CVOICE vs ICOMM vs IIUC

mfieldhousemfieldhouse ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I'll be taking the new ICOMM exam for CCNA Voice.

Are there any areas which you recommend as additional study which you know aren't in ICOMM but have been in the other exams, and are useful on a day to day basis?

Comments

  • hermeszdatahermeszdata Posts: 225Member
    I'll be taking the new ICOMM exam for CCNA Voice.

    Are there any areas which you recommend as additional study which you know aren't in ICOMM but have been in the other exams, and are useful on a day to day basis?

    I have looked briefly at the ICOMM information and I am not really sure how everything translates, but when I did the mad dash for CVOICE before the v6 exam locked, I used the the following:

    CCNA:Voice Official Cert Guide
    IP Telephony Using CallManager Express - Cisco Network Academy
    Cisco Voice over IP (CVOICE) Authorized Self Study - Kevin Wallace
    A ton of Cisco Docs for CUCM, CME, analog interfaces.

    Based on the ICOMM blueprint, it looks like one will need a basic knowledge of ALL of Cisco's Unified Communications products and be able to do basic configurations:
    Add/Remove Endpoints (Phones) - CUCM/CME GUI
    Add/Remove Users and User Voicemail

    and more.


    Basically, from an overall information viewpoint, I would suggest the books I used above and also the CIPT1/2(v6) books. I am sure there are other books that would be benefitial.
    John
    Current Progress:
    Studying:
    CCNA Security - 60%, CCNA Wireless - 80%, ROUTE - 10% (Way behind due to major Wireless Project)
    Exams Passed:
    CCNA - 640-802 - 17 Jan 2011 -- CVOICE v6 - 642-436 - 28 Feb 2011
    2011 Goals
    CCNP/CCNP:Voice
  • mfieldhousemfieldhouse ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I found this cool video explaining why the new ICOMM is so great and what it covers YouTube - ICOMM Lab 1 - Overview of ICOMM
  • seekritseekrit Posts: 103Member
    I found this cool video explaining why the new ICOMM is so great and what it covers YouTube - ICOMM Lab 1 - Overview of ICOMM


    Yeah, that's Kevin Wallace, He hosts a video blog site:

    CCNA Voice (ICOMM)

    The ICOMM is in a bit of limbo right now. The Official Certification Guide is still being written by Mike Valentine and Jeremy Cioara. Besides the outline listed in the Blueprint there isn't much to study with. The best thing you can do is start by studying the previous IIUC curriculum and wait it out. I just hope that the same thing doesn't happen with the ICOMM that happened to the SWITCH when CiscoPress rushed it out. You can follow their progress on this link..

    https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/thread/23328?start=0&tstart=0
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNP, CCDP, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security, CCDA, CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, Network+, Security+, CySa+, Pen San DiegoPosts: 839Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Seekrit, what did you mean by the Switch comment? And the ICOMM seems to be updated IIUC. From Wallace's overview, it seems to be the same topics. So we get voice fundamentals, UCME and supplementary features (GUI, UCS, etc).
  • hermeszdatahermeszdata Posts: 225Member
    Seekrit, what did you mean by the Switch comment? And the ICOMM seems to be updated IIUC. From Wallace's overview, it seems to be the same topics. So we get voice fundamentals, UCME and supplementary features (GUI, UCS, etc).

    I suggest you make a comparative look at the old and new. The new included Cisco Unified Call Manager (in addition to CME) as well as other topics that were not included in the IIUC exam.

    In IIUC there was a concentration on configuration of CME routers and no real discussion or exam topic dealing with CUCM.

