INE is happy to announce a new class dedicated to the recently introduced Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) certification. The first CCDE Practical Bootcamp is to be run on May 1-5th in Chicago, right before the actual CCDE practical exam that is scheduled on May 6th. Our goal was designing a "last-week" refresher and booster class to finalize your CCDE exam preparation. Students are assumed to have solid theoretical knowledge of the exam's technology base prior to attending. This blog posts gives you a quick overview of the class structure and pre-requisites you should meet in order to benefit the most from this training offer.

Technologies You need to Know.

Firstly, here is a short list of the topics you need to master before enrolling into the bootcamp. In essence, this is a condensed version of the CCDE Written exam blueprint. It is highly recommended that you pass the CCDE Written test prior to attending the CCDE Practical bootcamp. We schedule classes right before the actual exam date and it gives you perfect chance to take the exam right after the bootcamp.

  • Routing
    • OSPF
    • EIGRP
    • ISIS
    • BGP
    • Traffic Engineering
    • Scalability Features for IGPs and BGP
    • Convergence Tuning
    • Redundancy and Resilience
    • Multicast Routing
    • L3 and L2 interaction
  • Tunneling
    • IP Tunneling: P2P and MP
    • MPLS TE
    • Control and Data Plane Separation
    • VPNs: L3 and L2, P2P and MP
  • Security
    • Security Policy Requirements
    • Policy Enforcement Points
    • Access Control: Firewalls and Authentication/Authorization
    • Confidentiality: Encryption and Compartmentization
    • Well-known attacks and countermeasures
  • QoS
    • Applications and their requirements
    • Diff-Serv QoS Model and Tools
    • Int-Serv QoS Model
    • Capacity Planning and Over-provisioning
  • Management
    • Network Monitoring Tools: SNMP, Netflow, RMON, Counters, ACLs etc
    • Monitoring Tools Placement and their impact
    • Information Aggregation
    • OOB and IB management

Recommended Reading

We already published a very detailed reading list for CCDE Practical preparation previously, in the publication titled CCDE Practical Exam Recommended Reading. Here is the list of the books you probably want to brush upon before the class:
Definitive MPLS Network Designs by Jim Guichard et al. Your primary handbook when preparing to the practical exam.
IS-IS: Deployment in IP Networks by Russ White and Alvaro Retana. Good reading on ISIS, provides some design ideas and covers advanced topics.
EIGRP for IP: Basic Operation and Configuration by Russ White and Alvaro Retana. Good reading on EIGRP network designs.
BGP Design and Implementation by Randy Zhang Excellent Reading on BGP, missing some “new” features such as BGP next-hop tracking, but perfect for advanced BGP understanding.
OSPF and ISIS: Choosing an IGP for Large Scale Network by Jeff Doyle. Optional. Excellent additional reading on OSPF and ISIS and routed network design.
Routing TCP/IP Volume II by Jeff Doyle (Multicast sections). This book provides excellent Multicast routing overview. Read over Chapters 5-7, and possibly Chapter 4 (NAT). Multicast is not a huge part of CCDE, but you definitely need to know it.
Optimum Routing Designs by Russ White and Alvaro Retana. You may mainly concentrate on IGP protocols designs and IGP-specific appendices (Part I, Part II and Appendix A-E). I recommend reading this book after you have completed the previous ones on the list.

Class Structure

The class is designed as a series of mock scenarios, mimicking the real exam structure as closely as possible, without using the actual exam software. Every class day is built around a practical case study, presented as series of initial documents and followed by additional information as the scenario evolves. The following are the main logical steps followed in every scenario. Notice that every scenario involved technologies from the main technology domains listed above.

  • Extract and Analyze Design Requirements
    • Identify key components of existing network design
    • Identify the set of requirements presented in the initial documents
    • Gather additional information as you deem necessary to clarify requirements
    • Classify type of design problem and apply solution templates
  • Translate Functional Specification into Network Design
    • Choose the correct technology to resolve a specific network design problem
    • List alternate options and describe how they fit the particular problem
    • Balance scalability, resilience and supportability with your solution
  • Create an Implementation plan
    • Evaluate the impact of implementation options.
    • Develop step-by-step plan for implementing your design
  • Explain and Justify your design choices
    • Explain how network design choices match functional specifications.
    • Justify technology choices based on technical requirements.

Students will participate into "interactive" exam solution process, discussing various technology options and reasoning for using one over another. As mentioned, there are going to be five different design scenarios: two centered around Enterprise networks, two dedicated to SP networks and one scenarios discussing generic protocol design issues. Every scenario is centered around a different type of design problem: e.g. new application, network growth, design problem etc. By the end of the class, students will receive the slide decks used for class presentation as well as scenarios and their condensed solution guides.


There are no official CCDE Practical training programs designed by Cisco Systems. The class we are offering is not intended to be all-in-one solution for preparing you to the practical exam, but rather a strong refresher of your design skills, a session that summarizes the body of knowledge you need to pass the exam and gives you some look and feel of the real thing. The class does not cover theoretical aspects of networking technologies, so you are assumed to posses knowledge equivalent to the one found in CCDE Written blueprint. A typical class candidate is someone who already holds CCIE title and have passed the CCDE Written test.

Petr Lapukhov, 4xCCIE/CCDE
About Petr Lapukhov, 4xCCIE/CCDE

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