Official CCNP accountability thread

albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Thought I'd throw my name in the hat and start an official accountability thread for my CCNP. I'm starting SWITCH first, then ROUTE and T-SHOOT.

I've got Chris Bryant's Udemy course and the OCGs. I have GNS3, but I'm still trying to figure out how to lab the SWITCH exam without real equipment. I sort of have some switches I can use at work, but I'd prefer a virtual option at home.

No hard timeline yet, but ideally no more than 6 months to pass SWITCH. Here goes nothin'!
CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
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Comments

  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    This Udemy course has 108 videos for SWITCH. I'm through 12 of them. Mostly switching fundamentals, CAM table, PoE, SDM templates, and a bit on speed/duplex autonegotiation.

    Up next is a big section on VLAN fundamentals, configuration, and troubleshooting.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • SpetsRepairSpetsRepair Posts: 199Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm on CCNP route right now and have been actively studying for a month

    I'm a Network engineer so I work with cisco, juniper, fortinet, ciena pretty much daily and what I've been picking up in the route is so useful. Great stuff should have done this before

    Will need to look at the CCDA/CCDP one day as I'm actually in a design engineering role and thats some knowledge I need to pick up

    icon_study.gif
  • CodeBloxCodeBlox Posts: 1,363Member
    I found that the OCG book was pretty lacking in detail for the switch exam honestly. I wouldn't use it as my primary source of study but but would read it in addition to another book.
    Currently reading: Network Warrior, Unix Network Programming by Richard Stevens
  • tunerXtunerX Posts: 447Member
    If you have VIRL you can use the IOSv and IOSv-L2 images on GNS3. Those switches are good enough for pretty much every feature. The only problem with the L2 image is layer 3 port channels.

    vios-adventerprisek9-m.vmdk.SPA.156-2.T

    vios_l2-adventerprisek9-m.vmdk.SSA.152-4.0.55.E
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Still plugging away at these Chris Bryant videos. Traveled last weekend so I didn't get a lot done. I've watched 32/108 videos.

    I also now have an all access pass to INE. Very tempted to jump into those after I finish my current set. I've also learned that the 3750 configuration guide is very helpful, and a lot of questions are pulled straight from it.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Been a bit busy with work. And my kids aren't letting me get much studying done at home anymore. But, I'm still making progress. I'm on video 59/108 for Bryant's SWITCH videos. That leaves about 7.5 hours to go. The sections I have left are on first-hop redundancy protocols, switch security, one video on design, and then a section on network monitoring and AAA.

    I keep GNS3 up while I watch, so I'm taking notes and following along with the configurations as he goes. I'm not sure that really counts for enough labbing, but I usually save the real lab sessions for after the videos. After this series, I'm debating whether I should jump into the INE course, a book, or the 3750 cofig guide. Guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • teuchterteuchter Posts: 14Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    How are you finding the INE videos compared to the Chris Bryant ones? I've got access to both of their CCNP videos mostly because its easier to view the Chris Bryant ones from a phone while i commute. I'm hoping i can combine the two to ensure i cover all topics and then use the book mostly for referencing.

    also i recommend the INE rack rental for Switch along with their lab guide, i'm guessing you got some free tokens when you bought the INE all access pass?
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Haven't started the INE stuff yet, but I plan to when I'm done with Bryant's. I've heard they go into greater detail, but we'll see. And yes, I do have some tokens, so I'll probably give that a look when I reach that point.

    Good luck with your studies!
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • QueueQueue Posts: 174Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Been following your thread good luck! I will be starting Switch basically in August, because I'm signed up for a week bootcamp through Global Knowledge. I still haven't finished my CCNA-S which was my plan so I won't have time to read a book and watch CBT's before jumping right into a week long bootcamp.
  • thomas_thomas_ Senior Member Posts: 805Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm working on SWITCH as well. I need to get off my butt, finish studying and take the test. I've read through the OCG once without taking notes(I'm trying something different.)

    I then heard that the 3750X configuration guide was a great resource, so I started reading it. I'm around page 600 of 1599 right now and I'm starting to think that reading it front to back isn't such a good idea. I added up the pages that directly map to the exam objectives and there are only 300-350 pages or so that do. I'm kind of torn between just reading the rest of it through or just skipping around and reading only the applicable parts.

    I bought Boson NetSim for CCNP about 2 years ago. I'm almost halfway through the labs. I'm finding them useful, but not overly repetitive like I remember the Pearson Simulator being when I used it for the CCNA. It's kind of lame that their licensing terms says you're only supposed to use it for 3 years. Really?!

