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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default Fredrik's CCNP thread

    Two years of work experience, mostly switching, and I passed the CCNA three months ago. I'm currently unemployed so I have plenty of time to study. I'm three weeks into my Route studies, with the FLG and GNS3 being the main tools. Target is mid December. So far I've done a first pass of EIGRP, OSPF, Redist. and Path Control by reading the FLG and doing the labs in that free Cisco lab manual*. My strength is probably that I pick up how to configure things fairly quickly, but have a harder time memorizing things from books. I also don't mind a 5-6 hour lab session, but I really struggle with reading for that amount of time. So far, the hardest topic has been Route Maps, and the easiest probably EIGRP, but I'm predicting that my actual weak area will end up being IPv6.

    I'm currently working on BGP and will use the rest of the week to get to know that protocol before moving on to the next chapter. On a high level it totally makes sense to me but I'm struggling with some of the details.


    *This would actually be my first question to the community. Is that book really enough? The EIGRP and OSPF labs feel a bit too easy to me.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 09-24-2013 at 11:29 AM.
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    #2
    I've been up to date with a lot of CCNP threads. As far as I can tell, you can probably get by with just the FLG and lots of labbing, you would have to get better at studying from the book though, especially consider taking really good notes that way you don't have to re-read chapters.

    Now, most people use 2 books from what I've seen. I think it's more of a repetition thing, it helps reinforce the knowledge, but even better, you might find things the FLG missed or you might begin to understand some topics better from a different style of writing.

    CCNP Route Simplified is a good book, I got it on kindle for $5. I have the FLG also. But I'm still doing CCNA Sec before I get into ccnp studies.
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  4. Network Engineer Dieg0M's Avatar
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    #3
    I went through a similar path then you. I don't know what you mean by "that free Cisco lab manual" but I would highly suggest the CCNP Route SLM, it helped me a lot by practicing concepts in a lab environment. Just google CCNP Route SLM to find it. Also, it's important that you identify what type of learner you are to be efficient in your studies. From what you've indicated in your post, I believe you are a Kinesthetic Learner and would benefit the most from doing labs several times.

    Good luck in your studies and remember to check in with us on your progress.
    Follow my CCDE journey at www.routingnull0.com
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ismaeljrp View Post
    I've been up to date with a lot of CCNP threads. As far as I can tell, you can probably get by with just the FLG and lots of labbing, you would have to get better at studying from the book though, especially consider taking really good notes that way you don't have to re-read chapters.
    Yes I definitely need to get better at straight up learning from books. My CCNA strategy was basically to read Lammle's book over and over (and lab with freeccnaworkbook.com). I might have read it 4 or 5 times total and that was a fairly painful experience. I heard later that it wasn't really the best book out there, but it was apparently enough to pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiegoM
    I went through a similar path then you. I don't know what you mean by "that free Cisco lab manual" but I would highly suggest the CCNP Route SLM, it helped me a lot by practicing concepts in a lab environment. Just google CCNP Route SLM to find it. Also, it's important that you identify what type of learner you are to be efficient in your studies. From what you've indicated in your post, I believe you are a Kinesthetic Learner and would benefit the most from doing labs several times.

    Good luck in your studies and remember to check in with us on your progress.
    Route SLM is the book I meant. I guess it's fine, but I would prefer to use one larger topology and continually build on that instead of working on each technology in isolation. If there is such a book, I'll certainly get it. I have a feeling that I would enjoy some of the CCIE material out there since it's tailored towards doing one large lab, but it's obviously too in depth.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 09-25-2013 at 10:44 AM.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Day 21

    I had a very good session last night and put in a good 5 hours or so of BGP. I read most of the FLG chapter up until the configuration examples started, and then built what I imagined a multihomed enterprise topology would look like. I then applied all the configuration examples to that toplogy. Everything worked, except that I failed to prevent routes learned from ISP1 from being propagated to ISP2. This turned my little enterpise into a transit path for those ISPs, something the book warned me about. A sidenot here is that although these Cisco press books aren't known for their humour, I actually laughed a bit when they explicitly told you that a reason not to use BGP was "if you don't know what you are doing".

