Thursday, 27 November 2008

Update 27/11/08

Just a quick to post to say I am still around and alive. We just alive as someone decided it would be a good idea to knock me off my bike the other day. They did not even stop, they slowed down for a second and then sped off. Unfortunately the traffic lights further up the road changed just as I was running up to give them some serious abuse.

As well as being knocked off my real bike I have also been knocked off my CCIE bike over the last couple of weeks. I have been spending a lot of time doing up my house and DIY sucks up both your energy and your time. No sooner had I got all that work out the way and then my son was sick for a whole week and then to top it off I had to fly to one of our international locations for a couple of days.

So the studying has gone completely out the window. However in my foreign travels I did get to spend quite a bit of time working on the CCIE Command Memorizer and finding out how much stuff I had already forgotten. Anyhow here it to hoping I can get back on my CCIE bike next week and make some good progress in my studies.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

CCIE Shorts 16/11/08

Work and my personal life have conspired to get on top of me the last few weeks and stop my blogging and studying. Anyhow I am still alive just and making a little bit of progress when ever I have some free time. Hopefully with the Christmas change freeze on the way work should be less of an issue in a few weeks. Anyhow to get my used to blogging again I thought I would post on some CCIE shorts that I wanted to get up but have not had the chance.

Firstly the CCIE Command Memorizer has been up dated. As well as the usual fixes the major new functionality is that you can finish your command with the Enter (Return) key rather than the Tab key. Apparently there was a lot of requests for this functionality which is why another update was rushed out so soon after the previous one. I never had any problems using the Tab key in fact I got used to it fairly quickly but I will let you know how I get on with the new version. I must admit I have not had much time to use the Command Memorizer as work has been very hectic and my normal routine was to spend 30 minutes a day at lunchtime using it. At the moment thought 30 minutes at lunch seems a distant memory so I have not had a chance to use it for at least 2 weeks. There has also been a subscription version of the Command Memorizer released, which Cisco Network Engineer has the details of.

I also noticed that IPExpert are having a Christmas sale and the BLS is back down to $999. The most exciting part of the sale for me though is that the rack rental sessions have been reduced in price. I still wish they would sort out some rack rental times that worked a bit better for Europe but at the price they are at the moment they are well worth investigating. Anyhow click here to check out the sale.

I have not had a chance to check out the latest Internetwork Expert news but hopefully I will get a chance in the next few days. I have been trying to justify the $1800 upgrade to the end-to-end program but with the value of the pound at the moment the chances of me being able to justify it diminish by the day.

Hopefully I will have a chance to do a study update in the next few days and get some good technical posts going but do not hold your breath at the moment :-)

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Project 1:

I have been asked to help out on a little project for a friend and as I am not really up to date on all the wireless technologies out there I thought I would do a post to see if anyone else has any ideas.

Basically what I have been asked to do is setup is an outdoor back link to a primary satellite link. There will be a router probably Cisco as I believe they do ruggedised routers (any help on models greatly appreciated) which will be connected to a satellite link. The satellite link will be the primary connection used by a control station to connect to remote sensors in the field. What I need to do is provide a backup link for when the satellite link fails. The only time there should be any problems with the satellite link is when it is absolutely pouring with rain which tends to happen quite a lot on this island. I was looking into GPRS or 3G and at the moment GPRS is my favourite as Cisco have released a new GPRS card for their ISR routers. The initial plan is to connect to the remote sensors over the satellite link and then use the IP SLA service to check that the other end of the link is up. If the satellite link fails then I would want to fail over to the GRPS or 3G connection to make sure that the control station could still connect to the remote sensors.

So I have a couple of questions to anyone who know about these technologies or has setup similar systems. Firstly can you bond GRPS together to get a higher bandwidth connection with a Cisco router? Also how do GRPS and 3G perform in poor weather conditions? Any help out ruggedised routers and outdoor routing systems would be most appreciated.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Study Update 03/11/08

Okay so it has been a while since I posted a study update. As usual things have not been going to plan, I am still working a lot of hours which I need to do because of the overtime money I earn. This plays havoc with my study schedule because even if the change is taking place at 10:30 I have to get everything ready before that and so it completely disrupts my night of studying when ever I have to do a change.

I have however finally managed to finish the first week of the Internetwork Expert CoD I must have the record for taking the longest amount of time to finish the first week. I still have another week of the CoD to go which is probably going to take forever as well. I do find that some of the videos in both the Internetwork Expert and IPExpert CoD's are so long that I keep losing focus and I have to re-watch parts. I think that both IPExpert and Internetwork Expert really should think about cutting their videos down in to more manageable sections like CBT Nuggets do. (Internetwork Expert did announce they would be doing this in their CCIE 2.0 CoD's).

On the labbing front I have been working on some of the IPExpert Volume 1 labs which tend to kick my butt when I first try them. I do improve a lot when I have done at least one lab in a section but when I try the first lab in a new section/technology then I spend quite a bit of time stuck in the Proctor Guide. As I do not have a rack I have been using some Proctor Lab sessions to do the labs. The times the Proctor Lab sessions run are not the most convenient and I was getting up at 5 in the morning to work on the racks. However with the change of the clocks those sessions would now start at 4 in the morning my time which I can assure you is not very pleasant when it is cold and dark. I will have to look and see if the US clocks are going to change anytime soon or maybe Proctor Labs could think about changing some of the rack times to suit Europe and the rest of the world a little bit better.

I have not had much time for reading or spending on the Command Memorizer but I hope to do a bit more reading on BGP and get some more time on the Memorizer later this week. So the report at the moment is that I am treading water but I am still in the fight :-)