What path to take?

wolverene13wolverene13 Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
I just passed my TSHOOT exam on Monday of last week, finishing my CCNP. I don't want to lose my momentum and ambition to continue learning, so I'm already looking into what cert I want to pursue next. The way I see it, I have a few options. I can either immediately pursue my CCIE route/switch, or I can go for some more Associate/Professional level certs before going for the IE. I was thinking about going for the CCDP, CCIP, CCNA Security or CCNA Voice so I can better prepare for some of the IE stuff that that CCNP track doesn't really cover in depth. I'd like to do the CCIP because I would like some more knowledge of BGP and MPLS. (I work for a major nationwide WAN provider) and it will definitely help me at work. If I go straight for the IE, my fear is that I won't have enough knowledge of things beyond routing and switching to build on and will not be prepared enough, so I want to learn more before doing so. However, if I get some of the other certs first, it builds a good foundation, yet it will take an eternity to eventually get my IE. If I do the IP, it will help me at work and prepare me for the IE, but there's not a lot of material out there for the CCIP because it's not that popular (most Cisco certs are geared more towards Enterprise LAN material). Any suggestions?
Currently Studying: CCIP - 642-611 - MPLS
Occupation: Tier II NOC Tech - Centurylink
CCIP Progress: [x] BSCI
[x] BGP
[ ] MPLS
[ ] QoS

Comments

  • peanutnogginpeanutnoggin Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wolverene13,

    I'd personally suggest you pursue the IP. I think there is enough material out there for the CCIP. The added bonus is that it'll help you at work. That's a win-win in my opinion. Once you study and learn the IP material, you'll probably work on larger projects which will in turn only help you with the IE studies... Give it a go... Good luck!

    -Peanut
    We cannot have a superior democracy with an inferior education system!

    -Mayor Cory Booker
  • jovan88jovan88 Member Posts: 393
    After passing my TSHOOT exam I'm currently going for CCIP, its fun and will really help you if you ever want to go for CCIE. There is plenty of documentation of BGP, MPLS and QoS all over the net so you shouldn't have a problem.

    However the CCIP track is pretty dated and I'm worried if Cisco may retire it or do a major overhaul on it. But its just speculation for now.
  • wolverene13wolverene13 Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think the CCIP is what I'm going to go with. I've been wanting to learn more about BGP as it is.

    Thanks everyone!
    Currently Studying: CCIP - 642-611 - MPLS
    Occupation: Tier II NOC Tech - Centurylink
    CCIP Progress: [x] BSCI
    [x] BGP
    [ ] MPLS
    [ ] QoS
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think the CCIP next is a Win-Win. It helps you at work and it advances the knowledge you'll need to get to the CCIE level.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • DevilWAHDevilWAH Member Posts: 2,997 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I know ONCE I get my CCNP I want my CCSP. Only because I really like the security side of things and would like to end up there eventual.

    My advice would be if one track would be helpful to your work and you work on it daily then go there, as having the experience to go along side your studies is only going to benefit both for your studies and your job.

    Other wise I would chose purely on what you enjoy and want to learn. What ever you chose remember you can always change, even if you do one or two of the CCIP exams and then decided to change path. as long as you keep up with at lest some Pro level exams or move on to the CCIE, what you have passed will remain valid to return to at a later date.

    what ever you decided well done on the TSHOOT and good luck in future certs :)
    • If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties. It means that its going to launch you into something great. So just focus and keep aiming.
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    I personally decided to do CCIP before CCIE, and use the CCIP as a way of studying for the CCIE and getting another credential along the way. So I agree with the others, take the step toward CCIP, since you now have to know all three of the other subjects for the CCIE anyway
  • CCIP!!!

    Definitely the way to go, you said it yourself. It will help you with your CCIE and, as mentioned above you get another cert which hopefully means more $$$ along the way!!!

