Book Review: CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Official Cert Guide Library (5th Edition)

ccie r/s Jan 28, 2016

If you’re preparing for the CCIE R&S Written Exam or Lab, you need a collection of training materials. Perhaps you watch some training videos; you download a few whitepapers from Cisco’s website; and you read some solid Cisco Press books. For example, Routing TCP/IP Volume I and Volume II by Jeff Doyle should definitely be on your reading list.

Another recent contender, and the focus of this book review, is CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Official Cert Guide Library (5th Edition) by Narbik Kocharians, Peter Paluch, and Terry Vinson. The library is a collection of two volumes. Here’s a high-level overview of the content in each volume:

Volume 1

  • Layer 2 Technologies
  • IP Addressing and Services
  • IGPs (e.g. RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, IS-IS, and Route Redistribution)

Volume 2

  • BGP
  • Quality of Service (QoS)
  • WAN Technologies
  • Multicast
  • Security
  • MPLS

You can check out a sample chapter (on QoS) HERE.

I’ve recently been reading through these two books and...

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Cisco Learning Labs – Review

ccna r/s ccnp r/s Jan 12, 2016

How do you get hands-on experience when you’re preparing for your CCNA R/S or CCNP R/S certifications? One option is using the Cisco Learning Labs. You can check out my review here.

Links to Purchase Cisco Learning Labs:






Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (Collab. & R/S) #7945

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CCIE Lab Builder – Review

ccie r/s Jan 12, 2016

Amajor challenge for CCIE R/S Lab candidates is getting their hands on a huge topology, similar to what they’ll face in the actual lab. One option is to use the CCIE Lab Builder, and you can check out my review here.

You can purchase the CCIE Lab Builder here:

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (Collab. & R/S) #7945

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Your Route to Cisco Career Success – Part 4: Time Alchemy

career success Dec 20, 2015

While having lofty goals is key to propelling your career into the stratosphere, if you don’t have time to take action on your goals, what good are they? I shouldn’t say that you don’t have time. After all, we all have the same amount of time during a day. Unfortunately, our days can become filled with distraction (e.g. Facebook®, television, and those people in your life that are “time vampires”). That’s the focus of this blog posting: Time Alchemy, which is the fourth in the Your Route to Cisco Career Success blog postings.

Life… is a timed test. No pressure.
– Kevin Wallace

This quote came to me after having a conversation with one of my daughters about a timed test she had at school. She had a limited amount of time to answer a certain number of questions, and it occurred to me that life is the same way. We’re here on earth for a limited time, and we’re presented with questions to answer and problems...

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The 3 Things I Do To Start My Day

career success Dec 07, 2015

The way you start your day can have a huge impact on your productivity. Over the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with creating a “morning ritual,” which is a collection of energizing and motivational procedures to get me ready for the day.

I’ve tried several combinations of activities, and although I haven’t formulated the magic elixir  just yet, I wanted to share some of the procedures that I’ve found most impactful.

Activity #1: Stay Away from e-Mail

This first activity is almost a non-activity, meaning that it’s something that I don’t do. What I’m striving not to do (although I’m not perfect at this yet) is checking my e-mail for the first three hours of the day. Then, after focusing on my top priorities for the first three hours of the day, I’ll check my e-mail at about 11:00 AM. Then, I close my e-mail application and don’t check it again until around 4:00 PM. Of course, if your job is...

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Troubleshooting – The “Deal Breaker” (CCIE Collaboration Lab)

ccie collaboration Nov 18, 2015

Even if you know how to setup every technology on the CCIE Collaboration Lab, you can still fail if you don’t troubleshoot effectively. Not only will you need to troubleshoot any configuration mistakes you might make, you’ll need to troubleshoot issues Cisco injected into the lab before you ever set foot in the room. 

To help you overcome those troubleshooting obstacles, this video points out some common troubleshooting issues and shows you how to fix them.


Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (Collab. & R/S) #7945

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Your Route to Cisco Career Success – Part 3: The Curiosity Key

career success Nov 18, 2015

Walt Disney is one of my personal heroes, and the following quote from him beautifully sets the stage for this blog post’s topic, curiosity:

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. 

– Walt Disney

Curiosity about how something works spurs on mastery of that topic. It motivates us to want to learn more. This blog post examines some of the benefits of having a healthy curiosity, steps to further develop your curiosity, and another tale from the trenches that illustrates how curiosity led to the development of one of my most popular Cisco training videos.

The Benefits of Curiosity

Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Are you curious how curiosity can help us in our Cisco careers? Let’s consider just a few benefits of curiosity.

  • Motivation: Becoming...
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Your Framework for CCIE Collaboration Lab Success

ccie collaboration Nov 10, 2015

Are you preparing for the CCIE Collaboration Lab? If so, this new video can dramatically improve your odds of passing the lab. 

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (Collab. & R/S) #7945

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Overview of Cisco’s CCNA Collaboration Certification

ccna collaboration Oct 18, 2015

Cisco recently retired their CCNA Voice and CCNP Voice tracks, and have replaced those telephony-centric tracks with the new CCNA Collaboration and CCNP Collaboration tracks. While these tracks do cover traditional IP telephony concepts, the big difference is video.

The name Collaboration stems from how people can more effectively collaborate with one another if they interact using both voice and video, and depending on your budget, this collaboration experience can be extremely immersive (e.g. Cisco’s TelePresence solution).

Early next year, I’ll be releasing a series of CCNA Collaboration training videos. However, if this track interests you, this blog post will get you started.

The first bit of interesting news is that there are no prerequisites! Yep, you read that right. You do not have to have a CCNA in Routing and Switching to earn your CCNA in Collaboration. However, you do have to pass two exams:

  • Exam #1: 210-060 (CICD: Implementing Cisco...
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Your Route to Cisco Career Success – Part 2: When Life Gets In The Way

career success Oct 09, 2015

In a previous blog post we considered how to effectively set our goals to reach our “destination address.” However, no matter how well we plan, it seems that occasionally, life gets in the way. That’s the focus of this blog post, how to keep moving forward against the current of life.

When Life Gets in the Way

Your goals are set, and you’re cruising down that metaphorical road to success when all of a sudden you notice a detour sign, because the road ahead is closed. That’s what seems to happen all too often in our careers. Things are going well, and then some life event happens forcing us to take a detour from our intended path.

Staying with our metaphor of driving down the road of success, let’s imagine that your car has a navigation system. When you veer off your planned route, the navigation system dutifully recomputes your route and tells you how you can still get to your destination, even from the back road you now find yourself on. (As a...

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