worth doing CCNP SP as precursor to CCIE?

wintermute000wintermute000 Banned Posts: 172
Hi all

My question is simple: worth doing CCNP SP as a stepping stone/intro to CCIE?
If it didn't have all the IOS XR stuff it'd be a no brainer. MPLS, MPBGP/complex BGP, QoS, multicast, ipv6.....

I am also concerned clock is ticking on CCIE v4 but conversely it might be a smarter idea to concentrate on CCNP SP, wait for the CCIE v5 to come out then study / lab targeting v5 instead of starting v4 now then getting a 6 month deadline in a few months.

Finally, this may sound stupid, but is there any kind of bias against having too many P level certs? I'm about to clean off voice. If I do SP then I'll have five P level certs total. Do employers discriminate/think 'why isn't this guy a CCIE instead' etc.? I know this is a stupid question since the IE does not cover voice or firewalls to name two of the P level certs but just curious about the perception out there.


  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I have no advice as such mate, but we were having a very similar discussion at work the other day and one of our architects said he was taking his fifth NP cert shortly. At this, his manager asked him why he wasnt making the push towards the IE. To this he replied that he wanted to be more well-rounded and be able to get his hands on multiple pies than have one massive pie. More varied work he said would keep him interested. The manager said he'd be more likely to hire an IE rather than a 5x NP guy, he reckons the divide between the NP and the IE was massive (which isnt insignificant, as we all know) and someone with the IE would appeal more to his clients. The manager continued on and said it was also likely that someone may think - I wonder why this guy hasnt gone for the IE, wouldnt be a dealbreaker though but I'd like to find out why. So yeah it's likely that a manager may find it intriguing as to why you dont have the IE. I guess a legit reply would be - I'd like to be as well-rounded as possible and be able to offer you multiple advanced skills. Besides, it's a personal goal of mine to collect the entire set.

    Good luck with whatever you do mate!
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  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    If your goal is the CCIE R&S I'd go straight for that rather than veering off on the SP track. The XR won't be useful and the MPLS/BGP stuff will be over kill. Seems like it would be more time wasted than put to good use for your ultimate goal of CCIE R&S.

    As far as all the P level certifications, do you work with all that stuff you are certified in? If so it's a plus that you certified in it when I look at your resume. Shows you take learning what you are working on seriously. If you don't have any experience and just got the certs I'd be grilling you in the interview as first thing that would probably come to mind is dumper.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • wintermute000wintermute000 Banned Posts: 172
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yes I do work on all of it daily basis :) ASAs on my perimeter, CUCM 8.5 cluster trunking SIP providers via CUBE, and an all cisco R&S network. I've also got a resume that verifies all that experience - everywhere I've gone I've been dragged into security and voice, and as you may know, that kind of experience tends to snowball ("oh we're looking for someone who knows CUCM as well, lets hire the guy who knows CUCM vs the pure R/S guy). I also do a lot of design work so your story struck a chord :) The Sec credential is probably a bit of a vanity one as we don't do a lot of actual 'work' on our firewalls, but I went through some hairy times being thrown into Sec jobs and 'figured out' ASAs from brute forcing google, so I wanted the digits to back up my experience. Its the same with Voice, in a former life we stood up a v4 cluster from scratch (neither me nor my then tech lead have yet finished off our CCVPs LOL), and since then pretty much all my jobs bar one involved CUCM in the environment.

    Mind you these days with the way technology is, another NP may very well be more relevant than an IE, but that is in eye of the beholder. e.g. say your company is migrating to Nexus. What's more useful, a CCNP DC or a CCIE? I've seen CCIEs totally bomb a Nexus implementation because someone tossed them the keys thinking 'IE = master of everything cisco'. As us in the profession knows, its not quite like that.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I would have said that even if Cisco change the CCIE to v5, any work towards it would not be a waste. I am in the early stages of taking on CCIE and well, if they change it, they change it. Not a lot I can do about it, just need to adapt and get on with it.
  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    I'd say about 60% of the work put towards the CCNP-SP will help towards the CCIE-RS as its pretty much BGP and MPLS on steroids. And yes it's IOS-XR, but everything you learn you have to know on IOS-XE anyway.

    It will also answer a lot of the questions you might raise in you're R&S studies like "when would I ever need more than 2 labels in an MPLS stack" or "what is the actual application of a local QoS group" or "how does an end to end LSP work when it travels more than one provider"

    If you don't play with XR or have rack time somewhere that has an ASR9k/GSR/CRS then you will find it difficult
  • wintermute000wintermute000 Banned Posts: 172
    Thanks all. I think I've been talked out of it, despite my fascination with MP-BGP and Q-in-Q (especially in combination with VRFs being delivered over VLANs Q-in-Qed into VRF-lite or MP-BGP aggregation LOL). Also helps I don't work with a Tier 1/2 provider so we don't directly access the MPLS/metro ethernet layer (nor have any XR gear in prod) and pretty much see things like a large enterprise would, so the CCIE would actually help me more in daily life along with career advancement.

    Thank you to all for your opinions
  • wintermute000wintermute000 Banned Posts: 172
    Well in another topic some of the guys set me straight re: expiry date of CCIE R&S v4. Since there's no way (unless I stop working!!! touch wood) I'll be able to clean it off before EOY, I've decided to start studying for the CCNP SP with a focus towards prepping for CCIE R&S i.e. go as hard as possible on BGP, MPLS, multicast, QoS, and just do enough rack rental to get by the XR stuff. Even if I don't get to the finishing point (esp. the SPCORE and EDGE exams) no doubt it will only be beneficial to study and lab BGP, MPLS etc. (and especially as the reading lists look suspiciously similar.... internet routing architectures, mpls fundamentals, etc. etc.). Figure it should take me ~6 months by which time the v5 materials/workbooks etc should be on the market, and I go into it already boned up on half the material. This may sound arrogant but having done enterprise R&S for so long I don't think I'll have a lot of trouble on the switching and IGP side (esp. as I currently run OSPF in a metro ethernet topology which I will freely admit made me hit the OSPF books hard as I relearnt all the idiosyncracies you don't have to deal with in a provider MPLS-VPN).

    Just need work to stop throwing voice work at me and it should be gravy (though what I wouldn't give to teleport back one year in time so I can just focus on R&S!!!)
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