Thursday, October 29, 2009


There is a interesting thread going on here at IEOC.

For me, during my SP study, INE labs always seems to be quite straight forward and ask me to configure the tasks directly. IPX labs always ask about the result and need to think what you can do to get to the final result and you how to know how to configure it too. Maybe i'd also try INE switching lab first to see if they're better in R&S.

IPX Vol 1 Lab 2 and Lab 3

Last night, i managed to finish IPX Vol 1, Lab2 and Lab3. I was thinking i could finish until lab4 but, since i needed to wake up and go to work, i went to bed after 2 labs.

Like always from IPX, they make it difficult even for the focused labs. And some strange features that i didn't know even existed. Anyway, i will try to finish Lab4 and Lab 5 by this weekend to tick my switching checklist.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Switching.. Switching.. Switching..

I'm almost done with re-reading switching concepts and i hope i could start to do switching focused lab from IPX tomorrow night.. Anyway, there is one thing good about CCIE V4 blueprint from Cisco Learning Site. Nothing special but guess what..The blueprint comes with a checklist and i think it helps me a lot to keep track of my progress.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Time for lab again.. countdown will be starting soon.

Passed my written last week on the last day of R&S v3 and now CCIE v4 is officially kicking ass. I have not decided on my lab date yet(not even the month), but, i will be starting technologies focused labs in this week. My strategy is to Read Theory, do lab.. read theory, do lab.. read theory, do lab.. read theory, do lab.. until all the technologies covered in IPX VOL is finished. or should i do it together with INE Vol 1?

Any advice on IPX Vol 1 vs INE Vol 1?

Friday, October 16, 2009

CCNP goes Troubleshooting

Looks like, now, Cisco wants the candidates to be prepared before the CCIE lab for troubleshooting section. Starting from end for 2010, BSCI and BCMSN will be having new names. ISCW and ONT will be taken away and new Troubleshooting module will be added.

You can find out more details on this ongoing post :

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Notes from Official Update: CCIE Routing and Switching Web Seminar

I attened the Official Update: CCIE Routing and Switching Web Seminar last week. Surprisingly, i was the only attendance while i was expecting a lot of people would be interested to join and listen. The following is the note that i wrote down that night from Maurilio Gorito explanations, Product Manager of CCIE RS. Luckly, Brad Ellis, CEO of CCBootcamp help to ask a lot of question during Q&A section to dig out some more details.

isr running iso 12.4(T)
catalyst switches running IOS 12.2 Adv IP service
Scenario-based question added written exam
lab less emphasis on professional level task (more pre configuration)

New skills/ topics added.
planning and evaluating network change
performance routing, OER, EIGRPv6
IPv6 Multicast
MPLS and Layer 3 VPN

Short answer (up to 30min) - can be one word answer
Troubleshooting : up to 2 hours - Layer 3, Layer 2 (only WAN), routers only
Configuration ; at least 5 1/2 hours

New troubleshooting section
-multiple scenarios described on 'trouble tickets'
-diagnose and resolve fault(s) on preconfigured topology
-Network must be operationl to receive credit
-8 to 12 trouble tickets (doesn't mean that 8-12 topologies)
-may issue multiple diagrams for each topology (ospf, ipv6, etc..)
-totally on virtual environment (cisco version of dynamips)

Configuration Section
-More partially preconfigured solutions
-MPLS VPN is for layer 3 vpn only (e.g. 2xPE 2xCE)

You can use the link below to view the recording of the event:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Multicast and QOS done.. v3 Written on the last day?

Even though SP track covers lots for QOS and Multicast, they still sweat me a bit as always. Anyway, think i have pretty much cover the v3 written blueprint and I want to try it before they change it to version 4. I think I'll just go ahead and book for 16th Oct, which is the last day that we can take the version 3 exam in Singapore (17th is a public holiday). If i can clear it by then, i can already start working on my lab books.

My Plan is to go through CCIE Routing and Switching Quick Rreference Sheet starting from tomorrow and to take 2 days leave from work before the exam date.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Done with MPLS.. Time for Multicast

MPLS seems like an easy topic for me since it was SP focused. Anyway, i took me a while to do revision since i was moving house last for past few days.. Multicast is always a challenging topic for me. I am not sure if i need to study DVMRP since it is not in the blueprint.. :S

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

BGP done.. MPLS starts tomorrow..

I feel that I'm going with a very slow pace.. Even thought i have done this topic several times, It took me a while to read (cuz i was a bit lazy these days). Ok. time to get up and run again..

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Route Controls Done...

Redistribution, AD, Summarization, static&default routes, distribute-list, route-map, policy routing, prefix-list.. quite a lot of information. They always look like very unimportant topics in the book, but, it's a lot easy for things to go wrong if we are not be careful about them.. Next stop, BGP..

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Finally, i'm done with OSPF...

Took me so long to finish this one.. Yea, i was being quite lazy lately and no mood to study too much. Anyway, managed to revise switching and EIGRP one time. Will read through Redistribution, Summarization and static/default routing tomorrow. Hope i could finish till BGP/MPLS/VPN (SP stuffs) in a few days.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Me with the Flu

I'd been down with flu for 4 days and now I'm still recovering. And of course i couldn't study cuz my eyes burns. I hope i can get back on to the track tomorrow and finish off IGP section quick. BGP/Multicast/Qos/MPLS/VPN should be faster since i have read it several time during SP time. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Damn... finished EIGRP only after 10 days

I had a lot of things happening for a past few days and couldn't find time to study. Was quite busy at work and a friend was visiting us, staying at my place. So, sending him around the city, got chit chat at night, hang out with other friends, etc..

Anyway, I managed to finished EIGRP yesterday night. I studied Jeff's book first since it has more detailed explanations and summarized with Exam Certification guide.

So, Time for OSPF now. I need to go fast as i plan to finish my written before V3 exams expires in October. About 2 months left and i hope i could make it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I'm done with RIP, Time for EIGRP

I spent 2 days for RIP and i think it's enough for it. There's nothing much special about RIP. And i had just noticed that it's not inside V3 written exam blueprint but back in V4. I hope i would be able to finish all IGP in a few days. Tomorrow is time for EIGRP..

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Static Routing instead of RIP

Initially, i was planned to study RIP but, i happened to study about Static Routing instead. Routing TCP/IP Vol1, Static Routing section was quite interesting including proxy arp, switching techniques and load sharing topics. I hope i can finish RIP this weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yay.. Frame Relay Done...

I have read a lot about frame relay during my SP studies. So, i managed to finish frame relay (excluding QoS topics) quite fast.. Tomorrow RIP.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm back on track.. Frame Relay started.

After several days without doing anything, i've put myself back onto the track. I managed to finish switching section from CCIE Exam Certification Guide today and now it's time to move onto Frame Relay.

