Dennis caught our eye creating Visio versions of the best-selling Volume 1 workbook network topology for his fellow students in the IEOC. Thanks again Dennis and enjoy your $50 Gift Certificate for Amazon.com.

The files that Dennis created for his fellow students can be found by clicking here.

Here is his story...

In 1991, I began my official work life as a Customer Service Representative.  I repaired all manner of equipment for many well-known small to medium sized retail chains and large retail chains with names ending in "mart".  In 1996 I took a position with a small contracting company working at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  I worked as a Help desk Engineer for several years.  I became Microsoft MSCE certified in 1998.  In 1999 I took another position within my company still at NOAA for their Computer Incident Response Team.  I had several satisfying years in that position learning all about incident detection, response and remediation.

I always eventually felt I would like to get Cisco certified.  In 2003, I was fortunate to take some time off to devote to making a career shift into the networking field.  I spent several months taking classes from another now defunct Cisco Authorized training Center.  I became CCNP Certified in 2004.  Fortune was with me again, as in 2004  was able to take a position back with the same small contracting company for a position back at NOAA.  It was an exciting position to re-design the primary network for the NWS Telecommunications Gateway.  I am still working their today support the network I helped design.  A large portion of weather data provided by the National Weather Service transits the very network I support.  It is a pleasure to know that the network I support helps save lives on a daily basis.

I bought my Self-Paced R&S End-to-End CCIE Training Program back in 2006 from INE.  I was not able to devote the time I wanted to studying for the first few years.  My time was devoted to wife and our three new wonderful children. I even inadvertently let my CCNP certification expire.   I must have been deliriously tired from the kids not to get that done before it expired.   I got back to seriously studying for the CCIE in early 2010.  My company asked me to take a break recently from CCIE studies to re-certify CCNP.  How fortunate for all the Christmas deals from INE.  I passed my CCNA and CCNA Security in early January thanks to the most excellent boot camps by Brian along with the Official Exam Certification Guides.  I am finding the whole process to be easier than the first time in 2004 when I was pretty new to the whole thing.  I just reviewed the self-paced versions of the CCNP, IPV6 and BGP Bootcamps.  Along with the Route Official Certification Exam Guide, they were invaluable for my attempt at the 642-902 ROUTE Exam. I am happy to say that I  just passed it this very January 29th.  Only SWITCH and TSHOOT left for CCNP re-certification.  No sense wasting the invaluable time spent on the  BGP Bootcamp; I plan on going for the CCIP also before returning to my CCIE R&S studies.  When I finally return to the CCIE R&S studies, I will be going back to my schedule I laid out using Petr Lapukhov’s blog:  Getting the most out of CCIE R&S Workbooks VOL1 and VOL2 One word, AMAZING! It provided me a detailed map for my CCIE journey I was lacking.  All right, end of commercial.  The staff at INE are great.

I enjoy trying to help out and to learn on IEOC when I have the time, between work and my wonderful family.  It is a great venue to interact and learn with knowledgeable and helpful individuals.  I hope to someday reach the Elite status of some more worthy unrecognized individuals.  I don’t know when I will reach my CCIE goal, but it is a rewarding journey.


If you have spent any time in the R&S forums in the IEOC, you have seen the username Deepak Arora. Deepak has achieved Elite status in the forum and is always challenging and helping his peers with his excellent posts.

Thank you so much Deepak, and we look forward to celebrating your number soon. We are placing 100 GradedLabs rack rental tokens in your account as a small gesture of our appreciation.

I am sure many are interested in Deepak's story...here it is:

Deepak at a Cisco event in South Africa.

