Posts from ‘CCIE SP’

Oct
28

Cisco has announced their plans to transition the CCIE Service Provider certification blueprint from Version 3.0 to Version 4.0 starting May 22nd, 2015.  The official announcement for the Written and Lab Exam Content Updates can be found here.

There are four key points to this announcement, which are:

  • Lab Exam format changes
  • Hardware & software version changes
  • New technical topics added
  • Old technical topics removed

CCIE SPv4 Lab Exam Format Changes

The Lab Exam format of SPv4 has been updated to follow the same format as the new CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5.0.  This means the exam now consists of three sections: Troubleshooting, Diagnostic, and Configuration.

CCIE SPv4 Hardware & Software Version Changes

Following along with the current CCIE RSv5, CCIE SPv4 now uses all virtual hardware as well.  Specifically the new hardware and software variants are as follows:

  • ASR 9000 running Cisco IOS XR 5.2
  • ASR 1000 running Cisco IOS XE 3.13S.15.4(3)S
  • Cisco 7600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S
  • Cisco ME 3600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S

Both the IOS XR and IOS XE variants are already available as virtual machines that you can download from cisco.com and deploy yourself on VMWare ESXi 5.5 and other similar hypervisors.  The current IOS XRv release is 5.2.0, and CSR1000v (IOS XE) is 3.13S/15.4(3)S.  As for the 7600 and ME 3600 images, I would assume these will run as L2 IOU/IOL images, however I haven’t personally seen either of these complies yet.  The key functionality of them will be based around L2VPN for Ethernet, such as EVC and VPLS, which is not covered in depth in the current SPv3 blueprint.

CCIE SPv4 New Technical Topics Added

With the new IOS XR, IOS XE, and Catalyst IOS code versions used, the following is some of the key new features that have been added to the SPv4 Blueprint:

  • Ethernet VPN (EVPN)
  • Provider Backbone Bridging EVPN (PBB-EVPN)
  • Multicast Label Distribution Protocol (mLDP)
  • Unified MPLS (Seamless MPLS)
  • Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)
  • mGRE VPN
  • IPv6 NAT44/NAT64/6RD
  • MPLS OAM & Ethernet OAM

CCIE SPv4 Old Technical Topics Removed

Frame Relay and ATM, the old holdouts for years, have finally been removed from the CCIE Service Provider Blueprint.  This was expected, as most L2VPN services now focus on Ethernet last mile (EVC, VPLS, L3VPN over Ethernet) vs. legacy Frame Relay and ATM.

More information about our plans for content updates will be available as we get closer to the official release date of the new blueprint.  In the meantime for those of you that want to get in before the Blueprint change I would recommend to book a lab date as soon as possible, and start reviewing our CCIE Service Provider v3 Advanced Technologies Class and CCIE Service Provider v3 Workbook.

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Jun
24

Earlier this year in April, we reported to you about a major change in policy to retakes of the CCIE Written and Lab exam. Just today Cisco updated that policy with a major blow for anyone who has been preparing under the old pretenses. Namely that: “These policy changes will be applied retroactively from the date of a candidate’s first lab attempt.” The seemingly innocuous announcement can be found on their CCIE Lab Policy page, just above the table indicating how long you must wait between attempts. This means that if you already have, for instance, two attempts (and unfortunate fails) going into August 2 (when the new policy goes into effect), you would have to wait 90 days from the time of your last attempt to retry the exam. This still gives folks a chance to get another attempt (or 2, possibly) in before this Aug 2 deadline, regardless of the number of previous failed (or missed, if you simply didn’t show) attempts. But of course the real goal of Cisco here is to try to get you to study harder before even attempting your first CCIE Lab – which isn’t a bad idea for everyone.

So as always – Happy Labbing and STUDY HARD!

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Apr
24

Introduction

In a continuing effort to protect the integrity of the CCIE program, Cisco has announced a major change regarding the retake policy of the CCIE Written and Practical Lab exams. These changes take effect on August 1, 2014. Assuming a candidate happens not to pass on their first attempt at either a written or a practical “lab” exam within a given track, the frequency with which they will be allowed to retake the exam will change dramatically from past allowances, effectively not allowing the candidate virtually ‘unlimited’ retakes within a single calendar year (more specifically, within 12 calendar months from the date of the first attempt).

