Well, as predicted I made it about 300 pages into the End-to-End QoS book before needing a new topic. As I had a large chunk of time to spend last week I decided to bear down on MPLS; a technology I was less familiar with and really needed to clarify my understanding of. To that end I worked to finish Definitive MPLS Network Designs and also make headway in MPLS Fundamentals. Definitive MPLS has really excellent explanations but its density was too great for my rate of absorption last time I tried to read through it. By getting a better grasp on the fundamentals via some CiscoLive video sessions I found my reading of it far easier. Here are the recordings I found helpful:

BRKCRT-2601 – VRF, MPLS and MP-BGP Fundamentals – A good warm-up session that helps explain how to transition into MPLS Networks and how portions of them communicate. If you are need a real beginning level session, this is a good pick.

BRKMPL-2101 – L2 VPNs in MPLS – This was excellent and provided a LOT of material and information. Due to pausing and note taking it took about 3 hours or more to go through it. Nonetheless, my understanding was much stronger on VPLS and EVPN after the effort.

BRKMPL-2102 – IP VPNs in MPLS – I didn’t get through this one yet but it is on my list for listening as well. I suspect it would round out the topic by covering L3 VPNs.

BRKMPL-2100 – Deploying TE – This helped clarify a lot of the concepts I had around TE and even covered some QoS interactions that were helpful. Speaker is engaging and interesting too.

BRKMPL-2112 – MPLS WAN Backbone Solutions and Designs – Great session that helped explain design and lessons learned from deployments. Helped to gather different concepts in my head. It covered some topics of less required interest (like encryption) but still a good one.

BRKIPM- 3017 – mVPN Deployment Models – Luc (the presenter) does a great job of covering the material but occasionally doesn’t fully clarify a term before using it. I found the session excellent but very dense on material. If you are not solid on the fundamentals before starting it you will drown as the complexity continues to mount throughout the session.

I’ll be posting up the updated mind-map later tonight after I get through the last of the second chapter in Definitive MPLS Network Designs.

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