CCIE Pursuit Blog

February 28, 2008

Cisco Documentation Improvement

I was looking up some EIGRP information the other day in the Cisco documentation.  I followed my normal path:

Cisco Documentation -> Cisco IOS Release 12.4 -> Configuration Guides -> Cisco IOS IP Routing Protocols Configuration Guide, Release 12.4

After the now customary redirection, I ended up on a page that looked slightly different than the one that I was used to:

New Documentation Menu

Cisco has now added a menu tree on the left side of the page.  This is a very handy addition as it means that I can get to all of the IP Routing configuration guides from a single page.  No more backing my browser up when I want to move to BGP or RIP commands.

I’ve been seeing this menu tree on a number (but not all) of the documentation pages.  Hopefully they will all be built by the time that I take the lab. 

February 27, 2008


Filed under: BGP,OT: Humor — cciepursuit @ 7:22 pm

I guess that I’m not the only person in the world who needs to improve their BGP skills.  🙂

YouTube outage underscores big Internet problem

Sunday’s inadvertent disruption of Google’s YouTube video service underscores a flaw in the Internet’s design that could some day lead to a serious security problem, according to networking experts.

The issue lies in the way ISPs share Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing information. BGP is the standard protocol used by routers to find computers on the Internet, but there is a lot of BGP routing data available. To simplify things, ISPs share this kind of information among each other.

And that can cause problems when one ISP shares bad data with the rest of the Internet.

That’s what happened with YouTube this weekend, according to sources familiar with the situation. BGP data intended to block access to YouTube within Pakistan was accidentally broadcast to other service providers, causing a widespread YouTube outage.

The chain of events that led to YouTube’s partial black-out was kicked off Friday when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) ordered the country’s ISPs to block access to YouTube because of an alleged anti-Islamic video that was hosted on the site.

According to published reports, the clip was from a film made by Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who has been critical of Islam. Wilders is hoping to air a 15 minute anti-Islam film, called Fitna on Dutch television in March.

ISPs in Pakistan were able to block YouTube by creating BGP data that redirected routers looking for’s servers to nonexistent network destinations. But that data was accidentally shared with Hong Kong’s PCCW, who in turn shared it with other ISPs throughout the Internet.

Here’s the best line in the whole article:

In San Francisco, David Ulevitch first noticed the problem Saturday morning. “I was trying to watch cats falling off roofs… and I couldn’t get to YouTube,” he said.

—Read the rest here—

Test/Quiz Creation Software: Looking For Suggestions

I’m making yet another pass through the IEATC and Routing TCP/IP books.  I’m trying to consolidate my notes into a streamlined set of documents for study.  One thing I am interested in doing is creating a set of questions so that I can take some time every day to quiz myself on stuff that I need to know by heart for the lab exam.

If anyone has any suggestions as to a program in which I can create test banks with multiple choice questions please leave a comment with the software name (and URL if possible, but I can always google that).  I’m looking for something simple.  I don’t need to share the tests out via the web or allow access to multiple users.  I am using Windows as my OS.  Ideally it would allow me to create questions and classify them by technology.  It would be great if it could score tests, but that’s not a deal breaker.  I would also like to be able to associate images (jpegs of network diagrams) with questions. I’m also looking for something under US $50 with freeware being my optimal price-point.  🙂  I’m not interested in any warez or cracks.

Thank you.

February 26, 2008

My Biggest Timekiller…Other Than My Ignorance

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,IOS — cciepursuit @ 6:17 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I could probably shave a nice hunk of time off of my labs if I could just reduce the number of times that I’ve had to retype a command because I was:

1) In configuration mode and forgot to type “do” before my command.
2) I was in enable mode and accidentally typed “do” before my command.

I also choke on typing “conf t” quite a bit.  This is generally when I’m trying to type too quickly.  For whatever reason my fingers seem to want to type a space after the ‘n’ (“con ft”). 

Oh well, as the title of this post suggests, it’s not retyping a couple of commands that it going to sink me on the lab exam.  🙂

February 24, 2008

IPexpert: $599 CCIE Training Special

I usually don’t blog about vendors’ sales, but IPexpert is currently (ending soon – 29 February) running a offer that includes their workbook, proctor guide, Video On Demand class, and audio class for $599.  That’s a very good price.  I guess that they have been running this promotion since the beginning of the year, but it’s ending soon.