    I picked up VIRL 6-8 months ago, but I haven't done too much with it. It's kind of nice having a legitimate, full IOS image that I can play around in. One of my major complaints about VIRL is that an interface only shows up if you have a device connected to it. Let's say if you have three switches connecting to one switch, you would only see three interfaces present in the CLI on the one switch instead of 24 or 48 interfaces like you would in a physical switch.

    I'm thinking about buying a Boson practice test as well in addition to the ones that are included with the OCG and the premium ebook. I kind of freak out when I read stories online of people failing ROUTE 5 times and SWITCH 3 times. Reading those types of stories makes paying $99 for a practice test seem cheap in comparison.
  • tunerXtunerX Posts: 447Member
    A lack of interfaces will not ruin the learning experience. Studying for certs is about learning the technologies/features and IOS.
  • cablagecablage Posts: 19Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Awesome- I've started studying for SWITCH with the intent of taking the exam at the end of October. I've been watching the Chris Bryant Udemy course (which I used partially for my ccna and found helpful) as well as using a couple switches at home. I work on Juniper switches primarily at work, but occasionally will get to connect on Cisco equipment. Our work also just gave a subscription to itpro.tv, and apparently there are online labs/simulator with that, so I plan on using that as well.
    I'm following the same order as you are (Switch->Route->Tshoot) - looking forward to your notes and experience in studying for this exam. Good luck!
    2018 Goals:
    CCNP R&S: SWITCH [x] ROUTE [ ] TSHOOT [ ]
    JNCIS-ENT [X]
    CWNA [ ]
  • shimasenseishimasensei Senior Member Posts: 240Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Best of luck! I also used Chris Bryant's CCNP course. Your exam order is also how I did mine.
    Current: BSc IT + CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F
    Future Plans: MSc + MCSA, PMP, CCNPx...
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Whew. Just made it through a big 19-video section on multi-layer switching and first hop redundancy protocols (HSRP, VRRP, GLBP). I have 36 videos left for the Chris Bryant videos. The next 24 are security-related, so hopefully I'll remember some of my CCNA: Security studies.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • SpetsRepairSpetsRepair Posts: 199Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Haven't been studying at all lately, but there is some good news. I'm in a network design engineering dept/role so I work on cisco and other vendors equipment all the time. What I have been picking up in experience in this role is nothing short of amazing, I need to hurry up and start studying again but I have been building/designing networks based on cisco/nexus/meraki devices and everything I have learned in the field is so much more than reading the material in the books. Cisco truly is amazing, never thought I would be happy leaving the infosec world but being in this network/design/security role is so fascinating and it does comes with its challenges though.

    I'm the only one in the dept who is considering a CCNP
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Posts: 1,195Member
    Haven't been studying at all lately, but there is some good news. I'm in a network design engineering dept/role so I work on cisco and other vendors equipment all the time. What I have been picking up in experience in this role is nothing short of amazing, I need to hurry up and start studying again but I have been building/designing networks based on cisco/nexus/meraki devices and everything I have learned in the field is so much more than reading the material in the books. Cisco truly is amazing, never thought I would be happy leaving the infosec world but being in this network/design/security role is so fascinating and it does comes with its challenges though.

    I'm the only one in the dept who is considering a CCNP


    Very cool! Building the experience on the job as you study is also very helpful and will supercharge your knowledge when paired with off the job studying.
    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
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Almost done with the Chris Bryant switch videos. I have 11 to go. I just finished a huge 24-video section on security, as well as a network design video. The last 11 are on monitoring, NTP, and AAA.

    Once I'm done with this video course, I plan to start reading the OCG and labbing more consistently. I also have the INE and CBT nuggets videos to watch. I will probably do that with less focus on note taking, and maybe just fill in any gaps.

    It looks like i'm around 1.5 months so far just to get through one video course. Work and family has definitely cut into my study time a lot compared to when I took the CCNA. But, some progress is better than none, and I just want to finish before they refresh the exam.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • labscloudlabscloud Posts: 136Member
    Way to keep it up man! I'm preparing to take my NA in about 2 weeks and plan on going for NA-Sec after then onto my NP studies.
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck on that NA-Sec. That was pretty hard for me, but I mashed it into like 1.5 months as part of my WGU courses, and got the bare minimum score to pass. I gave my CCNA R&S about a year total, so I was muuuuch more comfortable.

    I have four videos left in Chris Bryant's course. They're all on AAA. I think it's been a pretty good course so far, and absolutely worth the $10 on Udemy. I am by no means prepared for the test yet, but I have a working knowledge of all the topics, a pretty decent amount of notes on each exam topic so far, and some practice with some minimal labs, albeit while following along with the videos.

