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Last week a friend of mine just got his CCIE number. We have been together in a book camp last year in October. It was also his third attempt. And, as i heard from him, he was also quite unsure about his final result and could not believe what he has seen the next day on his CCIE profile. Congratulations to him. Also, because he did it, having a 16 month old child, that not always will let you do what you want. But as you can see, it is possible. It’s just quite hard to get motivated every time, but as you stick to it, it is possible.
So where to start, when your just at the beginning of everything and don’t know where to head to. Do you to build up your lab yourself or is it better to rent a lab? What study materials do you need? How much time do you need? What is the best approach for learning and for the lab.
I will try to answer some of the questions here and hope you will find it usefull on your trip to CCIE.
First of all you have to pass the Written test before you even can think of the practice lab at all. This needs already quite some time.
Always check out the Cisco homepage for the most actual news on this. This should become your primary pointer where to go to and where you can find all informations regarding the lab.
Just go to „www.cisco.com/go/ccie“ and there you can start reading about topics and book recomandations regardings the Written Exam and the practical Lab exam.
After you have completed your Written Exam, you will need to schedule your lab date.
Add yourself to groupstudy. This mailinglist is a good resource for questions during your study. www.groupstudy.com
This Lab will last 8 hours and you can take it at several places on earth. The only place in europe is brussels in belgium.
What you have to do in the next weeks or months, depending on your skills is mainly configuration speed and knowledge. And you have to make your plan, how you will beat the beast.
Most important points will be:
Just try to practice each technology one by one. Don’t start with doing just one lab after the other. Look at each technology one after the other and debug/confirm things as much as possible. This will be the key, to become more and more self confident.
Try to do some Labs. If your working for a Cisco Gold Parter you can do Cisco’s ASET Labs. I can really recommend them, since thery are a very good chance to get an idea of what Cisco wants you to do in the real lab. The have the AutoVerify function, which will let you check out, what is wrong and what it right.
Since, mostly you will not find your mistakes easily yourself. It’s good to have a tool that will the the grading for you.
Don’t worry if you can not access the ASET labs. Different Vendors have Mock Labs or grading systems, that will be very similar to Cisco’s ASET Labs. Just to them, when your ready for the Lab. If you have done some vendor 8 hour labs, you should check where you are and if your really ready to take the lab. You will find out quite easily.
Then focus on topics you don’t know. Try not to focus on topics you already know. If possible pick out some of them at test your knowledge on these.
Be carefull to not cheat yourself with only doing configurations, that you know already very good and leave out others that need more practice.
At least on the lab day you need a good sleep. Just go through every task and if you can’t solve it right away, just leave it alone and move to the next task. Just remember, you only get 2-4 points on every task. If you stay with one for more then 30 minutes it’absolutly not worth it. Just leave it alone if possible.
If you have to skip more than 15 questions right away, it might be not your day and you have just spend a lot money for the meal this day.
Try to verify your solutions more than once. Read every questions more than once. Also after two, three times reading, you could still miss something. Double check everything.
After you have been through the whole lab, check out things you have left out before. Then you might able to find a solution for the missing topics more easily, with the most of the lab already solved.
You have to have more then 80% of the available points. You don’t have to get all 100%. If you have passed the lab, you will not get the number of points you have reached, only pass or now is noted. So if someone tells you, he got all 100 Points, he could never now, if this is the case.
And you have to answer at minimum 3 out of 4 questions correctly. These questions will be asked in the beginning of your lab and will focus on core topics. Don’t worry about these questions.
Some say they have had an easy lab some say, that it has been a difficult lab. I would say it depends on your preparation. Most labs will have a similar level.
So when will you add yourself to the growing list of ccie’s worldwide? Good luck.
What i have seen with rip auth, is that it depends in what order you set the commands for rip auth.
If you change any of this in order, it might not work and you have to re-apply your configs. Btw. not many are using RIP these days, but better to know for the lab, cause it’s still there.
Check always with „debug ip rip“, if authentication works!
After i tried three different java versions, i managed to login to my ips 4215. I tried java versions:
With these versions the login got stuck at loading 92% of the configuration from the machine. Just told me „Initializing Config Modules“ and got stuck at 92%.
Then the last version i tried did the trick.
Works for the https login.
I have overslept this one a bit, but i will catch up quickly from now on again.
In the past, there have been several new certifications around. Seems like Cisco is doing a lot to set new goals apart from CCIE. Formerly this has been the highest level of certification. But seems like Cisco is setting higher goals or new high goals to be reached by individuals.
It’s the Cisco Certified Architect which has been new to the top level available certifications. As a prerequisite you need a valid CCDE certification. To get started with a more detailed view about the Certifed Architect you could start reading this article by Scott Morris, he is sharing his insights. Price to start here is 15.000 $ for the new cert. You will have to pass the CCDE also first. This has been a privilege to only some people. Thinks it’s a good idea to read Scotts article, to form your opinion.
