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CCNA Data Center DCICT (200-155) CBT Nuggets Outline

May 23, 2018 at 7:05 pm


By popular demand – here is the rough outline of the exciting new CCNA Data Center course I am working on at CBT Nuggets!

  1. Network Virtualization: Data, Control, and Management Planes
  2. Network Virtualization: Default and Management VRFs
  3. Network Virtualization: OTV
  4. Network Virtualization: NVGRE
  5. Network Virtualization: VXLAN
  6. Network Virtualization: Troubleshooting VDC STP
  7. Networking Technologies: Configuring FEX
  8. Networking Technologies: Configuring vPC
  9. Networking Technologies: Configuring FabricPath
  10. Networking Technologies: Configuring Unified Switch Ports
  11. Networking Technologies: Benefits of the Unified Fabric
  12. Networking Technologies: RBAC
  13. Unified Computing: Server Types
  14. Unified Computing: Connectivity
  15. Unified Computing: Cisco UCS
  16. Unified Computing: Hardware Abstraction
  17. Unified Computing: Configuring High Availability
  18. Unified Computing: Configuring Port Roles
  19. Unified Computing: Configuring Hardware Discovery
  20. Unified Computing: Hypervisors
  21. Unified Computing: Virtual Switches
  22. Unified Computing: Shared Storage
  23. Unified Computing: VM Components
  24. Unified Computing: Virtual Machine Manager
  25. Automation and Orchestration: Using APIs
  26. Automation and Orchestration: Cloud Computing
  27. Automation and Orchestration: UCS Director
  28. Automation and Orchestration: Troubleshooting a UCS Director Workflow
  29. Application Centric Infrastructure: The ACI Environment
  30. Application Centric Infrastructure: ACI Fabric Discovery
  31. Application Centric Infrastructure: The ACI Deployment Model
  32. Application Centric Infrastructure: The ACI Logical Model

Lab Exam Configuration Section Rules

May 23, 2018 at 12:19 am
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Updates to AWS for May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018 at 5:37 pm


Compute Announcing Amazon EC2 H1 Instances Price Reduction
Compute Introducing Optimize CPUs for Amazon EC2 Instances
Compute Announcing Windows Server version 1709 and 1803 AMIs for Amazon EC2
Compute Amazon EC2 Spot Instances now Support Red Hat BYOL
Compute EC2 VPN Update – Custom PSK, Inside Tunnel IP, and SDK Update Available for the AWS GovCloud (US) Region
Compute Amazon EC2 X1e Instances Now Available in Europe (Frankfurt) Region
Compute Amazon ECS Adds SSM Parameter for Launching ECS-Optimized EC2 Instances using AWS CloudFormation
Compute Amazon Lightsail Is Now Available in 3 Additional Regions: Canada, Paris, Seoul
Compute AWS Elastic Beanstalk Adds Support for Health Events in Amazon CloudWatch Logs
Compute Thinkbox Deadline Supports 3ds Max 2019 and Vue 2016
Storage Copying Encrypted Amazon EBS Snapshots Under Custom CMK now Completes Faster With Less Storage
Databases Modifiable sqlnet .ora Parameters for RDS Oracle
Databases Amazon RDS Supports Outbound Network Access from PostgreSQL Read Replicas for Commercial Regions
Databases Amazon RDS SQL Server Adds High Availability Support to the AWS GovCloud (US) Region
Networking & Content Delivery Lambda@Edge Adds Support for Node.js v8.10
Developer Tools AWS CodeCommit Supports Branch-Level Permissions
Developer Tools AWS CodeBuild Now Supports Local Testing and Debugging
Developer Tools AWS CodeBuild Supports VPC Endpoints
Developer Tools AWS SAM CLI Simplifies Building Serverless Apps with the SAM init Command
Management Tools AWS Auto Scaling Scaling Plans Can Now be Created Using AWS CloudFormation
Management Tools AWS Systems Manager Helps You Collect Inventory on All Managed Instances in a Single Click
Security, Identity & Compliance Easier Way To Control Access To AWS Resources By Using The AWS Organization of IAM Principals
Security, Identity & Compliance AWS IAM Service Last Accessed Data is Now Available in Four Additional Regions: London, Canada, Ohio, and Paris
Security, Identity & Compliance Amazon Cloud Directory Regional Expansion
Security, Identity & Compliance Amazon GuardDuty Adds Capability to Automatically Archive Findings
Security, Identity & Compliance Amazon Inspector Now Supports Amazon Linux 2018.03 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Security, Identity & Compliance AWS CloudHSM Client Packages Now Available For Microsoft Windows, Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and CentOS
Security, Identity & Compliance The AWS Secrets Manager Console Is Now Available in Italian and Traditional Chinese
Machine Learning Amazon Lex now Available in U.S. West (Oregon) AWS Region
Machine Learning New Developer Preview: Use Amazon Polly Voices in Alexa Skills
Machine Learning Optimized TensorFlow 1.8 Now Available in the AWS Deep Learning AMIs to Accelerate Training on Amazon EC2 C5 and P3 Instances
Analytics Amazon EMR now supports M5 and C5 instances
Analytics Amazon Elasticsearch Service Offers Additional Cost Savings with Reserved Instances
Analytics Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics Application Monitoring using Amazon CloudWatch
Analytics Introducing Real-Time IoT Device Monitoring with Kinesis Data Analytics
Analytics AWS Glue is now available in the Asia Pacific (Seoul) AWS Region
VR_AR.png Amazon Sumerian is Generally Available
Business Productivity Amazon Chime brings Meetings and Chat to Your Browser with a New Web Application
Application Integration Higher Throughput Workflows for AWS Step Functions

