CCIE Pursuit Blog

August 30, 2008

Dear Cisco: PLEASE Stop Fucking With Your Documentation

Whenever I need to build an AS-Path access-list I open the Cisco Regular Expressions documentation:

The regular expressions documentation is located in an odd corner of the DOC CD – under Terminal Services Configuration.  You may want to practice finding it a couple of times before your exam day:

12.4 Documentation Home ->
Configuration Guides ->
Cisco IOS Terminal Services Configuration Guide ->
Appendixes ->
Regular Expressions

So I went to the 12.4 Mainline Configuration Guide page and…..where the hell is the Cisco IOS Terminal Services Configuration Guide?  It’s nowhere to be found.  It was there at least as recently as 14 August, but – joy of joys – it’s gone now.

Thankfully it’s still (for how long?) present in the 12.3 Mainline Configuration Guides.  You have to play “Choose Your Own Adventure” with some links but you’ll eventually get to a 12.2 documentation page.

This was a pain in the butt during a practice lab, but it would have been a major stress-inducing moment during the actual lab.

I guess that the lesson here (other than “The Cisco Documentation team is of the devil”) is that you should probably verify that your favorite pieces of documentation are still there before you take the lab.  I would also make sure that you’re somewhat comfortable navigating older code documentation.

August 29, 2008

Payment Now Required Within 90 Days of CCIE Lab Exam

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 9:47 pm
Tags: , , ,

The normally dormant CCIE News and Announcements page has been a relative hub of activity.  Two announcements in two weeks.  The most recent announcement concerns a new payment policy for the CCIE lab:

Policy Change to Payment for CCIE Labs
In effort to improve the availability of CCIE lab exams Cisco has updated the CCIE lab payment process.

On September 6, 2008the payment policy for CCIE labs will be as follows:

Payment in full is due 90 days (calendar) prior to your lab date. Payment must be received to confirm your date. After 90 days refunds will not be available for cancelled lab dates.

The change in this policy will allow for lab seats to be open in a timely manner and create more desirable time frames.

If you have questions or want to confirm you are within the 90+ day window please contact customer support.

This is a good change in that it will open up more lab dates within 90 days.  Right now you can schedule a lab exam without having to actually make payment until 28 days before your date.  This usually means that there are dates available within 28 days because of candidates dropping or changing their date before actually paying Cisco.  This change moves that date to 90 days out.

The only downside to this change is that you can’t cancel your lab date after the 90 day mark.  This is not really too big of a negative as it will force candidates to be more cautious (and realistic) in scheduling their lab date.

I still think that Cisco should require payment when a lab is booked but this is a step in the right direction.

August 28, 2008

Internetwork Expert: Beijing Lab To Include CCIE Interview

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 4:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

Brian Dennis has a post up concerning an email that seems to indicate (as Brian states in his post this has NOT been verified) that CCIE candidates taking the lab at the Beijing, China location will need to submit to a verbal CCIE interview:

On August 27, Cisco will introduce a pilot for the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam in Beijing, China. The pilot will add a 10-minute interview that will assess the candidate’s ability to apply expert-level networking skills and knowledge to networking problems that are encountered on the job. After the lab orientation, a panel of three experts will conduct a verbal interview with each candidate, asking a series of expert-level networking questions (questions and answers will be in English). The ability to correctly answer these questions will affect the exam score. After completing the interview, the candidate will have the entire 8 hours to complete the lab portion of the exam.  These scores will then be calculated and then combined for a total score which will decide a pass or a fail.

—Read The Rest Here—

There has long been speculation about rampant cheating in China.  I’ve heard everything from special “dump schools” to lax lab security.  I have no idea if any of this is true or not.  This announcement (if true) might indicate that there are issues with the Beijing lab.  It could just be a pilot that is being rolled out at that location first, but I highly doubt that as the email states that the interview will have an effect on the final score.  It doesn’t seem fair to only expose Beijing candidates to this interview.

