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I am now CCNP!

Oh man does it feel good! My 1-year CCNP journey finally comes to an end! All in all Tshoot was a breeze and the only reason I held off on taking it for so long was because of my new job.

Next up for me is to start studying CCIE topics. With v5 right around the corner I figured this is the best time to start studying. I am not giving myself a time frame to pass but I do hope to at least make an attempt in the next two years. This journey is sure to be long and very stressful but I feel that pass or fail it will make me a better network engineer. So join me in my journey to CCIE! I’m sure it will be a bumpy ride.

And for those that are curious what I used to prepare for Tshoot. I started on Narbik’s CCIE Foundation Labs.

Sorry for keeping this so short but I am taking no breaks! I am actually in the middle of doing BGP Narbik labs :). So far these Narbik labs have been great, I highly recommend them.

 

My CCNP Tshoot Approach

So many people have told me that I should not wait very long to take the Tshoot exam. Personally my plan isn’t to take “long”, I just want to brush up on all the Route material since I haven’t looked at it in much lately.  I have begun reading the Tshoot FLG and am already feeling bored of it. The book itself is great, its just the content is repetitive and I feel that I know most of it already. So what I have been doing is just going through the summaries of each chapter along with watching the corresponding CBTnugget. If I am confused about anything then I just look it up in the FLG book. I think at this pace I should be taking the Tshoot exam within a few weeks.

CCNP Switch Passed!

I took the test this past Saturday 11/23 and passed with about a 900. Give or take a few points. Sorry I wasn’t able to update my blog sooner but I have been really busy getting things together for my new job. I start the new gig this Monday so I am kinda nervous. The environment is a lot bigger and I will be working with a lot more engineers. So I really don’t know what to expect. As for the Tshoot exam I plan to take it in about a month or two. I really want to brush up on the Route topics as well as go over some of the Tshoot study material I have. I know some people say you should just sit the exam right away, but honestly I really don’t feel comfortable doing that. I have all this training material for Tshoot including CBTnuggets, INE, and The Bryant Advantage I really would hate to not skim through it all. I began studying on Sunday and so far it all seems pretty easy but we will see as I get farther into it. I don’t expect this exam to be too difficult.

CCNP Switch Study Update – 11/7/13

Rough week 16 since I went to New Orleans for most of it, but I came back strong with an INE bootcamp video week. I am still on pace to take the Switch exam in my 20th week. This week I am doing heavy labing as well as reading.

Week 16 Random Lab Completed
Monday OFF
Tuesday Read 2.25hr X
Wednesday Read 2hr X
Thursday OFF
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF
Week 17 INE Lab Completed
Monday -Campus Network Design
-L2 Switching and L3 Routing
-VLANs
-Trunking
X
Tuesday
-DTP,Trunking Allowed Lists,VTP

-Spanning Tree Protocol
-STP Optimization

X
Wednesday -Cisco PVST+ Enhancements
-RSTP & MSTP
-MST Configuration
-STP Features
30min X
Thursday
-Etherchannel
-IntervlanRouting

-High Availability
-High Availability Part 2

X
Friday OFF
Saturday -Layer 2 Security X
Sunday -Layer 2 Voice and Video
-Wireless
X

CCNP Switch Study Update – 10/7/13

Week 12  Video/Switch Simp. Lab Completed
Monday Lecture 40-42 X
Tuesday OFF
Wednesday Chapter 1, 2 X
Thursday Chapter 3 X
Friday OFF
Saturday Chapter 4 X
Sunday OFF
Week 13  Switch. Simp Lab Completed
Monday Chapter 5 2hr X
Tuesday Chapter 6 1.5hr X
Wednesday WORK LATE
Thursday Chapter 7 2hr X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF

CCNP Switch Study Update – 9/19/13

 

Week 10  Video  Lab Completed
Monday Lecture 11-15 X
Tuesday Lecture 16-17 1.5hr X
Wednesday Lecture 18-21 1.5hr X
Thursday Lecture 22-25 1.5hr X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF
Week 11  Video Lab Completed
Monday Lecture 26 X
Tuesday Lecture 27-30 1hr X
Wednesday Lecture 31-33 1hr X
Thursday Lecture 32-33 1.5hr X
Friday Lecture 34-36 X
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF

CCNP Switch Study Update – 9/9/13

My studying hasn’t been where it should be these past two weeks. Lot’s of things have been coming up with life/work which obviously had to take precedence.  In addition to the below study plan I have also been reading Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals in my free time. It really is an outstanding book that also coincides in some ways with my CCNP Switch studies. I have noticed that the Data Center topics have a good amount of overlap with Switch, which is really nice because I am really really growing a liking towards Data Center tech.

