Save Time in Your CCIE Lab with "Router Preconfigs"

On any CCIE lab, time is your most precious commodity. Opinions vary about the best time saving strategies. Some people would have you spend the first 30 minutes of your lab carefully reading through the lab tasks you’ve been given. However, I’m in the group of people that suggests doing a much quicker read-through, noting important features that are going to need configuring, with the belief that you’ll not remember enough detail to justify spending half an hour reading the tasks.

For years, I’ve been promoting my modified device-based approach for tackling the CCIE Collaboration lab, where I have you make a set of boxes on your scratch paper, one box for each device in your topology. Then, as you do your initial read-through, you put task numbers in boxes representing the device on which the task needs to be configured. Then, you can visit each device a minimal amount of times to meet all your lab requirements. If you want to watch a video I did...

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Fundamentals of QoS

 

Last week (on Cyber Monday), I did a webinar covering the theory and configuration of multiple QoS mechanisms. Here's what you'll learn in this replay of that webinar:

  • Learn QoS Mechanisms
  • Understand QoS Markings
  • Demystify Weighted RED
  • Select Appropriate Queuing
  • Explain the "Token Bucket"
  • Configure QoS Using MQC

Enjoy the webinar replay!

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

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5 SDN Concepts You've Gotta Know

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Nov 28, 2017
 

I recently did a Facebook Live session covering 5 major Software Defined Networking (SDN) concepts. If you missed the live session, or just want to watch a replay, check out this video.

We cover:

  1. Intro to SDN
  2. Python Installation
  3. Basic Python Programming
  4. Configuring a Router with Python
  5. APIC-EM Applications

BONUS: I'm offering viewers of this video $50 off my Fundamentals of Network Programmability video training series. That means, you only pay $147, as compared to the regular price of $197. To get your $50 discount, click HERE.

Enjoy!

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

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Introduction to Collaboration Technologies

 

I recently did a Facebook Live session covering the fundamentals of Cisco Collaboration technologies. If you missed it, or want to see it again, here's a replay.

Topics covered include:

  • Traditional Telephony Networks
  • Voice over IP (VoIP) Fundamentals
  • Unified Communications Network Components
  • Overview of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM)
  • Overview of Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (CUCME)
  • Overview of Cisco Unity Connection
  • Route Plans
  • IP Phone Registration
  • Overview of Video Networks
  • Cisco Video and TelePresence Endpoints

Also, I'm offering a $100 discount off the price of my Ultimate Collaboration Bundle product. Here's the link to get the discount: http://kwtrain.com/save100

Check out the video for more details about what's included in that product.

Enjoy the video!

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

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OSPF Route Filtering

ccie r/s ccnp r/s Nov 14, 2017
 

Let's say you have one or more IP routes that you don't want appearing in a router's IP routing table. The reason might be for security or for router performance, as a couple of examples. With OSPF, there are three primary ways to accomplish this route filtering:

  • Filter a route coming in from another autonomous system, as part of a redistribution configuration.
  • Filter a route between areas, using a filter list.
  • Filter a route from being installed in an single router's IP routing table, using a distribute list.

This video discusses these three approaches, and it demonstrates the configuration of two of these approaches (because redistribution is a topic unto itself).

Enjoy the video!

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

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5 Changes in Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) Version 12.0

If you’re one of the 200,000+ Cisco customers using a Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) server to support your Cisco IP Phones and soft clients, this blog post is for you. Specifically, Cisco recently introduced their latest version of CUCM, version 12.0, and this post will identify a five of the major changes in this new version.

1. Support for Hybrid Deployments

For the past year or so, I’ve been getting questions from people concerned that CUCM is going away, and that Cisco Unified Communication (UC) customers will gravitate towards Cisco’s cloud-based call management solution, called Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). To get some answers, at Cisco Live US earlier this year, I asked one of the Cisco UC engineers about their plans. He assured me that Cisco is committed to going forward with both solutions (i.e. their cloud-based solution and their on-premises CUCM solution). He also explained customers don’t have to choose...

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Configuring Quality of Service Using MQC

The Need to Know MQC in a World of Automation

These days, Quality of Service (QoS) can be configured relatively easy. If we’re using the APIC-EM as a network controller to manage our routers and switches, we can simply point and click our way through the EasyQoS utility and have a very robust QoS configuration applied to our devices. Even at the command line interface (CLI) of a router a switch, we could invoke the power of AutoQoS VoIP (to optimize QoS settings for voice traffic, or (just on routers) AutoQoS for the Enterprise (to discover network traffic patterns and create a customized QoS configuration to reflect our network’s specific characteristics).

However, what if you need to make an adjustment to such dynamically generated QoS settings? If you examine the underpinnings of any of these QoS automation tools, you’ll see they all use the same approach to configure most (of not all) of their QoS settings. This approach is called Modular QoS CLI, or MQC for...

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What I Would Do If I Were Starting Over

career success Oct 03, 2017

A common question I hear from people just getting into the Cisco world is, “Kevin, what would you do if you were starting from scratch?” Sometimes, that question takes the form of, “Which track (e.g. Collaboration, Route/Switch, etc.) has the biggest job opportunities?

For years, my response was the same, “If you get really good in any track, there are plenty of opportunities. So, pick the track that’s most interesting to you. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time studying that track’s technology. So, you’d better love it!

While I still believe that advice is sound, I’ve got to admit my answer to that question changed a bit. The reason is, while there is certainly demand for IT professionals in all of Cisco’s certification tracks, a couple of technologies recently leapt to the forefront:

  1. Network Programmability
  2. Cyber Security

This blog post answers the question of what I would do if I...

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Fundamentals of Auto Smartports

ccie r/s ccna r/s ccnp r/s Sep 26, 2017
 

The Auto Smartports feature available on Cisco Catalyst switches allows a port to automatically detect that you’ve attached a device it can recognize (e.g. a Cisco IP Phone, wireless access point, video surveillance camera, etc.)

Then, it runs a macro on that port to apply a "best practice configuration," including QoS, STP, and security settings.

This video introduces you to this exciting feature and gives you a configuration demonstration.

For scaling automatic configurations beyond a single switch, check out Cisco’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions. In fact, you can sign up for my Free SDN Mini-Course by clicking HERE.

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

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3-Year Anniversary & My First Live On-Line Training Class In 3 Years

ccna r/s Sep 19, 2017

Some of my blog posts (most of them, in fact) focus on teaching you some technical content or offer career advice. But, sometimes, I just need to share a major milestone with you. That’s what I’m doing in this post (actually, a couple of major milestones), and I hope you can (virtually) celebrate with me.

The first milestone is my 3-year anniversary of being in business full-time as Kevin Wallace Training, LLC. Specifically, on Sept. 26, 2014, I walked away from my 14-year position as an instructor for a Cisco Learning Partner (CLP) to run my own business.

During the past three years, I’ve released a ton of training videos. However, I hadn’t actually taught a live online class, allowing me to interact with participants. That all changed this month, which brings us to the second milestone.

Earlier this week (I’m writing this on 9/15/17), I wrapped up my first live-online training class in about three years. I was given the opportunity to...

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