I started my career in mid 2003 as a System Support Engineer after passing my 3 Year regular Diploma in Electronics (Microprocessor). During the last semester of my study in college I got this opportunity in a campus interview session. Could you believe I was just a 19 year old kid at that point with no idea how things worked in the real world ?...hehe

In 2005, I came to know about CCNA from a pretty close friend, Sushail Sharda, who suggested to me to move into the Networking Industry. I cannot thank him enough for his suggestion because that suggestion changed my life. So finally I started saving money for my CCNA exam and around June 2005 I started preparing for the CCNA exam. By the end of 2005, I passed the exam with a good score. Though it was not an easy one because it was not easy to find training classes and stuff. Of course, INE's CCNA COD and workbooks were not around at that point in time :-)

A few months after passing my CCNA, I moved to another company where I started working as a L1 support engineer and also as a part time CCNA instructor. So after getting quite a bit of experience I decided to go for CCNP. But there were a few major constraints like working on my Graduation through distance learning in parallel to my job and also finding time and equipment to prepare for CCNP. As the time passed by I was able to pass the CCNP BSCI and BCMSN exams. But ONT and ISCW looked always kind of hard for me to pass. But after over a year of hard work,  I finally got my CCNP. After that, the list of certification exams I passed keeps on growing with no stop till now.

It was the beginning of this year when I thought it's time to go for CCIE seriously.  I was thinking about it for quite some time. So I started buying INE R&S products in chunks. Soon I realized that I made my investments on the right material. I spent tons of time watching INE ATC from Brian and I must say the guy is a genius. On the other side there were so many interesting posts on blueprint topics at INE blog which really helped for a better understanding about how things work. Cannot give thanks enough to the entire INE team for such excellent content. Also I found so many bright people at the IEOC support forum like Darrell Escole , Jakub, Able etc ...they were/are helpful and some became close friends later :-)

Finally, I am going to attempt the lab in the end of April. No matter if I pass or fail in my attempt, but I know the INE stuff and all the hard work I put so far in this made me a better Engineer. Sooner or later I know I'll get my Number.

Finally... I hope to pass my lab and after getting my number I'll see if I can work for INE :-) .. hehe ... Every week I still check requirement for R&S Technical Development Engineer job requirement they list on the INE website.


INE wants to thank IEOC member Ray Aragon (NET_OG) for his awesome contributions to our Cisco forums. Thanks so much Ray and enjoy 100 complimentary GradedLabs Rack Rental Tokens.

Ray's IEOC Avatar!

I am sure many of you would love to know more about Ray - here it is:

Ray Aragon is an SE in the Networking World and after 10 Plus years working with State/Local government and Major Carriers around the world he decided to get his CCIE using INE products as his primary study aide. Here were some facts Ray shared with me:

• I think I try to be helpful to others, and identify “pitfalls” and my “ahhh-haa” moments

• I like it when I run into a stumbling block and there is already a good discussion on IEOC

• Much thanks to Routing and Switching (networking)...

◦ I lived in London for two years

◦ I lived in Stockholm for two years

◦ I met my wife in Chile

◦ I have travelled to over 25 countries from Egypt to Indonesia

◦ I have over 1 Million Airplane miles flown

• I have an immense respect for anyone that has put in the time to become a CCIE in any track; it demonstrates a commitment that only after my pursuit I can appreciate.

• My Top 10 favorite cities: Madrid/Rome/London/Santiago, Chile/Rio de Janeiro/Santa Barbara/Miami/Lima/Cancun/Mexico City D.F


INE wants to thank another incredible member of our IEOC! Joni Oksanen (screenname - Jent). Joni is currently enjoying a free subscription to the brand new CCIE Service Provider Core Knowledge Simulation. When you read Joni's story below, I am sure you can determine why he chose that gift!


Joni Oksanen studied at the Helsinki University of Technology, having networking as his major. He completed his studies in four years, although, he was already involved with work life during his entire time in school. He began working in the helpdesk of a largest Finnish ISP, Elisa, and spent almost three years there supporting business customers.

When Joni had approximately half of his studies behind him, he switched to a small ISP to work as a network technician responsible for the DSL-based access network and the IP-based core network. After worked there for a year, he was offered a position in a large global company called Capgemini. He did not hesitate for long in his decision to join their network team. He began as a network engineer, but after a year his capabilities as a network architect were recognized and he was moved to the arhitecture team where he is still working today!

