passed CCNA Voice this morning

macattackermacattacker Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
Passed with 988/1000 this morning.
Here are a few comments that may help others.

How does CCNA Voice study compare to regular CCNA ? :
Easier, because you already have the CCNA foundation knowledge in place and the voice field is narrower than CCNA. It is still hard work (see below) but not nearly as hard as a newbie learning CCNA from scratch.
After getting through CCNA, when you first look at CCNA Voice material it seems quite easy.
However that is deceiving. It is actually quite a challenge to familiarize yourself with the functions of each component in the Unified suite of applications and the roles that each one performs.
The concepts involved can also be confusing, especially CSS, partitions, COR lists, profiles, pilots and route patterns. Reporting is another big area, which is rather boring, but must be understood well in order to pass.
So don't underestimate the time it will take to get a good solid, grasp on the material. For me, it took about two months and that included building a home lab. It takes a lot of time before it all starts to click together.

Motivation and time:
For me, there was no need to attend classes. In fact there were no voice classes available where I live. You can teach yourself this subject, but you MUST have strong motivation, time and self-discipline.

Should you build a home lab ?
Absolutely, I would not recommend to do it without one. Sure, you could pass without a lab, but you will not have the familiarity and deep understanding that comes with manually putting things together. And, yes, it really is a thrill to get your first phones ringing.
Sure it will cost a fair bit of cash to get set up, but you can just recoup that money by flogging the gear off on Ebay after the exam, or keep it to carry on studying CCNP Voice.
Don't bother trying to set up virtual labs using sim software. It is too complex and then may not work properly. Just pressure mom or granny to give you some cash and then buy the real gear.

Common sense:
Like with all certifications, don't bother taking the exam unless you know the subject through and through. If you happen to wing the test without knowing the subject properly, you will only get caught out in the workplace and will probably get fired in the first week when the boss realiizes you don't really know what you are doing.
When you are prepping for Voice, view it as an exercise in learning the material, NOT just cramming enough info to wing the exam.

Study material:
Of course the main source is Jeremy Ciaora's video series and his book. But he does talk a lot of crap which stretches the videos out to many, many hours. I wish he would be more concise. I really don't need to know about how cute his rugrats are, or a 10 minute story about how much dog hair he has on the floor.
I found it was essential to combine both i.e. you can't get by just watching the videos. There is not enough detail in them. In addition, reading is a more effective method of learning for most people.
I would read the book and then when I couldn't read anymore, I would put his videos on to break the monotony. That worked well for me. I listened to his videos three times. It took that for the material to sink in to my brain. Each time you relisten, it all clicks together much better. Once is not enough.

Now, lets get started on prep for CCNP Voice !

Comments

  • DiggsDiggs Member Posts: 97 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Congrats on the pass - awesome score!
  • fadhilfadhil Member Posts: 200
    congrats on pass !!!!
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well done, well done and good luck with the NP
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • danstardanstar Member Posts: 136
    Bravo! Congratulations bro and thanks for sharing a little info about the Exam. I agree about the LAB and I wanna do the same thing. I wanna go the Voice track and also want to be good at what I do. I am saving up some money for a lab. Please tell me, how much did it cost you to set a lab up ? I am so desperate of this, please do get in touch as soon as you can. And also the equipments I need to buy to set up.
    Preparing for CCNA Certification :study:
    Up Next: CCNP
    Onto the Next: CCNA Voice
    And Umm: CCNP Voice
  • lincis_auslincis_aus Member Posts: 50 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi,

    Thanks for your comprehensive post about your experience. I'm sure all of us here appreciate it.

    Just a quick question:

    How do they test you (if at all?) for CCP in the exam? Do they concentrate more on the CUCM GUI Side, or CCP GUI side?

    I am very curious on how they do CUCM sims...


    Cheers
  • macattackermacattacker Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi Danstar, for my CME lab I used a 2801 router, a 3550 switch (power inline), two 7940 phones, a laptop for config purposes. That is all you need to set up a CME system.
    Just install hyperterminal and solarwinds TFTP server onto the laptop, buy a USB-serial converter for router config, and that will serve as your config machine and also as a data vlan host on the network for testing purposes.
    You don't need to waste money buying FX0/FXS ports for CCNA voice. You only need to know the theory behind them which is easy enough.
    I bought the gear (minus laptop) all second hand and it cost me the equivalent of about USD$500. But I live in a small country so prices are a bit higher than if you lived somewhere big like the USA or possibly India.
    I did not bother setting up a CUCM/CUC/CUPS ESXi system but I will do it now that I have passed CCNA Voice and am studying towards CCNP. I found that having a CME lab was adequate to pass the exam but it still would have been nice to have had hands on with a CUCM system.
    A CUCM virtual machine should come to about the same cost again, as I will have to buy a brand new PC with a good amount of power and probably multiple hard drives.

    Hello Lincis Aus, It is important to understand the CUCM/CUPS/CUC GUI and CME CLI to succeed in voice. CCP is really only a shortcut for newbies who don't like the CLI. You will likely not find CCP being used much in production environments by professionals. I did not focus too deeply on CCP.
  • danstardanstar Member Posts: 136
    Thanks for the info macattacker. I am not sure where to get this equipments you have listed as I have to be honest with you, I'm not familiar with the Voice track stuffs. So all I need is a 2801 router, 3550 switch (power inline), two 7940 phones and I already have a laptop. Hyperterminal and Solarwinds TFTP.. forgive me but I only use the Putty to access my gns router.. so I may not be so keen with these things. Also a USB-serial converter, I think I have an interface like that for my laptop but I am not sure so I may have to buy one. I think I can find these stuff on ebay.. and buy them... thanks a lot for the info bro
    Preparing for CCNA Certification :study:
    Up Next: CCNP
    Onto the Next: CCNA Voice
    And Umm: CCNP Voice
  • macattackermacattacker Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
    yes, you can find that stuff on Ebay no problem. Yes, any telnet app will do like hyperterminal or putty.
    Just make sure the 2801 you buy has the operating system that includes CME.
    Also check the DSP is still inside the router as some people take them out.
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    Congrats and I echo your comments comparing it to the CCNA. Good luck on your CCNP Voice goal. In the same boat myself, recently passed CCNA Voice and currently 1/3 of the way through CVOICE.
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    lincis_aus wrote: »
    Hi,

    Thanks for your comprehensive post about your experience. I'm sure all of us here appreciate it.

    Just a quick question:

    How do they test you (if at all?) for CCP in the exam? Do they concentrate more on the CUCM GUI Side, or CCP GUI side?

    I am very curious on how they do CUCM sims...


    Cheers

    No sims in the CCNA Voice. Just be familiar with screen shots for Config.
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