Archive for January, 2013

Jan
28

I know that we live in a globalized world, full of virtual friends linked via social sites – and honestly that is great. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many people all over the world now that our world is indeed so much ‘smaller’ because of technology. I love it. I do. However, when I actually get to really meet those people, in person, face to face, I can’t help but feel something of a bit more connected to them. Shaking someone’s hand, actually seeing their face, still means something I think. I think this is why all of us in the networking community really enjoy coming together annually at Cisco Live – Networkers. We get to put faces with names, and see old faces that we have connected with in years past.

It’s one of the reasons I still very much like teaching live classes, and I believe why students still like attending them. You not only get a captive audience with the student/instructor for a solid two weeks, but you also get to see and hear and talk to someone in person. You get to hear their story. What makes them … them. What drives them. You get to actually know them. I also think that meeting in person is something intentional, and that if you had the inkling of maybe putting off your studies for a night after work, that if you were a part of a study group that actually met in person, you’d be less likely to cancel – maybe feel a bit more committed or obligated to show up.

So to that end, I would like to find out if there is anyone living in the Los Angeles / Orange County / San Diego area that would be interested in a CCIE study group one night per week. I propose Mondays, but I am open to any night Monday-Thursday, really. This would be a group where anyone studying for their CCIE in any track could come together and study for a few hours each week. Obviously, we’d break apart and each study in our own sub-groups dedicated to the track we are trying to attain. When we first meetup, we would devise an agenda for the coming months, and focus on those topics when we meet each week. And as is usual, the stronger in a given topic domain help out the weaker, and we all grow. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all have something to gain from each other.

I would like to find out who all might be interested in meeting in this area, and actually in any area for that matter. While I can’t host the group in every city, I’d still be interested if there are more than just one person studying for a given cert in each city. I would venture to guess that there are. :)

For the LA/OC area, I would be more than happy to host, and provide all the coffee and a snacks each week. As I said above, we could have multiple people come together even if studying for different tracks. I would be quite happy to participate in the Data Center, Voice and Security groups primarily. Respond either in the comments below or by known unicasting me some email if you are interested, or even if you would be interested in hosting a group in another city.

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Jan
24

A few days ago, Cisco officially launched a completely new certification track centered around its entire Medianet portfolio -calling it simply the “Video” track- consisting of Unified Communications and TelePresence Video Conferencing products, along with Digital Media Signage and IP Video Surveillance. This track currently only offers the CCNA Video certification, however I doubt they will stop there.

This track seems to follow the CCNA Data Center in that it does not require you to certify at the CCENT level before attaining this CCNA Video, however it does require you to pass the 640-461 ICOMM, which is the same exam required to become a CCNA Voice (which by the way is a product that INE happily gives away for free in streaming mode and is also available for download at a nominal price). The second exam you must take and pass is a brand new one – the 200-001 VIVND. This exam is broken down into a two-phased learning approach by Cisco, the first giving you basic understanding of video-based systems, and the second diving a bit wider into four of Cisco’s specific Medianet product suites, namely Cisco Unified Communication and Collaboration, Cisco TelePresence, Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS), and Cisco Video Surveillance (all links are for the design guides, not just basic product info). Passing this exam also gives you a specialist cert, being that of a Cisco Video Network Specialist.

As mentioned before, it seems highly unlikely that they will stop at only CCNA Video, likely continuing on to include CCNP Video and finally to add a CCIE Video certification at some unknown point in time. I don’t know about you – but I would venture to guess that the CCIE Video -when it comes- will be the most QoS-heavy cert of them all to date, considering all of the different LAN QoS classes presented in the excellent document Tim Szigeti and team spent 3 years putting together and refining in the Medianet Design Guide. Now I simply wonder if we’ll see a Catalyst 6509-E in the CCIE Video exam, or a Nexus 5K/7K. ;-)

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Jan
16

A number of people had indicated that they thought my CCNA-to-CCIE-in-a-Year program was a bit aggressive for those with both family and job life to consider, so I’ve revised the plan into an 18-month plan, and also added a downloadable XLS spreadsheet to assist you in your studies. Simply plug in your starting date, and the spreadsheet should keep you on task on a week-by-week basis. Here’s the link to my previous blog post where you’ll find the updated plan to download, as well as links to all of the products used in the plan: From CCNA Voice to CCIE Voice in One Year – A Detailed Study Plan – REVISED Dec 31, 2012

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Jan
08

Update: There will be another session running May 27th – May 29th, 2013 in Chicago. Registration info can be found here.

