Meh! Nothing to CCIE here...

down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time to get serious. This year has been filled with some great success in the realm of cisco studies and I'm looking forward towards continuing the momentum into the next year and beyond as I move on in my pursuit of the coveted 5 digit number. Since I recently finished my CCIP studies with the completion of the composite exam, I am starting this blog to track my progress on both the Written and Lab exams. I may not post every day, but I will be updating this thread as often as possible.

First up is to prepare for and pass the CCIE R&S Written Exam. I will be using the following materials during my preparation:

Reading Material:
Recommended CCIE Books | INE

CBTs:
CCIE Routing & Switching Written Exam
CCIE Routing & Switching Advanced Technologies Class

The list will expand and grow as I further my studies. I have additional materials I will list when it is time (like my INE all access pass), but this should be sufficient to get me started.

First on the reading list will be a high level review found within the http://www.amazon.com/CCIE-Routing-Switching-Certification-Guide/dp/1587059800/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323471831&sr=8-1. Following this I will move on to re-reading Routing TCP/IP Vol 1 & 2 and reviewing selected chapters of the CCNP Foundation Learning Guides as necessary for completion.

My intention is to spend 2 hours per day studying on week days, and up to 8 hours per weekend. I will be taking at least one day off per week and there will be many times I go over or under the proposed amount of study.

For note taking I will be using a combination of legal pads, Ever Note (for synchronization between my MacBook, PC, and iPad), and highlighting the texts as necessary to earmark areas for review. I understand it will take around 200 hours of preparation for this first step and close to 1000 hours of prep towards the lab. There will be bumps and roadblocks along the way, but as many others have said this is a marathon and not a race. Slow and steady is the pace.

Cheers!
CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
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Comments

  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    Excellent choice my friend! I wish you the best in the CCIE pursuit!

    I look forward to following your journey.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • nicklauscombsnicklauscombs Member Posts: 885
    best of luck and I look forward to following your progress!
    WIP: IPS exam
  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    Looking forward to seeing your progress mate. Best of luck!
  • Ryan82Ryan82 Member Posts: 428
    Good luck! We look forward to following your progress in your journey
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Thanks guys...

    I started this morning with an overview of Ethernet basics: media types, pin outs, cable distances, etc. and moved on to VLANS and Virtual Trunking. I followed this up with the corresponding INE videos and started taking notes on my legal tablet that I will review later. While these topics may seem trivial, especially in consideration of the scope of the CCIE studies, it's important to remember that the best Engineers have a solid mastery of the foundation studies. There is much to be said about paying attention to detail afterall!

    Time spent: 2 hours reading/watching CBTs

    Next up will be Spanning Tree Protocol which can be a very detailed and important topic.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Spanning Tree! Oh how much fun I've had with you in the past...

    Tonight was a walk down memory lane with Spanning Tree Protocol and its many editions. It's important to understand the differences between CST, STP (802.1d), MST (802.1s), PVST+, RSTP (802.1w), RPVST+, etc.

    To start with, you have to understand how the Root switch is elected, and then on the rest of the switches how the Root Port (RP), Designated Port (DP), and blocking port is selected. Moving forward know the process that takes place when a STP topology change happens (TCN and TCA bits in the hello messages) as well as how to optimize spanning tree.

    Next we get in to some spanning tree protection mechanisms. Know when and where to use them and most importantly WHY! Also make sure to review how Spanning Tree is affected by port-channels and trunks.

    I can honestly admit I've made a fair amount of money as a consultant working on poor spanning tree design issues. This particular topic is one I feel is one of the most neglected topics in the majority of campus infrastructures! I've actually had another consulting agency tell me that the easiest way to deal with STP issues is to just turn it off and all works well.

    I'm also planning on powering up the 3550 switches for a review on configuring the various spanning tree types, as well as playing around with port priorities and load balancing. I can see a number of fun troubleshooting scenarios that can come out of this topic alone.

