Question for CCNP's and CCIE's

Answered Question
Jul 8th, 2007

OK

I have a question. I currently have passed the ONT, and BCMSN and I am now working on the BSCI (reading ch8 right now). I have to say that I feel

overwhelmed. I feel knowledge slipping though my fingers. Did any of you feel that way. I confess to being a lab rat. I don't have enough gear to do the labs most of the CCNP track reqires. I have (3) 3640's and (1) 2924<--too old. I tried Dynagen, but with just 3 routers setup it locked my system up. I'm wondering if I should just quit this whole thing. The last thing I want to do is get a job as a Network Engineer, and be asked to configure something and not remember how to do it. As you all know CCNP says that I can handle most Network situations, and I would probably lose a job over it, and with a small son who depends on me I;m just not sure that this is a risk I should be taking. Thoughts....

Jeff

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by keegan.holley about 9 years 6 months ago

Believe me if you go into your first engineering job with an NP you will be ahed of the game. You'd be suprised how many people are experts in their company's infrastructure but do not know general networking. I remember working in a a NOC for a fortune 500 company anad having a senior architect ask me what an unknown unicast was. I had another guy ask me what ospf was. (yes I'm serious.) He wasn't a senior architect but he worked with BGP peerings with new customers. We were peering via the circuit IP's so we never ran our IGP to them. Since he ws only concerned with circuits and peerings he probabaly didn't know our IGP (IS-IS ironically) was there. I say this to remind you how many people do not even bother with certifications. They just learn whatever the company they hapapen to be working for uses (Usually by breaking it) and just ignore everything else. So just sit back relax and try to learn as soon as possible. P.S don't worry if you fail the BSCI the first time. I know more people that passed the CCIE R&S on the first try than the BSCI and they were taking the easier versions. Stop worrying go have a beer (or a whiskey) and just be glad you not a garbage man or a rodeo clown.

Keegan

Correct Answer by srue about 9 years 6 months ago

Simply from what I've read, ISP's use IS-IS as their IGP in many cases. Yes, they still use BGP as well.

Correct Answer by a.cruea1980 about 9 years 6 months ago

Not to sound like the jerk of the bunch, but stop putting so much pressure on yourself.

I work as a VoIP Engineer for a decent sized place. . .no CCNA. No college degree. Only 6 months of knowledge for CallManager and Unity, and some stuff I'd read for Cisco network stuff.

A smart employer isn't going to say "You're a CCNP, you must know all!!" A smart employer is going to look at you, see your potential, and gauge you with that. The reason I got my job wasn't the knowledge I had, it was that I knew more than most who had been in the field for much longer, so the potential was there for good things.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone has to consult a manual now and again to remember things. The important part is that you know what you CAN do, not that you know how to do it off the top of your head.

Correct Answer by srue about 9 years 6 months ago

ISP's would use IS-IS.

Sounds like you need a couple weeks off after your next exam.

If you are worried about not having the right equipment, I always recommend online rack rentals.

just enter "cisco rack rental" into your favorite search engine and you'll get some results.

Correct Answer by keegan.holley about 9 years 6 months ago

Keep going... When I got my first real engineering job I was shocked by how little of what I had learned I used on a daily basis. The first is configuration. Most of the things that you learn to configure studying for the tests are set in "cookie-cutter" style policies in most enterprises. If you are configuring things such as bgp peerings or adding interfaces to ospf you will have a set proceedure to work with. If you are designint such policies you will be encouraged to look things up on cisco.com or even consult a live engineer. As far s the lab goes you may wnt to look into some of the legacy gear for learning the basics. I have two three foot racks full of 25oo's and 2600's that I have used to impreove my speed and all but master the basics. While they are useless for some of the newer features I don't think I'll ever have a problem troubleshooting faailed bgp or ospf peerings or simple routeing problems. So keep studying! No one is going to care if you forget what a type 8 LSA is or the length or the stp max_age timer.

