If you are taking the 4.0 exam and waiting to get a look at some of the vendors 4.0 troubleshooting lab offerings INE has theirs up. Although it isn’t fully complete it is available. Right now the price is an introductory price, and they have a 30% off code going through the weekend. Seems like you can catch it for a good deal over the weekend. I have not seen if this workbook will be included if you bought the 2.0 program a while ago or not. It just hit yesterday though, and I am hoping the troubleshooting section won’t be a worry for me πŸ˜‰

Link to workbook

30% off code for the weekend is JLY10S


INE is offering the workbook for $99 if you purchased your end to end program before May 9th of this year. You can still use the current coupon code listed on this site and get it for $70. If you purchased after May 9th you get it free.

So I have been reading up on CVOICE material, mostly out of boredom.Γ‚ I was never really interested, but now that I have read up and gone through some CBTs, it really does seem interesting and cool!Γ‚ Anyways, the signaling end of it is really making my head spin.Γ‚ Do any of you guys out there know much about voice and can maybe explain some stuff to me?Γ‚ Mainly:

1) OK, I understand that from a voice gateway perspective you can run h.323 , SIP, or MGCP.Γ‚ This all makes sense to me…it is more of what is going on between the IP phones and the CallManager and the gateway that is making my brain hurt.

Originally, I thought that IP phones could either:

1) Run SCCP (Skinny) between the phone and the CallManager.Γ‚ Thus, the CallManager provides dial-tone, etc.

2) Run SIP between the phone and the CallManager (This is another “grey” area for me, because evidently there used to be this thing called the Cisco SIP proxy which was around before Cisco really embraced SIP…now they have SIP support IN CallManager)

So here I was thinking MGCP was just a protocol run between the gateway and the CallManager, or between gateways…then I found out that you can actually run MGCP on the phone itself???Γ‚ How does that work?Γ‚ Can you register phones that run MGCP in CallManager like you can phones that run SIP or SCCP ?Γ‚ Is this just a 3rd party thing?Γ‚ Does anybody do this?

So mainly — I get whats going on with the gateways themselves — They basically are routers between POTS and VOIP networks, or VOIP to VOIP networks and can run either h.323 , SIP , or MGCP.Γ‚ From what I understand CallManager supports all of these options and with MGCP it actually controls the ports whereas with h.323 it just sees a gateway in it’s database.Γ‚ With SIP it seems the CallManager in todays times is actually also the SIP proxy and SIP Registrar server as well all rolled into one.Γ‚ So, whats with the signaling on IP phones (like a Cisco 7960).Γ‚ What protocols can they run, and how do they get signaling information such as dial tone? It seems that

1) If the IP phone runs SCCP it registers with CallManager and gets signaling from CallManager.Γ‚ From what I understand SCCP is a stripped down version of h.323.Γ‚ This seems to be the more popular “cisco” option

2) If the IP phone runs SIP well…things seem to have changed or are in the midst of changing.Γ‚ Back in the day it seems you had to purchase some other box called the Cisco SIP proxy…nowadays it seems a Cisco IP phone running a SIP image can go ahead and register with CallManager as well.Γ‚ CallManager itself is the SIP proxy/registrar/location server all rolled into one beast (I think).Γ‚ Therefore, CallManager would provide dial-tone, etc. or at least instruct the IP phone to play tones it already has in flash

3) If the IP phone runs MGCP I don’t know what the hell is going on, and I need help πŸ™‚

Thanks voice guys!

– Joe

Well my lab is scheduled and paid for, but I am going to keep the exact date to myself πŸ™‚ A little mystery is good in a relationship sometimes right? I am twelves days out from the start of Narbik’s camp in Virgina. I have pretty much gone through all his prep material twice for the class. I am kind of bouncing off the walls. Since returning from Cisco Live last week I have been doing nothing but reading. I even went back to my CCNP books and took notes in preparation for the open-ended questions.

I did get my three books from Cisco Press yesterday. One was the new LAN Switching Configuration Handbook. It is a little smaller this time at only three hundred pages, which helped me finish it last night. I need to go back over the QOS section though. Catalyst QOS makes my brain hurt more than normal QOS. I have the Troubleshooting IP Routing Protocol book and the BGP-4 Configuration Handbook as well I would like to read over before Narbik’s.Γ‚ There is no way I am ever going to memorize much information from them, but maybe some things will stick πŸ™‚ I am a little under three months of prep time left before the lab, and I will be in Disney World for one week so that means a little less time. I am pretty sure after Narbik’s I will know what I need to sure up before the lab.

