Your Route to Cisco Career Success – Part 7: A Certified Success

career success Mar 07, 2016

Having the appropriate Cisco initials after your name (e.g. CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE) is a shortcut way of letting someone know your relative skill level. Even if you’ve got the skills and are at the top of your game, you still might be passed over when you’re looking for a new job, because that new job explicitly requires a specific certification. For many Cisco professionals (including me), earning certifications is less about impressing others and more about pushing yourself, to see how good you really are and what you’re capable of. I always get a rush when attaining a new certification and start thinking about what’s next. Also, if you’re a consultant, having a nice collection of Cisco certifications is an instant way to establish credibility with potential clients. You could even use your hard-earned credentials in your marketing materials.

The Spectrum of Cisco Certifications

Hopefully, you’re convinced that earning certifications is a worthy...

Continue Reading...

Fundamentals of VRF-Lite

ccie r/s ccnp r/s Feb 24, 2016

Have you ever used some sort of virtualization software (e.g. vmware) to get multiple virtualized servers running on a single physical server? It’s a great way to save resources, by eliminating the need for extra physical servers. Well, similar to how we can virtualize multiple servers on a single physical server, we can virtualize multiple routers on a single physical router.

Each of these virtual routers can have their own independent IP routing table and are logically isolated from the other virtual routers residing in the same physical router. This can offer a solution to service providers wanting to keep their customers’ network traffic (including the IP routing tables of customers’ routers) isolated from one another. Or, in a large enterprise, perhaps you have a design requirement to segregate different applications (e.g. voice, video, and data).

One solution Cisco offers to make this router virtualization possible is called VRF-Lite. Some literature...

Continue Reading...

Your Route to Cisco Career Success – Part 6: Getting Your Hands Dirty

career success Feb 17, 2016

While documentation is indispensable in your mastery of Cisco technologies, at some point you have to “get your hands dirty.” In other words, you have to actually configure the routers, switches, and other devices about which you’re studying. For some people, this is a trivial task, because they work with Cisco gear in their day-to-day jobs. For others, who might be self-studying, getting their hands-on practice equipment could be a bit more challenging. In this blog post, we’ll consider a few options for getting you the hands-on experience that is vital to your career.

Using Equipment at Work

If you work with Cisco equipment on a routine basis as part of your employment, you are in a very fortunate situation. You have access to, potentially, very expensive equipment, which you didn’t have to buy.

There is an important distinction to be made here. Do you have access only to equipment currently in use, or do you have access to spare equipment, which you...

Continue Reading...

How to Calculate an EUI-64 Address

ccna r/s network plus Feb 09, 2016

An IPv6 address is 128 bits in length, and like an IPv4 address, it’s divided into prefix bits (representing the network segment) and host bits (uniquely identifying a host on that network segment). A common approach is to use 64 bits to represent the network segment and 64 bits to represent the host on that network segment.

While you could manually configure the host bits for a router interface, a more efficient approach might be to automatically calculate those host bits using a 64-bit Extended Unique Identifier, known as EUI-64. For example, let’s say you have a router interface on the IPv6 network of 2000:1::/64. You could (in interface configuration mode of your Cisco IOS router) enter the command:

ipv6 address 2000:1::/64 eui-64

This command tells the interface to use 2000:1:: as the network portion of the IPv6 address and to automatically calculate the 64-bit host portion of the IPv6 address.

EUI-64 uses an interface’s MAC address as the basis of...

Continue Reading...

Your Route to Cisco Career Success – Part 5: Tomes of Wisdom

career success Jan 31, 2016

In high school, I really, really disliked reading. My reading speed was slow, and I found most of the assigned books were boring to me. Since this was back in the 1980s, before audio books really took off, I actually got my mother to read the books into a cassette recorder. That allowed me to listen to the books without going through what I considered to be the agony of reading.

A few years later, I discovered that my disdain for reading was based on the specific books assigned in high school. I actually loved reading about things that interested me. In fact, today, reading is what I mainly enjoy doing in my free time.

At some point during the 1990s, my local Cisco sales rep gave me my first Cisco Press book. I was hooked and started to assemble a Cisco Press library. Little did I suspect that one day my name would be on several Cisco Press titles.

My favorite quote about books comes from the late Jim Rohn, who was a personal development speaker.

Poor people have big TVs. Rich...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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

If you enjoyed this article, you might also want to subscribe to my podcast:



Continue Reading...

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

If you enjoyed this video, you might also want to subscribe to my podcast:



Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

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...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step Opt-In

Please submit your information below to receive updates from Kevin Wallace Training: