Long time lurker and love this site, so I thought i would give a little back.... I have seen people asking about the CCSA and lab setup, exam cost, course value and the like so I thought i would pot up my studies to date. I plan to take this exam in the next 1-2 weeks so hopefully this thread will be of some benefit to someone! I also have my own blog that i will be posting on, so feel free to check it out (mods I hope this is ok to link?) - weight.mn
I’m starting down the path to increase my networking security knowledge and having worked with a great guy on a previous project from Check Point, I think I’ve found a nice way to get some new knowledge and potentially a CCSA certification! Now if I’m going to do this then I’ll need to get cracking and get serious!
R76 Security Administration - Student Manual
R76 Security Administration - Lab Manual
CBT Nuggets CCSA Gaia 156-215.76 Videos - cannot recommend these enough!
Check Point Security Administration - Study Guide - 2013 Edition
I’ll have to look around to see if I can find any practice exams…. any ideas guys?
Although I had initially intended to use XenServer 6.2 and XenCenter, it has been initially scrapped as it just didnt play nicely with the Realtek 8111E onboard NIC. XS installs but the networking on it is horrid for this board that I have… I’ve chosen to download and install VMWare ESXi 5.1 U1 as it has much better support for my hardware and so far I havent run into any trouble. With all that said here is the hardware list - its not a pricey build!
Physical ESXi Host:
- MB: Asrock 970 Extreme 4 - Supports AMD-V (AMD’s equivilent of VT-x)
- CPU: AMD FX(tm)-4300 Quad-Core Processor - this lab isnt CPU intensive, so something basic
- RAM: 16GB generic
- PSU: Corsair 860 Plat
- GFX: Old AMD 3450 as MB doesnt have onboard
- Drives: 1xSeagate Constellation 1tb - enterprise class drive. This will have ESXi installed on it and will also be used as the main Datastore. If I find a SSD in the future I may add it in to speed things up.
- OS: ESXi 5.1
I’ll be using my current media server (HP N54L) to access the ESXi host with the vSphere client.
This setup easily runs the following VM's:
2 x R76 Gaia Gateway Firewalls. Each has 3 interfaces.
1 x R76 Gaia Management Server. 1 interface
2 x Windows 7 “HQ” and “Branch” VM’s. 1 Interface each
2 x W2K8 R2 “DMZ” servers. 1 interface each
You need to take into consideration how a Check Point deployment might work in the real world. For example, you might have LDAP integration (read: AD, OpenLDAP, etc.) which means you need to know how to get these running in you lab, you might have multiple internal networks and multiple firewalls. You will need to look through firewall logs, so you will need to generate traffic on your virtual network and by this i mean a web server or ftp server (Tinyweb is great little web server for labs).
I will be going through each of Keith Barkers CBT nuggets videos and answering the example questions (mods, is it ok to post those questions and answers?) as well as questions and answers from the Check Point study material. If there is any interest, I can post these up... I will also be using the study guide provided by Check Point for the exam.