CCIE Recert

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

I just passed my CCIE recertification exam, so my number will be active for two more years.  Like last time, I used the CCIE written test at NetMaster Class ( to help prepare.  I’m working back into a technology role through consulting at Chesapeake Netcraftsmen (, and that helped me understand a lot of technology that has been developed and deployed since my heavy involvement in route/switch networking over the last eight years.  Even still, there is a lot of technology that can be covered on the exam, and it helps to have a tool to focus on specifics as well as to simulate the real exam.

NetMasterClass isn’t one of the brain-dump organizations that has you memorize questions and answers.  They test you on the technology areas that are on the test, but using their own test database that is augmented with explanations for the right answer and references to further material.  I find the references to further material to be especially valuable.  As part of my study efforts, I sent them a number of new questions, because it helps me master the subject.  By understanding the breadth of a subject, I can handle any number of questions, as well as applying that knowledge to customer networks.

Some other useful resources for understanding technology are the webcasts at InternetworkExpert ( and blogs by various people who are studying for their CCIE.  They blog about it because it helps them really understand a topic, just as I described above.  The video, or V-Seminar, that I liked from InternetworkExpert was the one on Route Redistribution Demystified.  It does a good analysis of what happens when redistributing routes between two routing protocols and how routing loops can be created and  how you can avoid them.

I’ve also looked at some of the CiscoLive (Networkers) virtual presentations and learned good technology tips from them.  The presentation on high availability campus networks is good because it includes a number of good tips for improving network availability.  I wish they would make them available in podcast format so I can download them to my phone and listen and watch them when it is convenient.  And there’s also the Cisco Learning Network (, which is advertising a free test prep on the home page.

In summary, there are a lot of resources for learning about technology.  Take advantage of them.  To paraphrase the Discovery Channel, “Exercise your brain”.



Re-posted with Permission 

NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.