“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

I have 11.5 labs hours booked this weekend to get some more technology focused prep done to help speed up my workbook II lab times. Hopefully this all will help.

After sitting down and talking this out with the wife we both think it would be irresponsible at this point to spend another $2000 on a bootcamp, plus another $1500 in travel relate expenses. With the baby coming in August it just wouldn’t make sense to spend this extra money. It just doesn’t add up. My wife seems to have more faith in me than myself. She keeps telling me I wouldn’t need a bootcamp. She is convinced at this point I am just getting “psyched” out about everything read about this exam. She might be right… I have the end-to-end program from IE so I just decided right now to use all the materials I have on hand. She did ask why not offer to review a bootcamp for a discount ;). I just laughed at her! With my literary skills it would do them more harm than good!

Frame Relay does not natively support features such as authentication, link quality monitoring, and reliable transmission. Based on this it is sometimes advantageous to encapsulate an additional PPP header between the normal layer 2 Frame Relay encapsulation and the layer 3 protocol. By running PPP over Frame Relay (PPPoFR) we can then implement authentication of Frame Relay PVCs, or even bind multiple PVCs together using PPP Multilink.

PPPoFR is configure in Cisco IOS through the usage of a Virtual-Template interface. A Virtual-Template is a PPP encapsulated interface that is designed to spawn a “template” of configuration down to multiple member interfaces. The traditional usage of this interface has been on dial-in access servers, such as the AS5200, to support multiple PPP dialin clients terminating their connection on a single interface running IP.

The first step in configuring PPPoFR is to create the Virtual-Template interface. This interface is where all logical options, such as IP address and PPP authentication will be configured. The syntax is as follows:

interface Virtual-Template1
 ip address
 ppp chap hostname ROUTER6
 ppp chap password 0 CISCO

Full article here

A vendor of ours took me out to lunch last week to just catch up on what we were working on as far as projects. One question came up during lunch that gave me reason to pause. He asked me, “What are your plans after getting your CCIE?” I honestly could not answer him. It has never crossed my mind. I haven’t even visualized passing the lab in my head one bit. Maybe I should start thinking positive huh? Then I started thinking about some of the things I would like to do, such as finally taking up a martial art permanently. How sad is it that the CCIE lab preps become a life struggle that seems to make you contemplate life choices after it! The studying has consumed so much of my time it seems the world is just going on without me. My wife is already four months pregnant and it is almost Spring. Someone please hit the pause button for a few months!

What are my plans after passing the lab? How about a few weeks of binge drinking for starters?

So I have picked up a different set of workbooks from a friend who recently completed his CCIE. I wanted to look them over and just read through them and go through them as much as I could on some topics I felt very weak on. I didn’t want to rewire my dynamips lab here at home or at my development lab at work. So I remembered reading CCIE Pursuit’s CCOnlinelabs price reduction post and thought I would give them a quick try. I was able to secure my lab from 9:00 am this morning till 8:30 pm. The price was excellent, and the connection to the online racks was great as well. I even had a little trouble exiting out of the sessions on the terminal server, which Tony even tested out on his end for me (turned out I had a dog ctrl key on my USB keyboard.) So for the excellent price, customer service, and the equipment itself, I was very pleased.

Any time going forward when I want to jump on some different lab setups I will be using these guys.


Right now I’m looking at the five day on-site boot camp in Reno on June 9th through 13th. I need to sit down with the wife and go over some monetary things. I have already spent well over $3000 so far for my materials and I’m not sure if I should take another plunge. I am working through workbook II slowly to try to pick up as much as I can that I have missed the first time in the class on demand series. The class on demands were excellent, but I just think some live training, with a mixture of hands-on experience and lecture will be the way to go to gain a better understanding of the material.

Also the boot camp falls just over my twenty eight days before payment is due for my lab date. So if I have any doubts by the end of the week I could still reschedule my lab and work on what I need to work on.

If anyone has any feedback on their five day camps, please send them my way. I would be interested in any feedback that people may have before figuring out what I will do. I am also looking forward to reading Ethan Bank’s write up on his recent boot camp with Narbik.

…given me a thumbs up on StumbleUpon. The traffic to the site has increased tremendously within the last week due to the NetworkWorld article and the StumbleUpon hits. Thanks again!

Brian McGahan just posted an article on setting up and using tcl scripts in the lab. The article’s timing works out well since I posted my ping script yesterday for lab I and got a few questions on how to set these up and use them.

“One common problem that causes candidates to fail the CCIE Routing & Switching Lab Exam is the lack of complete IP reachability to various segments used in the network topology. However, due to the short time constraints of the lab exam itself it can be difficult to dedicate enough time to properly verify that reachability exists between all relevant segments. In order to solve this problem two very useful features can be implemented during the lab exam, TCL scripting on the routers and macro scripting on the Catalyst switches.

TCL (Tool Control Language) is a scripting language used extensively by Cisco to facilitate the testing and automating of various functions in the IOS. For example advanced implementations on IOS can go as far as programming a router to send you an email when its interface utilization exceeds the normally defined average. In our case we will be using very basic TCL programming to sequentially run the “ping” command.

Macro scripting on the Catalyst switches is a simple way to define templates of configuration that can be applied globally or to interfaces by issuing a single command. Examples of predefined macros include the “switchport host” command, which enables portfast, sets an interface to access mode, and disabled DTP, and the “auto qos” feature. For our implementation we will be using the macros to run pings commands sequentially.

The first step in configuring a ping script is to collect the IP addresses that will be tested in the topology. There are two simple ways to do this, either through the “show ip interface brief” command or the “show ip alias”. Both of these commands show local IP addresses allocated on the device and any addresses that are being proxied for (i.e. dns proxy or NAT). The “show ip interface brief” output can be filtered through quickly by using the “show ip interface brief | exclude unassigned” command so that only interfaces with IP addresses are listed…”

Full article here

I think I have all IPs covered here. You can copy and paste this to each router under tclsh and off you go. Internetwork Expert’s solution guide has the full script if you want to type it up and run it each time from the process name.

foreach i {
} {ping $i}

If you’re studying for Cisco exams and just about to tear your hair out, don’t fret, there are many others in the same position, and many of them are writing up their experiences in their blogs and passing along hints and tips. Even if you’re a CCIE pro, there’s always room for personal improvement and expansion. With that in mind we’ve scoured the Web to bring you our top 20 most useful Web resources for Cisco networking professionals. Of course, we don’t want you to forget the resources and blogs of Cisco Subnet and our own bloggers, so we’ll give a recap of our own Cisco resources and bloggers at the end of our top 20 list. Compiled by Jim Duffy and Linda Leung

CCIE Pursuit is also listed on here, even though I am a few pages higher up than he is, we won’t mention that 😉

If you have come here from the NetworkWorld link please check out CCIE Candidate Somehow they missed Ethan’s site when compiling the list. He has one of the most informative sites you will read on obtaining your CCIE.

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