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Archive for March, 2010

Why I Need To Edit My Videos

Dear Packet Lab,

Your mellifluous voice along with your engaging content keeps me glued to my monitor.  My friends say you use fancy editing tricks to accomplish this, but I think that you just spit wisdom with a flow that needs no enhancement.

BTW, I want you inside me.

Why thank you imaginary e-mailer who writes things that no sane human would actually type.  While it is true that I rock a mic like no other fool, even I sometimes need to use editing.

Why I Need To Edit

Why I Need To Edit

Difference Between BSCI 642-901 and ROUTE 642-902 Exam Blueprints

As most of you already know the BSCI and BCMSN (I always hated that abbreviation) exams will be replaced (respectively) with the new ROUTE and SWITCH exams in the latest iteration of the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification.  Since the BSCI exam has historically covered routing technologies (Layer 3) while the BCMSN exam has concentrated on switching (Layer 2) technologies, this change should not result in too many differences between the old and new exams.  Of course, the fact that Cisco is dropping the ONT and ISCW exams and bringing back a separate, dedicated troubleshooting (TSHOOT) exam in the new three (rather than four) exam certification, means that some technologies will inevitably be dropped or moved to the ROUTE and SWITCH exams.

Over the next few posts I’ll look at what is changing between the old and new CCNP track.  First up: a look at the differences in the exam blueprints between the soon-to-be-retired BSCI 642-901 and the new ROUTE 642-902 exam.

NEW
CHANGED

Implement an EIGRP based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing EIGRP on a network
  • Create an EIGRP implementation plan
  • Create an EIGRP verification plan
  • Configure EIGRP routing
  • Verify EIGRP solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of EIGRP implementation and verification

Implement a multi-area OSPF Network, given a network design and a set of requirements

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing OSPF on a network
  • Create an OSPF implementation plan
  • Create an OSPF verification plan
  • Configure OSPF routing
  • Verify OSPF solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of OSPF implementation and verification plan

Implement an eBGP based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing eBGP on a network
  • Create an eBGP implementation plan
  • Create an eBGP verification plan
  • Configure eBGP routing
  • Verify eBGP solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of eBGP implementation and verification plan

Implement an IPv6 based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing IPv6 on a network
  • Create an IPv6 implementation plan
  • Create an IPv6 verification plan
  • Configure IPv6 routing
  • Configure IPv6 interoperation with IPv4
  • Verify IPv6 solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of IPv6 implementation and verification plan

Implement an IPv4 or IPv6 based redistribution solution, given a network design and a set of requirements

  • Create a redistribution implementation plan based upon the results of the redistribution analysis
  • Create a redistribution verification plan
  • Configure a redistribution solution
  • Verify that a redistribution was implemented
  • Document results of a redistribution implementation and verification plan
  • Identify the differences between implementing an IPv4 and IPv6 redistribution solution

Implement Layer 3 Path Control Solution

  • Create a Layer 3 path control implementation plan based upon the results of the redistribution analysis
  • Create a Layer 3 path control verification plan
  • Configure Layer 3 path control
  • Verify that a Layer 3 path control  was implemented
  • Document results of a Layer 3 path control implementation and verification plan
  • Implement basic teleworker and branch services
  • Describe broadband technologies
  • Configure basic broadband connections
  • Describe basic VPN technologies
  • Configure GRE
  • Describe branch access technologies

Removed:

Describe integrated IS-IS

  • Describe the features and benefits of integrated IS-IS.
  • Configure and verify integrated IS-IS.
Implement multicast forwarding
  • Describe IP Multicast (e.g., Layer-3 to Layer-2 mapping, IGMP, etc.).
  • Describe, configure, or verify IP multicast routing (i.e., PIM Sparse-Dense Mode).

A lot of the content has stayed the same between the two exams.  Given the inclusion of the phase “given a network design and a set of requirements” in most section headers and the copious use of the word ‘plan’, it looks like Cisco is putting more of an emphasis on design in the new ROUTE exam.  This makes a lot of sense in my opinion.  As a Professional, you should be able to not only configure the various routing options, but you should be able to aid with design in larger implementations and handle most (if not all) of the design in small to mid-level implementations.

