Heading for CCNP Voice

Chris_Chris_ Member Posts: 326
Hey Everybody,

Haven't really been on here for a long while. Nearly 2 years since I got the CCNP and life has pretty much stopped me doing any studies since.

Anyway, just thought I'd come on and introduce myself to the Voice community as I embark on my CCNP Voice Journey. I have been reading and loosely studying for Cvoice since New Year, but now I have booked the exam for 3 weeks time and am knuckling down to review everything, lab up some bits and get in the exam zone againicon_study.gif

I don't plan to mess around with this certification and i hope to have all exams done by the end of the year at the latest. i currently work in a 3rd line role supporting a global voice and data network. We have 6 Call Manger clusters supporting 10,000 phones across 40 sites globally and using unity 7 for VM and a mixture of MGCP and H.323 gateways. We also got our first SIP trunk a few weeks ago, so we have a CUBE now too. i spend the majority of my time supporting the largest (7 nodes/20 sites) of these clusters day to day as well as being the 3rd line escalation point for the global 2nd line teams. I have only been in Networking for about 5 years but i have been working with Legacy voice systems for over 15 years with the majority of that spent in Army and Emergency Services communications centres. To quote my old boss 'if you get it wrong here, people start dying......'

Ironically, i made the jump to networking to get away from general telecoms but it is the network stuff that got me my current job and led me back to.........voice!

A lot of the motivation for this is an impending upgrade to 8.6 or 9, not sure which yet. So we have shiny new 8.6 cluster with Unity Connect and CUPS installed in our test environment at work. I can't make it and break it at will, but still a good playground for labs - I've also built a VM cluster at home for the making and breaking bit :)

So CVoice, how has everyone found it? I'm quite enjoying it. A lot of it is repeated material from the CCNA voice that I did a couple of years ago, so feels like revision - although having worked with it for a while, some of the concepts make a lot more sense now. There are a few things that are new to me and i will be focussing on these. Gatekeepers are a bit of an unknown for me, believe it or not (considering the global topology mentioned above) we don't use them at our place. We do have a Global Tandberg/Cisco telepresence system that i am quite involved in, so the h323 zones and bandwidth concepts are not lost on me
CUBE is also new and a bit confusing, please be gentle with me if I ask a few stupid questions about it soon!

My prep so far has been the Kevin Wallace foundation guide, which i find a bit dry and a hard read.....but this is countered perfectly by the undying enthusiasm of Jeremy in the CBT nuggets series. I work on a lot of this stuff every day but I've also built a 3 site lab at home with a 3750 switch, a few 1760s holding PVDM12s, E1, FXS and FXO cards (old I know, but damn cheap and they still do it all, pretty much!)and a pile of 7970 phones.

I hope to make a few encouraging voice friends here that I can debate the tricky stuff with, and maybe even answer some questions myself!

Going all out for Voice. Don't worry Data; I'll never forget you
:study: CVoice [X] CIPT 1 [ ] CIPT 2 [ ] CAPPS [ ] TVOICE [ ]


  • TrifidwTrifidw Member Posts: 281
    Good luck on your journey. I too am starting the CCNP Voice journey (note to self, I must actually sit the CCNA Voice Exam at some point!) and aim to complete it by the end of the year so should follow the same sort of pace.

    I've finished the CVOICE book this evening and did find it quite repetitive at times so will be making my own to-the-point notes from my on page scribbling to revise from before taking the exam.
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    With your experience you should do fine. I've been taking one exam per month and plan to sit to CIPT2 next week. Out of the three Voice exams I have taken so far CVOICE was definitely the most difficult due to the amount of material covered. I'd say ICOMM and CIPT1 were about equal but I have a fair amount of experience with CUCM so CIPT1 I flew through pretty quickly.

    I prepared for CVOICE with Cisco Press Foundation Learning Guide, CBT Nuggets, and typing out configs in GNS3 to get familiar with how to configure certain features.

    Good luck pursuing the Voice track!
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    You are working in the right job to make it through the certs. Good luck.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • wintermute000wintermute000 Banned Posts: 172
    CUBE is a nightmare until you 'get' it. I designed and executed our cluster's 28xISDN --> 3 SIP CUBE migration and it was a definite learning curve coming from formerly a pure MGCP gateway environment. Just when you think you know whats going on a real life scenario will make you realise your dial peer configuration is broken. I actually tore it up and rebuilt the entire dial peer logic / accompanying CUCM RL predigiting to accomodate (the 3 SIP trunks are actually split amongst 2x5 and 1, the 2x5 has separate trunks per state due to that carrier insisting one state = one trunk) around halfway into the project. Had to also work out how to get CUBE to transcode DTMF inband and codec simultaneously (and as a CUBE, not as a CUCM controlled media resource since CUCM does not support DTMF inband). Joy. After surviving that nothing in CVOICE fazes me.

    Incidentally, we're migrating away from CUBE and CUCM now as it is far too limited for our multitenant requirements :) In provider land ACME and Sonus rule the roost. You'd be amazed at what the carrier grade vendor stuff can do and also what CUBE cannot do (e.g. until IOS 15.2 could not apply call treatment on subinterfaces for example, no registration of trunks like y'know every single internet SIP provider does - only on CUBE SP edition on ASRs, cannot proxy endpoint registrations like every SIP vendor on the internet, dial peers are generally retarded and cannot handle overlapping numbers coming in from different sources without predigiting - wait a sec is this a PABX? LOL etc.). I realise I'm rambling OT now but I believe a combination of MS Lync, cheaper mobiles and internet SIP will send Cisco enterprise VOIP down the tubes (the carrier grade version of CUCM already got chucked by all the carriers BTW and its all broadsoft now). After some exposure to the competition you realise just how limited and at the same time ridiculously over-complex Cisco's offerings are. Wait till your boss asks you to put a PIN on your meetme conference bridge in CUCM 8.6. (hint: its coming in 9..... meanwhile, takes me 10 minutes to set it up in asterisk including the SIP trunk back to CUCM....)

    Anyhow I'm going down this path too just to validate my last 6 years wrestling with v4 to v6 to v8 so good luck to you as well.
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