Hello friends! My name is Nick and I am Rene's new site assistant. I wanted to share some helpful CCIE Lab tips that I learned over the past months. I have been following this rules as I continue my pursuit for CCIE R&S and they have help me hone my skills significantly.
- Read "Your CCIE Lab Success Strategy" by Dean Bahizad and Vivek Thwari. This book contains no technical information but tells you pretty much everything else. It is a very realistic, motivation read about two adult men with full-time jobs and families who were fully committed to their own (and eachothers) CCIE journeys. Cost is about 30 USD. I highly recommend this book. I will summarize a few points from this book in the article as well.
- Before doing any lab, read the whole lab first. Understand the big picture and come up with a strategy. For example, if you are forced to use OSPF with a point-to-multipoint frame relay interface with no broadcast DLCIs ... you should be thinking about which OSPF network types will work in this situation, even though OSPF configuration isn't until later. If you find out that all EIGRP neighborships must have authenticated routing updates, you should configure this initially to avoid having to backtrack.
- Buy a small binder, graph paper, and a pack of colored pencils. This is your CCIE Study Binder and should remain on your person at all times during study sessions. Before beginning your lab (and after reading it, of course), draw a few pictures of your network so you know what's happening. Use different colors for different protocols or technologies. Sometimes it helps to have multiple diagrams for each technology to avoid clutter. For example, one diagram can label all interfaces, IP addresses, and subnet masks. Another can detail IGPs, FHRPs, and points of redistribution. Another can detail BGP and the specific peerings that are permitted. Another for LAN switching, another for frame relay, etc.