    The reference to the SWITCH exam you questioned has to do with the fact that it was several months after the exam change before new study materials became available. Many people became very disenfranchised with the process, having to abandon their original study plan and wait for the new path to unfold.
    John
    Current Progress:
    Studying:
    CCNA Security - 60%, CCNA Wireless - 80%, ROUTE - 10% (Way behind due to major Wireless Project)
    Exams Passed:
    CCNA - 640-802 - 17 Jan 2011 -- CVOICE v6 - 642-436 - 28 Feb 2011
    2011 Goals
    CCNP/CCNP:Voice
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNP, CCDP, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security, CCDA, CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, Network+, Security+, CySa+, Pen San DiegoPosts: 839Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    You're right. I just looked at the exam topics, and they do seem to cover more UCM, which is great. It seems like a nice primer for CCNP Voice (but as the author notes, not heavy configuration in UCM or UCME).

    I took the IIUC last year, and in some ways I thought it was lacking, in some ways not. I enjoyed the voice fundamentals and UCME configuration but it didn't seem to get into UMC and a little too much UCS.

    And I see what you mean about the materials. It seems like Cisco is encouraging the use of China Tom with their approach, as they don't make studying for their exams practical except for those who want to spend thousands to take training or are a Cisco partner.

    From reading the thread, the authors of this book are not privy to the exam or can disclose "work arounds" for setting up a lab. It sucks that there are no books available (though the rough cuts can accessed if you have a Safari account).

    This seems to be the case with CCDA v2.1, CCNP Voice, CCNP Security, CCNA/CCNP Service Provider Operations, etc.
  • seekritseekrit Posts: 103Member
    Only time will tell.

    For the mean time, read and study the old voice material. Voice isn't changing, only the exam.
  • hermeszdatahermeszdata Posts: 225Member
    You're right. I just looked at the exam topics, and they do seem to cover more UCM, which is great. It seems like a nice primer for CCNP Voice (but as the author notes, not heavy configuration in UCM or UCME).

    I took the IIUC last year, and in some ways I thought it was lacking, in some ways not. I enjoyed the voice fundamentals and UCME configuration but it didn't seem to get into UMC and a little too much UCS.

    And I see what you mean about the materials. It seems like Cisco is encouraging the use of China Tom with their approach, as they don't make studying for their exams practical except for those who want to spend thousands to take training or are a Cisco partner.

    From reading the thread, the authors of this book are not privy to the exam or can disclose "work arounds" for setting up a lab. It sucks that there are no books available (though the rough cuts can accessed if you have a Safari account).

    This seems to be the case with CCDA v2.1, CCNP Voice, CCNP Security, CCNA/CCNP Service Provider Operations, etc.


    I did not take the IIUC exam. I went straight to CVOICE (a 28 day marathon ending with a pass on the last day to take exam - 2/28!)

    Based on what I read before making my decision, IIUC primarily had a SMB (Small/Medium Business) target. The concentration was on CME configuration, both CLI and GUI, for a router based, converged telephony solution. I found the Official CCNA Study Guide (Cioara, et. al) an excellent primer for those with limited or no past telephony experience. The Cisco Academy CCNA:Voice Lab Manual (Cisco Press) provided an excellent reference for configuring Router Based Telephony Solutions (CME) both from CLI and the CME GUI.
    Even though I had spent the past several years (as an independent contractor) providing service to major US Retailers for their Retail Point-of Sale systems, invariably I would need to troubleshoot some aspect of their telephone system (analog and digital switches) whether it was an incoming line issue or an internal communications issue. Most of what I knew prior to my excursion into the VoIP world I learned via the Fake it until you make it process. Fortunately, I learned fast and did not need to fake it for long. One of the most valuable things I learned early on (regarding POTS lines) was the maximum number of devices (Phones/FAX Machines/Credit Card terminals) that would function reliably was five (5) because the line current/voltage would drop to a point where many modems (particularly those in Credit Card Terminals) could not sense a dial tone and would sit indefinitely displaying Waiting for Line! I used my Telephone Butt Set almost as much (or maybe more) as my Cat5 Cable tester! LOL The CCNA:Voice materials filled in the blanks and provided an excellent foundation for my mad dash approach to the CVOICE v6 exam.

