Wednesday, November 24, 2010

6 Days without Internet

Due to the Eid holiday in Dubai last week I had a chance to be completely off from the Internet for 6 days. So yes people, it's possible to live for a week without Facebook, email, IM and so on. I only sent a tweet per day from my Blackberry to record what I did, and here they are:

Day 1: snowboarding with the kids. Then went shopping for Eid
Day 2: eat, pray, sleep. Eid celebration and BBQ at a friend's house
Day 3: spent the whole day at the park
Day 4: in the middle of zillion teenagers, watching Jonas Brothers concert at Yas Island. Thing you must do when you have 12 years old girl!
Day 5: splashing and sun bathing at waterpark, then dining at chinese restaurant
Day 6: desert driving, flying in vertical wind tunnel and now watching Harry Potter 7. That's the end of 6 days without facebook, email, IM!

It was 6 days full of activities from snowboarding, desert driving, indoor sky diving, splashing at waterpark, to shopping, hanging out with friends and BBQ, and watching movie and the concert. Who said life without Internet would be a mistake?

I should do the same exercise with longer period someday.

Friday, November 05, 2010

How was life before GNS3?

I'm sick of people keep complaining about the new IOS XR in CCIE SP track. Listen, IOS XR in CCIE lab is good. It's closer to the decent real SP network. Do you want to pass CCIE SP lab, and call yourself the 'expert' for SP technologies, with an exam that has only 7200 as the top model for P and PE routers?

People asked me, how can I practice because GNS3 doesn't support IOS XR? First, GNS3 is just the front end graphical interface for the actual emulator dynamips. I hope this is not the first time you heard about this statement :) Many time I said, yes GNS3 or dynamips is good because we don't need the real router to practice. But remember, it's emulator not the real router and just like any software the emulator may have bugs as well. So when you face issue with your simulated network, you need to be able to identify if the problem comes from your config, from the IOS or from the emulator. If you can't accept this fact, stop using it. Stop your CCIE study and do something else. As CCIE candidates having a right attitude is required, including trying to find information like this.

Then you should know that you can't take this emulator for granted. Cisco never endorses the usage of emulator (and illegal IOS) to study. Chris made dynamips as his personal project, and if you can't contribute to it please stop complaining about why it doesn't support IOS XR (those who understand IOS XR architecture probably understand the challenges to emulate the box).

Let me ask you question: how was life before GNS3?

Some of CCIE candidates today know only how to download the GNS3 package, that has already included the dynamips, and install it in their PC. They practice hard like hell with it and pass CCIE lab without ever see the real router. Sometime they don't even have experience. If you need CCIE engineer for your company, would you hire the one that has never seen the real router nor the experience?

I passed two CCIEs without using GNS3 or emulator. If you want to know how, please listen to my story in WebEx recording.

If you can pass CCIE by relying only on emulator, good for you. But please don't take it for granted. Once you pass try to get real experience. If you want to take CCIE SP 3.0, study IOS XR from beginning starting with CCNA SP and CCNP SP (coming soon). Join a company that gives you experience with either CRS or GSR XR or ASR9K. Try to rent an XR rack. Form a study group then collect the money from all the members to buy one GSR XR. Ask your company to buy XR box with special rate for training purpose. Take loan from the bank to get the smallest ASR. I don't care. My point here is there is always a way and that's why CCIE is special. It distinguishes the real CCIE candidates and those who just want to pass to have the certificate so they can start getting more money. Money will come eventually, but please do it right so when you really pass CCIE SP 3.0 lab someday you can say 'yes, I'm a real CCIE'.

Again, many CCIEs before you didn't use emulator at all.
Think about it.