Changes to CCIE Practical Lab Exam

Perhaps the most interest for most people will be the frequency with which one will be allowed to re-sit for a CCIE Lab exam. Assuming a candidate does not pass on their first attempt at a given lab exam, they will still be allowed to attempt to retake the exam after 30 days has elapsed. The major change comes with the possibility that the candidate does not pass on their second attempt – after this attempt they must now wait for another 90 days to make their third attempt. Unlikely, but assuming a failure on attempt three, and a need to sit for attempt four, the candidate must wait another 90 days. Same goes for attempt four to attempt five. After a very, very bad year whereby a need to appear a sixth time becomes necessary, the wait period goes up to a full six months between attempts. The changes can be seen in a screenshot from a recent webinar below (after the jump).
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Oct
14

Congratulations go out to Keith Humphreys who recently passed his CCIE Service Provider Lab Exam on his first attempt! Keith was a student in a recent CCIE SPv3 Bootcamp that I taught in London, and posted a very inspirational story about his road to CCIE success on INE’s Online Commmunity. It’s a long one, but is definitely worth the read.

Congrats Keith!

Finally after years of preparation I have passed my 1st CCIE on my 1st attempt in Diegem, which is the party centre of the universe, isn’t it!? Below I will go through my preparation, what I did, when I did it and it’s probably all repetition of other peoples experiences but you only pass the CCIE for the 1st time once so I’m going to babble on cos this is my moment :D

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Sep
25

Below is a good write-up by now dual CCIE 35565 IEOC user ndiayemalick after passing the SP lab:

Hello IEOC,

I have passed the CCIE SP Lab yesterday at Brussels. The results came in pretty fast around 10 PM. I will share my experience here. I will only share things pertaining to the SP lab. There are many other posts about the lab in general, preparations, what to expect, the proctors, etc…. Here we go:

  • Don’t forget to commit your changes
  • Don’t forget to create the BGP_PASS RPL to allow eBGP routes to pass
  • Check each and every step on the way. You do not want to be troubleshooting CSC problem because one of your LDP session was not up.
  • Logging is disabled on all the IOS devices with “no logging on / no logging console”. I enable it but checked with the proctor who told me to make sure to put disabled it back at the end of my lab, which I did. Do not assume anything, you have a doubt, ask the proctor.
  • Keep track of :
    BGP peerings (Route reflector for IPv4/IPv6 VPNv4/VPNv6)
    RPs per site
    MSDP Peerings
  • Use the command ‘ip route profile’ to make sure that your routing is stable.
  • There’s a lot of reverse engineering in the lab. Many things are pre build for you with many many faults in IPv4 and IPv6 for all address families so know even worst get acquainted your protocols (BGP, OSPF, IS-IS,EIGRP, RIP, PIM) for both address families
  • Verify all your neighboring as you go. OSPF, IS-IS, BGP, LDP, RSVP, PIM,etc… You do not want to troubleshooting OSPF neighboring because your MPLS TE is not working. You can waste a lot of time. Things build up as go. The further you go in the lab, the harder it will become to see small details.
  • Besides the DOC-CD, Notepad is your next best friend. Many configurations are repetitive. You will gain time and reduce the chance of making a mistake by using it. I had 3 notepad widows one for TCL scripts, another one called “AT THE END” to put back the configurations I changed like logging, and another one for copy/paste configs to save time.
  • Read the lab end to end before starting type. Every word is important. The lab is pretty self explanatory but you have to know your stuff hence you need speed and accuracy.
  • It’s harder than the R&S lab but easier because to study because of less topic to focus on.
  • Sent private emails to Brian and he helps out a lot. Even Mark Snow was available to meet me personally in Columbus, Ohio. How cool is that ?
  • I was tested on all possible PE-CE Routing protocols, filtering and loop avoidance techniques.
  • Use TCL scripts to check reachability for all address families. It’s crucial. SP is all about reachability and doing the way they wanted it.
  • Found 2 typos in the lab: OPSF instead of OSPF and PIM-SW instead of PIM-SM. I was kind enough to send a feedback

Trivials:

