Tomorrow morning, I will have my 350 401 encore exam, So not long to go at all. So why am I doing this article, So I want to do a final kind of check-in article with you just to share exactly where I am today. What's ahead for the rest of the day, How I'm feeling - and you know what I've done so far to prep for the exam, Just as a recap, And also regards to Pearson VUE what I've done just to share that experience with you . So, Let's this goes straight across now to the exam topics which are here which I've absolutely done to death.

And I know you have probably seen this quite a lot. But what I'd like to do is just to run down through this beast of a list and just just check in where I am in terms of my overall feeling, I guess, And confidence and comfort. All these topics and it'd be a good exercise for me and as well as hopefully for you just to see I've done the level of prep, Etcetera, Etc. You know ahead of tomorrow.

I actually believe it's tomorrow, It's it's! It's almost upon me so so here we go so architecture now this is a mixed bag for me, There's some some new stuff in here. Obviously, But let's just skim down the list and have a look so enterprise network design, I'm feeling pretty good with that fabric capacity plan I'll have mentioned before Kevin Wallace covers this in his his on-call course, And it gives you the formula that you need to know To do fabric capacity planning, So it's just a case really of practice in that a few times: high availability techniques, First top redundancy protocol and SSO. Now this is cool, But specifically at this bit t're going to ask you. I expect around GLB P on top of HS RP and vor P, So this is gonna, Be more general questions about about them and I'm expecting something in there about GL BP as well and stateful switchover as well, Along with NSF NSF's, Not actually mentioned there in S F, But I'm expecting that to go part and parcel with van that's covered pretty well in the study guide, So happy were there and happy with that analyzing design principles of a wireless LAN to pull him in , Without not problem at all. This is covered in the book.

The models are quite straightforward to understand. Location services is covered in the study guide and it's also covered in the Kevin Wallace material that I've seen understanding, Real-time TLS tracking location services. So that's in there as well happy with that. Not a problem, What do we got next on prim and infrastructure cloud deployments? Now? That's that's cool! I'm happy with that, As this is pretty straightforward stuff. In my opinion, I've got quite a bit of experience with cloud concepts as well from where AWS journey and just general life experience.

Now. This is where things get a little bit: hairier guess for for people that are new to this stuff, So I'm happy with sd1 as a whole. Now again, This is an explanation based thing working principle, So I'm expecting them as on the tin to describe the solution. The elements of SD when all of the moving parts to it the differences between traditional and SD ware and the challenges, And why you do this it's fairly introductory and you know kind of newbie stuff.

But overall I'm happy with that and I would recommend going into the design guide from Cisco on that there's a design guide that you can get honestly when 100% recommend that you go and get that and have to have a read of that or some pretty good Stuff in there and there's also one available for SDA as well, So for SD access and again SD access and putting this into the same camp as SD one. This is just Cisco at a high level. One into under you know explain these two sort of stars of the show in this new SD world and again with SD access. It's it's similar thing explaining all the elements you know and kind of the. Why and a bit of the how but not drilling into any any configuration? This is.

This is gonna, Be higher level stuff and that's how I've I've prepared, But I have put a lot of time interesti, Where an NST access, SD one in particular. If you go onto definite, There is a sandbox that you can get your hands on with sd-1 and get access to be managed and stuff like that. So it's all good and I'm feeling pretty comfortable with with these two : , So moving on wired and wireless QoS. Now this is an interesting one because t do mention Wireless QRS and I kept in Wallace again does cover that for about two or three minutes. There's not really much to that.

It's really just understanding I mean you need to get your hands on. Honor will see to be feeling a wireless LAN controller, Never little nosy around the stuff in there and wireless quads, But it's not a biggie. It's probably about two minutes of learning, So I'm pretty happy with that wired cause.

On the other hand, Obviously . These two don't do cover quite a few items, But, Generally speaking this is, I think, Conceptionally. This is an introduction to QRS. This is understanding what classification is.

