So I have been pretty quiet lately. I am in full preparation for my second attempt which is not in a so distant future.

Since my first attempt I have not been doing any Vol2 labs I am focusing on Vol1 type scenarios mostly creating my own scenarios for features I want to test the behavior of.

When doing labs it is easy to get into a mindset of finishing x amount of labs in z amount of time and when you get a hickup you don’t spend enough time troubleshooting it because you want to finish the labs you had planned to do. This is dangerious behavior and will lead to not having full understanding of topics and also your troubleshooting skills will be lacking.

That is why I have focused on some topics and made sure I learned them as well as I can and not stop when I meet some obstacle. This is time consuming but a great learning experience. This is also a good way to improve on your troubleshooting skills.

My main focus now for the remainder of the time until the lab will be focused on troubleshooting scenarios. This is how I plan to do it. I am writing a document with different topics like Layer 2, frame relay, RIP, EIGRP, OSPF etc etc and for each technology I break down what is needed to make it work, how to recognize errors and what are the options to mitigate these errors.

For the troubleshooting section of the lab it is very important to know how each feature works and what are typical ways of making the feature break.

So I am mostly creating my own isolated scenarios which means I have to configure the feature first and then I break it. This gives practice in both configuration and troubleshooting.

I feel that the key for passing in my next attempt is the TS section. I have good hopes for the config section but we will see what Cisco has planned for me next time 🙂

Here is a brain teaser for you. Configure frame relay on two routers where one routers uses Cisco encapsulation and other side is using IETF encapsulation. Either do it back to back or in my case I used a frame switch. When pinging between devices what will the result be? Why?

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9 thoughts on “Update

  • April 12, 2012 at 12:32 am

    How much time are you spending on prep? 10 hours a week? 20 hours a week? How is this loaded? Evenly from week to week? Gradual increase by x hours until test day (or just before)?

    • April 12, 2012 at 6:28 am

      I’m spending about 20-25h per week on studies. And on top of that I have work so it is getting pretty exhausting by now. I study roughly the same amount of time every week. I had a couple of days off when I went skiing otherwise I’m keeping a steady pace until lab day.

  • April 12, 2012 at 8:23 am


    best of luck for you next attempt. will you be sharing this doc, and i am willing to help in the prepping of doc if you like 😀

    • April 12, 2012 at 9:53 am

      For now it is under development. I might share it later but I have to make sure that it does not contain information that would break NDA. I have lots of plans on how to give back to the community but have to make sure I pass first.

      Thank you for your wishes.

  • April 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I’m a network engineer and ccnp I decided to start studying for the CCIE. I would like to ask u about practicing CCIE lab. should I get “2*3550 and 2*3560 and GNS3 machine” or I should go with rack rental. which is the best? Also I would like to know from you experience what is the best way to study for CCIE lab and written. your reply is highly appreciated

    • April 13, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Hi Ahmed,

      I would go for the Dynamips setup with switches. I can do 99% of everything and will probably be cheaper in the end and then you can lab at anytime you want. My friend Darren has written about how to setup that kind of system.

      For the written you should build a solid foundation, don’t try to rush it as you will only fool yourself. Go through the classic books like TCP/IP volumes by Doyle, Internet Routing Architectures by Halabi and maybe a book on switching. Then use the cert guide to get repitition of all topics. I used Boson to prepare for the exam, they have good questions which are at similar difficulty as written exam.

      For the lab you need to decide on a vendor and stick with that. You need to know everything on the blueprint so it takes time to learn it all. When you study try to understand all steps and don’t just learn to configure. That is my best advice.

      Good luck on your journey.

  • April 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    For the brain teaser:
    Both devices will be able to ping the other without any issues.

    The reason for this is that the encapsulation command only changes the way that egressing frames are encapsulated and because Cisco devices are able to de-encapsulate both IETF and Cisco frames there won’t be any issues in receiving frames on either end.

    • April 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Absolutely correct David. This came as a surprise to me the first time I saw it. How are your studies going?

  • April 16, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I keep stalling with them due to work being super hectic at the moment, as of this week I should be able to knuckle back down with my Vol1 labs.

    I’m *hoping* for a July/August lab date but that could easily change 😛

    Best of luck for attempt number two, I’m sure you’ll smash it!


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