CCIE Pursuit Blog

May 30, 2009

Core Knowledge: You Don’t Need To Memorize Timer Values or RFCs

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 12:00 pm
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I love it when Cisco runs CCIE Ask The Expert sessions.  A couple of questions were asked about memorizing timer values and RFC numbers for the Core Knowledge questions:

There is no memorization type of questions, like to memorize RFCs (as someone asked before) or specific protocol timers.

That’s straight from Maurilio so you know it’s law.  This is great news because I only have two RFC numbers memorized: RFC 1918 and RFC 2795.  🙂

Sadly, I won’t be able to use this question of the day:

RFC 2975 details the properties of which paradigm-shifting protocol suite?

Highlight for answer: The Infinite Monkey Protocol Suite (IMPS)

Core Knowledge Question of the Day: 30 May 2009

Which protocol enables EIGRP routers to determine whether a path advertised by a neighbor is looped or loop-free, and allows a router running EIGRP to find alternate paths without waiting on updates from other routers?

Highlight for answer: Diffusing update algorithm (DUAL)

May 29, 2009

CCIE Routing and Switching ‘Ask the Expert’ Currently Active

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 9:20 am
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As I mentioned earlier, Maurilio Gorito is hosting an “Ask The Expert” session on the CCIE Routing and Switching exam.  The session started on 26 May and will run until 05 June.  There are already quite a few good topics being discussed.  Here are some of the interesting bits [NOTE: the comments below are the result of my combining multiple answers (all by Maurilio) on specific topics]:

About CCIE 4.0 changes:
The main changes on the new CCIE R&S v4.0 certifications standards are:
1. The addition of MPLS/VPN, EIGRPv6 and the emphasis on troubleshooting.
2. The addition of a separated 2 hours troubleshooting section to the exam.

We did not remove any topics from the syllabus and we will cover the certification standards (aka blueprint) through 3 sections:
1. Open Ended Questions: up to 30 minutes.
2. Troubleshooting: up to 2 hours.
3. Configuration: up to 5 1/2 hours.

You can find more detailed information on the CCIE R&S v4.0 at

Yes, the v3.0 lab exam has about 36 to 40 questions.
The configuration section on v4.0 will have something around 25 to 30 questions on 5.5 hours.

About the new Troubleshooting section in the upcoming CCIE 4.0 lab:
The Troubleshooting section will be independent from the Configuration section, i.e., it will be presented on a different scenario.
Once you finish the Troubleshooting you will move to the Configuration section that will be presented on a new scenario or topology.

The Troubleshooting section will have a maximum of 2 hours. The candidate will be presented a series of questions or ‘trouble tickets’ for a given scenario or topology. The referred topology will pre-configured.
Based on the information provided such as IP addressing diagrams, IGP routing diagrams, and so on you will work to identify and fix the issues. You will be given points for working scenarios.

The Troubleshooting section will have a certain number of trouble tickets and points allocated to the section. You will receive credits for the points you get. Your score on this section will show as, 30%, or 50%, or 80%, and so on.
You will need to get a minimum of 80% on each section of the exam to pass on the CCIE lab exam.
Yes, we are planning to post a sample Troubleshooting questions/trouble ticket for study reference.

About the Core Knowledge Questions:
The only available tool during the Core Knowledge section is the Notepad. No calculator is available.

One good way to prepare for the Core Knowledge questions is along with your preparation to the lab exam where you will be applying the overall concepts during your hands-on practice studying.
During that section you will be asked concept questions about technologies that are listed on the lab exam blueprint so while you are preparing to take the lab exam you are implementing all those concepts and then you will be well prepared for that.
You may find questions the will have an output command and / or a topology for your interpretation, but not memorization questions such RFC numbers.

The candidate will be graded only at the end of the day so even if the candidate fails in one of the sections he or she still going through all three sections.
There will be a big concern on integrity of the exams as all three sections are totally independent, per example the scenario or topology presented on the Troubleshooting section will be different from the configuration section.

About the lab environment:
The SecureCRT we are using is v3.0 and there is no plan of upgrading or change it at the moment.

If you have a question concerning any aspect of the CCIE lab be sure to surf on over and post it for Maurilio to answer.

Core Knowledge Question of the Day: 29 May 2009

By default, what is the TTL of an EBGP peering?

Highlight for answer: 1

May 28, 2009

CCIE Mobile Lab In Toronto 24 – 28 August

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 9:38 am
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One of the best ideas that Cisco has come up with for the CCIE program is the CCIE Mobile Lab.  The Mobile Lab brings the CCIE lab to various parts of the world so that candidates who do not live near the permanent testing locations can save on travel costs.  This is the first time that I’ve seen the Mobile Lab in North America.  Just in time to open up some more slots before change over to CCIE 4.0 in October:

Mobile CCIE Lab Now Available for CCIE Routing and Switching Exam in Toronto, Canada

To address the urgent need for certified IT professionals and to offer more convenient testing, Cisco has developed the Mobile CCIE Lab for qualified candidates who are ready to take their CCIE Routing and Switching exam.

Since you have passed the written exam already, we encourage you to take advantage of the Mobile Lab scheduled in Toronto, Canada from August 24th-28th, 2009. The CCIE Mobile Testing lab will allow qualified candidates to more easily and quickly take the exam, reducing the waiting time, effort, and costs accrued by having to travel to take the exam.  The eight-hour lab exam tests your ability to configure actual equipment and get the network running in a timed test situation.

