Hello~ Doug from Ottawa Canada

Hi All,

Last year, after working ~25 years in networking companies, I decided to write Cisco certification exams. I just passed my ICND1/ICND2 before XMAS!

While I’m on a roll, I’ve decided to schedule all three CCNP R&S exams in January/February before the exams change on February 23/2020. None of this is new to me. I’ve been reading CCNP books for years and have been working with Cisco routers since the turn of the century. But now that I’ve committed to it, I realize that this is a challenging task! The biggest challenge will be remembering the details before each exam. I have SWITCH on Jan 15th, ROUTE on Jan 29 and TSHOOT on Feb 19.

I joined NetworkLessons.com because I find myself coming to this website for answers whenever my other resources would leave gaps in information.

I left Cisco in 2014 and I don’t have any Cisco hardware available to me at the moment. So, I’m planning to prime myself with Simulators and Practice exams from Pearson or the one on this website… I’ve got GNS3 running on two of my home computers. It seems like the old dynamips images might not cut it for CCNP content. (especially in SWITCH). Packet Tracer appears to be quite limited when it comes to some features. I’m about to plunge into VIRL or use it to mine the images for GNS3. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Wish me luck!

(Cisco 14 yrs, Ciena 2.5yrs, ALU/Nokia 2yrs, Motorola Vanguard 2yrs, Nortel 4.5 yrs),

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Hi Doug,

Welcome! You are on a roll :grin:

Since most of the material is not new to you, you should be able to pull it off. It does take time though to work through the material and to memorize silly things like timers, frame headers, how many bits field X has, etc.

GNS3 is fine for everything router related, dynamips however is unsuitable for switching. You can use the newer IOSvL2 (that VIRL also uses) in GNS3.

I like VIRL but it does take time to setup and to get used to. Be careful that you don’t waste too much time building/testing your lab VS actual studying. This happened to me when I was studying for my CCIE.


I passed the last of 3 CCNP exams today! NetworkLessons was extremely helpful to me. While other study material was just out of date, and full of gaps, you helped me fill the gaps. Thanks for helping me pass SWITCH and ROUTE!

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Hi Doug,

Congratulations! Good job :sunglasses: You got it just in time.