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Buzz….#^%}€$¥+….Click!….is this thing on?

Posted by Jo on December 11, 2010

Coming in 2011 2012…


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SP Written Reading List and Update

Posted by Jo on August 27, 2009

Ive been doing some good study for the written exam spent reading though a stack of books. I think that I am still a couple of weeks out from taking the exam, and havent booked it yet. Ive been fortunate that this past week I am in between projects at work so have had some time to put the hours in I have read through the following.

MPLS Fundamentals

MPLS Enabled Applications

Routing TCP/IP Volume I – IS-IS, OSPF, EIGRP

Routing TCP/IP Volume II – BGP and Multicast

I am also hoping that my copies of MPLS and VPN Architectures Volume I and II will be waiting for me when I go back to the UK towards the end September. This will probably be too late for my attempt at the written exam, but no doubt will be useful for the lab part of the exam.

There are also a couple of RFC’s that I have read through, but I find these quite difficult to digest, so need to go over these again. I got the IPexpert Volume I and II SP workbooks, so have been through a few of the Volume I labs that cover the basics. These labs cover a range of basic technologies, so I havent been focusing too much on them for the written,  but it has allowed me to get Dynamips set up on my Mac to get to grips with the different technologies. I also have some Proctor Labs SP vRack vouchers waiting for when I need them.

So I am probably going to go for the exam on the 5th September if I feel I am making good progress over the next week. I have more study time available, so should be able to put in a good 3-4 hours a day until that point.

Posted in CCIE Blog, CCIE Materials, CCIE Prep, Dynamips, ipexpert, SP, written | Leave a Comment »

CCIE-V: Written Exam Preparation – Links

Posted by Jo on June 18, 2009

I came across a posting on OSL to an article written by Mark Lewis on Network Work entitled ‘How to pass the CCIE Voice written exam’. It has a great breakdown of the different sections on the blueprint along with a recommended reading list – its very imformative reading.

There are also a number of follow up articles that contain some really great information on the various protocols featured in the CCIE Voice exams.

Mark is also the author of the CCIE Voice Exam Quick Reference Sheets, which I am using along with the ccbootcamp study guide to prepare for the exam. I will be blogging fairly soon with an update on my progress so far and detailing the materials and methods that I am using.

Links to Mark Lewis’ articles on Network World:

How to pass the CCIE Voice written exam

Understanding Telephony Protocols

SIP Messages

Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP)


H.323 Messages


RTP and cRTP

I also came across a good white paper on the H.323 protocol on the IEC site:

IEC H.323 White Paper

Have  a read through these and enjoy and hopefully they will be of some use to you.

Posted in CCIE Blog, CCIE Prep, voice, written | Leave a Comment »

CCIE-V: Short Answer Questions

Posted by Jo on June 17, 2009

Cisco have announced that the short answer questions will be coming to the Voice lab on July 16th 2009, and I expect they will be added to all tracks which can only be a good thing. I know that some people dont like these, but anything that adds an extra dimension to the certification is OK by me. I think that Cisco is on the right track with all of the recent changes announced to the lab exam blueprints for R&S, Security and Voice.

CCIE Voice Lab Exam Adding Short Answer Questions:

Also effective July 16, 2009, the Cisco CCIE Voice Lab Exam will feature a new type of question format in a section called Core Knowledge.  In this new section, candidates will be asked a series of four open-ended questions that require a short, typewritten response (typically several words).  The questions will be randomly drawn from a pool of questions on topics currently eligible for testing on the CCIE Voice Lab Exam.  No new topics are being added.  Candidates will have up to 30 minutes to complete the Core Knowledge section of the exam, and may not return to the questions later.  First introduced to the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam in February 2009, Core Knowledge questions will eventually be added to all CCIE tracks.  The changes allow Cisco to maintain strong exam security, and they help ensure that only qualified candidates are awarded CCIE certification.

Mark at IPexpert has announced on OSL that they will be releasing a version of their flash based question simulation engine, so I am looking forward to checking it out. Im assuming they will follow the same pricing model for the R&S version on this – FREE!

