Binaryhero's go att CCNP Route - time to go pro!

BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone!

Im a 28 year old guy whos been in IT for 3 years. The more I got into networking the more I realized that this is what I wanted to do for a living. So I started with CCENT, then on to CCNA and now here I am - 6 months later, ready to make a serious attempt on CCNP. I have a nagging feeling that Im being late to the game, that I really should have started all of this in my early 20s..
So I feel like I have some catching up to do :)

Anyways, I recently got hired as a Network Engineer at a medium sized ISP so I have a feeling that combining work with studies will help my development really nice. Also, a few of me new collegues are currently going for the CCIE so it will be great to have a few experienced guys to ask and share ideas with.

So by this I declare my route to the ROUTE opened and may the road be free of congestion and high delay ;)

Currently studying EIGRP and will start with this material:

CCNP ROUTE 642-902 Official Certification Guide (Official Cert Guide)

Implementing Cisco IP Routing (ROUTE) Foundation Learning Guide: Foundation learning for the ROUTE 642-902 Exam...
Routing Routing TCP/IP, Volume 1 (2nd Edition)
Routing TCP/IP, Volume II (CCIE Professional Development)
Cisco CCNP ROUTE Simplified

Chris Bryant CCNP Video course at Udemy's CCNP course

I wont read every book cover to cover, but if I feel week on a subject I might read that specific chapter in all books.

So that was all i guess.. Ill keep you updated! :)


  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Tack detsamma :)

    Now lets keep it in english from here on so our fellow hard working buddies here can keep up.
  • AwesomeGarrettAwesomeGarrett Member Posts: 257
    Thats great news Binaryhero! I have to ask what is your goal? Having CCIE level knowledge? Or completing your CCNP?

    To be honest, the OCG and the ROUTE Simplified should be more than enough to pass your ROUTE exam. In fact, the ROUTE Simplified is a bit overkill for the ROUTE exam but its explains BGP confederations which the OCG did not.

    If you are going for the knowledge then keep on studying.

    I would tell you good luck but your not going to need it.

    Proper preparation prevents poor performance.icon_thumright.gif
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well i got to be honest with you, i REALLY want the ccie and the knowledge that comes with it :) I just hope I keep having a massive amount of motivation, supportive people around me and good health and everything that is required for attempting such a crazy thing like going for the ccie :)
  • Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
    You are reading way too much for the CCNP. Focus on getting the foundation of the technologies of the CCNP down and lab, unless you want to be studying for CCNP for a year. You will get lost in TCP/IP Vol1/2 if you don't already have a strong core foundation.
    Follow my CCDE journey at
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    dieg0M: Acctually I think you are right.. Thanks for pointing that out to me.
    Which books do you recommend i keep on reading and which ones should i ****?
    To be honest, i find the FLG hard to read but the OCG much easier... Thats strange cause fron what ive heard people seem to think its the other way around.
  • TBickleTBickle Member Posts: 110
    Good luck on your studies. I'm also working on the CCNP path, and already got switch under my belt.

    For route, I'm also using FLG and like you, initially found it harder to follow along/read. However, I realized that it was due to my lack of knowledge on the topic which made the book and following along seem confusing. What I have done to remedy that is read as much of a chapter as I can, and then once I get stuck, I go off to watch the corresponding CBT nugget videos. After I watch the videos, I'll begin working on a few labs from the Student Lab Manual, and THEN I'll return to the book. By the time I return to the book, it all seems to make sense.

    Also, I rely heavily on the table of contents. The book and the contents of each chapter are actually broken down very well. If at any point you get stuck, go watch a video and then come right back to the section you were stuck on.

    Keep in mind, you have to acquire a basic/intermediate understanding of the concept before you acquire an advanced understanding of it. Which means, that it might serve you well to go through the material twice rather than once.

    This is how I study. It may or may not help. I set my study time into two phases: phase one and phase two. In phase one I spend more time reading and watching videos, while in phase two I spend more time labbing.

