CCIE thread, finally!

d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
Hello everyone,

From a long time lurker, to a contributor and finally a CCIE candidate!

I've been reading experiences, sharing information and opinions on TE for the past 4~ years, from CCNA all the way to the CCNP, UF specialist, ITIL and now about to get to a new level: the CCIE.

I started my networking career at the age of 21, in 2012. In the same year, i achieved my CCNA RS and SEC. Started as a junior net admin on a government insitute (for about 7 months) and then moved to a MSP (DC hosting company) in 2013. Left after 1.1 year to join a fortune 10, but due to the remote-only condition of my job I wasn't able to adapt myself to the routine.

On dec 2014 i left them to join a major steel manufacturing company (as a contractor) and got a great offer from a network player when my contract ended.

I am now supporting large ISP/Enterprise customers, being challenged everyday and getting my hands dirty with routing and VPN, along with hardware/software/management stuff pretty often.

After 9 months and 2 attempts, i made it through the CCIE written last monday, and now it is time to prepare for the fun part: the CCIE Lab.

I've got plenty of support from my managers and coworkers to pursue the CCIE, access to physical and virtual gear and INE LAB tokens. So i am certain that i am gonna achieve this, sooner or later!

Here is my approach for the lab:

--Walk through every single INE advanced tech labs (one technology/week) and a foundations lab every 4 weeks.
--Keep taking notes on weak topics and work on them alongside with the foundations lab (every 4 weeks).
--Vacations scheduled to may-jun, but the time won't be wasted. I will watch the INE tshoot labs during the 2 weeks i will be traveling.
--Back home, I will review the past 4 weeks topics and tackle another foundations lab.
--Will take the next 2 weeks working on technologies i am not 100% familiar such as DMVPN, IPSEC, security and IPV6 routing (mainly eigrp/dhcp)
--Around july i will start going through full scale labs (on the weekends) and a major advanced tech labs on larger topics, such as OSPF, BGP and MPLS.
--Since there are only 3 full scale labs, i will start doing the same but adding the troubleshooting labs, and then review weak topics alongside.

Planning to be ready to the LAB in november, and seat for the mobile right here.

I will also try to summarize my progress on this thread every week as a refresher and to remind about the weakest topics.

Let the fun begin!
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Comments

  • MitMMitM Member Posts: 622 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Best wishes for your journey. Congrats on passing the written exam, as well.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Day one:

    Going for 2 hours day (weekdays). This way i will not get too tired and have enough time to focus on small stuff.

    Just finished INE basic L2 until STP.

    I am not yet able to write all stp commands from the top of my head, but will work on it. It was no difficult at all, and will redo STP and will lab until the end L2 advanced technology labs. Planning to repeat the same on wednesday so i might memorize all commands. Writing in notepad and just pasting the commands on the switches is way faster than browsing the "?" on the CLI.

    These INE labs don't cover everything i must know, but it is a good start. looking forward to cover the gaps (WAN, pppoe, and such) by thursday/friday.

    In the meanwhile, i will think on a challenge for the weekend. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
  • davidb1davidb1 Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    What books did you read to pass your CCIE written? Did you use Micronics?
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Hi David,

    I mainly used Routing TCP/IP Vol I and II, Internet Routing Architectures, End-to-End QoS network design, Deploying IPv6 Networks, MPLS Fundamentals and Developing IP Multicast Networks.

    The OCG are still good, but i found those useful only for smaller topics.

    Took no training, since i was already familiar with the whole content (was studying around the blueprint for the past 3 years), and totally skipped video/classes.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Day Two:


    Found myself weak on UDLD, MST and root/loopguard. By weak i mean not able to put the commands on the notepad and just paste it. Will start from there by tomorrow.

    smartport macros was a completely new topic for me...struggled for about 10 minutes to figure out how to do that.

    by tomorrow i expect to start from root/loopguard and go all the way to the end of the L2 INE workbook.

    Also, during my work hours, i will try to get some time to read docs on features covered by the blueprint but not present on the workbook, such as PPP, PPPOE, HDLC, MLPPP, CDP/LLDP and ERSPAN.

    keep walking
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Day Three:

    Wasn't able to lab for 2 straight hours as usual, but managed to work on some smaller stuff.
    Focused today on PPPoE, PPP, MLPPP and HDLC.

    The core concepts are still good enough, worked on smaller stuff such as ip add negotiation, fragmentation/interleaving, one way and two way authentication.

    the important thing is not to waste a day.
  • greg9891greg9891 Member Posts: 1,189 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Congrats!
    :
    Upcoming Certs: VCA-DCV 7.0, VCP-DCV 7.0, Oracle Database 1Z0-071, PMP, Server +, CCNP

    Proverbs 6:6-11Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
    When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep, So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler And your need like an armed man.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Day Four:

    Spent a couple of hours today going through PPP, auth and MLPPP during the day, and now just finished another study session on INE racks.

