CCIE Collab- Fall 2017 Passes

It’s been a great few weeks for our CCIE Collab students sitting the Lab. Here are some of our passing students from recent classes. Huge congrats!

Please see our latest testimonials here.

  • Daniel Chaves- CCIE #57565 (Collaboration)
  • Ivan Alexander Alves- CCIE #57485 (Collaboration)
  • Davide Marazza CCIE# #57550 (Collaboration)
  • Aaron Dailey – CCIE #56797 (Collaboration)

Thanks to Aaron for the following testimonial:

As you can read from the many testimonials, Vik is the real deal. I originally sat for the Voice lab twice using only self-study materials. Vik helped me pass the Collaboration lab on my first attempt. The CollabCert bootcamp was instrumental in putting me over the top and helped me get my number.

However, not only does Vik’s strategy and training enable you to have a fighting chance to obtain Cisco’s CCIE, his knowledge will also help you in your day-to-day job as a Unified Communications/Collaboration engineer. Bottom line, you will become a better collaboration engineer, regardless. He is an awesome host and better guy. Thanks, Vik! – Aaron Dailey CCIE #56797

Vik Malhi, CCIE#13890
Twitter: @vikmalhi

Understanding the 5 uses of Calling Party Transformation Pattern in UCM

Full Disclosure: this is not for the faint of heart! And unless you are trying to wrap up your CCIE Collaboration then you are probably not going to be overly interested in this article.

This method of transforming the Calling Number within UCM has rarely been fully understood by candidates pursuing the CCIE Collab certification. The aim of this somewhat lengthy blog is to provide a use case for every possible scenario where the Calling Party Transformation Pattern provides some value. In total there are 5 completely different situations where Calling Party Transformation Pattern comes into play, although I doubt one would ever encounter a real-world situation whereby all the different scenario’s would be in used at the same time.

Before we begin, let me stress two things. Firstly I am focused on the version of UCM that is currently tested in the CCIE Collaboration Lab exam at the time of writing. This is 9.1(1). Yes I know this is a little old given that version 12 is out and about but c’est la vie. Secondly I am going to have to pull out all of my hair if I have to keep on typing Calling Party Transformation Pattern so please accept my apologies and let me abbreviate this to “CGN”.

Just for clarity we are talking about the following setting in the 5 uses cases below:


Scenario 1: CGN From Phone

This setting is used to translate the Calling Number for calls from a registered phone to any destination. A good example to illustrate the use of this setting can be seen when globalized DNs are being used and the CallerID for internal calls is required to be 4 digit. So for example let’s say we have a phone registered to UCM with the following DN:
Continue reading Understanding the 5 uses of Calling Party Transformation Pattern in UCM

CCIE Recertification changes

Prior to June 6 2017 a person with a CCIE certification had been required to pass any CCIE Written exam every two years in order to re-certify and keep their CCIE active (excluding Emeritus). Cisco have announced an alternative method to re-certify which allows for an existing CCIE to avoid sitting another Written exam for the purpose of re-certification.

In a nutshell there are Cisco-approved training courses that can be taken that count for credits and if you get enough credits by the time you are due to re-certify, then you are good to go and don’t need to pass a Written exam. There is an administration fee of $300 in order to do this.

For full details of the “Cisco Continuing Education Program” click here.

What does this mean? My opinion is if you are a CCIE and work for a company that sends you on a lot of approved Cisco training courses then this is great. You can use the benefit of the training that you are doing and throw in some sessions at Cisco Live and voila- you have re-certified.

If you are not one of those folks who regularly attend Cisco-approved training and learn on the job and via google then you are probably not about to drop $5K to sit Cisco-approved training specifically to re-certify and you are more likely to continue passing a Written exam every couple of years.

Vik Malhi, CCIE#13890
Twitter: @vikmalhi

Upcoming CCIE Collaboration Classes

With the anticipation of a blueprint change in the future, our CCIE Collaboration boot camps are filling up fast!  Let Vik Malhi help you achieve your goal by joining him at one of our upcoming boot camps.

We have select seats remaining in the following classes:

CollabCert ILT

July 10th – 14th, 2017 – San Jose, CA
August 21st – 24th, 2017 – San Jose, CA

CollabCert Lab Workshop

April 24th – 28th, 2017 – San Jose, CA
June 19th – 23rd, 2017 – San Jose, CA
July 17th – 21st, 2017 – San Jose, CA
August 28th – September 1st, 2017 – San Jose, CA
September 11th – September 15th, 2017 – Birmingham, UK

We will be adding Q4 dates to our schedule at a later time as we await any potential changes in the CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam.

Interested in one of these dates? Don’t hesitate to sign up as seating is VERY limited.  Email for more details and promotions.

Jan/Feb 2017 CCIE Successes

As we all hold our breath in anticipation of a new blueprint update for the CCIE Collaboration track, plenty of people have had great success on CCIE Collab v1 in the first two months of 2017. Here are some of our passing students from class. Huge congrats!

Please see our latest testimonials here.

