Techexam's CCENT/CCNA Helpdesk

dontstopdontstop Posts: 566Member ■■■■□□□□□□
I've been thinking over the last fews days about an idea to help everyone with their CCENT/CCNA studies but with a little twist.

My idea would be for people to create Packet Tracer labs and share them in a Helpdesk style manner. You would build a lab environment which can be anything from simple to complex and tag it as being either CCENT or CCNA level content. All of the labs would be under a single thread (such as this one). The person who creates the lab would implement problems, break configuration in however they see fit. When posting the lab the creator would also write a very short blurb which can be anything from:
"Users are complaining about connectivity issues"
to a full scenario
"User A cannot connect to Host B, while Host C/B... <detail><detail>"

Below is a list of things I still haven't decided on:
  • Best way to host Packet Tracer files? (On the Forum as ZIPs vs. Remote Sites)
  • How to contain discussion about labs and their solutions? (All in one thread? vs..?)
  • Boiler plate layout for the trouble ticket? Need to make some copy-pasteable text so people don't have to reinvent the wheel when posting labs.
  • Collating all of the trouble tickets in the original post for ease of access under CCENT & CCNA sub-headings
I think this style of learning would help others as troubleshooting is a great way to learn, also building a problematic Lab is also a skill in itself.

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Comments

  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 566Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Here is a sample of some boilerplate text

    [HTML]
    Content Level: CCENT[]/CCNA[]

    Ticket ID:

    Date:

    Blurb:

    Notes:

    Packet Tracer File:

    [/HTML]

    Description of Boiler plate elements

    Ticket ID

    MD5 or SHA (or whatever your favourite hashing function is) checksum of the ZIP file you uploaded

    (Why?: This will force people to learn to use different Hash checking functions and has a side benefit of checking the integrity of the original PT file and giving the lab a Unique ID)

    Date

    Current Time in UTC in an ISO 8601 format

    (Why?: This forces people to learn ISO 8601 time formatting and also teaches a few things about UTC)

    Further info on UTC Time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWkHS6K0jzw
    Further info on ISO 8601: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8601

    Blurb

    Describe the problem scenario to whatever level of detail you see fit. If you're feeling particularly sinister don't leave a blurb at all and let people try and verify the entire network. Otherwise a typical description from either a Users or L1 CSR perspective would be great

    Notes

    Any further notes about the topology or anything special that needs to be mentioned before starting the lab. This can be also left as N/A if not required. Feel free to add any information like passwords, links to topology diagrams or anything you deem necessary here.

    Packet Tracer File

    Insert the Packet tracer file link/location here. I think having the file uploaded to techexams.net as an attachment with the file location inline would be an option.
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 566Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Example


    Content Level: CCENT[X]/CCNA[]

    Ticket ID: 02dc8d3c33bb4d07d7b3f3eb58d7e378b5af493d

    Date: Thu Dec 29 09:20:20 +00:00 2016

    Blurb:
    Hey Team,

    I'm new in sales office and I've just plugged my machine into network jack and I cannot ping my colleagues computer 192.168.0.1. My Host is named "Host B" are you able to help?

    Regards,
    Rob from Sales.

    Notes: There are no passwords set on LAB-SW1, access is via. the console only and the machines are configured with static addressing only with no default gateway or DNS set

    Packet Tracer File: http://www.filedropper.com/examplelab
  • VeritiesVerities Posts: 1,162Member
    I like your idea, its a very ambitious approach to assisting others. I would caution that you need a dedicated individual or individuals to review every lab to ensure the scenarios can work and that files are not loaded with malicious software. If you don't get someone to assist with that, then you just have a bunch of unverifiable labs that could send new comers down a bad path. It would probably be a good idea to generate a hash for each file and provide a checksum with it.
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 566Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Verities wrote: »
    I like your idea, it's a very ambitious approach to assisting others. I would caution that you need a dedicated individual or individuals to review every lab to ensure the scenarios can work and that files are not loaded with malicious software. If you don't get someone to assist with that, then you just have a bunch of unverifiable labs that could send new comers down a bad path.

    Many thanks! I'm going to knock out another very basic lab soon. Hopefully the labs that are posted are reviewed by all and are kind of self-verified purely due to the number of eyeballs on them. To be honest, after using some of the labs from other companies it's hard to believe so many mistakes can occur with a paid product. Also the goal was more to deliver a broken scenario without much direction and handholding so there wouldn't be much instruction about how or what to do, just a vague idea that something is broken and you need to poke around and try fix anything you deem incorrect.
    Verities wrote: »
    It would probably be a good idea to generate a hash for each file and provide a checksum with it.