    Next on the agenda for tonight's review is IP addressing, CIDR, and NAT theory. Total time spent reading tonight will be ~3hrs.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    More fun with IP Services. Tonight's theory review started with ARP, Proxy Arp, Reverse ARP (RARP) and moved on to the services that use them such as BOOTP and DHCP. This lead into a discussion of gateway redundancy with HSRP, VRRP, and GLBP. It's a good idea to know the Virtual MAC addresses for these technologies and also to refresh how to implement interface tracking to decrement HSRP priority in the event of an outage! From here we moved on to NTP, SNMP, Syslog, WCCP (which I have a little experience through Riverbed gear), IP SLA, Netflow, EEM, RMON, FTP/TFTP, SCP, Telnet, SSH, etc.

    I started to get the feeling Wendell Odom threw as much into one chapter as he could and left it up to use to research further into the topics at this level. I took this as an opportunity to start getting familiar with the Doc CD! I'll review some of the topics in more detail after my VMware vSphere 5 What's New class completes tomorrow.

    Tonight was a 1 hour theory review with no video and no lab time.

    A few links for later:

    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk648/tk362/technologies_configuration_example09186a0080094e90.shtml
    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/ios/12_2/configfun/configuration/guide/fcf018_ps1835_TSD_Products_Configuration_Guide_Chapter.html
    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/ios/12_1/configfun/configuration/guide/fcd303.html
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • RickRandhawaRickRandhawa Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    From what I've seen, most recommend reading TCP/IP I and II before reading the certification guide. Now, I dont know if this is better first hard, but might be something to look into.
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Normally this would be the case, but if you refer back above I have already read TCP/IP Vol I and II and plan to re-read select sections as part of the written theory review. I'm also using the Cisco DocCD as much as possible to prepare for the inevitable lab where that is the only source available.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • RickRandhawaRickRandhawa Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ah, missed that part. Good luck on your journey...I'll be following along!
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    After a long day its time to review the next section... IP Forwarding! This is where a lot of the fun picks up, especially with less reviewed topics such as OER and PfR. I'll put more update notes a little later. Time to get to reading!

    I'm hoping to spend a bit of quality time (4hrs+) tomorrow doing labs to make up for the time I didnt spend the last 2 nights.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    So much for spending quality time doing labs today! I was stuck on the phone most of the afternoon troubleshooting client issues and assisting with design calls. I'm hoping for a more relaxing day tomorrow, but I already know I have a meeting with Juniper and then another with Cisco later in the afternoon to discuss partner strategies and product lines. What fun!

    Tonight's review was on EIGRP. One of the things I decided not too long ago, especially when it comes to the routing protocols, is to not only understand the theory and implementation but also to pay particular attention to the authentication aspects of the protocol. I intend to implement authentication as much as possible when performing the labs! For EIGRP, I also made sure to review how neighborship forms, the metric weights (K values), and verification/debugging commands.

    At this level we should all be familiar with the neighbor and topology tables for EIGRP, so I took it a step further to review what happens when an event occurs, affecting convergence.

    I made sure to review the sections in the CCIE Written R&S, Routing TCP/IP Vol I, and ROUTE FLG (selected sections) and took notes. Time to start paying attention to the details!

    Time spent reading: 1hr
    Time spent reviewing INE Videos: 40min
    Time spent chasing my 2 year old back in bed while trying to study: Too much!
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • jadoukingjadouking Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    That's a pretty good idea about authentication and similar details...!

    I just received the CCIE ECG today.
    Will start next week 'cause I decided to go for JNCIA-JUNOS exam early next week. A Juniper based project is coming very soon... To be kinda prepared with basic cli knowledge is not a bad idea...

    Good luck to you!
    Currently reading: Routing TCP/IP vo1, CCIE OCG 4th Ed, INE ATC videos.
    CCIE R&S written ==> Mar 2012
    CCIE R&S Lab ==> ??
    Getting married ==> ??
    Having children ==> ??
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    jadouking wrote: »
    That's a pretty good idea about authentication and similar details...!

    I just received the CCIE ECG today.
    Will start next week 'cause I decided to go for JNCIA-JUNOS exam early next week. A Juniper based project is coming very soon... To be kinda prepared with basic cli knowledge is not a bad idea...

    Good luck to you!

    Thank you thank you, and good luck on the JNCIA-JUNOS exam! I get to dabble in some Juniper gear but am putting off the JNCIA until further down the line.