My choice of book? Cisco Frame Relay Solution Guide.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

INE R&S Vol 4 Workbook In My Account

INE has already put their vol 4 workbook in my account as they promised. Currently there are only 2 Labs but, i guess they're going to create at least one lab for one section in the blueprint. But, I'm not sure how they're going to cover the whole blueprint with just 10 labs. Anyway, as Brian said, they'll be adding 1 or 2 labs per week. So, we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Still in Holiday Mood but with a Good Investment and INE Released Vol 4 wrokbook

Following NeuralPsychoNetwork's advice, I'm still in holiday mood and nothing about RS was done last week.. but, i did get my annual bonus and made a good investment out of it. I'd purchased INE CCIE 2.0 program and some rack sessions. Thanks Mike for a great deal.. You're the man..

INE has also released a new workbook Vol 4 for troubleshooting section and it is going to be part of 2.0 program as well. If you purchase 2.0 program recently, you will get the Vol 4 workbook in your account in a few days which is a good news for me..

Monday, July 6, 2009

Unproductive Week..

I was sick the whole week and not in the mood to study.. Spending the whole week and i could barely finish BCMSN Student Guide I and II (skipped the WLAN topics).. VLAN and trunking topics are easy and OK. STP is normal but, RST is a nasty one. I'm sure that i'll forget the details of it soon. But, no worries. I still needa read Switching part from Wendell Odom's book. HSRP, VRRP, GLBP and switching security topics are also some good mind-refreshers..

No motivation too.. My company's still reviewing what to do with me passing CCIE since i pass my lab almost 3 weeks back and until now, no response.. By the way, my friend/study partner Sai passed his lab last week. Congratulations to CCIE #24725.

Monday, June 29, 2009

R&S study started today..

After 2 weeks break, i needa get up and start study already. I'm starting with light reading on BCMSN book. I will finish up this one and summarize with CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide, Part 1, Switching.. Still haven't decided a study plan and will work out on that this week.. Btw, my friend Sai did his lab exam today. Good luck for him..

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Idle days...

I didn't do anything for a few days in now still in idle mode.. (I think i really need a break).Except from watching Transformer 2 midnight show(it was really cool and worth it.. 2 and a half hour)... Anyway, i am thinking of starting with CCNP BCMSN book...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One week after the lab... The Hunt for my second CCIE

I had been on break for one week already (literately didn't do anything much even at work.. lol ). Anyway, i have decided to go for R&S as my next target. The reason is simple. Even though SP covers a lot of BGP, MPLS and VPN technologies, it only has basic switching, IGP and some IOS features. It feels like reading a incomplete chapter in a best seller novel.. I believe if you do R&S first, you'll feel better, because you just don't know much about VPNs.

How would you feel if you are a CCIE, but, not proficient enough in switching, IGP routing? Don't know details about IPv6 and not sure of how some of the IOS features works? I am sure it doesn't feel good and so do i.

Actually and initially, i was planning to go for R&S first. But, my good friend Sai convinced me to go for SP first with him. I was like, ok, i am working in an ISP, i will have a study mate (which i realized really good to have one) if i go for SP and SP also covers more that 50% of R&S topics. So, what the hack.. let''s do SP. That was how i became a SP candidate.. Pretty lame, isn't it?

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I am now very confusing about if i should go for CCIE R&S or JNCIE as my next target. Please feel free to put in some comments for suggestion.

Things That Pushed me Up To Become a CCIE SP (Labbing)

I was reading all the way up for months until last year November and just started labbing up in December. The method that i used was to follow the arrangement of IPX Vol 1 Technologies Focused Labs. For example, it started with Frame Relay. I read about frame relay about a few days and did the lab 1. Then i read about ATM for a few days and did the lab 2. and it keeps going on until Lab25 where it had covered most of the technologies. I recommended everyone to use IPX Vol 1 workbook for the SP starters. The proctor guide provides not only the solution, but also detail explainations. I used only Dynamips for Vol 1 labs since i do not need to build up a large topology.

I would say i was very lucky to won a give away from IPX duirng Christmas. I won 25 lab sessions and a workbook from Proctorlabs. Thanks Wayne for that. I wish he could do this every now and then. :) After technologies focused labs, i started to do full scale labs from Vol 2. Vol 2 labs were very hard for me at that time so, i switched to proctorlabs workbook after 2 labs. Proctorlabs workbook's labs are usually small secenerio and suitable for those who has finished technologies focused labs.

Then i started to do some labs from IPX Vol 3 and INE Vol 2 from easier to the harder one. It's easy to do that on INE labs since they have difficulty rating but the IPX labs are not. Anyway, i managed to finish all the labs by the end of april and could re-do 12 of the most difficulty among them. It was when i started to write this blog. By the way, i used online racks from Both IPX and INE, except for IPX Vol1. The workbooks that i used were

How much time did i use to complete all these labs and re-do some of the labs? I used 42 session on IPExpert labs 30 session on INE labs which could add up to about 500 hours in total..

So, is the reading more importand or the labbing? My theory is that, there is no rule for that. Read until you fully understand the technology and lab up until you know how to configure them even if you are waken up at the middle of the night. As i say, the more you read, and the better you understand how router thinks and works, the better you are in the lab. But, some of the things can be only seen and experienced when you do the labs. So, all we need is to balanced between reading and labbing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Things That Pushed me Up To Become a CCIE SP (Theory)

How did i get here? Well, i have gone through what every CCIE candidate had. Tons of pages, a lot of lab scenario, hours on DOC CD. I spent a lot of times on reading for my preparation. Let me share some of the resources for different sections in the blueprint.

Bridging and Switching
Cisco Frame Relay Solution Guide
CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Certification Guide, Third Edition
IPExpert R&S Video on Demand (Frame Relay)
Internetworking Technologies Handbook, 4th Edition
Guide to ATM Technology
Free vLecture from IPExpert
CCNP BCMSN Official Exam Certification Guide, 4th Edition
CCNP BCMSN Student Guide

IGP Routing
Routing TCP/IP, Volume I, 2/e
Routing TCP/IP, Volume II
IPExpert R&S Video on Demand (OSPF)
CCNP BSCI Official Exam Certification Guide, 4th Edition
CCNP BSCI Student Guide

EGP Routing
CCIP - Configuring BGP on Cisco Routers, Student Guide (This is the best reference for BGP i have seen so far)

Routing TCP/IP, Volume II
Interdomain Multicast Solutions Guide

MPLS Configuration on Cisco IOS Software
Traffic Engineering with MPLS
CCIP - Implementing Cisco MPLS, Student Guide

MPLS Configuration on Cisco IOS Software
MPLS and VPN Architectures
MPLS and VPN Architectures, Volume II
Layer 2 VPN Architectures

SP QoS and Security
Cisco QOS Exam Certification Guide (IP Telephony Self-Study), 2nd Edition
CCNP ISCW Official Exam Certification Guide

High Availability
CCNP BCMSN Official Exam Certification Guide, 4th Edition
CCNP BCMSN Student Guide

Routing TCP/IP, Volume II

DOC CD is best resource for all the sections especially for PPPoE, ISIS and Management. I always refer to IOS 12.4T which i believe has the most stuff for SP. I would also advice you to read the IOS Features and White Papers whenever you have time. You can find some the the IOS Features and White Papers which i thought related to SP and had extracted out in my blog too.

