Though I have earned my CCNP R/S, the Grind never stops my friends, I am just getting started!!! :)

I just absolutely love this graphic, perfect representation of the Cisco struggle! Moving forward I will be posting non-Cert related technologies! Now to that I have earned my CCNP R/S, I've decided to take a breather with some lighter topics such as MPLS Layer 3 VPNs, which apparently are part of the CCIE R/S Syllabus. … Continue reading Though I have earned my CCNP R/S, the Grind never stops my friends, I am just getting started!!! 🙂

CCNP R/S Certified – 1,283 days and 286 posts on Loopedback.com later! :)

On April 5th 2016 (4/5/2016), I made my first post to this blog, and today on October 10th 2019 (10/10/2019) I have passed my final CCNP Exam the TSHOOT 300-135 🙂 Along the way I have hit many major life events that could very well have stopped my progress, gave me a reason to put … Continue reading CCNP R/S Certified – 1,283 days and 286 posts on Loopedback.com later! 🙂

300-115 SWITCH Exam Crushed! Tips on how I navigated this mentally exhaustive exam for the Pass grade!

It's been a long couple of years of medical issues that have stopped me from actually taking the exam, but have studied the material over and over, and finally took it today and passed it on the first attempt. I have to say that all of the questions on the exam were absolutely outside what … Continue reading 300-115 SWITCH Exam Crushed! Tips on how I navigated this mentally exhaustive exam for the Pass grade!

3 must know tactics to get a “Pass” score on exam day, as can be seen here on my ROUTE exam score printout (finally)! :D

Finally after my first two Failed attempts at the ROUTE exam, I have finally FINALLY passed it!!! I have to say I took the first fail as a learning experience, but after some intense brushing up on all topics and failing again, I didn't reschedule a 3rd attempt as I didn't think I wanted to … Continue reading 3 must know tactics to get a “Pass” score on exam day, as can be seen here on my ROUTE exam score printout (finally)! 😀

DMVPN – Huge DMVPN Lab, multi-branch deployment considerations, Phase 1 to Phase 2 DMVPN clearly demonstrated, lots of configuration and verification!

The above Topology has already been configured with its respective IP Addressing / Routing Protocols, all Adjacencies are Up/Up, and we are ready to jump straight into NHRP (Next Hop Resolution Protocol) configuration on the Hub / NHS (Next Hop Server) which will be PHX1 Router in this Topology and then onto the DMVPN Spokes! … Continue reading DMVPN – Huge DMVPN Lab, multi-branch deployment considerations, Phase 1 to Phase 2 DMVPN clearly demonstrated, lots of configuration and verification!

DMVPN – NHRP Client / Server Protocol review, how dynamic tunnels are formed, the different NHRP Phases, and an Intro to DMVPN definitions!

Above is a Topology that demonstrates a few things right off the bat, A) it wants to establish an mGRE Tunnel to Branch2 from Branch1, b) To do this it needs to send an "NHRP Query" Packet to the NHRP Server HubRouter to get information on HOW to create a tunnel with Branch 2, c) … Continue reading DMVPN – NHRP Client / Server Protocol review, how dynamic tunnels are formed, the different NHRP Phases, and an Intro to DMVPN definitions!

DMVPN – mGRE review of NHRP Servers and Client configurations (nothing labbed), and a glimpse out IPSec configuration at the very end!

This will be so basic that I am not sure exactly why I am posting, except for the sake of a refresher to this material, as the name implies instead of doing a "GRE to GRE" tunnel, we are creating Multi-GRE Tunnels with the help of NHRP (Name Hop Resolution Protocol), to allow spoke sites … Continue reading DMVPN – mGRE review of NHRP Servers and Client configurations (nothing labbed), and a glimpse out IPSec configuration at the very end!

DMVPN – Review of GRE Tunnel setup, do’s and dont’s, and a lot of EVE-NG glitches I didn’t post but took HOURS to figure out… so miss my physical lab now!

I initially stuck my TSHOOT GRE Deep Dive into the CCIE DMVPN bucket, but there is no such thing as too much practice or repetition, so get ready for some more here 🙂 Back to the basics of GRE and why this ancient protocol has any relevance It routes almost ANY kind of traffic which … Continue reading DMVPN – Review of GRE Tunnel setup, do’s and dont’s, and a lot of EVE-NG glitches I didn’t post but took HOURS to figure out… so miss my physical lab now!

MPLS – Route Leaking Lab, as well as “Extranet” configuration to allow two separate MPLS Customer subnets to chat!

After giving this some thought, I really can't in good conscience cap off an MPLS Fundamentals sessions without dipping our toes into the intermediate waters of "Route Leaking" with MPLS, as a Network Engineer you will some day run into two companies under the same Umbrella with two different MPLS rings that need to leak … Continue reading MPLS – Route Leaking Lab, as well as “Extranet” configuration to allow two separate MPLS Customer subnets to chat!

