quick update

I haven’t done a bit of studying since I failed that exam a week ago. I wanted to jump right back on the horse, this week, and get to studying my weak points (IPv6, IS-IS, and multicast). My wife and both of my daughters came down with the flu last weekend, and I’ve been fighting it all week. On top of that, I’ve been dealing with bursitis and cellulitis in my left arm/elbow.
We’ve also stepped up our effort to re-IP our entire corporate network, and made some changes to the WAN this week. Needless to say, there’s been a little too much going on to really focus on any studies. I was eligible to take the exam again yesterday. I will try to take it again in the next week or so.

I spent a good chunk of time last night into this morning messing around with dynamips on my work provided laptop. It’s a Pentium M 1.6Ghz machine with 1 gig RAM. I was trying to do labs using 2621XM as the platform, and I couldn’t get more than two routers loaded w/o crashing dynamips. I moved to 3640’s with two different IOS images this weekend (ip plus for BBR and FRSW, and Enterprise for the pod routers). So far, I’m able to get all routers fired up without spiking the processors. I started loading configs on the FRSW and the BBR’s this morning and the CPU spiked. We’ll see how the laptop handles full configs.
I know I have the rack here, but I don’t get a whole lot of time to dedicate to it, unfortunately. I’m almost at the point of selling it off just to buy a decent home PC/Mac and a laptop.


4 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I ran across your blog when I was researching CPU requirements for running Dynamips on a laptop. I just wanted to give you some encouragement and tell you not to get discouraged by the BSCI because it is hard and unless you use it daily or work on European networks you will not ever need the ISIS knowledge. It helped me to memorize the ISIS terminology in reference to OSPF but my brain works in odd ways. I just finished out my NP last October and am currently gearing up for the IE. I am getting ready to take the written in a few weeks and am buying the laptop to practice virtual lab scenarios. Anyway Good Luck and I hope you nail that BSCI next attempt.


  2. @ Jay:

    Thank you for the words of encouragement. I honestly thought I had IS-IS down going into the exam. I was really surprised by the marks I got on that section. I think it was more to do with show commands and viewing the routing tables. I really psyched myself out going into the exam and rushed through a lot of things. I was done with the exam in about 45 minutes. Next time, I’ll know to give myself more time.

    I’m still hoping to be through the IE written by the end of this year. We just got REALLY busy at work, so I’ve told my wife that I’m going to need extra time in the evenings and on weekends to get through this. I’m pretty fortunate to have a wife who has been around the IT industry for the last 13 years.

    As far as the dynamips thing goes… I have run it on a Pentium M 1.6Ghz and 1.8Ghz P4 machine with 1 gig of RAM and 1.5 gigs of RAM respectively. Both machines are running Windows XP. I’ve had a lot better luck running the 3600 platform than running the 2600XM’s. I haven’t tried Linux on either of these machines, but I assume that would run a lot better for the purpose.

    I’ve got a decent home lab, currently. I’ll probably end up selling some of the routers off and buying an iMac to replace the home box and a mini for dynamips. The power footprint is much less than all of the routers, and that box is a little more portable.

    Good luck with the written, and thank you for stopping by. I’ll hopefully have some more material to update with soon.

  3. I use dynagen/dynamips quite a bit. It helps if you have more than one PC to run it on. I have 11 or 12 routers spread over three ubuntu boxes at my house and then control it all from my laptop. Works really nice. Laptop by itself can only handle about 4 3640’s before pegging the CPU, it is an old 1.2Ghz toshiba with a gig of RAM. I also am kinda worried about the BSCI exam, I work with cisco routers at work, procurve switches, so even more worried about the BMCSN. Are you going to try the test again soon?

  4. @ drkfiber

    I’m working primarily with Foundry switches at work. We have a handful of 3524 and 3548’s in production, but the bulk of our layer2/3 infrastructure is all foundry.

    My original goal was to sit BSCI again tomorrow morning, but having been sick for over a week and stepping up this re-IP effort at work, I haven’t had as much time to study as I’d have liked. I will more than likely spend this weekend studying and working on labs, finish the rest of the Trainsignal videos this week and try to re-sit the exam next Friday.

    As far as dynamips goes, If/when I decide to go that route, I’ll likely just pick up a mac mini with a few gigs of RAM and load that up with dynamips.

    good luck with your studies. Feel free to check back here and comment whenever.

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