Posts from ‘CCDE’

Nov
26

Congratulations go out to the newly minted Cisco Certified Design Experts that passed the Practical Exam after attending INE’s CCDE Bootcamp with me in Chicago last week! So far I know of at least 9 students from this past week’s class and previous ones that passed the practical this time around. Here’s what some of them had to say:

I had accomplished 2 CCIE’s and was ready for the CCDE. I took the CCDE v1 test a couple of years ago and failed miserably. I came to the INE CCDE boot camp with really no expectations. I didn’t only learn some technical details through the boot camp, I learned the mental strategies needed to get through this test. Thanks, INE!!

Rob Gonzalez, CCDE #20130059

Brian’s approach in how to tackle the exam question were invaluable. I was able to successfully navigate several difficult questions there on my first attempt. Thanks to Brian and his insight I was able to pass.

Travis Jones, CCDE #20130060

Hi Brian,

Just wanted to drop you a note that I passed the exam today. Still in shock, but it’s starting to sink in. Thanks for a great session this week. I’ll highly recommend it!

Dave Fusik, CCDE #20130070

I passed the CCDE in Chicago after attending the 3 day INE CCDE Bootcamp with Brian McGahan. The room was full of very intelligent and experienced individuals who started discussions that helped solidify my knowledge in the topics tested on the exam. Thank you once again INE!

Dana Yanch, CCDE #20130071

As it seems that the interest in the CCDE track is continuing to grow, INE is going to continue to offer our study sessions which follow along with Cisco’s schedule for the Practical Exam. The next Practical Exam is scheduled for Thursday February 20th 2014, so expect our next session to likely run Monday – Wednesday that same week in Chicago. However since Cisco is now offering the CCDE Practical Exam at all Pearson Professional Center locations, there’s a possibility that we may be moving our next study session to an online format.

If you’re interested in attending one of INE’s CCDE Bootcamps in the future, let me know via comments below if you prefer it in an online format or a live onsite format. The advantage of course of running it online is that you can attend from anywhere, but at the expense of the live class discussion that happens in an onsite class.

Also don’t forget to check out our CCDE Practical Recommended Reading List, as the topic scope for the exam is immense to say the least.

Congrats again to the newest CCDEs of 2013!

Oct
15

Starting next year Cisco will be offering the CCDE Practical Exam at many more locations beyond San Jose, Chicago, London, etc., and registration for the practical will be open up to the day before the exam. Another nice change is that candidates can take lunch break on their own time after finishing the second scenario in the exam, where previously they were required to wait until the set lunchtime was finished before continuing on with section 3. The specific announcement from Cisco is below, along with the link to the CCDE page which outlines exactly where the new locations will be.

Starting with the February 20, 2014 exam administration, the CCDE practical exam will be available at all Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) worldwide. The ability to conveniently take the CCDE practical exam at a local PPC testing center eliminates the stress and expense of traveling to a remote exam location.

The overall exam administration experience has improved giving you more flexibility in the following areas:

Choosing your exam location:

  • The number of locations where this exam can be administered will  increase from 8 to 275

Registering  for the exam:

  • Registration will close one day before the test date
  • However, candidates are encouraged to register at least 45 days in  advance for most locations to guarantee PPC sites will be open for the required  nine hours to administer the CCDE practical exam

Breaking  for lunch:

  • Candidates can only take a lunch break after they finish section 2
  • Candidates are no longer required to take a lunch break simultaneously

There are no changes to the exam content, scoring methodology, or modular testing approach. See the FAQs for more detail

Feb
26

This past week I took and passed the Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) Practical Exam, making me CCDE #20130013, or CCDE #2013::13 in geek-speak.  Cisco doesn’t publish official stats on either the number of CCIE or CCDE certified people anymore, but per the unofficial stats of the CCIE/CCDE Hall Of Fame this makes me one of about 100 engineers globally that currently hold this certification.  Pretty neat, considering I thought being one of 7500 CCIEs was really cool back in 2001.