    Pretty competent on SPAN/RSPAN, will do them once again just to make sure i can memorize the commands.
    Struggled with pvlan, but managed to tshoot and successfully configure it on notepad on the 3rd attempt xd
    igmp was quite difficult, since i have never used igmp helmet or configured timers. will go through it again tomorrow.

    smartport macros were ok today, got it right on the first try.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Yesterday i focused mainly on IGMP, snooping and PVLAN. I got them pretty fast this time.

    Today i went for a troubleshooting lab, 10 tickets in 1:30. i was stuck a couple of times because there was some frame relay, but managed to go through using the docs.

    Right now i just finished a MPLS VPN lab (just to have a little fun after all that switching topics), did many different things ive never done before such as internet access and VPN on the same PE, NAT on the PE and some filtering in between.

    i guess that's it for today. tomorrow i will take the preassessment from the 360 program to check my knowledge and see if i can spot any gaps
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Yesterday i went for the CCIE 360 preassessment lab. Took me like 4:30 to finish.

    It was pretty straightforward, very simple. Still, i made a HUGE mistake by not verifying the solutions i provided, so my score was lower than i expected: 64%.

    Failed so many simple things such as summarization, filtering, redist. If i have verified only once, i am sure i would spot these errors.

    During my future labs, i believe i need to improve this non-tech skill: attention! Pay attention to what's written, understand the requirement and VERIFY! Check if the results implemented are the ones expected by the book.

    Made many mistakes during the lab due to this, such as enabling protocols on wrong interfaces and etc.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Very cool! I am looking forward to tracking your progress!
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Thanks, mr Daniel.

    I've spent the last 2 days focusing on the multicast part. It's been a busy week so far, couldn't focus more than 1 hour/day.

    Multicast is no secret when you understand how it works, specially PIM. Im glad i studied this the right way the first time.

    Right now i just need to learn the smaller features and knobs such as accept-rp, accept-register, filters and so on.

    For the multicast part, the most important is to actually see where RPF would fail. This might become complicated when using overlays (such as tunnels) which are usually decoupled from the IGP topology.

    The only part i am not close to 100% on this is MSDP. Maybe the most important. I hope to cover it fully by the end of the week.

    Also, i guess i will get approval to put my hands on the 360 content. It would be good because of the amount of graded labs. They give a really nice idea of where the main weaknesses are.

    Anyway, many people say that the lab itself is not technically scary. The difficult part lies in the wording they use on the test. Need to work more on that to make sure i understand the requirements and restrictions the first time.

    As a side note, if you are pursuing this cert as i am, keep in mind that often people don't study seriously and most of them simply do not care about improving technically and/or identifying knowledge gaps. I believe that's why many people fail over and over again.
  • asianredneckasianredneck Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Dang you fast tracking. I barely got my CCNP RS this year after 3 years of starting Cisco track. Hopefully CCIE in 2 years. About how many hours have you logged labbing? I'm at 1000, but feel 2000 might be the only way I can get good.
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    Congrats on the written!! Do you have have an off site blog where you post individual topics as you study them outside this thread?

    With all those resources I am sure you will eventually get it too, just don't let off the gas peddle until you get your #!!
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    @asianredneck

    I first started studying for the CCIE in 2014, right after my CCNP. Since them, i've been reading stuff related to the CCIE content but went serious in the past 10 months only. For the lab, i have already labbed about 30-40~ hours, but i started like 2 weeks ago. Considering CCNP and CCIE written, it might sum up to 500~ hours. It is also been a year supporting interesting stuff, also related to the content and i guess that counts too.

    @ande0255

    Thanks mate. I decided not going for a blog since it is just too much time consuming. I can think of doing that for my next one but right now i just can't afford spending 30-40 minutes/day going into the details of that i'm studying.
  • ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    I hear you, it definitely adds time, and with all the topics I looked at with INE's CCIE v5 workbook it is daunting.

    Good luck on your journey!!
  • psheehan5psheehan5 Member Posts: 80 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wow! 5 year track from newbie to CCIE! Well done sir! I guess I need to get my hind end in gear...
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    a brief update:

    yesterday and today worked on autorp, filtering, boundaries and BSR.

    it's been a really busy week working on other topics, sadly not related to any kind of routing protocols.

    tomorrow will be MBGP and MSDP. Review everything on saturday and go for the first Foundations Lab.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    well, done with the multicast part.

    going to review the blueprint then look at the docs to fill the gaps.

    nothing too difficult with bidir, ssm, mbgp and msdp
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    i've done the Advanced Foundations 1, the experience was great.

    i was able to identify a few inconsistencies on my lab strategy, and i ended up configuring the right thing on the wrong routers over and over and over. Even though it looked boring to unconfigure stuff and start all over again, that is what i did and, this time, i configured everything and took some time reviewing and verifying. scored a 10/10!

    That was a huge advancement since the pre-assessment, in which i failed to verify and also failed in understanding the tasks.

