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Archive for September, 2011

Vol1 diagramming and assigning VLANs

September 23, 2011 5 comments

This is a post dedicated to people that have just started their CCIE studies. When I first started I wasn’t used to the type of diagrams used in the CCIE workbooks. Even though I have several years of experience and have used VLANs for a long time it was a bit confusing at first. Here are some advice for you to get started.

We need to find out how the devices are connected. We are also interested in what interfaces that are trunking. I do it like this, I open notepad and type:
sh cdp nei
sh int trunk

There should be an newline at the end. I then paste this into all the devices. This is faster than typing manually. Producing the layer 2 topology should not take more than roughly 5 minutes.

I can now see what devices are connected and what interfaces that are trunks. I draw four squares and type the switch names inside of them. I then draw the lines connecting them and type the interface number on them. I then draw circles for the routers that are connected to the switches. If a router has multiple connections I draw them as two routers instead of multiple lines from the same router.

This diagram is very important if we need to do traffic engineering at layer two. From what I have heard from the lab the diagrams are very good and the L2 diagram might be the only one that you want to draw.

I then look at the logical topology and identify all the VLANs. Some VLANs are local to the switch and some VLANs connect to routers and other switches. I make a list with the routers and their local port and to what port they connect to in the switch and what VLAN that should be used.

Then I use notepad again and from my list I look at what interfaces should be assigned to which VLANs and type

conf t
int f0/1
swi mo acc
swi acc vl 146

I do this for all interfaces and for all switches and then paste the config in the switches.

How do I know what VLANs need to be created. Well, the VLANs that have interfaces assigned in the local switch is a no brainer. We definately need them. Then you have to look at the transit path if you have a VLAN that spans several switches. Will this switch be in the transit path? If yes, then add the VLAN. If not, then don’t add it. You could just add all VLANs everywhere but that is overconfiguration and could lead to points missed even though I don’t think it is likely that they would deduct points for this.

I have scanned a picture from my notepad that I use when doing labs. You can see it below.

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Categories: CCIE, Diagram Tags: , ,

Lab has been booked

September 23, 2011 8 comments

I have now booked my lab. I’m going to brussels in february. I don’t want to post the exact date here but you will know from this site when I’ve been there.

Categories: CCIE Tags:

Status update

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I have finished the Vol1 QoS. Yesterday I did a full Vol2 so not much sleeping tonight. It went OK, I am where I expect to be right now. I still have about 6 months to go and I need to improve on some weak areas. From now on I’m putting more focus on the Vol1 labs. Might do a post on som Catalyst QoS stuff if I find the time.

Categories: Announcement, CCIE Tags: ,

QoS studies

September 12, 2011 2 comments

Did some more QoS labs yesterday. I have completed roughly 50/80 labs so far. Here is a quick tip for looking at what policy-maps are assigned to interfaces.

Show run | i interface|service-policy

Here is a question for my readers.

I want to shape to an average rate of 512k. The Tc shoud be 10 ms. What command and parameters do I need to use? Post in comments.

Categories: CCIE, QoS Tags: ,

Status update

September 11, 2011 1 comment

Haven’t had much time posting lately since I have started at a new job. Seems to be a great place so far. Didn’t have much time to study either but I’m resuming my studies tonight with a double rack session. I am going to book my lab next week so it is time to step up. I will have about 6 months before my 1st attempt. This will be my strategy for studying.

Sunday: Do a complete Vol2 lab or close to it
Monday: Vol1 labs or complete Vol2
Tuesday: Vol1 labs
Wednesday: Vol1 labs
Thursday: Vol1 or Vol3/4
Sunday: Vol2

I think it’s important to do more Vol1 labs, so far I have only done the core sections in Vol1 but Vol1 does really tech you the technology. If I can keep to this scheme I will have around 20h of labs per week. That would mean I would have around 1000h going in to the lab (written+labs). We will see if that is enough.

Categories: Announcement, CCIE Tags: ,

Routing-Bits Handbook Routing&Switching

September 2, 2011 2 comments

Every CCIE candidate faces the same challenges. How can we take in the huge amount of information and still retain it for later use? There are a few options available. When I do labs I use a notebook (paper) and write down issues I encounter and good commands for verification. I have also in the past made flash cards that I have made available for everyone interested in downloading them.

The issue with flashcards or producing a huge document with notes is that it takes time, A LOT of time. You will almost spend as much time creating notes as you spend on actual labbing. I had heard of the Routing-Bits Handbook earlier and had heard good things about it. The book is written by Ruhann Du Plessis and he is a dual CCIE #24163 (R&S and SP).

Ruhanns motivation for writing the book was that there were no books available that covered content for the lab exam in a concise format. The book is designed to be concise but still have enough detail for what is needed to pass the CCIE lab exam.

The book contains the following areas:

Switching
Frame-Relay
PPP
IP Routing
RIP
EIGRP
OSPF
BGP
MPLS
Multicast
IPv6
QoS
Security
Services

In every section there is a brief description of how protocols and standards work. Take for example Q-in-Q (dot1q-tunnel). There is a brief description of the technology. The requirements to run it is listed and caveats with running it is also described and there is also a config set that shows how you configure it. This is one of my favourite parts with the book that we get config sets showing how to use the technology. For many of the sections we will also see where we can find documentation on the DOCCD.

At the end of a section we are also shown how to verify configuration and how to do troubleshooting in a structured way. There is a lot you can learn from this section.

All in all the book consists of 356 pages which is a good size. If it were shorter a lot of details would have to be left out but if it was longer than it could take too long time to get through it.

My suggestion is to use this book when you are doing your labs. Try to find help on the DOCCD first and if you can’t find it or want an example on how to configure it look in the Routing-Bits Handbook. Never use Google unless you really have to. The further you get into your studies you will find that you will not have to reference books as much.

It is also a good tool for doing revision. If you spare 30 minutes per day you can probably go through 1 or 2 sections and that would be 1-2 weeks to do a cycle. I definitely think this book will help me spend less time on producing notes and more time doing labs which will bring me closer to the CCIE. You have to respect the time and amount of work that Ruhann has put into this book. The book costs 99$ if you are interested in buying it but Ruhann has kindly agreed to provide a discount of 20% for the readers of this blog. Send a mail referring to this site if you buy it and you will receive the discount.

If you want to look at a sample of the book you can find it at Ruhanns site. This is the direct link to the sample.

Ruhann has also told me that he is working on an updated version and I will update or write a new post on that version when it is released.