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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 »

Now doing SP

Posted by Jo on August 7, 2009

Its official, I have put my voice studies on hold and switched over to the SP track. Its a shame to put the work I have done so far for the voice written to the side, but feel I am making the right choice – this just seems a whole lot more logical as there is a lot of overlap with the R&S.

I have not booked the SP written exam yet, but am hopefully going to go for it in the first couple of weeks of September. I have made a start in my reading list, I have MPLS Fundamentals here with me, and while I have read it before in sections, am reading it again from cover to cover – taking notes. I am making good progress, and am onto to Chapter 7 that covers MPLS VPN. My previous job was based on an MPLS VPN network, so Im pretty comfortable with the concepts and configurations with all thats been in the book so far.

I have made the choice to go for the IPexpert SP workbook Volumes 1 and 2, and have started doing some labs from Volume 1 to get back into the swing of things. I have the topologies set up in Dynamips, so its easy to do a couple of hours worth of labbing anytime I choose. I missed my Dynamips labbing days from the R&S. I know it has its quirks, but I am able to work around these and run the topologies fully loaded on my MacBook Pro running at 30-40% utilisation.

I will post a schedule on here for my planned labs, and am also hoping to write some techincal articles along the way as I go through them. I am going to try and go for the lab before the end of 2009, hopefully in or around the November/December timeframe. Its a shame that there isnt an SP lab at Cisco in Dubai at the moment, as that would have been very convieneient, but I will worry about that when I am done with the written and can book a lab date.

Posted in BLS - Volume I, CCIE Blog, Dynamips, ip expert, ipexpert, Lab Schedule, SP | Leave a Comment »

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 »


Posted by Jo on February 26, 2008

Tonight I worked through the core sections of Lab 8. As I write this I have just completed all core sections up to and including BGP. I started at 20:00 prompt and it is now 22:45, so it took me 2 hours 45 minutes to work though the core sections. I will be writing up my notes for this lab tomorrow, but I was generally impressed with my speed, progress and understanding on this lab.

Posted in CCIE Blog, Dynamips | Leave a Comment »

Not quite Dynamips but…

Posted by Jo on January 8, 2008

Ive been feeling under the weather recently so no time to write up any blogs. I have been cracking on with some on the Dynamips labs, working through Lab 6 and Lab 7, along with some of the Volume I stuff. I will do a write up this week hopefully.

I came across this randomly which was I thought was a cool use for a couple of Mac Mini’s.

Posted in Dynamips | Leave a Comment »

Dynamips Rocks

Posted by Jo on December 30, 2007

So Ive been working through some of the IEWB Volume I labs, mainly focusing on the BGP and Multicast topics, to familiarise myself with the Dynamips setup, and so I can start on many of the more non-core sections in the Labs. I have to say that having access to a Dynamips based rack is great. One of the things that was hindering me before was being up against the clock for my rental sessions (I know I could have booked longer sessions), but now its cool to have a rack on hand whenever I want it. It doesnt beat a real rack, but I can practice 90% of what a real rack would give me. Some of the import/export features for saving configs are fantastic and simple to use.

Yesterday afternoon I started to work on IEWB Lab 6 from the Dynamips workbook, just to get an idea of how well it would perform with some load on the routers. I have got through the core topics and finished the multicast section. There are a couple of glitches in the WB where its obvious that they have changed the full fat version for Dynamips, but these were not too difficult to work around. For the first time I could relax while doing the lab knowing that I could take a break if needed, and work on understanding the solutions a little more.

Here is what my processor looked like when I had configured all Layer 2 and IGP/BGP/Multicast sections.

Processes: 115 total, 2 running, 113 sleeping… 316 threads 11:09:34
Load Avg: 1.51, 1.58, 1.56 CPU usage: 29.3% user, 5.9% sys, 64.9% idle

Basically it flips between 28%-35% with all routing processes running – which I think is pretty good!

I am running the following IOS and idle-pc combination:


I will crack on with this lab when I have time over the rest of the holiday. Thats whats cool about Dynamips!

On another note, I now have a rack at my new job, but will be sharing it with a colleague, so this will give me a chance to practice on real hardware when I need to.

Posted in CCIE Blog, Dynamips | 8 Comments »

Dynamips and IEWB Volume I

Posted by Jo on December 28, 2007

I am slowly getting back onto the bandwagon and will start my preparations up again in the next few days. I have shifted my Lab date from February out to July, so this is now my new target.

I have set up the InternetworkExpert Dynamips topology on my Mac (it runs all 13 routers at about 30%) so will be using this for the foreseeable future. I have also got access to the InternetworkExpert Dynamips workbooks, so will make a start on these. One of my problems with rack rentals was that I was running out of time in my 4 hour sessions, so at least with Dynamips I should be able to work for longer, and also pick up labs when I have time.

To start back up again I am planning to go through the IEWB Volume I technologies as a refresher, as I found I was relying on the solutions guide whilst working through the Volume II labs. Now that I have a bit more time until my first date I plan to spend a couple of months going through the Volume I stuff.

Posted in CCIE Blog, Dynamips | 2 Comments »