I passed the lab yesterday in RTP. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. Just a few comments for all lab takers in future.
I had a little navigational issues with the new format of the lab being in PDF on the desktop instead of the old paper/folder type of exam I am used to, Took me a little while to adjust to it. It would have been nice to have two monitors, one with all those PDFs, diagrams and Cisco documentation links etc. and one for the Putty sessions to devices. I heard Brussels already has it (not sure) but I think Cisco should add it to all test centers, now that all labs are in the online format.
With 14-15 devices to configure (N7K, N5K, N2K, N1K, MDS, FI-cli) , one RDP session to UCS, One DCNM link, vmware client link and a link for Cisco documentation, I thought the single 23" screen was not enough. You can easily make a mistake by typing into a wrong device session window as the names of devices are also very similar and without proper attention, mistake is possible, after all, we are all human right ?. For the guys who are familiar with the new format, it would be ok but for old timers, be prepared to be navigating a lot up and down on the screen along with multiple putty sessions and watch which devices you are confuguring !!
As for the lab itself, I thought it was not difficult but slightly complex in the order and wording of the questions. If it was for me, I might have worded a few questions differently but maybe that's what a CCIE lab is. You have to read the whole lab and make a good sense of the order and sequence of how you should configure it to optimize your time. The time of 8-hours was, I think enough, infact more !!. Cisco probably finally listened to students and it seems this lab has more structured tasks to be able to finish earlier and even re-check your work. I have no complaints on the time.
And one major concern I think is the lab scheduling. It is extremely difficult to find a date. If I had failed, the next abailable date is in February. Thank GOD, I am done with it, and good luck to all those who have DC on their wish-list.
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS. I have great respect for anyone who can pass a CCIE lab. Second, thank you for the great feedback--it will greatly help those of us who are still making the climb. Finally, take a break--you deserve it!
Pending validation I passed the CCIE-DC written yesterday so now I need to schedule my lab date... onward and upward!!!
I read your comment before i took the lab exam myself recently. I couldn't understand what you meant when you said "two monitors". I certainly understood after my first attemp at RTP. I kept on configuring the wrong device and assumed there must be HW problem when i couldn't see interfaces coming up. But after a while I see I have been configuring the wrong device. I took this exam as more of a personal challenge and curiosity. If Cisco doesn't repect it enough to provide the right exam experience, I don't think i will sign up for it again.
Who would have thought that the (currently) most difficult part of studying for the CCIE-DC lab is finding an ACE4710 on which to practice? Short of just outright purchasing one, anyone have any tips/tricks?