CCNP, CCIE questions.

Unanswered Question
Oct 22nd, 2007

Hi, I'm currently preparing for my CCNA (640-802) exam for which I'll probably appear in a couple of weeks or so. After that, I've been planning to get a CCNP and if time and money permits, a CCIE (Security track).

I'd like to know a few things before I spend money on equipment/courses, so I'll be glad if anyone can help me out.

> I've studied for the CCNA exam by myself and didn't face any problems (been referring to Todd Lammle's updated book, in case you're curious). Now I was wondering whether I would be able to study for the CCNP on my own, or should I be looking at training courses either online or offline.

> Will I absolutely _NEED_ to buy Cisco routers and switches to practise for CCNP? I've seen websites which offer online rentals of routers. Is there a difference between having the routers/switches physically next to you, as opposed to telnetting into them? What about router simulators, how do they compare against practising on real routers?

> As for CCIE (Security), is it possible to learn the stuff on my own? Or would I need someone to help me out? I'm generally comfortable with learning on my own unless it's something that absolutely requires an instructor. Even then, I'm sure the Internet would be a good place to ask for help. Just need someone to tell me that it's possible without an instructor.

Well, sorry for the long post and thanks for looking at it. :)

I have this problem too.
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Hi There

I passed my CCNA earlier this year also through self study and have started to study for my CCNP.

I am also using self study for CCNP and I use material from Chris Bryant who is a CCIE ( and CBT material from Trainsignal, which is also produced by Chris.

I used this method for my CCNA and found it very good.

On the subject of hands on practice, I would say that if you can afford to put together a home lab it is well worth it. With your own lab you can work with it when ever you want and you can configure it any way you want.

Rack rental is also a good option, however you are at the mercy of a booking system, so the equipment might not always be available when you want to use it. Also they are usually set up in a certain configuration and you must work with this configuration.

In my opinion you should only use simulators as a last resort. When I was studying for my CCNA I started off using simulators. I soon became frustrated by the numerous bugs, and the unsupported commands. I ended up with 3 different simulators which gave me about 95% of the commands I needed. This meant that I had to do each lab 3 times, once on each sim. The amount of money I invested in simulators would have been better spent of real equipment which I what I ended up doing in the end. There is just no beating having your own Cisco equipment.

As for the CCIE. I would think that the CCIE would be self study due to the amount of material to be covered. There is no way a training course could impart all this information without frying your brain :) Also the recommendation appears to be that you really need to be working with Cisco equipment every day for a number of years before attempting the CCIE lab. You need to be really familiar with configuring all types of scenarios on Cisco equipment.

There are a number of resources for Cisco certification where you can ask questions from knowledgeable people, however Cisco certified people are bound by a non disclosure agreement, so they can not divulge what you will face on the different exams.

Well sorry for the equally long reply and I hope some of the content helps with your questions.

Best Regards & God luck with the CCNA exam,


joseph-sheena Mon, 10/22/2007 - 11:40

Hi Michael,

Your email reply is interesting and can relate to it. I used chris Bryant for my CCNA and found it incredibly helpful. I went thru the booking rack rental nightmare. Now, I'm preparing for me CCNP and would like to know the basic equipment I should have to do CCNP labs.

Also, can you recommend any good study guides? I will definately look for Chris Bryant notes as well.

Thank you


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Hi Joseph

The material I am using for my CCNP study is the study guide from Chris Bryant, the CBT's from Train signal (which is also Chris Bryant) and I have the Cisco Press books also.

As far as equipment required, for the CCNP labs I have the following equipment available for my hands on labs

Some of the 2600 & 3600 routers have IOS 12.4 the rest all have 12.3. The Pix are not really required, I just got them so I can gain some experience with them for my own benefit.

With this I just configure it to match Chris's CCNP lab workbooks.

For my BSCI studies, which I am currently just about complete, I configured the following labs,

Static Routing, RIP and Multi area OSPF Labs



BGP Labs

I have put together a lab workbook based on Chris's material from which I pick a section and then apply the required configuration to complete the labs which helps sharpen my configuration skills.




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