    This week i will start IGPs (RIP and EIGRP) and keep working on my attention and interpretation.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Monday and tuesday I focused on RIP, finished it yesterday. It was kinda simple and straightforward, but i learned how to filter routes in many different ways.

    Today i will start EIGRP, and looking forward to cover everything by saturday/sunday.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    Its been a busy week, and still haven't started what i planned to cover >.>

    Last week i finished RIP/EIGRP and reviewed it on sunday, now it's time for OSPF. I will be out of office next week, and will try not to study until wednesday, and will get back at it at full speed.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    I completely forgot about this thread for the past 3 weeks, but the labbing is still going on everyday.

    Finished the IGP part for IPv4 and started BGP last week. There are many features for BGP that i was not aware of, lol.

    So far, found no ~difficult~ tasks. I am able to pull off a solution that produces the same results expected and sometimes it is 100% the same as shown in the solutions.

    Doing these technology labs are by no means a fair way to identify gaps and such, since there is always a "tip" on which feature you should use to complete a task.

    Another evaluation coming this weekend, and i will do another Foundations lab to see how well i can put everything together and make stuff work.

    I finally got the approval and the date will be November 29th, in Sao Paulo. It is awesome to know that a long and stressful flight won't be needed.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    So I spent about 80% of my weekend hitting the lab again.

    I struggled to complete the INE Foundations lab 2, and found many and many areas of improvement. Need to get more fluent in configuring routing protocol authentication, and need to work on my redistribution skills.

    Mutual redistribution using AD to control loops was something i always overlooked, and found out i was not sure how to do that correctly. of course i manage to stop the looping, but the config became such a mess.

    By the way, i took notes on the specific areas i should work on and repeated the foundations lab 1 today. it is way easier than the second one. nailed it in about 2-3 hours.

    Now it is time to begin the VPN. Will test each technology on its own, and will go for another bigger lab this weekend.
  • d4nz1gd4nz1g Member Posts: 464
    flash forward to november/2017.
    Spent the WHOLE year labbing at least 3 hours everyday, plus 8+ hours on weekends. walked through every single 360v4 and INE labs (foundations, tshoot, mock). the hardest part was to tackle down those uncommon features but eventually this was the only thing i was concerned about. everything else was already programmed in hardware.

    Got a seat on a mobile lab very close to my location. 2 seats left.
    Walked into the cisco building, put my lunch in the fridge and then the proctor came to meet us (we were about 4, all R&S).
    It seems like the room was not intended to be a testing site, we had those horrible chairs and that dell keyboards that makes too much noise. that wasn't a problem, though.

    Started tshoot, i couldn't really believe it was happening. Luckily, was able to tackle the 10 tickets in about 1 hour, and spent another 30 minutes re-verifying and found other 2 "hidden" issues.
    After pressing end section, went to diag. Too much information to digest in a short time. If you do tshoot in your day-to-day, diag won't be an issue since the issue is there in the outputs. that's it. you just need to spot it.
    Now going to the config..Honestly, i was expecting a HUGE mind game in this part, confusing wording and etc. The diagrams were too clear, as well as the wording. There was absolutely no way to double interpretation on any question.
    About 2 hours left of the config part (was almost sh****** my pants at this point), i was already done with the bulk part and starting my first verification round. Got more than 30 missing points by verifying the first time. In the second time, i knew there was only 2 questions i haven't marked as OK. So i decided i would fix one of them. This ended up in a HUGE mess, everything that went through the core would stop working.
    Luckily, i was able to put myself together and rolled back the config on every single router i have reconfigured (a scout boy is always prepared with a backup in hand). Finished rolling back and verifying with 5 mins left :o

    Left the test facility totally numb, couldn't even talk to other people there. After i got home (3~4 hours later), opened a bottle of wine and went for the best night of sleep ever.

    Woke up at 6:30 AM as usual, and there was my score report. I was totally confident i would pass at this point. My tshoot was in the bag, as well as the diag. That had compensated my 2 doubts on the config part. As soon as i click on my score report, i was greeted with a huge congrats :)

    It feels weird when you accomplish something you are pursuing for too long (i count more than 3 years), and now it is time to lay back for a few days deciding what to go for next.

    My biggest tip is: stay focused, and make sure you have control over yourself. Otherwise, you are going to blow your test the first time you fall. And you will fall many times, as the clock won't stop and the routers are not configuring themselves. Be cool (try to) and keep your pace. If you know your stuff, and you know how to handle these situations, a pass is closer than you think.

    Cheers!

    #57862
  • kosta-kkosta-k Member Posts: 32 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Great job!!!
    Congrats !!!
  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Awesome job, man! Well deserved!
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Congrats!
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Unregistered / Not Logged In Posts: 0 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Congrats! was that 12 months end to end? Phenomenal job on passing on the first attempt! Mind giving a breakdown on your overall strategy during the 12 months?
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,133 Mod
    Congratulations! Huge accomplishment!
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
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