    That's what I envisioned the Ticket ID function for :) Maybe also getting people to verify their pkt files with virustotal would also be another option.
    Ticket ID

    MD5 or SHA (or whatever your favourite hashing function is) checksum of the ZIP file you uploaded

    (Why?: This will force people to learn to use different Hash checking functions and has a side benefit of checking the integrity of the original PT file and giving the lab a Unique ID)

    Thanks again for the suggestions!
  • HondabuffHondabuff Posts: 667Member
    dontstop wrote: »
    I've been thinking over the last fews days about an idea to help everyone with their CCENT/CCNA studies but with a little twist.

    My idea would be for people to create Packet Tracer labs and share them in a Helpdesk style manner. You would build a lab environment which can be anything from simple to complex and tag it as being either CCENT or CCNA level content. All of the labs would be under a single thread (such as this one). The person who creates the lab would implement problems, break configuration in however they see fit. When posting the lab the creator would also write a very short blurb which can be anything from:


    to a full scenario


    Below is a list of things I still haven't decided on:
    • Best way to host Packet Tracer files? (On the Forum as ZIPs vs. Remote Sites)
    • How to contain discussion about labs and their solutions? (All in one thread? vs..?)
    • Boiler plate layout for the trouble ticket? Need to make some copy-pasteable text so people don't have to reinvent the wheel when posting labs.
    • Collating all of the trouble tickets in the original post for ease of access under CCENT & CCNA sub-headings
    I think this style of learning would help others as troubleshooting is a great way to learn, also building a problematic Lab is also a skill in itself.

    Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

    This is what you do in a Cisco Network Academy class.

    PArt 1: Basic Networking

    - 1-1 Basic Configuration http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-1-1-BasicConfig.pka

    - 1-2 IPv4 Addressing http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-1-2-IPv4addressing.pka

    - 1-3 IPv6 Addressing http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-1-3-IPv6addressing.pka

    Part 2: LAN Technology

    - 2-1 InterVLAN Routing http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-2-1-InterVLAN.pka

    - 2-2 VTP http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-2-2-VTP.pka

    - 2-3 STP http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-2-3-STP.pka

    Part 3: WAN Technology

    - 3-1 PPP - PAP http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-3-1-PPP-PAP.pka

    - 3-2 PPP - CHAP http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-3-2-PPP-CHAP.pka

    - 3-3 Frame Relay - Multipoint http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-3-3-FR-Multipoint.pka

    - 3-4 Frame Relay - Point-to-Point http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-3-4-FR-P2P.pka

    PArt 4: IP Routing and Services

    - 4-1 Static and Default Route http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-1-Static-Default-Route.pka

    - 4-2 RIP http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-2-RIP.pka

    - 4-3 OSPF http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-3-OSPF.pka

    - 4-4 EIGRP http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-4-EIGRP.pka

    - 4-5 Port Security http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-5-PortSecurity.pka

    - 4-6 Access Control List http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-6-AccessList.pka

    - 4-7 NAT http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-7-NAT.pka

    - 4-8 VPN-IPsec http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-8-VPN.pka

    - 4-9 DHCP http://www.ranet.co.th/packetlab/ccna/NA-4-9-DHCP.pka
    “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • rob42rob42 Posts: 423Member
    Hondabuff wrote: »
    This is what you do in a Cisco Network Academy class.

    Ooooo.... they look very interesting. Thank you very much!
    No longer an active member
  • rob42rob42 Posts: 423Member
    *BUMP*

    I thought this was a neat idea; what a shame it seems to have died...
    No longer an active member
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb They are watching you Posts: 3,150Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    rob42 wrote: »
    *BUMP*

    I thought this was a neat idea; what a shame it seems to have died...

    Well, if everyone just expects other people to post things, not much gets posted icon_wink.gif I'm boring and usually stick to labs from the books/videos when I study
    GCIH | CCNA:Sec | Net+/Sec+/A+ | CCSK
  • rob42rob42 Posts: 423Member
    Well, if everyone just expects other people to post things, not much gets posted icon_wink.gif I'm boring and usually stick to labs from the books/videos when I study
    I'm willing to support this in any way I can as I think this is (for the most part) a very good forum with some very helpful people posting some very good information. Most of my posts (as I suspect are yours) have been in response to posted questions. I'd be willing to contribute what I can.

    My knowledge is not even at the CCENT level yet, but I'm learning and more than willing to help others; I'm just not sure that I'm capable of coming up with the goods.
    No longer an active member
  • CertifiedMonkeyCertifiedMonkey Posts: 172Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree that this is a great idea. However, there is no quality assurance and there is no way to tell if you got the answer right or wrong. If you guys posted labs and then had meet up at the end of each week for discussions, that would be a pretty good plan. It's hard trying to come up with break-fix scenarios for a lot of the CCNA objectives. Trust me, the CCNA study group I was a part of tried doing this, but it doesn't work as well as Boson, NetAcad PT labs, or even the Pearson simulator. Don't let me kill your motivation though. I'd love to see this idea succeed.
  • errorondefaulterrorondefault Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks where can I find a walkthrough?
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