ASK THE EXPERT - PREPARING FOR CCIE IN ROUTING & SWITCHING

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Mar 21st, 2008
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Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to get an update on preparing for CCIE in Routing & Switching with Cisco expert Maurilio Gorito. Maurilio is a customer support engineer with the CCIE program at Cisco Systems, Inc. He has more than 22 years of networking experience and is a triple CCIE, with certifications in Routing & Switching (1998), WAN switching (2001), and Security (2003). Maurilio is the content manager for the CCIE R&S exams, written and lab exams and also serves as an exam proctor.


Remember to use the rating system to let Maurilio know if you have received an adequate response.


Maurilio might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Our moderators will post many of the unanswered questions in other discussion forums shortly after the event. This event lasts through April 4, 2008. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.

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Overall Rating: 4.9 (16 ratings)
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celticfc2007 Fri, 03/21/2008 - 13:12
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Hi,


I'm sure others have more useful things to ask, but this is a question I've wanted to ask a CCIE.


Is it realistic to go up the pyramid from CCNA > CCNP > CCIE-or get to CCNP level, and maybe obtain a CCIP or CCSP before taking on the CCIE Routing and Switching?


The reason I ask is, from what I understand the CCIE covers technologies at professional level, from other certification tracks, like the CCIP.



I'm thinking either way, will work, but from your experience, what would you recommend?


Respectfully,


Jason


mgorito Sat, 03/22/2008 - 10:38
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Hi Jason,


My advice going towards the CCIE Routing and Switching is to use the first path you pointed: CCNA > CCNP > CCIE R&S.


Although CCNA and CCNP are not requirements for CCIE going through this path will definitely help you to build the foundation for CCIE R&S.


Regards,

Maurilio


Danilo Dy Sat, 03/22/2008 - 06:14
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mgorito Sat, 03/22/2008 - 10:49
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Hi Dandy,


Excellent information you have found.


Regards,

Maurilio


mgorito Sat, 03/22/2008 - 10:47
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Hi,


Yes, you can visit the lab testing facility. If you want to anticipate that you are going to visit the lab facility you can contact our support team at www.cisco.com/go/certsupport to have this arranged. Or, upon your arrival, one or two days before the exam, you can go to the reception of the lab location and ask the receptionist to contact the lab Proctor.


Some times the Proctor may not be available at the time you arrived but he or she can work with you to find a good time to give you a tour.


Also, look Dandy's post to this discussion where you will find good information about the lab testing as well.


Regards,

Maurilio


svermill Sat, 03/22/2008 - 17:52
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Hi Rob,


One thing you'll want to do is make note of the exact building in which the lab is held. I traveled to San Jose a full day early and walked to the Cisco campus from my hotel. I assumed the main building would be easy to identify and that someone at the front desk would be able to direct me. My assumption was incorrect and so I just entered a building and asked the young lad manning the desk where the main building/entrance was. He informed me that was strictly confidential and unless I had a name and a phone number for him to call, I needed to leave. He clearly had never heard of the CCIE lab and was not helpful in the least. After I asked for his business card, he suddently had a change of heart and poked around on his computer for a while. Ultimately, he wound up directing me to the gym facility.


Needless to say additional stress on the day prior to your lab is redundant! So eliminate that by knowing the exact building prior to your visit.


Note to Cisco: All desk personnel should be made aware of the CCIE lab and its exact location.

mgorito Sun, 03/23/2008 - 09:46
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Very good advice!


Note taken and it will be forwarded to the Cisco lobby administration.


Another point to reduce the stress as mentioned is to know in advance where the CCIE lab is located. Please refer to the follow website for it: http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/ccie/rs/lab_exam.html


Regards,

Maurilio


Danilo Dy Sun, 03/23/2008 - 22:31
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I agree.


This is common to us humans. Some people when givin' some authority, they think they are somebody else (sitting on that cubicle) and make things difficult to others, even though this is part of the service they supposed to provide upon request (or asked) free of charge! The higher their cubicle (looking down at you), the higher they think they are :)


Should write down their name and if possible take their photo as well :)


Regards,

Dandy

faisal_hassan Sat, 03/22/2008 - 00:48
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Hi there,


I am currently in the process of preparing for my R&S lab. In the very recent past, there have been rumors of new topics being added to the lab in the next 3 months.


