InternetworkExpert.com Mock Lab #6 – UPDATED 4/1/2008


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. ;)


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.

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.


  • Waiting for your detailed write up.
    Also best of luck for the lab.

    The only thing I think you need to work at is your speed. :)
    And did you leave BGP till the end?
    I mean conventionally, the order is , Switching, FR, IGP, BGP , and whats left .

  • That interval thing I’ve seen on a few labs it’s in Narbiks books to but there he uses it for the mac-address-database sending trick. Still I would have been like..WTH? The loopB would have killed me too.

    Hope you enjoyed your sunday.

  • I find that when these (and the NMC) labs come up with something tricky, they are usually trying to make a particular point. Trouble is that the issue they explain in the AK is not necessarily the one that I have tripped over in the scenario.

    I am thinking anout your ip unnumbered Lo1 on your PPP link. (I don’t know the scenario, but I am arrogant enough to guess about it ;)

    Now, on the surface that seems to be “if they tell you not to configure an IP address, then try unnumbered”. But it goes deeper than that. The real issue is that on a PPP link, the two ends do not necessarily need to be on the same subnet. That is why PPP installs that host route in the partner. And that is why you can get away with the ip unnumbered.

    … I think …

  • Kevin, you’re right on the money, although in this case, the PPP link ends weren’t even at odds with each other. It was purely a case of me making the problem more difficult than it needed to be. It scares me a little that my brain automatically assumes the solution must be convoluted.


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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