Apr
05

The beta version of lab 1 for the R&S CCIE Volume III Workbook has been released. It's available in your members' site account for customers with access to the workbook.

Additionally the initial configurations are available per section. This means you can load up to a particular section. For example you could load up to the BGP section or up to 4.6 where route redistribution start. Also the final configurations are available to load on the racks.

Note that the configurations are at the bottom of the drop down for the R&S rack rentals in the control panel.

Once this is finalized I'll submit it to be automatically graded like our Troubleshooting Labs are now and also put into our new web workbook format. Lastly I'm now working on R&S Volume II Lab 1 and will work on both workbooks in parallel.

Please post any comments in regards to this lab here or email them directly to me.

Mar
24

If anyone has time this week and is interested in beta testing the new lab 1 from the R&S Volume III Workbook reply to this post. I would like a few more people to run through it before I release it later this week.

The new R&S Vol III labs are being updated and having VRFs, MPLS, MPLS VPNs, IPv6 OSPFv3 and EIGRP for IPv6 added. Fundamental multicast for IPv4 and IPv6 will also be included in some of the labs. The troubleshooting section has been updated. Along with the initial and final configurations, the configurations are available per section. So if you want to start at route redistribution, BGP, IPv6, etc you can load up to that point. Additionally the route redistribution is being standardized to follow the same methodology that I teach in my bootcamps. I've included a detailed walk-through explanation of the route redistribution solution used and why it was selected over other solutions so by the end of all of the Vol III labs you will be able to check route redistribution off your list of topics to worry about in the real lab.

Once the beta is done, grading will be added to lab 1 so you can have your lab graded. It's going to take me about a week per lab to get these all updated along with adding in grading and finally beta tested before released. In addition to the grading, the show commands from the solutions will be available to compare with the show commands from your lab. This should be available within the next couple weeks for not just these labs but the new Troubleshooting Labs.

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.

Dec
12

Between now and the end of the week we will be releasing our January to June 2013 schedule. You will see a lot of new classes/bootcamps added covering a wide range of topics. These include CCNA Data Center, CCNP Data Center, CCNP Wireless, CCNA Service Provider, CCNP Service Provider, Nexus 1000v & Open vSwitch, UCS & OpenStack, Nexus Live Online Bootcamps, Nexus Live Onsite Bootcamps, etc. You will also notice we are adding new 2 day online courses covering a wide range of topics (ISE, WSE, IOS XR, IOS XE, OpenFlow, etc).

The biggest change that you will notice for 2013 is that for ALL of our new products we will offer hands-on labs and equipment rentals. We've made a big push for new hardware in 2012 and we'll be making an even bigger push for 2013. During the first week of January you will see the new CCNP and CCIE Security racks along with the new CCIE Data Center racks coming online. Additionally our new CCNP Security course will have hands-on labs available around the same time frame.

In 2013 we will be making all of our CCNA courses available free of charge like how our CCNA and CCNA Voice courses are now. Not only will they be free to stream online, we will offer hands-on labs and equipment access for all tracks (CCNA Service Provider, CCNA Data Center tracks, etc). Some of the equipment will be offered free of charge for AAP members and some equipment even free of charge to the general public. The key to learning at this level isn't to be bored to death with some "professional presenter" going over hours and hours of PowerPoint slides or some low budget video production with a "professional presenter" dancing around the screen. You need to be engaged by watching a real instructor cover the topics hands-on while you also following along on the equipment. Lastly in regards to the CCNA, you will see the current courses redone to allow for this new format.

For the workbooks will be retiring the workbook volume structure (Vol 1, Vol 2, etc) that we first introduced years ago and is now copied by nearly every vendor. We will be moving to a new format that is a single solution laid out in a structured manner as opposed to a portfolio of products. This new format allows for quicker updates and additions to the products along with many other benefits. The new CCIE Security and CCIE Data Center products will be the first to be offered in our new format.

Lastly I will be making a separate post later this month in regarding a new series of online classes that I personally will be doing next year.

Nov
09

Tomorrow I'll be releasing R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Lab 2 and I'm shooting for lab 3 on Monday or Tuesday. These will also be automatically graded just like lab 1. In fact my plan is to have ALL future R&S CCIE labs from INE automatically graded. It only takes 2 to 3 hours for me to input and test out the grading for a lab after the lab is written. The lab authoring interface on our grading system makes it easy for me to create and release a new lab and/or modify an existing lab. I'm really happy with the feedback we're receiving with our new graded troubleshooting labs and I see this as a big part of INE's future.

