Sunday, February 28, 2010

Creating Prefix-Lists for BGP Routing 2

I spent this early afternoon finishing up the BSCI BGP Appendix section on prefix-lists for BGP, I mainly created a lab that specifies that that the network /24 in the AS 65500 only shows as the supernet in the AS 65000 BGP table as shown above. Tomorrow I will learn a little bit about BGP communities and go over what I've learned!

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Creating Prefix-Lists for BGP Routing

I spent a good bit of my morning learning and configuring BGP prefix-lists which I will wrap up tomorrow most likely. Prefix-lists provide greater flexibility over access-lists due to the fact you're allowed more granular control of where you want input your statements inside the prefix list. This differs from the standard access-list where one no command on the ACL requires you to recreate the access-list completely! I'm still not entierly sure how prefix-lists differ from ip access-list commands which allows you to enter sequence number states like prefix-lists. I do know that you can control exactly how you want a neighbor BGP autonomous sysstem (AS) to know about external routes by using the le and ge commands.

The le and ge values are used in a prefix-list statement to create a range of the prefix length to be matched more specifically compared to the network/length commands used in the prefix-list statements. Prefix lists do provide the advantage of being less performance intensive due to not requiring the amount of route lookup processing sometimes required by large access-list tables.

As you can see in the above lab I worked earlier, the prefix list tells AS_65000 to only let AS_65002 know about the /16 external network instead of the more specific /24 and /24 routes.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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Monday, February 22, 2010

BGP Summary and Aggregated Routes

I spent this morning briefly covering how to summarize routes in BGP using CIDR Aggregated Routes. BGP specifically uses the Atomic Aggregate attribute which is considered one of the well-known discretionary attributes. BGP also uses the optional transitive attribute called an Aggregator which specifies the BGP ID and the AS that performed the aggregation in BGP updates. If you aren't careful when planning which routes to summarize your AS could easily claim routes that it really doesn't own which could upset other AS's in the BGP system! AS's doesn't really use aggregation as much as they could because some are multihomed to many ISP's and would rather make sure that all of the routes that own are being advertised without being summarized into one route.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Policy Based Routing 2

This morning I created another PBR lab that I was able to wrap my head around a lot easier than yesterday. As you see in the above image, there are 3 routers in which specific LAN traffic from Router C should be routed out of Router A's Serial 0/0/1 interface. It was good to get some more hands on with route-maps the past few days. I'm going to work some more labs throughout the day most likely on BGP. My lab guide book should be here in another weeks so you should be seeing a ton of new labs from me here shortly!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Policy-Based Routing

Now that I finished the main book for BSCI, I'm now reviewing everything I learned and will spend most of my time creating labs and touching up the details. But before I do to much, Cisco was kind enough to include 5 extra Appendix PDF files to learn about some technology in even more detail. This is mainly appendixes on how to manipulate packets and even more BGP no surprise! I hear that in order to fully be perpared for the BSCI you have to dig even deeper than what the Self Study Guide book provides. This includes everything from reading white papers, CBT's, and creating labs for pretty much ANYTHING related to the exam.

Today I learned a little bit about Policy Based Routing (PBR) which is basically route-maps on steroids. Similar to how there are access-lists and then extended access-lists (access-list on steroids), PBR allows you to maniplulate routes in a more granular manner. Tomorrow I'll be finishing this appendix up and moving to the last few that are left.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

IPv6 End of Chapter Configuration

Well I Finally Finally Finally made it through the entire CCNP Self Study Guide book. I polished off the rest of the book by finishing the end of chapter lab for IPv6. I managed to get through most of the tasks successfully but I'm still having troubles setting up IPv6 tunnels and I'm not sure why. Even after mirroring the configuration settings exactly, I've been unable to bring the tunnels up. Hopefully I can figure out what was missing by doing a little research aka Google. The next step for me will be going through the exam-guide and lab guide, I'm hoping to get through these two books in about two months so I can sit the test in April!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

