CCDE attempt blog

GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
I think its time for a change of pace, and have been thinking of this for a few months now. Im going to hold off (maybe indefinitely) on the CCIE, and focus on a CCDE attempt.


My reasoning for this is my growing interest in design material. I really enjoyed the CCDP objectives, and my current job focuses more on design than 'break-fix'. Thats not to say that the CCDE does not require an extremely in depth understanding of many of the technologies that the CCIE tests on, I just feel the design objectives are more suited to my interests, and where I want to take my career.


That said, there seems to be an utter lack of interest in the CCDE track overall. Perhaps some are 'offended' that Cisco claims the CCDE is 'above' the CCIE, but I disagree with this anyway. Its not better, just different ;) Perhaps some people were bored (like me) with the CCDA so much, they never looked farther. Or perhaps people just don't like the network 'fluff', and rather focus on the 'meat and potatoes' of configuration.

This will present challenges in finding material, and general support of past candidates to get an understanding of the exam. The idea of pioneering this though is a challenge I am looking forward to.


As for timeline, it really is not set. I am going to start researching the written objectives more and compile some material, starting with their recommended reading list. Im looking to take a Data Center Design course soon, so perhaps I will pick up some of the design specializations along the way. I am also taking project management classes and maybe ITIL later this year, so I hope to blend as much as I can from these (and vice-versa).



I will try and keep my progress up to date here, or maybe even start a dedicated blog offsite for it, as its tough to really find a good source of info on this exam so far.


Upward and onward!

Comments

  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    It's hard for me to get excited about Cisco's design track, because it is, essentially, the gospel according to Cisco. And yeah, Cisco best practices are great suggestions, but actual deployment? Far from reality. Especially when you toss equipment from other vendors into the mix.

    That leads me to the opinion that it's a waste of my time. I've been ruined by exposure to non-Cisco solutions to ever believe that a homogeneous vendor deployment is a good idea.
  • GT-RobGT-Rob Posts: 1,090Member
    ^ try to tell that to the last company I worked for. $500 million IT budget each year, with 100% Cisco. I don't always agree with the products we use either, but the market does.
  • ColbyGColbyG Posts: 1,264Member
    GT-Rob wrote: »
    ^ try to tell that to the last company I worked for. $500 million IT budget each year, with 100% Cisco. I don't always agree with the products we use either, but the market does.

    We're 100% Cisco as well... but I'd say it's to a fault. I love Cisco gear, it pays my bills, but I think other companies make good products as well. I'd like to play with some Aruba wireless, and some Juniper core gear/firewalls, etc, etc. Cisco makes great products, but they're very diverse, it stands to reason that a company who has a (much) more narrow focus might have some better products.

    Either way, it's cool that you're taking a different path with the DE and I wish you well!
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    GT-Rob wrote: »
    ^ try to tell that to the last company I worked for. $500 million IT budget each year, with 100% Cisco. I don't always agree with the products we use either, but the market does.

    Sure, there are alot of companies who have buy in to 100% Cisco solutions, but Cisco market share has been eroding, which is why they're branching out into other product lines. A good portion of the core these days is run on Juniper.

    Our Senior neteng is actually trying to convince management to let him replace our 6500 cores with Juniper iron (the MSFC3 on the sup720-3bxl sucks, basically, and it's going to cause issues for us down the road. It'd cost us about the same to upgrade to 3cxl's as it would to put in Juniper iron). If that happens, then we will be in the very real position of where the only Cisco gear on our network are our access switches. (and *that* will cause a major reshuffling of priorities for me, as I'll need a more than passing familiarity with JunOS at that point)

    Now don't get me wrong, I love Cisco for routing and switching gear. I think their additional stuff like load balancers and firewalls are pieces of crap, not to mention virtually all of their software is buggy as all hell (no, I'm not a fan of CiscoWorks). I can't really get behind their design track anymore because far too often, the best solution is not a Cisco one. Thankfully, our management is intelligent enough to actually listen to us nerds and not buy into the Cisco sales reps bullshit (and if you have *ever* had to deal with Cisco sales reps, you know exactly what I'm talking about)
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Forsaken_GA, what you are saying is true of any vendor and definitely not limited to Cisco. Do you actually think that if your company goes with Juniper they won't be trying to sell you off on their crap design best practices? And do you think their sales reps won't try to convince you to buy only their products? You sound like one of those "Microsoft is evil" people and its hard to take you serious with comments like that....
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Posts: 4,024Member
    Forsaken_GA, what you are saying is true of any vendor and definitely not limited to Cisco. Do you actually think that if your company goes with Juniper they won't be trying to sell you off on their crap design best practices? And do you think their sales reps won't try to convince you to buy only their products? You sound like one of those "Microsoft is evil" people and its hard to take you serious with comments like that....

