that some things were not meant to be…
- Basic Configuration – 71%
- Core SP Routing – 73%
- BGP Routing – 75%
- MPLS – 73%
- etc, etc
Very disappointing and frustrating – the frustrating piece is that I had my complete core and MPLS up and running exactly as requested – in hindsight, 18 hours later I would not change anything – everything was up – exchanging information as requested. I had one Cat request which I knew how to do but that method was explicitly not allowed to be used which stumped me hence the dropped points in that section – but the ramifications were enormous as two double-point questions in MPLS VPN relied on that and thus 15 points were dropped 3 in Cat and 12 points [2×6] in MPLS VPN thus scuppering the attempt.
Overall it was a great attempt – my plan worked like a treat – I got through switching\frame-relay\ppp and ISIS within 1 hour, BGP was completed by 2 hours, basic MPLS and MPLS traffic Engineering by 3hrs 15m and I completed two sections of MPLS VPN and 2 Management questions by lunch. Great stuff – everything going really well.
After a nice lunch I completed the 4th part of MPLS VPN – 1st issues arose during the 5th part which relied on an the earlier section with the restriction – I completed all other parts and moved on, crap, another double points section with the same dependency – completed all other work involved in the question and moved on – Multicast up and running but although I completed all sections I could not get Inter-AS communications end-end even though I completed all configuration work as I knew it – putting a dirty solution in worked but not as required so I removed it. Security, QoS and Management\Features all integrated with previous work and I finished the lab with 50 minutes left.
So back to that section that everything relied on and do you know what, I couldn’t get it to work in the 50 minutes – even now the morning after I still cannot think how to get it to work with the restrictions that were put in place – I will have to deep dive the various locations such as IEOC, IPExpert, Cisco Press and Groupstudy to try to see who got this feature before and how they resolved it but that was that for me.
It also looks like an enforced rest anyhow as the next available date is June which I have booked. Just a side note – there were 6 candidates sitting the lab exam – when I was there in February there were 20 that day. Also two days this week Brussels had 0 R&S candidates – Draw your own conclusions with that nugget.
Finally a big thanks to you all for your encouragement and tips – you have been a great inspiration. I intend to return to smaller more technical blog entries from now on as I have more time to reflect and zero in the specifics of a feature rather than general details. It’s also family time for me as they have suffered most in this process and that is the heaviest price to pay, far more so than the financial one.