MPLS – Detailed look at “Planes” in the network, MPLS L3 VPN traffic flow reviewed through Wireshark, and how Import / Export VRF functions work!

Above is a graphic of my own Meraki stack at my home, however this will only be reviewed in discussion of network "Planes" before we close out MPLS discussion 🙂 In this final MPLS post I wanted to first get a very clear understanding of Management Plane vs Control Plane vs Data Plane, then take … Continue reading MPLS – Detailed look at “Planes” in the network, MPLS L3 VPN traffic flow reviewed through Wireshark, and how Import / Export VRF functions work!

MPLS – Finishing up Redistribution / Connectivity between Customers over the MPLS / L3 VPN, a review of everything learnt up to this point, and all running configs published for future review!

After taking a step from this lab to think about what is logically needed to make this work, I realized there is no "Redistribution" propagating routes over the L3 VPN between Customer A Site 1 / Customer A Site 2, so they have no idea how to respond to each other. The confusion in this … Continue reading MPLS – Finishing up Redistribution / Connectivity between Customers over the MPLS / L3 VPN, a review of everything learnt up to this point, and all running configs published for future review!

MPLS – Now to apply the Network Ninja troubleshooting to get these CE Routers talking across the MPLS Network!

Above is the full scope of the Topology that will be configured by the end of this, utilizing all different protocols for CE to PE, mainly to demonstrate it flexibility with accepting IGPs for all walk of life which is what this blog is all about 🙂 NOW, I had went ahead and used Keith … Continue reading MPLS – Now to apply the Network Ninja troubleshooting to get these CE Routers talking across the MPLS Network!

MPLS – Layer 3 overview, mBGP Configuration, and VRF Configuration reviewed (and how it all works together!)

This will be sort of the beginning of the end of the this MPLS series I am going through, Layer 3 VPN is really the last piece of "Cisco Magic" happening on the Provider Edge routers at work, segregating customer traffic on the same device using VRF instances along with MBGP to forwarding them across … Continue reading MPLS – Layer 3 overview, mBGP Configuration, and VRF Configuration reviewed (and how it all works together!)

MPLS – Transport-Address vs LDP Router-ID (RID), how they are tied together, and how to configure them to differ, and how that can help “engineer” the network!

The main point above I didn't illustrate real well is R3 has a new loopback9 Interface with 9.9.9.9/32 that is NOT in the OSPFv2 Domain, so its fellow R2 and R4 will not be able to reach it. Honestly I don't plan to spend a lot of time on this topic (famous last words), as … Continue reading MPLS – Transport-Address vs LDP Router-ID (RID), how they are tied together, and how to configure them to differ, and how that can help “engineer” the network!

MPLS – LSP Path Selection, LIB, LFIB, RIB, FIB, and CEF forwarding reviewed, how to view the tables, and how they all work to get traffic to its destination network!

The above Topology is how traffic say from Customer site Looped 1 would Label Switch traffic over to Looped2 on the right hand side of the Topology, and I will review exactly how the LSR's know where to send a packet when it arrives with a local label but multiple neighbors advertising label bindings for … Continue reading MPLS – LSP Path Selection, LIB, LFIB, RIB, FIB, and CEF forwarding reviewed, how to view the tables, and how they all work to get traffic to its destination network!

MPLS – LDP Session Initialization, Active / Passive LDP Neighbors, Verification Commands for LDP, and lots more LDP!

  I will be primarily looking at this through the lens of R3 to R4 when reviewing the below material, this is very heavy into MPLS verification commands / debug output / WireShark capture screen snips, so this will not be for anyone looking for a light read. I was planning on fitting LDP and … Continue reading MPLS – LDP Session Initialization, Active / Passive LDP Neighbors, Verification Commands for LDP, and lots more LDP!

MPLS – Layer 3 VPN configuration review on PE Routers, configuration of Provider Routers, and verification commands!

Will be doing a very simple IGP setup using OSPFv2, MPLS, and doing some verification commands to demonstrate different ways to verify MPLS Bindings / LDP in action / Labels through the LSP (Label Switched Path). However first upon booting up my lab I saw my Layer 3 VPN tunnel throw a console message, so … Continue reading MPLS – Layer 3 VPN configuration review on PE Routers, configuration of Provider Routers, and verification commands!

MPLS – A brief introduction, and a technical overview of MPLS Mechanisms and Terminology visually demonstrated!

  A very brief introduction to MPLS, and the benefits it provides to customers MPLS is the realization from its predecessors ATM and Frame-Relay that a more efficient, lower cost, and higher speed WAN packet switching solution was needed in the late 90's which gave way to the IETF coming up with MPLS. For all … Continue reading MPLS – A brief introduction, and a technical overview of MPLS Mechanisms and Terminology visually demonstrated!