current topology and current focus

I think I’ve figured out part of the problem I’ve been having.  I haven’t been entirely focused on my studies, and I don’t really have a set goal right now.  I’ve been dancing with the idea of skipping the CCNP and going straight to the IE written.  Because of that, I’ve been reading chapters in the IE written exam certification guide, chapters in the BCMSN gook, and still reviewing notes, videos, and chapters from the BSCI studies.

With the way work has been going, I haven’t had as much time to study at work, and I don’t have the office space/time to study at home.  I live in a small apartment, and my rack is sitting in my living room.  I may need to bit the bullet and pay for the power consumption to leave the rack running at night.  I can stay an extra hour or so at work after hours to study quietly and access the rack from work.

Either way, I AM going to go for the NP.  I’m spending the next week or so going back through my written notes, watching videos again, and reading chapters in the BSCI book over the next week or so.  I bought the BSCI Lab Portfolio a month or so ago, so I’ll spend the next week going through those labs at night.

The physical topology for the bulk of the labs has four routers and one switch.

These are the routers and switch that I’ve added to the mix.  At some point, I know the lab guide will add the frame switch and possibly another router.  I need to pick up a few extra WIC-1T cards soon.

I made it through the first few EIGRP labs, tonight.  The objectives were pretty basic…

1.  Configure EIGRP on an interface.  simple

r1# configure terminal

r1(config)# int eth fa 0/0

r1(config-if)# ip addr 10.1.100.1 255.255.255.0

r1(config-if)# router eigrp 1

r1(config-router)# network 10.0.0.0

2.  Configure the bandwidth command to limit EIGRP bandwidth

r1(config-if)# bandwidth 64 ! bandwidth in kbps

3.  Verify EIGRP adjacencies

r1# show ip eigrp neighbors

or the alternative and more verbose

r1# show ip eigrp neighbors detail

4.  Utilize debugging commands for troubleshooting EIGRP

r1#  debug eigrp packets ! don’t forget to issue no debug all afterwords.

5.  Challenge:  test convergence for EIGRP when a topology change occurs.

This one was kinda weird.  The preferred path from R3 to a loopback on R1 is going to be via fast ethernet.  The lab has you ping from R3 to lo 3 on R1 with 100,000 pings(this is done using the ping $ip repeat 100000 command).  During these pings, you are to kill R1’s FA interface.  We haven’t modified the variance in EIGRP, and the AD through R2’s serial interface to R1 is more than the FD to lo 3, so the route doesn’t exist in the topology table.

When we killed FA 0/0 on R1, we obviously lost six pings while EIGRP discovered the new route through R2.  What confused me, was when I brought FA 0/0 back up on R1, we lost 33 or 34 pings while while the route through R1’s FA port came back up.

I’ll make it through the remaining EIGRP labs tomorrow night, and hopefully I’ll get through the OSPF labs.  I know there is going to be some slight re-cabling to bring the frame switch back into the mix.  I just hope I have enough WIC-1T interfaces to cover the physical topology change.

VTP

Is it vlan trunkING protocol or vlan trunk protocol?

I’ve seen both terms used. When I renewed my CCNA in 2006, I had a CCSI tell me specifically that is was VLAN TRUNK protocol. He emphasized that point a few times.

As I’ve started working through the BCMSN study materials and the CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Cert Guide, I’m seeing VLAN TRUNKING protocol. So which is it?

Here are two links with an argument for either side…

“Trunk”

“Trunking”

had some time to sit down and watch some more videos

With the upcoming changes in our network, I’m going to have my hands on a lot more switches than routers over the next few months.  I figured this would be a good time to start watching the BCMSN videos to brush up on STP knowledge, as well as focus on GLBP, HSRP, and VRRP.  Depending on how my studies go over the next month or so, I may also try to take the BSCI/BCMSN composite exam, or I may just use those studies as a baseline and start focusing directly on the IE written.  I’ve already been told that the certs aren’t going to do me any good in regard to pay or title with the new company, so it’s all personal at this point.  I still want to have the written out of the way by the end of this year.  If things keep up they way they are, I’m going to be pushing it.

Ethan Banks is scheduled to make his first lab attempt this week.  I’ve been reading his blog, as well as a few others for a while.  Ethan seems to be one of the more frequent bloggers, and definitely knows his stuff inside and out.  I only hope to be at the level that he and a few other IE candidates are at someday.  I can’t wait to see his results and look forward to seeing him get his number.  Good luck, Ethan.

trainsignal/lack of sleep

Alex Skinger from Trainsignal contacted me last week, and asked if I would be interested in checking out the BSCI/BCMSN/CCNA training materials from them. Until this point, I’ve been relying solely on Cisco Press books and reading things on the internet. I figured I’d give the VBT a try and see how I like it.

The materials showed up today, and were waiting for me when I got home from work this evening. I immediately tore through the packaging and threw the BSCI stuff into the laptop. So far, I’ve made it through the IP routing fundamentals video (just over an hour), the distance vector protocols video (somewhere in the range of 40 minutes), and the intro to OSPF video (about an hour). I have to say, I’m impressed. Chris Bryant covered some information in the DHCP server and ip helper configurations that I haven’t seen covered in three different versions of BSCN/BSCI Cisco Press books, AND the Network Academy curriculum. He’s also covered some additional details and key points in RIPv2 and OSPF that weren’t covered in the current study guides. I don’t know if that info will be on the test, but it’s good stuff to know.

I started working on the practice exams tonight, and I’m severely lacking in BGP and IPv6. I wanted to take the exam by next Friday. I’m starting to wonder if that’s enough time, or if I should postpone for a week. I guess we’ll see how my study schedule pans out for the rest of this week and weekend. I’m still fighting this flu/stomach shit that I’ve got. I’ve felt completely drained all week. By the time my lunch hour rolls around at work, I feel like I haven’t slept in days, and completely exhausted. That makes it pretty difficult to focus and study at all in the afternoons and evenings when I get home. I may just need to take a night and sleep.