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.