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.

moving right along

My wife took the baby with her to another baby shower today. She left me alone so that I could get some studying done. I dunno what happened, but I’m going to call today a wash. I struggled to focus on anything, and stay with it. I made it through another BGP video, and listened to the IPv6 video while I cleaned the apartment up a bit. All in all, I really didn’t get very far.

This next week should be pretty relaxed at work. We’re still holding our breath for some upcoming information, and all of our projects are on hold. On top of that, my boss may be going out of town on a family emergency, and my co-worker is leaving to see his mother off to London for a two year mission. Maria has told me she’s going to allow me every evening this week to study (save for thursday night, when she takes the 8 year old to see the doodle bops).

I am going to get through all of the BGP chapters in the authorized self study guide and videos on Monday. Tuesday will be spent focusing on IPv6/OPSFv3, and Wednesday on Multicast. Thursday will be review and some additional lab work just to solidify everything. I’ll make the decision to take the test this week by Wednesday. Because of the work related stuff, I MAY put it off until early the following week (which would give me one more weekend to study), but we’ll see.

In the meantime, my notes from the BGP section today:
There are two main classes of attributes in BGP: well known and optional.
Within these two classes, there are two sub-classes each:

well known: mandatory and discretionary
optional: transitive and non-transitive

well known mandatory attributes are as_path, origin, and next hop
well known discretionary attributes are local preference and atomic aggregate
optional transitive attributes are aggregator and community
optional non-transitive attributes are MED (multi-exit discriminator)

optional attributes aren’t necessarily understood by all BGP speakers. If a BGP speaker sees an optional transitive attribute that it doesn’t understand, it just forwards that information onto the next peer. Attributes that are optional non-transitive are dropped by BGP speakers that don’t understand them. Chris Bryant mentioned the partial bit for optional transitive attributes. I’d like to see the behavior for all of the above. I just don’t know how likely it is with all cisco gear.

BGP best path selection:
1. use the path with the highest weight (weight is a cisco proprietary attribute)
2. use the path with the highest local preference (this is 100 by default and is the same throughout the AS. can be assigned through the bgp default local-pref # router configuration command, or done on a per-route basis with route maps. route maps are preferred)
3. use the path that was originated locally
4. use the path with the shortest as_path
5. use the path with the best origin code (IGP is preferred over EGP is preferred over ?/incomplete)
6. use the path with the lowest MED (I think I read somewhere that Cisco uses this attribute the exact opposite of the RFC standard. I want to say the command to correct this is bgp bestpath med missing-as-worst.)
7. use eBGP path over iBGP path.
8. use the lowest IGP metric to the BGP next hop
9. use the most recent path
10. use the lowest BGP Router-ID.

I have additional notes, but They work better with diagrams and sample configs. Since I don’t have visio on my laptop yet, I’ll hold off on the diagrams for now. Besides… It’s time to get in the shower and get ready to go out tonight. This was the stipulation set on me getting to study today.

route manipulation/BGP

I think I’m coming down with a stomach bug/flu. I’ve been sick all weekend, and was very lethargic all day.
Even still, I made it through the route manipulation/redistribution chapters and labs today. The labs only covered redistributing RIP into OSPF and OSPF back into RIP. nothing with RIP/EIGRP, or EIGRP/OSPF, so I just started doing my own and running lots of debugs and traces to see what might happen.
I’m going to have to read through those sections again just to make sure I’m remembering all of the differences in redistributing the protocols and all the stuff involved with route maps and distribute lists.
I got about 40 pages into the BGP stuff in the authorized self study. I’ll finish that section up this week and double it up with the network academy stuff, as well as the exam certification guide, and hit the labs next weekend. If time permits this week, I’ll hit the multicast stuff, too.

My goal is to have this exam out of the way by February 29th. From there, I don’t want to spend much more than a month or two on each additional NP exam. This is something I should have completed a long time ago, and have had too much happening over the last year to follow through with. NOW is the time.

