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To earn your CCNP and master BGP, youve got to know when and how to configure route reflectors. Learn the skills you need to do so from Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933.

Cisco CCNP / BSCI Certification: BGP Route Reflector Tutorial

Cisco CCNP / BSCI Certification:  BGP Route Reflector TutorialWhen you're studying for your BSCI exam and CCNP certification, you quickly realize that BGP is a whole new world from anything you've previously studies. One topic that sometimes confuses CCNP candidates is when a BGP route reflector needs to be configured.In the following example, the routers R1, R2, and R3 are all in BGP AS 100. This is not a full mesh, however. There are peer relationships between R1-R2 and R1-R3, but not between R2 and R3. R3 is advertising network 3.3.3.0/24 via BGP, and the route is seen on R1. R1's iBGP neighbor, R2 does not see the route.A basic rule of BGP is that a BGP speaker cannot advertise a route to an iBGP neighbor if that route was learned from another iBGP neighbor. Configuring R1 as a route reflector will allow us to circumvent this rule. The entire route reflector process is transparent to the clients, and no configuration is necessary on those clients. We'll configure R1 as a route reflector for both R2 and R3.R1(config)#router bgp 100R1(config-router)#neighbor 172.12.123.2 route-reflector-client3d18h: %BGP-5-ADJCHANGE: neighbor 172.12.123.2 Down RR client config changeR1(config-router)#neighbor 172.12.123.3 route-reflector-client3d18h: %BGP-5-ADJCHANGE: neighbor 172.12.123.3 Down RR client config changeThe BGP adjacencies do come down when this configuration is added, so this isn't something you want to do during a peak traffic time.Once the adjacencies come back up, R2 will have the route to 3.3.3.0/24.There are other possible solutions to this iBGP limitation, such as configuring BGP confederations. Those solutions are generally used on larger BGP deployments and with other concerns in mind, though, and configuring route reflectors serves this purpose just as well.

What kind of backup you need?

What kind of backup you need?

For years now, we have learned to develop our business using computers and advanced technologies. Even though computers have turned out to be an immense help, they have also contributed to data insecurity and difficult protection for information that is vital. The last affirmation was especially valid for those of us who are regular enterprise users, those who need the Internet to transmit information, while taking advantage of advanced PC or laptop backup.Using a computer on a regular basis has taught us that such technologies need to be taken care of. This is why we have programs that improve the functionality of our computers, while adding security and virus protection. Backing up a computer or a laptop is no longer a new concept; on the contrary, every day more and more people are becoming interested in "laptop backup" solutions. There are also millions of people (including enterprise users) who have not discovered yet the advantage of enterprise laptop backup; they suffer each day from loss of valuable data and they should be informed about the existence of such innovative solutions.As the Internet is a pretty good resource for information, producers of PC backup solutions have started to present their products online. They have mentioned all the features that make their products so attractive and useful to the general public and enterprise users as well, including the statement that data protection is not just a dream for the future. Laptop backup is something everyone should be interested in, including those who run just a small business to large enterprises needing protection for terabytes of data. The characteristics of such products are presented online in detail, making people understand the need for them.Mobile and remote-office users along with enterprise users have been searching for data protection solutions for years. Today, technology has reached to a point where files can be synchronized and sent to a central server for protection. Compressed and encrypted, they can be reached at any moment and put to good use, the central server storing the good version of files and allowing you to benefit from remote web access. Wanting to take the modern generation of laptop backup solutions even further, specialists have promised to introduce continuous data protection (CDP) facilities, innovative encryption and even full support for mobile devices, especially personal organizers. The enterprise laptop backup products are now serving a wide segment of the market, promising to gain even more popularity than it all ready gained, as the need for data protection appears more often.The concept of data protection has always been linked with the one of data recovery. This is one of the main reasons why laptop backup products include both these two features as basic foundation. The same specialists are constantly working to develop even more advanced enterprise laptop backup, wanting to reach an even wider segment of the market. Probably one of the most attractive things about backup solutions is that they can be implemented for both PC and laptop. You are given constant sync of the data you have sent to the central server, feeling indeed the advantages of this groundbreaking technology. Without a doubt, both laptop enterprise users and PC office exploiters are taking delight in these backup products presented online, being particularly interested in the open-file/locked-file support for MS Outlook.