In this post I’m going to talk about my personal journey to obtaining the CCDE, details about the practical exam itself (within NDA of course), and some recommendations for engineers that are currently pursuing or thinking about pursuing CCDE.
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Feb
19

INE would like to send a big congratulations out to our very own Brian McGahan, who just moments ago took and passed the Cisco CCDE exam! Numbers are still forthcoming, but this being the first exam given in 2013, may well be CCDE #2013::1. Brian will be writing a more in-depth blog post here, outlining some of the more fundamental aspects related to reading and studying for the exam, but in the interim, we just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!!

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Jan
08

Update: There will be another session running May 27th – May 29th, 2013 in Chicago. Registration info can be found here.

I will be holding a CCDE Open Study Session in Chicago, IL from Saturday Feb 16th through Monday Feb 18th. The CCDE Practical Exam in Chicago is the following day, Feb 19th. This is similar to the one that I held in London last November prior to the previous practical exam, but this time I didn’t miss the cutoff for scheduling the practical so I will actually be taking the CCDE exam on the 19th with others who are attending the session ;)

This isn’t a “bootcamp” per-se but more of an open discussion or “groupstudy” if you will. We will be working through scenarios written by myself, Brian Dennis, and Petr Lapukhov (CCDE 2010::7) for the days leading up to the CCDE Practical Exam.

There is no cost to attend the session. Even if you aren’t going to take the CCDE but are interested in getting a chance to discuss real world networking with other senior engineers then you should attend. We had a great time in London as nearly everyone was at least a CCIE and many double/triple CCIEs which allowed for interesting discussions on the scenarios and technologies in general. Candidates who are actually taking the practical in Chicago will be given priority though as seating is limited.

If you would like to attend please send an email to Jeremy Brown (INE’s Class Coordinator) at jbrown@ine.com to reserve a seat.

The location of class is yet to be determined, but it will be in downtown Chicago (Chicago Loop) close to where the CCDE practical exam will be at the Pearson Professional Center.

Aug
10

All,
I’ll be in London the week of November 19th for an Service Provider Bootcamp that I’m teaching until Friday the 23rd. I’m going to keep the facility and do a CCDE Open Study session like the one I did in San Jose a couple weeks ago. I’ll be able to allow up to 25 people attend and of course it’s free of charge. We’ll go over one CCDE scenario per day for the 3 days prior to the exam which is being held in London on the 27th of November.

Even if you aren’t going to take the CCDE but are interested in getting a chance to discuss real world networking with other senior engineers then you should attend. We had a great time in San Jose as nearly everyone was at least a CCIE and many double/triple CCIEs which allowed for interesting discussions on the scenarios and technologies in general.

I’ll try to keep doing these sessions a few times a year and keeping them free of charge in various locations to help promote the CCDE program.

Our London location for the CCDE Open Study Session will be the Rydges Hotel in Kensington. This is the same location as my R&S and SP London bootcamps.

Rydges Kensington
61 Gloucester Rd, London, Greater London
SW7 4PE, United Kingdom

Google Map Link

The Rydges Hotel is a little on the pricey side as it’s in a really nice area but if you want to stay there Jeremy Brown our Bootcamp Coordinator can get you a discounted INE rate. Also you’ll be right down the street from the Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and Harrods.

To sign up for the session, email Jeremy Brown and he’ll reserve your seat.

I’ll post a CCDE recommended reading list and I’m trying to get a CCDE simulation released over the next couple months. I have the content developed and just waiting for the testing engine to be finalized.

Lastly during the last session in San Jose we “cracked” the CCDE demo (https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-2438) to get a 100% score. If you haven’t taken the new demo try it out and see what score you get. Then next week I’ll post the answers to the demo here on the blog.

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Jul
03

I will be holding a CCDE Open Study Session in San Jose, CA starting Monday July 30th and wrapping up Thursday August 2nd. The CCDE Practical Exam in San Jose is the following day August 3rd. This session is becoming held the Tech Mart Meeting Center in Santa Clara which is just down the street from Cisco’s main campus and the Pearson Vue Testing center.

There is no cost to attend the session. Drinks, snacks, lunch, and internet will be provided free of charge. We will work through scenarios written by myself and Petr Lapukhov (CCDE 2010::7) for the four days leading up to the CCDE Practical Exam.