In other news, a sales manager for Trainsignal contacted me about reviewing some of their materials this week. I live in an apartment with a gate at the entrance. I’ve been in this apartment for a year and a half, and my name still isn’t on the call box. When I found out that the management has decided to close our front gates during the day, I was a little bit miffed. Needless to say, I still haven’t received the materials. I’ve never used VBT/CBT for any tests/certs before. I’m anxious to see how well this training works out.

IS-IS

Made it through IS-IS and the labs this evening. My wife’s done a decent job of keeping the kids out of my hair long enough to get me through all of this.

I also looked through the Network Academy curriculum and chapter test for IS-IS. I ran across a question that I didn’t see covered in the authorized self study, and the answer in the Network Academy quiz seems wrong to me.

Observe the diagram. The administrator requires the IS-IS adjacencies to authenticate so that no unauthorized routers will create adjacencies. Which command is required for an area to authenticate?

A. area-password password
B. domain-password password
C. area # authentication password
D. isis password password

The diagram had R1 and R2 connected over fast ethernet with R2 connected to R3 over a serial link. It didn’t specify IP addresses or area information. According to the curriculum, the correct answer is D.
Of the four answers, A makes the most sense to me, since the question specified area authentication. B is specific to the entire routing domain, while C is slightly incorrect syntax. (the syntax would be area # authenticate snp send-only or validate). D is specific to the interface. Anyone who might read this, can you clarify for me?

ugh…

I hate it when I cut cables wrong and don’t check them before I need to use them. I cut a T1 x-over cable for the T1 WICs I have sitting around and didn’t bother to check it. I went to use it tonight and I have the wrong 4/5 pin pair. All of my tools are at work, so I’m down a pair of T1 WICs for tonight’s labs. oh well.

I was able to run through a few frame relay OSPF labs tonight. Had I bothered to read further into the chapter 5 labs, I’d have seen that they covered different operation modes for frame relay OSPF. I understand the concept of virtual links and how to configure them. We’re using MD5 authentication for OSPF at work, so I’m familiar with that configuration. I’m suddenly having a much easier time remembering LSA types, modes of operation, specifics for the modes, and other wonderful details.

I’ve made it through most of the Integrated IS-IS section in the authorized self study book. I’ll follow that up with the exam study book, and labs this weekend. Actually, I should try to make it through the redistribution chapters in both books before the weekend, as well. I’m expecting some training materials from Trainsignal this week. I’m going to load those videos onto my PDA and listen to them as I’m on my way to work every day, and use any free time I get at work to go through the videos some more. I WILL be ready for this exam by the end of this month.

Slightly OT: my wife wants to have one more little person sometime next year. If I’m going to do the IE, I’d better do it soon. I’m going to shoot for the written by December of this year, and pray that I get at least one attempt at the lab by the end of next summer.

OSPF Labs

I got through Chapter 4 of the Authorized Self Study guide today and completed the lab scenarios listed in the book. I’m starting to become more and more concerned about the labs provided in the book. The EIGRP chapter covered stub configurations and authentication, but there was nothing in the labs to cover the configurations on those. I know it’s easy to enough to do it myself, but I really feel the book should atleast have something more on that.

The OSPF chapters cover a lot on the NBMA modes of operation, but there is NOTHING in the lab section at the end of the chapter to cover the different configurations or modes for those. Again, there was nothing for authentication, either. My frame switch has 4 additional serial interfaces. I knew I was going to have to buy additional serial interfaces for the rest of the 2600’s, I just didn’t want to do it so soon. I guess I can build out a second mini lab to cover those kinds of topics w/o disrupting the rest of the BSCI topology.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make it through reading chapter 5 “advanced OSPF” and the labs before the wife gets home with the kids.

My home lab setup

I’ve commented about my home lab setup.  I’m hyperlinking to the photos because of the size of them. It was messing up the wordpress page.

one picture
second picture

Yes, it is in my kitchen/dining area.  No, my family isn’t really thrilled about it (well, the 16 month old loves to play with it).