Cisco CCNP / BSCI Tutorial: Comparing OSPF and ISIS Hellos

Cisco CCNP / BSCI Tutorial:  Comparing OSPF and ISIS Hellos

While studying to pass the BSCI exam and preparing to earn your CCNP certification, you'll quickly notice that while OSPF and ISIS are both link-state protocols, there are a lot of differences between the two. One major difference is the way the two protocols handle hello packets.Hello packets are imperative to keeping OSPF and ISIS adjacencies alive. Since they are both link-state protocols, neither of them will send updates at any specified time. Hello packets are the only method by which routers running OSPF and ISIS can see that a neighboring router is still available.OSPF gives us some great options when it comes to keeping routing table size down via the use of stub and total stub areas, but to OSPF, a hello packet is a hello packet. ISIS routers are capable of sending two different types of hellos - Level 1 and Level 2.ISIS routers are classified as Level 1 (L1), Level 2 (L2), and Level 1-2 (L1-L2). By default, Cisco routers are L1-L2 routers; this means that every ISIS-enabled interface will send out both L1 and L2 hellos. If one of the interfaces is forming only an L1 or L2 adjacency, there's no reason to send out hellos for the other adjacency type. For example, if R1 is forming an L1 adjacency with R2 via its ethernet0 interface, there is no reason to allow the router to transmit L2 hellos. To hardcode a router interface to send only L1 or L2 hellos, use the isis circuit-type command.R1(config)#interface ethernet0R1(config-if)#isis circuit-type level-1Note: To configure this interface to send only L2 hellos, the full command is "isis circuit-type level-2-only", not just "level-2".This configuration would prevent L2 hellos from being transmitted out ethernet0. While this does save router resources and prevents unnecessary bandwidth usage, there is also no way an L2 adjacency can be formed - so double-check your network topology before using this command!

Cisco Certification: Learning To Navigate Cisco's Online Documentation

Cisco Certification: Learning To Navigate Cisco

When studying for your Cisco CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE exam, youve got a powerful online weapon at your disposal. Its Cisco Connection Documentation, found at www.cisco.com/univercd. This site contains product, code, and protocol documentation for all Cisco products. Many exam candidates really dont start using this powerful tool until theyre studying for their more advanced exams. However, its important for CCNAs, CCNPs, and candidates for these certifications to learn their way around this site. It comes in handy for finding default values that Cisco really enjoys asking about on exams, and the protocol documentation found there can help you study as well. The site can be a little overwhelming for newcomers, but its actually easy to navigate. On the sites homepage, youre presented with a list of products and several drop-down menus. To get started, I suggest you choose Cisco IOS Software in the top-right drop-down menu, and select a code version. 12.2 is a good one to start with. From there, select the IOS Release 12.2 Configuration Guide and Command References. Youre then presented with a list of technologies, and each has a Configuration Guide and a Command Reference. If youre studying Interior Gateway Protocols at this point (such as OSPF, RIP, and EIGRP), select IP Configuration Guide and then IP Routing Protocols. You then have the official Cisco documentation on how to configure RIP, IGRP, OSPF, EIGRP, ISIS, and BGP. Reading this documentation is invaluable. Many study guides skip the details to give you an overview of the protocol. This documentation doesnt skip anything. The documentation shows how and when to use any command for that protocol. There are also real-world examples and notes on when to use each command. Ive always learned something new when reading the online Cisco documentation. You can then back out and go through the same steps for the Command Reference. For those studying for Cisco exams, this section will quickly answer any question you have about a commands syntax or default values. Instead of trying to remember which book you saw a value in, just zoom out to this site and youll have your answer in seconds. Real-world examples of command usage are prevalent as well. As with anything, the more you use the online Cisco documentation, the better you get at it. The Configuration Guide for the various Cisco switches give you a great picture of how switches work. I highly recommend reading at least one of their switches config guides. Beyond any exam value the online Cisco documentation gives you, it serves another valuable purpose. The more you use it now, and the more comfortable you get with it, the better youll be with it when the day comes that you need it on the job. And trust me that day will come! Chris BryantCCIE #12933