Are these rumors valid ? As far as I know Cisco would put it up on the website a couple of months in advance for any change in the blueprint.



mgorito Sat, 03/22/2008 - 10:53
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Hi Faisal,


No changes on the blueprint are planned for the next 3 months. This are only rumors.


As you mentioned, any changes to the exam blueprint is announced at our website with at least 6 months in advance. If there is no announcement there, no changes planned.


Regards,

Maurilio


faisal_hassan Sun, 03/23/2008 - 10:26
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Hi Maurilio,


Thanks for the reply.


One more query, it is being noticed recently that a lot of links are being moved away from www.cisco.com/univercd to the products page. From my lab previous experience I know for a fact these are not available at the lab.


What are your comments on this and how do we go about it in order to find any info required during the lab ?


Regards,


Faisal Hasan

mgorito Sun, 03/23/2008 - 10:32
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Hi Faisal,


You are welcome


The approach our CCIE Lab operations is taken is to redirect the queries that are no longer available at www.cisco.com/univercd to the current and valid web page.


Every time a page is moved our lab team creates an entry allowing the new path, so all needed documentation will be available for candidates.


Regards,

Maurilio


gwildfire Wed, 03/26/2008 - 04:19
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With regards to the redirected links, I have noticed that some links are broken on the univercd. Are these catered for? ie some give a message of redirect, others give "page not found".


I also noticed that in the last week the 12.4 Master index has gone, will this also be the case in the lab, things like the master command index are my life and soul, and I use(d) it not just for lab study but in my day to day taks.


The big concern (not only fo me, but others) is that becoming familiar with the doccd takes time, and then overnight something gets dropped or changed without much thought or planning.



Thanks


Graham

mgorito Wed, 03/26/2008 - 13:00
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Hi Graham,


I understand and you have valid concerns. The decision of changing or replacing the 'univercd' documents is a Cisco corporate decision and they are working on it for some time now, but now we are getting to the point this is moving faster now.


This is a big transition for all of us, and at the CCIE program we are watching this transition really closely to make sure candidates you have access to all needed documentation during the exam.


Regards,

Maurilio


Kevin Dorrell Sat, 03/22/2008 - 03:30
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Hi Maurilio, and thanks for doing this session on NetPro.


My question concerns optimised routing. Generally, when you have multiple IGPs, the best practice for border routers is to ensure that all the RIP prefixes are routed in the RIP domain, EIGRP prefixes in the EIGRP domain, and OSPF prefixes in the OSPF domain.


If I don't do this in the exam, can I be marked down for it, even if it is not explicitly stated? I am thinking, for example, of the case of redundant border routers between RIP and OSPF.


Kevin Dorrell

Luxembourg


mgorito Sat, 03/22/2008 - 11:03
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Hi Kevin,


You are welcome and I am happy to be here.


The exam is a set of questions with some requirements you will need to fulfill. When it comes to IPGs you will find scenarios involving RIP, EIGRP and OSPF and in some situations you will have border routers running more the one routing protocol.


One key point of the exam is that you need to keep in mind, at the end of the exam, is to make sure you have full connectivity through your network.


If no specific requirement or restriction is stated in the question you are free to take the approach you fell more comfortable to achieve the results.


You will not be marked down if you do not configure something that is not explicitly stated.


Regards,

Maurilio


brianjpisa Sat, 03/22/2008 - 08:37
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Hello,

I recently just completed my CCNP and I could use some advice on what path to take next. I really want to go for my CCIE. However, my job is only with small business and do not work that often with cisco routers and switches. Here is some of my questions.


1. Is it not advised to pursue the CCIE track without having many years of experience with higher end routers and switches? Would going for a CCSP or CCVP be more advisable?

2. How costly is it to pursue CCIE not counting the price of the tests. ie. buying or renting lab equipment?

3. What percentage of people pass the CCIE R&S lab exam on their first try?


Any advise/answers will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

mgorito Sat, 03/22/2008 - 11:28
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Hi Brian,


You have completed an important milestone achieving the CCNP. Below some advices from your questions;


1 - You don't need necessarily to have experience on high end routers to prepare for the lab exam. If you have access or experience with Cisco 2600, or 1800s per example and 3500s switches would help you to prepare.


2 - I'm not sure about costs but you can try doing some resource on companies that offer equipment/rack rental. You will find prices going in between $20.00 to $150.00 per day depending on how many hours you will use.


3 - We do not track this kind of statistic specifically, but a good number of people pass on their first attempt.


