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 (www.netmasterclass.com) to help prepare. I’m working back into a technology role through consulting at Chesapeake Netcraftsmen (netcraftsmen.net), 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 (www.internetworkexpert.com) 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 (https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/index.jspa), 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 http://www.infoblox.com/en/communities/blogs.html