Moving to the dark side - CCIE in 2012

jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

I've decided to make the leap to the dark side of IT and take on the huge challenge of the CCIE R&S. To give a bit of background, I have over 13 years experience in Wintel and Virtualisation. I have some previous Cisco consultancy experience from a previous company mostly dealing with switch and router installations. why am I attempting the CCIE? Well in my role as a Wintel & Virtualisation engineer I always found myself talking techy with the network guys so I decided to go learn it - at least then I would know what they are talking about :D.

So 2 years down the road I have completed the CCENT, CCNA and CCNP and have been caught by the networking bug. My quest now is to attempt to gain the CCIE R&S.

I know that its going to be a slog and lots of work will need to be put in, but I'm used to it - I love studying - honest. I've used GNS/Dynamips exstensively for the last year and have also bought a home lab with Ubuntu ( 12Nics) and 4 switches to build a lab system. I also have the INE materials for CCNP and CCIE along with dozens of books that I aquired over time thans to friends and colleagues.

I hope to at least attempt the lab in Dec 2012. Obviously I dont work in a network role at the moment so it will be challenging..

My study plan follows the INE expanded blueprint INE CCIE R/S 4.X Expanded Study Blueprint with links | Initial Draft - CCIE Blog - I think doing the CCIP along the way to learn MPLS, BGP and QoS would be beneficial ( any thoughts on that? )

One thing I have had drummed into me by CCIE colleagues is debug.... How useful is the debug command - Knowing how things debug when working properly sure helps when troubleshooting. An old saying I stay faithful to is. "How do you know its not working if you dont know how it looks when it is working"

I've a few things to do to get my lab fully functional, along with xmas so will be starting in earnest in the first week of January.

Hours reading: 0
Hours labbing: 0
«13

Comments

  • TesseracTTesseracT Member Posts: 167
    Welcome to TE! First post and BANG! -> CCIE blog. I like your style icon_lol.gif
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Congrats. If you are still studying in 12 months time you have a shot. I look forward to your blog.
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys, I read the forums quite a bit and its always interesting, I've been a forum member before on the MS forums but have had issues with email and passwords for some reason where the site didnt recognise me anymore icon_sad.gif so it was easier to create a new account.

    this is a huge challenge for me, I've got a supportive family and good friends and some very supportive CCIE friends which I think may come in useful at some point. Nothing ventured - nothing gained as the saying goes.
  • reaper81reaper81 Member Posts: 631
    Welcome and good luck with your studies! We're a happy bunch going for the IE and a few of us should have a good chance in 2012.
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Welcome and good luck! It is a great journey!
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Xmas is over and started studying properly, I've been going over the L2 section 1.10 spanning tree section of INE blueprint and spent approx 25 hours reading up and watching the INE VoD along with IPexpert modules. I've also been reading and taking notes from the 3650/3750 software config guide from cisco docs and wendell odom CCIE book. There is a lot of reading in the 3650/3750 guide and I will hope to cover it all by the end of January. I break it down in to chapters, print it, read it, take notes and compare to the other material I have.

    Got a few chapters to finish on unicast flooding and storm control then I will spend a little more time in the lab to drive home the theory. I reckon if I spent approx 25% doing labs whilst preping for the written then it should stand me well.

    Hours reading: 25
    Hours labbing: 3
  • reaper81reaper81 Member Posts: 631
    Welcome aboard! Good luck on your journey.
    Daniel Dib
    CCIE #37149
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Grabbed another few hours reading and note taking around VTP and trunking, so I think I have the theory on that nailed. Also spent a few hours on SVI's, Telnet, SSH, Banners etc from section 1.20 of the blueprint - most of it seems to me to be a rehash of CCNA/CCNP material. Either that I overstudied these 2 certs... although I really think the year I spent studying for CCNP is REALLY paying off in terms of providing a lot of core knowledge.

    Missed transparent bridging as I want to dedicate a study session to that by itself when I have no other distractions. I've added this to my weak points list. hopefully this list wont grow too large but I already have some items on it such as Frame-relay and IPv6 - I seem to know just enough on these but that aint going to fly on CCIE - I need to get my finger out and really know these inside out.

