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    CCIE Voice Lab


      Hey everyone I just passed the written part of the IE Voice not it is time to start the working on my LAB prep.  I am looking for infromation on best study guides? Should I do a bootcamp? Is anyone looking for a study partner?  Thanks, Rick

        • 1. Re: CCIE Voice Lab

          I would go with INE Voice workbook and rack; M. Snow has just updated everything releated to Voice.

          • 2. Re: CCIE Voice Lab
            Michael CCIE 38404

            Congradulations.  Now comes the real challange passing the lab.  You asked about study Materials for the lab.  Well INE is the best in the business.  They have a complete criculum for the LAB and thats what I use.  Mark Snow is the best in the business.  Theres also IPExpert which I also Use.  Vic Malhi is also very good and I use their materials as well.


            As far as a bootcamp I would recommend going through all of the INE materials or IPExpert Materials first.  Also you will want to build a home lab for study.  Using Rental Racks isn't that good but if you have to it works I guess.


            I'm about to do my second attempt at the lab on July 26.  Don't let anyone tell you different -->the lab is hard and time is a critical element when taking the lab.  Also, the lab you build should resemble the blueprint exactly, same code, equipment if possible to get a feel for what your in for.


            You should also join  ccie_voice@onlinestudylist.com study list because your going to have a lot of questions and the group has a lot of the answers.


            Anyway, good luck with the lab and hope to see you out on the list.



            • 3. Re: CCIE Voice Lab

              Congratulations that is the first step and welcome to your path to CCIE.  I would say your path depends on your skill and readiness.


              I would highly recommend stopping over at OneExamaMonth.com for Kevin Wallace.  He has some nice free stuff and a monthly subscription service that walks you through a mock lab he created.  This is not a lab to simulate the real lab but more of a process lab.  He also has a great set of CCNP videos (some for free) that are very useful since many of the skill sets are the same.  His pricing is very reasonable and his videos downloadable to load on a tablet or phone for portable viewing.  If you join his CCIE Voice Alchemy ($49 per month) he gives you a bundle offer on the videos (for sale and free) he has created.  I again would highly recommend this at the start of your path so as you’re going through whatever path you take; you are practicing the method he is teaching.


              INE has Mark Snow and his stuff is good also, Mark is very detailed oriented and can help you learn the nuts and bolts of everything.  If you are using remote rack time their sessions are a little shorter so you can run out of time easily when doing a full lab mock.  The advantage is you practice to finish the mock lab in 5.5 hours so you have time to spare on the real one.  I also like their access anyway lab setup.  It is very nice.  Lastly, if money is tight now but your time is not, they have an all access pass; this is $159 a month and lets you review all the video training you want.  If you are a sponge it can be a great way to get lots of info fast.


              IPExpert has Vik Malhi and he is exceptionally good at Cisco voice but he tends to focus on the task at hand and not the details to get there.  So if you go with IPExpert then there is a lot of filling in the blanks on your part.  The remote rack sessions at IPExpert are pretty good and run for almost 8 hours.  That is nice for simulating your lab time limits.  I actually like the new mock 5 lab workbook they have out now.  I think it is very nice and again a little more affordable than the other items.


              As for creating your own lab, I think that again is your path, I find both very useful.  Actually what I tend to do is use my local rack for daily learning tasks, short practice sessions and trying out strategies (like building my dial-peers in notepad then pasting into router so if there is a change or mistake, I just fix the notepad, paste and reuse for other routers)  I then use the rack sessions for my mock labs from that company (right now IPExpert 5 lab workbook) and when I finish a lab, I then use my local lab to work through any issues I ran into during my mock lab.  I find this very helpful because I am not constantly resetting my local lab and I can come back to it very easily.


              Something that is not as easily done is getting all your servers set up.  VMware is very useful in this, you do not need a super powerful server but a nice high end PC will do.  I am running my VMware ESXi on a Intel i5 at 3.3Ghz CPU with 16GB ram, I built it with multiple HDD and dual NIC's so I could separate out the VM's to HDD's and NIC access.  I found this to be very fast access when I work on it.  I also run a CUCM, CUPS and CUCx as VM's on my laptops in VMware.  I do this because I want to learn the menus forward and back so when in the exam if they ask me to do something like verify the database replication in the GUI, I want to be able to do that as quickly as possible. When I have free time and not doing a post like this, I am either typing commands or learning the menus on CUCM/CUCx as best I can.


              Well sorry for the long post but hopefully it will be helpful and you will earn your CCIE.



              • 4. Re: CCIE Voice Lab

                All the best for the lab exams !


                I am also preparing for voice lab and using IPExpert materials.

                • 5. Re: CCIE Voice Lab



                  Thanks for the great information in your reply to my post.  I am still in the discovery phase of what/who/and how on the Lab.  From the information I have gathered to this point I will be building a at home lab and working with someone like INE (front runners as of now).  I have watched a few of Mark Snow videos the free ones and like his approach and knowledge.


                  I have 20 + years of networking with router, switches, but not much experience with CM,CME, CUCM, CMx, but I believe I am strong in trouble shooting and logical thinking process.  I hope the Lab does not expose my self-confidence in these area to be false.


                  Hopefully you will have your CCIE voice soon


                  When is your Lab?  What location?



