The Journey Begins...

jezg76jezg76 Member Posts: 97 ■■□□□□□□□□
I know this part of the forum is deader than Abe Lincoln, but I plan to make it my home for the next few months.

I am not sure why I am doing this certification other than the topics interest me insanely. You see, I don't work at an ISP and don't deal with a whole lot of QoS/BGP/MPLS in my daily work environment, but man, oh man does this stuff interest me. Especially MPLS. Very cool technology.

Anyways, here is my plan. I did pretty well staying on track with my CCNP, although my wife refers to my Cisco studies as my "mistress". I tell her, "Honey, you know I love you way more than Cisco." I then draw her close, hug her, and try to remember what the command is to authenticate EIGRP packets. Needless to say, she does not share my enthusiasm, but she is awesome and as understanding as any wife can be.

So, I am already 1/4 to the CCIP! Yay BSCI! Sweet. Now, let's see if I can come up with a schedule...

I started the QoS (642-642) when I started my ONT, so I have a bit of a head start on that. The only downside is I haven't been able to put my full being into that exam yet. I agreed to go to a boot camp for the Security+, paid for by my employer, the very beginning of December. I have been trying to prepare for that as much as possible so I can get that cert. Not sure why I agreed, other than it will give me the last CompTIA cert I would ever want. Security isn't really my bag, baby (that was a reference to Austin Power's Swedish p3n15 pump scene in case you couldn't quite place the reference).

So, Wendell and I have been spending time and I plan to use CBTNuggz for this as well, although I did watch the majority of that for ONT. You would think, studying a much deeper QoS exam, would help on the ONT. Sadly, at least for me, it didn't. I know I put this on the CCNP board, but I got a 792. In case anyone is wondering, 790 is passing. 0.0 Whoa momma! That was close. You see, the problem was a small thing I call wireless. That has proved to be the bane of my certification existence. I can read that stuff all day and all night and half the next day and it just doesn't sink in. The wireless infrastructure at my current employer consists of a Linksys AP. That is it. Needless to say I am severely lacking when it comes to wireless. That 46% really drug me down. Yes, you read right. 46%...

But, me being a glass-is-half-full-but-I-am-sure-I-will-do-something-to-spill-it kind of guy, I see the 92% I got on DiffServ, and I know I can handle this exam. Just keep that damn "W" away from me.

Hopefully I am ready for QoS in mid-February. Being as I have been reading on that for quite some time, that gives me all of December, all of January, and half of February. I think that is a realistic goal.

Now, onto BGP and MPLS. Hmmm...I know you can Rickroll those bad boys together and do one big mamma-jamma of an exam, but I think I am going to have to pass on that. While I do enjoy a challenge, I'm not sure I could walk away with a victory in the win column if I try that. So, I will try the not-so-baller method of doing one exam for each topic. I know, I know. I should be ashamed...

Not sure which is going to be first, though. I will decide that closer to go time. I am hoping I can do the same 3 month window to do both of them. So, let's summarize...

QoS mid-February
BGP or MPLS May-ish
MPLS or BGP August-ish

Hmmm, not a very detailed schedule, but it's a start. I hope to bring the board to life, and, if not, at least I can keep myself sane while I try to avoid the frying pan to the dome.

See you all later!
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  • keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,921 ■■■■□□□□□□
    welcome to the club, icon_smile.gif currently working on the mpls exam between R/S lab studies
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • tmlerdaltmlerdal Member Posts: 80 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Welcome and good luck. Couple tidbits I thought I'd share to help you out.
    QoS- Wendell Odom's book is the best. Can't go wrong with it at all. I thought the ONT was a great intro into the QoS exam, and I was able to take the 2 exams only a few months apart so everything was still fresh.

    BGP - Books to read: Internet Routing Architectures by Sam Halabi. Excellent resource. He did a great job breaking things down. Routing TCP/IP Volume II by Jeff Doyle. Only need the first couple of chapters. I thought this was a little harder to read, but was a good companion to the Halabi book. I was also able to get my hands on the BGP course material. Didn't care for this as well as the others personally.

    I came up with a little saying to help me remember during the BSCI for BGP stuff, and it still helped for the BGP test: Women Laugh At Me = Weight, Local Preference, AS Path, MED.

    MPLS - I used MPLS Fundamentals by Luc De Ghein. This is the area I probably struggled the most, but I use BGP and QoS at work, so I had a better background/foundation to work off of for them. Don't really have any good recommendations here other than the one book. I've heard good things about a couple other books, but didn't use them so can't really say.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    I'm thinking of doing this not long after CCNP to sort of base myself ready for the eventual CCIE...
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    jezg76 wrote:
    I know this part of the forum is deader than Abe Lincoln
    It's not dead. It's just that by the time people make it to the CCIP they usually don't need any "hand holding" and have figured out most of the answers to their questions can be found in the Cisco Docs (and in their work/home labs). :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • lildeezullildeezul Member Posts: 404
    Definetly not dead... I too am taking the CCIP track after my CCNA, i am going to do the Qos and the ONT together.
    I too loved to BSCI version of BGP. WOW.. very intersting, very flexible.

    Anyways wish you luck on your studies
    NHSCA National All-American Wrestler 135lb
  • jezg76jezg76 Member Posts: 97 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hit a snag and need some help from the brave souls who come to this barren wasteland. :)

    I obtained the CCNP a few weeks ago as some of you know. I feel like I learned a ton and was able to bring a lot of what I learned to my working environment. My question is, would it be dumb to try for the CCIP when I don't work for an ISP? I am not sure at what level a Professional level Cisco cert is expected to be at when applying for positions, so I don't want to be "that" guy. ***cues Certification Man theme song ***

    I enjoy learning this stuff immensely and truly enjoy the challenge of certs and am constantly looking for jobs that would allow me to use this knowledge on a grander scale, but my location is proving to be a problem. My environment at work is on a small scale so I am scared having the CCNP cert could actually hurt more than help. Would adding another Pro level cert be bad? I've been part of many projects dealing with Cisco networking at work and pretty much am the Cisco guy, but I'll be the first to admit, I still need to a ton more live T/S.

    I guess I'm just looking for opinions either way. If I knew the CCIP could help me get that ISP job then it's a no-brainer or should I try to get the job first before trying for the cert? Maybe it's a chicken or the egg type of deal.

    Any opinions? I hate that I put a lot of time and effort into something that I got a lot out of, but fear it could hurt more than help, if that's possible.

    As always, thanks all!
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  • dtlokeedtlokee Member Posts: 2,381
    There is always room to improve on one's QoS knowledge, very rarely do I find engineers out there that truly understand how Cisco QoS works. Having a good understanding of MPLS and BGP has helped me in numerous occasions where I had a service provider trying to blow smoke up my butt.

    Even if the certification isn't going to help your career path the knowledge gained certainly will.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • jezg76jezg76 Member Posts: 97 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I thank you for the response, dt. You are 100% right. When can learning anything be bad? I need to regain my focus and stop making excuses.

    Thanks for the kick in the rear. :)
    policy-map type inspect TACO
    class type inspect BELL
    drop log
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,621 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm one test away (the BGP/MPLS) composite from the CCIP. I started a new job in September and it is vastly outside the scope of my previous experience, so I have spent all of my time since then learning about my new job. Now that I feel I have mastered many of the facets of my new job I am back on the war path to finish the CCIP. For some reason it has always had more value to me than the CCNP, because I greatly enjoy the service provider industry. In fact, the CCIP is a big part of my attempt to get another job in the SP industry.

    Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to email myself, drop me a pm, or post here.

    The QoS is extremely easy, you should do well.
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
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