    Supplemented the books with a few videos from INE and dare I say it Youtube...

    Hours reading: 29
    Hours labbing: 3
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I'm using the CCIE R/S 4.X Expanded Study Blueprint as my guide and have spent approx 25 hours so far on section 1.10 ( Spanning Tree ). This might be a bit of overkill but I do believe in the 6xP philosophy..... Prior planning prevents piss poor performance... :D

    I've used the CCIE routing and switching cert guide from Wendell Odom along with the 3750/3650 software config guide. I've also watched the INE VoD modules and the IPexpert modules. I've got a few more hours to fully undertand storm control and unicast flooding then I'm going to spend a few days labbing it up as I've now got my lab built , although I have 4x 3550 instead of 3560's it should be enough to allow me to complete some labs. From the other posts it seems a lot of people spend time reading up first then attempting the Written exam before fully moving to labs. I reckon if I spend maybe 25% of my time in practical then it'll help re-inforce the knowledge...

    I aim to spend January going over the Section 1. Layer 2 technologies where I need to concentrate on Frame relay - I know its a weakness at the moment so time will need spent on that later.

    Can anyone tell me if the Boson exam software has sections in it - once I complete L2 technologies can I test my knowledge on that subject only?

    thanks and a happy new year to all.


    You can use the CCIE Boson to test on individual topics like switching or just do the final exam. A useful product to hammer away at as you complete chapters in Odom.
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Few more hours reading and working through INE CCIE written bootcamp course - modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 Not much new covered in it so far from CCNP except WCCP of which I didnt even know existed... hope there's not anymore of that.

    Upcoming modules are
    5.Qos - dont know much about this except from Kevin wallaces 1ExamAMonth.com - Home site - which is 10/10
    6.Wan
    7.IP Multicast
    8.Security
    9.MPLS - havent touched MPLS at all so look forward to it. i hear it banded around as some great saviour of networking
    10.IPv6 - Oh no......
    11.Misc

    Total time - approx 6 hours.. I would recommend it as a really good overview of key concepts - a lot of knowledge contained in it at a good depth to provide a cracking refresher course before diving deep into each subject.

    That will be the INE written bootcamp completed.... I can then move back to deep diving into the each of the blueprint sections.

    I've also changed my signature from reading to studying to incorporate video cbts... I think they count as I take copious notes from themicon_lol.gif.

    Hours studying: 29
    Hours labbing: 3
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Just spent a few hours labbing on Vlans, VTP and etherchannel from INE workbook I

    Flunked the first question - "use the diagram for reference configure access VLAN assignments on SW1, 2, 3, 4 to obtain basic connectivity - well either I'm way out of my depth or tired but I found it difficult to recognize which VLANs belonged where. Spent maybe 20 mins on this unless I was confident that I had the right Vlans and on which interfaces. Transferred this to the physical lan cabling document which helped. Note to self -> must get better at understanding the diagrams and working out how to decipher information into usable content. Now 2:05 am in the UK and I'm off to bed.... no doubt I will be dreaming of Vlans and that darn diagram.

    Hours studying: 29
    Hours labbing: 5
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    Just spent a few hours labbing on Vlans, VTP and etherchannel from INE workbook I

    Flunked the first question - "use the diagram for reference configure access VLAN assignments on SW1, 2, 3, 4 to obtain basic connectivity - well either I'm way out of my depth or tired but I found it difficult to recognize which VLANs belonged where. Spent maybe 20 mins on this unless I was confident that I had the right Vlans and on which interfaces. Transferred this to the physical lan cabling document which helped. Note to self -> must get better at understanding the diagrams and working out how to decipher information into usable content.

    That question actually threw me for a loop too at first, it took me a bit to realize that in the big diagram of the topology, the switches weren't actually switches, but layer 3 nodes, and that I had to go pay attention to the cabling diagram to realize that in order to give R6, R4, and R1 connectivity in vlan 146, I had to go configure the vlans and access ports on switches 1, 2 and 4.

