Back to the Books: my CCNP journey

swildswild Member Posts: 828
So it has been quite a while since I have even looked at these forums and an interesting week at work as lead me to the decision that I need to get my CCNP in order to be given the credit that I need to advance.

First, a little back story; I just celebrated 6 months at my current job as a VoIP technician. It's my first true networking job and while, at first, I wasn't so happy about it being in VoIP, I have since changed my mind. The great thing about VoIP is that it relies on every other aspect of networking and security in order to work, which means that I am involved in pretty much every aspect of troubleshooting. I have am also configuring routers and switches for upgrades and new sites nearly every day.

So, a couple of weeks ago, the lead tech (which has held my hand for these past 6 months) went on vacation. Everyone that usually went to him for questions, came to me. I was able to solve every issue that came my way with only one call to TAC which just happened to be a bug between Call Manager and IOS 15.1(4). All-in-all, I surprised myself with the level of knowledge I have gained with only 6 months experience.

So I took a couple of vacation days for myself and have put them to great use. I have watched through all of the CBTNuggets SWITCH videos, read the first half of the OCG and worked through half of the NetAcad workbook. My plan is to get through the rest of the OCG and NetAcad books this week and plan on taking my exam on 11/15.

I was pretty impressed with Boson's Ex-Sim Max for CCNA and will probably purchase the CCNP version. Any recommendations on this? I will also be using IrisTheAngel's SWITCH notes for final review.

My weaknesses, due to not seeing these items in my work environment are:
MLS: We do not use ANY layer 3 switching, but it seems quite straightforward.
VTP: VLANs are configured on each switch, but this was in the CCNA studies. Is there anything new here?
High Availability: I had not heard of HSRP, VRRP, or GLBP until the CBT videos.
VACLs: the config looks kinda complicated from the CBT video, but I haven't got to this section in the OCG.

I plan on updating this post like I did for my WGU thread, partly to keep me motivated.


  • Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
    Boson is very good to pinpoint your weaknesses before the exam. I'm surprised you've never heard of HSRP before the CBT videos. Good luck in your studies.
    Follow my CCDE journey at
  • swildswild Member Posts: 828
    So after going through all the CBTNuggets videos, I started reading the OCG and decided that the CBTNuggets videos were just too cursory. A lot of people on here recommended INE videos and I really liked their free CCNA Streaming videos. So, I decided to plop down the $99 for a month of the All Access Pass. I figured that would also give me a chance to take a look at the other CCIE level videos and see if I could get my employer to buy me the CCIE Voice Ultimate bundle.

    I have 150 pages left in the OCG and half of the Cisco lab workbook to go through before I get the Boson exam. I took the practice test from the CD about halfway through my studies and scored a 70%, so I expect that I will be fine on the actual test.

    I really do like the INE videos, however, the section on high availability was about twice as long as it should be and seriously needs to be updated.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The INE videos contain a log of valuable information but they are very dry. I found myself nearly falling asleep with them unless I was engaging myself. I manually made notes with each video so I had more retention of the topics being discussed.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
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