Wed Sep 17 02:43:56 PDT 2008

change of blog location

Hi all, please update your bookmark and or RSS to have '2007' in the URL path

i.e.: from http://www.dwichandra.info/ccie to http://www.dwichandra.info/2007/ccie

I'm updating my website content with the new layout/format and thus the old content (including this one) will be located elsewhere.

Sun Nov 11 18:55:42 EST 2007

CCIE rewrite

Rewrite??? What am I talking about?

Well, sadly, with my current circumstances, I had to prepare for another round of CCIE written next year.

WHAT??? WHY???

Reason number one: I am settling in the new place, new work and new envronment. Thuus several resources had to be cutoff or deferred. That includes my CCIE funding and preparation time slot.

Reason number two: I have checked the schedule for the next round and the available date (so far) is after March 2008.

Is there a problem after March 2008? Yes, my last attempt was March 2007, which is more than 12 months after the last attempt and this is against CCIE lab exam rules.

Also, inistead of burning another block of dollars, I prefer to get the next round propererly set and shoot and goal. With the current situation that requires a lot of my attention, there will be extremely challenging for me to go ahead with the next round of CCIE lab.

Sadly, but true, but I am going to progress ahead with my CCIE. Whatever it takes as I ready as I am.

Tue Sep 18 03:25:04 EST 2007

Waking up ...

*whooosh!* .. then I am awakening my hibernated CCIE 'personality' :)

The notebook that I mentioned is almost ready. Hopefully by tomorrow I can start putting the dynamips to simulate my labs again.

Now is the warming up time: I need to pickup where I have left.

Lessons learned from the previous two attempts:

  • Focus!
  • Aimed and believe that you will pass
  • FAce the fact, if there is still weaknes(ses) in several areas, either patch it up or strengthen other area that I am more familiar with
  • Keep doing it (I read this from several post from Group Study

I am still one of CCIE candidate that is using poor man's method and approach. It is also more towards stabilizing the areas and link between the knowledge and experience of being a CCIE itself.

Out of majority of CCIE candidate, I could be one of the odds that is not dealing directly with all CCIE needs. My work at client's requries me to provide service beyond my CCIE-ness.

Thus, even though I have the knowlede and skills, my clients asked me to carry out tasks in areas outside network.

The good news is: I like doing it, so no big deal ;)

the even better news is: it give me more challenge on how to separate between the real life needs of my work and the CCIE lab that I prepare.

I must admit that since the preparation of this CCIE track (R&S), I have improved a lot of things in areas beyond my prediction.

Let's head back in prepration and stay tuned!

Sun Sep 9 15:11:59 EST 2007

(Whomp!) Here it is ...

*WHOMP!* here it is!!! My notebook is here!!!

Intel Core2 Duo 1.5GHz, 2GB RAM, 120GB HDD, 14.1" widescreen (1280x800), nVidia integrated graphics with 128MB memory, oh ... and the integrated webcam.

So what??? I can now bring my CCIE lab virtually anywhere. With this notebook with me, my CCIE lab is now "anytime anywhere".

The first step before really making the lab possible: to put the proper Linux that can have a well-defined kernel fine tune to ensure the dynamips works at its most.

Sun Sep 2 23:20:55 EST 2007

another round of preparation

No, no I am not putting this because I have attempeted and failed (again). Instead, I am setting several additional preparation at my end for the next attempt.

The bad news is that, as you all knew, I have to postponed the next attempt to December ;)

While the good news is: with that crazy and chaotic schedules, commitments, etc, I have managed to spare some funding to properly get a notebook that I can bring anytime and put on my lovely dynamips lab in there ;)

Wed Aug 22 05:27:59 EST 2007

Let the countdown begins

Here I am, ready for the next attempt's preparation

This time, it is do or die (I believe on the 'do' part)

To make it more exciting, here is the countdown (Melbourne Time) or countdown (San Jose time) from timeanddate.com

Let the countdown rolls ...

Fri May 18 20:24:45 EST 2007

What had happened?

Welcome back to DC's CCIE blog!

Between the last blog and this one, I have left my CCIE lab for the time being.

Sadly, it is due to financial reason. I have another commitment on my table that I must attend. However, rest assured that my CCIE spirit is still there, hibernated for the time being ;)

Several weeks back, I announced my next attempt to be in August this year. Sadly (again), it is now scheduled to be end of this year, around December.

Well folks, stay tuned for the next breaking news of my next battle of CCIE lab attempt. Meanwhile, I will be doing practices and some dynamips play around ;)

Tue Mar 6 12:36:07 EST 2007

second attempt and I still need to do it again

Whew! What an exam!

The proctor is a 5-CCIE holder and have been writing various CCIE lab exam in the last couple of years.

This round of exam is having the same difficulties as my previous one. Some trade off happens: there is (supposed to be) no wrong configs in there. Even with fewer number of total tasks, the solution to be put up is not a simple tasks (hey, this is CCIE all about doesn't it???)

