Cisco CCIE Routing & Switching V4 Experience

The lab has regular (virtual) routers. I didn’t have any command restrictions when I did the lab.

19 posts were merged into an existing topic: Cisco CCIE Routing & Switching V4 Experience

I have my CCNP and I’m thinking about getting my CCDA then CCDP, do you think it’s beneficial to obtain my CCDP before taking my CCIE R/S?

Hello Corwyn

This is an excellent question. It really all depends on what you want to achieve. Obtaining your CCIE is an ambitious and excellent goal to set. Keep in mind that it will require a lot of time, effort and money to achieve, but it will allow you to get very deep into routing, switching and related aspects of networking.

Now the CCIE is excellent, but you must understand that it is very focused. It doesn’t include things like wireless, telephony, firewall/security and other broader aspects of networking. It is more theoretical in nature and is for those who desire the deepest level of understanding of the fundamentals of networking.

The other option is to have a wider base of knowledge about technologies by obtaining several different certifications at the Professional level (CCNP/CCDP). This will allow you to broaden your skill set, allowing you to work with a wider variety of technologies and being able to fulfill a wider range of requirements of organizations.

So you must decide between narrowly focused on the deep things of networking, or a broader understanding (and less deep) of networking, but incorporating many aspects of it.

You must be sure before embarking on such an endeavour because it is a huge investment in time and money.

I hope this has been helpful!

Laz

Hello Lazaros,

I greatly appreciate your input and taking time to respond, I just passed my CCNA Security test last Friday so I’m taking a break until the new year but I think I’m leaning towards obtaining my CCDP then taking a year to start studying for my CCIE. Do you have your CCIE? If so how was your experience in studying for both the written and lab?

Hello Corwyn

Congratulations for obtaining your CCNA Security! I personally prefer broadening my expertise. I have my CCNP and I am currently working towards my CCNP Collaboration. I’d like to then get my CCDP and then think about the CCIE farther down the road. These are my thoughts for now, but this may change… We’ll see! You can ask Rene directly about his CCIE experience, he’ll be able to tell you a lot about what to expect both during your studies as well as the test itself. The first unit “Preparation” of the CCIE section of NetworkLessons talks a lot about what you can expect:


Also, this video Rene has prepared is quite informative.

I hope this has been helpful!

Laz

Hi Rene and staff,
learning for CCNP can’t prevent me to explore also some lessons that are in CCIE
Some lessons are in a cursus “CCIE R&S” like BFD
Some lessons are in a cursus “CCIE R&S written” like OSPF/EIGRP LoopFree Alternate and Fast Reroute
Obviously you intended to do so, but could you give more explanation why you create two cursus for CCIE (except labs)? and is there a best way to use these two ?
Regards

Thanks

Hello Dominique

Take a look at this post, I believe you will find your answer…

I hope this has been helpful!

Laz

Hi Rene,

excellent post, you mentioned this in your post, ‘’**were 3 months of full-time studying, 6 days a week doing 8 to 10 hours of labbing per day’**’. Now my question is how did you overcome the boredom of labbing every day so many hours?, 2. how did you develop that work ethic? 3. how do you concentrate for such long hours without distraction?.

  1. how did obtaining the CCIE benefit you?, I’m from a nation where there are only two CCIE’s and they are all abroad after they got the CCIE’s, I wish to be the 3rd :slight_smile:

regards

Hello @walter.nakatana,

These are good questions and the things you mention are real problems.

When you see someone has a CCIE number, from the outside it might seem like they are gurus who were able to study 24/7, didn’t have any problems, were hyper-focused, and passed the lab on their first attempt. Those people are out there, but most of us (including me) have to deal with boredom, distraction, and lack of willpower :grin:

You need to think about why you want to pass the CCIE lab. In my case, I was still teaching Cisco classroom courses and I liked the idea of having the highest certification out there and having seen all R&S topics. I also try to do things that offer rewards in the long run. Having the CCIE number gives you more options in your career. In your case, it sounds like CCIE would open some doors as well.

One of the hardest things about CCIE is that it takes a LONG time to study before you pass the lab. I had a lot of trouble studying before I booked the lab. I would study hard for a few weeks, then life/work got in the way, I lost interest, or I just “let it go” for a bit.

What made a huge difference is when I booked and paid for the lab. Nowadays, I think it’s $1600 USD. When I paid for it, I committed myself to it. I didn’t want to go to the lab, throw away that money, and fail. Instead of some vague future plan, it suddenly was a real goal with a set date.

Few people go out to run 25 - 35 kilometers in the rain for fun but they do when they sign up for a marathon. Don’t fall for the “I’ll book the lab when I am ready” trap. I think this is the most important advice I can give.