If you would like to attend please send an email to Jeremy Brown (INE’s Class Coordinator) at jbrown@ine.com to reserve a seat.

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Jan
24

Just ahead of our brand new CCNA Voice live online bootcamp beginning this Monday, I thought it might be nice to provide an easy-to-follow graphic for those starting out in Voice (or on any other Cisco networking track). This graphic was from last year, but remains quite easy to follow for each and every Cisco track.

Be sure you have a high resolution set if you wish to see the entire thing, otherwise scrolling may be necessary.

Click here for the Cisco Career Certification Path poster

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Mar
21

The CCDE bootcamp is coming shortly on May 1st, and we would like to provide some information to those of you who have already registered for the class or considering to join us. The class will go for five days and finish right before the CCDE practical exam in Chicago. The class is interactive for the most part – instructor will present you documents, diagrams, slides and questions on board and then the whole class will go through the solutions in live mode, discussing various options and correct answers. The class is centered around three major “platforms”: generic “large-scale” network topologies that are used to construct various network design cases. There are three main platforms presented in the class:

  • Internet Service Provider. A fictitious ISP that provides VPN and Internet services to enterprises in addition to wholesale Internet services. Generic two-layer network, featuring a mix of interconnection technologies and using ISIS/BGP for routing. This platform is mainly used to work with scenarios relating to transit traffic services.
  • Application Service Provider. A company that has its own wide-area network interconnecting data-centers and points-of-presence. The company provides server application services – e.g. a virtual call-center, online support desk etc to multiple customers. Customers connect either directly or tunneling over Internet. This platform is used to demonstrate issues arising in networks that provide centralized services to different customers. This network uses OSPF and BGP for routing, traffic flows are mainly considered to be “client-server” flows between different networks.
  • Large Enterprise Network. Presents a generic enterprise network with diverse set of offices and private WAN network. The network services just one company, but has to support a large variety of application and different connection types. Traffic flows are mainly contained to one network but there are multiple “concentration” points. The network uses EIGRP for routing.

Every platform is used to construct 5 different scenarios, featuring from 15 to 20 different questions each. Answering each question requires analyzing the network baseline and additional information presented through the course of the class and selecting the optimal answer. Similar to the actual exam, the scenarios will have one the the following logical structures:

  • Merge two networks or spin off a new network.
  • Add a service or application – e.g. deploy L3 VPNs or add VoIP.
  • Scale the network – accommodate technologies to network growth, e.g. IGP/BGP/MPLS scaling.
  • Replace a technology – e.g. replace routing protocol or link type with another one.

You will be required to do a “fresh” design or fix a faulty/suboptimal scenario and propose a better solution. For example, you may be asked to fix a network that has new application deployed that is not working as required. The class will focus on live discussion of design problems as well as strategy tips for passing the CCDE practical exam. One again, students are assumed to have knowledge equivalent in scope to CCIE Written exam blueprint. And lastly, the following is link to a sample CCDE scenario – baseline and questions in the format they are going to be presented during the class.

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Jan
03

Continuing my review of titles from Petr’s excellent CCDE reading list for his upcoming LIVE and ONLINE CCDE Bootcamps, here are further notes to keep in mind regarding EIGRP.

About the Protocol

  • The algorithm used for this advanced Distance Vector protocol is the Diffusing Update Algorithm.
  • As we discussed at length in this post, the metric is based upon Bandwidth and Delay values.
  • For updates, EIGRP uses Update and Query packets that are sent to a multicast address.
  • Split horizon and DUAL form the basis of loop prevention for EIGRP.
  • EIGRP is a classless routing protocol that is capable of Variable Length Subnet Masking.
  • Automatic summarization is on by default, but summarization and filtering can be accomplished anywhere inside the network.

Neighbor Adjacencies

EIGRP forms “neighbor relationships” as a key part of its operation. Hello packets are used to help maintain the relationship. A hold time dictates the assumption that a neighbor is no longer accessible and causes the removal of topology information learned from that neighbor. This hold timer value is reset when any packet is received from the neighbor, not just a Hello packet.

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