Passed SP lab...

ccie15672ccie15672 Member Posts: 92 ■■■□□□□□□□
I passed the Service Provider lab, which makes me very happy... now to get back on track with the JNCIE-M.

Written Prep:

Follow the blueprint. Configuration guides, tech notes, white papers from Cisco's website, and command references. Many tidbits can be found for free in Google's book archive. Safari helps too! Sometimes the substantial bits are spread out across several books that are otherwise loaded with non-essential information (for the purposes of the CCIE). MPLS Fundamentals, and the Optical networking book from CiscoPress, along with above resources, pretty much is all you need for the written part. A lot of people also do the MPLS VPN Architecture books, but I did not use these at all.

Lab Prep:

Follow the blueprint. Skipped those features that are not supported on the IOS that they are using in the lab (I wouldn't do that now though.. see below).. Also relied heavily on configuration guides, and command references. I used Safari pretty heavily when investigating some features. I need the condensed version first and at least one CiscoPress book out the many out there will have a good condensed explanation of what a feature does and the basic configuration. I did this in conjunction with the INE CoD. I also completed both workbooks. I also watched the lab walk-through for the first four practice labs from the second workbook. I also did a sort of final scrub of the command reference for MPLS, IS-IS, L2TPv3, and BGP... and took some notes on the various knobs and tweaks.

The night before the lab, I went over the command reference again, but that was mostly a nervous behavior...

All in all, I think I probably completely blew the lab out of the water. I left there feeling like I did every single thing they asked me to do and I did *not* do all the things they told me *not* to do.

Note that there are definitely changes coming to the Service Provider lab. If you already have your R&S, you can safely knock out the Service Provider before Q2 next year. Get the written out of the way.. 60-90 days, and then I believe you probably only need another 60 or 90 days for the lab...

Now that its done, I would like to point out that maybe I was a little harsh on INE in my review of the SP materials. They definitely over-prepare you in some ways.. but then again, maybe its about right. There are some blueprint features they don't cover in great detail and don't show up in their practice labs.

The real lab covers the blueprint. You do need to know the blueprint... I'd say now just to be safe, you should cover even those things that are not supported in the tested IOS's... because if the changes come sooner rather than later then you may regret skipping those things. BUY THE IOS XR FUNDAMENTALS BOOK. That is one of those coming changes...
Derick Winkworth
CCIE #15672 (R&S, SP), JNCIE-M #721
Chasing: CCIE Sec, CCSA (Checkpoint)

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