CCIE has interesting and boring topics. In general, I love labbing and I still do. I really enjoyed the L2/L3 core topics but I didn’t like network management topics like SysLog, SNMP, or NetFlow. Once again, having that lab date helps. You don’t want to dominate the L2/L3 topics on the lab exam and fail it because you didn’t know how to do some of the syslog/SNMP configurations. Some topics are fun, some topics are less interesting. You have to go through them anyway.

Distraction is always just a mouse click away. I also had days when I was distracted. Especially when you can’t get something to work and you are tired. It’s easy to open up a tab, watch youtube, and before you know it, you didn’t lab much. It happens, try to get back on your feet quickly. The closer you get to the lab date, the more focused you become. When you have a bad day, you’ll try again tomorrow. It’s important to practice daily instead of studying like crazy for 2 weeks, then doing nothing for 3 weeks.

Concentration comes with practice. The more you lab, the easier it becomes. In the beginning, a lot of topics are new to you and perhaps difficult. It takes a lot of energy to go through them. The first time I did a “full” configuration lab, it took me 20 hours and perhaps I scored 40%. The last week before the lab, I could configure an entire lab in a few hours in notepad without any major errors.

When you do CCIE, it’s not just technology you learn but you’ll learn a thing or two about discipline along the way :slight_smile:

I hope this helps but if you have any other questions, let me know ok?

Rene

2 Likes

Good day Rene,

i really like the way you take your time to answer our questions, thank you for your in-depth answer, its highly appreciated.

will definitely ask more questions

Hi Rene,

is it possible to lab a topic e.g QOS and totally not understand what you’re doing, but because of practice and repetition ONLY without reading/googling, you end understanding the concepts?, have you ever understood a topic only by labbing it up so many times you didn’t need to read a whole textbook on that one subject to understand the topic?

Hi Walter,

That will be difficult. You will need to understand the concepts before you know what to configure. Otherwise, you can memorize commands but you have no idea what you are doing.

This doesn’t mean you have to read an entire textbook before you start labbing though. When I want to learn something new, I usually read up or watch some videos until I have an idea what it’s about. Then i try to lab something up, see if I understand what I’m doing.

When I get stuck, I read some more, then get back to labs. Rinse and repeat.

Rene

HI,

:+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1:

regards

Hi Rene,

why do you think its important to know how to type commands in notepad first?

Do you recommend safari books online?

wn

Hello Walter

Using notepad is useful because it becomes a scratchpad for your configurations. It’s easy to copy and past written commands into the CLI, and it’s easy to save snippets of commands and organize your thoughts before actually implementing the commands.

When you write them out in notepad, you see the commands in context, and you can edit them and change them freely. This is especially useful on production networks because you can edit the commands without the consequence of making a mistake and affecting the whole enterprise network, as experience has so painfully taught.

As for reading material, I don’t have specific experience with Safari, but maybe @ReneMolenaar has something he can recommend. You can also take a look at the following forum thread as well:

I hope this has been helpful!

Laz

1 Like

Hi Rene,

In order for me to completely master the CCNP topics in your courses and before doing the exams and moving on to CCIE studies finally , I have to decided to go through each topic 10 TIMES before moving on to the next lesson (350-401 ENCORE ), i know its going to take while but i figured mastering technologies is not a sprint but a marathon, what do you think?

regards
WN

Hello Walter

Yes, it is a marathon, and repetition is indeed the mother of all learning. How many times you go through each lesson will depend on you. You may find that in some cases 3 or 4 times is enough, for other concepts even more may be necessary. Be flexible in your approach and adjust your tactics to suit your needs. One thing is for sure, the determination you demonstrate is definitely on the right track!

I hope this has been helpful!

Laz

1 Like

Hello Walter,

Like Lazaros mentioned, be flexible :grin: I would suggest to go through the topics and once you feel you mastered the “core”, move on to the next topic.

In the beginning, you go through each topic one by one:

1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6

If you spend too much time at topic 5, it’ll be weeks/months ago that you worked on topic 1,2, or 3. You’ll forget about some details.

There is a moment when you have to switch to full configuration and troubleshooting labs even when you don’t feel you know everything 100%. When you do this, you’ll encounter all the topics again, and it helps to reinforce your knowledge.

You might want to try these full config / troubleshooting labs anyway every now and then. It’s refreshing, something different, keeps it interesting and a good way to check if you have any knowledge gaps.

Rene

2 Likes

Hello Walter,

For CCIE, the answer is simple: There is no time to configure everything one line at a time. For example, they might show you some requirements for OSPF or BGP which you need to configure or 6 devices. The only way to do this quickly is to create these configs in notepad with some copy/pasting, then paste everything on your devices.

It would be better if the CCIE lab was like chess where you have plenty of time to think everything through but there isn’t. When it comes to configuration, you have to be fast.

Safari books is great btw, I use it all the time.

Rene

1 Like