Preparing for my CCIE

lsp2310lsp2310 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello Friends,

My name is Lalit and I am from India, this is my first post and topic too. I am preparing for CCIE, actually I had this in my mind since like 2-3 years, but couldnt and didnt start or give a serious thought about it.

I am like a most volatile liquid that you will find, facing very common problem of lack of concentration, lack of focus, lack of motivation (Well only motivation that now have in my mind for CCIE is money, hard to believe it is but yes). I have habit of testing my knowledge and patience by try and reaching the highest level as far as studies concerned, academically I achieved highest degree, and now CCIE is the highest thing in the Network World. (Ok, its architect now, but for me CCIE still at the top level)

Sometime I feel ashamed of myself, I call myself a so called Network Engineer but when I ask myself what is your contribution to the world? I get the answer from within, nothing. In which subjects you have mastery where in you can answer any and everything about it, answer - Nothing.

I got the below books for the preparation:

1. TCP/IP Volume I and II - Jeff Doyle
2. CCNP routing and switching study guide
3. QoS Exam certification guide
4. MPLS Architecture
5. BGP by Sam Halaby

You all may or may not believe it, I have CCNP switching book since 2008 and still I havent read it complete. I have all these all books like for almost an year but not touched any of it seriously. Slowly I am becoming a laughing stock whenever CCIE comes to the picture, it is very demotivating and depressing when people make fun about me not being a CCIE, I agree it is my fault. But now I want to start from fresh, like a new kid.

The problems that I am facing:

1. Life has became way too easy for me since last 1 year, hell lot of time after office hours and I end doing nothing yes literally nothing.
2. Social networking sites killing me and my time like hell!
3. I spend too much time thinking about my bike and rides (I love this part of my life, and I enjoy it fullest)
4. Like I said earlier, lack of concentration, lack of focus, lack of motivation. I can keep myself motivated for couple days and again on 3rd day I do nothing. Spend useless hours on laptop. In short I am very indiscipline as far as time usage is concern.
5. I even can study in the office, but I dont do it. Reason - just love the comfort (Hate to write it, but thats the truth), I am getting into comfort zone from which it will be hell lot of difficult to come out, I know I can it may be difficult but not impossible.

I am a CCIP, JNCIA-ER (Expired), F5 LTM Certified. Please do not ask me anything about CCIP as I did it like 1 and half year ago and now its all gone!

I can take out 3-4 hours a day for the studies. I request all the senior members, current members, CCIE, CCIE aspirants please help me over come these problems and also help me preparing for CCIE. I want to contribute in the technical discussions, help other, but I am helpless how can help others? I am like a blank slate, I just want a push to get it, I know I can do it, but I dont do it, this is my problem.

I am really looking for your all assistance. I want my 5 digit number.

- Lalit

Comments

  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Posts: 2,475Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Good luck! Be sure to keep us updated.
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • lsp2310lsp2310 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank You James, for the wishes. I will keep you all updated with the progress.

    I will brief you all the studies that I am doing.

    I am studying Switching from CCNP switching book, I am listening to CBT Nuggets Switch videos and after the video I am reading the relevant chapters from the book.

    I have shortlisted below chapters from the CCNP switching book to read, please suggest if that will be enough for me or I should add something in it.

    Below are the topics I am going to go through for the switching part.

    Chapter 3: Initial configuration and troubleshooting of the multilayer switch
    Chapter 4: Implement and configuring VLANs
    Chapter 5: Understanding and configuring 802.1 D, S and W spanning tree protocols.
    Chapter 6: Advanced features of STP and troubleshooting (Includes all kind of guards and filters)
    Chapter 7: Other advanced switching features (Etherchannel, CDP, UDLD etc)
    Chapter 8: Inter VLAN routing
    Chapter 9: CEF and MLS
    Chapter 12: All about HA (HSRP, VRRP and GLBP)
    Chapter 14: Securing the Cisco Switched network
    Chapter 17: Performance and troubleshooting tools (SPAN)

    Topics I am skipping from the CCNP switch book:

    Chapter 1: Introduction to the switching
    Chapter 2: Roles of the switches in the network
    Chapter 10: QoS in MLS
    Chapter 11: Multicasting in switching.
    Chapter 13: IP telephone in Switching
    Chapter 15: Switch Architecture
    Chapter 16: Metro Solutions
    Chapter 18: Wireless

    Please let me know if the chapters that I have seperated are making some sense and good to study. Please add if I have missed out on anything.