What marking is what options? If we got on the table, You know what is low, Latency Kieran. What is W read? What is traffic policing? What is traffic shaping? It's just understanding those higher-level again high level concepts stuff around QRS, And that's pretty much it next one in hardware and software switching mechanisms this one. I really like the ocg for this stuff.

I think t cover this all very well in the OSI G. So I'm feeling it I'm good with it. The boasts and questions here just to call out t had some good stuff around safe load, Balancing, , So I'd recommend getting some exposure to that. If you haven't already, If memory serves me right, That's not in the OSI G, , Whether it's on examine, I don't know but safe load balancing, Is something I'd go and have a look at as well just to prepare you for that. But apart from that, The OTG does a really good job of covering these three items, Virtualization, So we're kind of moving on to a new section.

So this is not too bad. Really, I'm quite happy with this there's some pretty heavy stuff in there from Cisco on their own stuff, Around network functions and nvi, And all that kind of stuff, Which is a little bit painful, A little bit dry. But it's not too bad, But most of the stuff here, Particularly with the boson questions, Is pretty basic. If you've got you know, Half decent VM experience, You know and understanding the differences between type 1 type 2 and all that stuff.

Then you're going to be ok with with virtualization. So next one section two point two, So we've got ok, So this is some good stuff here now again in perspective. You know this is this is 10% of the exam right 10%, So 10 questions ish, Covering virtualization and there's a lot of stuff in here. Now these two here so VRE, So every RF even and GRE an IPSec tunneling, There's quite a lot to this I mean conceptionally.

This is this is pretty pretty straightforward, As is his GRE and RP 6. But there's a lot, Particularly my pset there's a lot of configuration stuff in there and understanding. You know how a VPN is established, Understanding the differences between Ike, V1 and v2. You know understand the nicer Kempe understanding in phase 1 understand in phase 2 at my PC. It's quite a lot to list and the configurations not too bad, But there's something you've got a repeat repeat, Repeat to really master and I've done that in the labs quite a lot, So I'm prepared for this bit definitely vr af-s, Pretty straightforward. As long as you understand the basics of how to configure a vrf and attach an interface to it, And all that, It's pretty straightforward, Now GRE, I do want to call that GRE, Because I've done a lot of work with GRE now and in particular, And based On the boson questions, I've gone to town on all things, MTU, So MTU with GRE, Because there were some questions and stuff around this in boson and I was a little bit gap in knowledge there.

So I've gone and done my homework on GRE, But in particular what I've done is I've actually configured the MTU and the adjust MSS stuff as per Cisco's best practice and Cisco. I'Ve got some good documentation on how to do that, So I'd recommend going and having a little a little check on that adjust MSS and also changing the MTU and the best practice values from Cisco. On that. This is really good because when I did do this, I I lowered the MTU to 1400 on the tunnel interface and then I've done some packet captures and sent some packets that were bigger than fourteen hundred bytes across the tunnel and sure enough. I saw from Wireshark fragmentation starting to occur, Which was great and which he was exactly what I wanted to see and then, When I set to an extended ping and made the MTU bigger than 1400, With the df' bit Poupon, When I set the DF bit.

So do not fragment and I'm sending stuff that's bigger than that sure enough. The pings would fail because the DF bit was set so do not fragment, But obviously the packets are bigger than the MTU, And I saw that behavior in Y shark, So probably overkill. But GRA deserves a little bit more attention. I think than the exam blueprint might make out so anyway long story short on that, I'm in a good place with with GRE and IPSec and and vrf, So that that's cool network virtualization concepts. Now again, These are too new to new stars to the show again in this world, This SD world - and this is this - is just concept.

gh level you know described in list describe envy excellent, Particularly with Lisp, Is going into all the nuts and bolts of Lisp understanding the different roles that routers can have in a lisp setup. You know with our ITR ret are a proxy em stuff and map-resolver all that kind of stuff. So there's this quite a lot to Lisp, But at a higher level as long as you know the basics and all the building blocks to it. I think that's going to put you in a pretty good place for the exam, So virtualization that entire section, I'm feeling good, I'm feeling confident no infrastructure, So this is obviously more traditional stuff that we've we've spoken about before. So this is a lot of this, Has come down from the CCIE, Always stayed there from the ccnp well and CCMP switch.

