What I learned at CCBOOTCAMP

This week I spent my own personal money to attend a bootcamp in the pursuit of my CCIE. I had plenty of choices and options of where to go and where to take it.  I choose CCBOOTCAMP, because I was already watching the videos from INE and doing their labs and IPEXPERT just didn’t fit within my schedule, also the travel to their training location was out of my way.  I took the class in Las Vegas and stayed at a hotel within walking distance to try and minimize as much as possible the cost to me.  I am footing the bill for this myself since my company is less than interested in helping me.  This is something that I wanted to do and so I am doing what I think it takes to make it happen.

I came into this week being very nervous that I was going to be behind everyone else and not know enough and basically waste this week and my money.  I have been studying for the past several months labbing as much as possible and some days it just doesn’t feel like enough.  I was pleasantly surprised to come out of this week and be able to do most of the tasks with little problem and only referencing the docs for the stuff I had no idea on or was questioning the syntax.  Of course I reaffirmed that I have weaknesses that I have to work on, and that ther eare certain areas I need to focus on for the next couple of months.

I also learned something else even more important I need to attack the test like a composer does a score rather than a musician playing their small piece.  What I mean by that is I have bright points where I am very good and can breeze through tasks much like a Flutist or a Cellist playing their part.  What I need to get good at though is being the Composer and knowing each and every person’s part and knowing when to bring them in and when to use what technology.

This was a good week for me, it helped me to build confidence in that I was actually learning the information and that I had a chance of being ready to tackle the test in May.  Hopefully I can keep moving forward and solidify my knowledge in the tasks where I am lacking and become the well rounded composer that I need to.

The way I had this worked out was that my lab fee is due next week and I wanted to make sure that I was somewhat before I paid the $1500 and started making travel arrangements for the test.

To all my fellow composers out there, I wish you the best of luck in your studies.

If anyone cares about my experience with CCBOOTCAMP or anything else associated with it let me know and I will tell you.

Studying for CCIE Security and using GNS3 for now

I am in the process of studying for my CCIE Security Lab and at this point I am still trying to collect hardware as cheaply as possible, since money is an object for me.  So in the meantime I am working with GNS3 and trying to use virtual equipment to help me along and get some of my studies accomplished.  So far I have ran into a few issues that are killing me:

1. The issue with c3700 units.  No matter what I did I couldn’t save the configurations out of the 3700s.  Turns out there is a bug in the code that doesn’t allow you to save the configurations to the startup config for this model of router.  Solution, don’t use them.

2. Transparent mode in the ASAs doesn’t work at all.  You can create the configuration for the ASA and put it into transparent mode, good luck getting it to pass traffic.  Solution, buy em or rent em.

3. The setup for Micro Linux running in QEMU.  Got it loaded and hooked up to a router, but actually configuring the interface was a little more of a pain.  Logging in as root isn’t the same thing as logging in as root on a normal linux machine.  Here is brief snippet for configuring a Micro Linux instance and giving it an IP address.

tc@box:~$ sudo su
root@box:~# ifconfig eth0 netmask up
root@box:~# route add default gw

4. Multiple context mode is a no go on the ASA as well.  Solution, buy em or rent em.  Looking for some cheap prices on them at this point.

Other than these issues things are working out pretty well on my virtual lab.  I still have a long road ahead of me before I will be ready to take the test.  I am working on speed at this point and doing the workbooks from INE.  I hope to be ready by Jan or Feb of next year.

Mostly put this together so that anyone else trying to do what I am doing can find the information in one place.