    Phase One:
    Mon - Fri
    Read FLG chapter
    Watch CBT Nuggets
    Any extra time, lab
    Sat & Sun
    Lab,Lab, Lab

    Phase Two:
    Review all notes
    Spend EXTRA time reviewing week areas
    Re-watch weak area videos

    Hope this helps
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Wow, spot on Tbickle! thank you so much for this great peice of advice.
    I will definately try your approach with watching videos when the book gets hard to follow because of lacking knowledge.
  • Master Of PuppetsMaster Of Puppets Member Posts: 1,210
    Good luck! Also, many people dislike the ROUTE ocg but the FLG is definitely loved by everyone. Just something to think about. If you have to choose which one to read thoroughly, the FLG will probably be the better option.
    Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Alright, with the great help from you guys Ive come to the conclusion that I must narrow down the list of study material.
    So Ill use the FLG as primary, OCG as backup and the INE videos for a broader overview
  • aaron0011aaron0011 Member Posts: 330
    FLG, CBT Nuggets, and GNS3 is all you need to master the topics for this exam.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I don't think Routing TCP/IP VOL I is too much for CCNP ROUTE. Hell, I make co-workers going for CCNA read it. If you're using CCNP as a springboard to CCIE, the sooner you get through that book the better. :) What I wouldn't do is read both the FLG and the OCG. IIRC, the OCG doesn't get good reviews around here. I used the FLG and liked it a lot.
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • Dieg0MDieg0M Member Posts: 861
    The TCP/IP VOL I book IS too much for CCNP Route.There is a reason it says CCIE Professional Development on the cover of the book. The CCNP track was created to be used as a stepping stone towards the CCIE. Similar to when you learn to walk and afterwards you learn to run; the CCNP provides an easy transition to a deeper understanding of the networking technologies. Of course you could go straight to CCIE but it is much easier to use books that were made to help you transition smoothly towards this goal.

    I would read FLG for Route. It is harder then the OCG but not too hard (Like the Routing TCP/IP Vol I). Watch some videos if you have a hard time understanding some core concepts. For SWITCH I would read OCG as I found it more detailed then the FLG. Lab every topic and you should only need to read the first 3 chapters of the FLG TSHOOT for the exam. Good luck again.
    Follow my CCDE journey at
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I think it depends on your goals. If you want to pass CCNP as fast as possible and that's it yeah TCP/IP is probably overbroad. If you want to gain knowledge along with passing exams it's a great read. I read it when doing my CCNP and don't regret it.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • elderkaielderkai Member Posts: 279
    I was under the impression that when Routing TCP/IP was written, CCNP curriculim was much lower(which is true) but that it's much more relevant now. Could be wrong, haven't read it yet. :)
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Okay so I have read the first chapter in the FLG about the different network models and SONA + IIN.
    From what I understand, these are concepts that are meant to help you start thinking about networks in an organized way from an eagle eye perspective.. I dont think there will be many questions about them on the exam.

    Ive also more or less finished my EIGRP studies.. Im going to lab alot this weekend to solidify the information.
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    A little update...
    Started my first network engineering job last week and ive been busy with learning stuff for my new job, like vrfs, mpls, asa etc..
    So my studies have been nothing but organized but still sort of within the ccnp scope in a way.

    Im torn between wanting to go deep into BGP, Route maps and VRF but also wanting to follow my ccnp route study book.
    We' will see how that goes.. anyways, really happy of having a job where learn tons and tons of networking and have skilled collegeus to ask for help!
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    If you are reading the FLG and need BGP skills yesterday, you could just move straight to that chapter as it requires little, if any, EIGRP/OSPF knowledge. Just remember that the basics of route maps and prefix lists (if you are not familiar with those - they are not in the CCNA iirc) are in a previous chapter which you should probably check out before the BGP chapter.
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good advice Fredrik, I will do that for sure and come back to the IGPs once I know BGP good enough.
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have been focusing on Redistribution, Route maps and BGP the last week and I am happy to say that I think I learned from the CCNA how to study these technologies.

    My approach is to first get through the chapters, make sure I understand everything but I dont worry about not remembering things...
    That is for later on when I got a very good understanding of each concept and just need to force details in.

    I have also finally collected all the gear I need for a good CCNP lab and I expect that it will arrive at the start of next week.
    My lab will then consist of the following equipment:

    6x 1841
    2x 3560-24TS-E
    2x 3550-24 EMI
    2x 2940 (not sure ill use these though)
    1x Frame Relay Switch 2522
    1x Terminal Server 2511

    It will be nice to have a good lab setup to play with!

