Accessing the Cisco DevNet Sandbox

ccna collaboration Nov 11, 2016

If you’re studying for a Cisco certification, you might be debating what to do for your hands-on practice. Will you buy a home lab? What about using a simulator or an emulator?

Well, before spending any money, consider Cisco’s DevNet Sandbox. For example, let’s say you’re studying Collaboration technologies. You can (for FREE) access a Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) cluster (in your choice of CUCM version). You can even (virtually) get your hands on an IM and Presence server.

When I first discovered this, I actually felt guilty using it. After all, this resource is at Cisco’s DevNet site, and I’m not a developer. Fortunately, I was talking with one of Cisco’s DevNet folks at Cisco Live this year, and they told me it was not limited to developers. In fact, they encouraged me to let certification students know about this resource, and I’ve got to say it’s remarkable.

Please check out this new video I created to show...

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Your Framework for Cisco Exam Preparation

You want to get your first (or next) Cisco certification, but do you have a specific preparation strategy, or are you just winging it? If you do have a structured framework you’re confidently executing against, congratulations! If not, allow me to share my seven-step framework for Cisco exam preparation.

Step #1: Identify Your Training Source

When it comes to learning what you need to learn, the good news is, you’ve got options. Let’s compare a few:

Cisco Learning Partner

The traditional approach, and the way I trained certification candidates for nearly fourteen years, is to take an official Cisco course from a Cisco Learning Partner (CLP). You might have the option of taking your course at a training facility or on-line, and you typically get access to the gear you need to perform lab tasks during the course. You also get Cisco’s official course material. However, a gotcha that many people don’t realize is that Cisco typically has different groups...

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BPDUGuard: A Spanning Tree Protocol Enhancement

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Aug 30, 2016

Yet another new topic on the new CCNA R/S v3 exam is BPDUGuard, which is an enhancement to Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) available on our Cisco Catalyst switches. Specifically, BPDUGuard can help prevent a Layer 2 topological loop by placing a port configured for PortFast into an Error-Disabled state if that port receives a Bridge Protocol Data Unit (BPDU).

This video demonstrates the operation of BPDUGuard, and then trains you on how to configure this simple yet powerful feature.

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945

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QoS Traffic Markings

One of the new topics on the new CCNA R/S v3 exam is Quality of Service (QoS). Having taught QoS for many years, I’ve noticed that one of the topics students find most challenging is QoS Traffic Markings.

This topic is all about how the binary math works behind the scenes to mark our traffic with specific levels of priority. So, to help demystify this topic, I created a new video (which is part of my upcoming CCNA R/S v3 Complete Video Course), and I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945

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

iTunes: http://kwtrain.com/podcast

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5 Tips for Your Technical Resume

career success Aug 09, 2016

You’ve earned your certifications. Maybe you have a college degree, and hopefully some technical experience. Now, it’s time to sell yourself to a prospective employer. We all know first impressions matter, and when it comes to the job seeker, that first impression is often in the form of a resume.

Personally, I’ve poured through tons of resumes while hiring Network Engineers when I was a Network Manager at a university. Of course, I’ve been on the other side of the table too, and have updated and fine-tuned my resume dozens of times.

Resumes need to quickly let a hiring manager get a sense for how you can help their company meet their objectives. Towards that end, let’s check out five quick tips for honing your technical resume.

Tip #1: Be Brief

A mistake I’ve made in my resumes, is being way too verbose. What I failed to realize is more is not necessarily better when it comes to resumes. A hiring manager is wading through a pile of resumes....

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APIC-EM Path Trace ACL Analysis Tool

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2016

When you’re reviewing the list of topics on the new CCNA R/S version 3 exam, one topic that’s sure to stand out is the APIC-EM Path Trace ACL Analysis Tool. That’s a very long name for a very new feature, and this video demonstrates it for you. Specifically, you’ll see how we can have the APIC-EM discover a network topology and then synthetically predict how traffic will flow (or be blocked) as it travels through a network.

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945

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

iTunes: http://kwtrain.com/podcast

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) Simplified

ccna r/s Jul 26, 2016

The recently announced CCNA R/S version 3 includes a collection of topics falling under the category of Network Programmability. The underlying technology here is Software Defined Network (SDN), which allows network device configurations to be orchestrated through software applications. Basically, instead of accessing a router or switch command line to enter traditional Cisco IOS commands, we can write a program (typically written in the Python programming language) to make changes to one or more devices. So, the purpose of this blog post is for you to learn the theory and architecture behind SDN.

The Promise of SDN

Traditional networks, where we individually configure routers and switches, simply do not scale well nor do they adapt well to dynamic environments. For example, maybe you run an e-commerce business, and you’re about to announce a big sale. To handle the anticipated spike in traffic, you spin up some virtual machines (VMs) and want to route a...

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WAN Topologies

ccna r/s Jul 19, 2016

A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network with geographically separate locations, and these locations can be interconnected in a variety of topologies. This video shows you the three WAN topologies you need to know for the CCNA R/S version 3 exam.

 

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945, CCSI 20061

 

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

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IPv4 Static Routing

ccna r/s Jul 05, 2016

The new CCNA R/S version 3 exam requires you to know how to configure static routing, for both IPv4 and IPv6 networks.

This video, which is a sample from my upcoming CCNA R/S v3 Complete Video Course, shows you how to configure four types of IPv4 static routes:

  • Static Network Route
  • Static Host Route
  • Static Default Route
  • Floating Static Route

Kevin Wallace, CCIEx2 (R/S and Collaboration) #7945, CCSI 20061

 

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

iTunes: http://kwtrain.com/podcast

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Your Learning Calendar

career success Jun 28, 2016

There are lots of things that I intend to get around to, sooner or later. One day, I’m going to clean out a bunch of old clothes from my closet. One day, I’m going to clean out my garage, and get it organized. The sobering fact, however, is I’ve had these intentions for a LONG time, and I’ve done nothing about them. If I were truly committed to getting these things done, I would put them on my calendar.

What gets scheduled, gets done. – Kevin Wallace

The unfortunate thing with all too many IT careers is we have good intentions to learn about some emerging technology, but, like my intention to clean out my closet, we never get focused on it. This reminds me of a story I a shared in my book Your Route to Cisco Career Success. The story was about a time when my director asked for my input on a decision regarding promoting a staff member. My director explained that this person had eleven years of experience. My rebuttal was they did not have eleven years...

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