Bootcamp with Narbik – Day 3 Comments


Day 3 was focused on OSPF.  Narbik’s OSPF lecture was about 3.5 hours, and covered everything you ever wanted to know about OSPF.  I’ve mentioned it before, but Narbik’s lecture style is focused.  He doesn’t waste words.  You have to stay right with him, or you’ll quickly lose track of him.  In his OSPF lecture, LSAs, area types, filtering, summarization, authentication, the adjacency formation process, and more were all covered.  He did a great chart for the LSA types.  Narbik also did a great network diagram explaining OSPF areas by demonstrating how many routes of various types would appear in each area of the diagram, depending on what type of area it was.

The rest of the day was labs.  Although it seems like I should have gotten a lot more labs done than I did, I managed to finish off the EIGRP section and make a good start on the OSPF yesterday.  For all the time I was in front of the rack, it seems that I should have accomplished more lab work.  I am not hurrying through the labs just to get them done, though.  I’ve been going through every task in detail and verifying the results, no matter how simple the task.  I’m making very sure that I understand what’s going on with all of the labs.

Narbik’s lab books are detailed.  For example, the OSPF lab section is broken into 11 small labs:  Optimization & Timers; Authentication; Cost; Summarization; Virtual-Links & GRE; Stub, Totally Stubby, and NSSA Areas; Filtering; Redirecting Traffic; Limiting Redistributed Routes; OSPF & NBMA; and Forward Address Suppression.  Within each lab, there are generally 7 to 12 tasks.  Almost every task is documented with command output that shows you how to verify what you just did, usually as a “before and after” kind of thing.  If you read and understand it all, and then track down any discrepancies on your rack, it takes a while to complete.  That is time well-spent, however.  When I’m done with a task, I have a complete understanding of what I did, how to verify it, and where I could use that functionality if asked in the future.

Here’s a few miscellaneous facts from yesterday.

  • Virtual links cannot traverse stub areas.
  • ip ospf dead-interval min hello-multiplier 4 – how many hellos to send within the minimum dead interval time of 1 second, which in this case results in a hello sent every 250ms.  This setting must match on both sides of the link to form adjacency.  The idea here is “fast neighbor down detection”.
  • NSSA areas do not receive a default route by default.

About the author

Ethan Banks

Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.


  • “NSSA areas do not receive a default route by default.”

    You know those occasions when something that has been alluding you suddenly became blindingly obvious? Well, that happens to me from time to time, and the business about NSSA and default route came to me that way.

    What is the purpose of an NSSA? It is an area that is used to import routes from outside your administrative area, but to which you will not pass anyone else’s external routes. And since its primary purpose is to import external routes, it could well be getting your default route that way as well. So you most probably don’t want to feed a default route into it. That’s why the default is gthe way it is.

    Sorry if I am stating something you know already, but I found it useful.

  • Thanks for the clarification on the OSPF fast/sub-second hellos. I wish that Cisco would use your description in their documentation. For whatever reason, it took me a while to get my head around the fact that the ‘hello-multiplier’ equaled the number of hellos sent per second.

    This is a strange request, but since you’re in a position to get it from the horse’s mouth: there have been postings on GroupStudy that seem to indicate that Narbik taught his grandmother to be a CCIE. Has he mentioned that during the boot camp?

  • He’s mentioned that some CCIE-level tasks we think are difficult, are in fact so easy that his grandmother could do them. He’s also mentioned that his grandmother is a dual-CCIE, but a “rather stiff one.” ;-)

    The grandmother thing is a joke, guys. Narbik has a great sense of humor that comes out in his lectures. Yes, he says stuff about his grandmother, all tongue-in-cheek. He throws “yes or no” questions out to the class: if someone answers wrong, he’ll respond with “Very close…”. That kind of stuff. He tries to keep it from being all-serious, all-the-time, which is good considering how intense this week is.

  • :-)

    Thanks for clearing that up. I kept reading these GroupStudy posts and thinking “He didn’t really teach his grandmother to be a CCIE did he?” It sounds absurd, but it also sounds like a great sales pitch “If I can make my grandmother into a CCIE then think what I can do for you.”

    Have fun. I gotta go put a bid in on a bridge in Brooklyn. :-)

  • You know, it’s been overcast most of the time. It actually rained yesterday. But I have about 10 hours on Saturday between the end of class and my flight. If it’s a sunny day, I’m hoping to swing by the beach before I go back to LAX.

  • Wait – Are you sure that he did not mean his grandmother is not a CCIE?

    What’s her number, you know we can verify this?

  • How is Narbik’s English? Does he have a thick accent? I might be going out on a limb assuming that English is not his first language.

  • Can you ask Narbik if there is any documentation the BGP over IPv6 will not be on the exam? Thanks for the great site.

  • Narbik’s English is fine. Yes, he has a mild accent, but it has not in any way made him difficult to understand. Narbik is Armenian, but grew up in Australia. He lives in the Los Angeles area now, and has for many years.

    Regarding BGP/IPv6, I believe Narbik’s comment was simply that it is not on the lab blueprint. And that’s true enough – if you look at the R&S lab blueprint, addressing, RIPng and OSPFv3 are specifically listed next to IPv6. BGP is not mentioned. If there is any more specific information other than “it’s not on the blueprint”, I will post that.


Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.

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