CCIE Pursuit Blog

April 28, 2009

Cisco Documentation: New Configuration Guide Security Categories

Every CCIE candidate should know by now that they’ll want to be intimately familiar with the Cisco Documentation site before attempting the lab exam.  You’ll also want to note that the documentation site is still changing.  Thankfully Cisco denotes the changes with a bright red ‘New!’.

Case in point: I was looking up some CBAC information this morning and found that the 12.4 Security Configuration Guide documentation had been reorganized:

Security and VPN

* Cisco IOS Security Configuration Guide: Secure Connectivity, Release 12.4 New!
* Cisco IOS Security Configuration Guide: Securing the Control Plane, Release 12.4 New!
* Cisco IOS Security Configuration Guide: Securing the Data Plane, Release 12.4 New!
* Cisco IOS Security Configuration Guide: Securing User Services, Release 12.4 New!

It’s a very good idea to check the location of various technologies (even the ones you know cold) on the Cisco Documentation site in the days before you take the lab.  It’s better to spend a few minutes navigating a new structure outside of the lab than in the lab.  🙂

January 27, 2009

Internetwork Expert: Free Cisco Documentation Video

Internetwork Expert has new (free!) class-on-demand session called ‘Understanding the Cisco Documentation’ about navigating the DOCCD UniverCD Whatever-The-Hell-It’s-Now-Called.  This session addresses the new version of the Cisco documentation.  It’s well worth your time to watch the session and even more worthwhile to get very well acquainted with the structure and content of this documentation.

August 30, 2008

Dear Cisco: PLEASE Stop Fucking With Your Documentation

Whenever I need to build an AS-Path access-list I open the Cisco Regular Expressions documentation:

The regular expressions documentation is located in an odd corner of the DOC CD – under Terminal Services Configuration.  You may want to practice finding it a couple of times before your exam day:

12.4 Documentation Home ->
Configuration Guides ->
Cisco IOS Terminal Services Configuration Guide ->
Appendixes ->
Regular Expressions

So I went to the 12.4 Mainline Configuration Guide page and…..where the hell is the Cisco IOS Terminal Services Configuration Guide?  It’s nowhere to be found.  It was there at least as recently as 14 August, but – joy of joys – it’s gone now.

Thankfully it’s still (for how long?) present in the 12.3 Mainline Configuration Guides.  You have to play “Choose Your Own Adventure” with some links but you’ll eventually get to a 12.2 documentation page.

This was a pain in the butt during a practice lab, but it would have been a major stress-inducing moment during the actual lab.

I guess that the lesson here (other than “The Cisco Documentation team is of the devil”) is that you should probably verify that your favorite pieces of documentation are still there before you take the lab.  I would also make sure that you’re somewhat comfortable navigating older code documentation.

August 24, 2008

CCIE Labs Changing from UniversCD to Cisco Documentation

This Friday Cisco announced that you will no longer be able to use the UniversCD documentation for the CCIE lab exam:

CCIE labs changing from UniversCD to Cisco Documentation

22 AUG 2008: On Sept 24 2008 CCIE labs will no longer support using the UniversCD documentation for the lab exam.

All labs are migrating to Cisco Documentation only. For those scheduled to take the CCIE lab prior to Sept 24 access will still be available for UniversCD.

The Cisco Documentation pages have the same information that currently resides on UniversCD, please refer to the links on the CCIE web pages to view these pages and become familiar with the new format.

After Sept 24 2008 only the Cisco Documentation web pages will be available for CCIE labs.

My lab in in October so this affects me.  The way that I understand this announcement this means that I won’t be able to use as my documentation “start page”.  I assume that the new “start page” will be  I did not see any links on the “CCIE web pages” so I cannot confirm this.

If my interpretation is correct, then this is no big deal as you’re probably used to navigating the new documentation already.

Hat tip to Walter Gibbons although his Twitter nearly made me crap myself when I first read it  🙂

waltergibbons CCIE labs will no longer support using the UniversCD documentation for the lab exam-…

June 29, 2008

Wherefore art thou Master Command Index?

With the recent upgrade of the 12.4 documentation, the 12.4 Master Command List was broken into sections based on alphabetical order.  This means that you are no longer able to do an ‘in page’ search of all of the commands.  You either have to know what letter the command starts with or search multiple pages.  The ‘workaround’ to this was to use the 12.3 Master Command List. 

Alas, that too has been segmented into multiple pages.

Recently minted CCIE #21236 found where the old skool Master Command Index is hiding:

I noticed right before my test that that list was missing, but it still there, just moved.  Goto 12.3, then the 12.3T references, then the link is at the very bottom.

If you open the 12.3T documentation and use the Master Index, then you can hit this page.

I don’t know how long this will be around though.  It looks like we’re going to have to get used to the fact that ‘mining the DOCCD’ is going to be a bit more difficult going forward.  Hopefully Cisco will make PDFs available with all of the commands so that there will still be one place to search through all of the commands at once.

May 11, 2008

Regular Expressions Documentation

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,Cisco Documentation,IOS — cciepursuit @ 8:31 am
Tags: , , ,

The regular expressions documentation is located in an odd corner of the DOC CD – under Terminal Services Configuration.  You may want to practice finding it a couple of times before your exam day:

12.4 Documentation Home ->
Configuration Guides ->
Cisco IOS Terminal Services Configuration Guide ->
Appendixes ->
Regular Expressions

May 3, 2008

12.4 Documentation

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification,Cisco Documentation,IOS — cciepursuit @ 6:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Maybe I’m the last one to notice this (I’ve been using the 12.3 documentation as well as a documentation DVD for the 12.4 stuff), but it looks like the 12.4 documentation is finally taking shape.  Instead of shooting me off to some product page I got the following message while trying to use the 12.4 documentation from the univercd page:

This documentation has been moved.
You reached this page because you were trying to access documentation from the old Cisco Connection Online (CCO) website, also known as UniverCD. The CCO website is being discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we hope this redirect will help you find the documentation on the new website.