I am currently making steady progress through the ccbootcamp study guide for the written, and will be following up soon with a breakdown of my progress so far. Im still on track to attempt the written exam in August.

Posted in ccbootcamp, CCIE LAB, CCIE Materials, CCIE Prep, ip expert, ipexpert, voice, written | Leave a Comment »

Voice Written

Posted by Jo on May 31, 2009

OK now Im getting serious about the whole CCIE Voice idea. I have just purchased the ccbootcamp CCIE Voice Written Study Guide and am planning to attempt the written exam sometime in August. This guide was recommended to me by Brandon, James and Jeff on Twitter as a good base to get prepared for the exam. I have also silently in the background been getting up to speed on the CCVP level topics by going through the CBT Nuggets for this course, and have just recently been heavily involved with a UC/IPCC project at work, so feel Im pretty much there with the basics. In addition to the ccbootcamp material James also recommended checking out the Cisco Press Voice Exam Quick Reference Sheets which I intend to do. Its a shame that there isnt a Cisco Press book that deals with the Voice Written exam in the same way there is one for the R&S side of things, but these resources should be plenty to get the required knowledge – I hope.

In the meantime, while I am studying for the written IPexpert will keep updating their workbook for the v3 blueprint, I will also be doing the Volume I labs that they have released so far, as I will soon be moving out of my apartment in Doha into new accommodation where I will have my own dedicated ADSL connection, so no more blocked ports stopping me from VPN’ing to the Proctor Labs equipment and getting my lab on.

Posted in BLS - Volume I, ccbootcamp, CCIE Materials, CCIE Prep, ipexpert, voice | 2 Comments »

Voice Lab Changes Cometh…

Posted by Jo on December 2, 2008

The update has been announced – the voice lab is changing.

New details can be found here:

The changes look quite interesting, I wonder how much of the current blueprint will be useful. I am glad for one that CallManger has been upated to something other than 4.1 (actually CUCM 7.0) and Im not sure if they have done away with the 6500 elements all together?

The Hardware and Software list is here:

As an IPexpert BLS customer hopefully they will be able to provide guidance on when the product and Proctor Labs vRacks will be updated to relect the new content.

Im on holiday at the moment out in Sweden, so I will write some more when I get back on all of this. Its good news though I think!

Posted in CCIE Blog, CCIE Prep, ip expert, Lab Schedule, voice | 2 Comments »

My Lab Experience – Part II

Posted by Jo on October 8, 2008

The wait

Once I was done with the lab all the remaining candidates went their separate ways and I headed back to the hotel to await my fate. Its a shame I had to go back there actually, as usual there was nothing watchable on the TV, my iPhone battery was dead (with no charger) so there was no music to listen to and I didnt bring my laptop as I wanted to travel light. I decided to head out and go for a walk to find somewhere good to eat. I ended up walking for about 30 minutes along a fairly busy road. The part of Diegem where Cisco and my hotel were located has to be one of the most dull and boring places I have ever stayed in in my life – just hotels and business parks. Anyway – I ended up finding a small Pizzeria and grabbed a bite to eat. I chose to take an alternative route back to the hotel, which meant I got lost in the suburbs of Brussels somewhere – luckily my intuition told me to take a right turn down a random road and I ended up on the other side of a field from my hotel. Thankfully for me there was a footpath down the side of it and I made it to the ‘comfort’ of the hotel again.

I must have been walking for over an hour, so thought I would be tired by the time I got back to the room, but no, I ended up awake until 1am again still replaying things in my head about the exam. This has to be one of the hardest parts of this certification – waiting for the result its a killer.

The next morning I woke up at 8.30, ate and got the train back to Brussels. I ended up going into a net cafe in the station to check my results online. I couldnt remember my gmail password, so logged into the Cisco CCIE site, and saw the magic words of ‘PASS’ – at first I thought it was for my written, then I looked more closely and saw it was for the lab. What a feeling – the relief was so immense. I immediately called my wife and told her the news. I must admit I got a bit emotional – all those months of study finally paid off and this made it all worth it.