    No, it's not true of every vendor.

    When we finally grew to the point of adding some big beefy distribution switches to the network, we dealt with three vendors - Cisco, Force10, and Juniper.

    The Juniper reps were pretty laid back, and pleasant to deal with, but management wasn't willing to pay their asking price. Neither party went away with their feelings hurt.

    The Force10 folks were straight forward no nonsense guys, and *they* got up and walked out of the meeting when the haggling over price began. They offered us a better price than they were giving to Sun, and were insulted we tried to talk them down even further.

    The Cisco guys were a bunch of snakeoil salesmen. When they found out that we were leaning towards one of the other vendors, they tried an end run to the owner of the company (which was incredibly stupid of them, as the owner knew what they were up to, and was insulted enough that he handed down directions for us not to talk to them anymore. Consequently, any Cisco hardware we need, we buy through a third party now).

    And sure, there are plenty of other scummy vendors. Nortel was never any better to deal with. When it comes to the bandwidth world, the Cogent guys are a bunch of snakes. And so on. When it comes to network gear, Cisco has by far the shadest sons of bitches that I have ever had the displeasure to deal with.

    And Microsoft *is* evil, damnit!
  • sides14sides14 Posts: 113Member
    Good luck on you journey and let us know which materials you find useful.
  • hhasundhhasund Posts: 32Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think this discussion got a little bit of track a little bit too early.
    I for one would appreciate a blog on the hidden world of CCDE, and I encourage you to move on. It seems like a daring quest, and one that I would enjoy getting some updates on from time to time.

    Good luck, GT-Rob!
    I look forward to following your progress... :)
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Sure, there are alot of companies who have buy in to 100% Cisco solutions, but Cisco market share has been eroding, which is why they're branching out into other product lines. A good portion of the core these days is run on Juniper.

    Our Senior neteng is actually trying to convince management to let him replace our 6500 cores with Juniper iron (the MSFC3 on the sup720-3bxl sucks, basically, and it's going to cause issues for us down the road. It'd cost us about the same to upgrade to 3cxl's as it would to put in Juniper iron). If that happens, then we will be in the very real position of where the only Cisco gear on our network are our access switches. (and *that* will cause a major reshuffling of priorities for me, as I'll need a more than passing familiarity with JunOS at that point)

    Now don't get me wrong, I love Cisco for routing and switching gear. I think their additional stuff like load balancers and firewalls are pieces of crap, not to mention virtually all of their software is buggy as all hell (no, I'm not a fan of CiscoWorks). I can't really get behind their design track anymore because far too often, the best solution is not a Cisco one. Thankfully, our management is intelligent enough to actually listen to us nerds and not buy into the Cisco sales reps bullshit (and if you have *ever* had to deal with Cisco sales reps, you know exactly what I'm talking about)

    Good discussion. What alternative FW and LB solutions do you prefer?
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    GT-Rob wrote: »
    I think its time for a change of pace, and have been thinking of this for a few months now. Im going to hold off (maybe indefinitely) on the CCIE, and focus on a CCDE attempt.


    My reasoning for this is my growing interest in design material. I really enjoyed the CCDP objectives, and my current job focuses more on design than 'break-fix'. Thats not to say that the CCDE does not require an extremely in depth understanding of many of the technologies that the CCIE tests on, I just feel the design objectives are more suited to my interests, and where I want to take my career.


    That said, there seems to be an utter lack of interest in the CCDE track overall. Perhaps some are 'offended' that Cisco claims the CCDE is 'above' the CCIE, but I disagree with this anyway. Its not better, just different ;) Perhaps some people were bored (like me) with the CCDA so much, they never looked farther. Or perhaps people just don't like the network 'fluff', and rather focus on the 'meat and potatoes' of configuration.

    This will present challenges in finding material, and general support of past candidates to get an understanding of the exam. The idea of pioneering this though is a challenge I am looking forward to.


    As for timeline, it really is not set. I am going to start researching the written objectives more and compile some material, starting with their recommended reading list. Im looking to take a Data Center Design course soon, so perhaps I will pick up some of the design specializations along the way. I am also taking project management classes and maybe ITIL later this year, so I hope to blend as much as I can from these (and vice-versa).



    I will try and keep my progress up to date here, or maybe even start a dedicated blog offsite for it, as its tough to really find a good source of info on this exam so far.


    Upward and onward!

    Another good man down *shrug*. It will be lonely on the CCIE boards without you Rob. Good luck with the CCDE anyway! The design track and data centre certification offerings at Cisco are evolving fast. Get some but stay open minded :)
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