Posts Tagged ‘lab’

Sep
17

Just about an hour ago, Cisco made the CCIE Data Center written exam available to be both scheduled and tested. So stop reading this and go schedule your written exam!
 
 
Assuming you are now back from scheduling your written, purchase and begin watching our CCIE Data Center Nexus Switching course to prepare for your lab exam, as those videos are now available for streaming and download (the page still notes they are coming, and we will get that updated today, but be sure they are indeed ready for your viewing pleasure). All Access Pass (AAP) customers can view the videos direct via this URL or via the link in their members account. To prepare for the written, get busy reading everything on the CCIE Data Center Recommended Reading List. Also don’t forget that the CCIE Data Center Storage class kicks off next week!

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Jul
14

Brian Dennis and I attended Cisco Live! – Networkers this week, and both enjoyed the privilege of sitting down to talk privately with Yusuf Bhaiji (Program Manager over the entire CCIE program) and Ben Ng (Program Manager over the CCIE Voice track) for roughly 45 minutes. It was quite an enjoyable and spirited talk, and I believe it benefited both sides – our side to gain a better understanding of why some of the choices have been made, and theirs possibly to see things a bit more ‘through the eyes of the typical hard-studying student’. I would like to take a moment to jot down some of the highlights from our conversation, and then unpack them in a bit more detail, so that you may benefit from the open conversation.

Highlights

I’ll jot down some very simple, high-level topics that were discussed during our conversation, and then unpack them in more detail in the following section.

  • Upcoming changes to every CCIE Lab Exam
    • Protecting the integrity of the CCIE certification
    • Robust, matured results-based grading engine
    • Heuristic logic embedded into task wording
    • Accuracy and detail of lab score reports
    • Cisco’s CCIE Lab Delivery System and virtualization for mobile labs
    • No re-reads
  • CCIE Voice
    • Next blueprint version expectation
    • Topics for current and next blueprint versions
  • CCIE Data Center
    • CCIE Storage grows up
  • Reason behind Cisco.com CCIE Statistics web page being removed

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Jan
26

In our recent Implement Layer 2 Technologies series, we examined Q-in-Q tunneling in great detail. In this discussion, I mentioned a big caution about the Service Provider cloud with 802.1Q trunks in use for switch to switch trunking. This caution involved the use of an untagged native VLAN.

You see, this configuration could lead to what is known as the VLAN hopping attack. Here is how it works:

  1. A computer criminal at a customer site wants to send frames into a VLAN that they are not part of.
  2. The evil-doer double tags the frame (Q-in-Q) with the outer frame matching the native VLAN in use at the provider edge switch.
  3. The provider edge switch strips off the outer tag (because it matches the native VLAN), and send this frame across the trunk.
  4. The next switch in the path examines the frame and reads the inner VLAN tag and forwards the frame accordingly. Yikes!

Notice the nature of this attack is unidirectional. The attacker can send traffic into the VLAN, but traffic will not return. Admittedly, this is still NOT something we want taking place!

What are solutions for the Service Provider?

  1. Use ISL trunks in the cloud. Yuck.
  2. Use a Native VLAN that is outside of the range permitted for the customer. Yuck.
  3. Tag the native VLAN in the cloud. Awesome.

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Jan
15

Beginning January 17th, 2011, Cisco will add Layer 2 Switch Troubleshooting to the 2 hour Troubleshooting section of the lab exam. Like the Layer 3 Troubleshooting that you will perform, these switches are emulated devices using Cisco’s IOU product – that stands for IOS on UNIX and is a similar approach to the popular Dynamips platforms. Cisco calls the ability to emulate switches on UNIX – L2IOU.

As you know, INE has been addressing Layer 2 Troubleshooting in all of our CCIE R&S products for a long time – so there will be few modifications that need to be made. I realize that change does cause some level of fear among students studying hard for this exam. I will be sure to schedule a free vSeminar next week to chat about this latest exam format and answer your questions. Watch the blog for the date and time of that vSeminar.

By the way, Cisco announced this change on the Cisco Learning Network this week. Here is the original post.

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Jan
13

Many times, students believe that they could use a bit of a boost when it comes to solving the very complex and difficult Practice Lab Exams featured in our famous Volume II workbook here at INE. To respond to this, Keith Barker and I came up with an idea for a new INE product unlike anything that had been created before.

We created a fully interactive video guide to lab exam strategy and actual solutions for the first five labs of the workbook. But we did not stop there. We also recorded bonus lessons on topic areas that students always seem to want extra guidance with. Such areas as:

  • Am I fast enough when it comes to making configurations?
  • What is the best way to master DOC-CD navigation?
  • What are appropriate strategies for Troubleshooting?
  • What should I do if I am struggling with Redistribution tasks?

Here are some sample lessons from the Interactive Video Companion for Volume II so you can see this remarkable product for yourself. I am also publishing the complete outline here so you can examine that as well.

Samples:

Lab 1 – Layer 2 Private VLANs

Version 4 Challenge – Speed Drill

Version 4 Challenge – MPLS L3 VPN Troubleshooting

The Course Outline:

Lab 1 – Dos and Donts – 20 minutes
Lab 1 – Lab Strategy – 30 minutes
Lab 1 – Backup Link – 20 minutes
Lab 1 – Spanning Tree Manipulation – 10 minutes
Lab 1 – Spanning Tree Security – 15 minutes
Lab 1 – Private VLANs – 30 minutes
Lab 1 – Layer 2 Traffic Engineering – 20 minutes
Lab 1 – OSPF Prefix Adv – 10 minutes

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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

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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.

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Dec
23

We’d like to send a huge congratulations out to Steven Glowacki who just emailed to thank us for helping him pass his CCIE Voice exam and get the newest number – 27831!

Congratulations Steven!

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Dec
02

After working with the December 2010 London Bootcamp on Multicast for the better part of Day 4 in our 12-day bootcamp, I returned to the hotel to find the following post on my Facebook page – “Multicast is EVIL!”

Why do so many students feel this way about this particular technology? I think one of the biggest challenges is that troubleshooting Multicast definitely reminds us of just what an “art” solving network issues can become. And speaking of troubleshooting, in the Version 4 Routing and Switching exam, we may have to contend with fixing problems beyond the scope of our own “self-induced” variety. This is, of course, thanks to the initial 2 hour Troubleshooting section which may indeed include Multicast-related Trouble Tickets.

Your very best defense against any issues in the lab exam regarding this technology – the new 3-Day Multicast technology bootcamp. Also, be sure to enjoy the latest free vSeminar from Brian McGahan – Troubleshooting IP Multicast Routing.

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Nov
27

Worried about topics like EEM, OER, IP SLA, SNMP and the seemingly endless list of Network Services that might appear in your CCIE R&S (or related track) Lab or Written Exam? The latest of the 3 Day Technology Bootcamps arrives just in time for the new year.

The 3-Day Network Services bootcamp will be help Live Online on Dec 27-29, 2010. Class will run each day from 11 AM EST US to approximately 6 PM EST US. We hope to see you in the Live Event, but a Class-On-Demand version will be available the week following.

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