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Coming Up For Air – UPDATED 4/20/2008

762 Words. Plan about 5 minute(s) to read this.

I took yesterday off of work so that I could get a full-scale practice lab in before my mock today. I did IEWB vol.2 lab #6, and it went okay. Today, I did IE mock lab #5 (difficulty 8). I easily finished it within the time limit, which is a huge step in the right direction. I took about an hour to read through the mock, create some diagrams, and write down a few notes about tasks. I did everything I knew how to do in about 6 hours. I spent the last hour with the Doc CD digging into the less-familiar stuff.

Overall, I finished the mock lab feeling much, much better than the last 2 mock labs. After looking at the answer key, I made a few mistakes, and there were a few issues with task interpretation. We’ll see how the grading goes. For every task that I probably got wrong, I was usually close, but missed some detail that’s going to make me lose the points. I am hoping for around a 70. IE says a score in the high 60’s on this lab is on par with where you need to be for the actual lab.

I used earplugs today while doing the mock. I will definitely be wearing earplugs during the actual lab. A few people have recommended them, and after the dry run today, I think it’s a great idea. I was able to stay focused – nothing audible to take my brain away from the task at hand.

Next week, I have practice scheduled Monday through Saturday. I did IEWB vol.2 #6 already, so I’m going to work on IEWB vol.2 7 – 11 Monday through Friday. Saturday, I’m not sure yet. I might finish off the IEWB vol.3 stuff; I did 1 – 7, with 8 – 10 still to go.

UPDATE – 4/20/2008

Possible spoilers ahead if you’re going to take IE mock lab #5. I ended up with a 55 on IE mock lab #5. I’m mad. Frustrated. Almost everything was very close, but missed in some detail or another. One route doesn’t show up as an E2, so I lost everything on a redistribution task. Lost 6 points on NTP, apparently because of a missed access-list. All NTP was synced and working when I left it…but obviously it broke later on. Forgot to complete a BGP route-map with a catch-all at the bottom, so I was dropping routes I should have been advertising. Screwed up a K-value setting. Summary routes not specific enough (which I question, because in the answer key, they just used “auto-summary”. So how can my summary routes – which were the exact same, just manual instead of auto – not be specific enough?) A “backup” interface in a frame environment doesn’t work right unless it’s used with a sub-interface. Careless FRTS mistake, where I set my Be value wrong (DUH). Missed a parameter on a switchport to make it match the output on the lab. Allowed all ICMP traffic in an ACL when I should have only allowed echo & echo reply. I GAVE AWAY 24 points with stupid mistakes. All of these things were just dumb mistakes that had I checked my work carefully towards the end, I should have gotten correct.

Am I really that careless? Man, I walked away from that lab feeling pretty good, but there was one huge mistake I made. I didn’t go back and check anything, because I spent roughly the last hour trying to get 9 points related to multicast (6 of which I got easily enough via the Doc CD). The 3 points I didn’t get, I spent a lot of time dubbing around with, trying to make it work. I would have been better served to leave those last 3 points to the side, and focus on reviewing my other work more carefully.

There’s one thing I still don’t understand, and I need to look up. IE used OSPF type “point-to-multipoint non-broadcast” instead of the default of “non-broadcast” in the backbone area. I don’t understand in that particular topology (frame-relay/full-mesh) why that was a requirement. Now there’s a requirement that said to “ensure that the failure of any single DLCI does not cause loss of connectivity through the OSPF domain.” I have a feeling that my answer lies in that requirement, but I’m not sure why. I had a full-mesh, not hub-and-spoke. I had a DR and a BDR. There’s a detail I’m missing here that I need to figure out the answer to.  UPDATEcheck the comments for the solution to this issue.  I had great input from a couple of readers that set me straight.