It's my time: Mrock's CCIE thread

Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
Well, I was hesitant to start a thread, for fear of abandoning it. I'll try my best to maintain this thing. I won't post daily, because..well, frankly, that's a lot of friggin posts. I'll post now and then and let everyone know how my progress is going. It'll keep me honest, I hope. The real good posts will more than likely be on my blog, though. I feel better writing a lot there instead of here.

So, I'm pretty minimalistic when it comes to my theory of how to prep for the IE lab. I believe you should A) Learn the hell out of the material, and B) verify you know stuff with practice labs, then rinse and repeat. I'm not big into all the videos and bootcamps and stuff. I'd LIKE to get a bootcamp in if I have the time, but I don't think it'll sink me if I don't.

That being said, here's a summary of where I stand and my general lab prep theory

-Passed written on Sept 13, 2011
-Using INE Vol I technology-based labs
-A LOT of Cisco docs..google for when that fails.
-No time to study at work, BUT I am the only network guy for a decent sized network, so it's great practice. When stuff breaks, that is my time to work on my verification/debug commands. So, it's kind of indirect studying.
-I have a family w/ kids
-I love beer/baseball/football/basketball, but I am pretty much sacrificing all these (ok, maybe not TOTALLY on the beer..) during my timeline
-Goal to PASS the lab is July 2012. That's 10 months. If I fail, I'll assess where I went wrong, make a plan, and execute it, with a retake right after that.

Oh, and I'm using a mixture of rack rentals and my home lab right now. I have a pretty nice lab at home, but I'm in between moving right now (new house being built), so I'm relying on rack rentals at the moment until I can get my rack moved to my new office.

Edit: I plan on scheduling my lab once I complete ALL the Vol I labs, if I can. This means probably 4-6 months from now I'll schedule. Then pick it up with the full labs.
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Comments

  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Got to working on my layer 2 labs. Made good progress. So far nothing too difficult that I haven't encountered before. I'm not setting a deadline for the tech labs..the deadline is when I know it COLD, then I can move on. I'll stay on layer 2 at least a couple of weeks I'm guessing.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    On page 96/156 of INE Vol I labs. Going pretty smooth so far. Up until this point it's been mostly verification of stuff I already knew, but I welcome the practice. In the next 3-5 days I'll be getting into topics I haven't worked with much, so that'll be great.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    On page 96/156 of INE Vol I labs. Going pretty smooth so far. Up until this point it's been mostly verification of stuff I already knew, but I welcome the practice. In the next 3-5 days I'll be getting into topics I haven't worked with much, so that'll be great.

    Good luck man. Work through Vol I. Once complete make a start on Vol II and keep some notes. I find Vol I helps with the command line introduction of things and the options so its a useful start. Then you want some requirements and scenarios per protocol. Vol II gives you that. I have found that studying the same section across 1 - 3 labs in a single session is a good way to use Vol II. You amass a lot of good config notes per protocol that way.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Thanks. Yeah that's a good idea with reference to studying per-protocol. I don't have a timeline for completing Vol I, but I already plan on going back to it if I get caught up in Vol II labs. I might have to incorporate a version of that method in the studies there.

    On page 121/156 of the switching labs. Flex links are new to me, pretty straightforward though. Looks like I should be finishing up this section in about 2 days. I've only got some smaller labs left, but they're QoS and I could use the practice/time to explore there..so I'm going to take my time.

    Started a counter. Not so much for anyone else..mostly for my own use- it'll keep me honest. My goal was 1,200 hours by the time I sit the lab.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    And this is EXACTLY why I have an (almost) complete rack that I'll be using starting in about a month for my prep. I have been using rentals until my full rack is setup, and I had a 3 hour block scheduled tonight. I was knee-deep in setting my labs up, and then all my devices became unreachable. Sent an e-mail to the company (mindtech), but I'm guessing tonight is a no-go. It's one thing if I can't be disciplined enough to study, but it's quite another when I'm not able to...this sucks.

    Well, I tried. Tomorrow I'll resume..
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Well, I ate dinner, and came back, and my session was up. I got a few labs knocked out, and the service went down again. The good news, is I'm on page 134/156 now, and I believe switching is the biggest Vol I lab section. Tomorrow is my first day off from lab studying since I started a week ago. Going to enjoy it, then back to labbing on wednesday. I expect to finish layer 2 by Thursday night, and start Frame relay on Friday.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    Well, I ate dinner, and came back, and my session was up. I got a few labs knocked out, and the service went down again. The good news, is I'm on page 134/156 now, and I believe switching is the biggest Vol I lab section. Tomorrow is my first day off from lab studying since I started a week ago. Going to enjoy it, then back to labbing on wednesday. I expect to finish layer 2 by Thursday night, and start Frame relay on Friday.

