Every CCIE candidate faces the same challenges. How can we take in the huge amount of information and still retain it for later use? There are a few options available. When I do labs I use a notebook (paper) and write down issues I encounter and good commands for verification. I have also in the past made flash cards that I have made available for everyone interested in downloading them.
The issue with flashcards or producing a huge document with notes is that it takes time, A LOT of time. You will almost spend as much time creating notes as you spend on actual labbing. I had heard of the Routing-Bits Handbook earlier and had heard good things about it. The book is written by Ruhann Du Plessis and he is a dual CCIE #24163 (R&S and SP).
Ruhanns motivation for writing the book was that there were no books available that covered content for the lab exam in a concise format. The book is designed to be concise but still have enough detail for what is needed to pass the CCIE lab exam.
The book contains the following areas:
In every section there is a brief description of how protocols and standards work. Take for example Q-in-Q (dot1q-tunnel). There is a brief description of the technology. The requirements to run it is listed and caveats with running it is also described and there is also a config set that shows how you configure it. This is one of my favourite parts with the book that we get config sets showing how to use the technology. For many of the sections we will also see where we can find documentation on the DOCCD.
At the end of a section we are also shown how to verify configuration and how to do troubleshooting in a structured way. There is a lot you can learn from this section.
All in all the book consists of 356 pages which is a good size. If it were shorter a lot of details would have to be left out but if it was longer than it could take too long time to get through it.
My suggestion is to use this book when you are doing your labs. Try to find help on the DOCCD first and if you can’t find it or want an example on how to configure it look in the Routing-Bits Handbook. Never use Google unless you really have to. The further you get into your studies you will find that you will not have to reference books as much.
It is also a good tool for doing revision. If you spare 30 minutes per day you can probably go through 1 or 2 sections and that would be 1-2 weeks to do a cycle. I definitely think this book will help me spend less time on producing notes and more time doing labs which will bring me closer to the CCIE. You have to respect the time and amount of work that Ruhann has put into this book. The book costs 99$ if you are interested in buying it but Ruhann has kindly agreed to provide a discount of 20% for the readers of this blog. Send a mail referring to this site if you buy it and you will receive the discount.
If you want to look at a sample of the book you can find it at Ruhanns ( title=”Routing-bits” target=”_blank”>site. This is the direct link to the ( title=”Routing-bits handbook sample” target=”_blank”>sample.
Ruhann has also told me that he is working on an updated version and I will update or write a new post on that version when it is released.