I read most of the above books more than one time (my memory is not good enough to remember all at once, who can?). Perhaps, i read some of them like 4 or 5 times. I every time had this feeling that why didn't i see this fact in the first place when i read it for second time, and third time and so on. My advice is, the more you read, the more you'll learn.

My theory is that one won't get so far in CCIE pursuit only with lab practices. Even though i have pass the written exam, theory is still as important as lab practices and i read whenever i have time. The better you understand how router thinks and work, the better you are in the lab.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Day That I Became a CCIE

I tried to get Internet access in the Chennai airport to check my mail to see if i have received any mail from Cisco for my result. But, i couldn't find one. The plane took off at 1:15 and it took around 4 hours to reach back to Singapore. I tried to sleep on the plane but, i could only sleep for a few minutes on and off. I was so tired and didn't even happened to think about my outcome.

I reached to Singapore Changi Airport a little bit after 8am and i open my mail through mobile immediately after the flight was landed. I saw there was one familiar mail from Cisco saying that my score report is ready. Then, i started to have temptation to know my result ASAP. So, I rush into the terminal and looked for an Internet access point before i pass the immigration. I found one. I logged into my CCO account, fill up info for CCIE online login.. I wished myself good luck and press Login.. Once it went to the next page the first thing i see was "#" sign and a number. and i knew myself that i have made it through and bacame a CCIE.

The Lab Day...

I woke up at 6:30 in the morning, took shower, had breakfast at hotel and got on to the car the hotel arranged for me at 7:30.. Cisco lab is inside Cessna Business Park, where a lot of MNCs are located. The security measure are quite serious at this time in India. There was even dogs (i think K9) to search all the cars coming to that area.. I registered my name in the guest book at the entrance and i noteced there were 3 more candidates before me.

I walked into the lobby area and noticed that there were 3 indian guys sitting quitely on sofas. I didn't join them in the first place and after a while, i decided to join them and break the code of silence. I introduced myself and ask whether they're there for ccie lab (of course i knew why they were there). Then we started to talk about stuffs not only about the exam, but also about india job market and employers expections for CCIE holder since 2 of the guys were not currently not working.

All 4 of us were not CCIE holders and going for first track. One guy is doing Security and the other 2 were for R&S. After a while, the proctor came in and escoted us to the lab. He briefed us about the exam rules and explain what we can do and what we can't. I don't know if the proctors are sick tired of doing this every day but, it's their job, isn't it?

We all started our labs at 9am.. I won't be writing anything technical about the exam due to NDA My strategy is to read and complete section by section, i usually don't read the whole lab since it may make me nervous if i found out something that i dont' know, in the later sections. So, just read the whole section and complete it first and continue to next one. This strategy works well for SP track since SP networks are like orge (scott morris says so). They are made in layers, Layer2, IGP, mpls, mpls-te, VPN, etc. You must make sure the underlying technology is completed before you can continue to next secion.

I manged to finish a lot of sections before lunch and i felt pretty good about that compared to the last time. Lunch was arloo(potato) prata and it tasted pretty good. But, i dont know why, i couldn't finish it even though i was hungry since 1 hour ago. Maybe, because the exam stress. After lunch i got back onto my rack in finish off the remaining tasks. Since i managed to finish the labs early, i could do the verification several times. I did about 3 times for every tasks and found out 3 mistakes out of it. I'm glad i could do that.

I came out from the lab room about 30 minutes earlier and waited for my pick up from hotel. After a while, all the other guys came out. Security guy said he did well. One R&S guy said not so bad but the other guys said too hard for him. We wish each other good luck and they went back but, i was still waiting for my pick up. The car showed up around 6pm and i was already hungry at that time since i didn't eat well at lunch. The drive to airport relly took around 2 hours since it was monday and traffis is terrible.

I reached to Bangalore airport around 8 pm and i couldn't find my flight on the schedule. So, i go and check with my airline which is JetAirways and they said they flight was cancled but, they put me on to KingFisher flight to Chennai i need to take my flight back to Singapore. I had a burger and a coke and got onto flight. I reached to Chennai around 10 pm. I wondered around in the airport with nothing to do for like 3 hours which is really suck. So, i suggest anyone going to Bangalore for lab to take direct flights.

The Day before the Lab Day...

I woke up quite late, around 10 am due to tiredness. I took my breakfast at hotel and went out to check where the Cisco building is. I got on to a auto-rickshaw and show the driver the address. He doesn't speak english but, he still could understand what i meant. Just after a few minutes drive, i could see the Cisco building from outside of the compound which is guarded by high security. So, i didn't try to go and and check since i didn't have any business with Cisco on that day yet. I headed back to hotel with the same auto, had my lunch and took a rest.

I didn't do much study not because i am very confident of myself but because i really didn't know what to study on last minute. So, i was just basically relaxing the whole day playing with my facebook, chatting with my friends. LOL. Only happened to read some stuffs from DOC CD. My dinner was chicken curry with rice and some "Nan". I was being really cautious about food intake over there since they use a lot of spices and chilli. I don't want to have any stomach problem during my lab. I went to bed around 10 pm that night since i needed to wake up at 6:30, taking hotel transport to cisco lab at 7:30 and be there on time.

1 Day to Go Again... (Update)

I reached to Bangalore around 4pm and there was a guy from my hotel waiting for me with my name on a paper.. I was being told by one of my friends that traffic jam in Bangalore is horrible, but suprisingly i didn't see any heavy traffic one the way to hotel. I asked the driver and he said it was because of weekend, when bus services are off and less business cars on the road. Bangalore International airport is pretty further off the city and about 50km drive from Cisco office. It can take up to 45 min on weekend, 2 hours or more on weekdays.

The hotel that i stayed was "The Belair Hotel". It is in between airport and cisco lab location, which is only about 3km far away from Cisco Lab. I really enjoyed staying that and food is really nice too. Rates are charged reasonably and they can arrange everything for you. They picked me up at airport. I asked them to  arrange drop off at Cisco office on lab day and pick up after the lab and send me straight to airport because i was taking the 10pm flight after the lab. If you happened to stay at that hotel, just ask for a guy named "Murali". He now, really knows how to arrange for CCIE candidates.

View Larger Map

Hotel is "A" in the map is Cisco lab is on bottom left corner.

They have a really great Wi-Fi connection which cost only 7$ a day.. I made a few call through Internet and zoom into bed straight after dinner because i was so tired being on the plane for several hours.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1 Day to Go Again...

Successfully done IPX Vol 2 Lab 2 and 4 this week and done reading all the reaming labs that i have..I will be flying to Bangalore in the morning. By the way, i couldn't find any blog post or forum which provide information about Bangalore Lab (airport, hotel, transport, etc..) I will write a post about it when i get back.

Monday, June 8, 2009

7 Days to Go... Again

Well, everything went well as planned. I managed to finish 2 Labs from Vol 3 and 1 from Vol 2 of IPX. I'd just remembered that IPX Vol 3 Lab 4 has some L2VPN technologies. I did that lab more than 3 months ago and almost forget it was there. LOL. All i remember abt L2 VPN was from VOL 1. 7 days left for me, i'm choosing one lab from IPX VOl 2 to do before i go and think i can finish reading all the remaining labs before i fly off.

