Comments on IINS after passing

ChooseLifeChooseLife Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
Passed the IINS earlier this week... 933/1000 after 3 weeks of preparation...

I agree with others that it is a straightforward exam, with the scope narrower than that of CCNA. The exam material maps rather precisely to the blueprint. (Hopefully this is not a violation of NDA?) I'd say that the main focus of preparation for anyone taking the exam should be VPN/encryption - you should have a very clear understanding of site-to-site VPN - how it is established step-by-step, what main characteristics of each VPN-related algorithm are, etc.

Used materials:
CBT nuggets - IMO, rather basic and not going deep enough (but entertaining :D) YMMV.
Official Cisco Study Guide - I only got to read a couple chapters, but really liked the book - perfect coverage/depth.
Mike's notes - condensed format is great for reviewing command syntax.

Lab:
1. 871 router with 12.4T advipservicesk9 IOS - this one router alone covered about 70-80% of hands-on practice needed for the exam
2. Additional 831 router with 12.3T k9o3sy6 IOS - used together with the first router for Site-to-Site VPN, which is ~10-15% of lab practice.
3. 2950 switch with 12.1(22)EA IOS - used standalone for Layer 2 security, another ~10-15% of lab practice.

These 3 units fully covered the blueprint, and I want to emphasize that all you really need is 1 x 12.4 k9 IOS router, 1 x 12.x k9 IOS router, and 1 x 12.x IP base IOS switch.


I will likely continue the CCSP/CCNP:S path. And right now deciding whether I should take a break or try to squeeze SNRS in before VMware class starts in April... I'd have no doubt about biting the bullet if March was not filled with important family celebration dates...
“You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

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Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    Congratulations!! icon_cheers.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 1,961 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats on the pass! cant wait to start studying it myself. Was there a big emphasis on SDM? I think one could get away with using GNS3 for the router portions of the topics.
    Certs: CISSP, CRTP, eCPPT, LFCS, CEH, AZ-900, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2020 Goals:
    Courses: VHL (completed), CQURE: Windows Security Crash Course (in-progress), PTRACE : Advanced Software Exploitation, Corelan: Advanced Exploit Development
    Certs: VHL: Advanced+ (completed), OSCP (in-progress), SLAE32, OSCE, PTRACE: CSED, AZ-500
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
    thank you, mikej412 :)

    chrisone, I'd say one needs to have a good knowledge of the SDM interface for this exam. It's not complicated at all, so I'd suggest to try all the configuration tasks in SDM as well as CLI. It does not take much time and won't hurt anyway icon_wink.gif
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

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  • davidspirovalentinedavidspirovalentine Member Posts: 352
    Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS!!! Awesome Score!!!

    Secondly, how much experience did you have before studying? I'm just asking because I got this one up next and I'm plotting out timeframes... I'm one of those people who like to book their exam months before the day and prepare leading up to it.

    Three weeks is really good :)

    Kind Regards,
    David
    Failure is a stepping stone to success...
  • ChooseLifeChooseLife Member Posts: 941 ■■■■■■■□□□
    thanks David :)

    I have a CS degree in network security, 5 years of systems/network administration experience, and some security-focused projects as the background... Plus personal interest in a multitude of things, like math theory of encryption algorithms, etc... For this reason, I only needed to learn and practice Cisco-specific things for the exam, and could afford to completely skip the theory.
    I'm one of those people who like to book their exam months before the day and prepare leading up to it.
    Oh, I hear ya! I cannot force myself to study methodically until the exam is booked... :D

    Good luck with the exam! I cannot advise any specific timeframes because everyone's learning habits are different, but generally, this exam is not really a beast... The following is very subjective, and others may argue, but I'd say in sheer volume, the amount of material to learn for IINS from scratch is about one-third of the CCNA material.
    “You don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.” (c) xkcd #896

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