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 ) ...