    It was a little sobering, and it taught me that I needed to actually look at the freaking diagrams and understand how the network was put together at layer 1, 2 *and* 3 in order to be able to configure. Gotten alot easier as I went through the book, but I will say this - the devil is in the details, make sure you read and understand what the question is asking for. For me, assumption is the mother of all frak ups
  • vinbuckvinbuck Member Posts: 785
    @ Forsaken GA - First nice BSG reference. Second, how are things going in the CCIE world?...haven't seen you posting as much so i'm guessing you're full bore into lab prep.
    Cisco was my first networking love, but my "other" router is a Mikrotik...
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    vinbuck wrote: »
    @ Forsaken GA - First nice BSG reference. Second, how are things going in the CCIE world?...haven't seen you posting as much so i'm guessing you're full bore into lab prep.

    Yeah, plenty of lab prep, and the holidays are always a busy time. I'm also leaving my current position at the end of this week, so the last few weeks that I have been at work have been caught up in succession and transition work.

    So I've been lurking, just not as much free time to get involved in discussions!
  • nelnel Member Posts: 2,859 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good luck James with your CCIE! whereabouts are you based in scotland? Im in the burgh!
    Xbox Live: Bring It On

    Bsc (hons) Network Computing - 1st Class
    WIP: Msc advanced networking
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi Nel,

    thanks for the encouragement. I live in Falkirk but work in Edinburgh.
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    ok - back to work tomorrow so I thought I'd try and get a good block of studying done today. managed to get the following sections done from INE written bootcamp - must admit after virtually no sleep last night due to 100mph (150kph) winds it was really tough going. Couldnt face the last module which I've transferred to my ipad to sneak in at work tomorrow icon_smile.gif

    5.Qos
    6.Wan
    7.IP Multicast
    8.Security
    9.MPLS
    10.IPv6

    next on my list is Etherchannel, Span, R-Span and flow control.

    Hours studying: 34
    Hours labbing: 3
  • SirsamonSirsamon Member Posts: 221
    Thought i would say hello,

    I am from Glasgow but lived in Penicuik Mid-Lothian for 12 years then moved here to the land of AUS

    GL with the studies.

    :)
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Nice one, would love to move to Aus but the other half wont entertain it at all. Did get to go half way ( Qatar ) for a while but they hated it so back to the rain and wind and snow and sun all in the same day...
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Etherchannel, Span and R-Span covered very quickly today - will need to read over it again at some point.

    I also ordered 30 0.5m patch cables for my lab at 50p each - 2m cables were too long and I got tired of chopping them and recrimping after a paltry 3 attempts... although it was good practice for cable wiring icon_smile.gif

    Hours studying: 35
    Hours labbing: 3
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Frame relay partly covered today, basics only - VC's, DLCI's, P2P, MP, Ping local interface,CIR=Bc/Tc, basic config. I suspect there is a whole lot more I need to be aware of - anyone recommend a book for frame relay that covers all the info needed?

    would anyone recommend Cisco Frame relay configurations by Janathan Chin ?
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Frame relay partly covered today, basics only - VC's, DLCI's, P2P, MP, Ping local interface,CIR=Bc/Tc, basic config. I suspect there is a whole lot more I need to be aware of - anyone recommend a book for frame relay that covers all the info needed?

    would anyone recommend Cisco Frame relay configurations by Janathan Chin ?

    There's not a whole lot on frame on the written test. It's 100 questions covering all topics. Know frame and the issues it causes with distance vector routing protocols. Know frame and ospf types. Know frame encapsulation types and the full mesh calculation. A lot of frame intracacies you will learn as you progress through a vendor workbook for your lab preparations. PPP over frame relay, frame relay bridging, Freek, FRTS and the like. Do study FRTS for the written.
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Turgon, spent a bit of time on FREEK and FRTS which was quite interesting, will pay attention to FR when going over the routing protocols.

    probably total of 4 hours on FR relay today including some reading of cisco docs and INE blogsite on FRTS, A bit of labbing in dynamips messing around with static / dynamic maps and inverse-arp.. tip of the day was learning to shut the interface down when applying encapsulation to prevent the mappings to 0.0.0.0 issue.... one for troubleshooting perhaps icon_smile.gif. Not 100% comfortable with FRTS yet, will need to do some further reading on it. I'm good at formulas so got the ((N-1)*N)/2 for the full mesh comitted.