    I'm planning to take no short cuts in my approach to the CCIE studies. Its one thing to know the material, its another to know it well! In the labs I'll be making things interesting... IGP authentication, ODR, DHCP for Layer 3 interfaces, PfR, etc... As I go through the labs I'll post some of the "fun things" I decide to change so that others have ideas to borrow.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • vinbuckvinbuck Member Posts: 785
    down77 wrote: »
    So much for spending quality time doing labs today! I was stuck on the phone most of the afternoon troubleshooting client issues and assisting with design calls. I'm hoping for a more relaxing day tomorrow, but I already know I have a meeting with Juniper and then another with Cisco later in the afternoon to discuss partner strategies and product lines. What fun!

    Tonight's review was on EIGRP. One of the things I decided not too long ago, especially when it comes to the routing protocols, is to not only understand the theory and implementation but also to pay particular attention to the authentication aspects of the protocol. I intend to implement authentication as much as possible when performing the labs! For EIGRP, I also made sure to review how neighborship forms, the metric weights (K values), and verification/debugging commands.

    At this level we should all be familiar with the neighbor and topology tables for EIGRP, so I took it a step further to review what happens when an event occurs, affecting convergence.

    I made sure to review the sections in the CCIE Written R&S, Routing TCP/IP Vol I, and ROUTE FLG (selected sections) and took notes. Time to start paying attention to the details!

    Time spent reading: 1hr
    Time spent reviewing INE Videos: 40min
    Time spent chasing my 2 year old back in bed while trying to study: Too much!

    Great idea about authentication, it stands to reason that if continually increase the level of difficulty and operate at that level then you will become more comfortable with it and you'll probably discover interactions/limitations that otherwise you wouldn't have.

    Love the quote about the two year old...i've got one of those too and chasing him around is partly why it took me 11 months to pass ROUTE icon_smile.gif
    Cisco was my first networking love, but my "other" router is a Mikrotik...
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Yeah chasing around a munchkin is always fun! The best times are when I'm on a conference call speaking and he busts in with something hilarious to say. A client recently heard him tell me "Daddy you are on the phone! I'm on the phone too! I talk to Buzz Lightyear, he more fun than your phone call." Everyone nearly died laughing!

    I realized that the more I challenge myself towards the CCIE, the easier things will become so that when it comes time to tackle the real lab, it'll be less of a challenge and more of an adventure!

    Tonight will be the first half review of OSPF ,and I'll probably finish that section as well as IGP Route Summerization, Redistribution, and Troubleshooting on the first flight. If all goes well I'll even finish the BGP review on the second flight and then work on the corresponding INE videos as well. By the end of the trip I have Friday - Monday, I should be about half way finished with the CCIE R&S Certification Guide and 40% finished with the INE videos.

    Now I know I am getting ahead of myself,but I'm guessing I'll have the first text completed by Christmas and I'll start reviewing selected portions of Routing TCP/IP I and II and then take an attempt at the Written exam sometime in January. Once that's out of the way, I'm planning to spend as much time as possible in the INE Vols and working with labs. If I consider part of my CCIP studies as "CCIE Prep work..." then I should be getting close to the 200 hour mark. I'm not tracking hours until I complete the written at which point the clock starts ticking.

    Time spent reading: 90 minutes
    Time spent in labs: 30 minutes (EIGRP review)
    Time wasted researching the features of my new Nikon DSLR... too much!
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • TesseracTTesseracT Member Posts: 167
    What Nikon have you got? I bought a d90 last year, I know it's 'old tech' now but using a 1.8 50mm lens + a 12-24 tokina and loving it.

    Here's the d90+tokina in action:

  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Very nice shot!

    I just upgraded from a D80 to a D7000. I have all Nikon DX glass right now: 35mm F1.8, 85mm f1.8, 18-135 f3.5-5.6, and 70-300mm f4-5.6 VR. I'll probably end up picking up a 28-70 f2.8 and/or a 24-120 f4 VR next year (both FX glass but tack sharp on a dx body). Eventually I'll save up the money for a 70-200 f2.8 VR2... which will be my celebration gift for passing the CCIE!

    I also have a few odds and ends for portrait photography (soft-boxes, flashes, backdrops etc). It's a hobby I enjoy and I'd rather spend the money teaching myself so that I can take great pictures rather than miss opportunities because a pro photographer wasn't available at the time to capture the moment.