Graded Challenge: Multicast 1

May 21, 2018 at 2:52 pm
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DCICT (200-155) Unified Computing Server Types and Connectivity

May 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

NOTE: This post discusses just a fraction of the incredible content covered in my upcoming DCICT course for CBT Nuggets.

I can recall my shock in 2009 when Cisco Systems entered the server hardware market! I suppose it was similar to when I saw Amazon try (and sadly fail) at making smartphones. A Vice President at HP certainly was surprised and famously stated: “A year from now the difference will be (Cisco) UCS (Unified Compute System) is dead and we have had phenomenal market share growth in the networking space.“ Fortunately for Cisco Systems, he could not have been more wrong. In the 4th quarter of 2016 alone, Cisco did nearly 1 billion of server sales!

Cisco not only entered this market but has produced several variants already including rack mount servers, blade servers, and the hyper-converged Unified Computing System (UCS) of which there have already been three generations of technology.

In this post, let’s take an overview of the main products and technologies that make up the Cisco UCS umbrella.

Management Software

  • Cisco UCS Manager – this is the software for managing a single UCS domain. Don’t think this necessarily means a small environment, however, since this could mean up to 160 blade or rack mount servers in that management domain. And of course, each of those many servers could be running a huge number of virtual servers and/or containers. You have options when working with this software thanks to a GUI (Graphical User Interface), an XML Application Programming Interface (XML API), and a Command Language Interface.

The Cisco UCS Manager GUI

  • Cisco UCS Central Software – this software permits you to manage multiple domains located in the same campus, or even distributed worldwide. This provides the scalability required for very large enterprises.
  • Cisco UCS Director Software – since there are many different integrated systems included in the Cisco UCS world featuring equipment from the likes of EMC, Hitachi and more, the UCS Director Software helps you automate integrated infrastructure orchestration and management. Elements managed by this software include networking, hardware compute, operating systems, virtual machines, and storage.

Connection Technologies

  • Cisco SingleConnect Technology – connect your LAN, SAN, and management networks using one physical connection. Remember, this includes the connectivity for both your physical and virtual servers.
  • Cisco Direct Connect Technology – this advancement permits you to connect various servers in your overall system directly to the Fabric Interconnects. This allows you to manage these servers using a single cable for both management and data traffic. If you are not familiar with the UCS Fabric Interconnects, these are described below.

UCS Series Hardware

  • Cisco UCS Blade Server Chassis – these chassis can mount in industry-standard racks and use standard front to back cooling. They are so flexible in that they accommodate full-width blade servers or half-width blades. You can even mix and match these in the chassis. Cisco’s goal with these UCS chassis was to feature fewer physical components, eliminate the need for independent management of systems, and to increase energy efficiency.

The Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Server Chassis

  • Cisco UCS Fabric Extenders – the idea here is to scale the system without unnecessary complexity. Fabric Extenders bring the unified fabric into the blade server enclosure, providing multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections between blade servers and the fabric interconnect, simplifying diagnostics, cabling, and management. As its name implies, this device extends the I/O fabric between the Fabric Interconnects (covered below) and the Cisco UCS Series Blade Server Chassis. This enables a lossless and deterministic Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) fabric to connect all blades and chassis together. Since the fabric extender is similar to a distributed line card, it does not perform any switching and is managed as an extension of the Fabric Interconnects. This approach removes switching from the chassis, reducing overall infrastructure complexity and enabling Cisco UCS to scale to many chassis without multiplying the number of switches needed, reducing TCO and allowing all chassis to be managed as a single, highly available management domain. The Cisco UCS Fabric Extenders also help manages the chassis environment (the power supply and fans as well as the blades) in conjunction with the Fabric Interconnect. Therefore, separate chassis management modules are not required. The Cisco UCS Fabric Extenders fit into the back of the Cisco UCS Blade Server Chassis. Each Cisco UCS chassis can support up to two fabric extenders, allowing increased capacity and redundancy.