  • during the end, my Internet Explorer froze. After killing the process in the Task Manager, I was not able to log back in the lab to display the tasks. I still had access to the devices. After multiple attemps with the proctor, we decided to save my configs and logg off. By doing that, I lost all my TCL scripts and notepad notes. Lesson: do not open multiple IE windows even when going for the documentation.
  • Request for reread after passing the lab ?????: You can request a reread even when you pass the lab. How stupid is that?????
  • Now INE owes me 2 CCIE shirts

Do not hesitate if you have questions, I will help out as much as I can without breaking NDA of course ;)

Read the replies to this post on IEOC here :

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Jun
19

A few weeks back I posted about the top contributors for IEOC in May receiving prizes (iPads, Mac Air, etc) from INE. Below are the top contributors for IEOC in their respective categories along with the overall top contributor and the one additional contributor that I’ll give an iPad or Galaxy Tablet to for helping with workbook support.

CCIE Data Center Technical
Antonio Soares

CCIE Voice Technical
brandon

CCIE Routing & Switching Technical
daniel.dib

CCIE Security Technical
qqabdal

CCIE Service Provider Technical
Narayan.Neupane

Top Overall IEOC Contributor:
Narayan.Neupane

Additional Top Contributor in regards to the workbooks in general:
JoeM

Jessica Oldow will be contacting the winners tomorrow to get their shipping addresses. Also if you own a few iPad’s already from INE (looking at you there daniel.dib ;-) you can just have them sent as an Apple Store gift card if you want.

We’ll do the same prizes for June that we did for May so don’t miss out!

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Jun
07

This evening it’s topping 100 degrees in Reno, NV where our rack rental equipment is located. I’m looking at the temperature in our new data center to see how it’s holding up in regards to the high exterior temperature. We have temperature sensors for each cage in our existing data center but so far only have a few installed in our new data center. I’m looking to see what the temperature is in a couple new cages in the new data center that don’t have a temperature senor installed yet. So how can we get the temperature without a dedicated senor and only Cisco devices installed?

Relatively newer Cisco hardware has the ability to display the numerical temperature values by using the show environment command along with polling via SNMP. For the ISR G1′s (1800, 2800, 3800) the internal-ambient, CPU, intake and backplane temperature (3845) and for the ISR G2′s (1900, 2900, 3900) the intake left(bezel), intake left, exhaust right(bezel), exhaust right, CPU and power supply unit temperature can be displayed/polled. I wanted to see the temperature of the management access server (3825′s) located at the top of each cage. I assumed I would just login and issue the show environment command to see the values. Good idea but I don’t want to check it manually every few hours.

I could just login to SolarWinds and see the temperature but as we network engineers know, network management applications aren’t that fun to use. You buy them, install them, swear they are the best thing since sliced bread, drool over the fancy graphs and then two months later you never log back into them unless something is wrong. Plus my normal thought process is to always try and do whatever possible via the IOS as it’s the most fun.

To start I’ll display the values via the show environment command and then poll the values using the SNMP via TCLSH and finally wrap it up with an EEM applet to log the values.

Row8Cage1AS#show environment
 Redundant Power System is not present OR in standby mode.

 SYS PS1 is present.
        Type: AC

 AUX(-48V) PS1 is absent.

 Fan  1 OK
 Fan  2 OK
 Fan  3 OK

 Fan Speed Setting: Normal

 Alert settings:
 Intake temperature warning: Enabled, Threshold: 55
 Core temperature warning: Enabled, Threshold: 70 (CPU: 95)

 Board Temperature: Normal
 Internal-ambient temperature = 33, Normal
 CPU temperature = 50, Normal
 Intake temperature = 32, Normal

 Voltage 1(3300) is Normal, Current voltage = 3300 mV
 Voltage 2(5150) is Normal, Current voltage = 5153 mV
 Voltage 3(2500) is Normal, Current voltage = 2525 mV
 Voltage 4(1200) is Normal, Current voltage = 1215 mV 

 Nominal frequency

Row8Cage1AS#

Now I need to find the SNMP OID related to temperature for the platform. Note that SNMP has previous been setup on this router.

Row8Cage1AS#show snmp mib | in Temperature
ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.2
ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3
ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.4
ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.5
ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.6
c3gModemTemperature
Row8Cage1AS#

I know it’s one of the ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry values but which one? One should be the name, another should be the actual values and another should be the thresholds. Seems like Google should be used here but we know the values via the show environment command so we could poll them and see which one matches. We’ll learn more this way over using Google. We’ll start with the first one and walk down 99.

