CCIE Pursuit Blog

September 27, 2007

Mnemonic For BGP Attributes

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,IOS — cciepursuit @ 11:29 am
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I found this mnemonic at “maloy & jing apuhin’s 101 & others” blog to help remember the order of BGP attributes:

“We Love Oranges AS Oranges Mean Pure Refreshment”

W   Weight (Highest)
L   Local_Pref (Highest)
O   Originate (local originate)
AS  As_Path (shortest)
O   Origin Code (IGP < EGP < Incomplete)
M   MED (lowest)
P   Paths (External Paths preferred Over Internal)
R   Router ID (lowest)

State By State Internet Speeds

Filed under: Personal — cciepursuit @ 8:29 am
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Interesting article and report concerning Internet speeds in the United States.  Also, a cool map with which you can quickly check out your state’s speed:

First-Ever State-By-State Report on Internet Connection Speed Shows U.S. Far Behind Other Industrialized Nations

Report (PDF)

Interactive Map

Article highlights:

Results released today of the first-ever state-by-state report on Internet connection speed reveal that the United States is falling far behind other industrialized nations. The report, based on aggregated data from nearly 80,000 users, shows that the median real-time download speed in the U.S. is a mere 1.9 megabits per second (mbps). The best available estimates show average download speeds in Japan of 61 mbps, in South Korea of 45 mbps, in France of 17 mbps and in Canada of 7 mbps.

“The United States is the only industrialized nation without a national policy to promote universal, high-speed Internet access,” said Larry Cohen, president, Communications Workers of America. “The grim results of the CWA Speed Test illustrate that, without a national policy, we risk losing our competitive edge in today’s global economy—and the jobs that go with it.”

The report also ranks individual states based on median Internet connection speeds. The speediest states?  Rhode Island (5.011 mbps), Kansas (4.167 mbps), New Jersey (3.68 mbps), New York (3.436 mbps) and Massachusetts (3.004 mbps).

Iowa (1.262 mbps), Wyoming (1.246 mbps), West Virginia (1.117 mbps), South Dakota (0.825 mbps) and Alaska (0.545) make up the bottom five. The same 10 megabyte (MB) file that takes 15 seconds to download in Rhode Island would take nearly two and a half minutes to download in Alaska.

The only surprise in the list is Kansas at number two fastest.  Kansas?  Really?  My state (Minnesota) was slightly below the national average.

Rent Your Cisco Certification For Cash

Brad Reese recently posted about an interesting (and disturbing) new business: renting your Cisco certification to companies wanting to qualify as Cisco Gold or Silver partners in exchange for a monthly fee.

Rent A Cert is a new site that will allow you to “rent” your current Cisco and Microsoft certifications to companies that will assocaite your certification with their company in order to get better discounts on Cisco equipment.  I encourage you to read Brad’s posting.  Here are some of the highlights:

Certification Monthly
Cert Holder
Cisco Partner
Rent A Cert
CCNA $100 $139 $39
CCNP $250 $299 $49
CCDP $250 $299 $49
CCVP $250 $299 $49
CCSP $250 $299 $49
CCIE $1,000 $1,149 $149

That means that once I get my CCIE (I work in an enterprise that has no need of Gold or Silver status) I can rent out my CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE for a grand total of $1,350 per month.  An extra $16,000 a year is nothing to sneeze at.  🙂  Well…it looks like you only get paid for one certification per vendor [You will only be paid for one certification per vendor. For example, if you selected both “MCSE” and “MCDBA,” you will only be paid $200 monthly upon matching. This is because you must associate your entire profile with a company, rather than individual certifications.] , still “free money” for renting your certification sounds tempting.

So, is Cisco down with this?  This is from Rent A Cert’s FAQ:

Do Microsoft & Cisco allow this?
We’ve found nothing so far in Microsoft’s and Cisco’s agreements that prohibit this, but of course review your certification agreements, as Rent A Cert doesn’t have a copy of your particular agreements and isn’t responsible if you break them. We, of course, will not divulge our client list to either company.

As a side note, if people know they can get paid to get certified, they will be more likely to get certified. As Microsoft and Cisco make money every time someone gets certified, as well as have a new person that promotes and knows how to configure their products, we see no reason why this isn’t a win-win scenario.