  • Ollie Young – CCIE #55836 (Collaboration)
  • Ahmed Al-Khadar – CCIE #55833 (Collaboration)
  • Bill Donovan – CCIE #55817 (Collaboration)
  • Francisco Fossa – CCIE #55749 (Collaboration)
  • Wisam Ismael – CCIE #55720 (Collaboration)
  • Finn Sandholm – CCIE #55714 (Collaboration)
  • Lloyd Tadena – CCIE #55696 (Collaboration)
  • Nyan Win – CCIE #55589 (Collaboration)
  • Ruben Rojas – CCIE #55530 (Collaboration)
  • Deepak Mehta – CCIE #55529 (Collaboration)
  • Sundar Pandian – CCIE #55500 (Collaboration)
  • Seifeddine Tlili – CCIE #26440 (RS, Collaboration)
  • Eduardo Rossettini – CCIE #24505 (RS, Collaboration)

Vik Malhi, CCIE#13890
Twitter: @vikmalhi

Routing Protocol for Low Power and Lossy Networks

Routing Protocol for Low power and Lossy networks

In this article we shall take a high-level look at an IoT protocol called RPL (pronounced ripple). The long-winded name is Routing Protocol for low power and lossy networks (LLN). Candidates sitting any CCIE Written exam should have some exposure to this protocol as part of the Evolving Technologies section that was added to all CCIE Written exams in July 2016.

Imagine a network of sensors monitoring noise or heat inside a building. All these sensors are continuously transmitting data wirelessly. It doesn’t make sense if you have to replace the battery or sensor every few weeks. Sensor designs should last years before needing to be replaced. They should also be standalone and not connected to any power source. Hence the term Low-Power and Lossy Networks (LLN).

If power was no problem and wireless/radio path unimpeded, you could force all the sensors to talk to a single controller. Sadly this is not the case.

RPL assumes that:

  • The sensors need to construct paths back to a controller of some kind.
  • Some or all of the sensors are power-constrained
  • Some sensors lack a direct path to the controller and will need other sensors to pass on their data to the controller.

Traditional routing protocols are chatty and would waste battery power.

RPL is a distance-vector IPv6 routing protocol that caters for much higher packet loss than traditional routing protocols can handle. RPL is optimized for the many-to-one traffic pattern where many nodes send data towards a border router.

RPL organizes its topology as a  Direction-Oriented Directed Acyclic Graph (DODAG). The idea is to construct a non-looping table in which every sensor has someone to talk to, and in which a path is built for every sensor to reach a “node” (basically an IoT routing device).

The DODAG uses a simple hierarchical model that is similar to any distance-vector protocol you may have come across. Any DODAG will have a “gateway” through which communication to the outside world will traverse (LLN internet router). This gateway, referred to as the DODAG root, is number one in the hierarchy.

Anything that finds itself with a direct path to the root has Rank 2. Anything that can only see Rank 2 devices is a Rank 3 device, and so on. If you have Rank 5, you will regard the nearest Rank 4 device as your “parent” and direct communications to it, assuming that it will pass your communication on to its parent, and so on.

An  RPL instance defines multiple a topology containing multiple DODAG networks that build their trees using the same rules (e.g. two buildings in a campus with temperature sensors).

The RPL topology is built using control messages that are transmitted as ICMPv6 messages. The three key RPL control messages are:

  • DODAG information solicitation (DIS): The DIS solicits a DODAG information object (DIO) from an RPL node.
  • DODAG information object (DIO): The DIO carries information that allows a node to discover a RPL Instance, learn its configuration parameters, select a DODAG parent set, and maintain the DODAG.
  • Destination advertisement object (DAO): The DAO is used to propagate destination information upward (to the root) along the DODAG.

To construct the DODAG topology, nodes may use a DIS message to solicit a DIO, or they may periodically send link-local multicast DIO messages. Nodes then listen for DIOs and use their information to join a new DODAG or to maintain an existing DODAG. Based on information in the DIOs, the node chooses parents that minimize the path cost to the DODAG root.

References: Cisco RPL Configuration Guide (

Student Testimonial – Jeremy Brown – CCIE #54089

I decided to pursue my CCIE Collaboration after accidentally letting my CCNP expire about a year ago. I watched all the videos from a competitor and while thorough they are not nearly as to the point as CollabCert’s videos and training are. Vik has a training style that is easy to pay attention to and watch over and over. I purchased the whole package of workbooks, training videos, and both boot-camps. I took the boot-camps a month apart. It is a lot to digest and work on. I used the CollabCert Rack rentals using the phones, router, and switch I purchased from a former student. I am not strong in route/switch being a long time voice guy and I needed assistance getting going (on the weekend) and Vik was always able to point me in the right direction. He went above and beyond there.

It took me three separate attempts and after each attempt Vik was there for support and to help me understand what I needed to work on. I don’t know where I would have been without that and the time he spent with me went beyond just sitting in a boot-camp and leaving. That is very much appreciated. I  would advise getting the whole package. I felt completely euphoric seeing that “Pass” when the email came. I could not have done it without Vik.