So this is this is what I'd say: it's more comfort zone stuff for a traditional network, Engineer like myself so layer, Two on this to town now, So I've really really done a lot and I owe to 1q trunking I've done low loads of stuff of that Over the years anyway, But just brushing up on the concept, You know things like DTP, VTP, Pruning VTP, All that kind of stuff, Just nailing it and just really just practice practice. But this is this is to me quite burned in in my brain anyway. From experience the same with eternals, Any four channels is pretty straightforward to configure them.

You know what kind of questions cisco love to ask on e4 channels about the modes and where t won't establish and where t will establish and all that kind of stuff. The book. Those pretty deep on in feature no actually the ocg there's quite a lot of stuff on on e4 channels, Maybe too deep.

But you know it's not going to harm you knowing that stuff now spanning tree so spanning tree I mean spanning tree. Is I'd probably give myself a maybe a 7 out of 10 on spanning tree, Which which sounds maybe sends a little bit harsh, But I don't really believe anyone's a 9 or a 10 or anything. But you know, Spanning tree is a bit of a beast, And you know it's when you do lay your two configurations over and over again it's just second nature: how to do it, But the questions you can be asked around this stuff, With convergence and and how Bpd uses sent out and what happens when there's a pot topology change that stuff can be a little bit heavy. But again the book does pretty well at that, And configuring specifically rapid spanning tree and MST. Now, Obviously, Our STP configuration wise is a piece of cake, But you've obviously got to understand the concepts that go along with our STP versus traditional way, A 21 these spanning tree, So not too bad for me and general, And I have put a lot more practice Into this, And just observed, Behaviors with weave particularly told topology changes, Also election of the root bridge. You know port rolls which ports are going to be route which ports are going to be forwarding or DP, Which ones are going to be blocked and an understanding of there are STP terminology with the alternate poles and the sync agreements in proposal and all that stuff.

DevNet 200-901 Questions

Mst again, Just configuration wise is pretty straightforward. Verification is pretty straightforward. Some hairy ish concepts on particulars, MST regions and non MST switches that are running STP or are STP and understanding, And the BPD use t're gonna get sent out and all that kind of cool stuff. So I spanning tree: it's a bit of a beast, But it's it's it's it's not too bad and again it's not done for quite a long time, But I know the questions can be nasty on on STP.

I'm feeling I'm in a good place. So, Moving on to layer, Free soleil, A free, Comparing CID IP and OSPF, I mean your job he's quite annoying in a way because there's a lot of stuff in the book on e IG RP as if you're learning it from scratch. You know, And going into the whole the whole full beast of EIGRP, But to compare its concept of our SPF to me is pretty straightforward, Because I know the high level main differences between them -, Particularly with ERG RP, Doing unequal cost load balancing, Which is one Of the main main things to shout out there, T obviously are lovers, But overall, I'm pretty good with that now our SPF.

So this this is obviously I think this is absolutely just read you all that little circle. I think this is not to be underestimated, Because you know this is a big chunk of the exam on their infrastructure and t want you to better, Configure and verify our SPF , There's a lot to our SPF a lot to our SPF. So we go from single area to multI area. We need to know how to summarize and where we would do that. You know you need to know to filter we're out all the different network types of our SPF, Which can be fun and games, Because there you're going to get different, Timers associated with that as well, And can you you know, Link a different network types together.

Passive interfaces - straightforward is just a concept just turning it on globally and enabling interfaces to participate. So overall, Our SPF. Yes, It's a beast, I'm feeling good with our SPF.

