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  1. Senior Member DexterPark's Avatar
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    #1

    Default CCIE Collaboration Lab Requirements and the Home Lab of Today

    Well, The CCIE Collaboration is coming up and I for one am excited. I have decided to just go for it and am currently looking at the required equipment. Now, my lab is a tad bit more up to date than most, but I think the majority of the specs below are beyond my paygrade. I am however delighted that the IE Colab tests on the latest and greatest hardware, but it really grinds my gears that frame-Relay has made it to this exam. Why is this still a thing? Who doesn't use MPLS these days? While we are on the subject, why are people still buying non-java based IP Phones, and Non-ISR routers?! I understand that a 3925 or a 2921 is far too much to come out of pocket, but the 2800 series are more than affordable! Stop buying 2600's when we have GNS3. Back to the IP Phones, I was surprised to see 7942's selling for $150 each. I have handled what feels like thousands of those things in my career and they really didn't seem that valuable. I mean I can buy a 9971 with a camera for $200. Am I getting too far ahead of our times with my suggestions or is it Twenty-Thirteen? I'm not saying the inspiration of these ideas compares to Galileo Galilei, but come on people!

    Below are the new lab specifications, I would be greatly interested on the TE communities thoughts/concerns or criticisms of these latest requirements.

    CCIE Collaboration Lab Equipment and Software List
    Lab Equipment:
    Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) C460 Rack Server
    Cisco 3925 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
    Cisco 2921 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
    ISR G2 Modules and Interface Cards
    - 1-Port 3rd Gen Multiflex Trunk Voice/WAN Int. Cards – T1/E1
    - Cisco High-Density Packet Voice Digital Signal Processor Modules (PVDM3)
    - Cisco Service Ready Module 710 Service Module with Cisco Unity Express
    - 4-port Cisco Gigabit EtherSwitch 10/100/1000BASE-TX autosensing EHWIC with POE
    Cisco Catalyst 3750-X Series Switch
    Cisco Unified IP Phones 7965 and 9971
    Cisco Jabber for Windows
    Cisco Jabber Video for Cisco Telepresence*
    *In backbone, no candidate configuration required

    Software Versions:
    Any major software release which has been generally available for six months is eligible for testing in the CCIE Voice Lab Exam.
    Cisco Unified Communications Manager 9.1
    Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express 9.1
    Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 9.0
    Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM and Presence 9.1
    Cisco Unity Connection 9.1
    Cisco Unity Express 8.6
    All routers use IOS version 15.2(4) M Train
    Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches uses 15.0(2) Main Train

    Network Interfaces:
    Fast Ethernet
    Frame Relay

    Telephony Interfaces:
    T1/E1
    My advice to anyone looking to advance their career would be to learn DevOps tools and methodologies. Learn how to write code in languages like Python and JavaScript. Not to be a programmer, but a network automation specialist who can do the job of 10 engineers in 1/3 of the time. Create a GitHub account, download PyCharm, play with Ansible, Chef, or Puppet. Automation isn't the future, it's here today and the landscape is changing dramatically.
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  3. Senior Member pitviper's Avatar
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    #2
    Considering how long it’s been since a complete hardware refresh I personally don’t feel that the changes are that drastic. People were in the same boat when v3 was announced = the prices of the 2800/3800s were pretty much on par with the 2900/3900s of today.

    The new 9.1 demo licensing model could be a PITA for some – timed trial for 60 days.

    I don’t see much gatekeeper talk outside of the certification realm, so its omission is not surprising – probably means that the CUBE/SiP configurations will be a litter heavier, and that’s not necessarily a good thing!
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  4. The Undeniable!!! jahsoul's Avatar
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    #3
    The only concern that I really have is how resources are going to be used, in regards to video. I know that we can do video switching with PVDM3-16 but docs say a PVDM3-128 is the minimum requirement for heterogeneous profiles. No issue on the hardware front because honestly, it was VERY expected but the PVDMs was always my area of worry.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by pitviper View Post
    Considering how long it’s been since a complete hardware refresh I personally don’t feel that the changes are that drastic. People were in the same boat when v3 was announced = the prices of the 2800/3800s were pretty much on par with the 2900/3900s of today.

    The new 9.1 demo licensing model could be a PITA for some – timed trial for 60 days.

    I don’t see much gatekeeper talk outside of the certification realm, so its omission is not surprising – probably means that the CUBE/SiP configurations will be a litter heavier, and that’s not necessarily a good thing!

    Yeah with gatekeepers are a weird topic. In the military they were everywhere. Once I got out I only saw 1 in my first 5 years out the navy. Then I went to a different cisco partner and they have Gatekeepers everywhere, but they are slowly being phased out for SME(fancy version of call manager)
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  6. Senior Member DexterPark's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pitviper View Post
    The new 9.1 demo licensing model could be a PITA for some – timed trial for 60 days.
    That's the sucky part for me. I liked the old licence model, you could get away with running a demo licence until you reboot. My Cisco rep was telling me about a client that ran for two years straight until they had a power outage. Now, 9.1 will lock you out of the GUI after 60 days.
    My advice to anyone looking to advance their career would be to learn DevOps tools and methodologies. Learn how to write code in languages like Python and JavaScript. Not to be a programmer, but a network automation specialist who can do the job of 10 engineers in 1/3 of the time. Create a GitHub account, download PyCharm, play with Ansible, Chef, or Puppet. Automation isn't the future, it's here today and the landscape is changing dramatically.
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  7. Senior Member pitviper's Avatar
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    #6
    8.0 ran indefinitely with the pre-installed demo license - 150 DLUs, 3 nodes, and 30 second max record time in CUC.
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  8. Senior Member DexterPark's Avatar
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    #7
    thanks everyone for your feedback it is greatly appreciated. Once I am done with the CCNP routing and switching this will be my first stab at A CCIE. I am currently purchasing the recommended Cisco Press books. does anyone have any recommended learning resources they what like to suggest?
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  9. Senior Member pitviper's Avatar
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    #8
    You guys see the 360 topology that's been floating around the web for this? It's mentioned on the learning network too - if it's correct.... Ugg!
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    #9
    yeah thats a beast of a setup. Thats gonna be way out of my price range for a while. That would require 2 servers for me and licencing for all of them. I already have UC9 licensing, but I"m not sure how I could come up with the licencing for the TMS side of it.
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  11. Senior Member pitviper's Avatar
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    #10
    Yeah, it's going to be more of a data center lab and less of a voice/video setup LOL I have the server horsepower but as you said, licensing is going to be a problem.

    I’m not really feeling the love for the video stuff – way too much end user interaction And were taking dumb stuff like emergency calls because some idiot can't select a video source from the TV or use an HDMI switch box. Dedicated stations are ideal but not a reality in existing conference and training rooms within the constraints of a budget.
    Last edited by pitviper; 03-04-2014 at 09:21 PM.
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  12. Senior Member pitviper's Avatar
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    #11
    Here's the topology - It's all over the Cisco learning network forum, so I guess it's safe to post:

    Last edited by pitviper; 03-07-2014 at 07:53 PM.
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  13. Senior Member pitviper's Avatar
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    #12
    I wonder if they are running all VMs off of a single UCS c460 M2 server? That thing is a bit of a beast!!
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  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    yeah. That thing can easily run all the required VM's
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