Archive for labs

CCNA Lab Projects

Posted in Cisco Certification with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2011 by jjrinehart

I normally do not post more than once a day but wanted to get these documents back out there, I have created another CCNA Lab Project that was an absolute blast to come up with.  It’s amazing what you can create with just a pen and paper while taking off in an airplane!

Here are the highlights:

  1. Simulated Metro-Ethernet Primary Network
  2. Internet Access at Remote Sites
  3. VPN/GRE Backup Network
  4. Multiple Routing Protocols
  5. A Few Mind Bending Twists Thrown In

Here are the links to the documents, I deployed this in my own lab and will be compiling an answer key for #2.  Enjoy!

Project 1:

CCNA Lab Project Document 12-18-2010

Project 2:

** Just Added Project #3 **

– Joe

CCNA Lab Project Idea

Posted in Cisco Certification with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2011 by jjrinehart

When I started my CCNA studies, I had no idea how steep the learning curve would get, although I adjusted to the demands of assimilating so much information.  Part of my success in certification studies has to do with my learning style.  I have since learned that there are three primary learning styles, namely, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  Kinesthetic is a fancy fifty cent word for “hands on learning” and everyone learns this way to some degree.  Auditory is the word that describes individuals that learn by hearing, and visual refers to learning by sight.  My style is visual; I can read obscenely large amounts of information very rapidly and retain it.  In my early exam studies, I would routinely read one of the three inch thick certification books and then go take the exam, which worked very well.  As I got further along, though, I had a deep appreciation for actual hands-on practice.  While I was working on my CCIE, I had to recertify my other certifications, and took the exam for free at a conference.  To be honest, I hadn’t really studied, but flew through the test and passed by a substantial margin.  There were live simulation questions I had never seen before, but I had been programming routers and switches endlessly in my CCIE studies, which helped me pass that recertification test.  Later on that gave me an idea: why not create a CCNA-level lab that reflected the exam blueprint of that exam?  I mapped out the testing topics into design and configuration tasks that reinforce the factual knowledge needed to pass that exam, and the first CCNA Project was born.  It utilizes 4 routers, and one to three switches, which creates a small but effective lab pod for practice purposes.  Attached are links to the Visio and Project documents for your use, let me know if this helps in your own CCNA studies!



My Cisco Certification Journey

Posted in Cisco Certification with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2011 by jjrinehart

I started in the world of Cisco networking in 1998 after a ten year career as an ordained minister.  My first job was at a regional Internet Service Provider as a sales rep, and to be honest, I knew almost nothing about the inner workings of the technology.  To get up to speed, I went to the library and checked out Novell’s Internet Plumbing Handbook.  Unfortunately, most of it was way over my head, was a little discouraging at first, so I read it again…and again…until it started sinking in.  Initially, I had no intention of going the engineering route; I just didn’t want to be a “talking head” or “sales drone” that didn’t have a clue as to how the technology worked.  The funny thing is that once you have the “secret decoder ring,” it’s pretty cool knowing how all the pieces of networking technology fit together.  With my appetite for knowledge growing, I decided to start studying for the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification (this was in early 2000), and passed the exam shortly after.  For me, that was the beginning of my certification journey, culminating in achieving the CCIE in December of 2004.  All of my work in that regard began as self-funded (it took me five times to pass), and I learned a ton along the way.  Since becoming the president of the Seattle Cisco Users Group (, I have discovered a passion for teaching, allowing me to assist others in making the same journey as I have.  I look forward to passing some of the experience through my blog, which will hopefully be useful to those that read it.