GL,

Keegan

Correct Answer by jcrussell about 9 years 6 months ago

I think you can get by with that equipment. I used Boson NetSim and 2 3550's running EMI code for my CCNP. Just take your time and absorb it all. Nobody said you HAD to get a new job the instant you get the CCNP, right?

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Correct Answer
jcrussell Sun, 07/08/2007 - 15:37

I think you can get by with that equipment. I used Boson NetSim and 2 3550's running EMI code for my CCNP. Just take your time and absorb it all. Nobody said you HAD to get a new job the instant you get the CCNP, right?

Correct Answer
keegan.holley Sun, 07/08/2007 - 17:07

Keep going... When I got my first real engineering job I was shocked by how little of what I had learned I used on a daily basis. The first is configuration. Most of the things that you learn to configure studying for the tests are set in "cookie-cutter" style policies in most enterprises. If you are configuring things such as bgp peerings or adding interfaces to ospf you will have a set proceedure to work with. If you are designint such policies you will be encouraged to look things up on cisco.com or even consult a live engineer. As far s the lab goes you may wnt to look into some of the legacy gear for learning the basics. I have two three foot racks full of 25oo's and 2600's that I have used to impreove my speed and all but master the basics. While they are useless for some of the newer features I don't think I'll ever have a problem troubleshooting faailed bgp or ospf peerings or simple routeing problems. So keep studying! No one is going to care if you forget what a type 8 LSA is or the length or the stp max_age timer.

GL,

Keegan

vmzyece1977 Sun, 07/08/2007 - 17:29

I recently was attached to a seminar at cisco. We had a lot of work to go through interms of Voice, security, routing and switching. I thought i knew the stuff but to see other people do theirs, you feel encouraged. You can never remember everything but you can never forget everything either.

Just look at the little one and that should be a reason enough not to give up, because from what i saw, the sky is the limit when you get to the top.

I hope you wont plant the quiting spirit in your child, so get up and do it!!!!

jcarrabine Mon, 07/09/2007 - 02:03

Hey thanks for the words of encouragement. This whole thing has just got to me lately. I love switching and routing. It really is fun stuff. I guess that it's the not knowing what to expect from being a real Network Engineer that has me worried. There is just SO, SO, SO, much information. There is nothing that I haven't been able to understand, but trying to remember ALL of it my brain just won't do. My brain already want's to kick IS-IS out simply because I can't see why anyone would use it over some of the other IGP's. Well maybe I'll just take a break from it, and finally DO something this summer, and get back to it in a week or two.

J

Correct Answer
srue Mon, 07/09/2007 - 04:19

ISP's would use IS-IS.

Sounds like you need a couple weeks off after your next exam.

If you are worried about not having the right equipment, I always recommend online rack rentals.

just enter "cisco rack rental" into your favorite search engine and you'll get some results.

jcarrabine Mon, 07/09/2007 - 05:32

I though a majority of ISP's used BGP. Anyhow any job listing that listed IS-IS I would personally stay away from, and that includes ISP's. I don't have a real interest in working with ISP's, or IS-IS. I want to work in corporation's. I probably will take some time off. I've been over doing this whole thing. Rack rental is something I may have to investigate.

Correct Answer
a.cruea1980 Mon, 07/09/2007 - 08:47

Not to sound like the jerk of the bunch, but stop putting so much pressure on yourself.

I work as a VoIP Engineer for a decent sized place. . .no CCNA. No college degree. Only 6 months of knowledge for CallManager and Unity, and some stuff I'd read for Cisco network stuff.

A smart employer isn't going to say "You're a CCNP, you must know all!!" A smart employer is going to look at you, see your potential, and gauge you with that. The reason I got my job wasn't the knowledge I had, it was that I knew more than most who had been in the field for much longer, so the potential was there for good things.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Everyone has to consult a manual now and again to remember things. The important part is that you know what you CAN do, not that you know how to do it off the top of your head.