One more thing, if you haven't noticed yet, there is No More Seat for SP in HK and China.

Friday, June 5, 2009

9 Days to Go Again...

Everything is set.. ready to fly to India at the end of next week... But, nothing much has done this week due to work schedule and some other matters. I could only managed to read through 4 INE labs and some theory topics. Anyway, I plan to finish labbing up 2 Labs from Vol 3 and 1 Lab from Vol 2 of IPX this weekend. Hope it will be a useful weekend.

Monday, June 1, 2009

13 Days to Go Again...

Time is running out really fast and i couldn't do much labbing due to availability of ATM racks from IPexpert and not being able to take leave from work. I still have quite a few sessions left to be used, but, they really need to put in one or two additional ATM racks for SP track. Anyway, i managed to finish 2 labs from IPX Vol 3 and some labs from Vol 1 which is not so bad. I will just consider it as a practice not to forget how to type commands.. LOL..

I have been reading some books these days, mainly, Routing TCP/IP VOl 2, MPLS and VPN Architectures Vol 2 adn Cisco QOS Exam Certification Guide. I have also done labbing up Proctorlabs Workbook, 5 Labs (YES, they have their own workbook) and 4 labs from INE Vol 2 neither on dynamips topology nor real rack but in my mind and notepad. Some of the QOS, Security, IOS management and services topics i just created one router in dynamips and throw in all the commands.

Anyway, i could manage to get 1 ATM session on next weekend & 1 on Friday next week and planning to do IPX Vol 2, Lab 4 and 5 for those sessions. Other than that i still have 2 more normal SP rack booked so, i hope i could finish up 2 more labs from Vol 3 and some from Vol 1 as well. I won't be labbing up any INE labs on racks this time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Here comes the new countdown... 17 Days to go

Well, i have decided to go for next attempt exactly 1 month after my first attempt. It may seems like I'm too rushing for nothing. But, reality is, it will be difficult to take another long leave from office again in coming months, after i had disappeared from office for 18 days straight. So, I need to do it again when things are fresh.

Luckily, Cisco had just opened up one seat for SP track in India which is easier for me to go. So, it will be 15th of June in Bangalore, India. I will post my study plan here later. But, i wont' be doing heavy labbing this time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Watch out for the new coutdown timer

You guys will see a new countdown timer soon in my blog page. it won't be a long countdown.. so, watch out for it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

One week after the lab... The new Countdown begins.

It has been 1 week since i failed the lab exam in sydney. So, what's my next move? Of course there has to be a new countdown.. But, when...? i am planning to go for next attempt as soon as i can.
Why do i want to go that early? why the rush.? Well, there are several reason to that that, the first one is, i failed my previous attempt just because some of the features that i used to implement in IPE or INE labs are not supported on the exam.. which is very irritating.
Second reason is that even though i failed, i went in so close to passing score.
Third reason is that Cisco has put in Core Knowledge portion on R&S in Feb, Security in June with only one month notice which means it can be anytime for SP with same only 1 month notice.. By the time we see the announcement, there may not be any available seats. I found a lot of people who had passed the lab but failed the whole exam just because this core knowledge section (that's the saddest thing)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The day after the Lab Day... I didn't make it.

Last night i went to bed with really early with exhausted mind... I knew that i couldn't do well enough. I may pass or failed based on some unknown exam rules. All i can say without breaking the NDA is, because of some crazy tasks, i couldn't fulfil some of the later tasks. Just as i though, once i woke up this morning, i was having a mail for cisco. I logged into my account and check, Failed. Well. I was really close to pass., but, nothing much to say. Just hope for the best for next try... Now, time to have a break.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The day before the Lab Day...

I didn’t do much today as I’m not that kind of guy who could study last minute before the exam... I was just watching IE COD, Multicast section as it is my weakest topic... Then, I took a walk to the Cisco office in the afternoon to check out where the office is. The entrance can be found easily and now, I know where the lift is...

I am quite excited right now, as tomorrow is the big day. I have done what I could do on my part. So, just go and figure out how it goes tomorrow.

1 Day to Go... First day in Sydney..

Last night, I downloaded some IOS features and White papers from Cisco website to read on the plane. Even though it was 7hours boring flight, I purposely didn’t sleep just to make myself tired so that i could sleep early at night and wake up early in the morning. I reached to Sydney airport around 7pm in the evening, the weather was pretty chilling but, it’s better than I expected.

I had a friend picking me up there so, I called him up and he’s already at the airport. Ok. Everything cool, we hired a taxi and went to the hotel... Damn... The taxi meter was increasing like a second timer... and the bridge toll plus and airport surcharge, totally cost me 60$. But, later I realized that almost everything seems to be pretty expensive there... The hotel is Urban St.Leonards, just a few min walk to CISCO Lab.

I felt a bit hungry after I reached to the hotel. So, me and my friend took a walk to the nearest convenient store to get something to eat. We asked the receptionist for the direction and the nearest store is about 10 min walk. Actually, those stores turned out to be just around the Cisco Office. Cool... I don’t have to worry about my breakfast for the exam morning.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2 Days to Go... No More Labbing Tomorrow

IPExpert Vol. 2 Lab 5 was done without any problem today. Today is the last day that i do the labs and tomorrow I will have to spend most of my time on the plane. The bad thing is that the temperature over there is highest 22°C | lowest 12°C which can be considered very cold comparing to equator ring weather.

Monday, May 11, 2009

3 Days to Go...

Only 3 days left between today and the lab date. Anyway, i did IEWB Vol2 Lab10 today without any problem. There is only one lab from both IE and IPE where you can find Vrf Select Feature and this is the lab.

Tomorrow is my last lab day and i will be doing IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 5, my favourite lab not because it is easy but because it has a lot of important features..

Sunday, May 10, 2009

4 Days to Go...

IPExpert Lab 4 was a really good lab. Inter-AS + CsC + VPN topology. There was one good part where you don't know the remote AS number and troubleshoot it to bring up a bgp session. I had one problem. There were 2 TE tunnels, running load balancing between 2 routers. And when both the tunnels were up, MPLS forwarding became chaotic. Finally i had to shut one of the tunnels to make the VPN work.

Anyway, i've decided to do IEWB Vol 2 Lab 10 again tomorrow since it has quite a lot of features.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

5 Days to Go...

As i have done this lab not so long ago, it was a smooth ride doing IEWB Vol2 Lab8 today. Other than that nothing special to write about for today. Tomorrow is for IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 4. Gonna be fun..

Friday, May 8, 2009

6 Days to Go...

IEWB Vol 2 Lab 7 is somehow easy even though the difficulty rating is 8. Maybe because i had done it before. Anyway, I was stuck in in Internet connection for some time. The question is to do the usual nat on the PE router and make sure we can connect to BB router.

