Monday, June 28, 2010

Cisco Live 2010 - The First 36 Hours

A quick update on my Cisco Live 2010 experience. On Sunday I attended an OTV labtorial. It was quite useful; I'm getting more confident in going that direction for an upcoming data center relocation project.

On Monday I attended the first half of an MPLS Security session. It was good, but I had to leave prematurely to take my Cisco exam. I feel like the 2nd half would have been great though, so I've made a note to revisit that one after it gets posted to

I passed my CCDE written exam, with a score between the first attempt (good score, during the beta) and my second attempt at Cisco Live 2009. I don't care much about what score I receive on an exam, provided it is a passing score, but I'm glad to see my score went up from last year.

I'm sitting on a Panel discussion on VPN right now. I don't think I have attended a Panel session before, and I was really missing out. This session is highly interactive, with no Powerpoint slides. Great info on GETVPN, DMVPN and a bit of EasyVPN info. The crowd isn't too interested in EasyVPN though, so the presenter responsible for that is having an easy time with this session. I am registered for a second Panel tomorrow on IPv6 Deployment Experiences, which should be great. It was a tough call registering for that, as there is also a LISP Panel at the same time. They are right next door to each other, so I may slide over to the LISP session if I'm not getting much out of the IPv6 one.

Speaking of LISP, my next session is "LISP - A Next Generation Networking Architecture". I attended this session last year and found it fascinating, but I never got a chance to follow-up on the content at home. I spoke briefly with Dino Farnacci (one of the protocol authors). He said there is a bunch of new content in this year's presentation. I finally have a use-case in my network, if I end up utilizing OTV to extend Layer-2 between my data centers during my upcoming DC migration. The Internet use-case is very cool, but I don't see a good reason to jump on board anytime soon. The list of attendees for this session is quite impressive. There are plenty of influential industry voices, so I hope the presentation goes well. If it does, the roll-out of LISP will benefit greatly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Professional Life Update

I’ve been relatively quiet on this blog, but for some good reasons, or what I think are good reasons.  Here is my attempt at creating some excuses, it is left to the reader to determine if I get a pass :)

In March I taught my first CCDE Practical Bootcamp class.   It was a captive class, for a specific company.  I had a great teaching experience, and most of the feedback was positive, with two helpful suggestions for improving the course.  I was satisfied (but not thrilled) with the student’s results on the subsequent Practical exam.  I had hoped that my class would have had a larger impact on the candidate’s results, and I take responsibility for improving the course for future cohorts.

In May I taught my first CCDE Written Bootcamp.  I was more apprehensive about teaching this course than the Practical course, as I had no way of knowing whether the students would be properly prepared for the course.  The advantage of the Practical course is that all students are expected to have passed the CCDE Written exam prior to attending, so I could be comfortable with the level of knowledge they brought into the course.  There are no official prerequisites for the Written course, so some of the students could be very ‘green’.

Fortunately my fears were unfounded.  This was also a captive course, with all students from a common organization.  The training coordinator did a great job of ensuring that all students were prepared for the course.  At the conclusion of the course all students took the CCDE written exam and I was very happy with their results.  The student feedback was again very positive.  My biggest area for improvement is to get more familiar with the delivery of the supplied course materials for the written class.

So those paragraphs explain what I did for a couple of weeks… Where has my other time gone?  Well, the feedback from the Practical Bootcamp students indicated that they wanted some mock tests added to the syllabus.  I agree 100%; a simulation of the Practical exam is critical for preparing students.  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks developing these new materials.  My first opportunity to deliver them is coming up on July 12th in Washington DC, when I deliver the CCDE Practical Bootcamp course for CCBOOTCAMP.  If you are interested in attending, or just want some more information, please visit the CCBOOTCAMP website or write me an email.  I’ll also be at Cisco Live in Las Vegas next week, so if you would like to chat there, let me know and I’ll make some time.

Aside from these items, I also have a real job, which occupies the majority of my professional time.  Outside of that, I’ve become a bit of a soccer fan, at least as long as the USA is involved in the World Cup tournament.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cisco Live 2010 Schedule

For anyone who is interested, I’ve posted my tentative Cisco Live 2010 schedule below.  I have a habit of switching sessions at the last minute, so if you don’t see me at one of these Breakout Sessions, don’t assume I slept in.  :)  I’ll be especially vigilant this year, with both my manager and my wife in attendance!  I added asterisks to my “must see” sessions.

My primary focuses for this year’s event are Data Center Interconnect and IPv6 Preparation.  I also sprinkled in a few sessions that caught my eye, such as IS-IS Network Design and the VPN Panel.  It occurred to me after last year that if I was interested in a panel discussion, it is necessary to attend in person.  I couldn’t find any of the sessions on Cisco Live Virtual last year.

As always, if you see me walking by, please say hi.



Start: 1:00 PM End: 5:00 PM

*** LTRDCT-2008 Deploying Overlay Transport Virtualization



Start: 9:30 AM End: 11:30 AM

BRKSEC-2145 MPLS Security

Start: 11:00 AM End: 12:30 PM

Cisco Exam

Start: 12:30 PM End: 2:30 PM

PNLSEC-1010 Panel: VPN

Start: 3:00 PM End: 5:00 PM

*** BRKCRS-3045 LISP - A Next Generation Networking Architecture



Start: 8:00 AM End: 9:30 AM

BRKDCT-2049 Overlay Transport Virtualization

Start: 10:00 AM End: 11:30 AM

*** GENKEY-7846 Keynote and Welcome Address

Start: 12:30 PM End: 2:30 PM

*** PNLRST-2303 Panel: Experiences with Deploying IPv6

Start: 4:00 PM End: 6:00 PM

BRKSPG-2602 IPv4 Exhaustion: NAT and Transition to IPv6



Start: 8:00 AM End: 10:00 AM

BRKRST-2335 IS-IS Network Design and Deployment

Start: 12:30 PM End: 2:30 PM

*** BRKRST-3500 Designing Multipoint WAN QoS


Start: 3:00 PM End: 3:30 PM

Micronics Booth for CCIE Flyer Elvis Guitar Giveaway

Start: 4:00 PM End: 6:00 PM

BRKDCT-2011 Design and Deployment of Data Center Interconnects using Advanced VPLS (A-VPLS)



Start: 8:00 AM End: 10:00 AM

BRKVIR-2007 Data Center Virtualization Case Study

Start: 10:30 AM End: 11:30 AM

GENKEY-7848 Closing Keynote: Author Ben Mezrich

Start: 12:00 PM End: 2:00 PM

BRKMPL-3102 Designing NGN SP/Enterprise Networks for Scale and Reliability

Start: 2:30 PM End: 4:30 PM

*** BRKSPG-2051 Evolution of Service Provider Edge Architectures