Posts Tagged ‘rack rental’

May
23

UPDATE:

Revisions have been made to our materials that obsolete some (but not all) of the information in this document.
Please see the latest updates here.

Introduction

Many of you have been asking us for an update to our CCIE Voice to CCIE Collaboration materials transition. This document will serve to update you both on where we currently are with new materials, as well as give you a transition path and material to work on until we have everything fully transitioned over to the new Collaboration blueprint.

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Dec
18

We’ve heard you loud and clear, and we understand that gaining access to Nexus 7000s, Nexus 5000s, UCS and Storage for hands-on practice is probably one of the more difficult parts of studying for the CCNA/CCNP and CCIE Data Center certifications. That’s why we’re happy to announce that we have just added 5 new DC racks available for rental immediately.

Enjoy – and remember to lab responsibly this holiday season.

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May
02

First off I’d like to thank all of you that participated in beta testing both the CCIE Data Center Technology Lab Workbook and DC Rack Rentals, and for all the constructive feedback that was submitted. Yesterday the DC rack system left beta, and is now publicly available for bookings.

Data Center rack rentals cost 20 tokens for the base topology, which includes Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000, and Virtual Machines. There are three add-ons to the topology, which are Nexus 2000 & SAN, UCS & SAN, and ACE 4710. Each of the add-ons cost 5 tokens apiece, which means the maximum cost for the full topology is 35 tokens per session. With bulk token pricing this equates to about $11 USD per hour for rental, which is much more affordable than any other vendor out there.

For more detailed information on how to book sessions and use the system, please see the CCIE Data Center Rack Rental Access Guide.

Before the end of the month we will also be launching a second “Mock Lab” Data Center topology that will be used for full-scale 8-hour lab scenarios. More information about the availability of rentals on this topology will be posted soon.

Happy Labbing!

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Apr
27

INE is proud to announce that our long awaited CCIE Service Provider Version 3.0 Rack Rentals are now available, which includes access to IOS XR routers! Furthermore during the initial beta testing of our new rack scheduling system, SPv3 rack rentals are FREE to book! Our new rack scheduler is easier to use than the previous version, and breaks rack sessions down into 3 hour blocks as opposed to the previous 6 hour blocks, which allows for more granularity and affordability in your study schedule. The new scheduler will remain in beta for the next week or so, during which sessions are free to book, but are limited to 1 concurrent session scheduled per customer. Below is a short HOWTO video that I created on using the new scheduling system:

For those of you on mobile platforms the direct link is http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4DzgoiS9tPI

Additionally a new update has been posted to the CCIE SPv3 Workbook, which now includes the first Full Scale Lab. These updates can be found in the Workbooks tab of the members site, as seen in the above video.

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Mar
09

As continuing pioneers of so many firsts in the CCIE training space, we have noted before on this blog how we have been offering you for over 6 months now, the first and only 100% web-based remote control client that controls not only CUCM SIP & SCCP phones, but also that controls SRST & CME SIP & SCCP phones. And we give it to you at no additional cost to your rental – it’s built-in to every rack for free (no need to install a messy Windows-only software client). And now, we are very excited to offer you another first – the ability to access and control everything in our Voice Racks, with no need for any VPN client.

Simply use one of the following HTTP links below to access your Voice Rack (you must have a valid session during the time you try to authenticate):

Please take a moment to watch this instructional video on how to use this VPN-Less connection to access and control your Voice Rack and IP phones.

So to summarize:

  • No messing around with silly macros which don’t apply in the CCIE Lab
  • Actual support for SRST (not only CME)
  • Who needs VPN?
  • A software client? Our lips shudder to even think it. No, we live in the real, web-based world
  • 7960′s in our 3 Sites? What’s the point?? They aren’t usable when studying for the CCIE Lab – they’re vastly different in every realm of configuration, which will only distract you from studying for the real exam – so why would we even consider including them? We don’t, save for a PSTN phone, which just like in the real lab, you don’t configure.

And to top it all off, our Voice Racks cost 1/4 of any others.