After being employed by Capgemini, he began his pursuit of many certifications. During this 2.5 year period with Capgemini, he completed CCNA, CCNP, CCIP, CCDP, CEFFS, JNCIA/S-ER, JNCIA/S-SSL and the JNCIA/S-FWV certifications. In January, 2008 he passed his CCIE SP written exam and he has been working to obtain his CCIE SP ever since. Joni strongly believes that INE's material will assist him to meet his objectives in the very near future.

Joni Oksanen - thank you from all of us here at INE and the IEOC for being such a valued member of our team!


INE wants to thank another incredible member of our IEOC! John Spaulding (littelgreymen12). John is currently enjoying a $50 Gift Certificate to Amazon.com. When you read John's story below, I am sure you can determine what those funds will purchase. :-)


John Spaulding, CCIE #25143, used the INE CCIE 2.0 program throughout his studies. He built his own rack for practice and used the Poly labs and Graded Mock labs. These really helped John figure out the grading process and where he could do better. John is currently sitting on the couch and catching up on all the Video games that he has missed in the passed 7 months. He is also spending time with family, his beautiful girlfriend, Courtney, and of course his pets who have missed him the most :)

Starting January, 2010,  John plans to start studying for his service provider track and has upgraded his rack to accommodate the changes of the new blueprint. John plans on purchasing the INE service provider product and will attend a live Bootcamp in the near future. John wants to thank INE for all of their support. We want to thank John for his incredible work in our forums and for being one of our most cherished customers!


Huge congratulations and thanks to Darrell Escola of the IEOC.COM online community for his tireless support of his fellow peers. INE has sent Darrell Escola a $50 Gift Card for Amazon.com. Hey Darrell, buy something FUN!  :-)


Darrell obtained his CCIE R/S with INE and has continued to be a valuable member of the online community. Darrell used the following resources from INE:

Darrell is currently starting his own business in Central California. How exciting! The main focus will be Fire/Life-Safety inspection and documentation services for hospitals, but he will also be a Registered Partner with Cisco and Microsoft to facilitate IT/Network Consulting. Darrell is currently working on SMB certification to qualify as a Cisco Select Partner.

Since obtaining his CCIE-RS, he has obtained a California C-10 Electrical Contractor's License, and this week passed the C-16 Fire Protection Trade Exam!
Even with all of this going on, you will see Darrell often in the IEOC helping his fellow community members.

Look for more community member spotlights, community program enhancements, and, of course, more free gifts soon! If you have not signed up at the IEOC.com, be sure to check it out today!

Thanks again Darrell!


The Internet now has a new location for knowledge sharing when it comes to anything related to the CCENT Certification from Cisco Systems. Whether it is general questions or comments about the certification itself, or technical questions related to any entry-level networking technology, these forums are for you!

Just like our expert-level forums, these electronic collaboration areas are a friendly and fun way to have your questions answered anytime 24x7. Remember, the only foolish question is the one you do not ask.

If you are new to the forums, be sure to explore all of the features of the IEOC. For example, you can subscribe to forums and have posts sent right to your e-mail inbox.

We sincerely hope you use and enjoy these new forums; our staff of CCIEs and your enthusiastic study peers anxiously await your posts!


I've setup a new forum for the new Volume I Version 5 content. Please post all questions and comments about it here.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, there is a new version of the R&S Volume I labs :)  If you are a current Volume I Version 4 customer you can request access to the new beta material automatically.  To access the new material login to your http://members.internetworkexpert.com account and click on the upgrade link to the right of the "R&S Lab Workbook Volume I v4.1" link. You'll be sent an email with instructions on how to use our new locklizard pdf reader, and you'll see a new course subscription in the members site for the new content access. The documents can be printed twice each, but viewed an unlimited amount of times.

If you are going to use our rack rentals for configuring the labs there are some major feature enhancements that we've been working on. You can now load initial configs, save your configs, and reload your saved configs on demand to any rack session that you have. Next to your active rack session you'll see a link that says "Beta CP" for the new control panel.

Subscribe to INE Blog Updates

New Blog Posts!