1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Jun 15, 2010 9:04 AM by erki RSS

    How do we start?




      Is there anyone who would like to start the questions off?


      Has anyone already taken the practical exam? I took mine in Dec 09 and failed, but would be intrested in opinions from other's who have also attempted the practical.



        • 1. Re: How do we start?


          I've taken the DESGN class with Ascolta so far. I'm looking for either a good bootcamp or other training partner to take the Architecture class with.


          Plan to take the written at Networkers in June.


          Hello to everyone in this group!



          • 2. Re: How do we start?
            Richard Gallagher

            Hi Colin,


            I'm in between taking the exam and finding out the results, should be another 4 weeks or so until I get them.


            The next exam is scheduled for July, but being positive I about things, I have not picked up my books since I took the exam. Although I think that realistically I am going to have to have another crack at the practical.


            What sort of things are other people studying for the beast?



            • 3. Re: How do we start?
              Geoff Lynch



              I recently passed the DESGN exam and have the ARCH book which I'm about to start going through. I'm a CCIE R&S and have to do the re-cert this year so should have the protocol knowledge reasonably sorted. I would actually like to do the CCDE written as my re-cert. so any suggestions on good documents/links/books would be useful.





              • 4. Re: How do we start?

                Hi Richard and other brave people attempting the CCDE,


                This may be irrelevant as you may have passed, but for other people in a similar position to yourself and myself (i.e. stuck between practical exams and wondering what else you can study before taking the exam again), this may be helpful.


                After the first attempt in December, I’m now aiming for the July exam, I decided to go back to basics and read through the Jeff Doyle's series of TCP/IP Routing volume 1 and 2. These two books are the best I know of at articulating the basic and advanced features of ISIS, EIGRP, OSPF and BGP whilst also taking in to account NAT, Summarisation, Aggregation and general design principle.


                Looking at the CCDE, the subjects covered in the exam are shown in the CCDE Quick Reference guide (ISBN: 9781587059230) and are as follows:

                ·      EIGRP

                ·      OSPF

                ·      IS-IS

                ·      BGP

                ·      Routing Design

                ·      Topology Design

                ·      Tunnelling – MPLS, GRE, EoMPLS, VPLS

                ·      Network Management

                ·      QOS

                These should be the basis of your studies and you need to have an excellent grasp of all of these technologies from a design perspective. Remember there is no command line involved in the exam, its all theory.


                From taking the practical, I now understand what Russ White meant when I met him at Networkers to go through the CCDE. He said you need to understand these protocols inside out and how each one interacts on it’s own and with other protocols.


                To obtain that level of knowledge isn’t possible through shortcuts, it’s down to time, reading, understanding and applying what you read to different design scenarios.


                The books I’m currently studying for the second attempt are as follows:

                ·      Routing TCP/IP (CCIE Professional Development): Volume 1

                o   ISBN - 978-1587052026

                ·      Routing TCP/IP (CCIE Professional Development): Volume 2

                o   ISBN - 978-1578700899

                ·      Optimal Routing Design

                o   ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-187-6

                ·      Definitive MPLS Network Designs

                o   ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-186-9

                ·      End-to-End QoS Network Design

                o   ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-176-0

                ·      MPLS Fundamentals

                o   ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-197-5

                ·      Comparing, Designing, and Deploying VPNs

                o   ISBN-13: 978-1-58705-179-1

                These are the same as the one’s I used for the first attempt, but with a bit more focus on how these books line up with the CCDE Practical Exam Blueprint, which is what you are marked against.

                I’m hoping that this CCDE Study group is a place where we can start asking design based questions and leave the how do I prepare for the exam type questions to the main CCDE forum board.

                Thoughts, objections and other any other questions?


                • 5. Re: How do we start?

                  Need to sort out text formating on my Mac.

                  • 6. Re: How do we start?

                    Hi Colin,


                    I am looking to sit the written exam in the near future.

                    Can the books you listed below also be used, or would you recommend others?


                    Thanks in Advance.



                    • 7. Re: How do we start?



                      All of those books would be fine. I would also suggest the CCDE Quick Reference guide which was produced with the written in mind. There is also an extentsive book list for the written on the Cisco Web site (link below)





                      • 8. Re: How do we start?
                        Mark Pugh

                        Colin, Ladies and Gentlemen,...