    After these are done, I think I'm going to watch the CBT nuggets courses. I'll attempt to get through those much faster (only 10 hours of videos), and I'll be focusing more on just watching, while occasionally adding to my existing notes. After that, I'll do the same with INE, and then lastly hit the OCG and config guides for any gaps. I'll also stop after each section and try to do some relevant labs on those topics, whether they're from INE's lab workbook, or something like GNS3 vault.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • Harry RolesHarry Roles Posts: 19Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just my 2 cents - I got Chris Bryant's course on Udemy, and I feel it is pretty cool but not as detailed as I would expect. I don't have INE, so can't speak of it, but I also bought the SWITCH course from a company called Novodyne (Udemy), and this appears to cover even more than what's needed at the CCNP level. Never heard of them before, though.
  • jscot002jscot002 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am still in a rack and stack role in my current position, but I will hopefully have a more technical role soon from my interviews. So I was kind of hesitant to even start studying for CCNP R&S at this time, but I started this weekend anyways. As of right now I have started going through Chris Bryant's switch videos which seem to be flying by. I also ordered his books off amazon. Does anyone know if the books have more information in them than the videos? I found a guide to try and get GNS3 going and that will be my project for this weekend. Also, what does everyone recommend for a lab that will get me through CCNP R&S and CCNA Security? I believe I will invest in a lab because that I learn better hands on and I think that will help me with my future interviews.

    Good luck to everyone!
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's been a while, but I'm still plodding along. I finished Chris Bryant's SWITCH series. I'm also 16/41 through the CBT nuggets videos. I'm not having to add too much to my notes. So far Bryant had most areas covered. But Jeremy Cioara is going into a few extra details and explanations here and there, so it's still a valuable learning resource.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    CBT course is done! That went much quicker. It was nice hearing the topics discussed by another intructor. Good reinforcement, and gleaned a few extra bits of info. I still have the INE video course, the CBT switch lab course, and the OCG. I also have access to the INE lab workbook. I think I'll tackle the OCG next just to change up the learning medium. Hopefully it's a quick read since the topics are all pretty fresh. I'll probably start spending more time labbing as well to keep things reinforced.

    I don't really have a time frame yet for the actual exam, but I'm coming up on 3 months. I think if I could do it in 4, which would give me another 1.5 months, I would be pretty happy, but we'll see.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • Welly_59Welly_59 Posts: 431Member
    Thanks for keeping this updated. I have route next week and hope to move straight onto switch asap after that
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Got a copy of How to master CCNP Switch, and it looked like an easy read, so I decided to knock that out. Finished it yesterday, and I've done all the labs twice from gns3vault.com which were also linked in the book. Going to move to the OCG now. I'm definitely taking this test within a month.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • Welly_59Welly_59 Posts: 431Member
    So about 3-4 months for you to do switch you think?

    I've just finished route after 7 months. But I don't touch layer 3 in my current role at all its all purely switching so hopefully switch will be much quicker
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wednesday will be 3 months. If I pass, I'd be pretty happy with the pace, but I gave my CCNA a lot more time. This is also the first bit of studying I've done since getting my B.S. last April. During that time, I was studying like crazy, at work, at home after kids were asleep, on the weekends. Now it's more like an hour or so during my lunch at work, and none at home.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Test booked for 10/14. At this point I'm just re-reading notes, redoing labs, browsing through the config guide. I sort of feel like I'm at the point where I'm not going to learn too much more without seeing the test.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
  • cablagecablage Posts: 19Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nice- Good luck! I scheduled my SWITCH exam for 10/16 , so I'll be interested in hearing how you find the exam to be. Do you have a lot of work experience with Cisco equipment? Most of mine is done through labbing/simulation at home as I work primarily with Juniper equipment at my job. I've also been using the practice exams /flashcards from Transcender which are decent for reinforcing syntax. I feel fairly confident, however I've also read that the SWITCH exam is more difficult than it seems so I'm making sure to constantly review my notes during any free time I have.
    2018 Goals:
    CCNP R&S: SWITCH [x] ROUTE [ ] TSHOOT [ ]
    JNCIS-ENT [X]
    CWNA [ ]
  • albinorhino187albinorhino187 Posts: 112Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    My last job I only managed our local LAN. Our core was a 2-switch stack of cisco 3750s, but everything else was HP. At my current job, we're all cisco, so there's that. But I'd still say a majority of my learning came from GNS3 and packet tracer.
    CCIE RS - Written (Goal: June 2019) [ ] Lab [ ]
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