    The more I learn about networking, the more fascinated I become... People dont give the technology the credit it deserves.... Amazing stuff!!!!

    Hours studying: 38.5
    Hours labbing: 3.5
    Pages of notes taken: 81
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Another session on Frame relay last night and this morning - covered FREEK and FRTS in more depth although I know I'm still not 100% comfortable with them. I read some of the Cisco Frame relay solutions guide - It nearly sent me to sleep - it is probably a good reference book, but it is very dull in the way its written... I know I will have to read it fully... icon_rolleyes.gif

    Moving onto section 1.70 - Implement HDLC and PPP

    Hours studying: 42
    Hours labbing: 3.5
    Pages of notes taken: 88
  • nitesideniteside Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    What a cool thread icon_thumright.gif

    Had to put in my two cents worth. Our stories seem very similiar James: 14 years in the Wintel and VM field and now busy with the CCIE. I am from Cape Town, South Africa and I wrote the written a year ago, Jan 2011. I've just now booked my Lab for the end of May 2012 so wish me luck everone.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    niteside wrote: »
    What a cool thread icon_thumright.gif

    Had to put in my two cents worth. Our stories seem very similiar James: 14 years in the Wintel and VM field and now busy with the CCIE. I am from Cape Town, South Africa and I wrote the written a year ago, Jan 2011. I've just now booked my Lab for the end of May 2012 so wish me luck everone.

    Good luck. Why not start your own study thread on the CCIE board and track your lab prep progress there. We have many candidates this year and it can help.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Another session on Frame relay last night and this morning - covered FREEK and FRTS in more depth although I know I'm still not 100% comfortable with them. I read some of the Cisco Frame relay solutions guide - It nearly sent me to sleep - it is probably a good reference book, but it is very dull in the way its written... I know I will have to read it fully... icon_rolleyes.gif

    Moving onto section 1.70 - Implement HDLC and PPP

    Hours studying: 42
    Hours labbing: 3.5
    Pages of notes taken: 88


    I wouldn't get hung up on either of these two topics for the written. They will make more sense once you start working the scenarios in the INE lab workbook after you pass the theory exam. Keep up the reading - 100 - 250 hours should take over the written requirements.
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Had a day off yesterday - is that allowed.... Took kids to the sports centre on Sunday for swimming where Ifound a quiet spot and got a good few hours on Sunday reading over HDLC, PPP, Multicast and IPv6 in the Odom book, also did a little labbing on Sunday evening.

    Hours studying: 47
    Hours labbing: 6
    Pages of notes taken: 94
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Had a day off yesterday - is that allowed.... Took kids to the sports centre on Sunday for swimming where Ifound a quiet spot and got a good few hours on Sunday reading over HDLC, PPP, Multicast and IPv6 in the Odom book, also did a little labbing on Sunday evening.

    Hours studying: 47
    Hours labbing: 6
    Pages of notes taken: 94

    Not only allowed but essential. Always be ready to stop studying to spend time on family matters or there will be issues long before you accumulate 1000 hours. You could be at it for 2+ years, depends on studytime during the day.
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Member Posts: 45 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Quite correct Turgon - the work/life balance is as important as ever.. there are more important things in life than a job or certification. It happens to be your other half and kids along with happiness... and its a balancing act..

    CCIE is a long slog and for me its a personal challenge but will never become an obsession where it comes between me and family.. I would say I am fortunate as my kids are in their teens now so all they are interested in are "dads taxi" or "dad the banker" icon_smile.gif Heaven help attempting something like this with small kids - kudos to these guys..
Sign In or Register to comment.