Jeremy Brown
CCIE #54089 (Collaboration)

More Successful CCIE Collaboration Engineers!

CollabCert is happy to announce another group of successful engineers who recently passed the CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam

  • Nick Britt- – CCIE #54108 (Collaboration)
  • Joan Mauri Barbosa – CCIE #54101 (Collaboration)
  • Jeremy Brown – CCIE #54089 (Collaboration)
  • Piotr Glosek – CCIE #53923 (Collaboration)
  • Gary Bates – CCIE #53842 (Collaboration)
  • David Lam – CCIE #53835 (Collaboration)
  • Aaron Hagerman – CCIE #53815 (Collaboration)
  • Kevin Nelson – CCIE #53760 (Collaboration)

Congratulations to all of you!

Here is what David Lam had to say:

“I had been on this CCIE Voice/Collaboration journey on and off for 4 years and I even attempted the Voice Lab in 2013 but it was fruitless. Self study using various training materials that I purchased from various training partners didn’t help me except it only made the journey seem more challenging at the time. I eventually signed up for boot camp with another vendor in March of 2016. I flew out from Los Angeles to Chicago, Illinois and drove to Crowns Point, Indiana to learn that the vendor had just closed shop and filed bankruptcy. That was an overwhelming disappointment for me. The next day, I responded to a blog from and Mike from CollabCert reached out to me. He genuinely wanted to help me. Mike connected me with Vik and I drove up to San Jose for training and the rest is history.

Vik is an amazing Collaboration expert and he has an ability to take complex problems and make them simple to grasp. The training materials from CollabCert is by far the best I have seen. Vik is the real deal. Vik recommended a detailed time table for me and how I should study after boot camp. I took his advice and followed it. In late August of 2016, I flew up to San Jose, took the lab and passed. I wouldn’t have completed this journey without CollabCert.”

Student Testimonial – Aaron Hagerman – CCIE # 53815

I would like first to say thank you for all your help. As soon as I found out about CollabCert I knew this was the place to help me achieve my CCIE dreams. In the past when I was studying for the CCIE Voice track I thought I was on the right track. I took the lab and I thought for sure I passed as soon as I walked out, only later to find out I wasn’t close. It’s very disappointing when this happens time and time again.

The first week of attending CollabCert I was able to find out not only the correct way to study but also shortcuts and tricks to help me attain my CCIE. Once I started the second week of the boot camp you really see the value in the program. Never before was I given feedback on a completed lab before this class. This allowed me to not only see my errors but give me confidence once I was able to complete the lab with a passing grade from Vik. This would have been a great class if it all ended here, but it didn’t. After my class I was able to reach out to Vik on multiple questions that I had and get further information that was needed. And to top it all off the rack rental is great. The servers are fast and the hardware is exactly what you need to get ready for the real lab.

I would just like to say again thank you for putting up with me and all my questions throughout my CCIE lab experience. I truly believe that I wouldn’t have my CCIE if it wasn’t for CollabCert.

Aaron Hagerman
CCIE # 53815 (Collaboration)

Recent Successful Collaboration Engineers

It’s been a busy couple of months with loads of success!!! Determination and hard work definitely pay off.  Congratulations to all of our recent successful students who have passed the CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam!

  • Antoine Nicholson – CCIE #53778 (Collaboration)
  • Nizar Houichi – CCIE #53721 (Collaboration)
  • Tanveer Ahmad Mubsher – CCIE #53718 (Collaboration)
  • Jan Roy Eustaquio – CCIE #53696 (Collaboration)
  • Amit Shah – CCIE #53675 (Collaboration)
  • Hamid Faalzadeh – CCIE #53663 (Collaboration)
  • Cedric Hebre – CCIE #53649 (Collaboration)
  • Youssef Aoufi- CCIE #53647 (Collaboration)
  • Mason Nguyen – CCIE #53632 (Collaboration)
  • Mohammed Al Baqari – CCIE #53531 (Collaboration)
  • Luke Venn – CCIE #53488 (Collaboration)
  • Nathan Gageby – CCIE #53467 (Collaboration)
  • Matt Bergeson – CCIE #53453 (Collaboration)
  • Pat Jensen – CCIE #53452 (Collaboration)
  • Derrick Clarke – CCIE #53434 (Collaboration)
  • Scott Beauton – CCIE #53394 (Collaboration)
  • Graham Andrew – CCIE #53325 (Collaboration)
  • Dylan Cross – CCIE #53232 (Collaboration)
  • Logan Gaffney – CCIE #53188 (Collaboration)
  • Elvis Bottega – CCIE #53150 (Collaboration)
  • Ore Okebukola – CCIE #53076 (Collaboration)
  • Jahem N’Guetta – CCIE #52807 (Collaboration)
  • Wilson Samuel – CCIE #52685 (Collaboration)
  • Peter Strahan – CCIE #52629 (Collaboration)
  • Sean Alexander – CCIE #52377 (Collaboration)

Collaboration Certification