Cisco CCIE R&S Book Reading List

Hi Saleh,

You don’t have to read all of them back to cover, it also depends on your current knowledge. If you are new to multicast, IPv6 and MPLs then I would highly recommend to read those books. Also, for the written exam I would use the Cisco Press book. The other books will help to improve your knowledge but if you are already (very familiar) with OSPF, EIGRP, BGP, etc. then you might skip them.


Hi Rene,

I am currently just focus on the written exam. Do i still have to read all this books for the Written exam? I just finish reading TCP/IP Vol 1 and 2. Can i just read the official books and try the written exam or those 4 books wont be enough for the written?

Thanks Mauro 2xCCNA(RS,Voice), 1xCCNP(RS)

Hi Mauro,

I would still recommend to read the multicast, qos and mpls books since these topics are not in CCNP.


I feel dreaded by reading all these books. If there is a book for BGP and OSPF then maybe I should skip the chapters in TCP/IP Volume 1 &2. I understand there is no shortcut to this but Cisco books are full of fluff. I feel like Cisco just wanted a minimum of 500 page from the author even though the material could have been effectively covered in 200 pages.

While I was studying for CCNP, a coworker of mine stumbled on your GNSVault site and recommended your books. I bought all the books and was having fun reading EVERY single page. They were very straightforward and to the point. I passed all my tests and learned what I needed to learn not just for the sake of the test but for my job.

For CCIE written, can I just use the material in this site to replace book reading (I will still buy all the books and use them as references)?

I have also bought the INE workbook and videos and will primarily be using rack rental for my studies.

Thank you.

Hi Mark,

I can imagine and I agree with you, a lot of Cisco press books have a lot of fluff and are not straight to the point. Some of them read like microwave manuals :slight_smile:

Instead of reading them page-by-page, you can skim some of the chapters and use them as reference material.

Right now I have ~90% of the CCIE (written) material. I still have to work on IS-IS, Qos and Multicast topics. I’m currently working on it so I expect it to be done in a few weeks.



IS-IS is definitely on the CCIE v5 written (not lab). Checkout section 3.8


Hi Rene,

What are your thoughts on CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 Official Cert Guide Library (5th Edition)?

Rene has an incredible YouTube video about CCIE preparation. In it, he says the Official Cert Guide should only be used towards the end as a final review. His point is that the material on the CCIE is so vast, it can’t possibly fit into a single volume. Don’t rely on it in any way as a primary source of knowledge.

Here’s the YouTube video:

I need a general advice from you .
there are so many topics…like OSPF , BGP , QoS , Multicast , MPLS …

but how to master them…what is the best way to keep learning them simultaneously.

not sure if it is a good Q but I hope you understood my doubt - but any help is appreciated.

There are very many topics, and the challenge for me was to minimize how much I forgot on one subject while I was studying others. There are three things I do to try to help with this:

  1. As you learning a topic, take detailed notes on what you are learning. These will come in handy for a quick refresher later. They also come in handy (if you do them electronically!) where you can search for keywords through your notes, so you can pull up all documents related to a topic.

  2. While you are learning a topic, create flash cards for yourself on key points. I recommend a program called Anki ( It is very intelligent about adjusting how frequently you see a flash card based on how well you remember it.

  3. Create labs for yourself on the topics you are learning. Try to make them challenging so as to test multiple concepts in order for you to complete them. I have created labs both on GNS3 and VIRL. I recommend you write up a document that gives a list of objectives you need to accomplish for the lab. Separately, create a document that details the proper solution, so if you forget a minor step, it won’t take you long to remember it.

I set a recurring monthly reminder for me to go through all the labs I have written. Just yesterday, I did one on IPSEC tunnels with VTI interfaces that I struggled with. This is a good indication that you need to review your notes when this happens.

Hi Rene,

Please can you provide me with a link to drawing/mapping out Layer2/Layer3 networks. You posted a really good link to Cisco website but I can’t find it anymore.

Thanks D

Hi Dikesh,

You mean for during a CCIE lab? or using Visio for your own network?


Hi Rene,

I saw somewhere on your site where you explained how to start at the core and then systematically workout the whole network using various commands and you end up with a 2 layer and 3 layer topology of the network. It seemed very useful and you added a link to page on where this technique goes into greater detail.

Thanks D

19 posts were merged into an existing topic: Cisco CCIE R&S Book Reading List

Hi rene thanks for sharing this.

I see the book Developing IP Multicast Networks is pretty old, I found IP Multicast, Volume I: Cisco IP Multicast Networking newer with IGMPv4 and multicast for IPv6. My question Who is the better one?

Hello Carlo,

I haven’t read the newer “IP Multicast, Volume I: Cisco IP Multicast Networking” book (yet). It doesn’t have as many pages as the “Developing IP Multicast Networks” book so I’m not sure how thorough they cover each topic.

It might be a good read since I guess the IPv6 part is more up-to-date. IGMPv4 would be interesting but it’s not on the current CCIE R&S blueprint so I wouldn’t worry about that.

I still like the Developing IP Multicast Networks book. It’s old, but PIM sparse, dense, sparse-dense haven’t changed. If you have a safaribooks subscription, you can read one and browse through the other one :slight_smile:


Hi Rene, I’m going to read both and will share my thoughts about them.

Thank you!

Good morning! Is this still your recommended reading list to prepare for CCIE R&S preparation?


Hello James,

Except for the written certification guide, these books are still valid. Some of these are classics like Routing TCP/IP volume 1+2, Internet Routing Architectures, Troubleshooting IP routing protocols, etc.

I’ll add this to my list to review though. There might be some other books that are worth your time to read.


Hello Rene,

Great List here. I’ve looked thru Sam Halabi book on BGP and it was a really interesting read, could you please suggest a few books on Layer 2 and switching techniques used in enterprise level.

Any insight is valued.

Thank you