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CCNP status check

It is exactly a month since I started my studies and I’m overwhelmed with the number of people who join my little world reading, commenting, subscribing and most important encouraging. As I noted before writing helps me digest the materials, getting the perspective of things while motivating me as I stand here and commit to you. This is also a good way for me to share the knowledge and experience, helping others the same way they help me. So thank you for the support, I’ll work even harder to keep you pleased, pass my exam and write as interesting and focused as possible.

Deep into my final preparations I’ve been going over everything again, reading my study notes, watching few videos (mostly PPPoE and AAA configuration) and working my lab.
I hope I spend my time on the right topics…

Points that popped and I feel worth repeating:
I get the feeling that SDM take a big role on the exam. Watching the videos and reading the Cisco press books I see SDM all over the place (is it the gray pictures in my book?) and expect many questions that are SDM based. Personally it is a good thing as SDM is both familiar and intuitive.

Configuring PPPoE and PPPoA there are few key points to remember (beyond the lab practice):

  • PPPoE uses pppoe-client dial-pool-number 1 command
    PPPoA uses dialer pool-member 1 command
    Right, if you’ll get a configuration task the router will not accept the wrong command but if you get few preconfigured answers you might get it wrong.
  • The study materials did not emphasis setting default gateway as much as they should but do not forget – if the traffic from the internal router is expected to get through the dialer interface you should let the router know about it.
    use the ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 dialer 1 command and never assume that it is preconfigured on the router as Cisco expects you to configure the default gateway and point it to the correct interface.

AAA configuration is also important both for real life and the exam. This is one of those topics that do not get enough attention. It is also a topic that in my opinion will be missing with the new track taking over (TSHOOT exam has a minor troubleshooting radius connection topic).

  • Order matters. aaa new-model command should be configured before any of the other AAA options become available (none of the other aaa options will be available on a real router prior to enabling it). When working on a real router make sure there are no previously configured commands as running aaa new-model will overwrite, delete the existing configuration.
  • I never used TACACS and I assume most of you used Microsoft RADIUS as it is the most common and already in place solution. ISCW does not require any of the advanced parameters that distinguish the two servers and you should not have a problem not having TACACS around
  • When configuring the aaa authentication command make sure you are using the group attribute for the authentication servers:
    aaa authentication login default group tacacs+
    aaa authentication login default group radius
    aaa authentication login default local
    à group is not being used here
    This is intuitive but can be confusing when you see configuration output so do not miss it.

Another parameter that might cause some confusion is MTU.
While the PPPoE dialer interface should be configured with ip mtu 1492, dealing with MPLS we use the mpls mtu 1512 command.

Exam day is around the weekend, I’ll use my time to go over some questions, basic scenarios and definitions using my study notes. I’ll look again at the cable modem topic as I didn’t pay too much attention to it and do not want to be totally lost there.

Only 182 more days left to complete my CCNP

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