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Wireless Notes

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 16th June 2010

I know I said I wasn’t going to blog my notes just yet until after I finished the exam. But it’s a funny thing.. studying is. I used to complain that I need to get rid of my distractions so I can study better. I have had a lot of things in my mind the past few days. But last night, after watching the Lakers beat the Celtics 😈 I got to study a little bit and took some notes. The weird thing about it is that, ironically, studying became a huge distraction from my own thoughts.  The game was a huge distraction too. I just needed a little distraction. And studying was the ticket. 😉

I read halfway through the wireless section of the BCMSN Exam Guide. I went back to re-read and took some notes on key points and definitions until I got too tired and lazy to continue.  Nothing new or revealing on the following notes. They can be helpful for review later. It’s also not complete or comprehensive.

  • 802.11 uses CSMA/CA vs. 802.3 which uses CSMA/CD – Avoidance vs. Detection.
  • Distributed Coordination Function (DCF) – wireless stations wait a certain duration value before transmitting frames.
  • Service Set – group of wireless devices
  • Service Set Identifier (SSID) – A string included in every frame set; the devices must share a common SSID.
  • Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS) – ad hoc network; where 2 or more wireless clients directly communicate with each other with no other means of network connectivity.
  • Basic Service Set (BSS) – one access point
    • Match SSID
    • Compatible wireless data rate
    • Authentication
  • Extended Service Set (ESS) – More than one APs placed at different geographic locations.
  • Access Points can act:
    • As connection point for wireless clients, or
    • Act as a bridge to form a single wireless bridge from one LAN to another over a long distance – AP-to-AP or line of sight links.
  • An AP is in charge of mapping a VLAN to an SSID.
    • When an AP uses multiple SSIDs, it is in effect trunking VLANs over the air to end users.
    • Example: VLAN 10 mapped to SSID “Marketing” and VLAN 20 mapped to SSID “Engineering”
  • Cell – an AP’s coverage area.
  • Reducing the transmit power on an AP reduces the cell size –  causing only clients close by to associate with it. That means less clients hogging the bandwidth. The others can associate with another AP closer to them.
  • Microcells – when cell sizes are reduced
  • Picocells – cell sizes are minimized even more
  • Frequency – oscillating signal based around a constant.
    • Radio Frequency (RF)
  • Band – broad range of frequencies used for similar funcations
    • AM Radio band consists of the frequency range 550 MHz through 1720 MHz.
    • Wireless can be in 2.4 GHz band or 5GHz band.
  • Carrier Signal – the signal transmitted by a wireless station.
    • No audio, video, or data is present in the carrier itself.
  • Modulate/Demodulate – in order to transmit information, the transmitter must modulate the carrier signal by inserting or encoding the information in a unique fashion. Receiving devices demodulates the signal.
  • Channel – a fixed frequency, that varies within a certain range, which a transmitter and receiver expects the carrier to appear on

Posted in Aragoen's Musing, BCMSN Prep, CCNP, Wireless | 3 Comments » | Print This Post

More To Come

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 15th June 2010

I’ve been offline far too long. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been working though. I’ve been getting ready for the BCMSN exam, trying to beat the July 31st deadline before it expires. I feel kind of ready but I’m not 100 percent. I’m in the stage where I think I can pass the exam if I took it now but also too cautious not to  be too confident. And when I feel that way, then I’m not ready. 😀

Studying has been very hard. I have not had the motivation I once had. Last night I was reviewing some of my blog notes and humbly, I felt these notes were pretty damn good. I ask myself why I stopped doing these notes. And I have to believe that others also find my notes pretty helpful as well based on a small sampling of positive comments I was getting.

Anyway, I came to a resolve last night that after I’ve taken the BCMSN exam, I’ll resume back with my old note-taking style and start blogging my notes again. Why after the exam? Taking these notes is incredibly time consuming. It literally takes at least 4-6 hours per blog entry. That’s taking into account one full reading of the subject matter, re-reading the important points, taking a summary, researching Cisco docs to verify that what I’ve written is in fact correct (and even then I still make factual mistakes). If I were to start these note-blogs again, I will not be ready to take the exam before the expiration date.

Anyway, based on the still-decent-daily-hit-count I get on my blog, thanks for visiting and continuing to support this blog through your comments, suggestions, and readership. 😉

Posted in BCMSN Prep, General | 6 Comments » | Print This Post

Information on 2010 CCNP Changes

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 29th January 2010

I’m a little late with updating about information on the new CCNP changes recently announced by Cisco. And instead of rehashing what everyone else has already regurgitated, I’m just going to post a few links. Below are some links from a relatively new blogger, Rofi Neron. I’m using him as a reference because he was one of the first few that had early information on the changes even before it was officially announced.