                        Excellent summation.  I have taken the CCDE Written test three times, once as part of the original Beta Group, as a Beta Test and Twice since then over a period of 12 months.  Scoring improved from 43 to 64 to 69...but I never got to that magical 70 yet.


                        I am planning another try at Networkers in June.  As for study materials, you are dead on about the reading required.  Russ once told all of us, the one book he would memorize and learn from page to page is the Optimal Routing Design volume you discussed.


                        I have some good thoughts on this study group, and am anxious to hear from everyone else and their experience.


                        I attach the Beta groups list of books for everyone's use.




                        Mark Pugh.

                        • 9. Re: How do we start?

                          Hello designers,

                          Well, IMHO, I'd say two sentences are the most important (not forgetting the other important things) during the course of preparation for CCDE (Written as well as practical)

                          • Do not even think of command line aka syntax. You can bypass any syntax related stuff in all these books that are officially recommended.
                          • make yourself a Guru (from the concept point of view not configuration perspective) of the baseline networking technologies. e.g. routing protocols, QoS, MPLS and TE , BGP etc etc. overlay technologies are very important but main concentration is on core technologies.

                          You don't need to study the whole lot mentioned in those books. I know its scary that big a book list, but once you start it and follow the "forget the command line" rule.. you'll see the pace will be good and although very difficult.. yet CCDE prep will be not as scary as the booklist and topic list.


                          • 10. Re: How do we start?
                            Mark Pugh



                            I tend to agree.  When given the proposed listing of suggested study materials, I was perplexed and astonished at such a "broad" subject matter in the listing.  I was in a deep state of surprise and was admonished by the Beta team members to focus on "conceptual content" of the technology, and not the "context" of the configurations.


                            Russ White once said, if one book could be used...he would read and study "Optimal Routing Design"...sleep with it, see the book...be the book.  And you could do very well with the written test.


                            I was told to not expect any IOS commands to be required to be memorized or used on the CCDE written and lab.  And they were correct.....never did I see a CLI prompt in any of my attempts at the written exam.


                            I did however have a very large quantity of information presented to me, that required me to have requisite knowledge of the relevant technology.  For instance, I had to know about BGP load balancing being a feature of that protocol when presented with the customer's data transport needs in an e-mail.


                            Notice the word "transport", as EIGRP also has the ability to perform load balancing.  But EIGRP is not a widely used WAN transport protocol, etc.


                            The ability to identify that feature and specify the use of BGP as a routing protocol in my architectural selection of the design, is a key point here.


                            That is the central core of the CCDE certification.  Ability and very broad Knowledge, not the skill of configuration and setup of a specific device.


                            This Ability is now being brought to the attention and forefront of the Industry, as a lot of people can configure a device.  But very few can actually focus in on a specific Architecture to build.  Especially in the implementation of advanced, secure future network infrastructure being planned now.  Next Gen stuff, etc.


                            I just wish Cisco Press would develop the "Short Cut" series for each of these books in the list.  Sort of like a "Cliff Notes" for each topic.  Short of that, I have relied upon the O'Reilly series of publications for general knowledge of the topics, skimming through them to take notes.  The Cisco Press books are rather intimidating some times.


                            I would recommend, if you are serious about this...get the full Safari Online library subscription.  Pay the dues, so to speak, as the ability to get to this amount of reference material is unprecedented for that price.




                            Mark Pugh

                            • 11. Re: How do we start?

                              Very well explained Mark.

                              I'm preparing for my practical now and I 100% agree with your advice regarding safari books. I'm using the safari books almost 80 % of time now. I would say that SRND's on CEC are important.


                              BTW. Anyone preparing for the LAB any soon?

                              • 12. Re: How do we start?
                                T.J. Mitchell

                                I am starting to study for a LAB attempt. I have passed the written already, waiting for a friend that wants to take the lab with me.

                                • 13. Re: How do we start?

                                  I'm preparing.

                                  How're you studying? sequence etc...

                                  • 14. Re: How do we start?


                                    I would to thank you for talking the time to put this email together for beginners. I have two questions.

                                    (1) The order in which in the books are listed also coincidentally seems as the order in which it should be studied.

                                    (2) I found on the internet that the Internation Edition are half the price of the US editions of books and the publishers claim that the print is exactly the same.

                                         Can anybody confirm this and comment on the experience with internation editions.




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