Tag Archives: Certification

The Blueprint: Give BGP A Wedgie!!

BGP Wedgies do exist.



– CiscoNinjaNC


The Blueprint: (*,G) (S,G)…Multicast and IPv6

Taken with my iPhone while in NYC. iPad2's were out of stock!

Just doing a short blog entry..

This weekend I started on my second pass of Multicast and IPv6. I didn’t spend much time on IPv6…I feel that I am quite solid on this topic at this point. Not really going to speak much on IPv6 ( I may do a separate blog entry for that topic). Get solid on the IPv4 addressing (link-local, ULA, global unicast, EUI-64)and configuration. IPv6 should come naturally from a routing protocol perspective. RIPng, EIGRPv6 and OSPFv3 are similar to its IPv4 older sister. Get used to configuring these protocols at the interface level. If you don’t believe me get your hands on a Nexus switch running NX-OS. It is quite painful to work with NX-OS and then have to go back to IOS. The IGP routing protocols have moved towards interface level configuration. I like the NS-OS. They have a TONS of nice IOS enhancements that we all wish were there with Cisco IOS. Lots of  “/” notation…no more….just do 1.1.1./24 in your interface configuration!

I did review the Multicast IPv6 portions of the material. There is a good chance that IPv6 PIM BSR might show up on the lab (that’s not a much of news to anyone studying for the CCIE lab because ANYTHING could show up on the exam).

For the most part, I watched the following Multicast INE CoD Videos:

Advanced technologies COD – Multicast Module 7 (7 videos)
Deep Dive – Multicast (20 videos)

In total, I watched 27 videos. The lengths of videos ranged from 30-60 minutes per video. This curriculum was considered as a 3 Day multicast Boot camp. I took me all of Saturday and most of Sunday to get through all the videos. I watched the videos and worked through some of the corresponding labs in Workbook VOL 1. The videos were actually pretty good…Brian McGahan was the trainer for these.

Trouble-shooting Multicast can be quite involved. I plan to do more review on some of the material for the next few days to make sure I am solid by working the remaining VOL 1 labs to fill in any gaps.

Some quick  commands for me to remember(if I type them, I will remember them in the future)

ip pim send-rp-announce (for AutoRPconfigure this on the candidate RP)
ip pim send-rp-discovery (for AutoRPconfigure this on the mapping agent)
ip pim rp-address (defines the RP)
ip pm sparse-mode
ip pim dense-mode
ip pim sparse-dense-mode
ip pim nbma-mode (for non broadcast multiaccess interfaces)
sh ip pim neighbor
sh ip pim interface
sh ip pim rp mapping
sh ip mroute
ip mroute (for configuring a static multicast route)

That’s it for now…thanks for reading. SUBSCRIBE!

– CiscoNinjaNC (2001::36/64)

“The journey is the reward.”

The Blueprint: I got BEEF with INE!

Okay…so I’ve been watching some training videos for a few weeks now to gain/maintain some clarity on some of the “Advanced Topics”

I’ll be honest…I am quite disappointed with some of the videos in the CCIE R&S Advanced Technologies Class on Demand. I’m not sure that I’m disappointed in the actual content. I’m more disappointed in the delivery with some of the training content. I’ll start of by saying that hands down Anthony Sequeira is the BEST of them all. I wish he did all of the training modules in the CoD Advanced Technologies R&S series. I’d be a CCIE in no time if he lead all the training.

Here are a few reasons why:

1. He speaks VERY clearly.
2. His understandings of the topics are superb.
3. He gives real examples and explains all the details with ease (it almost seems like he is reading your mind and focuses on the challenging topics)
4. He voice is dynamic and holds your attention…not stale and mono-tone.

My BEEF with the rest of the trainers is totally opposite of what I just described above.

Here’s why:

1. One guy sounded like he was eating or salivating while talking (smacking his lips all in the microphone). This was very annoying to me because I watch/listen the videos with my Beats by Dre. headphones on and it picks up all the nasty sounds from his mouth.  VERY ANNOYING and NASTY.
2. Some of the trainers make many mistakes while going though some of the configurations. It’s quite annoying to hear something and then have the trainer say, “forget what I just said”
3. Some of the trainers are not narrating or explaining much while they are typing commands. It’s like they are just typing commands like nobody’s watching them.
4. Some seemed to have not really thought about chronology. The order of explanations seems very poor.