Nov
01

Edit: This session starts today - 2012/11/01 at 10:00 PDT at http://www.ine.com/live/

On Thursday Nov 1st at 10am PDT I'll be holding a vseminar to kickoff our much anticipated R&S CCIE Troubleshooting labs, grading and rack rentals to the public. What I'm going to offer is a FREE troubleshooting lab, rack rental and grading to ALL of INE's R&S customers. This means everyone who has attended an R&S bootcamp, bought an R&S workbook or an R&S video product from INE will have the ability to register for one of the troubleshooting sessions via their members site account after the vseminar next week. This is my way of saying thanks for letting INE help you achieve your goals.

The first troubleshooting session will be Friday after the vseminar and we've allocated 8 of our 16 full scale troubleshooting racks for the free sessions and the other 8 for standard rental to the public. To sign up for the vseminar use this link. The link to sign up for the free troubleshooting session will appear in everyone's members' site account after the vseminar.

Additionally next week I'll be announcing our new Nexus online course that will cover the Nexus 7000, 5000 and 2000 series switches. Students will have access to a pod consisting of a 7010, two 5548s, and a 2232 to do the labs used in this course. This will be the perfect course for anyone working on Nexus in their day-to-day job or someone just starting out on their journey for the Datacenter CCIE lab.

Lastly next week I'll also be announcing my 2013 onsite bootcamp schedule and my brand new series of online bootcamps that will start in December.

Oct
02

Below are the links to the INE CCIE R&S TS Lab 1 GNS3 files. If you are familiar with GNS3 it shouldn't be too hard to get up and working. The IOS image needs to be referenced and the idle PC values set for your machine. I would also highly recommend tuning up any protocol timers to their max values as this eases the load on GNS3 with such a big topology.

Note that in the ticket 4 isn't an issue for the GNS3 topology.

Download Link

Aug
15

We've added a few online seats to the R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp that is being held here in Bellevue, WA starting October 1st and streamed online live. The online seats include your own dedicated rack of 28 ISRs and 4 switches along with grading for the week plus the weekend following the bootcamp. Additionally if you are an AAP (All Access Pass) member and a little venturous you could do the Troubleshooting Bootcamp using GNS3 without costing you anything. You will need a decent machine to run 32 devices in GNS3 or could use something like Amazon's or RackSpace's cloud servers. I'll post the instructions on how to install and run GNS3 using Amazon's and RackSpace's cloud here on the blog. It'll cost roughly 30 cents per hour to run a server powerful enough for the troubleshooting topology but you only pay Amazon or RackSpace for the hours when the machine is running. So roughly $12 in server fees for the full bootcamp.

This isn't like other troubleshooting bootcamps in that we are the only company offering a full troubleshooting topology using 32 device topology (28 routers and 4 switches) along with lab grading. One of the offerings out there teaches troubleshooting using PowerPoint slides but the last time I checked Microsoft's PowerPoint isn't on the lab blueprint ;-) Here is a sample topology from the bootcamp:

CCIE Troubleshooting Lab

Additionally I spend a ton of time hands-on breaking down the tickets and their technologies. Roughly 8 hours per day is spent going over the previous evening's tickets. If you have any questions regarding the R&S CCIE Troubleshooting Bootcamp feel free to email me directly. My email is bdennis@ine.com.

Jun
22

You all made it by far the best Cisco Live that we've been to thus far. We wanted to put together a video to help remember the night, and say thank you for being such great, loyal customers. We will be doing a party of at least this same magnitude next year. I say magnitude because that's probably the best way to describe the night. This wasn't just some low budget wings-n-beer social, we had a sushi chef, a taco stand, and top-shelf drinks being served. We actually had to have them bring in more food at one point because more people showed than we had planned for. It was a truly magnanimous party. At the peak we had 247 people on that roof (capacity was 250 at any one time). People came and went all night - and all-in-all we had almost 500 people show up for our customer appreciation party. All of INE was there, and we truly enjoyed meeting each one of you face-to-face - something that we can't always do online. We really cannot wait to see all of you, plus many new faces at our customer appreciation party at Cisco Live next year in Orlando. If you didn't happen to make it this year in San Diego, we certainly hope you can make it out to our event next year in 2013. Who knows, we may even do this in London or Melbourne next year as well.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOikmCF3qCM

By the way, stay tuned as early next week we lay out our CCIE Data Center training strategy and rack rental plans!