I am going to try and kick some of my studies into high gear considering I am nearing my halfway point. If you didn’t know I typically give myself 20 weeks to pass an exam. :)

Week 8  INE Lab Completed
Monday High Availability

High Availability Part 2
X
Tuesday Layer 2 Security
Layer 2 Voice & Video Support
X
Wednesday OFF
Thursday Wireless X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday OFF
Week 9  Video Training Lab Completed
Monday OFF
Tuesday CEF Optimization
VACLs
X
Wednesday Lecture 2-5 2hr X
Thursday Lecture 6-8 1.5hr X
Friday OFF
Saturday Lecture 9-10
Sunday Lab

CCNP Switch Study Update – 8/23/13

I had the opportunity to get the CCNP INE Series from work and I must say I am really impressed. Brian’s teaching style is on point and he even goes through real world examples which really drives many of the topics home. This video series has definitely been my favorite so far. Honestly I think it has been more helpful than The Bryant Advantage and CBT Nuggets combined. I strongly recommend it if you are looking for solid CCNP training material.  Below is what I have completed since my last study update.

 

Week 5  Bryant Advantage Lab CCNP Switch Simp. (At Work) Completed
Monday Lecture 24-27 1.5hr X
Tuesday Lecture 28-31 2hr X
Wednesday Lecture 32-33 1hr X
Thursday Lecture 34-36 1hr Chapter 1 X
Friday OFF
Saturday Lecture 37-39 1hr X
Sunday Chapter 2 X
Week 6  Bryant Advantage/INE Lab Completed
Monday Lecture 40-42 30min X
Tuesday Campus Network Design 2hr X
Wednesday L2 Switching vs L3 Routing 2.5hr X
Thursday VLANs 2hr X
Friday OFF Lab
Saturday Trunking 30min X
Sunday DTP,Trunking Allowed List, & VTP X
Week 7  INE Lab Completed
Monday Spanning Tree Protocol
STP Optimization
X
Tuesday Cisco PVST+ Enhancements
RSTP & MSTP
1hr X
Wednesday MST Configuration
STP Features
1.5hr X
Thursday EtherChannel
Inter-VLAN Routing
Friday OFF Lab
Saturday OFF Lab
Sunday Lab

CCNP Switch Study Update – 8/5/13

The one month mark of my studying has been reached! I feel that I have made a lot of progress this month in my studies, partly because I am actually enjoying the content more then the Route exam. Most people say the opposite and that they prefer the Route content over the Switch any day. I think the reason I am enjoying the material so much is because it is going hand in hand with my everyday work. It has already helped me tremendously in understanding data center switching (I still have a ton to learn). FHRP, Etherchannels, and STP have all been the most overlapping topics with my daily work.

Below is what I completed in Week 3 & 4

Week 3  CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday SICK
Tuesday SICK Chapter 14 X
Wednesday -Wireless LAN: Concepts and Design p1
-Wireless LAN: Concepts and Design p2
-Wireless LAN: Frequencies and 802.11 Standards
-Wireless LAN: Understanding the Hardware
X
Thursday The Switches Domain: Additional Life Saving Tech Chapter 15 X
Friday OFF
Saturday Chapter 12 X
Sunday Monitoring: Your Pulse on the Network X
Week 4   Bryant Advantage Lab Completed
Monday Lecture 2-5 1hr X
Tuesday Lecture 6-8 X
Wednesday Lecture 9-11 1hr X
Thursday Lecture 12-15 1hr X
Friday OFF
Saturday Lecture 16-19 1.5hr X
Sunday Lecture 20-23 1.5hr X

CCNP Switch Study Update – 7/25/13

So this week was my 3rd week of studying and damn was it awful….I fell victim to a stomach virus Sunday night and had to take off work Monday and Tuesday. I was really upset about having to take off of work because I have not even been with my employer for 3 months yet. However he was very understanding and told me not to worry about it. He even sent me home Tuesday morning when I dragged myself in/ Obviously this meant my studies went completely to hell on those days too. Honestly, I still feel pretty under the weather but I am going to push forward, I hate going 3+ days without at least looking at the material for 30 or so minutes.

Below is what I completed on WEEK 2. It was a pretty productive week!

Week 2 (L3 & Redundancy & Security) CBT Nuggets OCG Completed
Monday -L3 Switching: InterVLAN Routing
-L3 Switching: Understanding CEF Optimization
Chapter 6 X
Tuesday -Redundancy in the Campus:HSRP,VRRP,GLBP
-Redundancy in the Campus:HSRP,VRRP,GLBP p2
Chapter 11 X
Wednesday
-Campus Security: Port Security and 802.1X
-Campus Security: VLANS and Spoofing Attacks
Chapter 13 X
Thursday -Campus Security: STP Attacks and other Considerations
-Campus Securty: VACLs
Chapter 16 & 17 X
Friday OFF
Saturday OFF
Sunday Campus VOIP: Overview, Considerations, Auto QOS X
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