Using Tools Like Wireshark to Reinforce Your Studies

January 20, 2018 at 6:00 am


This video reminds students to use tools like Wireshark during their studies to reinforce the topics they are learning!

400-101 CCIE R&S Written – Free Resources – Network Implementation

January 17, 2018 at 8:30 pm


Time for another section of our blueprint! This one is boring 😉 Just kidding of course!

1.2 Network implementation and operation

1.2.a Evaluate proposed changes to a network
1.2.a [i] Changes to routing protocol parameters
1.2.a [ii] Migrate parts of a network to IPv6
1.2.a [iii] Routing protocol migration
1.2.a [iv] Adding multicast support
1.2.a [v] Migrate spanning tree protocol
1.2.a [vi] Evaluate impact of new traffic on existing QoS design

Performance Management Best Practices

Enterprise WAN IPv6 Migration Guide

Service Level Management Best Practice

Bandwidth Estimation Configuration Guide

Recommended Books:

IPv6 Address Planning

IPv6 for Enterprise Networks

IPv6: Theory, Protocol, and Practice

Routing TCP/IP Vol II – Multicast Chapters

Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) 802.1w

December 29, 2017 at 8:10 am


Whether you are pursuing your CCNA, CCNP, CCIE, or many other Cisco Certifications, a deep knowledge of RSTP is critical. In this post, we will detail key facts for you regarding this Layer 2 loop prevention system.

  • 802.1w (RSTP) is an evolution of the classic 802.1D (STP) protocol
  • 802.1D tried to speed things up with the additions of UplinkFast, BackboneFast, and PortFast; the UplinkFast and BackboneFast features are now essentially built into RSTP, while PortFast is still a feature you enable in RSTP if desired
  • 802.1w can also revert back to 802.1D in order to interoperate with legacy bridges on a per-port basis
  • With 802.1D, once in the forwarding state, there is no way to tell from the port state whether the port is root or designated; RSTP decouples the role and the state of a port to address this issue
  • The 802.1D port states are Disabled, Blocking, Listening, Learning, Forwarding; in 802.1w these are simplified to Discarding, Learning, Forwarding
  • The port roles are expanded in 802.1w to include Backup and Alternate ports in addition to Root and Designated; these new port roles help implement the features of UplinkFast into the protocol natively
  • A Backup port receives more useful BPDUs from the same bridge it is on and is a port blocked
  • An Alternate port receives more useful BPDUs from another bridge and is a port blocked
  • RSTP now uses all six bits of the flag byte that remain in order to perform – encoding the role and state of the port that originates the BPDU and handling the proposal/agreement mechanism
  • The RSTP BPDU is now of type 2, version 2; legacy bridges must drop this new BPDU; this makes it easy for an 802.1w bridge to detect legacy bridges connected to it
  • BPDUs are sent every hello-time, and not simply relayed anymore’
  • BPDUs are now used as a keep-alive mechanism between bridges; a bridge considers that it loses connectivity to its direct neighbor root or designated bridge if it misses three BPDUs in a row; this fast aging of the information allows quick failure detection
  • To natively support the BackboneFast type behavior, RSTP accepts inferior BPDUs; when a bridge receives inferior information from its designated or root bridge, it immediately accepts it and replaces the one previously stored; this permits fast acceptance of a new Root port in the topology
  • Rapid transition is the most important feature introduced by 802.1w; RSTP is able to actively confirm that a port can safely transition to the forwarding state without having to rely on any timer configuration; in order to achieve fast convergence on a port, the protocol relies upon two new variables: edge ports and link type
  • RSTP can only achieve a rapid transition to the forwarding state on edge ports and on point-to-point links; the link type is automatically derived from the duplex mode of a port
  • A proposal/agreement process in RSTP aids in very convergence
  • The topology change notification process is overhauled in order to also aid in faster convergence and improve efficiency

For more details on these new features summarized here – check out Understanding Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (802.1w) This document often forms the basis for plenty of RSTP-related written exam questions from CCENT to CCIE. Note that my summary document here covers most of those questions for you, however!



A Quick BGP Quiz for the CCNA

August 16, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Lots of students of CCNA get in a panic about BGP in the exam. Here is a quick quiz to test your knowledge!

How did you score??? Let us know in the comments section!



Congratulations - you have completed CCNA - BGP.

You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.

Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%

Your answers are highlighted below.
Shaded items are complete.

InformIT (Pearson Education)

CCNA – IP Networks Quiz

August 7, 2017 at 10:26 pm

Enjoy this quiz hitting a variety of fun IP network topics from the Cisco CCNA certification area. Note that many of these topics also apply to a wide variety of certifications from a wide variety of vendors – including CompTIA A+ and Network+.

CCNA - IP Networks


Congratulations - you have completed CCNA - IP Networks.

You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.

Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%

Your answers are highlighted below.
Shaded items are complete.

The OSI Model Challenge – Quiz 1

August 6, 2017 at 8:51 am

Enjoy this challenge regarding the OSI model. This quiz maps to many different certification exams including, CCENT, CCNA, A+, N+, and many more!  Good luck!

The OSI Model Challenge

Enjoy this challenge regarding the OSI model. This quiz maps to many different certification exams including, CCENT, CCNA, A+, N+, and many more!

Congratulations - you have completed The OSI Model Challenge.

You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.

Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%

Your answers are highlighted below.
Shaded items are complete.

Store and stream video tutorials, study materials and practice online tests at your convenience using a cloud hosted virtual PC by using Visit today to know how cloud technology can boost your productivity.

Cisco CCNA – Practice OSPF in GNS3

July 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm

In this video, we use GNS3 to quickly and efficiently practice the configuration, verification, and troubleshooting of OSPF.

InformIT (Pearson Education)

Are You Smarter than a CCNA – Port Security

May 27, 2017 at 3:12 pm


Challenge yourself with these questions about Port Security. These questions are from my text – CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Exam Cram (5th Edition)

1. If you issue the single switchport port-security command, name the
resulting port-security mode, violation action, and maximum number of
MAC addresses permitted.

2. What form of port security combines aspects of dynamic learning with
static learning?

3. What command allows you to verify the port-security settings of the Gi0/1


4. What command precedes the switchport port-security command typically?
A. switchport port-security enable
B. switchport mode access
C. switchport mode secure
D. switchport data enable


5. What violation mode does Cisco not recommend?
A. Restrict
B. Shutdown
C. Error
D. Protect


6. What are two options for recovering from an error disabled port due to port
security? (Choose two.)
A. Port Security Auto Recovery
B. errdisable recovery
C. Manual recovery
D. Port Security Disable


1. The mode is dynamic port security, the violation action is Shutdown, and the maximum MAC addresses is 1.

2. Sticky learning.

3. show port-security interface gi0/1

4. B is correct. The switchport mode access command typically must precede switchport port-security as the port cannot be dynamic.

5.  D is correct. Cisco does not recommend the Protect mode as it does not alert the administrator of any violation.

6. B and C are correct. You can have automatic recovery with errdisable recovery, or you can manually recover from the situation.