Anyhoo…if you’re thinking about using IPexpert materials to pursue the CCIE, then this is a sale that you will definitely want to check out:

For only $599 (R&S or Security) or $799 (Voice), you will receive a study kit containing ALL of these materials:

  • A professionally-printed and bound Lab Preparation Workbook
    Begins with individual protocol- and technology-focused scenarios to build your understanding of the foundation topics in the CCIE Lab blueprint.
    Graduates into full-day “mock lab” challenges to give you the feel of the real lab exam.
    Access the configurations for each lab, so you can check your work.
    Learn more about the CCIE Workbook and Proctor Guide here.
  • A hard copy of the Proctor Guide, which is the ideal companion to the Workbook
    Provides walk-through explanations to the Workbook labs!
    Learn more about the CCIE Workbook and Proctor Guide here.
  • Video on Demand DVDs
    Unable to attend a live classroom training? This recorded Video on Demand lecture series provides in-depth discussions of the lab blueprint topics. Recorded by the renowned instructors at IPexpert.
    This is an EXTRA value of $899-999 you get for free!
    Learn more about the CCIE Video on Demand DVDs here.
  • Audio Boot Camp CDs
    This is the perfect way to keep learning while you are driving, exercising or just relaxing. Listen to in-depth lectures on the CCIE Lab blueprint topics. Recorded by our CCIE-certified experts!
    This is an extra value of $799-899 you get for free!
    Learn more about CCIE Audio Boot Camp CDs here.


  • Promotion valid for all new orders, not to be combined with any other offers.
  • Limited time offer. Subject to change or discontinuation without notice.
  • Order must be paid in full by 5:00pm Eastern Time, February 29, 2008.

*** Updated 26 February***

Thanks for the post. Here’s a special offer for the readers of your blog:

During the checkout process, simply enter coupon code “CCIEpursuit” for an extra $25.00 discount that will be applied instantly.

Happy studying!

Matt Brooks
Vice President, IPexpert

That’s pretty cool.  Of course you only have a few days left though.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with IPexpert in any way.

CCOnlineLabs: Price Reductions

CCOnlineLabs has just reduced their pricing.  I really like their service and they have really good equipment (the racks I have rented all had 2800s running 12.4 code).  They used to be a little spendy if you were just doing a session here and there (as I do), but this recent price reduction makes them a great choice if you need some rack time:

Hello all,
You wanted lower prices?  Now you have them.
5.5 hour session @ $15.00/session
11.5 hour session @ $25.00/session

We have done away with the discount structure.  You will now get the same extremely low rate if you are purchasing 1 session or 20.
We will still offer our ‘cram session’ special.  If you are willing to commit that much time to us, then we are willing to give you an even better deal.
We want to continue to have you as repeat customers.  If there is anything else that we can do to make that happen, let us know.
Tony Schaffran
Network Analyst
CCIE #11071

Your #1 choice for online Cisco rack rentals.

February 21, 2008

Returning Some Link Love

I am still working on my next set of CCIE Blogs.  I hope to get it done this weekend, but work has been a real bear this week.  In the mean time I want to spotlight a couple of sites that recently sent me some “link love”.

First up is  Arden has what I would consider a dream job: he’s a Senior Technical Instructor in beautiful Melbourne, Australia (#2 on a very short list of countries I would love to live in).  He has been pursuing the Routing and Switching CCIE since July of last year and it using Internetwork Expert materials.  He’s set to take the lab in May.  As you would expect from a professional instructor, his site has a wealth of well written training material from a QoS Mindmap to  using NBAR and QoS to filter websites to setting up backup interfaces.

I’m very honored to have made his Top 6 CCIE Blogs of 2007 list.  But even without this accolade I would wholeheartedly recommend his site to CCIE candidates and anyone else wanting to become a Cisco ninja. 

It’s pretty cool to find out that someone that you’ve been reading for years has read your site as well.  I’ve been subscribed to David Davis’ Cisco Routers and Switches at TechRepublic (may require a login) for a few years now.  I read his column every Friday.  He also has a personal site at as well as a blog at IT Knowledge Exchange.  He recently sent some “link love” (that’s where I got the term from) my way as well as Ivan Pepelnjak’s outstanding Cisco IOS Hints And Tips blog.

Okay, I promise that this is the end of my mutual admiration posts. 🙂  While I have your attention, here are a couple of other interesting tidbits:

Bitbucketblog recently got his CCIE number in Routing and Switching.  The CCIE bug must have bitten him pretty hard or he’s a glutton for punishment because  – after mulling over whether to pursue the Security or Voice track next – he’s decided to pursue the Service Provider track instead.

Ethan Banks is in the middle of Micronic’s boot camp in Pasadena this week and he’s blogging his experience.  It looks like Darby Weaver (who is probably familiar to anyone who reads GroupStudy) is there as well and is posting about the experience here.