For something a little bit more official, check here:

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New Year = Renewed Goal

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 4th January 2010

I started my Cisco quest in January 2008 when I made a goal of getting a CCNA. I accomplished that goal in six months of dedicated study. Shortly after that I decided to go for the CCNP. I thought, “why the heck not?”

Somewhere along the way I got de-railed on that quest. So it’s only fitting that the start of this New Year should be a re-dedication and a renewal of my goal to achieve the CCNP. So here we go….

P.S. Thanks to everyone who has been leaving me comments with advice and encouragement. I may not have been replying to the comments but know that I appreciate all your thoughts and well-wishes. Here’s for a productive 2010!

Posted in CCNP, General | 9 Comments » | Print This Post

It Was Bound to Happen

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 20th November 2009

I have postponed my BCMSN exam at least five times now. Everytime the test date neared I rescheduled because I wasn’t ready. As I mentioned before I was due and ready to pass the exam just 2 weeks before my mom died. Then she got sicker and eventually passed away. Ever since then I haven’t been in the right mindset and kept postponing/rescheduling my test. Then last week, I forgot to reschedule and lost my $150 fee for not taking it.

It has come across my mind to just cancel the test and get a refund. Then reschedule again for when I was actually ready. But stupid me kept thinking that if I did that then I surely will never take that test. The only assurance or driving force I had, if you will, is keeping the test date hoping that it will drive me towards studying more – and that I can always reschedule if I wasn’t ready.

I have been studying but just not as diligently and focused as I used to. Every day I take about 45 minutes are so to sit down and do some studying. It just doesn’t cut it compared to the hours per day that I used to do. Knowledge acquisition becomes very slow and retention seems to get weaker as longer days pass without touching the same subject again.

I need a new catalyst. And no, I don’t mean a new switch. 😉

Posted in BCMSN Prep | 9 Comments » | Print This Post

Movin’ Along

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 3rd November 2009

First off I wanted to thank everyone for the outpouring of support that just continues to come even months after my mom’s passing. There truly are a lot of amazing and classy people out there in the tech world and I really appreciate it. Thanks to all who left comments for me, those who sent me personal DMs on twitter checking to see how I’m doing; those who emailed me, and those who prayed for me and my family. Your prescence, real and virtual, really meant a lot. 😉

So far, I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to adjust back to my old study habits and patterns. My motivation has been sapped dry and focusing is very hard to achieve. I don’t think it has anything to do with my mom’s passing anymore. Sure it derailed my studies but I’m pretty sure I’m passed the grieving stage at this point.

I know for sure that since then I’ve been watching more TV than before. I think it goes hand in hand with the fact that during the time I’m taking care/watching my infant son, whether I’m holding him or feeding him, I also have the TV on. So the entertainment factor from watching TV more than likely takes away from my motivation to study.

Additionally, since starting P90X many months back, I’ve also tried to make exercise a regular part of my week. That alone takes an hour to an hour and a half a day, for about 3 days a week. At least I’m happy with the progress I’m making on this aspect. 😀

Although I’ve slowed down considerably, I definitely have not stopped. I’m proud to say that I spent a good hour studying last night :D. It’s not nearly close to how much I used to study but good enough considering I wasn’t studying for days at a time. I’m just a little bummed that I’ve had to reschedule my BCMSN exam six times already. I was due to take it 2 weeks before my mom died. And ever since then, I’ve been rescheduling it just about every 2 weeks, hoping that the next two weeks would be it. But every 2 weeks come and I’m still not ready. In fact I’ve forgotten so much of the materials that I may have to start my review again from the start.

Anyway, my goal for the next two days is to complete my review on wireless LANs. Wish me luck.

Posted in Aragoen's Musing, BCMSN Prep, General, Wireless | 3 Comments » | Print This Post

Update 08.18.09

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 18th August 2009

It appears that my BCMSN exam will have to wait for an indefinite time. My mom’s condition has taken a turn for the worse and we are told she has only days to live. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the doctors have declared that it is terminal.

I’ll probably take a short break.

Posted in BCMSN Prep, General, News | 15 Comments » | Print This Post

Update 08.06.09

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 6th August 2009

Just peeking in to let you all know I’m still here. Apologies for the absence. Most of you know that I have the BCMSN exam coming up and yes, that is the reason I have been MIA. Absence really makes a huge difference as I’ve watched my hit count go from an average of almost 300 clicks a day down to just around 150 – lower on the weekends and special holidays. And you all know that my confidence and my worth is based on how many hit counts I get on a daily basis. It’s the sun to my superman. 😀

So far I’m a little behind as far as what I had planned to have reviewed by this point in time. But that’s okay. I tend to do well and catch up on my reviews towards the last week when adrenaline is high and the fight mechanism in me is at its optimum level.

