CCIE Pursuit Blog

July 30, 2007

Can You View The VTP Password From User Mode?

Filed under: Cisco,IOS,Switching,VTP — cciepursuit @ 5:03 pm

As I touched on in this post, anyone in exec (privileged) mode can view the VTP password on a switch:

sw1#sh vtp pass
VTP Password: SECRET

But can you see that same password from user mode?  It turns out that you cannot:

First get into user mode:

Now let’s try to look at the VTP password:
sw1>sh vtp pass
% Invalid input detected at ‘^’ marker.

Can’t see the password.  Here are your user mode options: 
sw1>sh vtp ?
  counters  VTP statistics
  status    VTP domain status

Status Update: 22 – 29 July

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,Personal,Status Updates — cciepursuit @ 12:31 pm

This week was pretty much a complete loss as far as CCIE studies go. Between preparing to move, moving, and then buying new stuff and painting – I pretty much had no time to study. I did manage to get through the last of the week 1 IEATC videos and even the first day’s worth of week 2’s videos. Today I start the live (online) portion of the IEATC class (week 2) so I will definitely be getting my study time in this week.

One of the other disadvantages of moving is that I won’t have Internet access at home until Wednesday morning (sometime between 8am and noon – depending on when the cable dude gets out to the house). I am finding that I am absolutely addicted to the Internet. I could throw out my TV and not really miss it (except for football games) but I feel completely disconnected from the world if I am without Internet. Kinda sad really. 🙂

The silver lining is that I am able to get a 15Meg cable connection at my new place. It’s strange that I move 30 miles outside of the metro area to a “city” with a population of less than 2000 people and I am able to get an Internet connection that is nearly 3x as fast as I had in a city of 300,000 people (3.5 million in the entire metro area).

Days Until Lab: 246
Readiness (1 to 10): 1
Lab Hours This Week 0
Study Hours This Week (estimate): 10

New R&S Lab Workbooks From CCBootcamp

CCBootcamp has some new Routing and Switching lab workbooks on the way as well as a study guide for the new version 3.0 written exam:

 Workbooks – Coming Soon!
– CCIE Routing and Switching Advanced Lab Workbooks (New Update!)
– CCIE Routing and Switching Technology Lab Workbook (New Text!)
– CCIE Routing and Switching Written Exam Study Guide version 3.0

July 29, 2007

No Changes To R&S CCIE Announced At Networkers(?)

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 11:34 am

Networkers has wrapped up.  I was concerned that there would be an announcement concerning changes to the current Routing and Switching CCIE lab blueprint/topology.  I’ve looked at a few of the CCIE forums and have not seen any postings concerning any changes.

As always, take a peek at to see if there have been any changes.

July 25, 2007…A New(?) CCIE Training Company

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,Training Materials — cciepursuit @ 5:49 pm

I ran across today.  I’ve never heard of this CCIE training company before.  It turns out that CertScience is run by Paul Borghese.  Paul is the creator of

It appears that the CCIE course is an end-to-end 6 week training course that combines online training with a couple of classroom sessions.  The total cost is $8,995.  They do have an interesting guarantee.  CertScience guarantees that you will pass the CCIE exam the first time or they will pay for your second attempt.

From their FAQ:

Is this a new program? How can you make the guarantee?
This program is a modified version of a CCIE training program we developed that ran for over three years at a major Cisco Certification training partner. We have used careful statistical analysis of the passing rates of the hundreds of students that attended the program. We know what it takes to pass the CCIE, and what students need in a training program. The primary instructor and course designer, Paul Borghese, has over nine years experience in teaching CCIE training. Besides his live classroom training experience, Mr. Borghese has also built the oldest and largest Cisco Certification community on the internet,, which has helped literally thousands of people pass the CCIE.

How is your program different from others in the marketplace?
Thanks for asking! If you study a typical competitor’s training product the bulk of the training experience is spent having the students perform mock labs. While it makes the instructor’s life easier, performing mock labs is not a very effective use of time. The student learns how to pass an individual lab, but does not learn the detail of knowledge truly required to understand and pass the CCIE. One major CCIE training provider only spends two days teaching and the remaining three days has the students perform mock labs. How can you possibly learn everything required to pass the CCIE in only two days?

Our program differs by the amount of time we use covering each individual protocol. We focus on one protocol at a time and make sure the students fully understand the protocol to a level required to pass the CCIE before moving to the next subject. Take for example, multicast. Our multicast training materials contain 17 permutations of unique multicast scenarios. We spend a significant amount of time describing to the student the different scenarios, how they differ, and how you can recognize the scenario in the lab. You simply can not cover the same material with the same retention rate if the student simply learns via mock labs.

We do use mock labs to simulate a real CCIE environment, but only at the end of the course when all of the subject materials are fully understood.

Another difference is the availability of the instructor. Because of our guarantee, we are financially invested in our students’ success. A portion of that incentive is passed on to the instructor, thus guaranteeing the instructor’s availability to the student long after the program ends.

Finally, our classes are not open enrollment. Students are admitted only if they show a willingness to learn and work hard. While this may reduce the profitability of the course it provides for a more homogenous class with a single goal … to pass the CCIE. When you have a small group of people working on a common goal, amazing things can happen.

Status Update: 15 – 21 July

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,Personal,Status Updates — cciepursuit @ 3:56 pm

I am going to start posting weekly status updates (on Mondays, but this week’s will appear on Wednesday) so that I can monitor my progress and to (hopefully) either inspire or shame myself into keeping up with my studies.