    To the OP, so whats next for you? ;)

    Regards,
    David
    Failure is a stepping stone to success...
  • stuh84stuh84 Member Posts: 503
    I personally decided to do CCIP before CCIE, and use the CCIP as a way of studying for the CCIE and getting another credential along the way. So I agree with the others, take the step toward CCIP, since you now have to know all three of the other subjects for the CCIE anyway

    Agreed. This is what I'm doing, once I pass the JNCIA-JUNOS I'm starting work on the QoS exam for the CCIP, and should hopefully knock out BGP and MPLS in quick succession, and get me prepared for start the CCIE next year.
    Work In Progress: CCIE R&S Written

    CCIE Progress - Hours reading - 15, hours labbing - 1
  • wolverene13wolverene13 Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, looks like I am officially going for the CCIP. I just bought Sam Halabi's Internet Routing Architectures (Vol. 2) to start studying for the BGP test. I was thinking about going for the BGP/MPLS composite exam, but decided to play it safe. Also, I figure if I do them separately, I'll have more in-depth knowledge of both. I figure I'll do the MPLS test after that, being that you need some solid knowledge of BGP to make it easier (I know only the basics of BGP at this point), then I'll take the dreaded QoS test. Anyone have any suggestions or tips for the CCIP?
    Currently Studying: CCIP - 642-611 - MPLS
    Occupation: Tier II NOC Tech - Centurylink
    CCIP Progress: [x] BSCI
    [x] BGP
    [ ] MPLS
    [ ] QoS
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    CCIP isn't bad at all if you got through the CCNP. QoS is ridiculously straight forward and the BGP and MPLS exams are logical as well. The hardest thing is getting a good enough lab set up to get true functionality tested.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
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  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Well, looks like I am officially going for the CCIP. I just bought Sam Halabi's Internet Routing Architectures (Vol. 2) to start studying for the BGP test. I was thinking about going for the BGP/MPLS composite exam, but decided to play it safe. Also, I figure if I do them separately, I'll have more in-depth knowledge of both. I figure I'll do the MPLS test after that, being that you need some solid knowledge of BGP to make it easier (I know only the basics of BGP at this point), then I'll take the dreaded QoS test. Anyone have any suggestions or tips for the CCIP?

    I don't know why folks regard the QoS exam as 'dreaded'. I found it to be incredibly easy, the Odom QoS book prepares you quite well for it. The BGP exam was difficult only because I had to retard my thought process a bit - what Cisco tests for and how BGP is implemented in the real world are two different things. The MPLS exam is not bad as long as you get plenty of hands on time. As Paul mentioned, the hardest part is getting the lab together to play with all the MPLS functionality. I've always been an advocate of playing with real hardware, but I didn't have enough MPLS capable routers to test the kind of topologies I wanted. GNS3/dynamips picked up the slack there and allowed me to get the hands on I needed
  • wolverene13wolverene13 Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I don't know why folks regard the QoS exam as 'dreaded'. I found it to be incredibly easy, the Odom QoS book prepares you quite well for it.

    That's definitely good to know, because everyone keeps scaring me with all the talk about how boring it is to study for and how hard the test is. I have a pretty good attention span, so the boredom factor is virtually nonexistent for me, but I've never failed a Cisco exam before and don't want to start now.
    The BGP exam was difficult only because I had to retard my thought process a bit - what Cisco tests for and how BGP is implemented in the real world are two different things.

    Totally agree with you on that one. What we do at work and what Cisco teaches are polar opposites.
    The MPLS exam is not bad as long as you get plenty of hands on time. As Paul mentioned, the hardest part is getting the lab together to play with all the MPLS functionality. I've always been an advocate of playing with real hardware, but I didn't have enough MPLS capable routers to test the kind of topologies I wanted. GNS3/dynamips picked up the slack there and allowed me to get the hands on I needed