    Yeah switching in Vol I is a witch. I will be doing it all again soon enough. Gotta be strong on switching.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Yup! The plan is to complete all the Vol I labs, then move onto Vol II, but periodically dedicate time to going back to Vol I and brushing up on topics which I may have become rusty on.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Back into the swing of things today. Should either finish up the Vol I switching labs or get real close. It's already very clear that I'll be coming back to the layer 1 topics before my lab attempt- most of the stuff I'm good with, but I need work on private vlan's. I understand them, can set them up if I have to, but they don't come as easily as the other layer 2 topics do for me.

    Oh well..gotta lab!
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    Back into the swing of things today. Should either finish up the Vol I switching labs or get real close. It's already very clear that I'll be coming back to the layer 1 topics before my lab attempt- most of the stuff I'm good with, but I need work on private vlan's. I understand them, can set them up if I have to, but they don't come as easily as the other layer 2 topics do for me.

    Oh well..gotta lab!

    There will be pain. Hit 100 lab hours as soon as you can. Impossible in a weekend.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Got 2 hours of time scheduled tonight, but hoping to extend it out to 3 hours if I'm not too tired. Should put in a good 10-15 hours this weekend hopefully. The more I read/lab, the more I realize I don't know...
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Well, I'm wrapping up layer 2 at 12:30am. I wake up in 5 hours to go on a run, then off to work. Trying to stay in shape during this endeavor. Going to dedicate an hour or so tomorrow night to layer 2 again (private vlan's, and PPP), then move on to frame relay. I did all the layer 2 labs, but I think I need some extra practice for those two subjects. It's exciting to be done with a section, but I think it's going to be an absolute requirement that I go back and redo some of the labs in a couple of months.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Very positive 3 hours of studying tomorrow. Going to get a couple of hours in tomorrow morning, and hopefully- 3-4 hours in tomorrow evening.

    Tonight dragged on, I didn't fly through many sections..but it was good studying if that makes sense. Infact, I went backwards and redid the private vlan labs- which was a GREAT idea, because I was missing a few small details that I picked up on. Additionally, I got started on PPP PAP/CHAP section in switching (I skipped around a bit on accident). I'm guessing tomororw will be mostly PPP Auth/PPPoE, then frame relay starting sunday.

    So far so good on the family front. No complaints, and family has been very supportive. I cannot wait to schedule the lab..then it'll feel real! Until then, I'm learning everything I can..
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    Very positive 3 hours of studying tomorrow. Going to get a couple of hours in tomorrow morning, and hopefully- 3-4 hours in tomorrow evening.

    Tonight dragged on, I didn't fly through many sections..but it was good studying if that makes sense. Infact, I went backwards and redid the private vlan labs- which was a GREAT idea, because I was missing a few small details that I picked up on. Additionally, I got started on PPP PAP/CHAP section in switching (I skipped around a bit on accident). I'm guessing tomororw will be mostly PPP Auth/PPPoE, then frame relay starting sunday.

    So far so good on the family front. No complaints, and family has been very supportive. I cannot wait to schedule the lab..then it'll feel real! Until then, I'm learning everything I can..

    Its all good. For me you want that first 100 hours of lab time under your belt and then soon 200. Looking back, it was those early hours that were so important in my prep. I understand what you mean by realising how little you dont know at this stage. The workbooks throw all kinds of things your way that even a CCNP wouldn't have seen. Multilink + Chap + Virtual Templates? The list goes on.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Turgon wrote: »
    I understand what you mean by realising how little you dont know at this stage. The workbooks throw all kinds of things your way that even a CCNP wouldn't have seen. Multilink + Chap + Virtual Templates? The list goes on.

    Exactly. When I see things I haven't seen before, I think "did I miss this on my CCNP prep? On my written prep?"

    There are times when something is completely new, where I'm overwhelmed and my natural reaction is to skip it. This time I can't do that, so I'm fighting that urge. Once I get through the material, I'm usually thinking "wow, that wasn't too bad," it just takes that extra motivation to push through it.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    It's cool. For me, you are a slow burner like myself, and honestly I think you learn more that way. My boss has even told me 'I dont need you to be a CCIE'.

    You have a demanding job. You have a wife and kids. You dont have an employer who says 'Hey, spend your time on the company dollar becoming a CCIE'. The *right* employees at Cisco have this luxury. You dont, you have *live* field plant to support.

    You will NOT be a CCIE this year. You MIGHT be a CCIE next year. If you are not blogging in 12 months time, it's over.

    Such is the lot of those chosen to be special forces..

    Henry V - Shakespeare.. 'We few, we happy few'

    Pace yourself.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Turgon wrote: »
    It's cool. For me, you are a slow burner like myself, and honestly I think you learn more that way. My boss has even told me 'I dont need you to be a CCIE'.

    Things are going to go slow for the next 1 1/2 months..for now, I don't have an office, and that hurts a lot. Once I move into my new house (a month), then the study schedule picks up. I'm pretty set on taking my lab next summer (2012), so that means I've got to pick it up once the new house is together and we're settled. Until then, I'm getting a good foundation, for sure. I'm enjoying the ride so far.

