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OSI Model – free iPhone app

October 7, 2010 3 comments

If you’re learning for your CCNA or want to refresh your memory AND have an iPhone\iPad\iTouch check out this OSI model app – NOW FREE

Description

The most engaging OSI Model Video e-learning combining multiple modalities to help you understand the theory behind the OSI Model.Over 31000 people have viewed these video’s with a rating of 4.7.

The App is broken up into 3 videos:
1. Introduction to the OSI Model
2. Layer 1-3 of the OSI Model
3. Layer 4-7 of the OSI Model.

The video’s were created in a high quality production mode, not boring powerpoints or wipe boards. These videos were created by a Cisco Learning Solutions Partner – Tech 2000 and can be used to help you fulfill your CCENT or CCNA knowledge requirements. The commentator is a Cisco Certified Instructor.

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Free CCNA Workbook

August 19, 2010 Leave a comment

With comprehensive Labs and great video series this website offer a much-needed FREE CCNA resource. Matthew George, the founder did an amazing work for the good of all the CCNA candidates out there so spread the word 🙂

This is thea part of the intro:

Our mission is to provide quality CCNA lab training materials to assist you as an individual in pursuit of the Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification. The CCNA certification is a globally recognized certification awarded by Cisco Systems to display associate level knowledge of network engineering skills; skills which include a basic understanding and ability to design, implement and maintain networks that utilize technologies such as Frame Relay, Virtual LAN’s, STP, VTP, ISL, Dot1q, Port Security, Static Routes, RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, Access Control List and much much more.

ip helper-address

March 9, 2010 1 comment

I’m in the last stage of my studies, preparing for the BSCI exam. The big picture is clear but the amount of details…

I was playing with ip helper-address commands and want to review this simple yet useful command, that BSCI present when DHCP is in question but has other uses. I was reading the relevant parts from the Advanced Routing Companion Guide book by CiscoPress.

In short, broadcast is blocked on routers (remember the broadcast domain from your CCNA exam?) but sometimes we still need to forward this traffic. While BSCI focus on forwarding DHCP traffic across routers, DNS, TFTP or BOOTP are commonly used protocols that require the same solution. Let’s say you have a time-server at the HQ office and you want your branch office to use it or maybe a DNS server at HQ that branch offices use to resolve IPs.
ip helper-address present a solution to those scenarios.

The command syntax is simple:

ip helper-address [vrf name | global] address [redundancy vrg-name]

The important option is address = Destination broadcast or host address to be used when forwarding UDP broadcasts. There can be more than one helper address per interface.

By default the helper option is disabled.
When enabled the following UDP services will be available: 37, 49, 53, 67-69, 137, 138.
The default services can be locked using the global no ip forward-protocol command.

The ip forward-protocol command (syntax), used in global mode to specify which protocols and ports the router forwards when forwarding broadcast packets.

ip forward-protocol {udp [port] | nd | sdns}

CISSP Video Mentor – book review

March 3, 2010 2 comments

CISSP has nothing to do with Cisco or Microsoft certifications, It is a totally separate world. Saying that, It covers topics that both worlds deal with as security is major for both vendors (and the entire industry).

CISSP Video Mentor by Pearson

I’ve received the CISSP Video mentor kit from Pearson for evaluation. It is a Shon Harris production and the woman is a legend. Great start.

The booklet that come with the video is great, a summary of all the main concepts and definitions. If you study for the exam its a great last-minute review and if you’re like me – just picking to the world of security, it is exactly what you need. Not too heavy, not too light.

The videos are very good. I’m familiar with some of the concepts and some where new but at all time I felt that I learn something new and understand it. Shon and her co-instructors that took over at few labs and videos did a great job. Both the presentations and Labs are high level training materials.

One more look at the labs. I’m a PC and windows was my idea. I know nothing about Unix (or was it Linux) but even those Linux-based labs where clear. I won’t be able to take a Linux box and run the same commands but I did understand the concepts. Obviously I found the windows-based labs more familiar but the concept is the main purpose when watching this type of video.

Overall I was very happy with this kit and highly recommend it if you study for the CISSP exam or if you just want to get a wider understanding on security concepts.

Check all my reviews here

Cisco ASA All-in-One – book review

February 13, 2010 1 comment

I received a new ASA book from Cisco Press for evaluation.
Cisco ASA All-in-One Firewall, IPS, Anti-X, and VPN Adaptive Security Appliance, 2nd Edition covers everything ASA.

Cisco ASA All-in-One by CiscoPress

My first thought of this 1152 pages brick is that now I have a good door blocker and Access Attacks are no longer a threat 🙂

The book target both entry level and advanced users. I consider myself somewhere midway between the two as I’ve been working with ASA and its predecessor, PIX for few years but it is not a day to day job (more like a plug and forget about it).

Another point that should be noticed is my recent security studies for ISCW exam and current BSCI studies that cover routing protocols, both covered in the book.

The first part of the book is an entry level introduction to security and the ASA hardware. If you ever touched ASA or heard about basic security concept you can skip it.

The next section covers the Firewall Technology behind the ASA appliance. This is the core of the book, the foundation of ASA and its security concepts.

The first thing I noticed here is the extensive coverage of ASDM configuration. As I noticed in ISCW which is a much older resource, Cisco is pushing toward a graphical interface (some say they have to compete with other, easy to config products).

The first few chapters are still introduction level materials, if you are new at this it is good stuff, very explanatory but if you are at a CCNA level you already know most of it and other than a quick reference guide you will not find anything enlightening.

Moving along within this part you get deeper look and more complex subjects, at this point an entry level reader should slow down.
I like the tips they added on which hardware and software versions are required for each feature, this is something that many administrators forget to check in advance and even when they look for it, Cisco’s web site doesn’t have it organized as well as the book.

The next section covers IPS and Content Security. Both provide a detailed description of all the available features with commands and output examples but it is all on a basic functional level. They are way too short and feel as if not as important. This is something that this book really failed to provide as both IPS and Content security are the added value that differentiates ASA from other vendors. These subjects are also the difference between a basic configuration to the advanced and more flexible security that advance readers would implement.

The last section of the book describes VPN types. This is the one thing I do almost on a daily basis; it is becoming a common task that every network administrator should be familiar with. Coming out of the ISCW exam both theory and hands-on are fresh but if there is one thing that cannot be said (and read) enough is IPSec VPN configuration (and debug). VPN configuration must be identical on both ends and when it isn’t, problems and errors can wear you out. debug will save you. Saying that, this is where the book pays off as it describes the different VPN solutions in a detailed way and provides both CLI and ASDM configurations using many debug outputs. If you work with VPNs you know it and if you’re just starting, you’ll learn to appreciate it but both ways you’ll find answers to (almost) everything VPN in this book.

To summarize I think the book is excellent for a newbie to the ASA world and Cisco’s security concepts. You can find all the commands you need for most of the firewall features with descriptive explanation and ASDM printouts.

If you are an advanced user you can use this book as a (heavy) command reference but do not expect too many advanced concepts.

VPN is the only part where the extra details are good for both entry level and advanced readers and is by far the best part of this book.

Extra value:
CCNA Security candidates will find here all the exam topics and more,
CCSP candidates will find many of their topics, not always to the same depth but definitely SNAF (Securing Networks with ASA Fundamentals exam), IPS (Implementing Cisco Intrusion Prevention System exam), and SNAA (Securing Networks with ASA Advanced exam) materials have a significant presence in the book.

Check all my reviews here