    Anyway, I thought that I knew how to prevent this from happening and created a standard deny access-list and applied it with the "distribute-list out interface" command on the edge routers of the enterprise. Routes still flowed from ISP1 to ISP2 so I must have messed up somewhere. I'll have to look into this today. I'm assuming that I only want to advertise routes originating inside the enterprise, and deny everything else.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 09-25-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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  7. Network Consultant FloOz's Avatar
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    #6
    Goodluck in your studies!
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FloOz View Post
    Goodluck in your studies!
    Thanks!
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    #8
    Day 22

    Before I start, if anything sounds dumb, call me on it because
    I need to know if I have misunderstood something.

    I labbed my way through the rest of the
    BGP chapter and configured local preference and the MED and some
    other things. I managed to fix the route filtering issue from
    yesterday. Instead of using the neighbor x.x.x.x distribute-list
    command I had used just distribute-list without a neighbor statement.

    I then found a cisco document called
    ”bgp case studies”. I read through most of that document and
    ended up at a seven router lab with 4 or 5 different ASes. I fired up
    GNS3 and used the initial configurations that the article supplied.
    Instead of working as expected, I spent the next hour troubleshooting
    this thing.

    I realized that they hadn't used a mask
    statement when advertising their networks. The result of this was
    that only the networks that were in the routing table with their
    classful mask were actually advertised. For example, one router had
    loopback0 with 205.102.50.0/24 and the network statement
    205.102.50.0. This route was advertised. Another router had a /26
    loopback, but no mask command which made it fail. On the routers
    where the loopbacks weren't /24s, I had to create ip routes pointing
    to null0 to propagate them throughout the topology.


    Another issue I ran into was that they
    wanted you to redistribute BGP into the IGP. From everything else
    I've read, this isn't a good idea because you risk overloading the
    IGP with routes. I'm also speculating that it's not the
    smartest thing to make your IGP do a reconvergence because a network
    in a different AS is flapping, which I assume would happen if that
    route is redistributed into your IGP, and your eBGP router gets
    notified by its peer that the network is gone.

    The FLG solution is to use iBGP peering between the
    internal routers so I did that instead of redistributing. I'm a bit
    confused though because unless you want to run iBGP on every router,
    you'll eventually lose the bgp routes. How does some random router
    deep in your topology, that isn't running iBGP, know the optimal path
    out of your network? I'm guessing that it simply doesn't. I'm also
    assuming that this is where the route reflector concept comes into
    the picture; to get bgp routes to everyone without this iBGP full
    mesh thing.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 09-26-2013 at 10:04 AM.
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    #9
    Regarding your last paragraph:

    When running eBGP on routers at the edge of your network, you need iBGP on any routers that are in the path between your edge routers (to prevent loops). Other routers in your network don't need and shouldn't have the internet routing table. They only need to be able to get to a device that does know how to properly exit the network; hence, edge devices originating default routes into the IGP.
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Day 23

    I did the 5 BGP labs in the Route SLM book. I only really struggled with the as-path configuration since I've never worked with regular expression before. My confidence reached an all time high when I crushed the last one, the "Challenge Lab". At that point I couldn't stop myself from going online and finding a way bigger and harder ccie style BGP lab, and that one demoralized me completely and made me realize that I really don't know what I'm doing. "Do this" it said and I thought "very well, I know that", but don't use "x, y or z to accomplish it" and I was like damn I'm screwed. My session started at 4 PM and didn't stop until 1 AM or so.

    Probably not the wisest investment of time to try such a hard lab (just the ip and igp configuration took way too long), but it did expose me to a clever way of not readvertising routes coming from outside the AS. One of the SLM labs makes you use an access-list that matches your internal networks and applying this list with the neighbor distribute-list command. Applying an as-path list with permit ^$ (i.e. no "path") feels much cleaner. I can see the distribute-list method becoming clumsy if you have many networks.

