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.

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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.

Progressing

I finished up with the OSPF sections in the books yesterday. The Network Academy curriculum has a few specific labs on OSPF with Frame Relay. I’m going to use the remaining WIC-1DSU-T1 and WIC-2MFT-T1 cards with the additional 2600’s I have to create a smaller mini lab for the rest of the OSPF/Frame Relay stuff. I’m trying to leave the base topology intact for the time being.
The OSPF topics and information seems to be sticking this time around. I’m not forgetting things a day or two after reading them. I’ve fixed some typos and other errors in the word docs I uploaded previously. I’ve got those printed out and I’m going over them daily.

Since I don’t get much lab time in during the week, I figure I’ll just keep reading on and taking notes. I’ll spend Saturdays running through labs and taking as many debugs and dumps as possible. From there, I can go back and look through the books to answer any other questions I have. I’ve also started looking through the UniverCD site just to get familiar with it and answer questions that aren’t addressed in the books I’m using.

I told my boss, today, that I was going to need a morning off this month. I’m going to try and knock this exam out in the next two weeks. I’m getting irritated that I’m not through with this entire cert, yet. For the most part, I’ve had the time.

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.