I got my results this morning. I passed the CCIE Service-Provider lab exam I took in RTP, first attempt on the dreaded Friday the 13th of August! (I’m not superstitious, that stuff is for the special kind).
I’ve had overwhelming support from family and friends. HUGE THANKS!!
The last 4 months was without a doubt the most difficult time I have ever experienced. Initially the time frame looked good, and my schedule was nicely packed with some study leave. But then life happens. Changing jobs in July (no more study leave), a very demanding 3rd baby, my boys getting sick a couple times, and all this while my wife was working and running the house.
My wife has been unbelievable, juggling work and house stuff in my absence. Without her support this would not have been possible. Okay I’m not getting soppy. There are many guys in similar positions that needs encouragement.
Then usual tech stuff
Training material and books used:
- MPLS and VPN architectures Vol I and Vol II.
- Cisco’s DOC-CD for the L2VPN stuff.
- INE SP bootcamp. (if possible attend this)
- INE SP Class-on-demand.
- INE SP Vol1 and Vol2.
- IPX SP Vol1 and some of Vol2.
- Antonio Soares mini SP-labs is a huge must for studying config iterations.
- Draft version of my own Study Guide, now available as the Routing-Bits Handbook SP.
- RTP, well no complaining there. (That is why I went there)
- The proctor (Kelly) was very friendly and helpful. I asked he two questions, of which one was a typo on the exam.
- Lunch, well that will always be a expensive lunch. No matter what they serve.
- The SP racks are 5 and 6 at RTP. I got rack-6.
The actual lab:
OeQ were easy straight forward questions. Two questions were non-technical, which I thought was odd, but whatever.
I found the lab itself very hard and challenging, much harder than my R&S lab. I had to read most MPLS questions more than once, and had to create a many different diagrams to figure out what was asked. I was very careful at configuring, as the config overlapping is something I have not seen before. That aspect was nothing like the workbooks where everything is nicely segregated and spaced. With INE and IPX it is easy to see where tunnels are built to or where what type of label is used. What was asked in the lab is like puke on a spiderweb. My head was spinning two hours into the lab, with head-ache that followed soon after. Additionally there were some really nasty catches in the lab, but I manage picked those up early and fix them in a fairly reasonable time. Divine intervention definitely helped me there. But I kept my cool, despite getting frantic almost twice.
One thing I can say about the lab, it was extremely well structured and solid. Once you figured out what goes where and got it working, it worked beautifully. Hats off to the designer of that lab. Earned my respect.
All and all I think this CCIE SP lab compared to my R&S lab, actually lived up to the CCIE standard.
Now I can get on life, blogging, gaming, but first up is holiday :)