got some rack time in

I managed to get about 6 hours of solid rack time in today. I started at the beginning of the authorized self study guide and worked through all of the chapter labs. I’m pretty solid on EIGRP, OSPF, BGP, and redistribution as far as BSCI is concerned. I forgot where to place a summary address in IS-IS and had to look that up really quick. Aside from that, I was pretty solid.

When I got to multicast, I ended up taking a 15-20 minute breather to find a multicast traffic generator for Windows. After a quick google search, I settled on LiveCaster. It’s an MP3 streaming utility, and gives you some decent options for configuring your streams, and advertising with SDP/SAP. I’m still shaky on multicast, but getting to actually work through the labs today helped solidify a few things.

I am going to finish putting the rest of my section notes into word docs this week, go back over the multicast videos from trainsignal, and try to sit the exam again by thursday/friday.

is-is notes

I have taken a ton of notes from the Authorized Self Study Guide and from the Trainsignal videos. I think I’m at about 50 or so pages between the two sources. As an extra review, I’ve been working on moving my written notes to word docs. I already did that with OSPF and EIGRP (although I’ve updated my own doc files since I posted the originals). I just finished my IS-IS notes, and I’m getting started on BGP, redistribution, and multicast.

I am attaching my isis notes to this post. At some point, I’ll probably create a single post that I will attach all of my notes to. I’d like to take some time to add some small lab scenarios to my notes with config snippets, as well. I think that helps to solidify things and gives me additional visio/configuration practice.

isis1.doc

studies

My wife managed to keep the kids out of the bedroom long enough for me to get through the IPv6, IS-IS, and Route Map/VLSM/NAT videos from Trainsignal yesterday. I still don’t understand how I did so poorly on the IS-IS section of the BSCI exam two weeks ago. I knew EVERYTHING covered in that video.

I learned some stuff in the IPv6 video that I didn’t know, but I’m still a bit foggy on the 6to4 tunneling. I am going to go back through the authorized self study chapter on IPv6 tonight and see if I can solidify that topic for myself. If I can make it through the multicast sections today/tomorrow and redistribution by Tuesday, then I am going to try and schedule my re-take of the exam for late this week. If not, I’m going to give myself next weekend and take the exam next Monday.

I’m disappointed. I REALLY wanted to be well on my way to knocking BCMSN out of the way by now. I guess I’m just going to have to push harder to get this stuff done.

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.

BSCI Exam

Well,

I wasn’t ready for the exam. I went in fairly confident, but slightly psyched out. I ran through all of the chapter summaries and Q&A in the exam guide last night, reading sections that I wasn’t sure on. I hit up my notes, and fired up some of the gear to double check some answers on questions that I was unsure of.

I ended up with a 777/1000 on the exam this morning. passing is 790. IPv6 (specifically 6to4 tunneling) and IS-IS really hurt me. I knew I was weak on IPv6, but I didn’t realize I was THAT weak. Oh well. I’ll go back through the self study guide, and watch the trainsignal videos on IPv6 and IS-IS this week, and attempt the exam again in a few weeks.

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.