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Book Review : CCIE Security v4.0 Practice Labs by Natalie Timms

I have been studying for my CCIE Security since late last year, with a short hiatus after Cisco Live due to health issues -- more on that in a later post. When I saw that Natalie Timms -- former manager for the CCIE Security exam program, was writing a book focused on practical labs for the exam, I was thrilled! I had to get my hands on a copy.

I had met Natalie a few years ago in San Diego at Cisco Live, and she is simply an awesome lady. Sharp, funny and very talented; needless to say I had high expectations of her book.

I did not get a copy of the book in time for it to help much with my lab studies for an attempt in mid-June, but walking out of the lab and then reading this book was eye opening.

All CCIE Security candidates want to read this book. It provides a focus on the scope and types of tasks you will face on the real lab, without going anywhere near actually teaching the exam. You cannot memorize this book and pass the lab -- you WILL fail if you try. It is a very fine line to walk and the author nailed it! Read More »

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Value of Cisco Certifications: Making Money Vs. Study

Imagine that you see a Tweet today inviting you to apply for a part-time networking job, something you can do in addition to your normal job. You appear to be qualified for the job, and the work looks interesting as well. However, it requires enough of your time so that you would have to set aside your current professional development plans, including study for that next Cisco certification. The job lasts one year.

Would you take the job, setting aside your certification plans for a year? How much money would you need to make in that job before it would entice you to abandon your learning and certification plans for a year?

This post works through a couple of ideas (like the above) about how to quantify the value of a certification. Many people expect that more skills and certifications will give them more Read More »

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Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN) Setup.

Since DMVPN has been added to the CCIE v5 BluePrint (http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/exams/docs/ccieRS_Lab5.pdf) I figured that now was just as good of a time as any to write this blog.

DMVPN stands for Dynamic Multipoint VPN and it is an effective solution for dynamic secure overlay networks.

DMVPN is combination of the following technologies:

  • Multipoint GRE (mGRE)
  • Next-Hop Resolution Protocol (NHRP)
  • Dynamic Routing Protocol (EIGRP, RIP, OSPF, BGP)
  • Dynamic IPsec encryption
  • Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF)

Topology that we will be starting with:

Colby's Blog Image 1

First thing will be to complete the base configurations on R1, R2 & R3. This will consist of configuring the IP addresses on the above interfaces and setting up the routing protocol to distribute the routes. In this case we will use EIGRP 123. Read More »

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Staying Connected at Northern Kentucky University

July 3, 2014 at 9:07 am PST

Northern Kentucky University is among the fastest growing universities in Kentucky. It hosts over 15,000 students with about 13,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. The goal of the wireless program at NKU is to provide secure, robust and ubiquitous wireless access throughout the campus, both indoors and outdoors. This ensures that students always stay connected and feel at home. The classrooms are equipped with smart technology to ensure that the teachers can benefit from technology when collaborating with students. The IT team has blanketed the libraries, the classrooms, the dorm-rooms as well as the outdoor areas with Wi-Fi. In the previous blog in 2012, we described how the Cisco 7.5 release allows networks to recover with no client re-authentication in the rare event of your primarily wireless LAN controller goes down.

nku1

At a Glance:

Located in: the Highland Heights Kentucky

Number of students: 15,000 of which about 2000 stay in residence halls

Number of teachers/staff: 2000

# WLAN clients: Approximately 8500 concurrent clients

Access-Point Model and Units:  1200 units of AP models including AP702W, 3502, 3602, 3702, 1550 and a few older Access Points which are being phased out

Controller Model and Units: 2 Pairs of WiSM2 operating in 7.6.120.0

Switch Models: Various models 2960, 3650, 3850, 3750X and 6500

Prime Infrastructure: 1.4.2

Mobility Services Engine: 7.6

 Deployment Details: We talked to Christopher Johnson, the Senior Infrastructure Systems Analyst II at Northern Kentucky University to capture some of his thoughts around their choice of this solution and the associated benefits. Read More »

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Crucible and Chrysalis: The personal value of the expert-level certification process

Introduction

The choice to begin pursuing an expert-level certification is often made lightly. After experiencing the training, study and testing process of the associate-level and the professional-level certifications, it is understandable to expect that the expert level is more of the same; more advanced, but essentially a logical progression. This is a fair conclusion and is more accurate than it sounds, but it’s important to consider that the ‘more advanced’ aspect goes beyond the topics. The process itself is more involved… and that changes everything. Read More »

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