Certifications map to the new MCITP …

We’ve attempted to provide some guidance for MCSE candidates and IT Pros ever since the Server 2008 certification changes were announced; here are some of the more popular articles posted:

Windows Server 2008 Certifications — Death to the MCSE

Why Getting Your MCSE Now Is Still A Good Idea

What’s the Next Step for MCSEs?

This post covers,  how to upgrade your Microsoft Certifications to  the new MCITP certifications.

Interesting side note is that the MCSE Security Cert has been completely eliminated and built into all of the current MCITP certifications.

And also pointed out that the MCSE requires a total of 7 exams versus only 5 for the MCITP Enterprise Administrator. The Network Planning and Design exams have been consolidated into a single exam and the elective exam was eliminated.

If your company is still on Server 2003 and they’re not planning on making the switch to 2008 in the next year then go for your MCSE and then take the upgrade path to MCITP when you’re ready (it’s only 3 exams instead of 5). Otherwise go with the newest technology available, in this case Server 2008.

Cisco Named in FORTUNE’s “Best Companies to Work For” list

FORTUNE’s annual “Best Companies to Work For” list is out, and Cisco is proud and honored to have placed in the top 25 (No. 16 overall and No. 4 for large-sized companies) for the fifth consecutive year.

Cisco has been a part of this list ever year since its inception in 1998—our unique culture of transparency and openness continues to drive these types of recognitions. In addition, we greatly leverage our own technology to foster a more flexible work environment (average Cisco employee telecommutes twice a week), with better life balance.

Gone are the days of sitting in traffic to arrive for an early 7 a.m. meeting or staying late at the office for an 8 p.m. call—with WebEx, I can see and share documents with colleagues effortlessly. Although several of my teammates are globally dispersed, I meet and “see” them regularly with Cisco TelePresence.

Our relentless focus on the customer drives us to exceed expectations in everything we do. It is an incredibly fascinating time to be a part of Cisco family—the future of technology appears to be limitless and captivating. With the network at the core of it all, it really does make Cisco a great place to work.

A big congratulation to all of the other companies who made the list—all 100 companies on the list can be found here.


Assessing Strengths
Using the content blueprint, determine your experience and knowledge in the major topic areas. For areas of strength, practicing for speed should be your focus. For weak areas, you may need training or book study in addition to practice.

Study Materials
Choose lab materials that provide configuration examples and take a hands-on approach. Look for materials that are approved or provided by Cisco and its Learning Partners.

Hands-On Practice on All Technologies
Build and practice lab scenarios on a per topic basis. Go beyond the basics and practice additional features. Learn the show and debug commands along with each topic. If a protocol has multiple ways of configuring a feature, practice all of them.

This session consists of hands-on individually focused advanced technology labs that present topics in an easy to follow, goal-oriented step-by-step approach. Every scenario features detailed breakdowns and thorough verifications to assist you in getting 100% understanding of the particular technology. By isolating each topic on its own you are able to see, firsthand, the various ways to configure each technology. By understanding these fundamental technologies, you will then be able to predict advanced and sometimes subtle interactions when configuring multiple technologies together.

Cisco Documentation CD
Make sure you can navigate the Cisco documentation CD with confidence because this is the only resource you will be allowed during the lab. Make the CD part of your regular study; if you are familiar with it, you can save time during the exam. As of March 2006, the documentation can only be navigated using the index; the search function has been disabled.

Moc Labs
Practice with MOC Lab and TROUBLESHOOTING  questions with fully loaded racks

1. Read the entire exam first and check for addressing issues. Do not skip any details or sections.

2. Manage your time. Make a plan to cover all the sections in the time provided. Work out how much time you will spend on each section, keeping in mind the point value of the questions. Don’t forget to allow time at the end to verify your solutions.

3. Clarify the requirements of each question. Don’t assume requirements that aren’t mentioned in the question. During the lab, if you are in any doubt, verify your understanding of the question with the proctor.

4. Do each question as a unit. Configure and verify before moving to the next question. You may want to redraw the topology with all the details available. This will help you visualize and map the network.

