Posts from ‘CCNA’

Jan
08

One of the most important technical protocols on the planet is Open Shortest Path First (OSPF). This highly tunable and very scalable Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) was designed as the replacement technology for the very problematic Routing Information Protocol (RIP). As such, it has become the IGP chosen by many corporate enterprises.

OSPF’s design, operation, implementation and maintenance can be extremely complex. The 3-Day INE bootcamp dedicated to this protocol will be the most in-depth coverage in the history of INE videos.

This course will be developed by Brian McGahan, and Petr Lapukhov. It will be delivered online in a Self-Paced format. The course will be available for purchase soon for $295.

Here is a preliminary outline:

Day 1 OSPF Operations

●      Dijkstra Algorithm

●      Neighbors and Adjacencies

○   OSPF Packet Formats

○   OSPF Authentication

○   Link-State information Flooding

Continue Reading

Tags: , , ,

Jan
03

Continuing my review of titles from Petr’s excellent CCDE reading list for his upcoming LIVE and ONLINE CCDE Bootcamps, here are further notes to keep in mind regarding EIGRP.

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.

Neighbor Adjacencies

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.

Continue Reading

Tags: , , ,

Dec
30

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!

Tags: , , , ,

Dec
01

Catalyst switch port security is so often recommended. This is because of a couple of important points:

  • There are many attacks that are simple to carry out at Layer 2
  • There tends to be a gross lack of security at Layer 2
  • Port Security can guard against so many different types of attacks such as MAC flooding, MAC spoofing, and rouge DHCP and APs, just to name a few

I find when it comes to port security, however, many students cannot seem to remember two main points:

  1. What in the world is Sticky Learning and how does it work?
  2. What is the difference between the different violation modes and how can I remember them?

Sticky Learning

Sticky learning is a convenient way to set static MAC address mappings for MAC addresses that you allow on your network. What you do is confirm that the correct devices are connected. You then turn on sticky learning and the port security feature itself, for example:

switchport port-security maximum 2
switchport port-security mac-address sticky
switchport port-security

Continue Reading

Oct
17

Well I finally did it!  After a year and half of studying practically every day I am happy to say I am CCIE #27143!  I am proud to say I failed the exam 4 times, I wear each one like a badge of honor.  And for $1,400 each, those badges are made of a rare gold/titanium/diamond composite material, they are beautiful.  My road to becoming a CCIE had many unexpected twists and turns.  I got my CCNA back in 2002.  I studied for 2 months and passed it on my 1st try, so I must be pretty darn good right?  Well in 2005 I decided to try for my CCNP.  I soon discovered I had let my CCNA expire, so I had to retake that first.  Within 6 months I passed the CCNA and all 4 CCNP tests, so I must be the man right?  Then I got my first real networking job and soon discovered that I was truly just a paper champion and had no clue how to design or configure anything.  I learned on the job and quickly got up to speed.

Continue Reading

Tags:

Oct
17

For Part 2 of this series – click here.

WARNING: You must master subnetting using our course or some other trusted materials before you start using these shortcut approaches. It is a common issue for Cisco candidates to move directly to subnetting shortcuts for the exams without fully understanding exactly how subnetting functions.

ICND1 (CCENT)

Question 3: Your co-worker has decided upon use of the 172.16.0.0 address space for a section of your network. This section requires 15 subnets. What subnet mask will you recommend?

Step 1: I reference the Powers of Two chart I created on my scratch paper when I encountered the first question. The forumla for the number of subnets you can create based on subnet bits is 2^s. From the chart I see if we “borrow” 4 bits we can create 16 subnets.

2^7=128  |  2^6=64  |  2^5=32  |  2^4=16  |  2^3=8  |  2^2-=4 | 2  ^1=2  |  2^0=1

Step 2: Borrowing 4 bits beyond the Class B boundary results in 255.255.128+64+32+16 = 240. Our mask is 255.255.240.0.

Tags: , , , , ,

Oct
14

Click here for Part 1 of this series.

WARNING: You must master subnetting using our course or some other trusted materials before you start using these shortcut approaches. It is a common issue for Cisco candidates to move directly to subnetting shortcuts for the exams without fully understanding exactly how subnetting functions.

ICND1 (CCENT)

Question 2: You have run the ipconfig command and discovered your IP address and mask are 192.168.20.102 and 255.255.255.224. How many hosts are permitted on your subnet?

Step 1: I reference the Powers of Two chart I created on my scratch paper when I encountered the first question. Adding 128 + 64 + 32 = 224. There are 3 bits used for subnetting and that leaves 5 bits for hosts.

2^7=128  |  2^6=64  |  2^5=32  |  2^4=16  |  2^3=8  |  2^2-=4 | 2  ^1=2  |  2^0=1

Step 2: The equation for the number of hosts per subnet is 2^h – 2 where h is the number of host bits. From the chart I see that 2^5  = 32. 32-2 = 30 hosts per subnet! Too easy!

As always, let us know in the comments if you have a quicker approach.

Tags: , , , , ,

Oct
02

Thanks to Randy of our CCNA program for this suggestion. Randy wanted some guidance on how to solve the subnetting questions in ICND1 and ICND2 very quickly. The ability to do this is often the difference between a passing score and a failed attempt.

WARNING: You must master subnetting using our course or some other trusted materials before you start using these shortcut approaches. It is a common issue for Cisco candidates to move directly to subnetting shortcuts for the exams without fully understanding exactly how subnetting functions.

For this series of posts, we will use simulated exam questions from ICND1 and ICND2. Well, with all that out of the way – let’s have some fun. You will find that once you “turn the corner” on subnetting, you will pray for many of these questions in the exam. It is an opportunity to solve questions quickly and be 100% convinced that your response is “spot on”.

ICND1 (CCENT)

Question 1: What is the last usable address in the subnet of a host with the address 192.168.1.134 and the subnet mask of 255.255.255.240?

Continue Reading

Tags: , , , , ,

Sep
07

One of our CCNA students requested some command practice for ICND2 – here is one I put together for him. Please give me feedback in the comments if you find practice tools like this helpful.

ICND2 Command Recall Practice Tool 1

Tags: , , ,

Sep
01

Are you a CCNP or CCIE student looking to challenge your perfect knowledge of Catalyst switchport commands?

Take the latest SWITCH Command Recall exam by clicking the link below. Good luck – and let us know how you scored in the comments area of this post.

Remember to read, AND TYPE, very carefully! I failed my first attempt due to just plain sloppiness. :-(

SWITCH Command Recall Exam – L2/L3 Ports

Tags: , , ,

Categories

CCIE Bloggers