Any comments on this are welcome. See you soon.
For a long time i did not post any comments. This had a reason…
Not really a CCIE topic, but i did my first ironman (3,8km swim, 180km bike, 42,195km run) in Switzerland, zuerich last week at the 12.7.09.
For those who are interested in, i managed to finish, not the best time, but many others did not finish. So for my first ironman i did it in 13 hours and 48 minutes.
I’m used to cycle long distances already for many years and i was interested how this will be if i also do some swimming and running so i started training in January this year. I wasn’t a good swimmer and still i need much more technique training in freestyle. Bicycling was always my favorite discipline. I did a lot of endurance training in the winter and spring.
During the race i drank a lot isotonic drinks. But i thought running would be easier. So i used much more time during the marathon, than i thought. I’m still looking why i was about one hours slower, than the time i would normally finish the distance. Might have been a drinking problem. Maybe i needed more salt in the drinks.
But i finished quite in good shape and wasn’t to exhausted. People had been very nice and they cheered up us a lot. Thanks to the audience in zuerich. I have registered already for the next one in Frankfurt on the 4.7.2010.
Updates to the Lab and Written Exam for the CCIE R&S. Cisco is currently doing a lot for the CCIE. some great changes are introduced starting from the 18.10. 2009. After this date, Cisco might be testing also on new equipment, updating to 1800/3800 on 12.4(T) IOS images. Mayor new topic will be MPLS and Layer 3 VPN’s. I was wondering, while this topic was still missing in today’s labs, but starting from the end of the year, this be a valid one. Think this is a good idea. Also testing for core topics again, to keep your cert special.
Like for the R&S Lab, Cisco has now introduced the 4 Open-Ended Questions also for the Security Lab. If you are prepared and now your major topics well, this should not be a problem. I have seen them already in the R&S Lab exam. Starting to change from the 15th of June this year. You will have up to 30 minutes to complete these questions. Maybe these questions will be added to all other CCIE tracks.
As i was looking for something i could do next, after passing my ccie r&s, i took the security path next and last week, i did the written as a first step. It have been 105 question with a 790 points passing score. I managed to pass the test. It was quite close, i didn’t expect to pass. I was feeling i would fail, but tried my best and the last 10 – 15 questions and there must have been some correct answers.
With the new written in security i also recertified my r&s ccie for nearly the next 4 years now. The next time until i had to recertify is the 26.2.2013. Cisco just adds the new Written at the end of the first ending period. So that will take some time.
Since i read that the Security ASET Labs have been a great help for preparation, i have already booked some ASET Labs at the end of may until june. I know that for r&s they have been absolutly helpful and one of the best resources.
I still will look for some PEC courses for security. I found some for r&s with have been at least interesting. But the PEC www.cisco.com/go/pec was reorganized and the website changed a lot. I found it very difficult to get to the courses i have seen before.
I have to look again at the PEC. Might have been changed again. 🙂
I have booked the lab at the end of October in Brussels. But I’m unsure if this will be enough time for preparation. I will see. I had to decide until end of July. So until then, i will probably know more about, if it will work.
Currently i reorganize my testing environment also. Still was using a OpenSuse installation on my notebook. But i feel moving to another distribution. Might be Fedora or Ubuntu. Shouldn’t be a problem with dynamips on both. I have ordered a new HD with about 320 GB, so i will have more space available for my vmware installations. Still using my Lenovo T60 though. Have 3 GB of main memory, but i’m already looking for notebooks with more than 4 GB. I’m still waiting for.
But first I will be on holiday with my now 1 year old son for some time. 😉
If you wounder how often i could go on holiday, that nice time will shortly be over. I’m still on parental leave until midst of June and until then it have been 7 months altogether for me. My wife did the other 7 months before. Since 2007 in Germany it’s possible to parents sharing the time. And if one of them is taking at least two months, i will be 14 altogether, instead of only 12. It’s a great time with my son. He develops so quickly, for me it’s absolutely to quick. A few months ago, he was so small and now he is close to being able to walk already. It’s fantastic to see him every day and to experience his presence.
Have a nice time.
Two months after the lab exam, i received the plaque. Well it’s looking nice. Would be better if the font would not look frayed, but it does a bit, if you look at the characters in detail. All in all it’s ok. But a wooden border, like the plaques had before, would add some more value to it.
I gave it already a nice place.
Just came from a vacation. Did some cycling for about two weeks and continued my training for the ironman this year in Switzerland. In about three months in july 12, i will be in zuerich to do the:
3,6 km swim, 180 km ride, 42,195 km run
I have started learning for the written again. Think i will soon make the test. Maybe in about 3-4 weeks.