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BlueWolf's Howl

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June 26, 2011

Almost Done

I was able to hit the work rack again today! Granted, two days in a row doesn't exactly qualify as a new habit, but it's a start.

The rack is almost complete. *GASP* I had no idea I was so close. I went through each device - they are all now reachable from the Access Server. Not all have every interface at the initial configuration, but most of it has been entered.

I had to do a little alteration. Sometimes the S0/1 in the INE diagram is actually S0/0 based on what I have and what's connected, but that's not all that important. However, I do realize that it can lead to confusion. So as I'm verifying all my connections, I'm also diagramming the lab configuration.

I was able to move a Network Module from BB3 to BB1 and it all just fell into place. I currently have exactly enough serial interfaces to connect everything. Well, everything except the Frame Relay switch.

This morning I ordered two modules for the 4500 that I'm using as a FR switch. I need 3 more serial interfaces on that device and this will give me 8. Cost less than $30 for the modules. Then I found that I need at least 3 more cables (DTE to DCE) to connect the routers to the FR switch. I just bought 4 of them - for about $50. I have to admit - I'm a bit shocked. I really thought I needed a few hundred in equipment - or would need to scrounge around for quite a bit in old equipment piles to get what I needed. I think if I knew I was that close, I might have been a bit more motivated to start back on it.

Just so I don't forget or lose sight of it -- I passed the written test (for the second time) on 24 Nov 2011.

You must make an initial attempt of the CCIE lab exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE written exam. If you do not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, you must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.

So my 'drop dead' date is May 2013 for attempting the lab. My goal is to take it sometime before 24 Nov. That gives me about 5 months to get through all the material. Actually - when I look at it - I have about two weeks of learning/honing my skills that needs to be done. All the rest is building confidence. At $1400 per attempt (just for the test itself), you really gotta be confident that you have a chance of passing before you lay down that credit card.

I'm glad that I procrastinated enough to not have to deal with the 'open-ended' questions. They really sounded like something that was a bit too ambiguous and subjective. I'm looking forward to the trouble-shooting section. Regardless of how hard the actual material is, the environment (working a ticket) is something that is very familiar to me. I do a lot more troubleshooting than building from scratch. Most of what I work with is already existing infrastructure that is being modified or optimized in some way. Or -- it's broke and I gotta fix it...

I will probably still need more workbooks from INE before all is said and done. But - that can wait until I get through the two workbooks I already purchased. BTW -- great job INE! Once you purchase something - if it upgrades, you get to download the newest version - without any additional fees.

Hopefully my updates here (and in my Notes blog) will be more frequent now that I'm starting to buckle down and get this done.

Posted by BlueWolf on June 26, 2011 10:42 PM