    CVOICE's target concentration, on the other hand, was on enterprise (Server based) solutions, Call Managers/Agents, combined with a more in-depth understanding of the various protocols used in IP Telephony; RTP, RTCP, cRTP, H.323, MGCP and SIP. After a few chapters in the study guides that dealt mainly with an introduction to telephony in general and the reasons for migrating to a converged telephony solution, and an introduction to the different types of Analog/Digital interfaces and their configurations. From there, the majority of the text dealt with Gateways and Gatekeepers, their baseline configurations, Call Access Control, Dial Peers and Digit Manipulation.
    One of the issues I had with Kevin Wallace's text had to do with the integration of CUCM with Gateways/Gatekeepers. The text seemed to presume a prior knowledge of CUCM configuration/integration and basically talked around those aspects. His videos, included on the companion CD, were helpful in configuring both centralized and distributed model IPT networks and registration with CUCM, but still fell way short in the CUCM/Gateway/Gatekeeper inter-relationship.
    As an example:
    When configuring CUCM to enable GW/GK registration, one may use the IP Address of the GW/GK as the hostname or the actual GW/GK's Hostname. K. Wallace recommended using the hostname (ostensibly to avoid some DNS issues and to ease visual recognition). No problem, makes sense ... ??? (Part of my existing lab includes an HP DL380 G4 with resident CUCM 7 - non-VM) I added my HQ and 3 Branch Office Gateways and my 2 gatekeepers (all separate devices) to CM and configured the interfaces, FXO, FXS, and T1-PRI. I had already configured the GWs and GKs and was able to make on-net and off-net calls both from analog phones and 7910/40/60 IP phones to/from the various locations. I even got cute and moved one of my MagicJacks from my home/office VoIP router to one of the branch routers and could call/irritate my wife from any of my lab phones (analog or IP) simulating Toll-Bypass or TEHO.
    So, now I go to each router, enter the necessary CLI to enable MGCP and CM registration, and guess what, GW/GKs do not register. After some very long head scratching, reviewing running-configs, and searching my various guides, none of which initially answered my question. I finally remembered HOSTS file resident on my PCs and configured ip host {CUCM_name} {CUCM_ip_address} on each GW/GK and with that, each GW/GK registered immediately! But, instead of each of my PRIs having using 12 channels/timeslots, CM configured them to use the maximum channels my available DSPs would support, sometimes disabling my FXO/FXS interfaces ... ??? Annoying. This also created calling issues because my PSTN Simulator, a 3745 w/NM-2HDVE = 2x VWIC-2MFT-T1 had each port set up for 12 channels/timeslots. This I partially solved with sccp configs on the routers at a later time.
    I had somewhat the same issues configuring GW-to-GK registration (outside of CM registration) but I will get to that shortly.
    From there, I decided to add name server configs to the various gateways. I added each router to my Domain Controller/DNS server and removed the ip host configs from the GW/GKs. Still ok ... Somewhat!
    Then I got cute! CVOICE is/was about enterprise implementations! Right? I decided to add ip domain name configs to ALL my lab routers and switches. OOPPPPS! everything went to hell in a hand basket ... immediately! "Go to jail, Directly to Jail, Do NOT Pass GO and absolutely do not collect $200!" Every device un-registered, GW/GK-to-CM, GW-to-GK and yet, I could ping from any router to another using the router's hostname!!!????? i.e. From DenverVoIP (HQ) to HoustonVoIP (BR1)
    ping HoustonVoIP -> DNS lookup successful, Pinging 10/25.0.1
    5 sent, 5 received!!!!

    More hours scratching head, looking at/confirming configurations, and actually a few days trying to track down related docs on Cisco's site. Finally, buried deep in one of the 20+ guides for CM, I found a reference that resolved the problem! When entering/using a hostname in CUCM (domain environment) the FQDN is required!

    For GK-to-GW registration configs, the issues were similar. 3 different references provided 3 different methods of configuration and none worked as described. My layout/IOS combination did not like the use of the hostname in the zone local/remote hostname domain.foo statement and I ended using an alias for the hostname. The other troublesome issue was registering gateways whose IP addresses were in different subnets on the other side of a serial link. ALL of the examples in Cisco's docs were LAN examples. I even attempted, per Cisco docs, to enable/permit additional subnets with no success! I finally configured loopback interfaces (I know, this is considered best practice in a broad sense) and configured them as RAS interfaces and added the necessary network statements to the routing protocol(s)! Works great!