Regards,

Maurilio


mohitbh Fri, 03/28/2008 - 23:49
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Hi Maurilio,


Am in the same shoes as Brian. Your response to his queries has been very helpful.


And now i've a direction to pursue my CCIE.


Could i please 've your email, so i can contact you later for further queries.


Regards

Mohit

mgorito Sun, 03/30/2008 - 20:23
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Hi Mohitbh,


Thank you and I happy to be here. In the future you can just come the the Ask the Expert archives and you will be able to send me a directly note.


Regards,

Maurilio

Rik Guyler Sat, 03/22/2008 - 14:31
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Hi Maurilio.


Reviewing the current lab blueprint, under the QoS section, MQC is is specifically listed while legacy QoS is not. Is it implied then that "legacy" QoS will still be included in the lab content or has it been removed?


Thank you!

mgorito Sun, 03/23/2008 - 09:51
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Hi Hendrik,


The idea is to emphasize MQC, however you might see some legacy QoS as it still being used in the field.


Regards,

Maurilio

Jon Marshall Sat, 03/22/2008 - 16:05
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Hi Maurillo


Is it fair to say that R&S is the foundation for the other CCIE tracks. I ask because i find some of the topics on Service Provider very interesting ie. MPLS and was wondering how much of the SP track is covered by R&S.


Would your recommendation be to pursue R&S or is it feasible to go straight for SP.


Thanks


Jon



mgorito Sun, 03/23/2008 - 10:01
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Hi Jon,


Yes, it is far to say that as the CCIE R&S has as its foundation the core of the network emphasizing Switching and Routing. Anything else is built upon that.


Even though having the CCIE R&S will give you an excellent foundation towards the CCIE SP you can go straight to the CCIE SP.


The main difference between the two tracks in terms of content or topics will be: MPLS, VPN, IS-IS. These topics are not currently test on CCIE R&S lab exam. MPLS only is covered on the CCIE R&S written exam.


Again, it is feasible to go directly to CCIE SP.


Regards,

Maurilio


svermill Sat, 03/22/2008 - 17:36
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Hi Maurilio,


Sorry for the OT post here but I was wondering if you are aware of any plans to host an Ask the Experts on the SP track? Your last session here was very helpful to me in preparation for the R&S and I do have some questions regarding the future of the SP track, which I am now pursuing.


Thanks!


Scott



mgorito Sun, 03/23/2008 - 10:04
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Hi Scott,


I am glad that this session was helpful to you.


I don't know when we will have a CCIE SP session but I'll try to find this out and to let you know.


Regards,

Maurilio


svermill Sun, 03/23/2008 - 10:31
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Hi Maurilio,


Perhaps there would not be enough of us pursuing the SP track to warrant a stand-alone Ask the Experts. If that's the case, then perhaps you could consider hosting one that combines non-R&S tracks? SP/Security/Storage/Voice or something like that. Or perhaps even combine it with R&S, but your last session seemed to get a few hundreds hits just on R&S topics alone, so that might be too much of a good thing.


Anyway, thanks for taking it into consderation...


Regards,


Scott



mgorito Sun, 03/23/2008 - 10:35
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Hi Scott,


Thanks again. I'll definitely look into this.


Regards,

Maurilio


hasnain321 Sun, 03/23/2008 - 17:04
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Hi Maurilio

Thanks for being here and help us to achieve CCIE certification.

I have completed my CCNP a year ago and have plans to do CCIE but i cant decide to which track i should go. I work for a company which has mixture of all the network devices that i have to configure including security, voice and Routers and switches of almost every platform. That is reason for my confusion to which track I should move on.

Can you please guide which track is most suitable and that has most number of career opportunities.


mgorito Tue, 03/25/2008 - 07:21
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Hi Hasnain,


You are welcome and I am happy to be here.


I see you are in a great position of having access to a variety of environment that helps you to improve your network skills. Since you have the CCNP I would suggest you to go first to the CCIE R&S as it covers the foundation of any network environment. This will put you on a excellent position in terms of job market.


Then, I would suggest you to go for the CCIE Voice where in the field of advanced technologies is one of the most growing areas.


These are my advice to you.


Regards,

Maurilio


svermill Thu, 04/03/2008 - 09:47
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Couldn't help but noticed that one is now scheduled to start 7 April. THANKS A MILLION for that Maurilio!