    - Lalit
  • QHaloQHalo Posts: 1,488Member
    I know I can do it, but I really dont want to do it, this is my problem.

    I am really looking for your all assistance. I want my 5 digit number.

    So confused...
  • lsp2310lsp2310 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    QHalo wrote: »
    So confused...

    I am sorry for the confusion, corrected it.

    I know I can do it, but I dont do it, this is my problem.
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Posts: 2,475Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    lsp2310 wrote: »

    Please let me know if the chapters that I have seperated are making some sense and good to study. Please add if I have missed out on anything.

    - Lalit


    I'd add Ken Clark's LAN Switching book and Cisco docs to your list.
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • MrBrianMrBrian Posts: 520Member
    I think you just need to believe in yourself more! Plus, understand that this will not come quick and easy. The beginning of the studies will be the hardest, but once you get in a groove it will be easier to accept new information into your head. It's like working out. If you haven't worked out in a long time, then start a regimen, the first week or so your body will be very sore.. but if you keep working out then eventually you will recover faster and notice you're not getting nearly as sore. Gradually you'll be able to work out harder and longer. This is like studying to me. It's very hard and uncomfortable at first, but once you get used to the feeling than you can sit down for hours on end and go at it.

    Another point I want to make is don't try to look for the finish line. Focus on putting in consistent study and know that this will be a part of your life for some time to come. Just accept it, or else failure will be a real option. Your lifestyle will have to change somewhat, but you can still do hobbies that you enjoy, just be disciplined. It's all about the sacrifice. Start a steady grind of study and labs and you will slowly start seeing progress. You got the CCIP in the past so I'm sure your aptitude isn't the problem. It sounds like its your discipline. Get on your grind, make yourself proud!!
    Currently reading: Internet Routing Architectures by Halabi
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Try a study thread on here and log your hours. It's not obligatory and we have many CCIE candidates who choose not to and that's fine. But it keeps you honest and can be a motivator. Other candidates chip in as well to offer encouragement, I know that has helped me. Lots of smart people try to be CCIE's and fail. It requires discipline as well as intellect. Find that in yourself.
  • lsp2310lsp2310 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    jamesp1983 wrote: »
    I'd add Ken Clark's LAN Switching book and Cisco docs to your list.

    Thank you James for the books suggestion, I do have a soft copy of Ken Clark's book, I will refer it.

    Also I will refer Cisco doc of latest IOS release, will be appropriate to use?

    - Lalit
    MrBrian wrote: »
    I think you just need to believe in yourself more! Plus, understand that this will not come quick and easy. The beginning of the studies will be the hardest, but once you get in a groove it will be easier to accept new information into your head. It's like working out. If you haven't worked out in a long time, then start a regimen, the first week or so your body will be very sore.. but if you keep working out then eventually you will recover faster and notice you're not getting nearly as sore. Gradually you'll be able to work out harder and longer. This is like studying to me. It's very hard and uncomfortable at first, but once you get used to the feeling than you can sit down for hours on end and go at it.

    Another point I want to make is don't try to look for the finish line. Focus on putting in consistent study and know that this will be a part of your life for some time to come. Just accept it, or else failure will be a real option. Your lifestyle will have to change somewhat, but you can still do hobbies that you enjoy, just be disciplined. It's all about the sacrifice. Start a steady grind of study and labs and you will slowly start seeing progress. You got the CCIP in the past so I'm sure your aptitude isn't the problem. It sounds like its your discipline. Get on your grind, make yourself proud!!

    Hi Brain,

    Thanks for those encouraging words. You are 100% right about the working out, I will start from where I actually started that is switching, I am reading it little every day, now I will try and extend it by 15-30 mins everyday.

    You are also spot on about the lifestyle, I will be saying a big NO to the useless things like social networking, I think it just wastes time and add no value. As far as hobbies are concerned I will keep them running as they refreshes me.

