Passed CCIE SP Written (350-029)

Unanswered Question
Feb 2nd, 2009


I passed SP Written in Networkers in Barcelona! OK, I did not really expect to pass, but I had the chance there to try it for free and see how I am going. I had 5-6 books I thought I should have read first, but it seems the test engine was more friendly to me than I am to myself! I will read those books anyway (and a couple of more I bought in the conference) and perhaps I must read them (I suppose there won't be any friendly test engines in the lab :-)

Kind Regards,


I have this problem too.
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Giuseppe Larosa Mon, 02/02/2009 - 12:22

Hello Mari,

your knowledge of BGP is deep and you have a valuable experience: I'm not surprised you have passed the written.

If I'm not wrong you have also passed MPLS and BGP for CCIP recently so you are well prepared.

Best Regards


marikakis Mon, 02/02/2009 - 13:30

Dear Guiseppe,

I really appreciate your comments. I have not passed BSCI yet.

This forum has been a great help for me for years with the answers and the questions. It's really amazing how questions can be a source of knowledge. I think in many cases they are better than the answers themselves.

I hope you will stay around in this forum, because I really like your posts (their touch of generosity in particular) and it seems we have quite similar interests :-)

Kind Regards,


ccannon88567 Tue, 02/03/2009 - 02:49

Well done Marikakis!

It's always good to hear when somebody jumps the first hurdle towards CCIE certification. Gives those of us in our early stages a source of inspiration.

Hope the lab goes as well :-)

marikakis Tue, 02/03/2009 - 05:14

Thank you Carlton. Good luck with your own studies. Early stage is good. Enjoy the ride of learning.

Kind Regards,


pooria Wed, 02/04/2009 - 14:43

Congragulation , Which books you used for written exam ?

iadegoke Wed, 02/04/2009 - 15:02

Hey congrats, I passed mine too on the 30th of Jan. I cannot seem to book a lab date though. Does anyone know the secret to booking the lab. The tool doesn't give me any available dates even in 18 months! There has to be something wrong here. I cannot get hold any number to call.


marikakis Thu, 02/05/2009 - 00:58


Congratulations to you too! It seems that part of the mythical difficulty of lab exams is first experienced when you are actually trying to schedule them! I just came to the forum to use the search facility to read more thoroughly posts about the difficulties when scheduling a lab ;-) I remember reading about them, but back then I didn't know what those guys were talking about and I did not care much to be honest. I suppose a lot of people that had same issues in the past are saying within their heads right now "welcome to the game" ;-) If nothing changes in the following months I suppose a San Jose or Sydney (available seats can be found there) vacation would be nice!

Kind Regards,


p.s. I will post book information for the written later.

marikakis Thu, 02/05/2009 - 08:15


Regarding the books, I must say that I have not been officially preparing for the SP written. I was going for the CCIP and SP was somewhere in the very back of my head. I recently passed BGP+MPLS and QoS, but have not passed BSCI yet. SP seemed more interesting than BSCI and costs more, so I decided to try it for free in Barcelona :-)

Even if I had taken BSCI, still SP written has more things in the blueprint than the 4 CCIP exams. I suppose what saved me was the fact that I have been reading books, documentation, RFCs, forum posts often over the years with no particular exam purpose and my ISP days (or should I say nights? 3-5 am maintenance enforces concepts :-).

Anyway, I will list some books that are helpful, but have in mind that what someone reads depends on their background (and personal interests), so you might need to check the recommended booklist from Cisco for the SP written as well:

MPLS and VPN Architectures (Pepelnjak, Guichard)

MPLS and VPN Architectures, Volume II (Pepelnjak, Guichard, Apcar)

MPLS Fundamentals (Luc De Ghein)

Internet Routing Architectures 2nd edition (Sam Halabi)

Cisco QOS Exam Certification Guide 2nd Edition (Wendell Odom, Michael J. Cavanaugh)

I suppose the above are a must read. I bought the following in Barcelona:

Definitive MPLS Network Designs (Guichard, Le Faucheur, Vasseur)

MPLS Configuration on Cisco IOS Software (Lakshman, Lobo)

I have not read them yet, but I wish I had. Those are better organized than the MPLS VPN architectures classics. This is normal, since they were written later than the classics, but I cannot say before reading them whether they can substitute the classics.

You see a big gap in the IGP part and other subjects. I have read various sources on those over the years. IS-IS Network Design Solutions (Abe Martey) comes to my mind. People usually recommend Routing TCP/IP, Volumes I and II (Doyle and others), which I have not read.

Hope this helps,



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