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Category: labs

IPv6 remote labs on Partner Education Connection

If you need to improve your hands-on IPv6 skills and have access to Cisco's Partner Education Connection, you can get a number of IPv6 remote lab exercises free-of-charge.

Everyone else can buy the same labs from our learning store. For example, for €128, you can get a one week unlimited access to the labs with the ability to repeat every exercise as ofter as you need.

To view the PEC lab content and schedule the labs, just click on one of the following links:

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Simplify your lab work

If you do a lot of tests in a router lab, you're probably getting upset when you have to retype the login and enable password whenever you log into a router. What I do in my labs is to disable VTY login, set the default privilege level to 15 and disable exec timeout (to stop the router from terminating my session).

line con 0
 exec-timeout 0 0
 privilege level 15
line vty 0 4
 exec-timeout 0 0
 privilege level 15
 no login

Obviously, this would not bring you additional points on the CCIE lab exam :)

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OSPF Remote Lab Exercises

Have you ever wanted to practice with all the aspects of the OSPF technology, from simple single-area scenarios to a complex MPLS environment? The new remote lab product we've just released gives you the opportunity to test a number of OSPF concepts and configuration techniques. The Open Shortest Path First - Complete Technology lab bundle is a collection of exercises taken from standard Cisco courses (BSCI, MPLS and IP6FD) enhanced by specific OSPF scenarios (Non-Broadcast Multi-Access, Sham link support) and complete real-life deployment scenario (OSPF Superlab), enabling you to gain advanced skills in configuring and monitoring OSPF in complex and diverse network environments.
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Hands-on MPLS Traffic Engineering

I've written a lot about MPLS Traffic Engineering (not nearly as much as I would like, but there are always time constraints), as I believe this technology has interesting applications in Enterprise networks (and we all know that a lot of Service Providers are using it anyway). You might have seen my 10 MPLS Traffic Engineering Myths or the Perfect Load Balancing article … and if you don't know what I'm talking about, there's always the introductory Traffic Engineering the Service Provider Network.

The major problem of MPLS TE is that it's complex and that networking engineers usually lack the hands-on skills, and this is where we can help you: we've just rolled out the revised MPLS TE lab exercises. Compared to remote lab offerings from other sources, these lab exercises are very focused: you get step-by-step instructions (but no recipes, that would spoil the learning process), preconfigured equipment (so you don't have to configure IP addresses or IP routing protocols to get the job done) and detailed solutions explaining which task is achieved using a specific set of configuration commands.

I was able to get a discount for my readers: if you click this link and type in the promotion code 42B078 (expires on January 15th, 2008), you'll get a one week subscription to the MPLS TE remote lab bundle for €56. As this is a subscription offering, you can run the lab exercises as often as you like within a week of the purchasing date. And if you need one more argument to be persuaded, check the lab topology; you can experiment in a preconfigured nine router network :)
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ICND1 blended learning

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you probably won't need this one, but it might be useful to your colleagues who are reaching for the first rung on the Cisco certification ladder.

If your first thought was CCNA, you're wrong; Cisco came up with a sub-CCNA certification called Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician.

We've just rolled out a blended e-learning version of the requisite ICND1 (yes, that is ICND part one) course containing student guides in e-learning format and all the associated remote lab exercises (performed on actual devices, no simulations).
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Advanced Routing and Switching for Field Engineers

The Advanced Routing and Switching for Field Engineers course was targeted primarily at Cisco partners, but it covers a variety of interesting technologies that anyone aiming past the CCNP level might benefit from. Apart from heavy focus on MPLS VPN (that was largely missing from the CCNP curriculum), it includes advanced network management and high availability topics.

If you're not an expert working for a Cisco partner, you'll probably not want to attend the full-blown instructor-led course, but you can still get the same hands-on experience using our newly released ARSFE remote lab exercises.

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Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches

We have just released the new version of the Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches (SNRS) remote lab exercises. They are an ideal companion to books or e-learning material if you're preparing for the CCSP exam. You can also use them as a great practice environment if you have to support security-related IOS features in your network, but simply don't have the extra equipment to test them out before deploying them.

As a side note, what really amazes me is the fact that Cisco has rolled out a mainstream certification course that supports pretty recent features (up to IOS release 12.4(6)T), including control-plane policing, management-plane protection, zone-based firewalls and Web VPN.

More information is available here.

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Practice the PIX and ASA configuration in a remote lab

If you're studying for your CCSP exam or have to test some of the new features available on PIX and ASA, the remote lab exercises supporting the Securing Networks with PIX and ASA course from Cisco might be just the right thing for you. You'll be able to configure firewall and VPN features of PIX/ASA, as well as test its integration in a network, for example, usage of AAA server and deployment of WebVPN. The lab exercises also cover interesting improvements like transparent firewall, virtual firewall and active/active failover.

More information is available here.

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Get hands-on IPv6 experience

In one of his recent articles, Scott Morris provided an excellent summary why IPv6 is still on the horizon. The point I like most (as it's often forgotten by the techies) is this:

“After all of the pieces (network, applications, OS, etc.) are done, do you have enough people with enough knowledge to manage and design things? Now may be a good time for some training!”

Cisco has already included IPv6 in its mainstream BSCI course (so IPv6 is now officially part of CCNP certification). Apart from visiting the BSCI classroom course, you also have a few other options to get your hands on IPv6 training material:

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Try before you buy: Configure multi-area OSPF

In a recent post, I've been writing about our CCNP e-learning offerings. If you're aiming toward the CCNP certification and don't have time to attend a classroom session (or hate sitting through four weeks of training), these products might be the perfect fit for you.

If you'd like to evaluate our e-learning offerings, you can get free access to a sample module and related lab covering area configuration in OSPF; just go to our Blended Solutions Portfolio page and click on the Try our E-course Demo link at the top of the page.
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Test drive Carrier's Carrier MPLS VPN service

Carrier's Carrier MPLS VPN service is one of the more confusing aspects of MPLS VPN technology; there are simply so many different bits and pieces that have to fit together just right to make it work (although we did a pretty good job describing it in the Cisco Press book MPLS and VPN architectures, Volume II). If you would like to set it up in a test environment, here's what you can do: if you have partner-level Cisco Connection Online access, you can do it free of charge: If you're not working for a Cisco partner, you can buy the whole set of advanced MPLS remote labs from NIL Data Communications.
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Practice EIGRP configuration in MPLS VPN environment

If you would like to test how EIGRP works within an MPLS VPN, you can do that in our remote labs. If you have partner-level Cisco Connection Online access, you can do it free of charge: If you're note working for a Cisco partner, you can buy the whole set of MPLS remote labs from NIL Data Communications.
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