The Cisco CCIE Routing and Switching certification is the highest level of achievement for network professionals. Less than 3 percent of all Cisco certified professionals earn their CCIE certification.

Click here to register for the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam in Toronto, Canada. Space is limited to 30 students.

For information on registering for a Mobile CCIE Lab event or for additional information about the CCIE Mobile Lab program, visit the Cisco Learning Network.

Core Knowledge Question of the Day: 28 May 2009

Which markings are trusted by default on the interface when you configure the following on a Cisco 3560 switch:

SW1(config)#int f0/1
SW1(config-if)#mls qos trust

Highlight for answer: If no keyword is specified when the command is entered, then DSCP markings are trusted by default when the ‘mls qos trust’ interface-level command is configured.

May 27, 2009

Core Knowledge Question of the Day: 27 May 2009

R3#sh frame map
Serial0/0 (up): ip dlci 503(0x1F7,0x7C70), static,
CISCO, status defined, active
TCP/IP Header Compression (inherited), connections: 218959117
RTP Header Compression (inherited), connections: 218959117

R5#sh frame map
Serial1/0 (up): ip dlci 305(0x131,0x4C10), static,
CISCO, status defined, active
TCP/IP Header Compression (enabled), connections: 256
RTP Header Compression (enabled), connections: 256

Given the above output, what is the fundamental difference between the TCP and RTP header compression configurations on R3 and R5?

Highlight for answer: On R3, TCP and RTP header compression have been enabled on the interface level as indicated by the ‘inherited’ description in the ‘show frame-relay map’ output.  On R5 it has been enabled via the frame-relay map map statement(with the keyword ‘compress’).

May 26, 2009

Core Knowledge Question of the Day: 26 May 2009

R1#show frame pvc interface serial 1/0

PVC Statistics for interface Serial1/0 (Frame Relay DTE)

Active     Inactive      Deleted       Static
Local          1            0            0            0
Switched       0            0            0            0
Unused         0            0            0            0


input pkts 0             output pkts 0            in bytes 0
out bytes 0              dropped pkts 0           in pkts dropped 0
out pkts dropped 0                out bytes dropped 0
in FECN pkts 0           in BECN pkts 0           out FECN pkts 0
out BECN pkts 0          in DE pkts 0             out DE pkts 0
out bcast pkts 0         out bcast bytes 0
5 minute input rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
5 minute output rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
pvc create time 04:48:15, last time pvc status changed 04:48:14

R1#show traffic-shape serial 1/0

Interface   Se1/0
Access Target    Byte   Sustain   Excess    Interval  Increment Adapt
VC     List   Rate      Limit  bits/int  bits/int  (ms)      (bytes)   Active
–             128000    960    3840      3840      30        480       BECN

Given the output above, which type of traffic-shaping is configured on interface s1/0?

Highlight for answer: Generic Traffic-Shaping (‘traffic-shape’ command under interface s1/0). We can tell this because the VC(virtual circuit) field in the ‘show traffic-shape serial 1/0’ output is null. This is because GTS does not support per-VC traffic-shaping.

If you answered this correctly then you’re either one smart motherfucker, or you’ve worked through the IE Volume I QoS labs.  🙂

May 25, 2009

Internetwork Expert: Core Knowledge Podcast

Internetwork Expert has begun broadcasting streaming Internet radio feeds.  The first of these feeds is now available as a podcast.  You can get more information and download the podcast here.

Anthony Sequeira hosts this session and covers the Core Knowledge section of the lab exam.  He touches on the different types of questions that you might receive, various aspects of the section itself, as well as offering some suggestions for study materials and methods.  It’s a good podcast and definitely worth a listen before you sit the lab exam.

There were some very interesting bits about the Core Knowledge Questions themselves:

  • You will not be able to go the proctor for guidance or clarification.
  • Cisco says that the typical response will be 4 to 5 words.
  • Some students’ feedback suggests that “if you type in a novel, the proctors will not bother to read it.”
  • INE suggests, “Don’t type in more than a single paragraph.”
  • The Core Knowledge section seems to be graded locally(by your exam proctors). [The lab exam is always graded by a different set of proctors than the ones in the room with you.]
  • If you fail the Core Knowledge section, but pass the lab – you CANNOT request a reread.  If you fail the lab portion then
    you can request a reread, which includes your Core Knowledge questions…which you will have had to have passed in order to get the reread. <-this one makes my head hurt.
  • The lab section has been reduced to 79 points.
  • Proctors are creating new questions all of the time, so the likelihood of leaked questions being on your exam are minimal.

A lot of this is news to me.  Some of it is counter-intuitive(and maddening). Especially the bit about not being able to request a reread if you fail the lab solely due to the Core Knowledge section and not being able to clarify questions with the proctors.  I do like the fact that these questions are being graded the proctors and that Cisco is building a large pool of questions to counteract lab dumps.

Core Knowledge Question of the Day: 25 May 2009

Name at least three of the four types of congestion management queueing offered in Cisco router QoS.

Highlight for answer: FIFO (first-in, first-out), Weighted fair queueing (WFQ), Custom queueing (CQ), Priority queueing (PQ)

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