    FWIW I really liked the D90 but couldnt justify the cost at the time. The D7000 was an early xmas gift from my wife and I wasn't expecting to get this new toy.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • TesseracTTesseracT Member Posts: 167
    All Nikon glass - verrrry nice. I'm needing a zoom lens as well. What do you think of the 70-300 4-5.6? I'm thinking that's my next purchase. Here's another with the tokina from the same day:

  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    Liking the progress mate! Are you gonna put up a study counter in your signature too?
  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    jadouking wrote: »
    That's a pretty good idea about authentication and similar details...!

    I just received the CCIE ECG today.
    Will start next week 'cause I decided to go for JNCIA-JUNOS exam early next week. A Juniper based project is coming very soon... To be kinda prepared with basic cli knowledge is not a bad idea...

    Good luck to you!

    I just recently passed this exam and I found it significantly easier than the Cisco exams. I bought the official courseware (Intro to Junos OS and Junos Routing Essentials - 2 free exam vouchers too!) from their website and found it to be quite a big meatier than the fasttrack materials.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    down77 wrote: »
    Yeah chasing around a munchkin is always fun! The best times are when I'm on a conference call speaking and he busts in with something hilarious to say. A client recently heard him tell me "Daddy you are on the phone! I'm on the phone too! I talk to Buzz Lightyear, he more fun than your phone call." Everyone nearly died laughing!

    I realized that the more I challenge myself towards the CCIE, the easier things will become so that when it comes time to tackle the real lab, it'll be less of a challenge and more of an adventure!

    Tonight will be the first half review of OSPF ,and I'll probably finish that section as well as IGP Route Summerization, Redistribution, and Troubleshooting on the first flight. If all goes well I'll even finish the BGP review on the second flight and then work on the corresponding INE videos as well. By the end of the trip I have Friday - Monday, I should be about half way finished with the CCIE R&S Certification Guide and 40% finished with the INE videos.

    Now I know I am getting ahead of myself,but I'm guessing I'll have the first text completed by Christmas and I'll start reviewing selected portions of Routing TCP/IP I and II and then take an attempt at the Written exam sometime in January. Once that's out of the way, I'm planning to spend as much time as possible in the INE Vols and working with labs. If I consider part of my CCIP studies as "CCIE Prep work..." then I should be getting close to the 200 hour mark. I'm not tracking hours until I complete the written at which point the clock starts ticking.

    Time spent reading: 90 minutes
    Time spent in labs: 30 minutes (EIGRP review)
    Time wasted researching the features of my new Nikon DSLR... too much!

    You are going well. Once you are through with the Odom book I recommend you hit the Odom test engine and the Boson test engine each day for 6 weeks. Research any questions you struggle with open book. I find that helps your revision for the written and its satisfying to find the correct answer. Helps your understanding of all that stuff you read too. Then do the practice tests closed book for a week, finally printing out the few questions you continually get wrong. There will be a reason for that. Study the solutions for those then take the actual test.

    When you do tha actual exam, spend no more than 2 minutes on any single question and commit to memory topics that give you trouble. If you fail the test you can focus on those areas.

    For example, with OSPF you may find it difficult to calculate costs end to end when you have diverse paths on a diagram, or to predict traffic flow. You may find that you forget the formula to calculate a full mesh, or you may have forgotten what the k values in EIGRP are or how to choose a feasible successor in a show ip eigrp topology output.
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Turgon - Great advice! I will spend some time going over the Boson material for a nice review session before taking the exam! I've been trying to go over not just the high level theory, which has been reviewed MANY times previously in the NP/DP/IP studies, but to also go much deeper into the how and why of the topic. I have a feeling that this level of "curiosity" may cause me to take more time in my attempt, but in the long run may make me that much better of an engineer!

    So I was able to get through over 12 hours of review from friday - monday. I spent about 8 hours reviewing the last parts of OSPF and Redistribution on the first set of flights and then BGP "fundamentals" and the completion of more advanced topics on the drive back to the airport and flights home. Most of the BGP review was still fresh in my mind from the composite, though I did make sure to revisit synchronization and peer groups! My plan is to finish the last little bit of BGP tonight and start moving on to QoS! I have about a week off of work for the holidays and I told my wife that I will be spending a lot of time in theory review while we are with family. I'll be bringing the CCIE Written R&S book as well as Routing TCP/IP I&II books with me for review material over the holiday break. I'm actually hoping to have the majority of this portion of studies completed by the end of the year and follow up with Turgons suggestion and spend time going over the boson to identify and highlight areas where I am weak.

