CCDE Success: Study Methodology

Overview In previous posts I’ve covered most of my thinking about general preparation/alignment with the CCDE practical, the resources I used to help in passing it and how to deal with the test day-of. This one is to outline a bit more of my methods of using the study materials to prepare. This should be the last piece regarding CCDE testing. Strength in Numbers This is extremely straight forward: join a group. In all seriousness I felt this was the single greatest contributor to my… Read More »CCDE Success: Study Methodology

CCDE Success: References Used

Overview Much like others before me I thought it best to outline the resources I used in preparing for my second, and ultimately, successful attempt.  If you haven’t already looked to Daniel Dib’s excellent blog, I’d encourage you to do so. For this post, I’d look specifically to his listing of resources used. I’d also recommend reading Petr Lapukhov’s recommended reading list. My listing is essentially Daniel and Petr’s list plus some additional things (as I started at a far, far lower technical level than… Read More »CCDE Success: References Used

Arista Certification – ACE

My company recently expanded into selling Arista and I’ve been the guinea pig for getting their certification (it’s required as part of the partner program). If you are considering taking a course, I’d really recommend doing it in person with Gary and/or another member of the team, direct from Arista. While you can do things virtually you’ll be giving up a big part of the value of the training if you do – the experience of those that created the coursework in the first place.… Read More »Arista Certification – ACE

DellEMC SmartFabric Director

SUMMARY: DellEMC seems to be tightening its focus on VMware and NSX-T fabrics by providing tools to ease the deployment of an underlay. SmartFabric Director (SFD) is a new tool to simplify that deployment and provide the needed functions for running an ethernet fabric with NSX-T on top. All the major needs for a fabric are covered to some greater or less extent. The tool can be used for other deployments as well but I think it makes most sense when putting NSX-T on top. See… Read More »DellEMC SmartFabric Director

Aruba’s SD-Branch Part #1: Solution Components

Edit: You should also check out Ed Horley’s excellent take on Aruba’s SD-Branch presentation at https://www.howfunky.com/2019/10/network-field-day-21-aruba-sd-branch.html Overview I saw a great presentation about Aruba’s SD-Branch offering as part of being a delegate for Network Field Day #21. I’m going to spend two posts covering SD-Branch as I am not extremely familiar with Aruba’s product line and I suspect I am not alone in that regard. In this first one I’ll go through the parts that form the solution and include a lot of links to… Read More »Aruba’s SD-Branch Part #1: Solution Components

NFD21 Delegate!

It is my great honor to serve with Bruno Wollman, from my CCDE study group, as a delegate to NFD21! I’ve never participated before but I have watched some of their videos and recently subscribed to the podcasts by Gestalt IT. I’m joining for the second half the week and will get to see the following companies present: Network to Code – They are well known for their role in automation and I’m keen to see their presentation. Likely many engineers I’ve taken some tentative… Read More »NFD21 Delegate!

Response: Is NAT Security? Should I remove my public IPv4 from my internal network?

This question came really as a need to transition off “public” IPv4 space on an internal network and to the more commonly RFC1918 internal address along with NAT (for security reasons). This posting is the bulk of my reply to the customer. I really see this as the often-discussed question “Is NAT security?”. My wording/frame of reference here is as if I’m writing to someone not entirely familiar with NAT. I tried to provide some reference material below ; to avoid a pure appeal-to-authority. Okay,… Read More »Response: Is NAT Security? Should I remove my public IPv4 from my internal network?

CCDE Success: Understanding It and You

Overview This post is about covering three key ideas in preparing to take the CCDE and how to validate those ideas through the use of scenarios . The ideas are being minimally qualified, being technically complete,  and being connected to the scenario. The ideas combine to provide success on the test. Being Minimally Qualified Being minimally qualified means understanding the necessary depth of knowledge that is needed on a topic. As an example, it is important to understand QoS, the models of it, how it can help (or hinder) a design,… Read More »CCDE Success: Understanding It and You

Study Materials: MPLS

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… Read More »Study Materials: MPLS

Book Complete: IP Multicast, Volume I

As promised I finished it, IP Multicast, Volume I. I enjoyed the book and it certainly improved my understanding of multicast. I was struggling at the end to make it through the chapters on IPv6 and Troubleshooting but I do notice I get subject fatigue after so many pages (generally around 300 or so). I’ve nearly updated all the mind-map bits and will get a fully updated version posted soon. Next, as I mentioned, is End-to-End QoS Design. I’ll be honest in saying I’m not… Read More »Book Complete: IP Multicast, Volume I