Saturday, November 10, 2007

IPExpert Lab 23 Complete

Ahhh, a much easier one for a change. There wasn't anything too complicated in here at all. I did make a couple of minor mistakes--completely skipped a small step and messed up a couple of access lists.

I spent a little more than than I would have liked on OSPF authentication and a poorly worded RIP section. Other than that, things went pretty well.

I took a different approach this time. First I setup the required parts of the Cats. Next, configured IGP, EGP, and anything else required on R1. I intentionally left off anything related to security, redistribution, or filtering at this point. Then I did the same with R2, ensuring all adjacencies, etc. formed with R1. I followed the same process until I got through all the routers. Then I went back through on the items I skipped--authentication, filtering, summaries, etc.

I felt pretty good about the way things went this way. By 2.5 hours, the entire core was up and connectivity was verified. At 4.5 hours, all advanced core features were completed. At this point I just picked off the advanced features one by one and had the whole lab finished in about 7 hours.

The nice part about this approach is that I get any design concerns out of the way early on because I'm getting end to end reachability up pretty fast and including BGP in that initial design. I'm also saving a lot of time because I'm not jumping back and forth between routers so much. The only real negative to this approach is I am jumping around in the workbook a lot so it makes it really easy to accidentally skip something.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

IPExpert Lab 22 Complete (sort of)

For once the core portion of the lab was pretty easy. I still have to get faster, but everything through BGP took about 5 hours. There's definitely some room for improvement. Primarily, this involves setting up everything in OSPF and BGP the first time. I have the tendancy to get everything up on OSPF and then setting up the virtual links and then encrypting. It'd be nice to do it all the first time rather than having to visit each router 3 or 4 times. The same goes with BGP adjacencies and reflectors/confederations. I bet hitting all of these in one shot would take a hour off the time.

The rest of the lab got pretty tough. Some of this, such as the logging section, was due to poor explanations and not having a proctor around to ask clarification. The VPN section was a wash. Same with a VMPS question on the advanced switch part. As always, some annoying ports to try to figure out. And then just when it seems as if the lab should be ending, in comes two IPv6 sections. One was easy, the other was pretty complicated.

So, I ended up running out of time. I'm intending of repeating Lab 21 due to the complicated redistribution. Well, I need to repeat this one, primarily to improve time management. This lab was supposed to be diffiult, with a complexity of 6.5. The next three labs are easier, at 4.5, and then the rest of the workbook looks pretty rough. So, I think I'll knock out the next three easier ones, and then repeat 21 and 22. And then I'll be into the hard ones. That should put me right about to January to where I'll be beginning to panic with the lab date getting close.