I created ip nat pool on PE router and announce it via BGP to the another IBGP neighbor which is connected by BB router via RIP. As everyone know, networks work 2 way.. In order to get a ping reply, BB router must know the ip pool range. Solution is simple, just redistribute the nat pool range which is received via BGP from PE into RIP on backbone connected router.

There is one other router is RIP domain so, i can see which routes are redistributed from BGP. But, no matter how i did, i couldnt' see the ip pool range on the other side.. putting in and taking out route-maps, try to change admin distance and all didnt' work. Maybe R&S guys would know easily that, for me i was in SP track from the start so, IGPs like RIP is not so close to me.

Finally i fould the answer. By default, when you redistribute BGP learned routes into RIP, only eBGP routes will be redistributed. In order to allow the router to redistribute iBGP routes, you have to use the following command under router bgp process.

bgp redistribute-internal

One small thing could give us a big problem if we don't know how the router thinks.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

7 Days to Go...

Today, IEWB Vol 2 Lab 6.. I like this lab. Even though they put the difficulty rating at 8, i felt like 9 for this one. Inter-AS VPN topology with BGP neither fully mash nor RR topology, one rotuer running almost everything ospf, isis, bgp, cell-mode MPLS, pim, etc. Redistribute here and there, change the adminstrative distances, ip nat on PE router, sham-link, etc.. It was fun and it has a lot of features. I enjoyed doing this one.

8 Days to Go...

IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 3, i would say this lab is hard core multicast with crazy bgp multicast. Since multicast is my weakest subject, it's harder for me than anyone else on this one. Topology is 3 AS, Inter-AS VPN. VPN section was simple and Ineternet secion too. But, Multicast wasn't. I failed to complete one task (4 marks worth in workbook).

Anyway, one of my friend asked me after reading my blog. "What'd do everyday after you've done your lab". Of course i'm still reading (actually rereading) books, IOS features and whitepapers because we can't remember everything at once, right? . I like reading theory. I prefer reading books than doing lab. But, whithou lab, sometimes you just can't see what is coming.. The book won't teach you that. But, you won't go so far without reading real books in the topics like QOS. So, we just need to balance between these two as you like.

Next 3 days straight is for IEWB. Tomorrow is IEWB Vol 2 Lab 6.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

9 Days to Go...

Today, my counting days are dropped to a single digit which is 9. Time's running out really fast.

Anyway.. IPExpert Lab 2 went well today. I noticed one thing, ip summary interface command for eigrp must have administrative distance more than 250 in order to push down default route, otherwise the adjacency will be dropped. And a way to sync ntp with multicast. Other than that, nothing special was there in this lab.

Tomorrow i will be doing IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 3.

Cisco Official Announcement : CCIE R&S V4.0 , Starting In Octobar - MPLS/VPN + Troubleshooting

Now, the Rumors becomes true.

There are several changes made to both Written exam and Lab Exam. Changes to Written exam can be found here

Here is the summary of the changes made to Lab Exam.
  • The biggest change will be the testing of hands-on troubleshooting for the first two hours of the eight-hour exam. Candidates will be presented with a series of trouble tickets for preconfigured networks, and they will need to diagnose and resolve the network fault or faults.
Candidates who finish the troubleshooting section early can move on to the configuration section, but they will not be allowed to go back to the troubleshooting section, since their equipment will need to be reinitialized for the configuration portion of the exam.

Candidates will be presented with a series of trouble tickets?? does it mean that proctor will make several changes to the rack as and when he likes during 2 horus? Then this is going to be a big deal.
  • The new MPLS Topics are as below:
4.00Implement MPLS Layer 3 VPNs
4.10Implement Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
4.20Implement Layer 3 virtual private networks (VPNs) on provider edge (PE), provider (P), and customer edge (CE) routers
4.30Implement virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and Multi-VRF Customer Edge (VRF-Lite)

It is strange that why you need to implement PE routers also..
  • Not as everyone expectd, FRAME RELAY IS STILL THERE!!!!
1.60Implement Frame Relay

(a) Local Management Interface (LMI)

(b) Traffic shaping

(c) Full mesh

(d) Hub and spoke

(e) Discard eligible (DE)

  • And PPPoE is coming in.
1.40Implement Ethernet technologies

(a) Speed and duplex

(b) Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet

(c) PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE)

  • And, strange enough, the Core Knowledge section will remain the same.
  • The equipments in the testing lab will be updated with Cisco 1800 and 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers running Cisco IOS® Software Version 12.4(T) and Cisco Catalyst® 3560-E Series Switches running Cisco IOS Version 12.2 Advanced IP Services
You can find the detail Announcement and FAQs here

Monday, May 4, 2009

10 Days to Go...

IEWB VOL 2 Lab 5 was done today. The best part in this lab is the routing loops.. Topology is CsC + internet access through CsC style. I decided not to spend time on blogging these days before exam. So, i will just post short ones for now.

Tomorrow is IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 2.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

11 Days to Go...

A quick post. Today did IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 1.. The topology is an inter-as VPN with Multisite OSPF CEs. It looks like a simple lab, but, in fact it wasn't. Every seciont has a tricky question. There was a fan part on getting the sham-link works. And another thing was Inter-AS multicast with msdp. I don't know what was wrong but,  i couldn't ping from AS1 to AS2 while AS2 can ping AS1. There is no TE running in between no rpf-failure was not a problem. RP was just dropping the mpackets in other drops and i couldn't figure out why is that. RP it self could ping to the other side but, it won't forward the packets from other routers.

Tomorrow is time for InternetworkExpert. Vol 2 Lab 5

12 Days to Go...

Today was a tough day.. Even though i said i have done IPExpert Vol 3 Lab 5 before, i just remembered that i skipped a section last time without knowing what was missing. But, i found out what was the problem today.. Anyway, it's a difficult lab with topology of 3 AS Inter-AS VPN + CsC. IPExpert really likes to put everything into one lab. So, it has both pros and cons. You can learn a lot of features from one lab, but, you need more time to get the lab done. It has some interesting commands like below commands

  • isis authentication send-only
  • mpls label protocol both
  • mpls ldp explicit-null for

This lab took me like 10 hours to finish it. I had the same problem when i did it the last time but, couldn't figure out what was that. The solution guide is wrong here also. Let's see the partial topology first

As you can see in the diagram, SP1 and SP2 are providing CsC service to SP2000. BB_CE2 and BB_CE3 are actually a single BB router with 2 different vrf. The problem there was CE3 and CE4 can see each other loopback address but, you just cannot ping each other.
I did troubleshooting like hell but, never expected the BB router. Later i found out that BB router is not forwarding the packets. I wondered why and went and took into BB router. Then, i noticed that routing table for BB_CE2 didin't have routes from CE4 and routing table for BB_CE3 didn't have routes CE3.

Damn.. what would cause the BB router not to have the routes from other side of the MPLS clould while CE routers have the routes. I though the routes were pass to CE routers by BB_CE2 and BB_CE3 ospf routing processes. Later i figured that BB ospf routing processes were not putting in the routes came from PE routers with down-bit into routing tables but passing them to CE routers which cause the CE routers to see each other routes.