    I mentioned to work that I will be taking the lab attempt Q1 2012 and they all of the sudden asked me to have the exam done by end of January. I'll have to start planning accordingly, but I found out there will be a few "curveballs" thrown at me during 2012 that if I am not careful, could prolong my CCIE studies. More on that down the road!

    One more hour of work, and then hopefully 2-3 hours of review tonight!

    Edit: I'll post some pics taken with the D7000 after the holidays! I'm asking the wife if we can take the little guy to Parrot Jungle in Ft Lauderdale while we are in S. Florida.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Another 2 hours of review tonight, and I've easily passed the 500 page mark in the R&S Written review book. Tonight was a review of QoS Classification and Marking with the corresponding videos from INE.

    I also noticed that INE had emailed out stating they redid the CCIE R&S Written review videos using Brian McGahan rather than Keith as a presenter. I logged into to review the updated video set and found I could only download, not stream the videos. I watched a few of the earlier videos to see the changes and IMO the previous video set feels like it has a little more content. I'll give the new set a review but I'll also make sure to supplement with the "original" set.

    Off to bed so I can pack and prepare for some vacation time.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    One of the benefits of the holiday season is that work slows down a little and I have more time to do other things. Over the last few days I've read up through IP Multicasting and watched many of the videos as well. I'll be spending about 4 hours today lab'ing and back to the reading to finish IP Multicast. I also made sure to go back and review many of the other sections... QoS, OSPF, EIGRP, BGP, Layer 2 Topics, etc. so that they stay fresh in my mind.

    Over the last 6 days I've spent over 24 hours reviewing... lets see if I can keep that up going into NYE.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Good deal! Do you have a date for the written planned yet?
  • nethackernethacker Senior Member Member Posts: 184 ■■■□□□□□□□
    i just don't know when to start my ccie prep.
    JNCIE | CCIE | GCED
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Good deal! Do you have a date for the written planned yet?

    Not yet. Once I finish reading the Written exam guide and start final prep motions I'll schedule the exam. If all goes well I may attempt it mid to late January and then move on to lab prep for 9-10mos, or more!

    I'll say that it helped going through the CCIP before tackling the written.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    nethacker wrote: »
    i just don't know when to start my ccie prep.

    The hardest part is not deciding when to start, but where to start. Like many others have suggested, check out the INE reading list and start there. I would probably pick up Routing TCP/IP Vol 1 first and then towards Vol 2, etc etc etc. There is no better time to start than now (well, tomorrow since its almost 10pm here and the stores are closed).

    Again; I am planning to re-read a lot of Routing TCP/IP Vol1 and 2 as part of the lab prep. There are some areas where I understand the theory but want to make sure it stays fresh in my mind come lab time. There are also some sections I could use a refresher on, and other sections I have no problem with. Since this is a game of patience and practice, I plan to take my time and lab lab lab!

    Off to continue reading IP Multicast before starting CCIE R&S Security which I believe is the next chapter. About 200 pages left to review in this tome.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • jadoukingjadouking Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
    down77 wrote: »
    Not yet. Once I finish reading the Written exam guide and start final prep motions I'll schedule the exam. If all goes well I may attempt it mid to late January and then move on to lab prep for 9-10mos, or more!

    I'll say that it helped going through the CCIP before tackling the written.

    I scheduled it before even starting :D.
    Well. At least I read the first 2 chapters (L2) from the OCG.
    I kinda noticed that the book does not go in depth and also skips many things.
    For example, PVlans configuration is not mentioned. Does this mean that the config part is not covered in the written??
    I'm thinking about re-using the BCMSN book to review some topics (spanning-tree, PVlans...).
    Currently reading: Routing TCP/IP vo1, CCIE OCG 4th Ed, INE ATC videos.
    CCIE R&S written ==> Mar 2012
    CCIE R&S Lab ==> ??
    Getting married ==> ??
    Having children ==> ??
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