Correct Answer
srue Mon, 07/09/2007 - 09:01

Simply from what I've read, ISP's use IS-IS as their IGP in many cases. Yes, they still use BGP as well.

jcarrabine Mon, 07/09/2007 - 10:51

Hey that's all good to hear. Because I don't work as a Engineer YET, I simply think of situations of flapping and being under pressure to fix it ASAP, or implementing integrated services QOS. To me, I don't see why you would choose it when you have diffserv, or autoQOS. It just seemes like a lot of config, and there were better systems in place. So integrated is an example of info not completely in the memory banks anymore, but I DO still have the ONT book....which is a great read by-the-by. Not a jerk at all. I thank all who responded for the slap in the face. This has been, and continues to be a tough journey. Cisco is making me insane, but hopefully it will all be with a bright sunny rainbow ending!!!

P.S. I was unaware of the IS-IS IGP used by ISP's. I figured they would be mainstream, and use something like OSPF. I just don't like the layer 2 tagging IS-IS uses, or the level thing. Maybe because it doesn't follow "traditional" IGP's with the whole network a.b.c.d pattern I am so use to.

Correct Answer
keegan.holley Mon, 07/09/2007 - 11:32

Believe me if you go into your first engineering job with an NP you will be ahed of the game. You'd be suprised how many people are experts in their company's infrastructure but do not know general networking. I remember working in a a NOC for a fortune 500 company anad having a senior architect ask me what an unknown unicast was. I had another guy ask me what ospf was. (yes I'm serious.) He wasn't a senior architect but he worked with BGP peerings with new customers. We were peering via the circuit IP's so we never ran our IGP to them. Since he ws only concerned with circuits and peerings he probabaly didn't know our IGP (IS-IS ironically) was there. I say this to remind you how many people do not even bother with certifications. They just learn whatever the company they hapapen to be working for uses (Usually by breaking it) and just ignore everything else. So just sit back relax and try to learn as soon as possible. P.S don't worry if you fail the BSCI the first time. I know more people that passed the CCIE R&S on the first try than the BSCI and they were taking the easier versions. Stop worrying go have a beer (or a whiskey) and just be glad you not a garbage man or a rodeo clown.

Keegan

jcarrabine Mon, 07/09/2007 - 16:46

Keegan,

You are absoultly right in what you say. I was proven that today. A couple of our Network Engineers came to my building to remove our 3825 router because they said it was too much horsepower for us, and they needed it elsewhere. As they were leaving I asked if we used BGP. One guy said he didn't know because he had never been in our data center (core), but the other guy said that we just started using it. I started to ask "is it dual homed, fully meshed, using two ISP's"? He said he didn't know, that another guy set it up (CCIE) and he was going to start working on learing that (BGP) with the CCIE's help and by reading. That guy I am speaking of has 10yrs as a Network Engineer and never messed with BGP. That really floored me. So it's funny that you happen to speak of that just the same day I experienced a real life senario of the same situation. By the way we got a 2800 to replace the 3825. It's not as impressive looking router as the 3825. Also the guy who does not know about BGP does NOT hold any certs. I suspect he can route the heck out of OSPF (our IGP) though.

odegbenga Mon, 07/16/2007 - 15:35

Mates, tweak your dynagen and it will work like magic. i run 12 routers on my laptop. And I implement multicast and loads of BGP on it for staging when am on the road and I do not have access to Office kit or my home rack. With experience you only know how to implement what you do. So if you are only involve with IGP for 20 years, guess that is the only technology you know. But if you bcome an NP or hopefully a CCIE. You know most the of technologies and if you are ccie, it means you know and have implemented. That makes me head and shoulder ahead. Even though you might not use 50% of what you know in real life scenario except you are a Network Consultant or Designer

admore123 Tue, 07/17/2007 - 01:24

Dear jeff,

by now you should be able to know what is expected of you about cisco certification exams. it will not be abad idea if you spend time on configuring any device including the ones you have. when you get a job as network engineer the employer feels he/she has employed an asset for their company. their alot of sites on the internet that lent their devices. i wish you all the best.

admore.

cyphur353 Mon, 07/23/2007 - 04:53

I'd say, stop worrying about what could be, and focus on your studies. Knowledge - and confidence in that knowledge - is key.