    As far as that goes, I have a 3550 EMI, a 2621, a 2611, a 2610, a 2524, a 2504, and a 2502 at Layer 3 and two 2950s at Layer 2. Most of the 2500 routers have serial ports and are daisy chained together, eventually connecting to the WIC on my 2621, which has two Ethernet ports, one of which goes to the 3550 and the other to the 2950s, which each have a 2610 or 2611 hanging off of it. What would you recommend I get to lab out the MPLS stuff? (Alternatively, I could always practice at work, but that's a live network and I kind of think I don't want to mess up the config for a few thousand MPLS customers:) ).
    Currently Studying: CCIP - 642-611 - MPLS
    Occupation: Tier II NOC Tech - Centurylink
    CCIP Progress: [x] BSCI
    [x] BGP
    [ ] MPLS
    [ ] QoS
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    As far as that goes, I have a 3550 EMI, a 2621, a 2611, a 2610, a 2524, a 2504, and a 2502 at Layer 3 and two 2950s at Layer 2. Most of the 2500 routers have serial ports and are daisy chained together, eventually connecting to the WIC on my 2621, which has two Ethernet ports, one of which goes to the 3550 and the other to the 2950s, which each have a 2610 or 2611 hanging off of it. What would you recommend I get to lab out the MPLS stuff? (Alternatively, I could always practice at work, but that's a live network and I kind of think I don't want to mess up the config for a few thousand MPLS customers:) ).

    Well, you can use Feature Navigator to find out what image you'd need to support MPLS on those routers, you'll probably have to actually downgrade if you're running modern images.

    But for MPLS (and more specifically the various MPLS VPN services), I'd honestly recommend gns3/dynampis. It'll let you deploy a very large network and practice all facets of MPLS in what I consider to be a more timely manner than having to set a physical lab up and deal with all the cabling. This is not a recommendation I make lightly, if you search my post history, you'll see that I'm usually in favor of using real hardware to practice on hehe

    As far as QoS goes... yeah, it can be kind of boring. The Frame Relay Traffic Shaping chapters damn near put me to sleep. But there's a lot of good information, I found it quite interesting to find out how the policers actually work, for instance.

    But for the most part, the exam is all about QoS with the MQC, and alot of it is just common sense. There are a few esoteric items, but the Odom book covers them well. I think I missed one question on WRED and that was it.

    The one thing I do recommend in addition to the Odom book is listening to the QoS CBT Nuggets. I remember there were two items specifically that Cioria said during the CBT nuggets that came up on the exam, so I was able to answer those questions immediately instead of having to sit and think about them
  • wolverene13wolverene13 Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well, you can use Feature Navigator to find out what image you'd need to support MPLS on those routers, you'll probably have to actually downgrade if you're running modern images.

    But for MPLS (and more specifically the various MPLS VPN services), I'd honestly recommend gns3/dynampis. It'll let you deploy a very large network and practice all facets of MPLS in what I consider to be a more timely manner than having to set a physical lab up and deal with all the cabling. This is not a recommendation I make lightly, if you search my post history, you'll see that I'm usually in favor of using real hardware to practice on hehe

    As far as QoS goes... yeah, it can be kind of boring. The Frame Relay Traffic Shaping chapters damn near put me to sleep. But there's a lot of good information, I found it quite interesting to find out how the policers actually work, for instance.

    But for the most part, the exam is all about QoS with the MQC, and alot of it is just common sense. There are a few esoteric items, but the Odom book covers them well. I think I missed one question on WRED and that was it.

    The one thing I do recommend in addition to the Odom book is listening to the QoS CBT Nuggets. I remember there were two items specifically that Cioria said during the CBT nuggets that came up on the exam, so I was able to answer those questions immediately instead of having to sit and think about them

    I did a little bit of research and decided I'm just going to buy a 2691 and a 3640 to do MPLS. They're the cheapest devices that natively support MPLS.
    Currently Studying: CCIP - 642-611 - MPLS
    Occupation: Tier II NOC Tech - Centurylink
    CCIP Progress: [x] BSCI
    [x] BGP
    [ ] MPLS
    [ ] QoS
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    I did a little bit of research and decided I'm just going to buy a 2691 and a 3640 to do MPLS. They're the cheapest devices that natively support MPLS.

    I think you may find only two devices to be somewhat limiting when you're doing MPLS, especially when you get into the Traffic Engineering section
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