From the blog.

Lab Equipment

I’m planning on building a lab with 2 6513’s, 2 3550’s, 4 3750’s, at least 1 3845 (I think I can put my hands on

Beat for Right Now

I also read chapters 2 and 3 in the OECG book this week (VLAN’s and spanning-tree), but I don’t have the energy to do the

OECG – Chapter 1 Definitions

The end of each chapter encourages you to do certain things to help you retain the information. One of those things is to define

Official Exam Certification Guide (OECG)

I am working through the Cisco Press CCIE Routing and Switching Official Exam Certification Guide, Second Edition by Wendell Odom, Jim Geier and Naren Mehta. 

Roll That Blog

In the future, I’m going to try to blog studies daily, while the information is fresh in my mind. I wasn’t sure I was

The Quest Begins

While I wouldn’t call it a New Year’s resolution, I’ve made the mental commitment you have to have to go for your CCIE. I

OECG – Chapter 2 “Virtual LANs and VLAN Trunking”

Good review of all the basics here: VLAN’s, starring DTP, 802.1q, ISL, tags, private VLAN’s, and more. Not a terribly long chapter, but good fundamentals to know.

  • Definition of a VLAN – a group of ports that can span multiple devices, but are still a part of the same broadcast domain.
  • Usually, you have a VLAN pair up with a subnet. In other words, it’s customary to run a single IP network. It’s possible to have a single router interface with secondary addresses route between subnets contained within the same VLAN, but I’ll tell your Mom if you do that. Naughty! Continue reading OECG – Chapter 2 “Virtual LANs and VLAN Trunking”

Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
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Lab Equipment

I’m planning on building a lab with 2 6513’s, 2 3550’s, 4 3750’s, at least 1 3845 (I think I can put my hands on one), and 2 or 3 or 4 2600’s I have available.  That’s not the hugest priority for me today as I have to get through the written exam.  But…I’m going to be working on it.

Lest you think I mint coins in my basement, I’ll be doing all of this through my employer.


Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
about | subscribe | @ecbanks

Beat for Right Now

I also read chapters 2 and 3 in the OECG book this week (VLAN’s and spanning-tree), but I don’t have the energy to do the write-ups on them like I did for chapter 1 right now.  Maybe a bit later.  I think I’ll go balance the checkbook and pay some bills for now.


Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
about | subscribe | @ecbanks

OECG – Chapter 1 Definitions

The end of each chapter encourages you to do certain things to help you retain the information. One of those things is to define a set of words they provide, and check your answers on the CD glossary. (Note – the only thing I can’t find on the companion CD that came with the book is the glossary.) Here goes.

auto-negotiation – the process by which 2 ethernet devices determine the speed and duplex that they will run on a link. Uses FLP’s (fast link pulses). Continue reading OECG – Chapter 1 Definitions


Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
about | subscribe | @ecbanks

Official Exam Certification Guide (OECG)

I am working through the Cisco Press CCIE Routing and Switching Official Exam Certification Guide, Second Edition by Wendell Odom, Jim Geier and Naren Mehta.  When referring to this book, I shall abbreviate it as “OECG”.  This is the primary text I’m using to prep for the written exam, although I expect I will have to supplement with other books and/or cisco.com material.


Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
about | subscribe | @ecbanks

Roll That Blog

In the future, I’m going to try to blog studies daily, while the information is fresh in my mind. I wasn’t sure I was going to set up the CCIE blog, so it wasn’t ready when I started studying this week. I’ve spent the last couple of hours fiddling with WordPress settings, and figuring how best to manage comments without the spam headache. That’s not to say I’m going to get a lot of comments. I don’t know. Google indexes my tired, ancient, and unchanging graniteflow.com pages (pretty much where my resume is plus links to some customers), and I threw the blog links up there. So, Google will spider it at some point. And I’ll seed the blog URL in Google’s index anyway. Once Google finds the blog, I think it’ll rank up there in searches for “CCIE”…I think. We’ll see. I guess that all depends on whether or not anyone cares and links back to me. :-)

I’m committed to the blog, as I find that I retain information better when I write stuff down afterwards. So, this should see new content with some frequency. Like daily, or multiple times a day in some cases. And comments are important, too, as that’s a great way to network on a topic like earning your CCIE.


Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
about | subscribe | @ecbanks

The Quest Begins

While I wouldn’t call it a New Year’s resolution, I’ve made the mental commitment you have to have to go for your CCIE. I know I want to do it, and I’ve begun preparations. I’m going for the Routing & Switching CCIE, like most other folks.

My strategy is pretty simple. First things first – I have to pass the written exam. I know a bit about passing Cisco exams. I’ve passed 12 of them along the way to getting my CCNA, CCNP and CCSP. But the last Cisco exam I took was 3 years ago. I allowed my CCNP and CCSP to expire over this past year, as I had no incentive to renew them, and lacked the personal motivation. So, I don’t know how much the tests have changed in Cisco-land. It doesn’t matter that much to me. I know what the test is. 100 multiple choice questions that cover a wide variety of topics, all in depth. You have to know a lot about a lot to pass the test.

Once the test is passed, I’m going to start doing practice labs. I’m going to build a lab at work that should get me possibly all the way with what I need for lab equipment. If not all the way, probably pretty close. I’ll rent a vrack if I need to supplement for something like using a frame-relay switch. I may use the Cisco Press CCIE Practical Studies stuff, but I’m also thinking about the IPExpert.com material, which seems well-regarded.

Once I think I’m 80% ready for the lab, I’m going to take Cisco’s Online CCIE Lab Assessor, just to see if I’m kidding myself. If the Assessor tells me a happy story, I’ll go ahead and schedule the lab in (hopefully) RTP, NC.


Ethan Banks writes & podcasts about IT, new media, and personal tech.
about | subscribe | @ecbanks