My take on it is this: if Cisco feels that there is rampant cheating at the Beijing location then close that location down.  Full stop.  Adding an interview that affects the lab score for candidates in a single location does not seem fair.

August 27, 2008

Internetwork Expert: New Free V-Seminars Announced

Internetwork Expert has announced upcoming free V-Seminars:

Upcoming V-Seminars
CCIE Voice – Unity 4.0(5) September 2, 2008
CCIE Voice – H.323 Gatekeeper and Gateways September 4, 2008
CCIE Routing & Switching – Multicast September 5, 2008
CCIE Voice Workbook Volume II Kickoff September 12, 2008
CCIE Voice Workbook Volume II Lab 1 Breakdown September 20, 2008
CCIE Voice Workbook Volume II Lab 2 Breakdown September 27, 2008
CCIE Voice Workbook Volume II Lab 3 Breakdown October 4, 2008

This round is really voice heavy.  It’s interesting that IE is going to make the breakdown videos accessible for free.  I think that it is a good idea to have candidates ask questions during the breakdowns.

August 26, 2008

Etherealmind: Rant About Impending(?) CCIE Logo Change

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 2:24 pm
Tags: , , ,

Etherealmind blogger Greg Ferro gives his take on the new proposed CCIE designs.  Greg is long on wit but short on patience.  He decimates one of the two proposed designs with a single image.  Surf on over and you’ll see exactly what I mean.  :-)

He also makes a great case for maintaining the current CCIE logo even if the CCNx logos are changed.  The CCIE is a completely different beast from the CCNx track.  The CCIE is not really a step up from the CCNP like the CCNA is from the CCENT or the CCNP is from the CCNA – it’s a completely different certification with a unique lab requirement, unique written component, and no pre-requirements (unlike the CCNP).    A completely different logo for the CCIE is consistent with the spirit and application of the CCIE.

Lab Tip: Clear Your EIGRP Process

I spent a good chunk of my weekend going over EIGRP metric manipulation and how it affects EIGRP unequal-cost load-balancing.  More than a few times I ran into weird output like routes dropping, metric values not changing, and even this doozy:

r1#sh ip ei top 164.1.26.0 255.255.255.0
IP-EIGRP (AS 100): Topology entry for 164.1.26.0/24
  State is Passive, Query origin flag is 1, 1 Successor(s), FD is 2693120
  Routing Descriptor Blocks:
  164.1.13.3 (Serial0/1), from 164.1.13.3, Send flag is 0x0
      Composite metric is (3026432/2514432), Route is Internal
      Vector metric:
        Minimum bandwidth is 1280 Kbit
        Total delay is 40100 microseconds
        Reliability is 255/255
        Load is 1/255
        Minimum MTU is 1500
        Hop count is 2
  164.1.12.2 (Serial0/0), from 164.1.12.2, Send flag is 0x0
      Composite metric is (10514432/28160), Route is Internal
      Vector metric:
        Minimum bandwidth is 256 Kbit
        Total delay is 20100 microseconds
        Reliability is 255/255
        Load is 1/255
        Minimum MTU is 1500
        Hop count is 1

The AD of the successor is not equal to the FD????

By clearing the EIGRP process, these discrepancies go away.  You can do this the soft way:

r1#clear ip eigrp 100 neighbors soft
*Mar  2 05:22:13.522: %DUAL-5-NBRCHANGE: IP-EIGRP(0) 100: Neighbor 164.1.12.2 (Serial0/0) is resync: manually cleared

Or the rough way:

r1#clear ip eigrp 100 neighbors
*Mar  2 05:22:48.708: %DUAL-5-NBRCHANGE: IP-EIGRP(0) 100: Neighbor 164.1.12.2 (Serial0/0) is down: manually cleared
*Mar  2 05:22:49.782: %DUAL-5-NBRCHANGE: IP-EIGRP(0) 100: Neighbor 164.1.12.2 (Serial0/0) is up: new adjacency

I like it rough.  :-)

In the case of EIGRP it really doesn’t matter as the protocol reconverges so quickly.