At, you will find all the command references for Cisco IOS Release 12.4, including the book you were looking for on the CCO website. Please bookmark this URL for future use.

The univercd link has been replaced for the 12.4 documentation with this mouthful:

I have to admit that I like the new structure.  The only downside is that you don’t get all of the commands on one page for the Master Command list (they are broken up into alphabetical blocks).  I liked using that page because I could do an ‘in page’ search for terms.  I can still use the 12.3 page for this.

Take some time to get used to the new page (if you haven’t already).  I think that you’ll like it.  The only glaring issue I’ve found so far is that I don’t see the IPv6 command reference [ht to Keith] (although the IPv6 configuration guide is there).

April 6, 2008

DOC CD May Be ‘Broken’ In The Lab

Here’s a bit of discouraging news/study tip from a recent lab attendee for those of you with impending lab dates:

You get to reach but cannot get out of the univercd link. You also get all the redirected links to the new support site.

On the web, some of the broken links are directed to the new support main page. As far as I remember you cannot reach that main page.

So you better learn how to navigate through the old and new support site. If your direct link doesn’t work (just as in the normal web) you may have to find your way around. Like if it’s IP Application Services you may find that some other way and find your command in the page.

So I suggest spending some time on the web learning the old/new layouts and which documents are where. I did this in the last couple of days and it worked well.

Edited by Utku Er (03/30/08 06:33 AM)
CCNP, CCDP, CCIP and CCIE(R&S) #20222

I’ve been completely avoiding the 12.4 documentation as I really don’t need to have my blood pressure any higher than it is now.  I am still hoping that Cisco will cobble the 12.4 documentation back together before my lab in late July, but I’m not holding my breath. 

March 24, 2008

Worst. Vacation. Ever.

The room is filled with papers scrawled with multicolored marks and a waste basket overflowing with crushed Diet Mt. Dew cans.  A closer inspection shows strange drawings filled with circles connected by lines interspersed with numbers and strange combinations of letters.  The desk looks like someone or something has repeatedly banged its head on it in frustration.  There is a wet spot on the desk that looks like human tears.

I’m cleaning up the guest bedroom today.  Last week I made this room my “operations center” while working through six labs in seven days.   I took vacation from work to devote time to doing these labs and labeled the experience, “Labapolooza”.  This name used to recall memories of large ice cream desserts and alternative music festivals.  Now it reminds me of endless hours working on the CLI and cursing the Brians.  🙂

Of course I bit off more than I could chew.  For some reason I believed that I would be able to complete the labs quicker than I actually did.  Although I did manage to complete most of the labs (I skipped Multicast on a couple of them), it took at least 11 hours per lab and sometimes more.  I spent Easter on the CLI shoveling Peeps into my mouth (they’re not the brain food you’d think they would be  🙂 ) while labbing away.  Most of my breaks from labbing were to do mundane tasks like get rid of the 10 inches of wet March snow that fell last week.

I was at the point where I was doing pretty well on difficultly level 6 and 7 labs so I didn’t think that the step up to level 8 labs would be too drastic.  I was wrong.  While there were only a few different technologies in the mix, the tasks were more difficult to understand and seemed to take more steps to implement.  It took me about 4 hours to get through the first two (short) sections of lab 16 before I finally just gave up on that lab.  That was my low point for the week.

All in all, the experience was a pain in the ass but ultimately worth it.  I discovered that I’m probably even less prepared for the lab than I thought that I was.  The ultimate purpose of this was to make strides in completing the 20 IE Volume II labs (I want to have completed them at least one time 60 days before my lab date) and to ramp up for my first IE mock lab this Wednesday.  Like most things CCIE, I feel like I’ve taken two steps forward and one and a half steps backward.

I still need to review the basics on a few technologies.  I’m pretty good at switching, IGP (with the exception of route redistribution), QoS, and WAN technologies.  I’m okay at BGP (but far from the level I need to be at).  I’m not very good at IPv6 and IP Services.  I’m horrible at Multicast and security.

I still have three more days off.  Today I will review some of my week spots.  I had planned to do a simulated mock lab tomorrow, but I’m going to redo lab 6 instead.  I’ll probably be redoing all of the level 8 labs again in the next few weeks.  I will post about them then.

There is a special place in hell for the team that is currently redesigning the Cisco documentation.  A few weeks ago I praised the new look of the site.  The 12.4 documentation is completely fucked right now as well as parts of the 12.3 documentation.  It’s been that way for a couple of weeks now.  I’m at a complete loss as to how a very large company like Cisco allows this to happen.  Most companies would do the site redesign on test servers, then verify that it works, and only then would they move it to production servers.  Cisco seems to think that hundreds of broken links and bad redirections on thier documentation website is okay.  Ethan recently posted an open letter concerning this.  My statement to Cisco is a little less elegant: “Fix your shit!  If you can’t do this, then for fuck’s sake mirror the old working site somewhere while you continue to tear apart your site.”

March 15, 2008

Nerd Humor III

This is from a GroupStudy thread about the existence of a paper copy* of the DOC CD:

Will the paper copy of the docs cd have a million broken links in it also?-Dane

* I guess that Cisco used to print these up and they were quite voluminous – literally.  🙂

I did this once and it came in three very large boxes.  Not banker boxes, but more like 3′ x 3′.

The complete 9.1 docs take up about a foot worth of shelf. That includes the 9.14/9.17 addition. Last printed manual I saw was in the 11.x range and it took the entire bookcase. At that rate 12.4T takes my entire office.

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