The Rear of the Chassis with Fabric Extenders Installed

  • Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects – these critical devices support a single point of connectivity and management for the overall UCS system. Because it is such a critical component of the system, it is often deployed in redundant pairs. As an example, consider the 6332 Fabric Interconnect which provides:
    •  LAN and SAN connectivity for all servers within their domains
    • Bandwidth up to 2.56 Tbps
    • 32 40-Gbps ports in one 1 rack unit (RU)
    • Support for 4×10-Gbps breakout cables
    • Ports capable of line-rate, low-latency, lossless 40 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
    • Centralized unified management with Cisco UCS Manager
    • Efficient cooling and serviceability

The Cisco UCS 6332 Fabric Interconnect

  • Cisco Nexus Fabric Extenders – these optional components are third-generation devices that support LAN and SAN connectivity to the UCS system. They offer ultra-high and flexible bandwidth options. Thanks to the Nexus Fabric Extenders, you can take advantage of the latest data center technologies including:
    • Virtual Port Channels
    • Enhanced Virtual Port Channels
    • FabricPath
    • Unified Fabric
    • Application-Centric Infrastructure
    • Virtual Extensible VLAN-based topologies
    • Versatile TCAM
  • Cisco R-Series Racks – these racks are optimized for Cisco UCS featuring a custom-design for the Cisco infrastructure, including computing, network, and power
    while they comply with EIA-310-D rack standards.
  • Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers – the approach here is a blade server for any purpose and any scale. Models are tailored for scale out, enterprise-class, or mission-critical deployments. As an example, the enterprise-class Cisco UCS B480 M5 Blade Server delivers support for the Intel Xeon Scalable processors; up to 6 terabytes (TB) of memory; four SAS, SATA, and NVMe drives; M.2 storage; up to four GPUs, and 160 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for I/O throughput.
  • Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers – again, an approach for various workloads and scale. Consider the Cisco UCS® C480 M5 Rack Server that delivers:
    • A 4RU form-factor
    • The latest Intel Xeon Scalable processors with up to 28 cores per socket and support for two-or four-processor configurations
    • 2666-MHz DDR4 memory and 48 DIMM slots for up to 6 TeraBytes (TB) of total memory
    • 12 PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 slots
    • Six x8 full-height, full-length slots
    • Six x16 full-height, full-length slots
    • Flexible storage options with support up to 32 Small-Form-Factor (SFF) 2.5-inch, SAS, SATA, and PCIe NVMe disk drives
    • Cisco 12-Gbps SAS Modular RAID Controller in a dedicated slot
    • Internal Secure Digital (SD) and M.2 boot options
    • Dual embedded 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN-On-Motherboard (LOM) ports
  • Cisco UCS Virtual Interface Cards (VICs) – as described above, these interface cards permit simplified computing connectivity thanks to Cisco SingleConnect support. This unifies LAN, SAN, and systems management into one simplified link for rack servers, blade servers, and virtual machines. Second and third generation cards even feature lower latency thanks to usNIC technology. usNIC (user-space NIC) is Cisco’s low-latency computer networking product for Message Passing Interface (MPI) over 10 Gigabit Ethernet in high-performance computing. It operates at the OSI Model’s data link layer (Ethernet frames) or the network layer (UDP packets) to eliminate the overhead of TCP within a data center.
  • Cisco UCS Invicta Series – while officially End of Life from Cisco Systems, you still might find mention of these servers in certification and of course you might find them installed in the field. The idea behind these servers is ultra fast performance through the use of NAND flash memory for sustained high throughput, a high rate of I/O operations per second (IOPS), ultra-low latency, and fast write performance.
  • Cisco Integrated Infrastructure – through partnerships with other networking giants, Cisco has offered integrated systems including:
    • FlexPod – a pre-validated data center platform built on Cisco UCS, the Cisco Nexus family of switches, and NetApp data management solutions
    • Vxblock Systems – provide a wide range of solutions to meet requirements for size, performance, and scalability; built with compute and networking from Cisco, storage from Dell EMC, and virtualization technologies from VMware
    • Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX
    • Nimble Storage SmartStack
    • Cisco Solutions for Hitachi UCP Select

3.2.b [vi] Multicast boundary

May 18, 2018 at 8:16 pm
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CCIE Security v5.0 Lab Equipment and Software

May 18, 2018 at 7:12 pm

This critical information is pretty buried on the Cisco site – so here you go! Easy to find here at AJSnetworking.com in the CCIE Security category.

Virtual Machines:

Security Appliances

  • Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE): 2.1.0
  • Cisco Secure Access Control System (ACS):
  • Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA): 9.2.0
  • Cisco Email Security Appliance (ESA): 9.7.1
  • Cisco Wireless Controller (WLC): 8.3.102
  • Cisco Firepower Management Center Virtual Appliance: 6.0.1 and/or 6.1
  • Cisco Firepower NGIPSv: 6.0.1
  • Cisco Firepower Threat Defense: 6.0.1

Core Devices

  • IOSv L2: 15.2
  • IOSv L3: 15.5(2)T
  • Cisco CSR 1000V Series Cloud Services Router: 3.16.02.S
  • Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv): 9.4(3)


  • Test PC: Microsoft Windows 7
  • Active Directory: Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module: 1.2
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager: 8.6.(1)
  • FireAMP Private Cloud
  • AnyConnect 4.2

Physical Devices

Cisco Catalyst Switch

  • WS-C3850-24U 03.07.04E

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance

  • 5512-X: 9.2(2)4

Cisco Aironet

  • 1602E: 15.3.3-JC

Cisco Unified IP Phone

  • 7965: 9.2(3)