They’ve found no issues so far.  How nice.  Why the fuck not ASK Cisco and Microsoft if this is on the up and up, then post their replies?  Also, (as Brad points out in his post) the losers in this “win-win scenario” are certified professionals who will see their job opportunities, salary, and certification values plummet if this takes off.

Brad does a good job of disecting the downsides to this “business model”.  I agree with him 100%.  I would also like to add that this looks like a shady venture.  I am willing to bet that Rent A Cert doesn’t have a lot of companies lined up at that moment but will get inundated with thousands of CCNA and CCNx certification holders.  There are also two points that Brad did not touch on that I want to point out:

1)  Twelve Inches Around Corp. is the mother company of Rent A Cert.  You can check out their main site here.  What experience does a modeling/entertainment/catering company have with IT?

2)  Here’s what Rent A Cert requests from you:

If you checked any Cisco certifications, enter your Cisco ID, then from the Certification Traking System, e-mail yourself your transcript and forward that e-mail to transcripts at Additionally, if you selected CCIE, note which track and your CCIE number. 

Does anyone else think that it’s a bad idea to give these guys this information?  They could “rent” your certification without your knowledge.  Why don’t they contact you once they find a company and then you can decide whether or not to give them your information?

Anyhoo…this seems shady at the very least and possibly illegal.

Cisco Goes To The Dark Side?

Filed under: Cisco — cciepursuit @ 7:26 am
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Brad Reese has a recent blog entry about Cisco’s involvement in Net NeutralityYou can read it here.

Basically the posting takes Cisco and – specifically – Jeff Campbell to task.  Jeff Campbell posted the following after a recent FTC report on Net Neutrality [emphasis mine]:

In other words, there is no reason to rush to impose burdensome Net Neutrality regulations in the broadband market. If there is one thing that we have learned from 70+ years of communications regulation, it is that regulation has significant costs and unintended consequences. The FTC clearly recognizes that government should react to actual problems, not hypothetical ones.

Campbell’s comments are of the “the market will handle the situation…this is just hysteria…blah…blah…blah” ilk.  Brad Reese shows the folly of the “invisible hand of the market” line by linking to this post which explains what is obvious to most Americans: most markets in the USA only have very few (usually only one – sometime NONE) broadband providers.  Without competition, the market is unlikely to “correct” issues like this.  If you’re the only man on the planet, you’re probably not going to woo the ladies with roses and poetry.  🙂

As far as Cisco’s position, I feel that it’s probably more business related than ideological.  Cisco sells equipment with the ability to sort and limit traffic, so they would naturally wish for a market where that capability was desired/needed.  It doesn’t make their position correct, but it does make it logical in a possibly greedy, evil way.  🙂

I am personally in favor of Net Neutrality laws, but I do have a problem with some of the examples that Brad Reese links to in his posting in order to show the evidence that the providers are abusing their power.  For instance, he links to a story about Comcast nixing some users because they used too much bandwidth.  On the face of it that seems like typical corporate fuckery, but if you read the article (found here) you’ll see that these were extreme cases and that the provider gave the users warnings as well as asking them to upgrade to a business account.  Here are some quotes from the article [emphasis mine]:

User who was cut off by Comcast:
Admitted “Internet junkie” and Chattanooga resident Cameron Smith also had his service cut off in January for one year. “They said there wasn’t a limit [for downloading] but that I was downloading too much, about 550 gigs. I backed off to about 450 gigs, but they still suspended us.”

Comcast’s response:
“The customers who are notified of excessive use typically and repeatedly consume exponentially more bandwidth than an average residential user, which would include, for example, the equivalent of sending 256,000 photos a month, or sending 13 million e-mails every month (or 18,000 emails every hour, every day, all month). In these rare instances, Comcast’s policy is to proactively contact the customer via phone to work with them and address the issue or help them select a more appropriate commercial-grade Comcast product.”

Anyhoo…I don’t want to get all “political” in a CCIE blog.  I do think that one of the issues that plagues broadband (specifically cable) is that the last mile is essentially a shared segement.  If you have some 450-550 gig a month ass clown on your segment, it will affect your access.  I would like to see cable broadband providers implement a system similar to Frame Relay CIR in which you are guaranteed an amount of bandwidth (and it’s fucking marketed at the CIR rate and not the “possible upper limit” port speed) and if there’s room on the pipe, then you can burst over that limit.  My interest in Net Neutrality is not bandwidth related as much as it’s related to the possibility of service providers filtering my packets based on destination, source, content, etc.

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