    So far, since I began, I have learned something new every day.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Did some PPPoE today to finish up on the layer 2 stuff. Wanted to start on Frame Relay, but ran into several problems with my rack rentals. So I called it a day. My motivation is really suffering using rack rentals. I hate having to redo configs, or have problems loading configs etc etc etc. It seems like I spend more time getting everything to work as expected, and by then, I'm too frustrated to get any useful labbing in.

    Still pushing forward, though. Learning a lot.
  • reaper81reaper81 Posts: 631Member
    Which rack rental provider are you using? I'm using graded labs and I never have any issues. Frankly the reason why I do so much rentals is that I have got used to it and I'm too lazy to mess around too much with Dynamips. It just works.
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    reaper81 wrote: »
    Which rack rental provider are you using? I'm using graded labs and I never have any issues. Frankly the reason why I do so much rentals is that I have got used to it and I'm too lazy to mess around too much with Dynamips. It just works.

    I'm using Mindtech (mindtechcom.com)..they're located in Sweden (I believe), and it seems there's always issues with their service providers network over there. I bought a ton of credits with them a few years ago, and I have 40 hours left there, then I'll likely switch. It's a hard position, because in 40 hours left with them, I'll almost be fully moved, and my physical rack will be up and running.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    Things are going to go slow for the next 1 1/2 months..for now, I don't have an office, and that hurts a lot. Once I move into my new house (a month), then the study schedule picks up. I'm pretty set on taking my lab next summer (2012), so that means I've got to pick it up once the new house is together and we're settled. Until then, I'm getting a good foundation, for sure. I'm enjoying the ride so far.

    So far, since I began, I have learned something new every day.

    Keep pumping. I sense fatigue setting in with some of our lab candidates. Dont stop. Crawl if you have to, but dont stop. On days where labbing isn't practical one can always read for 30 minutes. Read your notes. We have a clutch of candidates going for it but by December I expect a few to have dropped out.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Turgon wrote: »
    Keep pumping. I sense fatigue setting in with some of our lab candidates. Dont stop. Crawl if you have to, but dont stop. On days where labbing isn't practical one can always read for 30 minutes. Read your notes. We have a clutch of candidates going for it but by December I expect a few to have dropped out.

    I'm still alive and kicking. Put in 11 hours today, much of it troubleshooting a combination of VOIP, and phantom network issues. Got home, ate a good dinner with the family, and off to the room to lab for 2 hours.

    Going to have to alter which subjects I study in the next 4 weeks because the rack rentals have been moody. I need to focus on subjects where I can configure/troubleshoot with a smaller topology. Once moved, and my lab is racked up finally, I can move on from there. That being said, I'll probably decide in a minute (once I start labbing) what section is next....anyways..enough jabbering.....lab time.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    On to RIP. Figured I'll knock out RIP, QoS, and IP services this month, then by the time I'm done with those, I should have my rack up, and I can go back and focus on my other core topics- frame-relay, OSPF, BGP, etc.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    3 solid hours in tonight. Feeling "in the zone"...finally feeling like a real CCIE candidate, and I'm just getting started. Can't wait to lab again tomorrow.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Cool. 50 and 100 lab hours are great milestones.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Turgon wrote: »
    Cool. 50 and 100 lab hours are great milestones.

    Getting a long weekend that I didn't plan on..always a pleasant surprise. Going to get in 3-4 hours today, and hopefully 4 tomorrow. If things go as planned, I could be hitting 50 hours before I know it!
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Continue to be frustrated with having to load/save configs on the rack rentals, but I am moving forward. Did 3 hours tonight. All RIP. Good practice. RIP is pretty simple, but I'm liking the INE labs. They provide good practice not only for RIP, but filtering scenarios.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Mrock4 wrote: »
    Continue to be frustrated with having to load/save configs on the rack rentals, but I am moving forward. Did 3 hours tonight. All RIP. Good practice. RIP is pretty simple, but I'm liking the INE labs. They provide good practice not only for RIP, but filtering scenarios.

    Any study hours this weekend? I was at work Saturday so had to spend the rest of this weekend catching up at home and taking the family out Sunday.
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Posts: 2,360Banned
    Turgon wrote: »
    Any study hours this weekend? I was at work Saturday so had to spend the rest of this weekend catching up at home and taking the family out Sunday.

    This weekend I got a couple in, but nothing signifigant. It was rough with work. We're in the middle of a big project, and that's presented a lot of challenges that have a funny way of finding themselves coming home with me. The good news is, I still did lab. I'm not happy with how many hours (I never am), but it's forward progress. Had a 13 hour day at work today, so I'm taking the night off. Going to get back into it and finish up RIP tomorrow, so I can move on from there. It's going to be slow progress over the next month until the rack is setup..these rentals are no good.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    It's the weekend. Study hard! The first 100 lab hours are the worst. Cross that threshold and you will be fine.
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