Some oddities happened:

  • BGP ASN is different between the config and the diagram. The proctor admits this is a mistake when the config was loaded -> I got extra time for changing the config into the correct one
  • IGP and BGP diagram was mixed up and creating a contradictory information amongst them. I informed the proctor that the BGP diagram exist in IGP and I though this is a mistake. The proctor was helpful to inform me to ignore the wrong one.
  • There is already a routing protocol setup in there, in full working configuration. However, there is no guide in the exam paper mentioning that this task required a migration from that routing protocol into another routing protocol. The newly-configured routing protocol is the one that the scenario is 'migrating' into. Lucky enough I pop-up this question to the proctor that informed me the scenario is supposed to be migrating between one routing protocol to another.

It turned out that I still need to further prepare my next CCIE lab :)

However, the result is not what I expected it would be. Some domain areas are given total 0% whilst I strongly believe it was working fine (I even verified it various times to ensure this is what the question is after).

Unfortunately, since this is a self-funded CCIE preparation, the next attempt I could go is after July this year. I have drained the budget for this semester and the soonest availability of my budget is after July.

Meanwhile, I am doing all sorts of crazy scenarios for the sake of my own curiosity. Who knows that those scenarios will be its own workbook that I could share with the CCIE community. I still have the habit of being a constructive instructor/teacher anyway, so I hope my own 'workbook' would teach me gradually to be ready from 'ground up' to be 'fully-credible' CCIE.

The tradeoff is: this workbook might be the long duration version of CCIE-to-be. But, whoever uses it will have the choice of fast forwarding to the level in areas that they need to pick up (just like me!).

This blog will never end, even after I got my multiple CCIE credentials in the future ;)

Thu Mar 1 22:46:06 EST 2007

countdown from 3!

Three more days folks, three more days to my next CCIE R&S lab attempt.

What had I prepared so far? DocCD, some 'basic' scenarios for technologies, DocCD, some workbook scenarios and ... DocCD.

Why on earth did I have more DocCD as part of my preparation this time? Because that was what I missed last attempt. I have had several 'cramming' scenario sessions with lack of DocCD attempt to find the solutions. Honestly, quite a lot of answers tips and guides are available from DocCD.

I just took one attempt and I don't think this is good 'expertise' information on the lab preparation. However, from various sessions doing some readings either from discussion groups, VoD, etc on exam preparation, a lot of them keep mentioning the DocCD.

In my last attempt, I tried my best not to open DocCD at all! Why is that??? It would be better to have no DocCD and knowing from the router's straight away. I was totally wrong! DocCD has been provided purposely for assisting the configuration tasks. But, it would be nice to access DocCD for anything other than 'ordinary' tasks. Say: VLANs, VTP config, frame relay, OSPF, BGP, multicast, etc. that is the 'basic' configuration. A slightly more 'advanced' configuration might also be able to be configuread without looking at DocCD. Anything beyond than that point, only experienced would be able to provide the answer without looking at the DocCD (and I really mean experienced people). As for me, those 'more advanced' configuration are not always happenign in my experience. However, I am confident I could always find it in the DocCD. That is the purpose of the DocCD anyway :)

We'll see what would happen in this next round of attempt. From the last attempt and the evaluation afterwards, I am just confident I could 'smell' my number already ;)

Tue Feb 27 15:37:22 EST 2007

old habit

Today I recalled my old habit in configuring the routers. And today as well, I am using that habit for my home lab access.

What old habit did I have? Configuring the router using notepad and pasted it to the router. Is it a 'bad' habit or a 'good' habit? I have no idea!

During my work at various clients (particularly in Australia), I must carry out the router configuraion that way. Whay is that so? To save time! When a customer request a replacement or a new site setup, most of the time the router is not yet arrived in the office. Thus, to save time, I configure the router based on my best knowledge on the IOS, chasis, modules, etc. Then I drafted out the basic configuration for connectivity then build the config from that point on using all 'imagination' in my head on whether this command would do good once pasted or it will wreck havoc in the production later. To make things worst, 'usually', the router (or even switch) only transits my office area for around 4 hours. Thus within that 4 hour, I must be able to configured it in the 'full config' and ship it to the customer in the same day. I would be lucky to have the router arrived at 5pm, but that means I must ship it before 10am the next working day. That means only 2 hours instead of 4 hour 'transit'.

During that period, there was no such thing called dynamips or in-kind. I must really knock on my head in order to realized whether the config would work or not (not should!).

As of today, I have a poor Internet connection to home's (dynamips) lab. So, to save time I drafted out the config, verify it that it would (and should!) work and once I arrived home: pasted it and compared it against the correct answer. I have a quick glimpse on some answers that I have no idea what it asked. More than 90% of the question is quite clear for me. Only minor (or silly???) misunderstanding in those 10% that might dragged me down during my next lab attempt.

In the last two days, I have used extensive full-blown dynagen management. It is a very nice tool and could have been tweaked for more dynamips options. All-in-all, I already have some idea to develop my own dynamips management console (I will tell you all later once I got my CCIE number, ok? ;) )

It turned out that my answer so far is able to reach fair amount of correctness (I have not really drill the details, maybe tonight). I am surprised with the result (and happy of course!)

Now the rest remains in the day of the lab next Monday. I will do my best to pass this one this time and earn the number that I deserve (and have been desperately waiting on).