IPv6 OSPF Configuration

Today I configured a simple OSPF network using Ipv6 as my routed protocol. When using IPv6 to create an OSPF network, there are many differences and also similarities with IPv4. The main difference is obviously you're using the IPv6 format instead of the traditional 32 bit addressing scheme. Another difference involves having to manually create a 32 bit Router ID, this was optional in IPv4 but it is required for IPv6. One other thing I noticed is that you can implement OSPF on specific interfaces (links) rather than for specific subnets. Tomorrow I will be finishing up the last of the IPv6 theory which talks about transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6. Only a few more pages and I'll actually be completly finished with the self study guide! After I finish this book, the next step for me will be going through the lab and exam books to tidy up on everything l learned and prepare to take the BSCI test in the next coming months.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ipv6 Anycast Addresses

I spent some time over the past few days learning more about the many types of IPv6 addresses out there. A new address type made specifically for IPv6 is called the Anycast Address. IPv6 Anycast addresses are global addresses, theses addressed can be assigned to more than one interface unlike a Ipv6 unicast address. Anycast is designed to send a packet to the nearest interface that is apart of that anycast group.

The sender creates an anycast packet and fowards the packet to the anycast address as the destination address which goes to the nearest router. The nearest router or interface is found by using the metric of a routing protocol. However in a LAN setting the nearest interface is found depending on the order the neighbors were learned. The anycast packet in a LAN setting forwards the packet to the neighbor it learned about first. Anycast was first proposed in 1993 but even to this data there isn't much usage as of yet. There are actually only a few anycast addresses currently assigned!

The source sending the anycast path can use the address to control the paths that traffic flows. For example, when a customer has multiple connections to multiple IP's using BGP. The customer can create a different anycast address for each ISP, and then configure the same anycast address on the closest router to that specific ISP. Therefore the routers along the source's path to the ISP can determine the shortest route based on the IPv6 anycast address. Which then forwards the packet based on the routers closest anycast address link. Another example would be on a LAN link. All the routers on the same LAN can have the same IPv6 address so that distant devices only need to identify the anycast address.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

IPv6 Unicast Addressing

The IPv6 global aggregatable unicast address, also known as the IPv6 global unicast address, is the equivalent of the IPv4 global unicast address. A global unicast address is an IPv6 address from the global unicast prefix. These global unicast addresses are designed in a way so that their prefixes can be reduced making for more efficient routing due to a decreased routing table size. Global unicast addresses used on links are aggregated upward through organizations and eventually to the ISP's. This also allows for more efficient and scalable routing within the Internet, an improved bandwidth and functionality for user traffic.

A global unicast address typically consists of a 48-bit global routing prefix, a 16-bit subnet ID, and a 64-bit interface ID that's usually in the EUI-64 bit format.The subnet field is similar to the IPv4 subnets, organizations can use the subnet ID to create their own local addressing hierarchy. This field allows an organization to use up to 65,536 individual subnets!

The current global unicast address assignment by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) uses the range of address that start with the binary value 001 (2000::/3). This is one-eighth of the total IPv6 address space and is the largest block of assigned addresses. The IANA then allocates the 2001::/16 prefixes to the registries.

IPv6 Link-Local addressing have a scope limited to the local link and are dynamically created on all IPv6 interfaces by using the specific link-local prefix FE80::/10 and a 64-bit interface identifier. Link-local addresses are used for automatic address configuration, neighbor discovery, router discovery, and by different routing protocols.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

IPv6 Theory

I started the last chapter of the CCNP Study Guide book today which is about implementing IPv6 (IP Version 6).IPv6 is a technology developed to overcome the limitations of the current standard, IP Version 4 (IPv4). The major shortcoming of IPv4 is its limited amount of address space. With the amount of IP enabled devices growing at a steady rate, many regions throughout the world are seeing a need for more IP addresses. In the United States, the Department of Defense (DoD) is a primary driver for the adoption of IPv6 and has set a date of 2008 for all systems with the US government to be set to this standard.

