Jun
03

I put together a new playlist on our All Access Pass geared toward helping those that have decided to study primarily with the new CCIE Collaboration in mind. What will be included in this playlist is primarily new technologies, specifically those that haven't yet been covered elsewhere in our CCIE Voice v3 products. As the weeks go on, I will continue to update this list with more and more videos covering new technologies in UC v9.1. Keep in mind that until I have this list complete with everything that is newer than UCM 7.x, that you can and should still study all of our CCIE Voice v3 products, as everything except for H.323 RAS/Gatekeeper will still be completely relevant and a very much needed base for your understanding. Once I complete this list, I will probably leave it up for those only wanting to learn the new stuff, like those of you that are already CCIE Voice v3 certified (if you certified on CCIE Voice v2 or v1, and haven't really used it in a while, you're going to want to watch all the material over again as quite a LOT changed from v2 to v3). Also, once I complete this playlist with all the new technologies, I will be recording a completely new top-to-bottom CCIE Collaboration Advanced Technologies Class, that will include everything. And of course, the workbook is being completely re-written as well in our new online format, which you can see a sample of here and here. This video playlist is meant to not only hold you over until then, but also to be able to release material to you in a timely, incremental fashion.

To start with, here is 4.5 hours of material on Call Control Discovery over Service Advertisement Framework (CCDoSAF). At a most basic description, this is dynamic routing of DNs over an enhanced, named instance of EIGRP. It is currently much more detailed and complex than ILS (a newer and much more scalable dynamic routing protocol built-in natively to UCM), but it is also currently far more powerful and allows for things like SRST integration for failover usage with PSTN Aliases, as well as cluster-to-cluster PSTN failover, should the primary SIP/H.323 trunk route go down. Cisco pushes ILS much more in production and it is getting much more support with UCM 10.x, but since the new lab tests on 9.x, and the fact that no CCIE Lab exam has ever been that much interested in real-world design --favoring complexity over ease of configuration and good design-- and the fact that it is very much on the new blueprint, I'd say you best get used to it now, even if it is going away. Also, I recorded these videos on a UCM v8.5 cluster, but that shouldn't matter as this feature hasn't changed since then.

The link for CCDoSAF on the UCM 9.1 Features and Services Guide can be found here.

The link for the playlist is here.

I start off with a general overview including a few slides just for concept, and then I move into hands-on demonstration of the following topic areas:

  • CUCM Inter-Cluster Call Routing
  • CUCM Call Routing with PSTN Failover
  • CUCM Call Routing during SRST Fallback
  • CUCM to CME Call Routing
  • Inter-Cluster RSVP via SIP Preconditions

Enjoy.

Jan
28

I know that we live in a globalized world, full of virtual friends linked via social sites - and honestly that is great. I've had the pleasure of meeting so many people all over the world now that our world is indeed so much 'smaller' because of technology. I love it. I do. However, when I actually get to really meet those people, in person, face to face, I can't help but feel something of a bit more connected to them. Shaking someone's hand, actually seeing their face, still means something I think. I think this is why all of us in the networking community really enjoy coming together annually at Cisco Live - Networkers. We get to put faces with names, and see old faces that we have connected with in years past.

It's one of the reasons I still very much like teaching live classes, and I believe why students still like attending them. You not only get a captive audience with the student/instructor for a solid two weeks, but you also get to see and hear and talk to someone in person. You get to hear their story. What makes them ... them. What drives them. You get to actually know them. I also think that meeting in person is something intentional, and that if you had the inkling of maybe putting off your studies for a night after work, that if you were a part of a study group that actually met in person, you'd be less likely to cancel - maybe feel a bit more committed or obligated to show up.

So to that end, I would like to find out if there is anyone living in the Los Angeles / Orange County / San Diego area that would be interested in a CCIE study group one night per week. I propose Mondays, but I am open to any night Monday-Thursday, really. This would be a group where anyone studying for their CCIE in any track could come together and study for a few hours each week. Obviously, we'd break apart and each study in our own sub-groups dedicated to the track we are trying to attain. When we first meetup, we would devise an agenda for the coming months, and focus on those topics when we meet each week. And as is usual, the stronger in a given topic domain help out the weaker, and we all grow. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we all have something to gain from each other.

I would like to find out who all might be interested in meeting in this area, and actually in any area for that matter. While I can't host the group in every city, I'd still be interested if there are more than just one person studying for a given cert in each city. I would venture to guess that there are. :)

For the LA/OC area, I would be more than happy to host, and provide all the coffee and a snacks each week. As I said above, we could have multiple people come together even if studying for different tracks. I would be quite happy to participate in the Data Center, Voice and Security groups primarily. Respond either in the comments below or by known unicasting me some email if you are interested, or even if you would be interested in hosting a group in another city.

Jan
24

A few days ago, Cisco officially launched a completely new certification track centered around its entire Medianet portfolio -calling it simply the "Video" track- consisting of Unified Communications and TelePresence Video Conferencing products, along with Digital Media Signage and IP Video Surveillance. This track currently only offers the CCNA Video certification, however I doubt they will stop there.

This track seems to follow the CCNA Data Center in that it does not require you to certify at the CCENT level before attaining this CCNA Video, however it does require you to pass the 640-461 ICOMM, which is the same exam required to become a CCNA Voice (which by the way is a product that INE happily gives away for free in streaming mode and is also available for download at a nominal price). The second exam you must take and pass is a brand new one - the 200-001 VIVND. This exam is broken down into a two-phased learning approach by Cisco, the first giving you basic understanding of video-based systems, and the second diving a bit wider into four of Cisco's specific Medianet product suites, namely Cisco Unified Communication and Collaboration, Cisco TelePresence, Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS), and Cisco Video Surveillance (all links are for the design guides, not just basic product info). Passing this exam also gives you a specialist cert, being that of a Cisco Video Network Specialist.

As mentioned before, it seems highly unlikely that they will stop at only CCNA Video, likely continuing on to include CCNP Video and finally to add a CCIE Video certification at some unknown point in time. I don't know about you - but I would venture to guess that the CCIE Video -when it comes- will be the most QoS-heavy cert of them all to date, considering all of the different LAN QoS classes presented in the excellent document Tim Szigeti and team spent 3 years putting together and refining in the Medianet Design Guide. Now I simply wonder if we'll see a Catalyst 6509-E in the CCIE Video exam, or a Nexus 5K/7K. ;-)

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