I know how to do all those things that on the blueprint and I'm pretty happy with that EB GP now, Let's just say, Beef GP, All right, Annie, Bgp being one part of that now it's interesting. This is an interesting part of the blueprint because t are, T are sharing out ebgp, Specifically with directly connected neighbors, So no multi-hop stuff. This is directly connected neighbors. T do mention s path, Selection, Algorithm, So to me, You've got to know all the fundamentals of BGP. You know how it selects its its path to is best path to a network and cans in the past and all that stuff, How you build neighbors.

So little, Although it says ebgp, You know, Different autonomous systems to you know different is to Tiffany. Yes, I still think this is you've. Gotta know your stuff at bgp. You'Ve got a know.

All the fundamentals of bgp by is interesting, How t shout our ebgp peers on here: I'll, Obviously getting the differences between an eye bgp in an e bgp. But overall again from my perspective, I've put a lot of work into this. A lot of labs. Excuse me, And I'm happy with my my ebgp former BBB TV abilities, To configure and verify so overall layer.

Three there I'm happy I'm good, It's quite traditional, Comfortable stuff, , Just a shower and our SPF as well, And I don't think I've missed it. T don't mention ipv6, So iris, PF version three, But obviously the book does. The book mentions OSPF version 3, So know how to configure OSPF version 3 know about the LSA types in our SPF version 3 as well, Where you've got the extra type-a and the type 9 know about that.

What's changed in type 1 and type 2 and what's new to the table with our SPF III, LSA types in general, So this can kind of tangent on to a few different areas. But again the ocg does a really good job with our SPF . So I'm moving on to wireless now wireless is a bit of a beast.

I mean again overall, I'm I'm feeling. With wireless, I mean the the concepts and the theory of wireless. You know t're kind of just a thing and you get it and you try and retain all the facts and that kind of stuff, The different modes and a peak and running is pretty straightforward and tenor.

So that's why LS a little bit out of place ish, But you know overall feeling pretty good now IP services, Three point four. So this is. This is pretty traditional for me: ntp, No problem at all. That's that's pretty straightforward to get understanding things like stratum and the basic configuration and all that kind of stuff and pretty comfortable ntp now net and pat.

This is an interesting one. So there's a lot to know. I mean conceptually it's pretty good, But obviously understand your static. Your dynamic with you pools .

You one-to-one mapping to understand now overload and understand how to configure it. So you need to know the building blocks for now and how to configure it. I'Ve done lots of labs on t're uncomfortable with each type of now. The bit here that catches, People out always is the terminology that Cisco use for inside local inside global, Outside local, Outside global.

So no in the differences between inside and outside and an actor that is the only bit there. Even now you know it can hurt. Your head certainly hurts my head a little bit as well, But I've got a good technique for that and I'm pretty comfortable with NAT and Pat now. First stop with honesty protocols. Now these do come up at the start in the architecture section, But specifically now gob P can move away and we need to know how to config HSIP and vrrp.

So it's pretty straightforward if you've got a lot of experience of HS RP, But you need to know how to configure them and again I've done lab after lap after the lab of that and gob P is not in there. Sis, Just configuring, Those to understand. As well that there are different versions available of each of these, And it's probably going to mean no harm to understand the differences with them.

It's specifically with configuration. It's not too much, But I would definitely understand there and it's probably more in that first section on architecture around describing first top with honesty protocols and how t work and things like multicast addressing and what ports t use and how many groups t configure and All that kind of cool stuff - and it was a good bosun question whoops on them on that - that I remember as well so feeling good now this one. This is where it all goes, A little bit kind of off the rails. MultI casting is something personally.

I have not got any experience in in the production environment. I'Ve never worked at a client or a supplier that have ever done, MultI casting that's just my journey, So it's always been one of these topics that I've kind of shied away from, But I've never really needed it where I've worked. But I need it here and I need it specifically on one little point of a section of an exam. Now, It's high level, It's described the protocols. You know I and I and I've done my stuff on this now - the books very good at this - Kevin Wallace stuff good at it.