This new exam blueprint lines up very well with the routing requirements of the current Routing and Switching CCIE Lab Exam, with the exception of the curious absence of multicast routing.  I haven’t done a stare and compare between the BCMSN and the new SWITCH exam, but I would be surprised if multicast moved over to that exam (or the TSHOOT exam).  This is odd because multicast is definitely on the current Routing and Switching Lab Exam.

The exclusion of ISIS surprises me less as this protocol will most likely end up exclusively in the Service Provider track.  ISIS is not currently on the Routing and Switching Lab Exam.  That’s not to say that ISIS is not important, but you’re far more likely to find it implemented in a Service Provider network than in an Enterprise network.

I am surprised at the absence of MPLS in this exam.  Perhaps it’s present in the SWITCH exam (MPLS is a layer 2.5 protocol so that’s possible) given the presence of that technology on the RS Lab.  It may be the case that – along with ISIS – MPLS gets delegated to the Service Provider track.

The bottom line is that a very large percentage of the technologies covered in the BSCI exam have made it into the new ROUTE exam.  What will be interesting is how Cisco handles the design elements in the new ROUTE exam.

Cisco SDM: The King Is Dead, Long Live The King

Those of you who are studying for the Cisco CCNA Security exam are probably aware that this exam includes a heavy dose of Cisco Security Device Manager (SDM). Cisco SDM 2.5 is the latest version of that program. In this case, “latest” is relative as that version was released in December of 2007. It’s been slightly over 2 years now since SDM has been updated.

Well, it turns out that 2.5 will be the last version of Cisco SDM. This is not a big surprise as Cisco announced back in 2008 that they would be replacing SDM. Now Cisco has officially sounded the death toll for SDM and officially announced its replacement: Cisco Configuration Professional.

Hi,

I am the Product Manager for Cisco Router and Security Device Manager (SDM).

You are receiving this mail because you have downloaded a copy of SDM 2.5 from www.cisco.com/go/sdm in the last 60 days.

We are currently in the process of initiating the End of Life for SDM.

SDM will now be replaced by Cisco Configuration Professional (CCP). A copy of the latest version CCP 2.1  is available for a free download from www.cisco.com/go/ciscocp.

CCP incorporates all the functionality of SDM and has added support for  the following:

Ø  Additional security feature configurations  like GETVPN
Ø  Wireless
Ø  Unified Communications  (CME, CUE, SRST, CME as SRST)
Ø  New interfaces such as 3G
Ø  The new ISR G2 routers
Ø   We will also continue to enhance existing security features in CCP in future releases

Some additional resources:

List of router platforms supported

Regards,

Shankar Ramachandran
Technical Marketing Engineer
Access Routing Technology Group

I’ll blog more on the differences between the two programs in the future (basically they’ve added a bunch of new features, but CCP is not supported on some platforms which SDM is supported on), but the question is: What does this mean for Cisco exams?  It probably means that we’ll be seeing a newer version of the CCNA Security exam in the near future with focus shifted from SDM to CCP.  I’m sure that there’s no rush to take that exam because of imminent changes, so you’re still cool to study with SDM.  I would suggest that you do take CCP for a spin though.  It’s more feature-rich than SDM and – although it does not support some platforms – I can see CCP being used extensively in the enterprise, while I don’t think that you’re likely to see SDM “in the wild.”

Packet Lab Finally Launching

I’m about to go have a beer…or 20.  I finally launched packet-lab.com  It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for the InterWebs.  :-)  The structure is built and – apart from a few minor issues/tweaks – looks and performs pretty good.  Now I can finally stop playing with Joomla, PHP, CSS, Moodle (for now), MySQL….  I can now concentrate on adding content.  I’m currently working on adding quizzes to all current lessons and will (hopefully) start adding labs sometime next week.

Currently Reading
CCNA Security Official Exam Certification Guide  (Exam 640-553)
274 / 672 Pages
CCNA Security Official Exam Certification Guide (Exam 640-553)
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