Those are just a few of my gripes. I found myself just trying to find and listen to only the modules that Anthony narrated. He is such a good trainer that after I listen to one of his modules, I come out of it with a much better understanding that I ever did reading on my own. His technique and style of explaining topics and technologies is superb. Out of all the topics, I PRAYED that he narrated the QoS topic…and my prayers came true. I found myself in much better shape with QoS than I ever was after listening to that module (Module 9)

I simply wish he did all of them.

As far as my study goes, I feel that I’m a tad bit behind. I’m planning on taking a Mock Lab on May 28th to gauge where I am at. The rest of the month im thinking I will go like this:

– Do a Mock Lab within the next 10 days. (goal to make sure I am solid on CORE technologies)
– Looking to focus much more efforts on the QoS topics.
– Focus more time on MPLS
– Dive into Multicast again
– Dive into more of the non-core stuff (Security, NAT, IOS Firewall, AAA, IP Services)

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Holla Back!

The Blueprint: …BGP…what a DRAG.

Okay. I been sick for about a week. Just now really starting to get my swagger back.

I have identified through my studies of the past 2 weeks that I need to focus more attention to BGP. Very important and complex protocol. Go figure…it is the protocol that runs the Internet! So it must be important right?

So this is what I have decided to do… This entire weekend Saturday and Sunday. I am going to put all my energy and resources into Workbook VOL1 BGP Section 7.1 – 7.61.  YEAH 7.1 – 7.61. That means my goal is to work though all 61 scenarios in this section. This is the second largest section of the workbook (QoS is the first). Sounds crazy. I admit it is…but that’s how I roll. NFL championship weekend doesn’t make this easier. None the less, I have to master this topic. I have the basics under control. Things like BGP Communities and filter techniques I need to master. Pretty much everything 🙂 No sweat. I got it under control…just need to focus and not rush through it. Baby steps.


The Blueprint – Week 5 and 6

I hope everyone has gotten off to a great start for the new year. I certainly feel that I have.

With the New Years holiday, I took some time off work and made some rounds visiting relatives and friends so I had to take off quite a few days of study. Overall, I think I’ve managed my time well and have been able to get in some good study time in during the holidays.

This is where I stand as of today:

I’ve worked though Volume 2 Lab 1 and Lab 2 as of Sunday Jan 9th, 2011. I think this is pretty good considering I took off about 4 days off this past two weeks. INE recommends that you do 1 lab per week. I managed to get through these two labs (not even rushing through them) and did all my review of VOL 1 scenarios this past weekend.

VOL 1 scenarios have become a thorn for me. This is not necessarily a complaint but more of a “I wish I had…” type of thing. I wish I had another rack of equipment … BIG WISH 🙂 This is why I wish I had another rack:

When I’m working on VOL 2 full-scale labs, If I get stuck on a specific task during the lab, the workbooks do a very good job of providing the exact reference to the VOL 1 scenarios to practice. For me, I would like to review the VOL 1 explanation and I would like to practice the actual scenario…however, since my rack is already loaded with the VOL 2 lab, it would be dumb for me to wipe my lab and the load the scenario. If I had a second rack, I could just maintain my VOL 2 lab…and then use the second rack to practice the VOL 1 scenario in parallel. Huge wish, but this would make my study go much smoother. I tend to spend lots of time loading VOL1 scenarios…im still pondering a quicker way…im thinking Dynamips but not sure yet. Right now, what I do is just mark the task for review, then I input the solution configuration and move on to the next task. At the end of the lab, I go back to all my marked tasks and review the VOL1 reference and do the actual scenario if I feel I need the hands on practice. Lastly, I always make sure I can find the configuration on the Cisco DOCs online.

This week, I will start on VOL2 Lab 3. This lab has a difficulty of 8…so this should be much harder that the previous two labs. I also plan to continue to squeeze in VOL1 scenarios (Security, IP Services, System Management).

That’s all for now. Thanks again for stopping by.

Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already (top right of this web page). I’m trying to get my subscriber base up so that I can do more Tech Talk blogs and possibly start some free giveaways


CCIE Lab Build – Finished! (Part 4)

I first want to give thanks for those that are following my BLOG. Writing a BLOG about the CCIE journey is nothing new however, I’ve gotten some really good feedback and encouragement since starting this. 

