken down into three topic domains: Nexus Switching, Storage, and Unified Computing. All of the books listed below are available on Safari Online for those of you that want to save a few trees.  The vast major of the list however is comprised of Cisco documentation.  Since these technologies are so new – say compared to OSPF – there are not as many traditional books available.  What I would recommend for people going through this track is to start with the first book listed in each category (or in the case of Storage, the first two) and use these as an overview of the technologies that are within that topic domain.  Once you have a basic understanding of what’s involved, then go through the configuration guides in detail to see the specific technology details, platform caveats (there are a lot, you’ll see ;) ), syntax examples, etc.  This list may expand in the future but for right now it’s a really good starting point for anyone that is going to be pursuing CCIE DC, or just wants to learn these technologies in general.

Aug
10

All,
I’ll be in London the week of November 19th for an Service Provider Bootcamp that I’m teaching until Friday the 23rd. I’m going to keep the facility and do a CCDE Open Study session like the one I did in San Jose a couple weeks ago. I’ll be able to allow up to 25 people attend and of course it’s free of charge. We’ll go over one CCDE scenario per day for the 3 days prior to the exam which is being held in London on the 27th of November.

Even if you aren’t going to take the CCDE but are interested in getting a chance to discuss real world networking with other senior engineers then you should attend. We had a great time in San Jose as nearly everyone was at least a CCIE and many double/triple CCIEs which allowed for interesting discussions on the scenarios and technologies in general.

I’ll try to keep doing these sessions a few times a year and keeping them free of charge in various locations to help promote the CCDE program.

Our London location for the CCDE Open Study Session will be the Rydges Hotel in Kensington. This is the same location as my R&S and SP London bootcamps.

Rydges Kensington
61 Gloucester Rd, London, Greater London
SW7 4PE, United Kingdom

Google Map Link

The Rydges Hotel is a little on the pricey side as it’s in a really nice area but if you want to stay there Jeremy Brown our Bootcamp Coordinator can get you a discounted INE rate. Also you’ll be right down the street from the Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Harrods.

To sign up for the session, email Jeremy Brown and he’ll reserve your seat.

I’ll post a CCDE recommended reading list and I’m trying to get a CCDE simulation released over the next couple months. I have the content developed and just waiting for the testing engine to be finalized.

Lastly during the last session in San Jose we “cracked” the CCDE demo (https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-2438) to get a 100% score. If you haven’t taken the new demo try it out and see what score you get. Then next week I’ll post the answers to the demo here on the blog.

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Aug
10

Today we’ll continue in our series on UCCX and specifically take a look at setting up skills-based routing to a Contact Service Queue (CSQ).

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Aug
07

Recently a group named Graffiti4Hire from London came to our Bellevue Washington headquarters to create a graffiti mural for us.  From what I hear the finished product looks amazing.  I’m looking forward to our CCIE Data Center Nexus class at the end of the month so I can see the final result in person!  Here is a time lapse video of their work that our video crew put together:

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