IPv6 allows for better scalability with networks and supplies what seems like a limitless amount of IP addresses to use. IPv6 provides the following enhancements:

  • Larger address space - IPv6 address are 128 bits which is 4 times larger than IPv6's size of 32 bits. IPv4 had approximately 4,200,000,000 possible address while IPv6 has 3.4 x 10(38) possible addresses. The number is so big that it is alot simpler to see it in arithmetic form!
  • Simplified header - IPv6 has a simpler header compared to IPv4 which allows for fast processing. IPv6 is designed in a way that check-sums aren't needed to be computed at every node unlike IPv4.
  • Support for mobility and security - Mobility and security help ensure compliance with mobile IP and IP security (IPsec) standards. IPv6 provides a standard that allows IP addresses to move across areas without breaking the established connection. IPsec is also enabled by default for all IPv6 devices. IPv4 doesn't provide either mobility or IPsec security options by default.
IPv6 has three main types of addresses that are similar and different from IPv4:
  • Unicast - Similar to an IPv4 unicast address, an IPv6 unicast address is for a single interface. Like IPv4, a subnet prefix is associated with each address. The two different types of unicast addresses are global aggregatable and link-local
  • Anycast - Is a new address type that is assigned to a set of interfaces on different devices using IPv6. A packet that is sent to an anycast address goes to the closest interface identified by thr anycast address. Therefore all nodes using the same anycast addess should provide the same type of service.
  • Multicast - An IPv6 multicast address identifies a set of interfaces on different devices. A packet sent to a multicast address is delivered to all the interfaces that is apart of that multicast group similar to IPv4.
IPv6 doesn't have broadcast address like IPv4 does. Broadcasts are replaced by multicasts and anycasts. Multicast enables efficient network operation by using a number of specific multicast groups to send requests to a limited number of computers on a network. Multicast groups prevent most of the problems that happens with broadcast storms on IPv4.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

IP Multicast Configuration and Verification

I finished up the rest of chapter 9 on Multicast by learning a little mor PIM theory along with simple configuration of multicast. When configuring PIM-DM (Dense Mode), it initially floods unicast traffic being sent by the source throughout the entire network. As each router receives multicast traffic via its RPF interface (the interface in the direction of the source), it forwards the multicast traffic to all of its PIM-DM neighbors.

PIM-DM prune messages are sent to stop unwanted traffic. Prune messages are sent on a RPF interface when the router has no downstream receivers for multicast traffic for that source. Prune messages are sent to non-RPF interfaces to shut off the flow of multicast traffic because it is arriving via an interface that is not the shortest path to the source.

PIM-SM (Sparse Mode) uses shared distribution trees with RP's (Rendezvous Points) but may uses source distribution trees as well. PIM-SM is based on a pull model so that traffic is forwarded only to those parts of the network that need it. PIM-SM uses an RP to coordinate forwarding of multicast traffic from a source to the receivers. PIM-SM is appropriate for wide-scale deployment for both densely and sparsly populated groups in the enterprise network. It is preferred over PIM-DM for all production networks regardless of size and membership density.

There are many optimizations and enhancements to PIM, including the following:
  • Bidirectional PIM mode, which is designed for many-to-many applications (that is, many host all multicasting to each other)
  • Source Specific Multicast (SSM), which is a variant of PIM-SM that builds only source specific shortest path trees and does not need an active RP for source-specific groups (in the address range

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Multicast IGMP and PIM

I learned a little more about IGMP and PIM this morning. Hosts use IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) to register with the router to join or leave specific multicast groups. The router is then aware that it needs to forward the data stream destined to a specific multicast group to the registered hosts. There are currently three versions of IGMP, versions 1, 2, and 3.

  • IGMPv1 - periodically sends membership queries (60-120 sec) to the all-hosts multicast address IGMPv4 doesn't have a mechanism defined for hosts to leave the multicast group. There for IGMP routers learn that a group is no longer available when it times out from not receiving any queries from that particular group.
  • IGMPv2 - has group-specific queries that allows a router to query membership only in a single group instead for all groups. Instead of waiting for a timeout from a particular group, the last hosts that are apart of a multicast group sends the router a specific message that it's leaving said group.
  • IGMPv3 - is still being designed and proposed. Version 3 adds the ability to filter multicasts based on multicast source so that hosts can indicate that they want to recieve traffic only from particular sources within a multicast group.
In order for Layer 2 devices to recognize multicast packets it uses either CGMP (Cisco Group Management Protocol) or IGMP Snooping. As you might have guessed, CGMP is a Cisco proprietary protocol designed for Cisco switches specifically. It allows you to maunally configure specific switch ports for multicast traffic but this feature isn't scable because of that reason. IGMP Snooping allows a switch to eavesdrop on IGMP messages sent between routers and hosts, and updates its MAC address table accordingly.