August 25, 2008

25 August – CCIE Quickies

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , , ,

Ethereal Mind – Greg Ferro has a nice post up explaining some of the ins and outs of Cisco Partners and how the CCIE fits in.

ArdenPackeer.com – Arden continues his excellent series of tutorials with OSPF Filter-Lists.

TechRepublic – Jason Hiner’s Tech Sanity Check tackles five things that suck about working in IT.  I agree with each of the five things to one degree or another.  One that I would add to the list is under-appreciation.  I don’t mean appreciation like giving me a pat on the back or a fucking gift certificate when I do a “good job”. If you feel like “appreciating” me in that sense then just give me a bigger bonus or raise.  What I mean is that management and co-workers should appreciate that the IT staff (especially the senior IT staff)  bring significant knowledge and skill to the job.  A couple of recent quotes from my work:

1) “But the salesperson says that it will do function x.”  Really?  The jackass who gets a commission if you buy his product is telling you that it will end world hunger and increase your sex appeal?  Well it MUST be true then.  I must be wrong because I have no idea how our network is designed and I obviously benefit if we don’t buy the product, right?  Go ahead and buy the damned bauble.  Then blame ME when function x does not work.

2) “You need to get the legacy voice team trained on data.”  Sure I’ll be able to pass on my knowledge to this group without a problem.  After all, I’m obviously a teacher and everything you need to know to do my “data” job can be taught in a couple of hours.  Cross-training between the voice and data teams at my last job consisted of each team receiving a “For Dummies” book for the other team’s technology*.  Seriously.  Six months later management complained that “convergence” had still not occurred.

I’ll cut my rant short because I need to study.  :-)

*A couple of us hatched a plan to buy copies of “Management for Dummies” and leave them on the managers’ desks.  Unfortunately it would have been very easy for them to figure out who was behind that caper.

August 24, 2008

CCIE Labs Changing from UniversCD to Cisco Documentation

This Friday Cisco announced that you will no longer be able to use the UniversCD documentation for the CCIE lab exam:

CCIE labs changing from UniversCD to Cisco Documentation

22 AUG 2008: On Sept 24 2008 CCIE labs will no longer support using the UniversCD documentation for the lab exam.

All labs are migrating to Cisco Documentation only. For those scheduled to take the CCIE lab prior to Sept 24 access will still be available for UniversCD.

The Cisco Documentation pages have the same information that currently resides on UniversCD, please refer to the links on the CCIE web pages to view these pages and become familiar with the new format.

After Sept 24 2008 only the Cisco Documentation web pages will be available for CCIE labs.

My lab in in October so this affects me.  The way that I understand this announcement this means that I won’t be able to use www.cisco.com/univercd as my documentation “start page”.  I assume that the new “start page” will be http://www.cisco.com/web/psa/products/index.html  I did not see any links on the “CCIE web pages” so I cannot confirm this.

If my interpretation is correct, then this is no big deal as you’re probably used to navigating the new documentation already.

Hat tip to Walter Gibbons although his Twitter nearly made me crap myself when I first read it  :-)

waltergibbons CCIE labs will no longer support using the UniversCD documentation for the lab exam-http://www.cisco.com/web/le…

August 21, 2008

New CCIE Logos Coming Soon?

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 3:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

Cisco is looking at replacing the current CCIE logo with a new design.  They are looking for input from current CCIEs.  Pop on over to Tassos’ blog to check out the proposed designs.

I agree with Tassos that the first design is better, although it looks more like a film festival award logo than an IT certification logo.

—UPDATE—

I guess that I should read my email more closely.  :-)  Even as a mere CCNP I was invited to vote on the designs.  Here are the two designs that are being proposed.  I voted for the first design.  I don’t think that either are great designs for the CCIE, but BOTH are improvements on the current CCNx logo.