    On the downside, I find it hard to find a good time to study, especially now when I also need to learn alot of new stuff for work, I get so tired at the evenings that I really struggle with keeping focused when reading.

    The best study time I have is on the bus ride to work each morning (if its not full of crying kids).
    I will try to set up a better reading schedule, possibly I could try to fit that in between 8-10 in the evenings...
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    Binaryhero wrote: »
    On the downside, I find it hard to find a good time to study, especially now when I also need to learn alot of new stuff for work, I get so tired at the evenings that I really struggle with keeping focused when reading.

    If I was in your shoes I would probably try to work something out with my boss. For example, you arrive 1 hour early each day, and, as long as nothing catastrophic happens, you get two hours dedicated to studying first thing in the morning. If the boss is smart, he'll realize that this one hour they are giving you each day to skill up is more valuable than whatever else you would be doing from 8 to 9 in the morning.
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I dont feel like its an option starting my new employment with asking for non-work time..
    However, the other guys that are working on their ccie have 2 days where they come in at lunch and then work late.. so they study on the mornings those days.

    The problem is not that i dont have enough time - the problem is im out of energy since im learning loads just from work and then even more from studying... so its a non-issue, ill just have to suck it up :)

    Doing OSPF this weekend.. plan to read the entire chapter from FLG and some from the CCNP Route simplified and watch the INE videos on OSPF.

    Hopefully my home lab will show up so i can lab next weekend
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Im acctually finding ccnp alot harder than i first thought.. i think its the sheer amount of details that are overwhelming me and takes a long time to digest... i dunno icon_sad.gif
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think im gonna drop the FLG. Really been trying to like this book since everyone been saying its so great.
    I find it annoyingly over verbose, going through the same things over and over and i find it hard getting an idea of what i am supposed to know for the exm and what is just in the book because the author didnt want to leave anything unsaid...

    Nope, im switching over to the OCG which is much more clear in concept and doesnt keep dancing around the technologies in a confusing manner
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    So I've finally managed to get through the IGPs and chapter 4 that is about manipulating routing updates.
    I realize that Ive had an unrealistic approach so far with the ambition of wanting to learn every bit and peice of a chapter before moving on to next..
    I think that first getting a broad overview of a new topic, then reading the chapter again while taking notes and making flash cards is a better way to more slowly but steadily getting a deeper understanding, while still moving on with learning new stuff..

    When ive gone through all of the material and i have a good high-perspective understanding it is time to look to the details..

    This coming week im planning to finish chapter 4 with accomplishing labs and if i am pleased with how things go, hopefully i can start chapter 5 next week.

    Im looking forward to learning BGP and also chapter 7, Implementing routing facilities etc, looks very interesting.
    However im not looking forward to IPv6, as that was one thing I really didnt find interesting during my CCNA studies.

    Im hoping to take the exam in the beginning of march, if work and rest of life allows a steady study schedule
  • mitch179mitch179 Member Posts: 50 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I was the same in regards to IPv6 but when doing my CCNP studies I found that it's actually pretty interesting and I enjoyed studying it. I think it's because you get to actually use it more than just reading about the nuts and bolts....
  • BinaryheroBinaryhero Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    mitch179 wrote: »
    I was the same in regards to IPv6 but when doing my CCNP studies I found that it's actually pretty interesting and I enjoyed studying it. I think it's because you get to actually use it more than just reading about the nuts and bolts....

    Thats great news, Mitch :)
    You are right, just touching a subject on the surface without being able to apply it to something useful tends to make it less interesting.
  • bobfromfplbobfromfpl Member Posts: 104
    Initially when just reviewing IPv6 it was easy to lightly touch on the subject and just breeze by it. But now after going over IPv6 in the Route book I have come to the conclusion that this is going to be the future and it's something that I just need to get my head around. After going over it several times, applying it to some lab scenarios and reading different blogs it's getting alot easier to digest. Unfortunately I dont know how long until I'll get real production experience but until then all I can do is prepare myself.

    Good luck in your studies!
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