CCIE Pursuit Blog

December 11, 2007

Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Wrap Up

General lab suggestions:

1)  When reading tasks keep an eye out for characteristics that will determine which method you use.  One of the CCIE mantras is “If there are two ways to do something, you had better know all three ways.” 🙂  Look for words or phases that describe differences between methods.  For instance, if you are asked to configure a trunk that encapsulates frames, you’re talking about ISL.  If you are asked not to tag frames on VLAN x, then your talking about dot1q (with VLAN x configured as a native VLAN).

2)  Know the default characteristics of the technologies.  These are easy points that can lead you on a wild goose chase if you don’t know that what the task is asking is already included in your solution.  For instance, if you have configured an EtherChannel and are tasked with “Load balance based on the source-MAC address of the incoming packet.”, you should know that this is the default for etherChannels (you should also know how to verify this with “show etherchannel load-balance“).  If you don’t, you will waste time searching for a method to configure this instead of just smiling and moving on to the next task.

3)  Know the DOC.  If you run across a technology that you’re not 100% sure how to configure or one that you don’t know; you’re going to need to rely on the DOC to get those points.  I’m still not very good at finding things in the DOC (it took me forever to find the PPP documentation).  One thing that I am doing is going back over the lab and finding the appropriate DOC document for each task, regardless of whether I know the technology or not.  Consider this a practice exam to test you DOC skills.

4)  If you’re not doing the practice lab as a mock lab, then don’t worry about the time.  If you want to record your overall time, then that is fine.  But don’t worry about time.  Especially if these are your first practice labs.  I started noting my start and end times for each section in order to see which ones took me the most time so that I could develop methods to cut down that time.  That was the wrong way to go; save it for your timed, mock labs.  I don’t know if I have a “competitive chip”, but soon I was trying to speed through the easy tasks and (especially) the verification commands to get a better time.  This was stupid and led to a couple of stupid mistakes.  Get your basics down and verify your configurations.  You’ll have plenty of time to work on your speed.

5)  I initially balked at Ethan Bank’s suggestion of writing your configurations in notepad and then pasting them into the routers.  I have since come to embrace this.  I don’t do this for all tasks, but for tasks like “Configure the Frame Relay links on routers 1 – 6 in OSPF area 0, then advertise each router’s lo0 in area 1.” you can save a lot of time and potential errors with this method because the configurations are going to be very similar.  I would configure r1 on the router so that IOS could “spell check” me and then take that configuration and paste it into notepad.  I would then make the minor tweaks for each device, then paste the configurations into the devices.

Internetwork Expert Volume II Lab 2 Posts:

Lab 2 – Difficulty 6

Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 1
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 2
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 3
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 4
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 5
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 6
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 7
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 8
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 9
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 10
Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 2 – Section 11
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1 Comment »

  1. “If you’re not doing the practice lab as a mock lab, then don’t worry about the time. If you want to record your overall time, then that is fine. But don’t worry about time. Especially if these are your first practice labs.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I was tracking my time during the first few NMC DOiT practice labs…it was a joke. I was in so far over my head during the early practice scenarios that it was taking me 12-15 hours to get some of them done. Now I’m far enough into the scenarios that I’m treating them all like mock labs, and it’s good practice. But early-on, timing myself was just adding stress for no reason.

    Comment by Ethan Banks — December 14, 2007 @ 5:56 am | Reply


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