Cisco CCNA / CCNP Home Lab Tutorial: Planning Ahead For IE Study

Candidates preparing to pass the CCNP exams are putting together Cisco home labs like never before. With CCNA and CCNP home lab equipment more affordable than ever, candidates have realized the importance of working on real Cisco routers and switches on the way to earning their certifications.One question I get often from CCNP candidates is goes something like this: "I'm planning on pursuing the CCIE after I get my CCNP. What kind of routers and switches should I buy now in order to use the same equipment in my CCIE home lab?"This is going to sound strange coming from me, because I'm the #1 proponent of CCNA and CCNP candidates buying their own home labs. When it comes to the CCIE, though, I have to say that you're probably better off using rack rentals instead of investing big money now to buy more expensive equipment with which to earn your CCNP.There are plenty of 2500 and 2600 routers out there that you can buy to prepare fully for your CCNA and CCNP exams that may not have the capability needed for IE preparation. (For instance, while 2500 routers are fantastic for CCNA and NP study, they shouldn't be used for IE study.) The issue with buying more expensive equipment is that Cisco rightfully updates the CCIE lab equipment list twice a year, and these moves can prove very costly for those who get caught in the middle of these changes. Let me give you an example that I lived through myself. When I began pursuing the CCIE, Catalyst switches were in use in the lab. I had a Cat 5000 that I used for practice. When I was in the middle of my preparation, Cisco introduced L3 switched to the lab in the form of TWO 3550 switches. Not only was the Cat now almost useless for IE study, the new switches went for about $5500 apiece, so if I wanted to keep up with the new lab changes, it was going to cost me $11,000. Again, I know that it's vitally important for today's CCNA and CCNP candidates to get hands-on experience with home labs. It's also great to think ahead when you're earning your CCNP, and pursuing the CCIE is one of the best decisions you'll ever make. Just keep this regular CCIE lab update in mind. I recommend that you keep your CCNP budget down while not investing in more expensive routers with the IE in mind, and wait until you have passed the CCNP and are actively engaged in CCIE study before making the decision between rack rentals and putting together your own IE lab.

Certification Q&A: The Basics Of Certification

* What does certified mean?There are four accepted meanings of the adjective certified but only two of which satisfy the needed meaning. To be certified means to be endorsed with authority by an institution or a person with higher position after one successfully meets certain requirements. Another meaning is that a person is qualified to do a certain job as supported by an appropriate document better known and regarded as a Certification.* What certifications are there?If you are pertaining to online certifications, there are lots to be traced. To help you find one best certification that fits your ability and interest, you may log on to reliable sites in the internet. For now, the following are the basic IT certifications: IT Auditing Document Imaging E-Commerce Internet/Intranet Linux Networking Printing Project Management IT Security Servers Service Technician Technical Trainer Webmaster* Who benefits from certification?Primarily the one given a certification benefits more. Being certified means one can properly function on a certain job. This means, companies will easily hire a person with certification especially when certifications come from a reliable learning institution.In some ways, the company to which a certified person intends to apply for work will also benefit since the performance of the applying employee is being supported with a certification.* Is certification better than experience?The answer for that is a big "No." Certification means training. It is impossible for a person to send himself training without experiencing what it is he intends to do. For this reason, we cannot equate certification from experience since they do not share the same purpose. However, if you already have work experience, a certification is a big help for promotion, recognition and pay raises.On the other hand, companies are not solely after experience but after educational attainments and performances. In other words, having completed a course as proved by a certification is a chance to be hired.* Which certification program is best for me?The best certification program for you is the one that fits your interests and capabilities. Those two factors should be considered above all ese when finding the right and best certification program for you.* How much will getting certified cost?Almost all training packages from different training institutions are cost effective. The training cost will depend on the training you want to pursue and in which training institution you intend to enroll. Generally, a trainee should prepare to pay between $100 and $400 for each training program.* How long will certification take?There are training institutions that offer a 6-month online training program. The usual training timeframe is one year. This length of training may exceed to a maximum of 2 years depending on the program conducted.* Do I need a college degree to be certified?You do not need a college degree to be certified. Some certification programs require one to have at least finished high school upon enrolling in a certain course.* Will certification really help my career?A certification may help your career. Nowadays, competition in the jobs is getting tougher. For one to stay in his or her job or to be promoted to a higher position, one factor to consider is his or her educational achievements. That is one reason why mastering your field of work by means of studying and training can be a great boost for your career. That is where a certification program can make or break your career advancement.* Will I have to go somewhere for my certification training?While you can find local institutions where you can take classes and tests, most training is done online now. You do not need to go somewhere else for your training. You do not even need to attend classes personally for your lessons. Not only is training done mostly online now, but examinations for certification are also given online.

Summary

To earn your CCNP and master BGP, youve got to know when and how to configure route reflectors. Learn the skills you need to do so from Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933.