There is one command to fix this problem. I beleive most of you have already known the command. For those who haven't, the command is here. But, it doesn't explain why the router didn't install the routes into routing table and why you need to use it. Details can be found in "MPLS and VPN Architures Volume II"

Friday, May 1, 2009

13 Days to Go...

My last lab which is "i didn't have chance to do it, IE Lab10" went well better i expected. I have found difficulties under some sections but, mostly it was doable. This lab has some interesting features such as TE tunnel runs directly on top of IGP which means no "mpls ip" command at all, vrf select, it runs multicast in TE tunnels instead of enabling pim on every interface in SP domain, and the QOS question is a bit tricky. It is a good lab to do.

There are some part you need to do it differently from solution guide (guide error?). And the worse was that i had to restart the routers several times. I didn't know what was happening, the routers were switching the wrong mpls lables, but, it worked after i reloaded them. strange. i wonder how to solve it in production network which cannot be just restarted.. 

Anyway, i will be doing IPExpert Vol 3 Lab 5 for tomorrow.. I have done this one before, in fact i have done all the labs from IPExpert and IEWB. It tooke me quite a lot of time to finish it (so many things were asked) at the first time. Let's see how it goes for second time tomorrow.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

14 Days to Go... The Isolation Begins..

Today is the last day of work before the exam (of course I'm on leave for 2 weeks). Tomorrow will be the Day 1 of my schedule, and i will be doing IEWB Lab 10. I decided not to do anything serious but to sleep early for today as i need to start my lab tomorrow at 6am..
I guess i will just do some light reading through the IOS features before i sleep tonight.. I hope i wouldn't have any problem with the IE Racks again.

15 Days to Go...

As i said, i have plotted out my Lab schedule for next month. Thanks to my generous supervisor, i could manage to get a long leave from my company. Here is my study plan for next month. It includes 6 labs from IPExpert and 5 or 6 Labs from InternetworkExpert depends on how lab 10 goes on Day 1.

Following Stephen Bowes's Checklist, I have been doing 8 hours labs for past a few months (I usually don't use dynamips to do full-lab workbooks). Now, it's time to adjust my bodyclock to sydney time. Sydney is 2 hours ahead of where i am right now. So, i need to start my labs at 6am here as the real lab will be starting at 8 in Sydney. I booked 2 consecutive sessions for everyday. For Internetworkexpert, i scheduled 0600-1730hr and for IPExpert, 0400-1945hr. I guess it would give me enough time for one full lab + test whatever feature i want.

Geez.. now, i have to wake up early everyday.

Day 1 INE Vol 2 - Lab 10
Day 2 IPE Vol 3 - Lab 5
Day 3 IPE Vol 2 - Lab 1
Day 4 INE Vol 2 - Lab 5
Day 5 IPE Vol 2 - Lab 2
Day 6 IPE Vol 2 - Lab 3
Day 7 INE Vol 2 - Lab 6
Day 8 INE Vol 2 - Lab 7
Day 9 INE Vol 2 - Lab 8
Day 10 IPE Vol 2 - Lab 4
Day 11 INE Vol 2 - Lab 10 (should i?)
Day 12 IPE Vol 2 - Lab 5
Day 13 Flight to Sydney
Day 14 Know the way around
Day15 Get to Cisco lab on time

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

16 Days to Go...

Well, notihing much was done today. I was just reading OSPF and ISIS section from Routing TCP/IP Vol 1. Anyway, i have plotted out my schedule for everyday before the actul lab date starting from 1st of May. I will upload my planed schedule later in this blog...

Monday, April 27, 2009

17 Days to Go... Roller coaster ride with InternetworkExpert

Today the plan didn't go well. I was supposed to finish InternetworkExpert Vol.2 lab 10. I even took a day off from work to keep up with schedule. Actually, this wasn't part of my plan. I scheduled everything nicely to finish all the labs at the end of April. But, 2 weeks ago, INE was conducting online bootcamp and they canceled my session out of sudden. I couldn't rearrange it, couldn't swap with IPExpert sessions too, since i have finished all the labs from IPExpert. So, i had no choice but to reschedule it on a weekday.

Since i login to my assigned rack, one of the router is not accessable. I tried to clear the line from the term server but, i didn't help either. So, i decided to contact the gradedlabs support team after a few tries.

Their support was pretty impressive, i guess the time was kinda 3am, early morning in US. But, i got their reply within 10 min. Alexey Tolstenok frome INE was very helpful. He requested me to shift to another rack. I explained him that i scheduled 2 consecutive session, but, i do not see any session available next. I must get the same rack for 2 consective sessions.

Then, Alexy gave me one rack, maybe a backup rack or the rack which hasn't been put into production. There was no initial config for that rack. But, it was easy to edit the initial configs so, i was quite happy and moved to that rack and start the lab.

I notied that the lab has quite a lot of tricky question as it has difficulty rating of 9. I did switching, frame-realy, ATM, IGP and then BGP. But, while i was doing BGP session, found out that one of the rotuer is not supporting BGP and i had to stop the lab. Finally, i requested them to canceled both of my session and reschedule it in next month. That day is supposed to be my light study day which i do not have any lab booked and now it's gone. :(

Sunday, April 26, 2009

18 Days to Go...

Today i did IEWB lab 8. Everything was rather simple except internet connection even though it was difficulty 8. There was no TE running which makes multicast section easier. I used bgp mpls for Inter-AS LSP and found out later that the solution guide uses redistribution of BGP into IGP. As I am going to do this lab again(should i) QOS question is a bit tricky. I hope something like that wouldn't come out in the exam. Tomorrow will be final lab, Lab 9 from IEWB. Difficulty rating 9. That will be my last lab session for April.

19 Days to Go...

IEWB, Lab 7 seems pretty simple until VPN internet connection section. There are 2 questions for internet connnection. I was able to figured out the easier one. But, for the hard one, i don't know what went wrong. Even, though i followed the solution guide, the CE routers still couldn't ping to BB rotues. There must me something... Anyway, i'm planning to redo this lab again in next month before the lab date. So, i guess i would be able to figure out next time.

There is one more thing in multicast section about MSDP. You will need to enable mpls on TE tunnel interface and make the tailend router to accept targeted ldp session. and the last Static NAT also made me confused too. Tomorrow, i will be doing Lab 8, Difficutly rating 8.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

20 Days to Go...

It has been a busy day at work today, and i still need to wake up early tomorrow for some maintenance. So, nothing much was done today. i have finished the white papers, i decided to come back to IOS feature guide of 12.2, after i have gone through all the 114 features, lucky there are only a little features that i need to read. Whew!..

IOS 12.2 Feature Guides
Tomorrow will be IEWB Lab 7. Difficulty Rating 8.. Let's see how it goes tomorrow.

Friday, April 24, 2009

21 Days to Go...

QOS... Now, I love this topic even though i hated it a few months back.. There is no shortcut studying for QOS (please share me if you know), just read, read, and read. So, I'm going to read it again today. But, this time will not be from a book but the White papers again, and here i go..There are a lot of interesting Design related documents for QOS in White Paper sections, but, i don't think they're so related to sp lab, so, i skipped them. Below are a few topics that i'd read today.