    That lesson learned, I went into the GW/GK configs and bound the loopback interface(s) in the MGCP and SCCP configs for consistency.

    The point I want to make is that no matter how good I think the Study Guides are/were, they failed miserably in several areas. I understand that the respective authors are attempting to provide us with as much information/knowledge as possible in a concise, digestible (hopefully) form, but issues like I mentioned above should never happen! Especially considering the average retail cost of these Official/Authorized Study Guides being between $60US and $100US! This is what I averaged paying for Electronics Engineering Textbooks while in college 20+ years ago. Never during that time did I need to spend time researching outside sources to find an answer to a question contained within the textbook! It is unreasonable to expect/accept less from the Cisco Press books. The question then becomes "Who is to blame?" My upcoming answer is an observation not a condemnation.

    First, a fair part of the blame must go to whatever part of Cisco that is responsible for the overall certification process, from exam blueprint to test development, and Official/Authorized Certification Guides including the Network Academy materials. (Attending Net Acad is not the answer either. I have met several techs in my area who attended Net Acad locally and virtually aced the course but either could not pass CCNA after 3 attempts and gave up or in the case of one in particular, it took 5 attempts before passing!) I understand Cisco's need to guard the content and methodologies of their exams in an effort to ensure the respect each certification deserves and the holders of those certifications are competent. This is commendable. On the other hand, learning that the authors of the Guides (trusted/respected enough by Cisco to write them) are not even allowed insight into the exam content is beyond me! Having been an electronics instructor in the past, I do not believe in teaching a test. Students should be responsible for knowing the contents of the associated textbook. That said, the authors of these textbooks have an obligation (to the students using the books) to make sure the texts are both accurate and COMPLETE and in the case of Cisco Press, to make sure the authors provide exactly that with their texts.

    Secondly, a part goes to the authors. In reading some of the CP Study guides, I sometimes feel as though the author has forgotten who is their target audience. No so much from the language of the textbook (writing a Doctorate Level Thesis knowing the audience is likely only to have 0 to 2 years of college), but presenting material with the apparent assumption that their audience already has exposure/experience with the associated material. Case in point, CVOICE v6 as a presented above. One cannot honestly configure Call Manager to control a GW/GK unless they know how to configure a GW/GK. In the same token, one cannot configure a GW/GK to register with and be controlled by Call Manager if they do not know how to configure Call Manager (unless of course someone else will always be responsible for that side of the equation. But, in that case, they may know the how-to part but it is unlikely they will understand the why in how things work as they do and if called upon to troubleshoot a problem will be as lost as a blind man in a snowstorm! Therefore, if a text show a configuration for CM-to-GW/GK registration on a router, it should also include the relevant configuration steps for CM within the same body of text, even if the idea was to demonstrate a concept! Being able to watch (via debug) the negotiation process succeed/fail provides one a greater understanding of the process and thereby aids them in becoming a successful administrator.


    Enough of my monthly rant! Maybe I will start something like this observation (blog maybe) to cover observations during my next 9 intended exams; CCNA Wireless/Sec, ROUTE, SWITCH, TSHOOT, CIPT1/2, TVOICE, and CAPPS! Books are supposed to get here tomorrow and I am not sure about the order of attack, probably two at a time, but I have time to make the decision. Who knows, I may read all concurrently!
    John
    Current Progress:
    Studying:
    CCNA Security - 60%, CCNA Wireless - 80%, ROUTE - 10% (Way behind due to major Wireless Project)
    Exams Passed:
    CCNA - 640-802 - 17 Jan 2011 -- CVOICE v6 - 642-436 - 28 Feb 2011
    2011 Goals
    CCNP/CCNP:Voice
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Posts: 2,333Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Wow, very insightful! icon_thumright.gif
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