Check your inbox and make sure that you vote for the design that you prefer.
Design 1:
Proposed Cisco Certification Logo Design 1

Proposed Cisco Certification Logo Design 1

Design 2:
Proposed Cisco Certification Logo Design 2

Proposed Cisco Certification Logo Design 2

August 20, 2008

Lab Tip: Finding Default WRED Values

Here’s a quick and dirty method to find default WRED values so that if a task asks you to reference the defaults (i.e. “Make the maximum threshold twice the default”) you will be able to quickly find the default values without searching the Cisco documentation.

First turn WRED on for an interface:

r1(config)#int fa0/1
r1(config-if)#random-detect

Now you can issue the “show queueing interface f0/1″ command:

r1#show queueing interface f0/1
Interface FastEthernet0/1 queueing strategy: random early detection (WRED)
    Random-detect not active on the dialer
    Exp-weight-constant: 9 (1/512)
    Mean queue depth: 0

  class          Random drop      Tail drop    Minimum Maximum  Mark
                  pkts/bytes       pkts/bytes    thresh  thresh  prob
      0      0/0              0/0           20      40  1/10
      1      0/0              0/0           22      40  1/10
      2      0/0              0/0           24      40  1/10
      3      0/0              0/0           26      40  1/10
      4      0/0              0/0           28      40  1/10
      5      0/0              0/0           31      40  1/10
      6      0/0              0/0           33      40  1/10
      7      0/0              0/0           35      40  1/10
   rsvp      0/0              0/0           37      40  1/10

This shows the default WRED settings for each IP precedence class.  The default values for IP precedence 3 are:

r1(config-if)#random-detect precedence 3 26 40 10

Where 3 = IP Precedence; 26 = Minimum Threshold; 40 = maximum threshold; and 10 = mark probability denominator

This is good to know because you may be asked to change one of these variables.  To change one of these variables you still need to enter in values for the other variables so you need to know the default values if you are not tasked with changing them.  You could look up the defaults in the DOC, but this is faster.

What if you want the DSCP defaults instead?  One more line will yield those for you:

r1(config)#int fa0/1
r1(config-if)#random-detect dscp-based

r1(config-if)#do sh queueing int f0/1
Interface FastEthernet0/1 queueing strategy: random early detection (WRED)
    Random-detect not active on the dialer
    Exp-weight-constant: 9 (1/512)
    Mean queue depth: 0

   dscp          Random drop      Tail drop    Minimum Maximum  Mark
                  pkts/bytes       pkts/bytes    thresh  thresh  prob
   af11      0/0              0/0           33      40  1/10
   af12      0/0              0/0           28      40  1/10
   af13      0/0              0/0           24      40  1/10
   af21      0/0              0/0           33      40  1/10
   af22      0/0              0/0           28      40  1/10
   af23      0/0              0/0           24      40  1/10
   af31      0/0              0/0           33      40  1/10
   af32      0/0              0/0           28      40  1/10
   af33      0/0              0/0           24      40  1/10
   af41      0/0              0/0           33      40  1/10
   af42      0/0              0/0           28      40  1/10
   af43      0/0              0/0           24      40  1/10
    cs1      0/0              0/0           22      40  1/10
    cs2      0/0              0/0           24      40  1/10
    cs3      0/0              0/0           26      40  1/10
    cs4      0/0              0/0           28      40  1/10
    cs5      0/0              0/0           31      40  1/10
    cs6      0/0              0/0           33      40  1/10
    cs7      0/0              0/0           35      40  1/10
     ef      0/0              0/0           37      40  1/10
   rsvp      0/0              0/0           37      40  1/10
default       0/0              0/0           20      40  1/10

Remember to remove WRED (or DSCP) if you’re not using it on that interface:

r1(config)#int fa0/1
r1(config-if)#no random-detect

r1(config-if)#do sh queueing int f0/1
Interface FastEthernet0/1 queueing strategy: none

If you’re given an IP Precedence name like “flash-override” instead of the IP Precedence value (4 in this case) then use this tip:

Lab Tip: Remembering IP Precedence Values

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