We look forward to continuing to being the first to bring you the best and brightest innovations that get you one step closer to both of our goals: You Passing Your CCIE Lab Exam.

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Oct
05

INE is happy to announce that we now have all 21 Modules of our new CCIE Voice Deep Dive completed –115 hours of recorded class-on-demand style video (no breaks or dead-air in the recordings – that’s 115 hours of actual learning!)– completed and ready for your consumption!

As we mentioned in a previous post, The author and poet Maya Angelou said “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”. Well that is certainly what we have attempted to do with the CCIE Voice Deep Dive self-paced Class on Demand series – that is to bring the human instructional voice element to infuse deeper meaning to what is already fantastic Cisco Documentation. Anyone that has set out and determined to undertake the task of studying for and ultimately passing any CCIE Lab exam, knows that at some point during your studies, the words on paper (Cisco Docs, RFCs, books) – while a absolute phenomenal source of information – can at times seem to loose their impact. Perhaps you have been studying too long, read one too many docs, have the time pressure of your family and friends waiting for you to return to be a part of their life, or perhaps you are just starting out on your adventure and don’t know where to begin. Whatever stage you are at or whatever the case may be, it is certainly helpful to have a tutor and mentor there beside you at times, assisting you in understanding what each complex technology’s documentation is trying to teach you, in possibly a deeper and more insightful way than you can manage on your own.

For each complex topic we have held (or will soon hold) an online class where we dive down deep and explore all the concepts, practical application, and troubleshooting associated with each technology topic. The general format for each Class-on-Demand Deep Dive module spends between 4-7 hours on the given topic for that day, and during that time follows this outlined training methodology:

  • Collectively discuss and teach all concepts involved in the technology
  • Whiteboard concepts to further deepen every participant’s understanding
  • Define a specific set of tasks to be accomplished
  • Demonstrate how the tasks and concepts are implemented and properly configured
  • Test the configuration thoroughly
  • Vary the configuration to understand how different permutations effect the outcome
  • Debug and trace the working configuration to understand what should be seen
  • Break the configuration and troubleshoot with debugs and traces to contrast from the working set

Before we go on with the 21 module outline, here are a few demos of this Deep Dive series:

Demo 1: Module 10 :: Dial Plan :: Globalization Prezi – Theory and Reasons :: Runtime 1 hr

Demo 2: Module 10 :: Dial Plan :: Inbound Calling Party Localization :: Runtime 30 mins

Demo 3: Module 12 :: CUBE :: Conforming to ITSP Reqs: SIP Header Conversions :: Runtime 51 mins

Demo 4: Module 13 :: Unified Mobility :: Mobile Connect Access Lists and Exclusivity :: Runtime 20 mins

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Sep
10

A while back, Cisco began consolidating all of the CCIE lab equipment used by candidates when sitting to write their practical lab exam. Most of the lab hardware now resides in San Jose, California US, with only the Storage and Wireless awaiting movement. While most of the CCIE tracks’ practical lab examinations are able to be completely self-contained inside a single rack, the pesky Voice exam remains an abnormality with the need for hardware IP phones at the testing site where the candidate may sit for the exam.

Having the IP phones in a completely separate location — and therefore seemingly an entirely different L3 IP subnet — would seem to present a major challenge for candidates attempting to test certain configuration tasks such as Multicast Music on Hold, many QoS mechanisms, SRST, and even smaller things such as CDP discovery and DHCP. So how is Cisco able to get away with having phones at a remote location (5000 miles or more in some instances), and yet still allow candidates to configure and then properly test what they critically need to?

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May
07

That is a very true saying – in fact one that we believe strongly in here at INE. However we also understand just how expensive it can be to undertake studying for any CCIE Lab exam. That is why, whenever we can, we try to reduce the load on you – the students – to bear this cost. Take for instance our CCIE RS Volume II for Dynamips – we do all we can to provide you the best available instruction while trying to reduce, or sometimes even be able to eliminate the hardware costs associated with studying.