Cheers,


Scott



mgorito Thu, 04/03/2008 - 10:04
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Excellent Scott.


And you are welcome!


Regards,

Maurilio

thotsaphon Sun, 03/23/2008 - 22:54
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Hi Maurilio,

Is there any new lab location in Asia you have planed? I want to know what is a good thing to prepare the ccie lab exam that you can advice.


Kind Regards,

Thot

mgorito Tue, 03/25/2008 - 07:57
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Hi Thot,


Currently we have in Asia as a full time CCIE labs Beijing and Tokyo.


We are planning to start beginning in April to offer seats as full time basis are Hong Kong, Dubai and Bangalore.


Regards,

Maurilio


aramaphosa Thu, 03/27/2008 - 08:32
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Hi


Is Cisco planning to have a CCIE Lab in South Africa/Africa?


Tks


Aubrey


mgorito Thu, 03/27/2008 - 20:27
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Hi Aubrey,


At the moment we are not panning to open CCIE Lab location in Africa. However, we are studying ways to reach those locations that we do not have a physical lab, per example to have a mobile lab that we can do it. We are piloting this idea now and we are expecting to roll out it at some time yet in 2008.


Regards,

Maurilio



nedian123 Wed, 04/02/2008 - 23:39
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Dear Maurilio,


Can you please confirm when exactly would Dubai Lab be full time in April, because it is still not full time & seats have not been offered yet.


Regards,


Akhtar

mgorito Fri, 04/04/2008 - 10:13
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Hi Akhtar,


I don't have an exactly date on it. However, we have hired a full time proctor for Dubai and we expect he will be ready to be in charge of the lab still in April, if not in May.


We do really expect this situation for Dubai to be changed soon.


Regards,

Maurilio


mgorito Tue, 03/25/2008 - 08:35
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Hi Eric,


I would suggest you looking into 2600s series routers and 3550s switches. One key point is if you can have on the devices the IOS 12.4 for routers and IOS 12.2 for the switches.


Also, you can simulate a lot of scenarios with 3 routers and 2 switches. These set up would be enough to have hands-on to prepare for your CCIE R&S lab exam.


Regards,

Maurilio


saurabh_knl Wed, 03/26/2008 - 01:16
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Hi Maurilio,


I am currently working as a Engineer - Networking & Security. I've got practical exposure of many concepts in switching & Routing (restricted to static routing). I've no practical exposure of routing protocols. I am a CCNP now, and have worked on 4506, 3560, 3750, 2800, 1841, ASA5520, ASA5505 practically.


1. I am taking a 3-month break in Sept-Oct-Nov'08 for taking a CCIE BootCamp and Lab preparation. I need to know if that's sufficient enough time, generally speaking?


2. I heard that Bangalore is closed for some months because of insufficient number of proctors? Is that true? Also, is there a way that I can book (in April) for the exam I'll give in December in Bangalore? Giving an exam outside the country involves a lot of investment for me. Please advise.



Regards,

Saurabh Garg

+919819313892



mgorito Wed, 03/26/2008 - 11:56
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Hi Saurabh,


You have on your job a lot of exposure to networking concepts and being a CCNP seems to me you have also a very good foundation.


With that, I believe you can have a great hands-on preparation in 3 months. Studying routing protocols you should focus on dynamic routing as you work mostly with static routing. When practicing, explore all the possibilities and also observe the behaviors when configuring different protocols.


The Bangalore lab was closed because we didn't have a dedicated full time proctor to cover the lab. Now we have and starting in April we will be opening Bangalore in a regular basis. You may not seem availability for December yet as usually we open it up between 6 to 8 months in advance. But definitely I believe you will not have problem to schedule for December at some time soon.


Regards,

Maurilio


stephenneville Wed, 03/26/2008 - 03:51
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Hi


Do you know of any new CCIE lab locations that are on the horizon? I was hoping for another one in europe?


Stephen

mgorito Wed, 03/26/2008 - 12:37
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Hi Stephen,


At the moment we don't have plans to open another lab in Europe besides Brussels. We are studying ways to expand our offering for CCIE lab exams in 2008. Keep tuned at our website for news on it.


Regards,

Maurilio


evsrajatgupta Wed, 03/26/2008 - 04:07
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Hi Maurilio,


I have completed composite exam (642-892 Composite) of CCNPin novermber 2007. MY CCNA has expired in Novermber 2007. Can i Go got the CCIE routing and Switching exam.

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