I was a Cisco Academy student, had no enterprise network experience, and after getting just my CCNA and passing the Multilayer Switching exam, I interviewed for and got a position as 1 of 2 network administrators of one of the largest community colleges in my state(20+ locations, 800+ managed devices).

Most of the time, employers want to see a solid understanding of the technologies, and a solid head on your shoulders. If you know how to solve problems, you'll figure out how to configure/fix something. Also, you'll almost always find yourself as part of a team, so you'll typically be able to ask for help.

cyphur353 Mon, 07/23/2007 - 04:54

I'd say, stop worrying about what could be, and focus on your studies. Knowledge - and confidence in that knowledge - is key.

Most of the time, employers want to see a solid understanding of the technologies, and a solid head on your shoulders. If you know how to solve problems, you'll figure out how to configure/fix something. Also, you'll almost always find yourself as part of a team, so you'll typically be able to ask for help.

jcarrabine Fri, 07/27/2007 - 10:31

OK I'm sold. I actually sit for the BSCI on 8-3. Thanks to all that kicked me in the butt.

sivakumar.kvp Sun, 07/29/2007 - 10:38

hi,

i need a help friend..actually iam preparing for BCMSN exam.do you have simulator which supports ccnp level..

--shiv.

jcarrabine Fri, 08/03/2007 - 10:00

Sorry. I used real switches for that one.

On another front I passed the BSCI BARELY with an 806. I have some work to do in the routing area. The BSCI was VERY VERY VERY VERY hard.

response3 Wed, 08/08/2007 - 16:05

Congrats! From what I've heard, you're 70% closer to being a CCIE once you've passed BSCI/BSMSN/ONT. Just get into the details and you're there.

prasenjitmedhi Wed, 08/08/2007 - 21:27

Man I'm preparing for it as well and the amount of material is humungous. There are apparently Professional level exams covering topics like BGP, all by itself, and yet we need to learn about not just BGP, and a lot of its bells and whistles, but OSPF, IS-IS, and route redistribution AND IP V6. Thank god they havent thrown in MPLS as well .. Hmm have they?

I think lots of practice is a must if you have a hope of passing the BSCI. *sigh*

cyphur353 Thu, 08/09/2007 - 05:49

I was lucky enough to squeek by taking the old BSCI last December. It still had OSPF, E/IGRP, RIP(v1/2), route redistribution, a little IPv6, and a good chunk of BGP. It is one of the harder tests in CCNP, but I think I will actually have more difficulty with ISCW as I have far less experience in those technologies(device security, VPNs, MPLS).

babatunde_sanda Sun, 05/25/2008 - 10:30

Yes you are right. The BSCI was really hard. I passed on third attempt with 845 too. From forums I understand that is the hardest of the CCNP track. So am happy thats out of the way.

I too used to worry about committing all to memory but later realized that is not imperative. You just need to understand the logic very well and you should be able to achieve a desired configuration. I have also equipped myself with portable command guides. Like the BSCI and ONT portable command guides (Amazon has them for cheaps). Things like this help juggle the memory when need be. Every job role requirement is different. I work as a network technician. My role involves managing the CCM and unity and am the primary person responsible for the R,S & F. I only have the CCNA and BSCI (working on the rest at my phase)reading BCMSN "no stress". To sum it up, Absorb as much knowledge as you can and equip yourself with good colleagues and quick reference materials and you should be fine (thats my take)

shokoldinho Sat, 05/17/2008 - 10:14

How do you get bsci last. I thought it was supposed to be the first and easiest exam that anyone took.

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