I started the first scenario of the NMC DOiT volume. With DOiT, you get 2 PDFs (among other related documents) – a lab, and an answer key. The lab has network diagrams and a bulletized task list broken down by technology. So in this first scenario, I have sections called frame relay, Catalyst config, OSPF, RIP, EIGRP, BGP, IPv6, traffic management, address administration, security, IOS features, QoS, Catalyst specialties, Catalyst 3560 specialties, gateway redundancy, multicast, and NTP. This lab is considered “moderate” difficulty, where the difficulty ranges from “moderate” to “moderate-high” to “high”.
This is the first time I’ve actually been able to start working with the rack. I think I did some of the V.35 cables backwards. I wasn’t paying attention to which side was DCE and which was DTE. So I’m guessing that the reason half of my serials came up and half did not is because I have the cables swapped wrong-way around. I’m not sure, but I’ll check it out tomorrow. That’s an issue I need to resolve to be able to complete the frame-relay section (and most of the other sections) of the scenario. I did get some links up, but I still have some dead serial links. And yes, I did a “no shut”…thanks for asking. ;-)
Tonight I muddled my way through much of the frame-relay section of the scenario and got a good start on the Catalyst configuration section. I almost never configure frame day-to-day…I see it all the time, but rarely provision an interface. So those commands were rusty. The Catalyst stuff I do all the time, and so far I think I’m doing fine with it. I’ll be able to dig in more tomorrow and Friday. This being the first time through, and knowing that IPv6 in particular will take me a long time, I think I should be able to get this scenario completed after a long Saturday if things go reasonably well. So this first scenario should take 8 hours, right? Well, this being my first run, I think I’m looking at 12+ hours. We’ll see…
Some comments on the NMC answer key: the NMC answer key isn’t a dump of device configurations. Rather, it’s an explanation of the task you were requested to do, with a special attention on the caveats of the task. If you want to see exactly how an interface or feature is to be configured, you can go to the “SHOWiT” feature on the NMC website. SHOWiT lets you punch in IOS commands, and get back the output. Tonight, I was a little stuck on one of the frame-relay commands, so I popped into SHOWiT to get a clue. I didn’t quite remember one of the keywords in the command SHOWiT revealed, so I popped over to cisco.com/univercd and looked it up. Now I know that command. So in that sense, even this first fumbling 1.5 hours shows great promise.