Archive for the ‘Cisco’ Category

Information to review

August 1st, 2011 No comments

I don’t know about you but when I am learning concepts for the first time, the general idea seems to stick but no necessarily the specific details. I typically like to cover these details in-depth over the weekend right before the test. So here is my current list of topics I want to review with a fine toothed comb.

OSPF route summarization

EIGRP route summarization (auto?)

Troubleshooting IP routing

Troubleshooting routing protocols

Frame-relay configuration

Network address Translation


(update: all sections completed)

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:

ICND2 Studying Continues and exam date set

July 27th, 2011 No comments

I’ve completed the training section twice now and and past halfway in the Wendell Odom ICND2 cert book and I am feeling really good about the materials covered so far. I have the same sense of clarity with the topics fully covered in the book so far (vlans, stp, vtp, vlsm, access-control lists and route/switch trouble-shooting) as I did before taking (and passing) the last certification. I scheduled the test for August 8th which leaves me just under two weeks to go and a bunch of topics to fully cover, including OSPF, EIGRP, point to point link, frame-relay, VPNs and ipv6 plus my final prep.

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:

One of those nights…

June 27th, 2011 No comments

Studying for the CCNA ICND2 exam has moved into the final countdown, with only 3 weeks to go until the test. Up until this point I have focused on each concept as it has come up and not really thought about all the concepts covered on the ICND2 exam. Well, the sheer amount of content hit me like a ton of bricks tonight. I can’t believe how much information is covered in this exam. You could seriously split the exam in two with routing as one test and switching as another and they would still be two beefy exams. Though, to be honest, I felt this exact same way about ICND1 at about this time and did not have any issues passing the exam, so here’s to hoping the same applies to ICND2.

Anyway, tonights topic was the Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) routing protocol. Commonly used as a replacement to EIGRP for those networks not running cisco equipment. OSPF is a link state protocol with each router forming a map of the network. OSPF uses the Hello protocol to inform its neighbors about the routes it knows and periodically letting it’s neighbors know that it is still up and running. This is much more efficient than a distance vector protocol, such as RIP, which advertises it’s entire routing table with each broadcast.

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:

Round 2: Fight!

June 23rd, 2011 No comments

I had a chat with one of our network engineers a couple of days ago regarding the path of understanding your brain seems to take while studying for a Cisco exam. The first time you go through the information your brain says, “that’s cool I get the general concept, but I don’t think I could flawlessly implement it without having to look some things up”. The second time through goes something like this, “ok, I understand this stuff and I think I can implement it without breaking things horribly”.  The last time through, two weeks before the exam, “I understand this information, quick take the test while the nitty-gritty details stick!”. And finally, when you move on to another more difficult test you look back on the old stuff and think, “I remember when ICND2 stuff used to be hard, what have I gotten myself into now!”. 🙂

Speaking of studying, here is a quick run down of where I am with the ICND2 exam prep:

In the past couple of weeks I finished up the cbtnuggets ICND2 course for the first time. Similar to studying for the ICND1 exam I am making a second run through the content on, at this point I just finished covering the switching part of the cbt course material. Once I am done with CBT for the second time I will hit the cisco press book for the ICND2 exam until I take the test.

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:

Frame Relay

June 2nd, 2011 No comments

First, a little disclaimer, Frame Relay is falling out of favor as a WAN connectivity solution for organizations, MPLS and VPN (and MPLS VPN) connections have risen in its place. Alas, Frame Relay is still covered in the ICND2 exam, so we are going to cover it anyway!

Frame Relay is designed to cheaply connect to points together through a network providers cloud. Versus a dedicated leased line Frame Relay is much cheaper because it uses the concept of shared bandwidth. You are guaranteed a Committed Information Rate (CIR) for your data however, your connection is allowed to burst above the CIR if there is additional bandwidth available and based on what you pay for.

Multiple Frame Relay connections can share one serial connection on a router, which helps save on the cost of additional WICs that are needed for multiple dedicated leased lines.

There are two standard Frame Relay designs. The first is using a multipoint configuration where the ip of each router in the network is in the same subnet as every other router. This however, causes some issues with split horizon. Thus, the preferred design method would be a point-to-point design. The point-to-point design takes advantage of sub-interfaces and multiple subnets to avoid the problems with split horizon and a multipoint configuration.

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:

Access List, NAT and VPN connections, oh my!

May 24th, 2011 No comments

Another set of terms and concepts that almost every IT professional tosses around but does not necessarily understand the whole story and configuration behind them. For the couple of weeks this is what I’ve been covering in the prep for the ICND2 exam, and let me tell you, they are awesome. All three of these have their own purpose but are typically combined to offer a form of basic network security on your router/end point.

Access lists at their core are used to permit or deny access from one section of a network to another section of the network but, are also used in configuring NAT.

NAT is used to allow internal private IP addresses to access external resources by translating them to public addresses. There are multiple versions of NAT, the most popular being PAT which allows the use of one external IP address to represent multiple internal private network addresses. This is done by assigning a unique source port to the end of your public IP address for example internal source IP address and port which would translate to on your endpoint router.

VPN, or Virtual Private Network, connections allow hosts or networks to connect to other networks over the internet via an encrypted connection. This allows employees of your organization to work from anywhere in the world and still securely access resources at the main office as well as connecting branch offices back to the main office without the need of expensive dedicated connections.

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:


May 10th, 2011 No comments

The switching section of the ICND2 studying is not complete (for now) and I am on to routing protocols! ICND1 mostly focused on RIP v2 (distance vector), this time around we are looking at link state routing protocols specifically OSPF (Open Shortest Path First). Today’s topics covered the concepts of router summarization, areas and the contents of the OSPF hello packet.

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:

CCNA/ICND2 studying has begun!

May 3rd, 2011 No comments

Ok, so I am a little late making this post, but I began studying for the CCNA exam about a week after passing the ICND1 exam (CCENT Certification). My wife requested that I take some time off as I was becoming a little excessive about studying.

So far I am about 1/3 of the way through the material on Topics covered include a full review of the ICND1 materials including some new basic management commands to make life a bit easier (I’m looking at you ‘do’ command). I’ve also covered VLANS, VTP and STP. This is the meat of cisco folks, the good stuff, time to dig in!

Categories: CCNA, Cisco, ICND2 Tags:

The Results!

April 12th, 2011 No comments

I took the 640-822  ICND1, CCENT exam yesterday (on my birthday, woot!) and passed, with authority! I have been sailing around on cloud 9 since then.

Now onto the ICND2 exam/CCNA certification!

Categories: CCENT, Cisco, ICND1 Tags:

Final day of Study

April 10th, 2011 No comments

Here is my plan for the last day of study:

a. hit the key topics in all the chapters

b. cover all the IOS commands at the end of each chapter

c. cover the terms in the back of the book

d. practice subnetting (see cbt nuggets printout)

Categories: CCENT, Cisco, ICND1 Tags: