Multicast, MPLS and MDT’s, oh my!

Here, as promised, is my first post of real substance!  I’ve been building a new core network for the health system I work at and one of the requirements was to enable multicast across the wired as well as wireless network.  Seems fairly straightforward at first, enable PIM on all interfaces that could potentially carry multicast traffic, set up your RP’s (auto-rp, bsr, or manually) and off you go.

Well, the new core network is MPLS based, and has a set of firewalls filtering traffic between VRF’s so there is a bit more to getting multicast to work which I will walk through here.  I also have a mix of Cisco Nexus 7k’s in my core and 6500’s in my distribution layers and there is a caveat that needs to be addressed which I will go over as well.

The network is a pair of Nexus 7k’s as the core of the MPLS network with 6509’s hung off of them acting as building distribution PE’s.  Routing between VRF’s is handled by an “Interchange” router that is northbound of the core switches and an ASA in transparent mode, sits in between the core and interchange routers handing firewall duties for each VRF:

network overview
Read more…

Categories: cisco Tags: ,

It’s been awhile!

March 15, 2013 Leave a comment

So, this blog hasn’t really been what I was hoping it to be.  My last post was over a year ago and in that time I have changed jobs and been very busy with work and home life.  I will try to remedy this in the near future so hopefully there will actually be some worthwhile technical content and probably some of my ventures into working on my car as well :).

Gone is the lab at my old employer but thanks to rack rentals at, I have been studying nightly for the past 4 months getting ready for my first CCIE lab attempt in RTP.  Luckily I was able to book INE’s troubleshooting course the week of my lab so it will be 4 days (my lab is on the last day of class) of intense studying leading up to hopefully a pass on the lab!  I have already taken the 2 week INE CCIE RS bootcamp last October which was excellent and would definitely recommend Brian Dennis as his teaching style of doing rather than showing slides is incredibly helpful.

I have a few things I’m thinking of writing about such as MPLS, and IPv6 which are what consumes most of my time these days.

Hopefully after my lab exam at the end of this month, I will have more time to update and post actual interesting content.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

CCIE Lab equipment

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

So I am one of the fortunate souls that has enough spare equipment at work to build my own CCIE lab rack to study on.  Just thought I’d show a picture and list the contents.  I based my topology off of INE’s lab topology as I plan to use their workbooks to study.  I have also booked the 5 day R/S bootcamp that Narbik teaches so I will probably re-cable what is in the picture to  match his topology for the time being since I will be attending that class in Feb.


In the picture we have:

3 – Cisco 2611XM routers used as my back bone routers

6 – Cisco 2811 routers

3 – Cisco 3560-24 switches

1 – Cisco 3560-48 switch

1 – Cisco 2950 for management access to the routers/switches.  I may get a couple of octal cables for the async card in one of the 2611’s for out of band management instead though.

Categories: CCIE, cisco, lab

Aaand, we’re off!

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

So what is a network engineer to do when he needs to really start studying for the CCIE lab?  Well obviously, start a blog to rant and rave about all the trials and tribulations I will undoubtedly go through on my way.  I passed the CCIE written way back in Sept. 2011 so its high time I get going and study for the lab.  Especially since I just drew a line in the sand and scheduled the lab for June 8th of this year!  I’m already nervous thinking about it but I’m sure I can do it.

I plan to use this blog to write down my notes and work through various network scenarios as actually writing this stuff down and verifying I am correct since this is a public blog should help be commit everything to memory.  Hopefully, I may even get some like minded visitors who I can bounce questions off of or maybe I can actually help in someone elses studies.  Get ready for lots of technical gibberish, fancy diagrams and probably some totally unrelated posts as well.  It’ll be fun!

Categories: First Post