Finally, if you have struggled with route redistribution (as I have and still sometimes do) you’ll want to check out the first two postings in what looks like a series of postings on redistribution over at the Internetwork Expert Blog:

Part I

Part II

Internetwork Expert: New CCIE Assessment Exam Coming Soon

This is from Internetwork Expert’s January Newsletter:

Do you find yourself wanting to start pursuing a CCIE certification but are overwhelmed by the different options you see and don’t know where to start? Wouldn’t it be great to first test your knowledge and ensure you are purchasing only those training materials that will most benefit you, while at the same time avoiding what’s unnecessary? Well look no further than our new CCIE Assessment Exam coming in March 2008.

Internetwork Expert’s CCIE Assessment Exam is a two part evaluation designed to custom tailor your path to obtaining the CCIE certification. In the first part of the exam you will be provided a self-evaluation survey with a special set of qualification questions designed to help you diagnose where you stand in relation to lab exam study needs. Based on your answers to the self-evaluation you will be assigned a specially-tailored practical lab exam that you will configure on our equipment through our GradedLabs® rack access system. Once completed with the practical lab exam you will immediately receive a graded score report that provides specialized and customized product recommendations for you based on your individual results. With this method of custom evaluation you can eliminate any guesswork involved when choosing which study materials are right for you.

The cost for the CCIE Assessment Lab for new customers is $59, however once completed you will receive this full amount back as a store credit towards the purchase of any training materials that are recommended to you. This essentially makes our new CCIE Assessment Lab ABSOLUTELY FREE!

For more information contact the Sales Department

It looks like new customers will fill out a survey and then take a mock lab.  Based on the results of that lab IE will recommend training materials for your study.  Even if it is just a complete sales pitch (“Based on your results you need to buy everything we offer.”) it is still amounts to a very inexpensive graded mock lab for new customers.  If you decide to buy any IE materials, then you get to apply the $59 towards that purchase. 

February 20, 2008

Network World’s 20 Useful Sites for Cisco Networking Professionals

You may want to read this with your eyes closed as I am going to indulge in a little self-congratulatory revelry.  I was surprised and delighted to see the following comment today:

Hi CCIE Pursuit, I couldn’t find a contact address for you so I am posting my message here. I wanted to let you know that your site is one of Network World’s 20 useful sites for Cisco networking professionals

Nice job!

Linda Leung, Network World Assistant Site Editor.

I was pretty excited to see my blog make the list (I’m on page 18).  That is,  until I found out that CCIE Journey had made the cut as well.  The bar must be set very low for him to make it in.  🙂  Just messing around.  Mad love to CCIE Journey.

I can always count on my better half to deflate any small victories I might achieve:

“Check it out.  My blog made a top 20 list in Network World”
“Great.  Can you translate that from Nerd to English?”
“No, I can’t dumb it down for you.”
“Well, I just made a list of 20 useful things you can do around the house.”

Everyday she kills another little piece of me.  🙂

Anyhoo…check out the list.  Any list that doesn’t include CCIE Candidate is incomplete, but I think that they did a good job.  I strongly encourage you to check out the sites that they list.  I was acquainted with most of the site, but the article did expose me to a couple of interesting sites that I had not seen before:

Networking Forum

TechWise TV

Internetwork Expert Volume II: Lab 12 – Section 4

Section 4 – Interior Gateway Routing – 8 Points

“Note: Do not redistribute between IGPs”

Sweet!!!!  Well, at least I thought so at first.  This short IGP section with no redistribution only meant that I was about to get my teeth kicked in on the BGP section.  🙂

4.1  OSPF

“To minimize WAN utilization OSPF traffic should only be sent over the Frame Relay segment during initial adjacency establishment and when changes occur in the OSPF topology.”

Huh?  Does OSPF traffic include hellos?  If it doesn’t, then we’re good by default…except for the 30 minute paranoid update.  😦

If they include hellos, then we need to configure the the point-to-point FR connection as a demand circuit.

ip ospf demand-circuit

“ip ospf demand-circuit” only needs to be configured on one side of the link.

r4(config-if)#int s0/0.54
r4(config-subif)#ip os demand

r4#sh ip os int s0/0.54
Serial0/0.54 is up, line protocol is up
  Internet Address, Area 0
  Process ID 100, Router ID, Network Type POINT_TO_POINT, Cost: 65
  Configured as demand circuit.
  Run as demand circuit.

