1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Jun 15, 2015 10:06 AM by Philip RSS

    Greetings CCIE Forum

    Michael Law

      Greetings Networkers,


      I wanted to introduce myself. I have recently achieved my CCNP certification and working towards the CCDP since it only requires a CCDA + ARCH. I figure I can knock that out this year and have a good foundation to start the CCIE studies. There have been some shortcomings I have run into with the CCNP certification since I don't have actual equipment lying around for testing purposes. I am interested in acquiring equipment because I believe that it is not possible to get confortable with CCIE advanced topics on simulators only. I want to start putting together a rack of equipment for personal, testing purposes and I had a few questions.


      • Is the Catalyst 2950 sufficient for Layer 2 analysis and testing? Will it perform all the necessary functions to test topics like PACLs, Voice VLANs, port security, etc... The Catalyst 2950 line is considerably cheaper than the Catalyst 2960 line. Does anyone have any thoughts on the Catalyst 2950 line for layer 2 examination purposes?
      • Is the Catalyst 3550 sufficient for Layer 2/3 analysis and testing? Same question as before but now I need to make sure I can support all major routing protocols, security and commands needed for the CCIE training. Again, the Catalyst 3550 is considerably cheaper than the Catalyst 3560 so I am reviewing it for a Layer 3 switching option.
      • Is the Cisco 3725 router sufficient for routing testing? I own a Cisco 1841 that I love but sometimes those can run a little expensive. I purposely chose that model for it's dual fast ethernet interfaces and expansion memory upgrades. I want the 3725 for the same reasons. The 3725 router line up also looks like a good candidate for it's expansion capabilities (memory, line cards,etc...) and they seem to be sold in bulk which I may be able to negotiate down the price a little.
      • Frame Relay - this protocol/technology has been present in both the CCNA and CCNP so I assume that it will still be a hot topic for WAN examination on the CCIE (incorrect?). I have been able to configure a Cisco router to operate as a Frame Relay switch for practicing OSPF. Does the Cisco router have the capability of performing Frame-Relay based QoS? Should I look into getting a legitimate FR switch for analysis?
      • Any other helpful devices? I don't want to have to buy a ton of devices. Just enough to build labs to practice concepts.


      Thanks for your time and I look forward to discussing more things in this forum



        • 1. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum

          First off, welcome to the CCIE section!  You may want to check out the CCIE R&S Study Group we have here as well.


          Before you dive too far, make sure you are familiar with the blueprints:


          Written: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-4604

          Lab: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-4603


          Lab Equipment and IOS listing: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-4602



          If you do a google search you will find lots of discussions on various forums that discuss the various differences between 3550s and 3560s.  There was a point in time on the lab where you needed to know both, however at this time, all of the commands and QoS are specific to the 3560s.  That is not to say you will fail if you study on the 3550, but you must be familiar with the 3560 as that is what you will see in the lab.


          2950s are not required at all.  You can do all you need on the 3550/3560s.  If you want to work with switches and don't want to spend the $$$ on 3560s you can buy the 3550s, and then augment them with some rack time on 3560s.  Rack rentals are fairly cheap.  3550s are also more capable switches in the lab since they can do either strictly layer 2 or layer 3 as well.


          For the routers, I would suggest taking a hard look at emulation.  Dynamips/Dynagen are the backbone to that solution, and can be run with only those two.  However, many folks find the GUI very comforting with GNS3(which is a package that utilizes dynamips/dynagen and extends it's capabilities).  It is far more cost effective.  I can run a 15-20 router topology on my quad core and not run into performance issues.  The CCIE R&S lab is smaller than that(at least for the configuration portion).


          3725s are sufficient if you want to run the physical hardware, but I do believe you could get away with less. One thing you need to watch out for, is feature sets that may be required in the lab, but may not be supported in the older hardware chassis.  I run GNS3/Dynamips so I am not intimately familiar with those caveats.  I can say the 3725 T release does support all of the features you'll need, though.  Just make sure you have enough memory!


          Again, welcome to the dark side(CCIE studies) and get ready for some fun in your lab!

          • 2. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
            Michael Law

            Thanks Travis for the welcome.


            I feels great to be entering the CCIE realm of studies. 3 years ago, I was the only person in my class to pass my CCNA and here I am talking with you about how to go about studying the CCIE. Thanks for your thoughts on hardware. Luckily the 1841 routers aren't super expensive but those 3825s and Catalyst 3560s can be. I may have to downgrade to the 3725s so I can get a working topology and just do the rack rentals like you said.


            As far as the two exams go (written and lab), I was curious if I should study for them as if they were 2 autonomous exams? Can I start on the written and not think about the lab exam till after or do I have to make a "dual approach" study? Another question would be for the written exam: is there any particular book or text out there that you preferred?


            Thanks again,



            • 3. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum



                   Welcome. I know that everyone has a different appraoch. I would advise you to treat them as totally seperate items. However, I would first and foremost start by learning the technologies for the written, and mix in some hands on. By that there is one thing about reading in "Routing TCP/IP Volumne I and II" about OSPF per se. Then there is the actual cofiguration and seeing the debugs that will make the items that you read in that dry book (it took me a while to digest it all) and with the limited hands on give you the understanding to pass the test quicker.


                   I highly recommend the topics of Routing, Switching (duh, but there is a lot of material here) and then QOS. Natually there is a full reading list. When I started earlier this year, I got every title on the reading list (company provided) and I will say that there is a lot of great material here. Do not think you need to buy them all. Worst case you can get them at the local library, or even get you a Safari online subscription, etc...