This week has been dedicated to viewing the Internetwork Expert Advanced Technologies Class On Demand (IEATC from here on out) lessons.  I’m learning a lot and also exposing a lot of weaknesses (IPv6 and Multicast!!!).  I’ve been progressing through the videos at a snail’s pace due to family obligations (taking care of the kids and driving them to the multitude of activities that they take part in during the summer) and also my note-taking.  I’m really trying to get the first week’s material down before I begin the live class next Monday.

I haven’t done much labbing.  I am actually suffering from “lab withdrawal”.  The remote lab hasn’t been completed at work (another guy is running that project) and I haven’t dedicated enough time to getting Dynamips running on my laptop.  The only duo-core box at home is my wife’s laptop, so I’ll either need to upgrade one of my desktops or get a new work laptop that can handle the load of a full-blown IE lab in Dynamips.

I did get a chance to lab along with the IEATC during the Multicast lesson and it made a huge difference in the amount of knowledge that I was able to retain.  Once I get daily access to either Dynamips or a remote lab, I’m going to go through each of the lessons again.  This time I will lab up the scenarios in the videos as well as complete the IE Lab Workbook I labs for that particular technology.

The plan for this week is to complete the rest of the first week’s worth of IEATC material (note: I did this today) and to view as much of the second week’s worth of material as possible.  We are closing on our new home on Friday and will be moving this weekend, so I don’t foresee a lot of studying/labbing this week.

I think that after I finish the IEATC next week, I will begin reviewing the lessons and labbing the IEWB I as I mentioned above.  I will also start reviewing the material for the written test at that time.  I plan to take the written test in September.  Getting my head around the core technologies and studying for the written exam will be my focus over the next month or so.

I am also tentatively planning my first lab attempt for 01 April of next year.  I’m sure that the date will change, but I want to at least pencil in a date so that I am not on an “open-ended” schedule.  I tend to work better with hard deadlines.

Days Until Lab: 251
Readiness (1 to 10): 1
Lab Hours This Week 6
Study Hours This Week (estimate): 24

July 24, 2007

Ethan Banks Passed CCIE Written At Networks

Filed under: CCIE Blogs,CCIE Written,Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 9:18 am

Ethan passed the CCIE Routing and Switching v3 test yesterday at Networkers.  Pop on over to congratulate him and also to read his summarization of the test.  If you’re studying for the written exam or just want some nice summarizations of technologies, go ahead and read some of his study notes.

Congratulations Ethan!

July 23, 2007


Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 7:45 pm

Networkers…or rather, “Networkers at Cisco Live” is going on right now.  This year’s conference is in Anaheim.  I’m sure that most attendees will forget all about Las Vegas as soon as geriatric glam band Kiss rocks and rolls all night.  Honestly…KISS?!?  WTF?  Was Peter Frampton busy?

The only thing that I am really interested in is whether or not any changes will be announced for the CCIE Routing and Switching lab.  Last year, the announcement was made at Networkers about the addition of the two 3560s to the lab.  There has been a lot of speculation about this year’s news being the addition of MPLS, or wireless, or 6500s, or <insert your favorite rumor here>.  Since my first lab attempt will likely be sometime next spring, whatever changes are announced will directly affect me.

There is already speculation that a new “design CCIE” will be announced.

Off Topic: Apple Get Its Revenge…

Filed under: Cisco,OT: Humor,Wireless — cciepursuit @ 2:27 pm

…on me at least.

I thought that being away from work for the week would spare me from vengeance for pointing blame at Apple over the Duke iPhone incident (details here, here, and here).  Not so.  Yesterday, my iPod Nano lost all of its data.  All of my podcasts and music files (3.5 gigs) were completely erased.  Coincidence or retribution from Apple?

*Actually, this happened after I installed a newer version of iTunes and then moved some recently purchased music files to my iPod.  I would point the finger at Apple, but I’ve learned my lesson.  🙂  

News Flash – CCIE Workbooks Are Not Lab Dumps

Filed under: CCIE Lab Workbooks,Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 12:40 pm

This post at the Sadikov CCIE Lab forumdetails one test taker’s frustration that the Internetwork Expert Workbook does not contain the actual questions found on the CCIE lab.  I’m not sure where the hell he got the idea that this was the case. 

Ccie R & Sw Lab Exam Failed, DONT ATTEMPT IF U R NOT SURE, dont waste ur money

my name is albaseto, 2 days before i attempted my ccie lab exam and i failed ? i spend nearly 6 months for ccie ,3 months on reading books and 2 months only on practicles, the mistake what i have done? i spend too much time on reading books? if u r looking for LAB exam dont spend too much time on CCIE BOOks. rather than u concentrate on IEWB 14 labs.. , i have gone through all IEWB 14 labs.

i have spend nearly $4000, pls do not waste ur money,,

in ccie lab exam the topology has been changed? the internetwork expert IEWB toplogy is different than cisco topology.

in CCIE LAB topology all routers are connected to sw1,sw2.

they disable CDP also on bb1,bb2 ,bb3

why i failed the exam :

1. first of all the wording are not understandable in my ccie lab exam?
2. the diagram is not properly given, The topology is not matching any IEWB labs?
3. they have hidden some routers in the CCIE LAB?
4.QUESTIONS are not strainght forward?
5. i have got 5 questions from SECURTIY? ( these questions are not available in IEWB 14 LABS,)

if u any futher enquries pls send the email to me?
i will get back to u.

The posters do a good job of addressing his misconceptions.  The moderator edited his initial posting due to some possible NDA violations.  While I agree with his adherence to the NDA, I kind of wish that he would have left some of the guy’s objections in the post (he originally had a numbered list of about 15 items) because some of them were howlers.  The guy complained about VTP modes and the fact he was required to configure point-to-multipoint Frame-Relay configurations.  I’m really not sure what he expected on the lab?

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