I will be holding a CCDE Open Study Session in Chicago, IL from Saturday Feb 16th through Monday Feb 18th. The CCDE Practical Exam in Chicago is the following day, Feb 19th. This is similar to the one that I held in London last November prior to the previous practical exam, but this time I didn’t miss the cutoff for scheduling the practical so I will actually be taking the CCDE exam on the 19th with others who are attending the session ;)

This isn’t a “bootcamp” per-se but more of an open discussion or “groupstudy” if you will. We will be working through scenarios written by myself, Brian Dennis, and Petr Lapukhov (CCDE 2010::7) for the days leading up to the CCDE Practical Exam.

There is no cost to attend the session. 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 London 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. Candidates who are actually taking the practical in Chicago will be given priority though as seating is limited.

If you would like to attend please send an email to Jeremy Brown (INE’s Class Coordinator) at jbrown@ine.com to reserve a seat.

The location of class is yet to be determined, but it will be in downtown Chicago (Chicago Loop) close to where the CCDE practical exam will be at the Pearson Professional Center.

Jan
07

This week I will be running a Nexus NX-OS Primer class online. This class is essentially Nexus NX-OS for Cisco IOS engineers, and is designed to get you quickly up to speed with using Cisco’s Next Generation Data Center Switching Network Operating System, Nexus NX-OS. Class will run Wednesday – Friday (Jan 9th – 11th) from 10am PST – 2pm PST (18:00 – 22:00 GMT). This class is free to attend for all users with active All Access Pass subscriptions. Recorded versions will be available in streaming format for AAP members a week or two after the class’s completion, as well as a download version available for separate purchase.

The advantage of attending the class live is that you will be able to ask me questions and get immediate feedback. Technically I guess you could still ask me questions while you’re watching the recordings, but I won’t be able to respond and you might get strange looks from those around you ;)

AAP members do not need to pre-register for this class.  Simply click the Nexus NX-OS Primer link under the All Access Pass section of your Members dashboard. This will also give you a countdown timer so you know exactly when class is starting.

Specifically this course will help engineers with a solid understanding of traditional Cisco IOS technologies and features to quickly transfer their knowledge to NX-OS. The course materials will be useful for engineers who plan to implement or support Cisco’s Data Center Unified Fabric architecture on platforms such as the Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000/5500, Nexus 3000, Nexus 2000, MDS 9200, MDS 9500, or the Unified Computing System Fabric Interconnects (UCS FIs). Candidates pursuing the CCNA Data Center, CCNP Data Center, or CCIE Data Center certifications will also benefit from this course.

This course consists primarily of live, hands-on examples comparing and contrasting Nexus NX-OS to traditional Cisco IOS, and introducing new Nexus NX-OS-specific features.

Topics Include

  • NX-OS CLI Fundamentals
  • NX-OS AAA & Role Based Access Control (RBAC)
  • NX-OS Setup Utility and Control Plane Policing (CoPP) Templates
  • NX-OS Feature Licensing
  • NX-OS Virtual Device Contexts (VDCs)
  • NX-OS Virtual Routing & Forwarding Instances (VRFs)
  • NX-OS In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU)
  • NX-OS Parsing with GREP, PERL, & XML
  • NX-OS Ethanalyzer Packet Capture and Analysis
  • NX-OS vs. Catalyst IOS Ethernet Switching (VLANs, VTP, Trunking, STP, etc.)
  • NX-OS vs. IOS First-Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP/GLBP/HSRP)
  • NX-OS vs. IOS IPv4 & IPv6 Routing (EIGRP, OSPF, IS-IS, BGP, etc.)
  • NX-OS vs. IOS IPv4 & IPv6 Multicast Routing
  • NX-OS vs. IOS Security (ACLs, Port Security, DHCP Snooping, etc.)
  • NX-OS Specific Features (FEX, vPC, FabricPath, OTV, etc.)

I hope to see you in class!

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