Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Road to the CCIE


The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) designation is considered by many to be one of the most difficult IT certifications to achieve. The certification consists of two parts, a written multiple choice exam and a practical exam.  By all indications, the written exam is not difficult compared to the practical exam. Many book sections and anecdotes on the Internet indicate that the practical exam is almost always required to be taken twice (or more). A lot of people even say that the available IT certification training courses for the CCIE are not sufficient training to pass the exam.

Based on what I've observed so far, candidates really need to have the equivalent knowledge of a Cisco Certified Network Professional to really begin studying for the CCIE exams. Individuals with the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification likely do not have the required background knowledge in routing and switching to meaningfully dig into the exam certification guide (and some of the recommended references for the CCIE).

I have not taken the exam yet, but I am planning to take both parts over the next 6-12 months and this series of posts will chronicle the progress with studying. My chosen method of study consists of trying to build a strong theoretical background using Cisco books and configuration guides and building virtual topologies in Dynamips/GNS3 that demonstrate working configurations with all of the stated exam topics and the related topics that are not specifically listed with the exam objectives on the Cisco Learning site. A check on myself that I have developed sufficient knowledge is that I will be able to clearly and coherently teach others about the technologies and explain them in detail, and that is my aim with this series of posts. A caution to the reader is important here because I explain the topics in an order that is different than most of the books on the subject. I start with WAN technologies (such as Frame Relay, ATM, and MPLS), then move to Ethernet switching topics, and then provide a discussion routing. Afterwards I look at how everything works together in different security, Quality of Service (QoS), and routing scenarios (IPv4, IPv6, Multicast).

The full list of posts is below. Note that many of the posts have working GNS3 labs and/or instructions available for download.


  1. CCIE exam is exam for ccie certification. I am also going to appear in CCIE exam, please refer me best books for ccie exam.

    ccie exam

  2. Is IS-IS is still there? Cisco have removed IS-IS from CCNP Syllabus. Also multi-cast PIM configuration is also not there in CCNP.

    Please comment.

    Thanks, Peter Sam.

    Joera Technology Labs