    Thanks again Brain for taking time out and helping me out.

    - Lalit
    Turgon wrote: »
    Try a study thread on here and log your hours. It's not obligatory and we have many CCIE candidates who choose not to and that's fine. But it keeps you honest and can be a motivator. Other candidates chip in as well to offer encouragement, I know that has helped me. Lots of smart people try to be CCIE's and fail. It requires discipline as well as intellect. Find that in yourself.

    Thanks Turgon, you are absolutely right about starting study thread. I will post my study hours on this thread itself along with what I have covered. As you rightly said, this will keep me honest and motivating which is very important for me. I will try and keep myself disciplined, I know it will be hard for me, but I will do it, because I know I can!

    Also the blogs written by other members here are very good, I liked the blog of reaper81, it is very well written.

    - Lalit
  • lsp2310lsp2310 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Managed to complete 1 topic from Switching book yesterday, total of 2 and half hours spent. Couldnt study much today, probably will study MPLS from INE CoD as I have to give presentation on MPLS on Monday in office, just a brief about MPLS to office colleagues. So I will be studying MPLS for next 3 days, as I have to brush up lot of things from it. I guess Videos and powerpoint slides would be sufficient to get over it.

    - Lalit
  • davidspirovalentinedavidspirovalentine Posts: 352Member
    Hi Lalit,

    I just wanted to say congratulations on taking the first steps, the road is long but the rewards are worth it...

    Kind Regards,
    David
    Failure is a stepping stone to success...
  • lsp2310lsp2310 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Noob Alert!

    I have seen many of us here are preparing hard for the CCIE and gladly I am also one of them.

    I have a noob question.

    What is more convenient to use to practice lab, a high end laptop or a high end desktop? I would be practicing on GNS. Currently I have a company provided laptop with me, the security policies are very stringent with the laptop so I dont think laptop can be real help here for me to practice.

    So question: A high end laptop (Costly affair) or a high end desktop (Not so costly affair)

    PS. Sorry for staying away for a long period of time. I had couple of crashes from my motorcycle and now I am absolutely fine and also lately work pressure didnt allow to contribute to my CCIE studies and here.

    Thanks.
    - Lalit
  • mapletunemapletune Posts: 316Member
    it really depends on your situation.

    (i'm not trying to give advice to CCIE's to be, but just offering some thoughts)

    For most people, imo, a desktop would prove to be more versatile. You'd be able to get a motherboard that supports 3 PCI cards or get tons of onboard USB ports, multiple physical drives to help make dual/triple booting easier, etc. This is useful if you decide to go GNS3 + Switches for your CCIE lab in the future.

    However, for some people, mobility is even more important. If you are constantly moving between hotels, airports, etc, maybe a laptop with GNS3 can provide you with flexible schedules to practice your labs wherever you are.

    Since you mentioned GNS3, you probably already know of this link: Switching - GNS3

    Basically, with a laptop + GNS3 you'd be looking at QinQ tunneling to a breakout switch such as a 3750, and then to your switching lab. Either that, or get a USB hub (or thunderbolt, whatever your budget is...) + tons of USB/Thunderbolt-RJ45 ethernet adapters. (12)

    With a desktop, you get more flexibility. Dual boot Win/Linux, and/or MacOSX, and possibly set up 3x quad nics.

    My vote is for a desktop/racked enclosure. but that's just me =p
    Studying: vmware, CompTIA Linux+, Storage+ or EMCISA
    Future: CCNP, CCIE
  • lsp2310lsp2310 Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    mapletune wrote: »
    it really depends on your situation.

    (i'm not trying to give advice to CCIE's to be, but just offering some thoughts)

    For most people, imo, a desktop would prove to be more versatile. You'd be able to get a motherboard that supports 3 PCI cards or get tons of onboard USB ports, multiple physical drives to help make dual/triple booting easier, etc. This is useful if you decide to go GNS3 + Switches for your CCIE lab in the future.

    However, for some people, mobility is even more important. If you are constantly moving between hotels, airports, etc, maybe a laptop with GNS3 can provide you with flexible schedules to practice your labs wherever you are.