You know, And there is a lot of content to multicast in Y. It's it's a beast and it's it's quite intimidating and I guess in a way, But as long as you know the basics, You know - and it mentions specifically the idmp version 2 and version 3. So straight away. I'm thinking like a it wants me to know the differences between the two which is fine and then in terms of PIM itself. What's going on with the multicast network has to read the Reuters talk to one another. So there's a lot here, But I think the basics of it.

You know dense mode, Sparse mode, Understanding what the rendezvous point does understanding some of the terminology. With the first talk route to the last hop router, You know the shortest path tree that RPF check. All that kind of stuff to me is bundled into this and I'd probably and realistically one question: do you reckon one question if I'm lucky, Maybe two maybe two questions at most, Who knows but either way, I'm feeling pretty good about multicast. So, Let's move on Network assurance right, So no no occurrences is another interesting one.

So the first bullet point for point: one: , Fine, Not a problem at all! Debugging, That's interesting! Actually, I've just noticed something for the first time there's just just gone off in my head. I didn't do and I don't recall anything in the the ocg around conditional, Debugging and I'll be honest with you from experience. I'Ve. Never I've never done that.

I don't think. I'm coming of a situation, We've ever done it, But it's there. I nicely that's just just like light bulbs just gone off with me because it's not covered in the OSI g4 memory. But I got practice questions on this with Bothan. So, Regardless of that, I've gone and brushed up and done conditional debugging in my lap, And I understand how to do it and it's all good traceroute ping, All pretty traceroute ping, All pretty good SNMP, A syslog, I'm comfortable with all that stuff and again the book Does a decent job of all of those things, But a lot of that is traditional stuff from my from my journey so far configuring and verifying with syslog settings, Sis lockup, That's again, That's pretty straightforward.

It's not too difficult! There's only a few steps of conflict there. Configuring and verifying net flow and flexI net flow now net flows pretty easy to do no problem at all. This one is a bit of a handful, And I've got an acronym for you of rem. Record exporter, Monitor, If you can remember that REM is in the band, Then if you know the building blocks to flexible net flow and the order that you do them rem, So flow record flow exporter flow monitor.

so - and I know how to do that and I'm and I'm pretty comfortable and confident with net flow and flexI net flow as well now moving on span again pretty traditional, Pretty straightforward, I mean it wants you to configure and verify local spans easy remote spans. Pretty straightforward: as long as you know that you have a specific VLAN configured for it and then the are span is when we want to route over the layer, Three and it wants you to configure and verify all those items. So now I to do them done them in the lab for them same with IP SLA. It's a traditional thing for me.

It's been around a long time, But I need to know how to configure it and then just to call out in the book t don't from memory go into responders, But the boson material definitely does and the Kevin Wallace material definitely does as well. So, In my view, There's no harm knowing how to configure a responder based setup as opposed to just IP SLA operations. Four point: six: this is a really interesting one that the in a center so new to the table for me. So, Although now I feel like, I know this thing inside out, But describe the workflows describe, You know that the high-level stuff in DNA center, With things like the design policy assurance and all my stuff find not a problem. There's a sandbox environment from Cisco.

You can get your hands dirty on that and I've done that many times now. But this is a described thing as well, So I'd say a high level being able to describe the different workflows available in the DNA Center and then the configure and verify Netcom from rest conf. Now this is an interesting one, Because net conf andres conf t're absolutely stars to the show, In terms of software-defined networking and all that cool stuff and configuration management, But this is just kind of thrown in about configure and verify. So for me again, I can't remember the book specifically, But there's a lot of content on there con from the best way to do this, In my opinion, Is to go on to dev net and which I've done gone, Cisco, Definite follow through some of the tutorials. You know and just just nail neck home from rest comm so specifically configure so you know if you've got if you've got access to a sandbox again or CSR, 1003 or whatever know how to enable net conformist conf on your device.

Yes, So you night to turn them on night a month, Some verification commands to make sure that t run in this kind of goes off on a tangent of API calls and and controller stuff and all that cool stuff. But this is a biggie. Alright, This is a biggie there's no question but overall for me the what I've done with Netcom from s Kampf, I'm in a good place and and I'm looking forward actually in a weird way, To having some questions on that con from breast conf to see how Much I've actually learnt because I've gone from zero exposure zero.