5. Troubleshoot. You must know how to troubleshoot using the tools available. Although troubleshooting is important, don’t lose too much time working on a 2- or 3-point question. If you’re caught off-guard by an unfamiliar topic, don’t let it absorb too much time. Work on the things you are more comfortable with and go back to difficult items later.

6. Keep a list. During the exam, make notes on configurations and settings as you move through the exam. Make a separate list for items you have not been able to address or where you have not achieved the desired result which you’ll need to revisit.

7. Test your work. Never rely on a configuration done in the early hours of the exam. There is a possibility that an item you configured a few sections earlier can become broken and non-functional. Keep in mind that points are awarded for working configuration only.

8. Save your configurations often.

9. Don’t make any drastic changes in the last half hour of the exam.

10. Speed is vital on the exam. Review and practice core material the week before the exam to ensure you can move quickly through the less challenging questions.

Getting Started your CCIE Journey …………………

You should have a keen desire for achieving your goal that makes your journey easier.  You may never reach the heights of CCIE those who are not enjoy networking.

When you first start your journey you should   need to assess your strengths and weaknesses in relation to the technologies and topics covered in the CCIE Lab Exam.  It is vital that you are honest with yourself when making the self assessment.

Now you know where you are at and where you are going…………….

Some will have a head start in this journey through on the job networking experience and some will be taking their first step.  No matter where you are in your journey. The will to win and the desire to succeed bring you towards success.

Do not look for “short cuts” on the way.  During your preparation stay away from cheat sheets, brain dumps etc. You may get discouraged at times and think that it may not be worth it.  Don’t give up or stray from your path, you will reach the goal   with hard work and desire …

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”

You want to pass the CCIE lab exam as a byproduct of learning the technologies and topics covered in the blue print.

How can I start…………?

  1. You get an understanding of what the technology or feature does and why it was implemented.….

This can be done by purchasing the various books available or by just using the freely available white papers, RFC, etc. available on the Internet.

2.  Learn how Cisco has implemented the particular technology or feature.

You can do this by using the configuration examples, tech tips, and documentation available on the Internet and Cisco’s website along with the Cisco Press books and information available on the Cisco DOC CD.

i) Gaining experience with the technology and feature through hands on practice.  Although anything is pretty much theoretically possible, you can not expect to pass the CCIE Lab Exam without hundreds of hours of hands-on practice on the routers and switches.  In the CCIE lab they will be trying to test your experience. This means that for every one hour of reading about a technology or topic you should expect to spend two hours doing hands-on practice.

ii)Someone who is more familiar will also be faster.  You don’t worry about your keyboard typing speed if it’s not the fastest. By faster I don’t mean that they can type faster but that they can do a task faster than someone without the equivalent technology knowledge.

At this level you are assumed to have at least a CCNP level of knowledge and experience before starting your lab preparation.

Reading Prior to Starting the Lab Practice

Most of this knowledge can also be found in the books in the reading section.

Hands-on Practice each technology

To build strong foundation on each technology you have to spend some more time for practice hands on labs.

MOC Labs And Troubleshooting  Practice

This is the last step before attending the Lab Exam. During this session you have to care the exact interpretation of each question and found the appropriate method to get the correct answer.

Here are some of the more common reasons people have a hard time with the mock labs:

1) Do not understand the technologies and topics covered

2) Had problems understanding the requirements from the wording given in the tasks

3) Made too many little mistakes

4) Overwhelmed with all of the tasks and didn’t have time to complete them all.

If you failed because of number 1, you definitely should step back and fill in the gaps you have in your knowledge.  Don’t go any further with the workbooks until you have done this.

If you had problems with number 2 it could be a couple of issues.  First off you may not understand the technologies and topics enough to grasp the wording of the tasks.   If you understand the technologies and topics you should be able to complete the task.  Secondly you may be “over thinking” the tasks.  Do what the task is asking and nothing more.   Do try to apply real world logic or design to the task.

The third is little mistakes (forgetting to no shut an interface, etc) as you become more of an “expert” you will make fewer mistakes and solve the ones that you do make quickly.  You will always make little mistakes as it’s just human nature but with experience you will be better at finding and fixing your own mistakes.  For many people that fail the lab it’s the little mistakes that get them into some big problem as you might think.

