When I first started diving into QoS, I really hated it. There are a lot of moving parts, and whenever I poked at it I felt like I was sticking my hand in a moving engine. I had the opportunity to take some Cisco training this year, but found out that Cisco got rid of their 5-day QOS class. (At the time, I was relieved, because 5 days solid of QoS sounded like something only a masochist would do.) The only QOS training Cisco offers now comes as part of the CVOICE. I signed up for that, figuring I’d take what I could get, with the added bonus that I’d be able to communicate better with my voice team .
Other than feeling like I was swimming in a vat of Acronym Soup, the class was pretty interesting. I would also like to say that you should take a look at what’s required to make VoIP work, because it’s complex, and it’s pretty dang amazing it works at all, ever. Buy your friendly neighborhood phone engineer a beer, because damn, she deserves it.
My favorite part of the class, which will come as no surprise to those of you who know me, was digit manipulation. You take an incoming phone number and do rude things to it with regular expressions, to affect how it’s displayed on the end user’s phone, how the call travels there, etc. I was especially enchanted with the ‘test voice translation-rule’ command and think I might have driven my lab partner a little batty with all my testing. (Sorry, Scott!) The labs are not like what you get in a CCNA-level class. I recommend reading ahead the night before & having a plan, otherwise you will not have enough time to complete them. (Unless you already have experience with this. In which case, why would you be taking the class?)
I learned some new-to-me QoS-related stuff, like seeing an example of the old-style cli QoS implementation (horrific), some extra ‘history of switching architecture’ material our instructor threw in, plus I got to experiment with auto-qos in the lab (can’t say I dig it.) It brought together a lot of the stuff I’d been studying on my own and gave me a better grasp of the overall concepts, but if you’re considering taking the CVOICE class just for the QoS piece, I would say don’t bother . It’s less than a half-day of the class and they really have to rip through it. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but yes, I think 5 days straight of QoS discussion would be fascinating, and I wish they’d bring that class back instead of squishing it in with the CVOICE.
1 – You want CCNA- and ICOMM-level skills prior to this class. Those may be required pre-certs as well if you’re interested in the cert test; check Cisco’s website for the latest info. Don’t rely on your training provider’s list of prereqs.
2 – Get your hands on the QoS CBT Nugget taught by Jeremy Ciaora if you can.