Posts from ‘CCDE’
This past week I took and passed the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) Practical Exam, making me CCDE #20130013, or CCDE #2013::13 in geek-speak. Cisco doesn’t publish official stats on either the number of CCIE or CCDE certified people anymore, but per the unofficial stats of the CCIE/CCDE Hall Of Fame this makes me one of about 100 engineers globally that currently hold this certification. Pretty neat, considering I thought being one of 7500 CCIEs was really cool back in 2001.
In this post I’m going to talk about my personal journey to obtaining the CCDE, details about the practical exam itself (within NDA of course), and some recommendations for engineers that are currently pursuing or thinking about pursuing CCDE.
INE would like to send a big congratulations out to our very own Brian McGahan, who just moments ago took and passed the Cisco CCDE exam! Numbers are still forthcoming, but this being the first exam given in 2013, may well be CCDE #2013::1. Brian will be writing a more in-depth blog post here, outlining some of the more fundamental aspects related to reading and studying for the exam, but in the interim, we just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
61 Gloucester Rd, London, Greater London
SW7 4PE, United Kingdom
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.
I will be holding a CCDE Open Study Session in San Jose, CA starting Monday July 30th and wrapping up Thursday August 2nd. The CCDE Practical Exam in San Jose is the following day August 3rd. This session is becoming held the Tech Mart Meeting Center in Santa Clara which is just down the street from Cisco’s main campus and the Pearson Vue Testing center.
There is no cost to attend the session. Drinks, snacks, lunch, and internet will be provided free of charge. We will work through scenarios written by myself and Petr Lapukhov (CCDE 2010::7) for the four days leading up to the CCDE Practical Exam.
If you would like to attend please send an email to Jeremy Brown (INE’s Class Coordinator) at email@example.com to reserve a seat.
Just ahead of our brand new CCNA Voice live online bootcamp beginning this Monday, I thought it might be nice to provide an easy-to-follow graphic for those starting out in Voice (or on any other Cisco networking track). This graphic was from last year, but remains quite easy to follow for each and every Cisco track.
Be sure you have a high resolution set if you wish to see the entire thing, otherwise scrolling may be necessary.
The CCDE bootcamp is coming shortly on May 1st, and we would like to provide some information to those of you who have already registered for the class or considering to join us. The class will go for five days and finish right before the CCDE practical exam in Chicago. The class is interactive for the most part – instructor will present you documents, diagrams, slides and questions on board and then the whole class will go through the solutions in live mode, discussing various options and correct answers. The class is centered around three major “platforms”: generic “large-scale” network topologies that are used to construct various network design cases. There are three main platforms presented in the class:
- Internet Service Provider. A fictitious ISP that provides VPN and Internet services to enterprises in addition to wholesale Internet services. Generic two-layer network, featuring a mix of interconnection technologies and using ISIS/BGP for routing. This platform is mainly used to work with scenarios relating to transit traffic services.
- Application Service Provider. A company that has its own wide-area network interconnecting data-centers and points-of-presence. The company provides server application services – e.g. a virtual call-center, online support desk etc to multiple customers. Customers connect either directly or tunneling over Internet. This platform is used to demonstrate issues arising in networks that provide centralized services to different customers. This network uses OSPF and BGP for routing, traffic flows are mainly considered to be “client-server” flows between different networks.
- Large Enterprise Network. Presents a generic enterprise network with diverse set of offices and private WAN network. The network services just one company, but has to support a large variety of application and different connection types. Traffic flows are mainly contained to one network but there are multiple “concentration” points. The network uses EIGRP for routing.
Every platform is used to construct 5 different scenarios, featuring from 15 to 20 different questions each. Answering each question requires analyzing the network baseline and additional information presented through the course of the class and selecting the optimal answer. Similar to the actual exam, the scenarios will have one the the following logical structures:
- Merge two networks or spin off a new network.
- Add a service or application – e.g. deploy L3 VPNs or add VoIP.
- Scale the network – accommodate technologies to network growth, e.g. IGP/BGP/MPLS scaling.
- Replace a technology – e.g. replace routing protocol or link type with another one.
You will be required to do a “fresh” design or fix a faulty/suboptimal scenario and propose a better solution. For example, you may be asked to fix a network that has new application deployed that is not working as required. The class will focus on live discussion of design problems as well as strategy tips for passing the CCDE practical exam. One again, students are assumed to have knowledge equivalent in scope to CCIE Written exam blueprint. And lastly, the following is link to a sample CCDE scenario – baseline and questions in the format they are going to be presented during the class.
About the Protocol
- The algorithm used for this advanced Distance Vector protocol is the Diffusing Update Algorithm.
- As we discussed at length in this post, the metric is based upon Bandwidth and Delay values.
- For updates, EIGRP uses Update and Query packets that are sent to a multicast address.
- Split horizon and DUAL form the basis of loop prevention for EIGRP.
- EIGRP is a classless routing protocol that is capable of Variable Length Subnet Masking.
- Automatic summarization is on by default, but summarization and filtering can be accomplished anywhere inside the network.
EIGRP forms “neighbor relationships” as a key part of its operation. Hello packets are used to help maintain the relationship. A hold time dictates the assumption that a neighbor is no longer accessible and causes the removal of topology information learned from that neighbor. This hold timer value is reset when any packet is received from the neighbor, not just a Hello packet.
To start my reading from Petr’s excellent CCDE reading list for his upcoming LIVE and ONLINE CCDE Bootcamps, I decided to start with:
EIGRP for IP: Basic Operation and Configuration by Russ White and Alvaro Retana
I was able to grab an Amazon Kindle version for about $9, and EIGRP has always been one of my favorite protocols.
The text dives right in to none other than the composite metric of EIGRP and it brought a smile to my face as I thought about all of the misconceptions I had regarding this topic from early on in my Cisco studies. Let us review some key points regarding this metric and hopefully put some of your own misconceptions to rest.
- While we are taught since CCNA days that the EIGRP metric consists of 5 possible components – BW, Delay, Load, Reliability, and MTU; we realize when we look at the actual formula for the metric computation, MTU is actually not part of the metric. Why have we been taught this then? Cisco indicates that MTU is used as a tie-breaker in a situation that might require it. To review the actual formula that is used to compute the metric, click here.
- Notice from the formula that the K (constant values) impact which components of the metric are actually considered. By default K1 is set to 1 and K3 is set to 1 to ensure that Bandwidth and Delay are utilized in the calculation. If you wanted to make Bandwidth twice as significant in the calculation, you could set K1 to 2, as an example. The metric weights command is used for this manipulation. Note that it starts with a TOS parameter that should always be set to 0. Cisco never did fully implement this functionality.
- The Bandwidth that effects the metric is taken from the bandwidth command used in interface configuration mode. Obviously, if you do not provide this value – the Cisco router will select a default based on the interface type.
- The Delay value that effects the metric is taken from the delay command used in interface configuration mode. This value depends on the interface hardware type, e.g. it is lower for Ethernet but higher for Serial interfaces. Note how the Delay parameter allows you to influence EIGRP pathing decisions without the manipulation of the Bandwidth value. This is nice since other mechanisms could be relying heavily on the bandwidth setting, e.g. EIGRP bandwidth pacing or absolute QoS reservation values for CBWFQ.
- The actual metric value for a prefix is derived from the SUM of the delay values in the path, and the LOWEST bandwidth value along the path. This is yet another reason to use more predictive Delay manipulations to change EIGRP path preference.
In the next post on the EIGRP metric, we will examine this at the actual command line, and discuss EIGRP load balancing options. Thanks for reading!