A few seats are still available for the 10am and 2pm CCIE Routing & Switching Troubleshooting sessions that INE is running at Cisco Live US in San Diego. Sessions are being held in the Revolution room of the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. Candidates who previously RSVPed to the sessions at the INE party last night will get priority, and seating after that will be on a first come first serve basis.


I just finished up 2 weeks of a really great CCNP Voice bootcamp, covering all 5 of the latest 8.0 version exams from Cisco (CVOICE, CIPT1, CIPT2, CAPPS, & TVOICE). All in all we ended up with 62 completely brand-new hours of informative video that we are sure you will be excited to watch when they are posted to our streaming and download sites here in probably just about a week. We went fairly in-depth on most every topic, one of them being MGCP during our TVOICE section of class.

BTW, with this new 62 hours of CCNP Voice video, this brings INE to 320 hours of total CCNA-to-CCIE Voice video-on-demand training. Far, far more than any other vendor. And it is all up-to-date and taught by me, not by subcontracted instructors.

You may recall that in my last post related to MGCP Troubleshooting, we took a basic look at the MGCP commands that a Call-Agent (server) instructs a Gateway (client) to preform - something the RFC refers to as "verbs".

In this post, we are going to take a look at the output of the "debug mgcp packets" command for a single call, and then break down each section of the output into "transactions" (i.e. Command and Response).


Over the coming weeks I will be running a new series here on Troubleshooting Voice. I often have students in class that report to me that one of the most difficult parts of their CCIE Voice exam experience was having to deal with the inner workings of some of the protocols and how to read and decipher them accurately. I have also begun to see this more and more across the various mailing lists and forums, and so I decided it was time to start an entire series on these not-to-be-feared topics. Since these protocols are covered quite in-depth in the CCNP Voice course (most specifically in the CVOICE portion), I highly encourage people starting out in Unified Communications, not to skip the lower level courses, and to really dig in at that CCNA Voice and then CCNP Voice level, before going into the CCIE Voice. At each level something is presented that is not explained at the next level, so it really is crucial to go through each progression of the track in a sequential and systematic order. This goes especially for those who might already have a CCIE, and think they understand what the CCIE is all about. They probably understand very well what the exam itself is all about, however the underlying Voice technologies are quite vastly different than the data world they may be used to. In fact, I hear this quite a lot from people making the jump from a R&S IE to the Voice side of the realm - "Man, this Voice stuff is totally different!".

To begin with, we will start out a bit easy, and go over the basics of everyone's favorite client/server gateway protocol - MGCP or "Media Gateway Control Protocol".


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.


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


I enjoyed Petr's article regarding explicit next hop.  It reminded me of a scenario where a redistributed route, going into OSPF conditionally worked, depending on which reachable next hop was used.

Here is the topology for the scenario:

Here is the relevant (and working :)) information for R1.


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.

Wait no longer for such help to arrive! INE is happy to announce that each Live-Online Deep Dive course that we have taught has been recorded, and you have the ability to access these extensive repositories of knowledge at any time.

Here are a couple of great demo's of just a portion of the latest Deep Dive session we held on Globalization & Localization in order to whet your appetite:

Demo 1: Globalization Prezi - Theory and Reasons

Demo 2: Inbound Calling Party Localization


"Why doesn't this PING work!?!"

Here is a simple 3 router configuration, well at least it is simple on 2 of the 3 routers. R1 and R3 are configured quite traditionally, but R2 is a bit more involved.
Here is the diagram.

Here are the details.

R2 is using a VRF which includes both LAN interfaces. R2 is also acting as a Zone Based Firewall in transparent mode, allowing all ICMP traffic in both directions, as well as SSH from the inside to the outside networks. R2 has a bridged virtual interface in the network. All are running OSPF, but pings issued from R2 to the loopbacks of R1 and R3 are failing.

Can you identify why?


The best-selling Volume 2 practice lab workbook from INE has been updated with new, 2-hour Troubleshooting sections that mirror the actual Cisco Lab Exam. Labs 1 through 3 are published now to member accounts. More are on the way!


You just cannot assume anything when you sit for your Version 4.0 CCIE R&S Lab Exam. One of the former assumptions we could make with Version 3.x was that our Frame Relay Switch is going to be just fine and dandy. Therefore, if you examined your PVC health (status) and you saw DELETED, you could immediately inspect your Frame Relay map statements, or your frame-relay interface-dlci commands for a typo in the DLCI.

But in this new exam (Troubleshooting section or Configuration section), nothing is off limits from your problem scope. OK, well, to be more accurate, most Layer 1 issues are still indeed out of scope. In fact, in the Troubleshooting section, Layer 1 really cannot be an issue since the devices we are troubleshooting are actually virtual routers. You cannot even run up against a bad cable there! But still, there is a lot more that we can be asked to troubleshoot than in the past. And if you think about the Core Knowledge section, they could even ask Layer 1 troubleshooting-related questions there instead!

In this blog post (dedicated to my current Advanced Troubleshooting Bootcamp Live Class), we will examine Frame Relay troubleshooting where the Frame Relay Switch rears its rather ugly head.


Our students that attempt the actual exam are consistently passing the Troubleshooting section now with relative ease. Why? Well, they are focusing on strategies that we teach in our bootcamps and discuss here on the blog. They are also practicing frequently with the many sample Trouble Tickets we feature in our materials. The premier product for this practice is the Volume 4 workbook.

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