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BlueWolf's Howl

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January 16, 2010

Work - Life Balance

One of the unexpected benefits of the lab rack at work is a chance at a work/life balance. You will probably hear about this being a necessary thing during CCIE studies. It's true.

You don't want to work so hard at it so hard that you burn out. You don't want to drive away your family - what good is achievement if it costs you the ones you love? And - you don't want to swing too far the other way, either. If you're around distractions, you can easily be tempted. There's always something that 'needs doing' around the house. Having a 'lab' at a separate location can help to define boundaries and achieve balance.

So I had my first 'session' at my work rack. I didn't get to use the workbooks yet because I'm starting from scratch. I spent the first 8 hours digging through the available equipment and trying to shoehorn it into the requirements. There were some adaptations to be made, but I think it might work.

I got lucky and was able to snag 2 3550s and 2 3560s - which sets things up nicely for the switching portion. The routers were a bit harder to acquire. I ended up with 2 2612s and another 2600. There's a 2500 in there along with some 2800s. I'm short one serial interface, but I think I might have a card to tie that up with a bow. That gives me the proper number of routers with the correct interfaces. The documents on the INE site call for 2 2610XMs, 1 2611XM and 3 1841s. It doesn't specify any requirements for BB1, BB2 and BB3 - but I used some 3845s for that. From what it looks like, those routers just need to have ethernet interfaces and perhaps run BGP.

I will probably have to take two of my routers in to flush everything out. I didn't find anything for an access server, but I did find a few sets of octal cables. I also didn't find anything for a frame relay switch, but I have one here that I can toss into the mix. Not sure if I'll have enough interfaces on it, but I noticed network modules that may fit and perhaps I can toss a few more WICs in to get it up to snuff. It's a work in progress and I have to cut myself some slack that I didn't just open boxes and rack it all up.

How far did I get today? Well, I found the equipment and racked it. I have the CAT5 cables at the ready and started to plug them in. However, I realized that I thought about bringing my adapter, but didn't manage to put it in my backpack... So without being able to log into the switches and clear the configs/shut the ports, etc., I figured the best course would be to stop there and go at it again tomorrow. [With the adapter.]

What I'd like to do in my wishful, fantasy mode - is go in and get everything racked and cabled in two hours and start in on the exercises. However, realistically and practically -- as long as I get the rack up and running before Friday, I'm ahead of the game. I wouldn't have had the money to rent a rack until Friday anyway. And there's really no rush - since nothing has been scheduled and I really have until September to sit for the lab. So I'm actually doing far better than I realize at first blush.

So now it's time to update the lab stats and relax. Tomorrow's another day.

Posted by BlueWolf on January 16, 2010 08:27 PM