    At this point I feel finished with my first review of BGP and will move on to the next chapter.
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by powmia View Post
    Regarding your last paragraph:

    When running eBGP on routers at the edge of your network, you need iBGP on any routers that are in the path between your edge routers (to prevent loops). Other routers in your network don't need and shouldn't have the internet routing table. They only need to be able to get to a device that does know how to properly exit the network; hence, edge devices originating default routes into the IGP.
    That makes sense. I think I got hung up on the idea of every router needing to know what BGP knows. As long as it somehow gets to something running BGP that router will apply the policy. The lab I did yesterday had 2 edge routers running eBGP, multihomed with 2 ISPs. They peered with 2 iBGP routers that just used a default route to those edge routers (or to their hsrp ip actually). In that case, traffic will get to either of those edge routers and then sent on its way.

    I guess my issue with this is that while that might work fine with that basic enterprise style multihoming, what happens if you have say 5 exits and rely on your IGP/defaults to get to the border routers? If certain traffic is supposed to go out a specific exit (let's call it "right"), but your IGP sends it "left". Left applies the bgp policy, and sends it across the network again to reach Right. If you ran iBGP, the traffic would know to go Right, and not Left. Unless you tinkered with the internal routing to align the traffic flow with the BGP policy? But if you need to actively make traffic reach a certain BGP peer, wouldn't you just run iBGP?

    This is how confused a brain gets after 5 days of BGP.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    Day 24 & 25

    I read and configured most of the concepts in chapter 7, "The Branch Office". The text started out with a ton of techno babble about cable and dsl that I'm not going to remember. Hopefully, you are not required to know that sdsl is discontinued in favor of shdsl or that upstream is handled by this or that frequency range. Not a fan of that kind of trivia. But, just as I had decided that this was the worst chapter in the book, there was a long (the rest of the chapter actually) case study on migrating a branch office from a private line (I used a frame relay link) to an IPsec VPN with a GRE tunnel. They maintained the same topology throughout the chapter and simply added or removed features as the case progressed. I really wish all chapters were constructed this way because it makes it very easy to lab along with GNS, or real hardware for that matter.

    There were some problems however. Primarily the fact that they didn't supply complete configurations on certain aspects of this migration to VPN/GRE while simultaneously saying that how to actually configuring it was outside of the scope of this text. If it's outside the scope, you need to actually give me the complete configs. After nailing the NAT configuration, I got stuck because they only supplied the VPN commands for one of the routers. After cursing a lot I realized that the chapter 7 lab in the Route SLM book is the exact same case, and they gave you the configuration for both sides. With everything in place I could finally get my GRE tunnel going, which seemed like a very neat thing indeed.

    Despite the dreadful first 10 or 15 pages, an enjoyable chapter. My plan for the next week is to go as deep as I can with IPv6.
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    #13
    I'm thinking about booking a practice exam in early November. It will motivate me to study harder in hopes of somehow passing (unlikely), but more importantly, it might calm my nerves in anticipation of December when I had actually planned to make my first attempt. I feel like I really need to have more to go on than that useless exam blueprint. Is this a good or bad idea?

    Another thing I'm going to do is to switch to a US keyboard layout to emulate the exam experience as much as possible. During the CCNA I felt so slow on the sims because I had no idea about the keyboard.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 09-28-2013 at 10:38 PM.
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  15. Grind time, gotta eat MrBrian's Avatar
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    #14
    Great work just keep reading and labbing!
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Day 26, Sunday 29/9

    I started on the IPv6 chapter and I seem to have built up a higher work capacity because the four or five hours I spent didn't feel like that much. If I can maintain this pace I feel like I'm in a very good place. Anyway, I managed to read and lab my way up until the BGP section. The chapter is actually very clever in the way it's set up, with each section being a smaller v6 version of the other chapters. It'll make it easy to simply incorporate each of those sections into the study of the corresponding v4 chapters instead of looking at it in isolation.