Quality of Service (QoS)

Next up is Management Instrumentation... There are some cool scripting stuff, but, i decided not to read it although i wanted to read.. Now, is not the time yet.. I'd better not do which is not related to SP lab right now. So, here are the topics as always.

Management Instrumentation
 There are alot of EMM and Netflow documents which are pretty well explained.

CCIE R&S Lab to Include MPLS and Layer 3 VPN???

I do not know whether it is true or not, but according to IPExpert Blog Cisco may include MPLS, Layer 3 VPN and additional troubleshooting tasks to CCIE R&S Lab which will together make up 30% of total lab score.

I wonder how it will effect the SP track as well.. maybe IOS-XR? IPV6? IOS 12.0S? who knows

Thursday, April 23, 2009

22 Days to Go...

I went through MPLS/VPN white papers on cisco website today as i planned. It was a bit weired that there was only single white paper for MPLS that i could use and even that one is a theoritical artical of MPLS security. Internet Connectivity paper is pretty good. Even though it doesn't have any configurations, it shows various topology of how to get Internet connectivity in MPLS VPNs. Vrf select and multicast-VPN paper are good for review, summary, include all the necessary points and clear.MPLS AToM Overview is really just an overview, nothing much.

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
Next. i went through Multicast Section. There is one document about ip multicast troubleshooting, which is really cool.

IP Multicast
ok. time to sleep

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

23 Days to Go...

I tried to go thourgh IOS 12.2 features and guess what? there are 114 features in total to read. Even though i would filter out and read what i think is related to SP track, it will take me a while to scan through. But, i did filter out and read for 104 features for 12.2S. So, i'm sure i will survive with it.

Anyway, i don't feel like going through it right now. So, i decided to go through IOS Technology White Papers. There are several sections that i'm interested in
I am not sure if i can finish all of this and IOS features in time. Anyway, the first thing i picked up and read is of course the most fundamental of IOS technology, IP routing..There are also some topics which is not so relevant to SP track. i just skipped them.

IP Routing
Tomorrow i will go through an another technology, maybe MPLS/VPN.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

24 Days to Go...

I though i would be able to finish up the 2 IPExpert labs quickly, butt, i was having problem loading saved configs and it took me a while to bring up the lab to the place that i'd left... Anyway , things were interesting (IPExpert really have interesting stuff inside) after i brought up the labs.
I will surf through the net and blogs for next few days and see what i could use for my SP lab preparation.. will post up the links later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

25 Days to Go...

Today lab went fine with a lot of redistribution here and there.. and one point i was getting the following error message on the router and sham link was down..

TE label 0x2B (2)
tspvif_transport_sendnet: Sending on TE interface FastEthernet1/0.12 (2)

This is because of the TE tunnel was in the way (PE-P) of two Sham-link running routers and makes the end-to-end LSP broken. The problem was solved by enabling ldp on tunnel interface and make the tailend router to accept targeted ldp hello. One more thing is Internet access. Because of the TE path, traffic from one PE to another PE which is provideing NAT service was coming in from the ip nat outside interface. So, I had to use an extra static route to make it work. Other than that, things were pretty simple.

After lab, i continued to read the IOS features from 12.2 S. Here is the summary of the topics that i picked and read again.
Tomorrow plan is to finish up IPExpert Vol2 Lab 4 and 5. I have finished both until VPN part. So, Security, System management, QOSs sections needed to be done.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

26 Days to Go...

Today, i did only MVPN and L2VPN labs from IPExpert Workbook Vol1. Anyway, the way they run PPPoE over l2tpv3 is quite good. and QinQ also. Tomorrow will be IEWB Lab 6.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

27 Days to Go...

Today i decide to hunt out for the Cisco IOS features in 12.2S. There are 104 of features for this one. I am so sure the i can't read all of them. . I looked thought the topics and read what i think more related to SP track. And some MPLS and BGP topics are duplicated to what i had read in other books. It saved me alot of time. Even then, i still can't finish all by one day. Below is the summary of the topic that i'd read today: It's a lot of information, but.. come on.. this is CCIE Study..
This is all i could read today.. to be continued tomorrow... Actually, tomorrow, i was supposed to do IEWB Vol2 Lab 6. But, they canceled my session for online bootcamp. And IPExpert ATM racks is fully booked aslo. So, i booked a normal SP track rack without 7200 from IPExpert and will be doing some advanced focused labs from IPExpert Workbook Vol1 (MVPN, PPPoE over L2VPN).

Friday, April 17, 2009

28 Days to Go...

Ok.. Today, i dug up my CCNP books (damn, it's already dusty) and looked at TOCs to see what can i still get from those books. Below is the summary of what i had picked and read.

  • ISIS (turns out it was pretty good, the last time i read was more than 1 year back)
  • Redistribution and Controlling routing updates
  • DHCP
  • STP (Especially MST)
  • Link aggregation and EtherChannel
ISCW (A lot of interesting stuffs)
  • Disabling Unused Services
  • Securing Administrative Access
  • Management and Reporting Features
  • AAA
ONT (i didn't find anything better than QOS book)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

InternetworkExpert to release new SP Mock Labs

According to Brian McGahan post in ieoc, InternetworkExpert is going to release new mock labs for Service Provider track. The labs are scheduled to be released in about 2weeks times and it is also going to cover L2VPN, which is lacking in current IEWB VOl2 of SP track. Details of the product and price are currently unknown..

IETF to explore new routing technique

A few days ago, i found an interesting article about a new routing technique being developed under IETF lead by Cisco. If it becomes successful, i personally believe that it can become a next big thing and all the Service Providers will be very thankful (cost saving).

The summary is

The new mechanism — dubbed LISP for Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol — is designed to reduce the number of entries in the routing tables stored in the core routers operated by ISPs.

LISP logically separates a block of IP addresses that a company advertises out to the global Internet via its edge routers into two functions: one for identifying the systems using the IP addresses, and the other for locating where these systems connect to the Internet. This separation allows LISP to aggregate the location information, so less of it needs to be stored in the core routers.

LISP works through dynamic encapsulation. Every packet that enters the core routers gets a new IP wrapper that carries information about the destination service provider network, not the end-user IP address. The wrapper is removed from the packet when it gets to the destination service provider.
LISP would operate in conjunction with the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is the primary communications mechanism between edge and core routers.

If you are interested, you can read the full artical on Networkworld.

29 Days to Go...

Today, i could finish off the rest of QOS topic from the QOS exam certification guide. RED, WRED, ENC, header compressions and various kind of frame fragmentation techniques(MLP LFI and FRTS LFI). Additionally, i revised other service provider QOS techniques such as QPPB and MPLS QOS.

Since i have sechduled to finish all IE lab and IPexpert at the end of this month(April) and the Total Isolation starting from 1st of May (i will post the detail schedule later if i have time), I will need a lot of strength physically and mentally. S0, i decided not to do heavy stuff during this week. But, as all ccie candidate know, we can't stay without doing anyting while the pressure is on. So, i though of reading through the feature guides, white papers and technotes of the Exam IOS version.