Row8Cage1AS#tclsh
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#snmp_getbulk
usage: snmp_getbulk community_string non_repeaters max_repetitions oid [oid2 oid3 ...]
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#snmp_getbulk XXXXXX 0 99 ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.2
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.2.1' val='Internal-ambient'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.2.2' val='CPU'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.2.3' val='Intake'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.1' val='33'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.2' val='50'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.3' val='32'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.4.1' val='70'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.4.2' val='95'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.4.3' val='55'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.5.1' val='0'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.5.2' val='0'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.5.3' val='0'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.6.1' val='1'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.6.2' val='1'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.6.3' val='1'/>}

Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#snmp_getbulk XXXXXX 0 3 ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.1' val='33'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.2' val='50'/>}
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.3' val='32'/>}
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#

That was easy. The ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3 is what we are looking for and ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.1 is a good value to use as it’s giving us the “internal ambient” temperature.

Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#snmp_getone
usage: snmp_getone community_string oid [oid2 oid3 ...]
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#snmp_getone XXXXXX ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.1
{<obj oid='ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.1' val='33'/>}
Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#

Now how about having this value logged every 5 minutes so we can check back in the morning to see any changes overnight. An easy way to do this is to poll the SNMP OID using EEM and log the value returned using syslog if it’s above 1 degree which we know it will always be. This way EEM will always log the value to syslog.

Row8Cage1AS(tcl)#tclquit
Row8Cage1AS#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
Row8Cage1AS(config)#event manager applet EEM_TEMP_MON
Row8Cage1AS(config-applet)#event snmp oid ciscoEnvMonTemperatureStatusEntry.3.1 get-type exact entry-op gt entry-val 1 poll-interval 300
Row8Cage1AS(config-applet)#action 1.0 syslog msg "Row8Cage1AS Temperature $_snmp_oid_val"
Row8Cage1AS(config-applet)#^Z
Row8Cage1AS#
Jun  7 06:53:42.011: %SYS-5-CONFIG_I: Configured from console by bdennis on vty0
Row8Cage1AS#
Jun  7 06:54:12.012: %HA_EM-6-LOG: EEM_TEMP_MON: Row8Cage1AS Temperature: 33

We could convert the value to fahrenheit if we wanted by using this TCL expression: set temp [expr {9.0*$_snmp_oid_val/5.0+32.0}].

Of course using a network management application or script on a server would be easier but doing it via the IOS was fun. There are a few other ways to do this via the IOS and one being SNMP MIB BULKSTAT.

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May
17

Edit: The INE party will be at the Hard Rock *Hotel*, not the Hard Rock *Cafe*.

I would like to thank the over 600 people who RSVP’d for INE’s 2013 Party at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando during Cisco Live. Registration is closed as of today for our party but I wanted to be the first to let everyone know about the grand prize giveaway we are doing. On top of the standard giveaway prizes (iPads, MacBook Airs, AAP Memberships, Bootcamps, etc) we are giving away a Harley Davidson 2013 XL 1200X Forty-Eight to a lucky winner during our party.

Sportster Forty Eight

On top of the Harley Davidson 2013 XL 1200X Forty-Eight we’re having a second grand prize giveaway. Details on the second grand prize giveaway will be revealed after the drawing for the winner of the Harley Davidson at the party.

As a side note I don’t personally ride anymore but that bike really does look cool when it’s all blacked out.

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May
02

Now that we’re at 12 full Service Provider CCIE racks and going to 16 racks I’ve had the price of the rentals dropped from 30 tokens to 18 tokens to be more in line with utilization. Another reason the prices were lowered – I received a lot of requests on Twitter to lower the price ;)

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May
02

The top contributors in May for the following forums will receive their choice of either an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. The top overall contributor for IEOC for May will receive their choice of an Apple Macbook Air (13″ 256GB) or Google Pixel with 4G LTE.

CCIE Routing & Switching Technical

CCIE Service Provider Technical

CCIE Security Technical

CCIE Voice Technical

CCIE Data Center Technical

Additionally the best CCIE success story (most details, inspirational, etc) post on IEOC in May will also receive their choice of either an iPad or Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.

Good Luck!

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