    As I'm approaching the end of this initial review, I'll need to figure out what my approach is going to be moving forward. One thing that's on the agenda is building a single topology that's compatible with all the topics. There's simply no reason for me spend time on labbing things from blank configs, assigning ip addresses or enabling routing protocols on interfaces. And since I'm using GNS3 on a decent computer I'm not really limited when it comes to the number of routers. If someone already has a suitable topology, let me know.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 09-30-2013 at 08:41 AM.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by fredrikjj View Post
    That makes sense. I think I got hung up on the idea of every router needing to know what BGP knows. As long as it somehow gets to something running BGP that router will apply the policy. The lab I did yesterday had 2 edge routers running eBGP, multihomed with 2 ISPs. They peered with 2 iBGP routers that just used a default route to those edge routers (or to their hsrp ip actually). In that case, traffic will get to either of those edge routers and then sent on its way.

    I guess my issue with this is that while that might work fine with that basic enterprise style multihoming, what happens if you have say 5 exits and rely on your IGP/defaults to get to the border routers? If certain traffic is supposed to go out a specific exit (let's call it "right"), but your IGP sends it "left". Left applies the bgp policy, and sends it across the network again to reach Right. If you ran iBGP, the traffic would know to go Right, and not Left. Unless you tinkered with the internal routing to align the traffic flow with the BGP policy? But if you need to actively make traffic reach a certain BGP peer, wouldn't you just run iBGP?

    This is how confused a brain gets after 5 days of BGP.
    If you have a specific destination that you want to have a preferred exit point, the easiest way is to leak the more specific prefix into your IGP at that point, then rely on the default for everything else.
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by powmia View Post
    If you have a specific destination that you want to have a preferred exit point, the easiest way is to leak the more specific prefix into your IGP at that point, then rely on the default for everything else.
    Again, that makes sense. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBrian View Post
    Great work just keep reading and labbing!
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    Day 27, tunnels tunnels tunnels tunnels

    I continued my adventure in IPv6 land, reading and labbing policy based routing, some redistribution and all the 5 (!) different tunnel types. I struggled with redistribution because my v4 redistribution knowledge is weak. So weak in fact that I should probably make it priority number one once I've finished off the rest of the IPv6 chapter later today.

    Tangentially speaking, my first thought when I realized that ipv6 routing protocols used the link local addresses to communicate, and that those were installed in the routing table was like "holy crap those are ugly". A full ip6 address with a mac based host portion is f***ing dreadful to look at. So, I've developed a method for dealing with this madness. If the global address is say 2001:10::1/64 I manually assign the link local fe80:10::1, and 2001:2::4 becomes fe80:2::4 - you get the picture. This is extra configuration, but it makes debug output legible and removes "via FE80:T#":TAA3F:GA#"ATAG:ASTAGHAO" crap from the routing table. I have no idea how "real world" this solution is, but at this point it makes a ton of sense to me. Ultimately though (see next point) I don't know if people even assign a global address on the physical interfaces, but they sure do in the book.

    I like that the addresses used for protocol communication is separated from the routed networks. It feels very clean because once you leave a segment, you have no reason to be able to communicate directly with a physical interface, right, so why do we have all those things in the routing table in ospv2? Because ipv4 doesn't have link-local. The question that it raises in me is if you could just emulate this in v2 by filtering the routes to the physical interfaces at each router. Or... you could run IPv4 on OSPFv3 mind = blown.

    PS.
    Another thing that's been on my mind lately is how badly I would fail certain switch specific topics if I had a job interview right now. Spanning-tree was a weak area for me during the CCNA, and I think they expect junior guys to not be completely lost in a basic spanning-tree topology. I have worked with switching, but it was a 0 STP environment (diff. vendor proprietary protocol). With that in mind, it would probably be a good idea to review the CCNP Switch material for a month right now before going truly deep into Route. But I don't have switches or the means to buy them, nor the motivation to learn how to set up the "evil" way to do switch.

    I'm just going to continue with Route, and if they ask me about STP stuff I guess I'll have to say "sorry, I don't know" followed by "but I could set up a nice layer 3 access layer for you, how about that?". And "oh, you need layer 2 connectivity? I guess I would just extend a L2 MPLS VPN to the desktop". Don't worry, I wouldn't actually say that... or would I?