I have finally finished building my CCIE home lab this past weekend. I took about 4 weeks to complete. I pretty much ordered everything online. As I mentioned before, I had to put my foot on the accelerator and get this thing built fast because I felt I took way to long of a break after passing the written exam. I am now in my zone and I am 100% focused for studying for this thing. Here is short breakdown of the current gear that I have:

R1 – Cisco 2620XM (128D / 32F)
R2 – Cisco 2620XM (128D / 32F)
R3 – Cisco 2621XM (128D / 32F)
R4 – Cisco 1841
R5 – Cisco 2811
R6 – Cisco 3725
SW1 – Cisco 3750
SW2 – Cisco 3750
SW3 – Cisco 3550
SW4 – Cisco 3560
BB1 – Cisco 2620XM
BB2 – Cisco 2620XM
BB3 – Cisco 2620XM
Access Server – Cisco 2511RJ

Note that I am following the INE framework somewhat. Im not using the hardware they have …but I have checked and checked and I should be good for 99% of the labs. I focused in IOS versions and making sure these routers can run the proper code to do all the labs. I got a really good deal on the 2620XMs…so thats why I have so many of them. Using them for the BB1, BB2, BB3 might be overkill…but whatever.  I have been on the message boards and other blogs and I have seen quite a few people pass this on the first attempt. From day 1, I always said that my goal is to pass on the first attempt. I’ve heard waaaaay to many people say the first attempt it just a “recon mission” to see what the exam is like. They psyche themselves out. NOT ME…a $1400 dollar recon mission…yeah right. Not to mention hotel and travel (I’ll be taking mine in RTP) ..im serious about this.  Seeing others do it motivates me even more…Advantage Me, because I have my own lab that I can use 24/7.

I also purchased Workbook Volume 1 from INE (im not advertising for them…lots of people been asking me what I plan to use for study) and got started studying this past weekend. I started on Saturday and I have logged in 22 hours of study. I have completed Section 1.x, 2.x and 3.x of the workbook. My goal is to have Section 4(RIP) and Section 5(EIGRP) completed by the end of the week. I’m actually mad that I’m doing this blog because it’s cutting into my study time. I’ll publish my study schedule and progress on this blog weekly.

Kudos to a former co-worker of mine…He passed the CCNA (on his first attempt) right before the holiday. Good job and Congrats!

This is probably the last of the pictures you will see of my Lab…not much more to show. Good Luck for those out there trying to make it happen. Holla at me if you have any questions and SUBSCRIBE to this blog! Enjoy.

– CiscoNinjaNC

1ft Gray Crossover, 3ft Black CAT5e, 3ft Serial Cables

Final Order of 3 Cisco 2620s and 1 Catalyst 3550 Switch

This is "The Blueprint"

"The Blueprint"

got the 1ft grey crossovers to keep the rack looking clean

another shot of "The Blueprint"

CCIE Lab Build (Part 3)

For those out there who are on the fence whether or not to build your own rack…in my opinion, building your own rack is the absolute way to go! There are soooo many benefits to having your own rack… but the absolute single most important thing to me is:

24/7 access to my rack to practice anytime, anywhere (provided you have remote access to it), and for as long as you want.

If you are like me, your work schedule does not jive well with the schedules for most of the online rack rental companies. Most of the time, there are no available time slots for the days that works best for your schedule. I found myself having to settle for a time slot that wasnt really ideal. In most cases, you have to schedule the rack session days or weeks ahead. Lastly, if something comes up where miss your rack session, you lose the money you paid if you don’t cancel it within 24hrs prior to your rental session.

I’m not bashing the rack rentals because they can be a useful aid for practicing technology that your home rack might not be equipped for. Depending upon which CCIE track you are going for, buying gear can be VERY expensive. For the CCIE R&S Track, used gear is readily available for reasonable prices. With the handful of routers and switches I have now, I have built some of my own smaller labs and practiced specific technologies.

My rack is not fully completed yet. The remainder of my gear will be here TODAY. In th next few days, I will cable up everything and start the INE framework after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

I’ve also made my rack accessible remotely when I’m not home. If you have the capabilities to do so, I highly suggest it. It’s a  good thing to have when you take lunch breaks at work or if you are visiting the In-Laws (hopefully they have Internet access). Anytime you can fit it some practice is always a good thing.

Theses series of CCIE Lab Build Blogs are coming to and end. I will do one final blog  with details and pictures of my fully completed rack.

Be on the look out for more on my Journey to CCIE. DONT FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE (Click Sign Me Up)