    Since you mentioned GNS3, you probably already know of this link: Switching - GNS3

    Basically, with a laptop + GNS3 you'd be looking at QinQ tunneling to a breakout switch such as a 3750, and then to your switching lab. Either that, or get a USB hub (or thunderbolt, whatever your budget is...) + tons of USB/Thunderbolt-RJ45 ethernet adapters. (12)

    With a desktop, you get more flexibility. Dual boot Win/Linux, and/or MacOSX, and possibly set up 3x quad nics.

    My vote is for a desktop/racked enclosure. but that's just me =p

    Very precisely put. Thanks!

    You already mentioned what are the advantages of desktop and just add few more, I can have 2 identical monitors connected together to have workbook running on one and all the PuTTy sessions on others, on laptop too I can have an added monitor but the size wont match. Secondly keyboard on laptop is small which might endup in numb fingers if we sit for hours doing a lab on laptop, on laptop too I can fit USB keyboard but its an extra hardware also there goes my 1 USB port.

    Heart says laptop, mind says desktop. I wont be discussing any configuration related things for laptop or desktop here as this is not the right place to do it. :)

    - Lalit
  • routergodsroutergods Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hello,

    My first post... so I might as well make it a zinger.

    On my CCIE studies, I purchased BOTH a decent laptop and built a high-end desktop. At first, I thought I could get away with a Core i7 laptop (8GB RAM and recently upgraded to a hybrid SSD Momentus XT). Definitely portable and it's capable of running the INE "RelativityDrive" topo just fine. After going "beast mode" into my studies and forming a study group... I realized that many people don't have a powerful enough computer to run a virtual CCIE topology, plus it really sucks to have GNS3 blow up on you during training session. My solution was building a 32GB monster desktop that could run at least 6 instances of Linux with GNS3 running inside. One instance was for me and five instances for friends.

    I overclocked the cpu to 4.2 GHZ on air... could have gone higher, but really didn't need to. The SSD was AWESOME... I will never buy dinosaur drives again. I can boot and fire up 5 vms in less than a minute. Seriously, the speed/IOPs of an SSD is like wielding Thor's Hammer and Captain America's shield at the same time.

    Computer specs with links/pricing at the time of purchase (current prices will vary)

    CPU-Core i7 3770K 339.99
    Newegg.com - Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K

    CPU Cooler-CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO 30.99
    Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+

    Motherboard Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 M 139.99
    Newegg.com - ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

    32 GB RAM Gskill Ripjaws 16 (2 x icon_cool.gif 114.99
    Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GXM

    Case Antec 900 99.99
    Newegg.com - Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Upgraded USB 3.0

    Power Supply Thermaltake 89.99
    Newegg.com - Thermaltake TR2 RX 750W Bronze W0382RU ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

    Video Card Integrated

    Hard Drive Crucial M4 256GB SSD 209.99
    Newegg.com - Crucial M4 CT256M4SSD2 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

    Total 1025.93

    I did buy a cheaper $150 graphics card later because I wanted to play HoN :) Add in monitors and you're looking at $1500-$1600 grand total.

    In your situation, you are already lugging around a work laptop. Do you really want to carry around a second laptop with you as well? If you're OK with that... Core i7 laptops are under $1000 and just upgrade the RAM to 8GB since most of them come with 4 or 6 GB. Replace the hard drive with a hybrid SSD or if you have the money go full SSD.

    If you're able to at least install GNS3 on your work laptop, then you can run dynamips on RackSpace or Amazon. Set your .net files to point to Rackspace/Amazon and you're in business. Not that difficult to set up and pretty fun as well. Currently Rackspace is around 24 cents/hour for the 4GB VM and 48 cents/hour for the 8GB VM. The 4GB can run RelativityDrive while the 8GB can run the 32 device Troubleshooting topology.

    Someone I know very very very very well is currently working on complete instructions and a video on using Rackspace and Amazon for CCIE studies.

    When you're rocking multiple computers, cloud utilities are your friend. Mandatory installs are dropbox, skydrive and evernote !!!

    TLDR
    1. Build desktop and links for pricing
    2. Rackspace
    3. Core i7 laptops are cheap
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