    In all seriousness, I'm the worst at job interviews.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-01-2013 at 11:01 AM.
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  20. Senior Member
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    #19
    Day 28, ipv6 lab day

    I did the 5 ipv6 labs in the Route SLM book and took some notes

    ipv6 lab 1, OSPFv3

    -configure a static ipv6 address on an interface
    router(config-if)#ipv6 address FEC0::12:0/112

    -Change the default link-local address on an interface
    router(config-if)#ipv6 address FE80:12::1 link-local

    -configure an eu-64 ipv6 address on an interface
    router(config-if)#ipv6 address prefix/64 eu-64

    -enable ipv6 routing and cef
    router(config)#ipv6 cef
    router(config)#ipv6 uni

    -single area ospfv3
    router(config-rtr)#router-id 0.0.0.1
    router(config-if)#ipv6 ospf 1 area 0

    Walkthrough needed? no. easy lab.

    ipv6 lab 2, Manual Tunnel

    -configure EIGRP for ipv4
    network 0.0.0.0 <- im lazy

    -create a manual ipv6 tunnel
    int tun0
    tunnel mode ipv6ip
    tunnel dest <remote loopback>
    tunnel source <local loopback>
    ipv6 address fec0::13:1/112

    -eigrp ipv6 over the tunnel
    ipv6 router eigrp 1
    no shut (no shut by default on my ios ver though)
    int tun0
    ipv6 eigrp 1
    walkthrough need: no. I remembered this tunnel type well from yesterday.

    ipv6 lab 3, 6to4 tunnel


    A 6to4 tunnel doesn't have a link-local address. this makes dynamic routing protocols fail (except bgp) and the lab wants you to configure static routing to overcome this.

    -configure eigrp for v4
    this lab reuses the topology of lab 2

    -create a 6to4 tunnel
    tunnel mode ipv6ip 6to4
    ipv6 add <2002 ipv6 version of ip4 address>
    tunnel source <exit ip4 interface>

    Around here is where I started failing.

    Walkthrough needed? Yes. I found this one much more confusing than the manual tunnel. I'm confused because the FLG has two seemingly conflicting quotes on what ip4 address is actually used to convert into the 2002 adress.

    "Each 6to4 edge router, which is a dual-stacked device, has an IPv6 address with a /48 prefix, which is the concatenation of 2002::/16 and the hexadecimal representation of the IPv4 address of that edge router."

    "Notice that the configuration is similar to the manual and GRE tunnel configurations. One difference is that the tunnel destination is not specified, because the destination IPv4 address is embedded in the IPv6 address."

    The lab walkthrough says that the ipv6 address in the tunnel configuration is a transformation of the ip4 on the LOCAL device. That begs the question of how the tunnel finds its other end.

    I basically just copied the commands in the walkthrough and it worked.

    IPv6 lab 4, Challenge Lab

    1. Configure all interfaces in the topology diagram with the IPv4 or IPv6 addresses shown.
    self explanatory

    2. Use EUI-64 addresses on the link between R3 and R4.
    ipv6 address fec0:34::/64 eui-64

    3. Configure EIGRP AS 1 on R1, R2, and R3 to route all IPv4 networks.
    router eigrp 1
    network 0.0.0.0

    4. Disable EIGRP automatic summarization.
    no auto - off by default in modern ios.

    5. Configure a manual IPv6 tunnel between R1 and R3.
    R1
    int tun0
    tunnel mode ipv6ip
    tunnel destination 172.16.23.3
    tunnel source s1/0
    ipv6 add FEC0::13:1/112
    R2
    int tun0
    tunnel mode ipv6ip
    tunnel destination 172.16.12.1
    tunnel source s1/0
    ipv6 add FEC0::13:3/112

    6. Include all IPv6 networks in OSPF area 0 on R1, R3, and R4.
    ipv6 unicast-routing
    int tun0
    ipv6 ospf 1 area 0
    etc
    ping R1 lo0 -> R4 lo0 successful.

