From the blog.

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Complexity – My Friend, My Enemy
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InternetworkExpert.com Mock Lab #6 – UPDATED 4/1/2008

895 Words. Plan about 6 minute(s) to read this.

I did InternetworkExpert.com mock lab #6 today. I really have no idea how I did. I didn’t have time to check much of anything. I did as many checks along the way as I could, but I never did an end-to-end reachability check (if you can believe it).

I attempted nearly every task, although I had to leave a few of the more time-consuming tasks off the list because they weren’t worth enough points. Here’s what I know I left on the table:

  • On a PPPoFR link, I received this sub-task: “Do not apply the IP address directly to any virtual-template interface or the frame relay interface using the ip address command.” I don’t know what IE is getting at, although I suspected they wanted my link to somehow receive the IP address assignment automatically from the remote side. IPCP? I’m not sure. I assigned the IP manually just to get the link running, but I lost 2 points because I didn’t do it the required way.
  • I think I just figured out a super-easy EIGRP task I should have gotten. They wanted me to summarize a route. That was it. I just now CORRECTLY read the route they wanted me to present to the routing table. It said /23, but my brain registered /24, leading to my confusion. Oh, man. That’s 2 easy points missed.
  • I built out the multicast environment, but never tested it. I’m sure there were any number of RPF problems to resolve. But, I think I got 6 of the 9 total multicast points, missing 3 points.
  • I had a task to send ACL log messages to the syslog server once every 6 hours. Not a clue on that one. I know how to send syslog events, but not on a 6 hour interval. Dinged 3 points. Maybe EEM?
  • Ran out of time to attempt the DHCP tasks – 3 points. Definitely could have done it.
  • Ran out of time to complete the BGP bestpath stuff – 4 points. Definitely could have done it.

All told then, I knowingly left 17 points out there. And since I didn’t check much of anything, I no doubt have a lot of mistakes I didn’t catch. I’m going to check out the answer key while the whole experience is fresh in my head. This was a difficulty “8” lab, and IE says that if you get in the high 60’s on it, you’re doing good. This was supposed to be more difficult than the actual lab. I hope I got that high of a score, but it doesn’t seem likely.

One major complaint that screwed me up on this lab: there is a typo in the redistribution section that instructs you do to mutual redistribution on the wrong router. So I ignored that piece, only to figure out later which router they really meant. Once it became clear that they’d made a typo, I had to re-think my entire redistribution strategy. IE had you tweaking stuff to make sure certain route took certain paths. I had everything perfect; then when I realized what they really wanted me to do, my redistribution broke and I had to redesign it. If IE had it right in the task list, I would have gotten back 30 – 40 minutes, and left fewer points out there. OTOH, it points out that I could stand some redistribution practice. ;)

UPDATE

Okay, I just browsed through the answer key. I did okay, I guess. There were definitely some problems with task interpretation. What I read they wanted me to do, and what they actually wanted me to do, were different things in a few cases. Things where asking the proctor would have given me a straight answer. So I might have pulled 60 points…we’ll see in a few days. But they’re really gonna ding me because of how I handled some of the RIP tasks.

The PPP thing was typical Ethan making a mountain out of a molehill. They wanted me to do “ip unnumbered Lo0” on the virtual template, and just assign the IP address to the loopback. Duh. Now why didn’t I think of that? I lost time on that, too – not a lot of time, but enough.

The logging every 6 hours thing was “ip access-list logging interval”, a command that I didn’t know about until just now. How exciting.

UPDATE 4/1/2008

I ended up with a 50 57 59. It was a 50 an hour ago, then a 57. Now a 59. I’m getting smarter while I wait! :) So I feel better then my first glance of a 50. I WAY overcomplicated some of the RIP tasks. I need to really NOT DO THAT. Will the obvious answer work? Then do that…why bounce a radio signal off the moon to talk to the guy next door when you know his phone number? Man, I need to get my head in the game here.

So, a 59 puts me about 10 points shy of where IE says I should have been. I made many little mistakes. Little catches in the phrasing that I didn’t see that bit me. I have to admit to being frustrated by that score. The score doesn’t reflect how much I actually know. It does reflect how much more careful I need to be when reading tasks. I only lost a few points due to total ignorance.

If I fail my on my first attempt, getting the wording wrong or forgetting an overall scenario restriction will be why.