Friday, June 5, 2009

Narbik Kocharians CCIE Bootcamp Day 4

Day 4. This is sounding like those 'Survivor' series :-). Today Narbik's plan is to finish teaching us Multicast and then we go on to another big topic, QoS and no ... it does not mean Queen on Steroids. Where do you people come up with this kind of stuff???

I got up early. Again the same toothache problem. I suddenly realized that I finished the paracetamol tablets I have with me but the pain was still bearable. Went and had breakfast with my wife and after that it's off to TrainPro Academy ( for today's class with Narbik. Thank God Yap had some paracetamol pills.

Narbik started today's class with a refresh of yesterday's RPF lab. Now after we did a short refresh of yesterday's RPF lab, we got online with Emmanuel Conde, the CCIE agent ( fondly known as Eman to speak with us, the bootcamp students, via Skype on my laptop. We had a very good conversation where the candidates here asked about the prospects of finding work for a fresh CCIE, the tying of your CCIE number to vendors and what are the current overall market for a CCIE. Eman joked with us that Narbik isn't good looking but I let you girls do the analysis yourselves ;-). Eman was kind enough to share with us a few tips as well as saying that Narbik is the best when it comes to a CCIE routing and switching bootcamp. Now as a student of his class, I couldn't agree more. Cheap price, free retake policy, excellent teacher, excellent labs, you tell me what else is missing. Narbik also has an excellent sense of humour except when he downs three bottles of scottish whisky but that's another story for another day ;-).

Now after the chat with Eman, Narbik finished up the remaining topics on Multicast from manipulating multicast traffic all the way to UDP helper map. Man ... I tell you this was the game people. Narbik gave us countless of Multicast scenarios today to prove every single thing there is to know about multicast and more. Now when I mean Narbik teaches you every single thing you need to know, I do not mean he teaches you for the CCIE lab. Narbik teaches you to be a very good Cisco engineer which is the foundation of a good CCIE. Narbik DOES NOT teach you to just pass the CCIE lab as Eman says. Cool huh? ;-). If you guys do not believe, attend one of his bootcamps and if I am wrong, I am prepared to be flamed :-). One example that I can give straight off my memory as I write this is that Narbik says that we should not think of sub-optimal routing when it comes to RP in Multicast. What he says, what he writes on the whiteboard and what he proves are all in his labs in his workbooks.

We had lunch at about 1300hrs today after spending time on all the Multicast labs before then. We had lunch at a dine-in restaurant which during this time I took the opportunity to network with some of the guys whom I did not really had the chance to speak and talk with them. Lunch was good, we took some pictures, Narbik fixed his glasses, Yap and two of his trainers joined us, life was good with laughter and then *ringgggg*!!! Time to get back to reality!

Once we are back in class, we tackled one of the most dreaded topics in the CCIE lab blueprint at least for me namely QoS. This is also covered heavily in ONT of the CCNP track so if you guys feel you need a basic introduction to QoS, the ONT track in the CCNP is a good choice. In QoS, Narbik covered PQ, CQ, classification, double-somersault triple punch, marking, LLQ and others including shaping and compression. Now this is layer 3 QoS. We also did cover layer 2 QoS to wrap the whole QoS topics. During the QoS session, Narbik taught us a few new things at least to me which includes a very easy way to calculate the AF number. He also taught us traffic shaping with a lot of cool tricks that can be done including changing the outgoing information table. We were also taught on DSCP value rewriting. Narbik also introduced his own way of calculation which I am sure you will find it very worthwhile to listen if you attend his bootcamp and understand what he means.

Class ended up at about 2115hrs. Narbik and I together with two CCIE candidates who will be going for the CCIE lab exams next week in Singapore (mobile lab). We had a good dinner at Madam Kwan and again I saw Narbik devouring the chillies like nobody's business. You got to admit it. This man means serious business when it comes to chillies/hot/spicy food. We had a lot of joke telling and some serious CCIE discussions especially Narbik giving advice to the candidates and motivating them. This my friends is a very good quality in a teacher. He guides you. As Narbik says, our relationship does not end when his class ends. Instead the relationship begins.

After dinner, I went back home, saw my sleeping wife, I took a bath, did some labs, wrote this post, did some more labs and then hit the bed. I am very excited and interested to see what will Narbik teach us tomorrow since it will be RIPv2. Knowing how simple-to-understand RIP can get and knowing what person Narbik is, I am sure he will whip our asses, pulls a few carnivous rabbits out his hat and show us things we have never seen before with RIPv2. I hope I don't dream of murderous RIPv2 labs tonight ...

Note: I have received a few e-mails asking me for a copy of Narbik's materials or anything I can share. My philosophy is simple. If I am allowed to share, I will, but it must be with the concern of the author. I also don't think it's fair for people to pirate Narbik's work (please consider the amount of time and effort he has spent on his workbooks. He is a one-man army and he write labs even during break sessions during our bootcamp and also at nights when he is supposed to be enjoying a warm bath and watch TV). I don't agree as well to sharing my personal copy of his workbooks to people since I been saving up for quite some time (after all I spent all my entire life savings on two CCIE products from Internetwork Expert and IPExpert :-) so I had to start from scratch) paying to get the workbooks myself. Please people I do not own a money-printing machine and even if there is a one in a gazillioni chance that I own one, the next question is would you like it if someone pirated your hard work and make profits out of it and you did not get anything at all for your work? Go figure.

Also, my strong message is this, if you are damn serious in getting your CCIE, you should attend Narbik's bootcamp. Buying and going through his workbooks is NOT enough. You need to speak with Narbik, ask him questions CCIE questions and finally ask Narbik if you are ready after Day 3 or Day 4 of his bootcamp. Believe me. Narbik is honest :-). That my fellow candidates and friends is not something you can get by pirating ;-).

This is the labs on QoS and Switches that I worked on before and after typing this post and before going to bed. Note that this is still in beta and the final version will have a lot more labs according to Narbik.

A little teaser for those who are joining Narbik's bootcamp and for those who are planning to join Narbik's bootcamp. There will be a BIG surprise coming soon and I mean it's BIG. I have seen it so it's no vapourware and I have 'tasted' it so it's not fake either. Wait for it guys and girls ... you'll be freakin impressed ;-).

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