Happy Holidays and IT Training!

December 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Happy Holidays to all my faithful blog followers here at AJSNetworking.com. Thank you so much for another incredible year of fun and interesting comments and discussions regarding mainly IT Training. 🙂

IT Training

My Holiday gift to many of you this year is to finally get after my Free Evolving Technologies Training as I promised. This is that new section of every CCIE Written Exam that is causing great stress for many candidates. Stress not. I will do the hard work of finding the correct documentation and detailing it for you on every topic on this list!

Something else I will be doing more than ever per reader request is many more quizzes here at the site. These will run the gamut from Cisco to Juniper to Microsoft and more and will cover all levels of professional certification.

If you are interested in my non-free IT Training stuff 🙂 here is a run down of what I am currently working on this Holiday Season:

  • The Exam 70-698 Installing and Configuring Windows 10 Course for CBT Nuggets; this course features Nugget-based Hands On Labs so you can follow along with me in a Windows 10 Pro environment as you enjoy your IT Training! There are about 46 Nuggets complete and up there at the moment. The total course will be close to 80 Nuggets and completes around 1/13/2017. All of the Nuggets are uploaded by that date, it just takes some time for the video reviewers to watch and approve them.
  • Mastering Agile Project Management is most likely my next course for CBT Nuggets; then I will be looking to hit some key Router and Switch Technologies for you like QoS and Multicast and the like. These topics appear in more professional certifications than ever before (as they should) and there seems to be a drought of great training in these areas.
  • My CCENT ICND1 100-105 Exam Cram, 3rd Edition arrives in print on December 30, 2016 just in time for the new year! You will love this text. Keith Barker was the Tech Editor and we created a work of art here when it comes to your exam success. use the link at the bottom of this blog post for a nice discount on your order!
  • My CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Exam Cram, 5th Edition arrives in print on March 1, 2017 (or sooner). Again, Keith Barker helped me create an incredibly laser focused and concise guide to exam success.
  • My MCSA 70-740 Cert Guide: Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016 (Certification Guide) arrives in print around March 2017 and features critical and hard to find documentation on this exciting new Server Operating System from Microsoft. The goal in this text is to get you up and running in production data centers with the new OS, but also to ensure the exam is a manageable and pleasant experience! This can be a challenge when it comes to Microsoft Certs to say the least!

Thanks again for visiting my site – and of course – HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

The CCENT/ICND1 Exam Cram for 100-105icon

Things I Learned Training for a Half Marathon

February 7, 2016 at 3:35 pm
Training Over

Finish line a few feet ahead!

“The Best Part Was the Training”

Talk to marathon and half marathon runners and you will often here this phrase. Yes, that’s right – they LOVED training for it. The event itself, well, that might be kind of exciting and incredible as well, but it might not matter as much since you train for months and months and you LOVE doing that. And I suppose that is the first lesson isn’t it. We need to make sure we love the training process. If you are not loving the training, then figure out exactly why you are not and get ready to fix that. I hope these other tips I picked up and learned along the way will help you as well. And of course this goes for whatever goal you are trying to achieve.

Track Your Training

This is one you have probably heard me talk about before. With my classes at CBT Nuggets, I even include trackers for the students to use as they move through the course.  For me, tracking became an obsession, and this obsession proved very motivating. Also, in the specific area of distance running it was very necessary since I had to find the perfect pace at which I would have a chance to complete the actual race.

Find a Training Buddy

I would not have succeeded in this endeavor without a training buddy. Someone to push me, hold me accountable, discuss ideas with, etc. By the way, that is my training buddy pictured above! When we started, I was better at running and really enjoyed it much more than her. As you can see from that finish line shot, that all changed!

Add Fun!

When I would run with my buddy, we would chat. And you know me, I love to chat. When running by myself I would add music. I am so busy, there is often never time to check out some latest album. These solo runs, which I might have really disliked, became fun with music added.

Join a Community

OK, I never joined a runner’s community, but I lurked at a bunch of them. Getting questions answered that were crucial for my success.

Don’t Let Jerks Get You Down

If you are into social media, or in a community of people online, you are going to run into jerks and trolls, it just happens. When people are hiding behind a keyboard, they can become pretty callous and mean. To add a problem, many times someone will sound like a jerk when they are actually not trying to act like that. During my training, someone posted on Twitter in response to one of my training posts that included statistics on a run – “You know you are not running right? You are jogging!” While I thought about getting angry about this, I just blew it off.

Get Excited for the Next Goal!

While there was some amount of “thank God that is over!”, after the race I became very excited about the future and more health goals. This thing had kicked weight loss into overdrive. I lost 14 pounds over the course of training and the race. Not bad. Now I can really up fitness goals of the future…

Thanks for reading, and remember, LOVE your training!

Cisco CCIE Lab Builder

Redistribution in CCIE Exams, Part 1 of 2

January 3, 2016 at 8:58 pm

Redistribution in the CCIE Exam

Overview of Routing Protocol Redistribution in CCIE Exams:

You might be able to avoid redistribution in your production environment, but in CCIE lab exams, sorry – it is inevitable. Redistribution is covered here and there in the massive CBT Nuggets CCIE Part 3 course, but I thought I would review some things and provide guidance for you here specifically on this topic. This area has been known to freak students out, especially since routing loops and feedback allow you to instantly fail your CCIE lab exam. Hopefully after you read this, your fears are destroyed. And let’s face it, routing loops and routing feedback issues are very rare.

