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Andrew Dixon
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Getting ready to build the server VMs for HQ and BR1 as per the blueprint. With some quick confirmations I will be going with ESX5.5 as it fits both the blueprint requirements and run on my Dell server.

- Vmware requirements for cucm 9.1 http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/uc_system/virtualization/virtualization-software-requirements.html
- Hardware requirements for Vmware https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003661


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Routers for my home lab
While deliberating on my G2 routers complete with PVDM3 and ios15, i decided to get some "interim kit" so I could work on my speed for generic things like:
- dial-peers
- h323 gateways
- mgsp gateway
- translation patterns

with the help of eBay I now have a sub $200.00 stock of
HQ- 2811
- pvdm2-64
- 2vwic2 e1/t1/PRI (one T1 port being used as frame relay to WAN)
- 3750 POE
BR1 - 2811
-pvdm2-64
-vwic2 e1/t1/PRI (one T1 port being used as frame relay to WAN)
- 4esw module
BR2 - 2811
-pvdm2-64
-vwic2 e1/t1/PRI (one E1 port being used as frame relay to WAN)
- 4esw module
WAN/PSTN - 2801
- 2 pvdm2-64
- 3 2vwic2 e1/t1/PRI (3 PSTN and 3 WAN links)
- 3560 POE (didnt have to get this but I ordered it before I standardised on the 4esw for the other sites)

The beauty about this setup is I didnt have to but any funny wic crossover cables as I was able to make my own using cat 5 cables and and a crimper

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Learning how to make bootable ISOs can come in handy as we build out the software required for the home lab.

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CCIE Collaboration Lab Equipment and Software List
Passing the lab exam requires a depth of understanding difficult to obtain without hands-on experience. Early in your preparation you should arrange access to equipment similar to that used on the exam, and listed below:

Lab Equipment:
Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) C460 Rack Server
Cisco 3925 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
Cisco 2921 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
ISR G2 Modules and Interface Cards
- 1-Port 3rd Gen Multiflex Trunk Voice/WAN Int. Cards - T1/E1
- Cisco High-Density Packet Voice Digital Signal Processor Modules (PVDM3)
- Cisco Service Ready Module 710 Service Module with Cisco Unity Express
- 4-port Cisco Gigabit EtherSwitch 10/100/1000BASE-TX autosensing EHWIC with POE
Cisco Catalyst 3750-X Series Switch
Cisco Unified IP Phones 7965 and 9971
Cisco Jabber for Windows
Cisco Jabber Video for Cisco Telepresence*
*In backbone, no candidate configuration required

Software Versions
Any major software release which has been generally available for six months is eligible for testing in the CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam.
Cisco Unified Communications Manager 9.1
Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express 9.1
Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 9.0
Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM and Presence 9.1
Cisco Unity Connection 9.1
Cisco Unity Express 8.6
All routers use IOS version 15.2(4) M Train
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches uses 12.2(55) SE Train

Network Interfaces
Fast Ethernet
Frame Relay

Telephony Interfaces
T1/E1

Building a home lab.
Preparing for the Lab exam requires a lot of hands on practice to build technique and muscle memory. There are many ways to get this practice such as:
1. All virtual such as Cisco360. This has its place but can get a bit expensive over time. Biggest issue I found is that I cant save a lab and continue where I left off at a later date.
2. All physical according to the blueprint but this can be very expensive as G2 kit is not cheap.
3. L2VPN racks where you have all phone kit locally and vpn to a rack service for the CUCM servers, HQ, Site-1, Site-2 routers and switches. This is great if you have good bandwidth but can get expensive over time plus there is always the issue of trying to get available slots.




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The Transformation begins
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05/01/2017
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