    7. Manually configure a router ID of 172.16.4.1 on R4 (this address does not need to be reachable).
    ipv6 router ospf 1
    router-id 172.16.4.1

    8. Remove the OSPFv3 configuration commands from R1, R3, and R4 and configure RIPng to run on
    these routers using RIP1 as the process name.
    router(config)#no ipv6 router ospf 1. This removes all the interface specific configuration automagically.
    router(config-if)#ipv6 rip RIP1 enable

    Walkthrough needed?
    There is no walkthrough, but I found this one very straightforward. I assumed that there would be some kind of trickery going on with the tunnel and RIP but it seemed to work. R1 learned routes from R4 through the tunnel interface. It would have been a bit more interesting if they had used an ISATAP tunnel, which doesn't support multicast. In that scenario, RIP would have failed, but it would have possible to configure unicast OSPF.

    IPv6 lab 5, troubleshooting lab


    R1.
    OSPF not enabled on Lo0

    R4.
    s1/0 running in ospf process 100

    Found nothing in R2/3. I made a tcl script and pinged everything successfully from everywhere.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-02-2013 at 08:38 AM.
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  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    How I Passed the CCIE Data Center Lab Exam
    The methodology is a basic four step process as follows:
    • Gain a basic understanding of the technologies
    • Gain basic hands-on experience to reinforce and expand your understanding
    • Gain an expert level of understanding
    • Gain an expert level of hands-on experience
    It might seem self-explanatory that you need to start at the bottom and work your way up, i.e. A then B then C then D, however over the years we’ve seen so many CCIE candidates try to shortcut this process and try to go from A directly to D.
    I'm at B now, having read 95% of the FLG and done all the labs in the SLM. My hunch is that C will be the most challenging for me. Reading, rereading and taking extensive handwritten notes is going to be my approach. It's painful, but it's ultimately going to be worth it.

    That mid December target that I mentioned in the first post leaves me with around 10 weeks (and a nice even 100 days of studying). I don't know how slow this reading and note taking is going to be so before creating any kind of elaborate schedule I'm going to attempt to do the EIGRP chapter this week (5 days).
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-02-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    Day 29

    I totally failed to get going and ended up doing other things.

    PS.
    I've decided that going into a lot of detail on EIGRP this far out isn't as important as working on the really weak areas like redistribution. I'm also going to make an honest attempt at improving my resume.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-03-2013 at 11:13 AM.
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  23. Senior Member
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    #22
    Day 30

    Made up for yesterday with a 6-7 hour session on redistribution. I've also started using a US keyboard layout, and it's not bad at all actually. Stictly for configuring IOS it's vastly better because "/" is much more accessable and, as you all know, you use it constantly when going into interface mode. The Swedish layout has forward slash at shift+7 which is pretty much the worst possible location.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-04-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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  24. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    #23
    Fredrikjj,


    Are you using actual equipment or GNS3? If actual, what routers are you using?
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  25. Senior Member
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by TBickle View Post
    Fredrikjj,


    Are you using actual equipment or GNS3? If actual, what routers are you using?
    100% GNS3. Last time I saw real cisco gear was when we cleaned out some ancient 100 mbit stuff at work... in 2009. I figure I'll have to actually get some switches for the switch exam, but itseems like the supply is severely limited (and very expensive) on Swedish sites. Our most popular auction site seems to have 1 3560 with an opening bid of 1,600 SEK which is like $250. To me that's pretty damn expensive for something that's pretty much 100% useless outside of labbing.

    If I was a vendor I'd make sure people could train on my equipment for free because it literally has zero downside. I read Ethan Bank's blog post on that Juniper solution (junosphere), and it's mindboggling that they've created some elaborate cloud solution and then charges for it when they could have just released the OS and let the community handle everything else. The same goes for Cisco. They have this product in the pipeline called "VIRL" which seems to be GNS3, more or less, but with support for the newer OSes, and I'll be EXTREMELY suprised if it's just a free download for anyone. It seems to be in the nature of these companies to make it more complicated than it has to be.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-05-2013 at 10:19 AM.
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  26. Senior Member
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    #25
    Day 31

    Spent another four hours or so on redistribution.
    Last edited by fredrikjj; 10-05-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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