Problems encountered while doing the INE CCIE RSv5 Workbook

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Problems encountered while doing the INE CCIE RSv5 Workbook

Post by daniel.larsson on Wed May 06, 2015 11:12 am

I personally have a complex L2 lab at home consisting of several 3560's and 3750's, but they are noisy and take up quite a lot of space in my small lab-area.
So what I have found to be effective for me is so just use INE's Rackrental for the L2 part. It doesn't cost too much (100$ for 20 hours of labs) and you don't have to Cable anything and most importantly, it only takes 2 minutes to switch between different configurations.

It will take between 20-40 hours to complete the L2 advanced technology labs so weight this against the time invested with your own physical lab. With todays prices i would say that you'll get about 60 hours of rack-rentals per 3560 of your own, and about 80 hours of rack-rentals per 3750-switch. So in a 4-switch topology that's about 240 hours of rentals compared to buying your own devices. Your choice here of course and there are other racks available for rentals other than INE (which is among the most expensive ones).

Now for the Routing part it will take roughly 400-450 hours or so to complete that part, INE claims that youll need 500 lab-hours to complete the book provided you have learned the theory first.

What i would recommend is save some tokens for the full-scale labs with 20 hours and 4 switches, and the troubleshooting part.
Then find a better way to do the routing-labs, for example GNS3, Hypervisor, IOU, IOL etc. A pretty cheap hypvervisor (about 1000$) will be able to do the 10 required CSR 1000v's for the Advanced Technology Labs Routing part. You would need about twice the hypervisor to support the full-scale labs and the troubleshooting section. A lot cheaper than buying 20 physical routers with the required licenses! But still quite expensive.

The only downside i've come down to with using rack rentals for the switching part is:
-They run two switches in ios 15.0.
-They run two other switches in ios 12.2.
-With every initial configuration they rely on the broken and horrible VTP-protocol to push vlans into the topology.

These downsides combines makes it extremely annoying to load their initial configurations and do their labs correctly, becuase there are nasty bugs with VTP on top of the broken protocol (afterall, recommended best practices is to never use VTP and if using it run it in Transparent mode....for a reason IMO!). So you'll end up having VLAN-issues on some of the switches due to VTP getting a configuration revision of 0, and the switches not taking the VTP advertisements from the server.

If you are using INE's rackrenal make sure to ALWAYS check vtp status first to see if the VTP server (usually SW1) propagated downstreams to SW2-4 properly. I cannot even say how important it is to Always start your labs by checking this due to their IOS-versions on SW3-4.
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