Thank You

I would like to say thanks firstly to my wife for putting up with me for the past year or so as I was studying. We only got married last summer so sometimes its been tough. I fully intend to make up every hour of the time I spent studying in special ways – Just dont tell her I will be doing voice in 2009 😉

Also I would like to thank all the vendors who’s materials I used (IPexpert, IE and Narbik Kocharians) – these all played their part in my success in various ways.

Finally Id like to say thanks to all the other CCIE candidates (and bloggers) out there – some have passed and others have not yet, but its great to have this little community all pulling together towards the same goal. To all those that have not yet done it – do not give up and work hard and you will get your rewards.

Posted in CCIE LAB, CCIE Prep, ip expert | 2 Comments »

IP Expert Mock Lab 3 (redux)

Posted by Jo on October 1, 2008

Today I did this mock lab again. I ended up with 73 – which wasnt what I was expecting, but highlighted a couple of issues for me. I answered all but one question, but made some really dumb mistakes – things like missing things off of a single trunk to a router (I only applied the config to inter-switch trunks), not paying attention to the irdp config on a couple of interfaces – if you dont apply these commands in order it wipes the address info out of the config, so while I typed all the commands in, they didnt appear on the interface.

Overall I wasnt too happy with the way I approached this lab once it was ‘complete’. I had it all done in 4 hours and didnt check it through too well it appears. Too many small mistakes. I partly put this down to burn out. Today is my last scheduled rack session – I was planing on doing two more, but I think my brain is a little fried. My plan here on out is to read my notes and the DocCD over the next few days while taking it easy.

Posted in CCIE Prep, ip expert, Lab Schedule, Mock Lab | 2 Comments »

IP Expert Mock Lab 1 (again)

Posted by Jo on September 26, 2008

I got the result of Mock Lab 1, and was quite surprised. I knew that I did quite well on it, but didnt quite expect that score. Checking through the results, the points I missed out on were simple to say the least. One of them was configuring a point-to-point sub interface for frame-relay, and the other was leaving auto-summary on in EIGRP for one router – doh! I missed one question that I couldnt get working in the security section, but it was only worth 2 points. So I could have got 98 points in the end.

Having done this lab for the first time a few weeks ago, it was a good test to do it again, the answers didnt spring to mind and all I could really remember were some of the dependencies, but in terms of my knowledge of the technology I think I was pretty sound. This lab has quite simple QoS and multicast sections which always helps! 🙂

Anyway, tomorrow Im going to redo Mock Lab 2 or I might go for Mock Lab 4 which I did last week but didnt complete and the grading script broke on it – just to see how I fair.

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Weekend Update

Posted by Jo on September 7, 2008

After the mock that I did yesterday morning, I have just been taking it easy today. Browsing through day 1 of the IP Expert Video on Demands, there is some good stuff on there . A lot of it was mainly refreshing things in my mind, but there were also a couple of topics that I didnt come across in the IE CoD. The hands on videos where Scott Morris goes through the configurations has given me a few extra ideas about things. I will be checking out the Multicast and QoS sections over the next few days, as these are the areas that I am still making errors on by not fully understanding the technology maybe?

I also finished off IEWB Lab 13 from the IE Dynamips workbook, after I got distracted on Friday. This is rated as a 9 difficulty, and although Ive done it before a while back, Im using these labs to build my speed. I find that while I can remember these labs, there are still things in there to make me think, and if there is something I dont know straight off the bat, I know how to find it on the documentation pages.

This next week should be quite busy, hopefully I will have some good study time in the evenings. I am thinking to do the IP Expert Multicast and QoS Volume I labs, as well as checking out the VoD on these subjects too. Next weekend I will do another graded mock lab from Volume III. If I am consistently getting around the 70-75% mark (for mocks 3, 4 and 5) I will be feeling alot more confident than I was last week – but I will need to start getting 80+ in the not too distant future.

Posted in CCIE Blog, CCIE LAB, CCIE Prep, Dynamips, ip expert, Mock Lab | Leave a Comment »