                  • 6. Re: CCIE Voice Lab

                    Rick you are welcome, I have used several vendors products to include INE, IPexpert, CCBootcamp and Kevin Wallace. In hindsight if I could do it again, I would do the following:


                    Start with CCIE Voice Alchemy by Kevin Wallace, it will give you a good structure to start with and his approach gives one week to practice what you learn between sessions.


                    Then use the Mark Snow - INE products at the same time or after demending on your amount of free/study time. If you have lots of free time you might want to go with the all access pass/workbooks but otherwise buy the bundle. I think Mark Snow's approach and attention to detail matches my building blocks method, I think almost any task can be broken down into small packages to do, his attention to detail helps me do just that.


                    Finally, the IPexpert 5-Lab-Handbook is going to challenge you as mock labs in prep.  I wish Vik would be as detailed as Mark Snow but don't be fooled by that, he creates very challenging and is an exceptional Voice guy.  I have always found him to be awesomely helpful. The cost for this is often discounted so look for that and you will not be upset by the product.


                    Well as always way to much information but why shouldn't you avoid spending money on things you do not need.  I bought stuff that I never use because it was on sale or in the case of CCBootCamp they were the first to market with the IE 3.0 so I thought it would be polished, it was not.



                    • 7. Re: CCIE Voice Lab

                      Sorry my lab will be the last week of August and I hope to pass, I am studying every weekend and during the week.

                      • 8. Re: CCIE Voice Lab

                        Hello this mourning i was on google searching about ccie lab experience and i  found this link :


                        Here the link of forum that i read about lab with version 8.


                        http://www.voiceie.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=8;t=003260  ---------------------------- Im very worried , expense i lot of time and money and i dont want this kind of yoke..



                        • 9. Re: CCIE Voice Lab
                          Alejandro Cortes


                          That is only rumors..... Cisco is moving to version 9 the next year, maybe on May according to a bird.

                          • 10. Re: CCIE Voice Lab
                            Matt Saunders - Community Manager

                            Hi Rick - In terms of best study guides, we highley reccomend the Voice 360 program! Are you familiar with this offereing?


                            ~ Matt

                            • 11. Re: CCIE Voice Lab
                              Alejandro Cortes

                              Oh God, Matt sorry to tell this but Cisco 360 ( I can´t say it in words).
                              - WKs are for ccbootcamp (support is really really bad, really difficult to get a reply for emails), WKs has a lot of mistakes.

                                 I query about the bootcamp instructor name to check his professional history and not answer since few weeks ago after I sent few emails.

                              - Cisco 360 web site the material in there is useless, nothing special all that information is on the web.

                              - The only good thing about the cisoc 360 web site is the graded labs.

                              - Cisco 360 video training really boring, not uptoday.

                              - This is really really expesive comparing on what you get.


                              You really need to look at other vendors and upgrade the cisco 360 program with good material.


                              I really recommend other vendors for CCIE Voice training like INE or IPexper. I used INE and their videos are really nice , easy to learn, you can ping the instructors for questions and they reply really fast. Also their workbooks are great.

                              • 12. Re: CCIE Voice Lab
                                Matt Saunders - Community Manager

                                Thank you so much for your feedback Alex. I'm going to touch bases with a couple of internal folks here for their thoughts as well.

                                • 13. Re: CCIE Voice Lab

                                  I had a similar experience to Alex as well:


                                  1.  purchased Cisco 360

                                  2.  I got a link and logged in with little instruction on how to navigate the site

                                  3.  Clicked around and found the same material as elsewhere.  It was useless to me because I already know the concepts.  If you are preparing for the lab, then the concepts are a given.  Instead we need to work on how the features interact with each other and tips/tricks to get them working together.

                                  4.  I also found the labs useful, but I found my vendor labs more useful because they did not encrypt everything with the Locklizard app, which eventally timed out and now I cannot even review the material that I did go through.  It does let you print once, but that is a lot of paper and not really worth it to me.  Those files are now deleted because Locklizard won't let me access.

                                  5.  I went to the first one-week 360 training, and the syllabus just had us go through more slides with concepts that all of us in the class already knew.  All of the students protested and we instead made our own agenda that was more relevant to the lab - like what is the fastest way to configure the lab and major issues to look out for when configuring.  I gave the teacher high marks, but the intended course significantly low marks.

                                  6.  The remote labs that I did suffer from the same problem that all vendor remote labs have:  phone access and interface sucks.  Suggestion:  Adapt the Cisco Soft Phone GUI to interface with a physical phone.  The Java implementations are frustrating and diffuicult to use.  I cannot tell if the problem is the GUI or my configuration.

                                  7.  I had to move on to higher-priority projects at my job, and when I got back to working on labs about 6 months later I was timed out of the 360 portal and Locklizard files.  My vendor could not extend the time or refund anything, so I as you can tell my experience was very poor.


                                  The loss of access was little matter to me because I did not get anything but a couple labs out of it.  The financial and time lost is something that we can all agree is frustrating, because most of us are building our own labs and often working with out-of-date information to get labs working and troubleshooting.


                                  How about if you ask people periodically on this Cisco Voice CCIE list what would be of value to them and attempt to include it in the Cisco 360 program?



                                  • 14. Re: CCIE Voice Lab
                                    Alejandro Cortes

                                    Can I exchange my full cisco 360 access (Graded labs, workbooks, rack time and my actual access) for a LAB attempt? 

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