Ever with with those and now I'm feeling come on, Give me some questions. I need to test my knowledge. You know I get zero, But hopefully not ok, Security.

Now this is almost a controversial one. I mean most a lot of people. I'Ve read online are not particular happy that this is kind of creeped into the traditional routes which stuff, But then this is CCMP enterprise. Now we've got a new world to think about when it comes to just all fing, Cisco and actually the real world so Security's here now this stuff here, All good, All good.

Now I've done many moons ago. I done CCNA security and I remember at the time it was quite a challenging, But a lot this stuff. I do remember from CCNA security, So these items here pretty straightforward, Not problem at all authentication and like with triple-a and you've gotta get in the labs and you've got to play around with that and particular mist.

T know. Where would you apply this a co? You know you want to do X, Y Zed, Which ACL would you choose and the questions are difficult and I guess the bit there is take your time and just read the question and understand what t were asking you to do. Make sure that when you do this, You don't mess up either traffic as well cuz. You know that glad can happen. You just sort concentrate on the requirement you forget about other traffic flows cop.

This will cite new for me. Actually, I've never never done this before, But it's pretty straight forward as long as you understand the building blocks to class map policy map and in applying it to the control plane and then understand a little bit about traffic shaping as well, Which is not going to Hurt with with cop this is pretty straightforward and t want you to know to configure it. API security again, This is, It was a bit of a new thing for me, But this particular bit is pretty straightforward.

Charles does a good job covering this in the Kevin Wallace articles and you can always just do a little bit googling and stuff on REST, API security. So I'm with that one! That's not too bad at all wireless features, So it is a biggie because we start talking about 802, 1x and and how that works and the the process between the supplicant Vindicator authentication server, All that kind of stuff the building blocks to EEP, Knowing how to configure Eep, Specifically for wireless, So what does that mean? That means getting hands on the wheel, See that means getting on the wheel scene, Configuring EEP stuff. I owe to annex stuff on the we'll see so I've got access to a will, See and I've done my stuff on that and gone through. It all - and I kind of know in my mind, That the kind of I guess, Anatomy or blueprint of or we'll see in the layouts and all the options and configuring radius and all that kind of cool stuff.

And that covers appreciate key and web off. As well, Because t obviously these are all - will see things so knowing how to set up whoops a wireless LAN with pre shared key versus IO to 1x versus web off. Ok and again, It's configuration items and feeling pretty good about that one. I keep saying I'm feeling pretty good.

I probably go and fail the exam miserably now so network design this now. This is an interesting one, Because this is where you start getting a bit marketing stuff, High level describing products or components of Cisco's. You know security portfolio. I hate stuff like this and I don't use the word hate.

I do. I actually hate this stuff and you know what kind of stuff t're going to ask you as well, Particularly around these three. You know describing these components. It can be a nightmare because you kind of in the book you get kind of what t do and then you think I'll. Please don't go and drill in and ask me some question some low-level question around.

You know next-generation firewall or or something like that. So I'm I'm uncomfortable with this one I'll be honest: t call it out. I'Ve done the best.

I can you know and who knows what t're going to ask me in the exam, But I've done the best I can, But I don't like this stuff. I really don't I don't I don't like it in the exam all the book and when I read this stuff, I didn't enjoy it at all and I just wanted to go away. Don'T get me wrong. I wouldn't shy away from learning the these products in terms of being technical and had to configure them and fix them and wear stuff. So, It creates a good path for me, But where t fit in on core, Not really happy about.

If I'm honest Trust. Second mexic, I mean trust SEC. I'm not gonna put try SEC into the same sort of category as these three, Because this is actually really cool, And you know in terms of things like segmentation and identity based stuff. This is brilliant and I love it.

But again, I'm not expecting depth, I'm expecting describe it at a high

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