Finally the lack of time management builds pressure and you will lose the presents of mind. So you should keep this in mind and plan your Lab with proper Time Management.

Online Safety Tips for Data Privacy – An Update

These posted entries focused on keeping families safe online. This garnered much interest and many of you contributed additional insights on the topic.  I hope you find this updated post helpful, and please, stay safe online!

My updated list of online safety tips:

Internet Access: Inventory all the devices that your kids use to access the Internet. That means not just computers and laptops, but also gaming consoles, smart phones and friends’ devices. Establish appropriate rules and boundaries for each environment.

Privacy Controls: Familiarize yourself with the privacy controls for each device and set the appropriate protections. For example, set up your Instant Messenger application so that only your children’s buddies – not strangers – can see and interact with them. Similarly, in Facebook and MySpace, set the privacy controls to ensure that your kids can’t be tagged in photos.

Administrator Control: Who has control of your computer? Take control by making yourself the administrator. Set a unique password so that you, and you alone, can change the computer settings.

Chat Rooms: Make sure your kids understand that they need your permission before joining chat rooms. Take the time to review and observe the chat room before giving the go ahead.  Familiarize yourself with the many new developments in Web-based chat groups, including those that are unaffiliated with an email service.

User IDs: Have your kids choose user IDs that are age and gender neutral, since the first thing online predators do to identify potential victims is gather user IDs.  Also, consider using a variety of different user IDs, rather than just one, so that even if a hacker gets your password to one account, the rest of your information will remain safe.

Online Friends: Talk to your children about the need to discuss with you before meeting any online friends face-to-face.

Browser History: Check your browser history to find out where your children are spending time online. If the history does not exist or has been selectively deleted, that’s a red flag. You should also review the SMS and browser logs on smart phones from time to time.

Information Sharing: Teach your children not to share any personal information over the Internet without your permission.

Location Sharing: Certain social networking sites give you the option of publicizing your current location, and even make a game of “checking in” at various locations.  The danger in these sites comes from the ability of potential burglars or stalkers to keep tabs on specific individuals’ patterns of movement and current locations.  Be aware of whether you have given these sites permission to publish your location, and educate your children about the dangers of oversharing online.

E-mail: To avoid phishing scams, teach your family never to reply or click on links within e-mails asking for personal or financial information. If a retailer or vendor asks you to e-mail your credit or debit card details, absolutely do not do it.  If you need to go to the linked website, manually type the targeted Web address directly into your browser.

Be Mindful Where You Are: Any time you consider sending out private information from a location other than your home, be aware of where you are and who or what is nearby.  Some public computers have malicious software that can collect passwords and other sensitive data.  Before you access sensitive information, such as your bank account, ask yourself whether doing so can wait until you’re at a more secure location.  If you are using your own laptop, be careful of people watching what you type, or cameras recording patrons.

Wireless Networks: Private homes, as well as, public locations are increasingly using wireless networks to provide a connection to the internet.  If you have a wireless network in your home, protect your family’s information by securing the network with a password.  Many cell phones can also be set to broadcast information wirelessly via Bluetooth or GPS.  Make sure your device is only accessible to computers that you have prescreened.

Passwords: Use strong passwords that incorporate symbols, numbers and letters – never a word from a dictionary of any language. Do not share your passwords with others and change them often (every 90–120 days or when they are exposed).  Avoid using programs that store all of your passwords, either on your hard-drive or on the browser.

Protecting Your Computer: Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Keep them automatically updated and do not ignore warnings. Install a firewall, especially if your computer is left on at all times.  Guide your family to alert you when a warning presents itself.

Awareness: One of the most important weapons you can use to protect yourself and your family knowing the potential dangers posed by the Internet.  Many of those dangers can be avoided simply by being conscious of what information you provide online.

These are just a few basics for online safety. Above all, keep the communication lines open and help your kids understand the potential dangers on the Internet so they feel comfortable reporting unusual activity. In addition, you can turn to technology products such as Linksys by Cisco’s Home Network Defender, which can block preset sites and report Internet activities to network administrators.

Web management

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New Site Launched….

TimeNet Learning Launched new web site on 5th July 2010,  New web site is more interactive, User friendly & filled with lots of  features for technology learners, Visit http://www.timenetlearning.com