So now we have taken to task trying to do the same for our CCIE Voice track products. We can’t quite virtualize all of the routers used as voice gateways (pesky DSP’s and TDM trunk cards that dynamips won’t ever be able to support since we actually need hardware for the drivers to be able to trigger the signaling), but we thought we would try to reduce the hardware cost for you, the student, in any way we can with the necessary hardware. Anyone having decided to study for the CCIE Voice lab exam has no doubt realized that even if you decide not to take on the enormous cost of building your own rack to practice with, and instead, to rent rack time from any vendor on the market, you still must purchase your own hardware 7961 IP Phones along with some sort of a hardware VPN solution (such as an ASA 5505 or 851 ISR router) at a minimum in order to be able to practice for all of the most important features tested in the lab. This is quite simply due to the fact that the much older 7960′s and all current SCCP Software Client phones (including Cisco CIPC, IPBlue VT-GO*, etc) don’t support any of the newer features – those that are most critical to studying for the latest lab exam. Even if you can manage to find refurbished 7961 IP Phones from eBay for roughly $150/phone and $500/ASA5505 – you still have to invest over $1,000USD just in hardware before you are ready to rent the rack! Seeing as how the 7961 phones are already a generation behind the current ones, and the possibility that when you pass your lab 6-12 months from now that they will likely be 2 generations old and harder to sell for the same price you paid for them – it becomes a very expensive venture to undertake!

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Aug
12

Hi Everyone,

I know you’ve been waiting for this for quite a long time – please take my sincere apologies for the delay. What we were trying to do is come up with an upgrade that allows for affordable home CCIE lab racks; hence the time spent seeing the if new scenarios will fit the upraded topology. Right now, our existing hardware list for a typical rack is:

R1 – 2610XM 32F/128D
R2 – 2610XM 32F/128D
R3 – 2611XM 32F/128D
R4 – 2611XM 32F/128D
R5 – 2611XM 32F/128D
R6 – 2611XM 32F/128D
SW1 – 3560
SW2 – 3560
SW3 – 3550
SW4 – 3550

BB1, BB2, BB3 – 2511s

And all the hardware is cabled as described on this page: How to build a CCIE rack (oh, ignore the old router models, just pay attention to the cabling). So what we’re doing for the new topology is a gradual upgrade:

1) Replacing R4, R5 and R6 with Cisco 1841 ISRs, having 64M flash and 128M RAM minimum.
2) Getting new routers to run 12.4T images with ADVANCED ENTERPRISE SERVICES feature set and therefore supporting MPLS. Other routers may still run older 12.4 images with the same feature set (ADV. ENT. SERVICES).
3) No interface cards need to be changed or replaced and no cables should be re-wired. You may re-use the same WIC cards with the 1841s, provided that they are v2 – AFAIR v1 cards are not supported in HWIC slots.
4) In place of 1841s you may actually use any ISR, such as 28xx or 38xx or even the older 3725 – anything that can run 12.4T ADV. ENTERPRISE SERVICES.

With the three ISRs being added you can play with any basic MPLS VPN scenario, using R4, R5 and R6 as MPLS P/PE routers and the remaining routers as CEs. Additionally, the three new routers allow for enough bandwidth to test all the features introduced in 12.4T train. As time passes we plan to gradually replace the remaining 2600XM models with the ISRs, but for the new blueprint becoming effective as of October 14th having three 1841s is enough to test the new features. Later this month and during September you will see our rack-rental partner Graded Labs Inc. upgrading its hardware, keeping a mix of the “old” and “new” racks for some time, to accomodate those preparing for the old blueprint.

Lastly, I know there is a lot of people using Dynamips emulator for their studies. We’re working on releasing our updated Dynagen .NET topology shortly. To summarize the changes, we replaced R1, R2 and R3 in the Dynamips topology with 2600XMs and made R4, R5 and R6 to be 3725s running the latest 12.4T code. This should mimic our real hardware topology pretty close, with maybe some exceptions to interface names.

Stay tuned for more updates!

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