                   The cost per 8 hours on rack rentals are in fact coming down. Use the dynamips solution for quite some time and then if you can get an actual 3560 or do the rack rental as you get closer. If you do a search, I read the cisco press book, but got a lot of assistance from one of the big 4 training vendors written guide. I years of experience to draw upon, but the focus of the traiing vendors material should reinforce your reading in the list. Do not discount the time that it will take to read the readling list. But you should now begin doing hands on, getting used to the CLI, learn how to do some debugging in your lab or practice environment.  I am sure you will get a lot of other comments and opinions. None are 100% correct or incorrect...


                   Where are you located? Is there a Cisco users group in your area? Do you have someone that you know as a partner that is at the CCNP level also looking at the path you are selecting that you can bound ideas around with? That would help as well... You have to stay motiivated and love what you do. I wish you the best, and if you have questions post, or send a private message! Congrats!

              • 4. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                Michael Law



                Thanks for the helpful information. I didn't know about the rack rentals--that's a more cost effective than purchasing all this equipment yourself. As for the books, I will need more than just CCIE routing and switching topics correct? I Googled "CCIE recommended books" and found: http://www.ine.com/resources/cciebooks.htm. They list more books like QoS and IOS Architecture. Would you recommend all this reading or just stick with the TCP/IP Routing and Switching? Also, what is the Safari subscription? I have seen that in the back of some of my books but never looked into it.


                I'm currently located in Lafayette, Indiana. We have a Cisco Academy at a local college but it only goes as high as the CCNA. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone that is working on the same goal as I am.





                • 5. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum

                  Hi Michael,


                    I'm starting to study CCIE material as well, big welcome to this group!! Well, there is a reading list (in the CCIE R&S section) as previously mentioned that you can consider about. I'm currently using Safari books, they are great resources, it basically gives you an online version of the book. Most books have those codes so you can use the online books for free for sometimes. I personally purchased subscription from Safari, though.



                  • 6. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                    CCBOOTCAMP - CCIE



                    Welcome to the start of your CCIE studies! 3725s are probably overkill for a home lab - but they will work fine. 2600XMs are nice lab routers.


                    What you should take a hard look at is the Cisco 360 program:



                    It's comprised of:



                    The self-paced video lessons are a good way to get started on specific technologies. Also, the preassessment is a good way to indentify where some of your strengths and weaknessess are.  If you have specific questions about the Cisco 360 program components, feel free to drop me an email (CCBOOTCAMP is a Cisco 360 Learning Program provider)



                    Brad Ellis



                    • 7. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                      Alex Berdan

                      Brad, you forgot to add one more thing: when you buy 360 you buy it ONLY 1 year, after that everything is gone ... so if you fail you must buy it again ... cool thing to make money isn't it?

                      • 8. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                        CCBOOTCAMP - CCIE



                        Hi! I agree 100% with your concern, and that's one of the issues I've been addressing with the Cisco 360 team.  We are in the process of working with Cisco to extend the subscription date to 18 months, and possibly longer - if needed.  We've already had situations where students have needed an extension on their Cisco 360 subscription and Cisco has been EXTREMELY accomodating providing wonderful customer service and extending students' time. If you're interested in a free pre-assessment, feel free and email me directly. I think you'll see the Cisco 360 learning program for CCIE is a great way to prepare.


                        Brad Ellis



                        • 9. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                          Alex Berdan

                          Brad, then I guess we're talking about renting some training material and for that case price should be a lot cheaper (my opinion).

                          Just think about the car rental for a second and you'll get me.

                          • 10. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                            Michael Law



                            Is this program you posted in the discussion suppose to take me from "starting CCIE"->"get ready to take the exam"? Now, that people have posted some ideas about materials, books, etc... I'm trying to work on a plan of attack for the certification. I want the plan to be right the first time, of course. I haven't read too deep into the Cisco 360 program. Is the target audience people who have read CCIE books and are looking to wrap up their knowledge and test soon or people who haven't read anything. I currently hold a CCNP so that's my only approach to the CCIE. I haven't purchased anything or cracked open one CCIE book yet.


                            Thank you for your posting and input everyone!!



                            • 11. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum

                              Hi! It is great to see you begin your CCIE studies. We have a dedicated approach and methodology that has worked for many people. You will want to concentrate of your written first and then continue with the lab training. The 360 Program will take you from beginning to end. The important thing to remember is that you plan a strategy and you stick to it. You will need the components within the Cisco 360 Program and you will need to attend classes as well. At some point in your training you will want to get in front of a CCIE instructor by attending a class - it is well worth it.


                              I can go into details about the products when you are ready to begin. Remember - written first.

                              • 12. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                                Michael Law

                                I am astonished at the support I am getting from the CCIE community. It is refreshing to see people have so much passion for talking/helping other people on their CCIE path. It is apparent that the CCIE community enjoys what they do. I am ever-hopeful to rise to the ranks and understand the knowledge of the CCIE program. I continue to give thanks to the members of the forum for their quick, accurate and boastful responses.


                                Best Regards,



                                • 13. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                                  Scott Morris - CCDE/4xCCIE/2xJNCIE

                                  You will always get support from people in the community!  There are several forums that are quite active with CCIEs and other professionals!  CLN is definitely a great one!


                                  Before you get too happy and gushy though, here (like any other forum) you need to be able to separate out the community helping versus the sales folks. 


                                  This forum should not degrade into a sales conversation.  But no matter what you choose to assist you in your path, there will always be people here to help!



                                  • 14. Re: Greetings CCIE Forum
                                    CCBOOTCAMP - CCIE



                                    You're definitely starting on the right path.  Cisco has done a wonderful job putting together a training program for CCIEs. Just wait until you take a look at the feedback you'll get from your graded assessments. Also, you'll find quite frequently, that some of the proctors and program managers post on these forums as well.  It's a wealth of information.


                                    Brad Ellis



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