I got sick towards the latter part of last week and obviously, that hampered my progress over the weekend. I intended to cover a bulk of my reviews this past weekend but just didn’t have enough juice to keep it going.

So far here are the chapters that I have covered:

  • VLANs – Fundamentals, operation, implementation/configuration, verification, troubleshooting.
  • VLAN trunking
  • VTP
  • Spanning Tree (802.1D, 802.1W, 802.1s)
  • STP enhancements such as Root Guard, BPDU Guard, BPDU Filtering, Loop Guard, UDLD
  • Portfast, Uplinkfast, Backbonefast

Still left to go:

  • Inter-VLAN
  • EtherChannel
  • CEF
  • Redundancy (HSRP, VRRP, GLBP)
  • Multicast
  • Layer 2 Security (802.1x, VACL, etc)
  • Voice
  • Wireless
  • There’s more but I’m too lazy to list all of them. 😀

I was going through the BCMSN Study schedule on this blog and I realized how sorely lacking it is in details. So I figured after I pass the exam, I’ll make an attempt to organize this list with the dates I covered them and publish it on the schedule page for others’ reference.

Anyway, that’s all for now. I may or may not update before the exam so just keep checking your feeds. 😉

Posted in BCMSN Prep, CCNP | No Comments » | Print This Post

CCNP Wireless

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 24th July 2009

I was doing some reading on wireless last night as part of my preparation for the BCMSN exam. I wanted to find some online resources to supplement my studies when I noticed in the Cisco Learning Network home page that there is a new CCNP track that I haven’t seen there before. Granted it’s been a while since I’ve been to their site.

Apparently the new CCNP Wireless certification track was announced at the Cisco Live 2009 that was held recently in San Francisco. Now I remember back in the early part of this year that there were some talks about Cisco talking about launching a new professional level wireless cert but never heard about it since. I did a quick search on all my blog feeds and not one has talked about it (Come on bloggers! I rely on you for the latest and most current news. What’s up, man?) 😀   

Here’s more info for the curious minds (who, like me, still didn’t know):

Cisco Wireless Professional Certification

One of the pre-requisites is that you must have a CCNA wireless cert and/or any CCIE ceritfification. I’m not 100% on the latter pre-req.

Formal prerequisites for the CCNP Wireless certification are CCNA (Routing & Switching) and CCNA Wireless.  In order to pass the CCNP Wireless exams an individual should have:

  • At least three to five years of job experience in network engineering
  • A thorough understanding of wireless networking principles
  • An in-depth understanding of the four courses

You must pass the required CUWSS (642-731), IUWVN (642-741),  IUWMS (642-746), IAUWS (642-736) exams to achieve CCNP Wireless certification.


CCNP Wireless courses and exams are available starting today July 24th, 2009.

Look here for more FAQ-type of information.

Posted in CCNP, Wireless | 2 Comments » | Print This Post

Update 07.22.09

Posted by Aragoen Celtdra on 22nd July 2009

Oh lookie here, a new post. Sorry for the long lapse of activity. I’ve been meaning to update but I’ve been lazy of late. Yes, laziness should be the theme of this post because I’ve been lazy about studying and updating.

Anyway, I scheduled my exam for August 15, 2009. I needed something to push me to get done with this exam. I figured if the pressure of an upcoming exam is looming over my head, I might just get to hunkering down and hitting the books. So far it’s not working :D. It better work though in the next coming days.

Last week I finished the section on HSRP, VRRP, and GLBP. This week I’m tackling Layer 2 security while at the same time, going back to the beginning to start the reviewing. On paper, I should have enough days to get everything done. But in practice, my actions say otherwise.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of TV or doing an unusual amount of web surfing at home. Did I suddenly open up my schedule to be able to do all these things? NO. My schedule is still the same. I get home around 5pm. We’re at the dinnner table by 6pm having a nutritious meal that my wife prepared. By 7pm, I’m either watering the vegetation outside or wrestling with my son. After that either I’m giving the kids a bath or helping put them to sleep. By 8pm it’s all my time. Usually I’d be studying until about 9pm. Then exercise for about an hour. Then back to studying again. Well now, instead of the studying, I end up either watching TV or spec’ing out the next motorcycle or car I”m going to buy – which in reality, I may never ever buy. It’s that cycle of the month again where I hit that funk. I’ll shake it off and get down to business.

Anyway, hopefully next time, the tune of this post would more… studyful – if there’s ever such a word. 😀

Posted in BCMSN Prep, General | 5 Comments » | Print This Post