I have nowhere else to vent publicly so it might as well be here :)Γ‚ So my wife wanted to go see “No Doubt” at The Palace of Auburn Hills on July 3rd and I agreed to take her.Γ‚ We bought 2 tickets on ticketmaster online which came to $185.Γ‚ The transaction was fine, and I got my order report.Γ‚ I forgot about it until July basically.

To make a long story short, my wife has been ill, and we were unable to attend.Γ‚ Being the good brother than I am, I called ticketmaster to see if I could have my tickets (which were to be picked up at will call) transferred to my sister in-law so she could go.Γ‚ I was told on the phone by a ticketmaster rep that my tickets had been voided.Γ‚ I didn’t actually have tickets because of some sort of credit card issue.Γ‚ Mind you, I never received any sort of notice about any such issue.Γ‚ After a 10 minute conversation I was told the infamous “there is nothing we can do sir” you have to call your bank.Γ‚ They claimed they had refunded my $185.45 the same day.Γ‚ Of course, I never got my money.Γ‚ My bank confirmed it.

So I call back today to try my luck.Γ‚ Today another rep tells me basically they have no idea what I’m talking about — The ticket order was fine.Γ‚ Nothing was voided.Γ‚ Since the show is now OVER and nobody fucking got to GO of course there is no refund policy.Γ‚ I ask to speak to a manager.Γ‚ I wait 15 minutes.

Mind you, when you call one of the first things you hear is “your call may be recorded….” blah blah blah…so I tell this manager right off the shot, by the way I am recording this conversation (since they seem to have issues with their system tracking) and he says “I do not approve, thank you for calling” and hangs up!

I am so livid!Γ‚ What am I supposed to do?Γ‚ I am out $185 now, totally ripped off.

Well Cisco Live has come and gone for another year. I had a good time and learned a lot. Just meeting up with people on twitter and other bloggers was the best part. Can’t wait to do that again.

Sunday was my eight hour lecture class on R&S. It was more of a written lecture, but good material none the less. The handout they gave us was excellent and good open-ended question study material for sure. They did go over the MPLS stuff in detail, but I won’t need that just yet anyways πŸ˜‰

Monday was my eight hour lab day with a lab written by a proctor just for Cisco Live. We learned a lot in that class. We learned that the pass rate of the Beijing lab was running at 90% before they implemented the open-ended questions. We got to see the first one hundred questions written and used for the lab. He also hinted that the open-ended questions were a quick band aid for stopping the brain dumps and might come off in the near future. Maybe the troubleshooting section of the 4.0 lab will be enough? Kind of sucks we have to suffer here though because of the rampant cheating in the Beijing lab. The questions seemed very basic, the only concern I had was some of them seemed to be more from the CCNA/Network+ world, which makes things a little difficult if you get something you haven’t looked at in five years :). Guess I will have to go over some CCNA books I still have laying around. I moved pretty well through the lab until I hit redistribution and got lazy. Unlike what I do in practice labs and “tag” every redistribution, I didn’t here and it cost me a lot of time. My core seems solid though at this point. Now I have to work on the multicast/qos world…

The rest of the week consisted of the two hour breakout sessions during the day. I attended Brandon Carroll’s CCSP one and that was an excellent time. Even though I loathe security, he managed to keep me up and alert the whole time. He really has his stuff together on teaching and presenting. I would sit in his training classes any day.

The best overall session I attended geared toward the R&S world was the “Caring and Feeding of a EIGRP Network” by Don Slice. He was another great presenter, the two hours flew and were interesting and entertaining the entire time. I wish we actually got a four hour out of his session. The real world examples he used from his days as an escalation tech were fascinating. Just to hear how companies use EIGRP in large networks and how they troubleshoot them was great.

Well that is really it. The only regret I have at this point is I wish Cisco did this twice a year like in the old days with one on each coast πŸ™‚ I really hate flying across country! See you next year in Vegas!

Thanks to Mike Down as well at IPexpert for the IPexpert shirts I wore out there. Walking around the Cisco 360 stuff with them was fun πŸ˜€


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