Saturday, October 27, 2007

IPExpert Lab 21 Complete

Ok, this one took me a little bit longer than the last few. The complexity is a little higher at 4 out of 10. I finished the lab with about 15 minutes to spare, with a few unplanned breaks that took up about an hour. I had to rush a little through the QoS section, but not much so I would really say I was pressed for time.

So what took so long? Primarily, understanding what the heck they were asking for. It was evident this lab was barely rewritten from an older version with fewer switches and other technologies. A lot of the language just didn't add up. And with a couple typos in the beginning stages, I spent a lot of time asking myself if something later was a typo or if it was the desired config.

For example, I was told to configure OSPF on 4 serial interfaces. Well, 2 of those interfaces were already running EIGRP. OSPF could not form an adjacency over the frame relay links because they were spokes and the hub was not running OSPF. So my choices were either to run OSPF on the hub as well, or to add OSPF to the ethernet links. The strange part of this is that OSPF would end up configured on the frame relay links, but there wouldn't actually be an adjacency. Well, they didn't say an adjacency was needed, so that's the path I chose.

Redistribution was a major pain in this lab. Every other step of the IGP configuration required to check that things are still up if link x or y goes down. So a bit of time was taken up shutting down interfaces and running ping scripts from distant ends to ensure things come back up. There always seemed to be a loopback or two that needed to be manually redistributed into another protocol.

So, the bottom line is I can do complex redistribution, I just need to get a lot faster at it. The latest trend seems to recommend doing a few labs 4 or 5 times. I think I'll add this one to be one that I'll do multiple times before gameday.

As for the rest of the tasks, I think things went pretty well. I still stink at Catalyst QoS. I didn't catch the aggregate policer. I need to commit to memory that if shared bandwidth must be below a certain level I need to use aggregate policers. I also wish for once I could remember to classify video, use "match protocol http mime "video/*". I was closer this time, I just had "*video" instead of "video/*"

I'd give myself about 90% on this one, with a total time, minus interruptuions, of 7 hours.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

IPExpert lab 20 complete

I found this one relatively easy. The 8 hour lab took me about 5 hours to complete and was nearly perfect. The only real issue was I neglected to realize I needed to setup NAT. This is still one of the easier labs, but it's certainly helping to build my confidence. I'm pretty sure if I do one of these each Saturday I'll be ready to go once February gets here!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted. Believe it or not, I have been making progress. I took the IPExpert bootcamp with Marvin as the instructor. I highly recommend this. I learned a heck of a lot, while at the same time I got by butt kicked enough to motivate me to keep studying until my lab date in February.

Today was the first time since the bootcamp that I was able to get some studying in. I attacked ipexpert lab #19. I was able to finish it in 6 hours with about 95% accuracy. I do think my speed is getting considerably better. That was my biggest issue at the bootcamp--running out of time.

I'm going to try to do a lab every Saturday until my real date comes up. I hope that's a sufficient amount of studying at this point. With a 2 month old baby and graduate school, it's though enough to get this much in as it is.