  DoNotAge LSA allowed.
  Transmit Delay is 1 sec, State POINT_TO_POINT,
  Timer intervals configured, Hello 10, Dead 40, Wait 40, Retransmit 5
    oob-resync timeout 40
    Hello due in 00:00:01
  Supports Link-local Signaling (LLS)
  Index 1/1, flood queue length 0
  Next 0x0(0)/0x0(0)
  Last flood scan length is 1, maximum is 2
  Last flood scan time is 0 msec, maximum is 4 msec
  Neighbor Count is 1, Adjacent neighbor count is 1
    Adjacent with neighbor  (Hello suppressed)
  Suppress hello for 1 neighbor(s)

4.2 OSPF

Interesting task:

Configure sw4 to match exactly the output below and nothing more:

sw4#sh ip os data | i Net Link States \(Area 34\)
                Net Link States (Area 34)

Currently I show:

sw4#sh ip os data | i Net Link States \(Area 34\)
                Net Link States (Area 34)
                Summary Net Link States (Area 34)

So I need to get rid of Summary Net Link States (LSA 3).  How to do this?

Stub networks?  No:

OSPF Stubs:

Type Keyword LSAs Default Injected?
stub area x stub 1,2,3,4 Yes
totally stubby area x stub no-summary 1,2,default of 3 Yes
not-so-stubby area x nssa 1,2,3,4,7 NO
not-so-totally-stubby area x nssa no-summary 1,2,default of 3,7 Yes

The answer was easy — change the OSPF network type on po34 from Broadcast to Point-to-Point:

sw4#sh ip os int po34 | i Type
  Process ID 100, Router ID, Network Type BROADCAST, Cost: 1

sw4(config)#int po34
sw4(config-if)#ip os net point-to-point

sw3(config-if)#int po34
sw3(config-if)#ip os net point-to-point
#sh ip os data | i Net Link States \(Area 34\)
                Summary Net Link States (Area 34)

Task 4.2


This was a pretty basic EIGRP configuration with one exception.  r1, r2, and r4 form a Frame Relay hub-and-spoke network.  r1 and r2 (spokes) are running EIGRP, but EIGRP is not enabled on r4 (hub).  Consequently, r1 and r2 are not peering though the Frame Relay cloud.

r2#sh ip ei int
IP-EIGRP interfaces for process 200

                        Xmit Queue   Mean   Pacing Time   Multicast    Pending
Interface        Peers  Un/Reliable  SRTT   Un/Reliable   Flow Timer   Routes
Lo0                0        0/0         0       0/1            0           0
Se0/0/0           0        0/0         0       0/1            0           0
Se0/1/0            1        0/0         4       0/15          50           0

r2#sh ip ei nei
IP-EIGRP neighbors for process 200
H   Address                 Interface       Hold Uptime   SRTT   RTO  Q  Seq
                                            (sec)         (ms)       Cnt Num
0              Se0/1/0           13 00:09:18    4   200  0  11

Can I disable EIGRP split-horizon on r4 even though it’s not running EIGRP?

r4(config)#int Serial0/0.124
r4(config-subif)#no ip split-horizon eigrp ?
  <1-65535>  Autonomous system number

r4(config-subif)#no ip split-horizon eigrp 200

It takes the command, but that’s not the fix:

r2#clear ip ei neighbors
IP-EIGRP neighbors for process 200
H   Address                 Interface       Hold Uptime   SRTT   RTO  Q  Seq
                                            (sec)         (ms)       Cnt Num
0              Se0/1/0           12 00:00:02    2   200  0  18

Okay….next try a neighbor command:

neighbor (EIGRP)

r2(config)#router ei 200
r2(config-router)#neigh Serial0/0/0

r1(config)#router ei 200
r1(config-router)#neigh s0/0

Sweet, sweet IOS music:

*Mar  1 21:17:56.758: %DUAL-5-NBRCHANGE: IP-EIGRP(0) 200: Neighbor (Serial0/0) is up: new adjacency

r2#sh ip ei nei
IP-EIGRP neighbors for process 200
H   Address                 Interface       Hold Uptime   SRTT   RTO  Q  Seq
                                            (sec)         (ms)       Cnt Num
1           Se0/0/0          140 00:00:39   14   200  0  18
0              Se0/1/0           12 00:03:24    1   200  0  18

Alas, all of this effort was for naught.  I didn’t read the task close enough.  Instead I configured EIGRP based on the IGP diagram.  That diagram shows the spokes’ Frame Relay interfaces in the EIGRP domain, BUT the task does not require that you configure them.  😦

This posting discusses an anomaly in the solution guide (two EIGRP routes on sw1 showing as D EX in the solution guide):

Task 4.3

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