PIM (Protocol Independent Multicast) is used by routers that are forwarding multicast packets. PIM uses the normal IP routing table in its multicast calculations. PIM uses what's called distribution trees to forward multicast packets. There's two types of trees

  • Source Tree - A source tree is created for each source sending to each multicast group. The source tree has its root at the source and has branches through the network to the receivers.
  • Shared Tree - Is a single tree that is shared between all sources for each multicast group. The shared tree has a single common root, called a rendezvous point (RP). Sources initially send their multicast packets to the RP, which in turn forwards data through a shared tree to the members of the group.
PIM uses two modes that determines the type of distribution tree to use including one hybrid mode:

  • PIM Sparse Mode (PIM-SM) - Sparse mode uses a "pull" model to send multicast traffic. it usres a shared tree and therefore requires an RP to be defined.
  • PIM Dense Mode (PIM-DM) - Dense mode uses a "push" model that floods multicast traffic to the entire network. Dense mode uses source trees.
  • PIN Sparse Dense Mode - uses both Sparse and Dense modes throughout its network

Friday, February 5, 2010

Multicast Overview

I'm nearing the end of my CCNP Study Guide Book, with only this chapter on multicasting and the last chapter on IPv6 to go. Multicasting enables data to be sent over networks to a group of destinations in the most efficient way. The data is sent from the source as one stream; this single data stream travels through the network. Other network devices only replicate the data through the network if they have other members on their interfaces that are apart of this destination group.

Multicast groups are identified by Class D IP addresses, which are in the range from to Muticast uses the Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) and Cisco Group Management Protocol (CGMP) for determining which network devices require the multicast data stream. Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) is used for determining the best way to route multicast traffic.

There are many differences between Multicast and Unicast packets. Unicast duplicates a packet for each reciever that it needs to send the data too (one copy for each reciver). Multicast sends one packet stream as mentioned previously, downstream routers replicate the packets only on links where receiving hosts exist. Multicast provides the following advantages over unicast:

  • Enhanced efficiency
  • Optimized Performance
  • Support for distributed applications
The disadvantage of multicast is that it uses UDP (User Datagram Protocol) as it's transport protocol. This means that packets are only sent on "best-effort" delivery and that packets aren't sent reliably. In order to cut down on unreliable packets, the multicast applications them selves may need to provide some sort of reliability mechanisms to prevent huge data lost. This could mean more processing power needed on the hosts them selves.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Configure the Network Full CCNA Lab Preview

Hey all, I just wanted to give you a quick snippet of one of the labs that will be available when you purchase the full version of the Configure the Network Lab book. View the picture above for a peek at what Task 8 will have you configuring for your CCNA exam!

Don't forget to download the free CCNA ICND1 Lab book at

End of Chapter BGP Labs

The end of chapter 8 consists of 3 BGP labs to test your knowledge of the material you've learned so far. I went through 2 labs today and will complete the last one tomorrow along with the end of chapter questions. The nice thing about setting up and configuring the network examples in the book is that by time you get to the end of chapter labs you will know how to configure everything with ease. I noted today than I configured a total of 75 network labs so far during my BSCI studies the last few months! I'm sure that I'm going to easily pass 100 labs by time I take the exam for the first time, I just want to be as prepped as possible going in.

Monday, February 1, 2010

BGP MED Configuration

When using BGP, sometimes the Autonomous System (AS) wants to influence another AS's routing decision on how incoming packets are routed to its AS. Multiexit-discriminator (MED) is used to configure this setting for BGP peers. Unfortunately MED is one of the last considered processes in the BGP routing process. That means that if local preference is used in the BGP process it can not knowingly override any MED settings you are sending to that remote AS.

Route maps can be used with MED to better load balance settings, using the command default-metric under the BGP configuration will set MED settings. However if two BGP peers in the same AS have different MED values, the lower cost will always be preferred. While the other peer will receive little to almost no routing traffic besides BGP updates. What would be better is creating a route map that specifies which networks should have lower metrics on each BGP peer as shown in the example above.