My way towards CCIE number
I started my adventure with Cisco Networking in September 2003 when I attended to Cisco Networking Academy at my university.
In 2004, after CNA I passed my first Cisco certificate – CCNA. During my work in national ISP I achieved CCNP, CCDP, CCIP and CQS-FW.
CCIE was for me like natural next step on this long learning way. I started my preparation in January 2007 from assembling of my own rack. Later on it was just practice and practice of all Cisco technologies. Besides my physical home lab I used Dynamips (Cisco router emulator), it’s great tool for mobile learning. I used Dynamips mainly for testing technologies (e.g. routing, multicast, QoS, security) max 5 routers to emulate such environment.
Plan your study time
In my opinion it’s the most important part of your exam (even you didn’t reserve exam yet) here you are passing your lab or not, here you decide if you are able to spend next year of your time under learning. Of course everything depends how many hours you will be able to spend per day but for me it took about 2 years, but last half a year was very intensive with average 8 hours every day. You have to be aware that this „project” is very time demanding and you will need a support of your family and friends. There is no reward without renounce. From my experience the more intensive period you have just before the exam the better. Don’t forget to give you few days break just before the exam to refresh your mind and relax somehow ;).
You have to schedule your time and work for preparation.
First off all you have plan how your study will looks like, what materials you will use, what books and CCIE workbooks you will need to go thru.
Below you can find my basic network documentation that I have used during preparations.
- Main Page (http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/psa/default.html?mode=prod) the same is available on the lab exam once you open Internet Explorer
- Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4 Mainline Configuration Guide (Link)
- Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4 Mainline Command Reference (Link)
- Cisco IOS Software Release 12.4 Mainline Master Index (Link)
80% to success
You have to treat the exam like a game. You have to score minimum 80%. Basically it’s a final part of your project – implementation. Ability to mange the time is very important. Remember you don’t have to implement everything, but as much as you can. You have to done every core topics like L2 and L3, where you can miss the points it’s only minor topics like QoS, IP Services or Security.
OEQ – just practical theory has gone since 10 of May 🙂
Open Ended Question part has been added to the exam February 2009, and removed from the exam since 10 of May. So no worries. OEQ has gone! It was very important short part of exam that was introduced on February 2009 to stop the fast growing rate of R&S numbers.
Hard work with small break for lunch
Troubleshooting and configuration part. You have total 8 hours. The lab will now require hands-on troubleshooting of preconfigured network, in addition to configuration, so 2 hours for troubleshooting + 6 hours for configuration part.
To pass, you must have a passing score on each of the two sections of the lab exam.
The troubleshooting section presents a series of trouble tickets for preconfigured network, huge virtualized network. You need to diagnose and resolve the network issues.
You may proceed on to the configuration section once you finish the troubleshooting section, but you can’t go back to troubleshooting.
Regarding configuration, it’s time for careful reading, planning, making notes and drawing. You have to schedule all the section, what I mean is that you have to leave the sections that you are not aware how to configure the issue. Don’t worry if it takes more then one hour and you even don’t touch the console.
Insure your life
Save your initial configuration just in case for future use before you type and write your done work frequently during exam.
Save the time
It’s worth to using your favorite alias commands during your preparation way and then implement them on the real exam, example:
alias exec sip show ip interface brief
alias exec sir show ip route
alias exec sr show run
alias exec cc conf t