Monthly Archives: July 2008

To Study or not to Study?

No, that’s not a question, just a state of mind. Not a permanent, rather temporary one. Yesterday was my birthday and the day before was the party. Of course, I had to take a short study break… 3 days into the venture. I took longer break from blogging than I did from learning, really.

I finished ORD and started reading “Comparing, Designing, and Deploying VPNs” (CDaDV). Conveniently, there is a 45-day Safari access coupon included with the hardcopy. I can now read during slow work hours. Given it’s infamously slow Icelandic business summertime I can read for 8 hours… Which I intend to do as long as I can.

CDaDV is a good book and knew that for some time now. I used it to brush up on MPLS VPN’s when I was working towards the CCIE SP last year. This will be my main source of VPN information for CCDE quest. Hopefully it will provide enough of design considerations as it did for implementation. Once again, only time will tell.

More and more I have the study timeline formed in my mind. I think I will finish brushing up rusty knowledge by the end of August. That leaves September for case-study practices. I’m still trying to figure out how to practice case studies and scenarios, but I will get there eventually. I also hope to have some u$able material at the end of the ballad.

She seems to be unhappy and worried about something. I need to figure that out, as it appears to be serious.

ORD Almost Finished

That’s right, I’m almost done with “Optimal Routing Design”. To be honest, I was skimming over some configuration details and case studies, focusing on the design bits more. I’m already certified implementer… There are some things to note. I should’ve read this book before. I really like it.

I feel a bit more comfortable about EIGRP after today. I managed to squeeze a little bit of “Routing TCP/IP, vol. 1” into reading schedule. It appears that I was grossly overstating my EIGRP illiteracy. I was just very rusty.

After finishing ORD, I need to focus on dark magic technologies. To be perfectly clear, I mean all the “security” stuff – VPN’s, IPSec, tunnels, etc. Not my cup of tea when it comes to networking, but I’m sure a very necessary one. I think that enough material would be covered by “Comparing, Designing, and Deploying VPNs”. I happen to have a hardcopy, so 3 days of Safari subscription will go to waste. Nice memories from Cannes and that book.

She is made of gold.

Study Day Two

I still dislike EIGRP, but I am determined to understand it. I fully expected yesterday to write all about it here, but no, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to spend time writing about something else. Something else is a book. A book called “Optimal Routing Design”.

Now, like my profile says, I’m a bit of a routing geek. I like to read good books about networking and learn from them. It has been long time since I’ve seen good network design book. Most of the design books are either horribly outdated the day they are printed (Top Down Network Design), or they have instant tranquilizer effect on me. In short, I’m not sure there is a good, interesting network design book.

At least that’s what I thought until today. ORD is a real gem. Written by smart people for, well, smart people. Unlike many other books that simply detail good designs, this book is full of really bad ones. Purposefully so. Authors take a network that appears to be rather good and then point out all that is wrong with it. At moments, it’s a real eye opener. This at least holds water for EIGRP parts.

Of course, it contains mandatory sleepy bits. Am I the only one who can’t stay awake while reading case studies?

She is handling my studying well so far. She is handling it so well that She even agreed to go and see The Dark Knight. She’s very kind.

New Quest and New Blog

This post is supposed to be the equivalent of “Hello World”. I’ve never really blogged before, mostly for two reasons. My writing is bad and I had no real purpose to blog. Some things have changed.

Today is July 23rd. Today is exactly 68 days until first beta batch testing for CCDE practical goes live in Chicago. Today was also the official start day of my studies for it.

My intention is to keep this blog simple, mostly for my own use to keep track of where I am, what have I done and how far I need to go in the pursuit of becoming one of the first CCDE’s. Of course, chances are that this blog will become evidence of my monumental failure to do so.

Information on what to expect in practical is vague at best. The best I can do is to go through reading list and pick up on books that I missed while studying for CCIE. The first one that I’m reading right now is Russ White’s “Optimal Routing Design”. Interesting so far, but reading it opened whole new can of worms. I suspected and admitted it for years, but now it’s obvious. I actually now absolutely nothing about EIGRP.

This will have to become my priority, I need to read, learn and understand this silly Cisco’s pet before I can seriously consider going for exam designed by the same people who wrote the protocol. If written is any early warning what to expect on practical, I should speak EIGRP like it were my mother tongue.

After I’m done reading books from the reading list and understanding EIGRP, I think I will have to focus on going through various case studies. Some from CCO and some from other Cisco Press books – like “Definitive MPLS Design”. Hopefully this time it won’t put me to sleep every time I open it.

Last but not the least, timing of CCDE practical couldn’t be worse. She has just arrived. Hopefully I will make it up. Last time She was here, I spent a whole month writing SP workbook for IPexpert. This time it’s CCDE. I think She will develop knee-jerk reaction to word “Cisco”. Or perhaps, She will understand fully that I’m routing geek. Time will tell.