So, i logged into my CCO account, browse through and found out that the following end of life IOS Versions have only a few stuff to read and i decided to read those. There are also a few interesting topics in 12.1T and 12.0T too..
There are no feature guides or technotes, but a lot of white papers. Below is the summary of the papers which are under each IOS version in case you are interested to read. But, i feel that some of the topics are not really related to Service Provider. I was happy to find that there are quite a lot of QOS, RSVP and NSF topics to read. Great Stuff!!

Update : i have changed the color of the bullets which i think is related to SP Lab


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

30 Days to Go...

Today was worse than yesterday. got a few things at work and still need to go and meet some relative visiting here. Then came back tiredly from downtown. So, no time to do much things. But, i still could managed to read queue session from the QOS book.. Quite a lot of things which are easy to forget such as default Tc values, shaping, CBshaping, FRTS, CBshaping with FRTS.. Damn. feels like, cisco could make one more CCIE for QOS track only..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

31 Days to Go...

Nothing much was done today.. I was diving into QOS book after work and i guess i will continue with it tomorrow also..

Monday, April 13, 2009

32 Days to Go...

Today, i continued IPExpert vol 2 lab 3 which i left a while ago. everything was ok except multicast section. I couldn't figure why one router cannot ping the group address. There were 7 router which is supposed to be able to ping that address, but, only that router couldn't. It was 3 Atonomous System topology with Inter-AS RR-RR VPN topology.. I still have 2 more labs which i need to finish up. I have finished up both of them until VPN section. So, only Security, QOS and Systme management parts left to be done. I have scheduled to do them on next week monday.

Whenever i did IPExpert Volume 2 labs, one session alone was not enough. So, i booked 2 consecutive sessions for revision next month.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

33 Days to Go...

Today i managed to finish IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 5 as planned. There were a lot of interesting stuffs. A lot of tweaks. Summary is :
  • ISIS multiarea route leaking
  • ospf multiarea traffic engineering
  • Inter-AS VPN (RR-RR ebgp-multihop)
  • BGP and EIGRP SoO
  • sham link
  • ospf capability vrf-lite
  • NO mulitcast
I like to do IPExpert labs, i feel that i could learn more things from it than i could from IEWB. Maybe because i haven't done all IEWB labs.. Tomorrow, i will have to continue an IPExpert lab that i had to stopped the other day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

34 Days to Go...

Today, i went through IEWB Lab 5 as planned. Difficulty rating is 8 out of 10. There were only a few tasks till BGP session. Everything was quite simple till then. Then, things started to get complicated when it reached to VPN session. It was a single AS which is supporting CSC topology to customer carrier. The strange thing is customer carrier CE routers are also peer with a router in another AS which is providing internet service. That was the hard part. Peering was not a problem, but, after peer with that router, routing loops started to form. i had to spend quite a lot of time on that trying to understand what is causing the problem. Finally, create come route maps and putting them here and there solve the problem. Other that that, everything was pretty stright forward and doable.

I have total 5 twelve hours sessions from IE, scheduled in next month as revision before the real lab. I think i could include this lab as one of them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

35 Days to Go...

Ok.. tomorrow is going to be IEWB vol 2 Lab 5. and the next day is IPExpert Vol 2 Lab 5. So, i decided to clear my head off a bit by not doing too much study. I just reread BGP study guide which is for ccip (so far the best BGP material) to recap about those policy-list, dmzlinks, bgp accounting, session and policy templates and other bgp stuffs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

36 Days to Go...

Even though i have encountered a few l2vpn scenarios in IPExpert labs, i still didn't feel confortable about this topic. So, today, i did nothing much.. just tried to finish up all layer 2 vpn topics which were left to finish from yesterda ... QinQ, AToM, l2tpv3, internetworking and local switching.. I guess it should be enough..

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

37 Days to Go...

Today was a bit busy day at work.. doing some administrative works (why do i have to do that?). Anyway, i could still dig up some time to reread about L2VPNs. I am not sure L2VPN is a popular exam topic or not. but, as it is one of the topic in the blueprint, i am going to take it seriously. My study source is Layer 2 VPN Architecture from cisco press. I believe it is a perfect book if you want to learn about L2VPNs. Previously, i was reading about this topic from MPLS Configuration on Cisco IOS book, a very brief explainations and configuration examples. But, that book doesn't explain you alot.

38 Days to Go..

38 Days before the lab date... i did not happen to do a lot of studies today. Just reread through through MVPN section of MPLS and VPN Architectures Vol 2. It was so far the best resource that i've found for MVPN knowledge. I don't know about the others, but i know i am not strong in multicast topic. So, i need to spend more time on it. Anyway, here i list out some other resources which is good for multicast topic.
I hope this will help....

Monday, April 6, 2009

39 Days to Go..

Ok.. Today, the countdown timer shows 39 days left for my Lab date and i continue my lab sessions with IE. So, far i have done Lab 1,2,4 and 9 of IEWB Vol 2. Highest difficulty rating of them was only 7. So, i decided to go with 8 rating today. I did lab 3 today. Everything was pretty easy till multicast session.
There were some confusion about how the multicast traffic flow to check rpf failures. It was some kind of back-to-back Inter-AS VPN topology. VPN was pretty easy since i do not have to care alot about any lable drop along the path. But, in multicast session there was a GRE tunnel between some routers and multicast-VPN too. I just need to tweak with some static mroute and it was working fine. But, it's bit weried that both pim sparse mode and dense mode were asked to be used.
In security section there was a remote blackhole triggering scenerio and i had to spend quite a lot of time on that one. Even though i could propergate and point to the corret null interface, there was a problem of using RIP between ASBRs which has higher AD than the routes that i am propergating with the 666 communtiy number (i don't know why most of the work book use 666) from PE router (iBGP has lower AD than RIP). Then, i ended up reducing rip AD to some low value.
There was a cool thing creating a menu for a customer using "menu" command. I didn't know there were such thing in cisco routers. You can pre-define username/password for customer and once the customer login, he/she will be prompted with some options to choose from . You just need to create the menu, then bind the option (1,2,3,..) with your desired command.

1. Show VPN routing table (show ip route vrf ^*&*)
2. Show VPN BGP table (show ip bgp vpn vrf ^*&*)

login, press 1 and the routing table will be shown. pretty cool.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

40 Days to Go...

Today, the countdown timer on my iGoogle page shows 40 days left to my lab date. I have been busy doing lab whole day with frustration. I was doing IPExpert Workbook 2 Lab 4. There were a lot of things which is hard to interpret what they really want. Maybe because of my poor English. Anyway, after 7 hours and 45 minutes including lunch time and some unfinished things from last night maintenance at work (it was a mess), i couldn't' even finish the VPN session . I will have to continue it in the next session.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I started my journey since last year but, didn't happen to log a single post. Now, this is going to my first post and i will try to log the journey of my ccie hunt here from now on. So, i am going to start from half way through ( actually 41 days to lab date ) ...