CCIE Reading List: what is overkill?

wintermute000wintermute000 Banned Posts: 172
Been gathering my wits for my CCIE push and would like esp. certified guys to comment on reading lists.
I can't imagine everyone reads everything so what do people think is sufficient?

So far I have following sitting on my shelf:

Official Cert Guide (the one from Odom)
Routing TCP/IP vol. 1 and 2
MPLS Fundamentals
MPLS and VPN architectures vol. 1 and 2
Layer 2 VPN architectures
Deploying IPv6 networks
IPv6 Fundamentals
Internet Routing Architectures
QoS for Ip/MPLS networks

Thats a heck of a lot of books (though in fairness I would have ended up reading a lot of it anyway directly for work purposes).

Am I overdoing it? How long do you guys spend reading before your brain melts? I would prefer to focus on written exam then hit labs hard (though I'm mindful to do SOME labbing with the reading to let the fundamentals sink in and not go too far with the black/white approach).

My aim is to get the written out of the way by the end of the year (with some labbing already done) so I can aim for several lab attempts before v4 goes out of date (which should be end of next calender year, if they announce v5 at next year's cisco live like the rumourmill says), say next June for first crack, 6 month buffer for future attempts.


  • lrblrb Member Posts: 526
    I've only passed the written so there are better people to comment than me but here goes:

    Official Cert Guide (the one from Odom) - Yes. Front to back
    Routing TCP/IP vol. 1 and 2 - Yes and yes. Front to back (minus IS-IS from Vol1)
    MPLS Fundamentals - Yes. All chapters except the ATM one but you can probably skip the VPLS and AToM sections
    MPLS and VPN architectures vol. 1 and 2 - No - probably overkill for the R&S
    Layer 2 VPN architectures - As above
    Deploying IPv6 networks - No
    IPv6 Fundamentals - Yes. Front to back
    Internet Routing Architectures - Yes. Front to back
    QoS for Ip/MPLS networks - No.

    In addition to the books above, I've read:
    QoS exam cert guide - front to back
    Qos enabled applications - front to back.

    For most topics I also watched the INE ATC videos after reading about them, and did *most* of the Vol1 sections to boot.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If anything, you're underdoing it with that list. :)

    Nothing on switching.
    Nothing on multicast other than a chapter in the Doyle Vol II book.
    Too much on MPLS IMO.

    Going down the INE Expanded blueprint, here's the book(s) I read on that topic.

    L2 Switching: Cisco LAN Switching
    Frame Relay: Cisco Frame Relay Solutions (this gets you some FRTS knowledge too which comes in handy later)
    IPv4 Routing: Routing TCP/IP Volume I and Volume II, Practical BGP, Cisco Express Forwarding
    IPv6 Routing: IPv6 2nd Edition & IPv6 ABC
    MPLS: MPLS Fundamentals Chapters 1-4, 6-7
    Multicast: Interdomain Multicast Routing
    Network Security: Network Security Technologies & Solutions Chapters 1-5, 7?-8, 11, 20
    QoS: I didn't really care for any of the ones I read. You can read the theory only QoS Enabled Network and supplement it with the QoS ECG. I read both.
    Optimize the Network/Network Services: I didn't come across any books that really covered either of these topics. I think you'd be fine with Cisco Docs + INE Workbooks.

    Definitely make sure you go over the sub-topics in Optimize the Network and Network Services and learn about it somehow. The coverage in the Cert Guide is insufficient. Definitely have some basic hands on for the major parts of each domain. That should carry you through the Written. I thought the INE ATC combined with their Weeks 1-8 Fundamentals Warmup came in very handy.

    Also, the v4 lab should probably be out of date by the end of THIS year, not next year. Current speculation is that the v5 will be announced at Cisco Live in June this year, which would give you until the end of this year to finish. At best you have until June of next year because I think it's basically a done deal that the new version gets announced this year based on what I've heard.

    Get a subscription to Safari Books Online. :)
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • down77down77 Member Posts: 1,009
    Routing TCP/IP vol. 1 and 2
    MPLS Fundamentals
    MPLS and VPN architectures vol. 1 and 2
    Layer 2 VPN architectures
    Deploying IPv6 networks
    IPv6 Fundamentals
    Internet Routing Architectures
    QoS for Ip/MPLS networks

    Looks more like a CCIE SP reading list. Like Zartanasaurus said, skim back on the MPLS studies (Just MPLS Fundamentals is fine), skim back on IPV6, and make sure you add in more Switching and IOS Services.

    The best thing you can do is to review the Official Blueprint and/or Expanded INE blueprint and use that to determine how much additional reading you need to do on the various topics.
    CCIE Sec: Starting Nov 11
  • wintermute000wintermute000 Banned Posts: 172
    Thanks guys I didn't realise it was going to v5 so soon. Nothing to do but suck it up and wait for all the training providers to put up v5 workbooks and labs. Will beef up layer two reading and cut excess mpls.

    re: why there's so much MPLS originally, I followed this list, all the MPLS books and layer 2 vpns were on there... (also I love MPBGP lol)

    Re safari ha I don't mind paying a few hundred for real books I'll be flipping over back and forth. In any event I'm thinking most of the v4 books well still be useful, heck how old is internet routing architectures rofl

    Actually a thought is crossing my mind, if I'm going to have to wait until the dust settles from v5, why don't I just plow ahead with CCNP SP whilst I'm at it. Sure I'll have to learn some XR that I'll never use, but I might as well bone up on BGP / MPLS and get an 'interim' cert into the bargain. I already have a solid background in MPBGP and obviously meet the ROUTE prerequisite so three exams (of which one I already know half of i.e. BGP/MPBGP) doesn't seem too intimidating.
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