Jun
10

I'm sitting today in the CCIE Routing and Switching Techtorial here at Cisco Live in San Diego. I'll be update this blog post and tweet about anything ground breaking but it looks to be the exact same presentation as last year.

Follow me and stay updated throughout the conference!

8:45AM - Update
The topic of troubleshooting tickets and configuration task dependencies came up. They stated that you could see one ticket that requires a previous ticket to be resolved but not more than one ticket. In the configuration section if you had a PPPoE task that you couldn't resolve and then later in the IGP section you just configured OSPF over the Ethernet interfaces because you couldn't get the PPPoE task working you'll lose points for both tasks. They will not tell you that one ticket or task depends on another.

8:55AM - Update
You will get a single 22" monitor and they are working on migrating to dual monitors but no time frame.

9:00AM - Update
They do not care what solution you used as long as you meet the requirements. They are concerned with the "state" of the rack and not the solution you implemented in the configuration. This means there can be multiple solutions to resolve a ticket/task and they do not care what solution you used as long as you meet the requirements of the ticket/task and didn't violate the guidelines.

9:05AM - Update
Do not remove any feature to resolve a task. You must resolve the issue without removing the feature UNLESS the only solution is to remove the feature. I'll talk to them later one-on-one to get clarification.

9:10AM - Update
5 routers (3825 and 1841s) and 4 switches (3560) in the real lab for the configuration section. The routers are running 12.4(15)T and 12.2(44)SE for the switches.

9:20AM - Update
No dedicated Frame Relay switch but you will still have Frame Relay. This means one of your routers will be a Frame Relay switch.

9:30AM - Update
The students are up in arms over the topic of pinging yourself in regards to Frame Relay. Cisco says they don't care but admit that the full reachability requirements could led someone into thinking it would be required.

9:45AM - Update
The topics are starting to slow down as they go over example questions.

10:30AM - Update
We went on break. Still not much happening as they are going over sample questions. Here is a sample question:

The ALPS topology and the MATIP architecture implemented in Phase III between R3 and R4. Provide end-to-end transportation of airline protocol traffic across the network between these two routers. Use either the P1024B ALC or P1024C UTS protocol to provide the TCP/IP-based MATIP protocol conversion to the connected to the mainframe on R3's S0/1/0 interface. Do not use the alps default-circuit command under the alps ascu configuration. Use a clock rate of 48000. 3 Points.

Here is the documentation example: Airline Product Set (ALPS) Configuration Examples

This of course is a joke question ;-)

11:00AM - Update
Now this part is interesting. There are going over a redistribution example. They state they want optimal routing after the redistribution occurs but their solution is wrong in the slide as it seems to have been updated after the printing of the material. Also the presenter was trying to draw on a whiteboard in a room that is 10 rows deep. They need to draw on the projector and not a whiteboard ;-)

11:10AM - Update
Bruno van de Werve (R&S Program Manager) came in and saved the redistribution question with a quick word about how the solution should really be implemented (different than the slide). Basically just a mix up between the updated slides and the hand-outs. I was really surprised they asked for optimal routing with the redistribution but I think it's good they do.

1:00PM - Update
Right before lunch they talked about ZFW and hinted you should expect questions regarding it. Someone asked about IPS in the IOS and I got the feeling from the answer that although you could get a question on it, it's very not likely.

1:30PM - Update
The presenter asked if anyone was using the Cisco 360 Program to prepare for the exam. You could hear crickets chirping while he waited for an answer. Actually one person said they are using it.

1:50PM - Update
Not much happening. Guest speaker from Cisco talking about his experiences with the CCIE lab. Not sure of his name but seems like a really nice guy.

2:10PM - Update
Someone asked about 5 point questions. They stated that they won't have any 5 point questions but there could be questions that interrelate so two questions together basically become a 5 point question.

3:40PM - Update
They are walking through a troubleshooting lab scenario. Not very exciting except having 50+ people trying to answer a question is kind of funny.

Session ended around 4:45. They just went over sample troubleshooting tickets. I'll do another vseminar covering what minor changes I noticed in the presentation between last year and this year.

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