Review and Guidance:

  • Routing protocol redistribution refers to  taking prefix information from another routing domain and bringing that in to your local routing domain. Here routing domain simple refers to the group of routers that are all speaking the same routing protocol. We typically redistribute so that we have full IP reachability between these different routing protocol domains. You might have multiple routing domains because your company is merging with another company, or you want to mesh different parts of your company running different protocols for some reason.
  • When you redistribute from one routing protocol to another, you immediately discover an issue. Different routing protocols use different metrics. For example, if you are bringing RIP routes (heaven forbid!) into EIGRP, you have a Hop Count metric that does not directly correlate to the potential composite metric of EIGRP (Bandwidth, Delay, Reliability, Load, MTU). How do routing protocols handle this? It is called the seed metric. This is what the external prefixes will have for a metric as they start life in the new routing protocol domain (the internal domain). Different routing protocols have different default seed metrics. For example, OSPF will default prefixes to a cost of 20 if you do not specify another value, while EIGRP will not accept external prefixes without a seed metric specified.
  • I recommend you always set a seed metric in the CCIE lab exam. This prevents you from worrying about whether or not it is required. The only exception to this of course would be if the explicit redistribution instructions tell you that you are to use the default seed metric. Note that this is highly unlikely.
  • Context sensitive help is absolutely critical during redistribution. This will remind you of particulars for each protocol. For example, during redistribution into OSPF, you will be reminded of the subnets keyword and the two different types of external prefixes that you can specify.
  • What can go wrong after redistribution? Well, two things really. One is that your traffic can take a suboptimal path through the network. This is not really a scare in the CCIE lab exam, unless the instructions explicitly or implicitly indicate a path a to take. The second is the scarier one, routing loops. The great news is these are much harder to create then they are to fix typically. Routing protocols have built in mechanisms like administrative distance and routing logic to avoid these loops. The chances of you accidentally stumbling into a routing loop creation during your lab configuration is pretty slim.
  • The success of your redistribution, or its failure, or even the rare creation of a routing loop can easily be detected with the powerful debug command of debug ip routing.
  • If full reachability is the goal of your redistribution in the lab exam, this can easily be tested with a ping script to automate this testing.

The next post regarding CCIE lab redistribution will demonstrate what we have discussed in this first post. As always, thanks for reading and I welcome your comments below!

How I Will Crush My 2016 Goals!

December 29, 2015 at 11:19 pm


Goals, Goals, and More Goals

I cannot recall ever being as excited for a New Year. It certainly is not like the last one was bad, I am just super excited for what is to come. Are you like me and looking to crush some goals in 2016? Here are some notes on my planning and conquering…

A Goal Reaching Head Start

There was no way I was going to wait until Jan 1, 2016 to begin making progress on some of my goals. Hey, some of them are just too damn difficult without a head start. For example, one of my goals is to run a half marathon. OK, OK, it is to jog a half marathon, but still, this was something I was absolutely too scared to try and start on the first of the new year. So I started running and tracking these runs in October, gearing up for the actual half marathon in 2016.

What Do I Really Want to Make a Goal?

I tend to leap headfirst at ideas and then try and achieve them. Sadly, I do this without a lot of thought. I just get really excited to try new stuff or learn new skills. In preparation for next year, I am really being careful about what I set out to achieve. I am focusing on the WHY I want to do things more than ever. To go back to the half marathon example, I realized there was a ton of reasons WHY I wanted to try and accomplish it. Weight loss, increased stamina, increased energy, they all added up to a big resounding GO FOR IT! Other goal ideas got scratched. Maybe some other year they would make more sense…


Why do I love my iPhone so much? That is simple – one word – TRACKING. I want to be a safer driver, the Automatic app tracks that. I want to run a half marathon, the RunKeeper app tracks that. I need to drink more water, WaterMinder tracks that…you get the idea. Most people never accomplish New Year’s Resolutions – only about 8% make it. Why is this? One big reason is they never track their progress throughout the year.

What are your goals for 2016? What are you doing to make sure you accomplish them? Let me know in the comments area below!

Considering IT Certification – GO FOR IT!

November 17, 2015 at 12:10 am

Are you considering that leap to get certified because you realize the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages? Are you already heavily certified (or certifiable) and you want to add that next big one to your list? Hopefully this article gets you moving in the right direction FAST!



Sit down, take a breath, and decide to really do it. Hell – you might even schedule it. As Tony Robbins likes to say – “If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”


You have as much (or as little) time as many others that have achieved the same task. Take a look, a hard look, at where you are spending your precious minutes throughout the day. You just might find that many of those minutes are spent on activities that do not really serve you.


Be sure you think about the costs of your certification. Sure we might be talking about actual costs here like exam prep materials, exam fees, etc, but we are also speaking of the costs in time and the potential hindrance on your personal relationships. You might even have the cost of some lost income based on setting aside more time to study instead of dedicating more time resources to generating income.


There are going to be setbacks in your IT Certification pursuit. Just how well you handle those setbacks and make them strengths just might separate you from the rest of the pack!


So decide and start now if it is for you! Don’t waste any more time in getting that momentum started.