Posts Tagged ‘ccde practical’


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 to reserve a seat.

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Practical Exam Overview

The practical test is a series of design scenarios. At the beginning of every scenario, you are given the existing network design information (diagrams, background, applications, business plans etc). After this, you are presented with a particular technical problem – e.g. a problem in the existing design that you need to fix, or a requirement to scale the existing network, or possibly a scenario where you have to spin off another network from existing one. You are then being asked a series of questions to shape your solution, justify it and possibly solve additional problems. You will have to read alot, process and co-relate the information and apply some analysis skills to come with an optimum solution. Reading, extracting key features and co-relating are probably the main skills you need to posses in addition to knowing the technologies. There are three major network topologies and two scenarios for every network. The networks feature the use of EIGRP, OSPF, BGP and ISIS routing protocols, along with MPLS and other tunneling techniques. Nothing that is Cisco-specific (besides using EIGRP in some scenarios) – you will not have to select the hardware or calculate bandwidth points – the exam is very generic and focused around abstractions. You may find more detailed desription of the practical exam here along with a reading list I made over a year ago.

I would also recommend you getting your hands around the CCDE techtorial presentations made at Cisco Live! last two years, as those provide some interesting insights on the exam. Unfortunately, the presentations are not available to general public, and sharing them would be violating Cisco’s copyright. Your best is trying to ask you friends at Cisco SE teams for the documents, if you want to get them “legally”. However, even if you can’t get those documents, do not despair and make sure you tried the CCDE practical demo at This demonstration does have some wrong answers, but still gives you a goode idea of how the practical exam looks like.

As for the “ultimate” reading list, I’ve been publishing some before in CCDE certification and CCDE Written. Since then, I made some major updates to these. The below compilation is made of some “core-reading” books along with numerous short publications which I recommend reading to prepare to the practical test. Remember


Core Routing Knowledge

Core knowledge for the exam is covered in a few books. Some of these books are written by Russ White and Alvaro Retana, who are among the CCDE exam designers.
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