Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Blueprint – Week 3 & 4

Labs. Labs....and more Labs.

Sleeping on the Job.

I’m combining week 3 and 4 for this blog.

I have completed the final 3 sections of INE Vol 1 Workbook:


I’m on track for finishing up Vol 1 by the end of this month. Keep in mind that I am following the recommended study though INE and they do not recommend doing the entire workbook in a linear fashion. The idea is to master the CORE technologies first then work your way through the rest. At some point in this training, you will have to come back to Vol 1 and work though the rest of the labs

I purchased Vol 2 this past week. I will continue to practice the core technologies the rest of this week before starting Vol 2 Workbook Labs. So far I am ahead of schedule…im not rushing through the material. I feel like I’m am taking things at a decent pace and not burning myself out yet.

The challenges that I am facing thus far is Multicast and MPLS VPN. I had to stop working on the labs and read more books on MPLS and Multicast to gain a more solid perspective on the theory. MPLS VPN requires lots of configuration…even for some of the basic tasks. I have to remember to break down each task into smaller manageable tasks…perform the necessary verifications…move on to the next task. I have basically become a robot when doing configurations. Sometimes I even talk out loud while I’m doing the configurations during each step. I just have to be sure not to do that during the real exam…it could really annoy other people in the room.

From Dec 13th – Dec 26th I have logged 33 hours of study. This brings my total hours of study to date at 102 hours.

For the final week of this month, I will just review and fill in some gaps with BGP, MPLS and Multicast…do more of the mini labs and just read more theory. Starting Jan 3rd, I will begin VOL 2 Workbook.

I hope that everyone had a Happy Holidays. Thanks again for reading my BLOG.

ComputerConcepts LLC – Internetworking Professionals


The Blueprint – Week 2

This is my second week of study. I have completed the following section in the INE Vol 1 Workbook:


Mon – 3hrs
Tues – 3hrs
Wed – 4hrs
Thur – 3hrs
Fri – 6hrs
Sat – 3hrs
Sun – 10hrs
TOTAL = 32

Week 2 was a beast! Each day, I realize how much I don’t know…but at the same time, I am learning much more in the process. I have found that knowing how to verify the configurations is a key component for gaining a solid understanding of the technologies. Even if I am comfortable with a configuration, I also make sure to run though all the debug and show commands to verify what is going on. I also try not to use the “sh run” commands while I’m configuring and verifying. It’s just another way to increase troubleshooting skills and accuracy.

I am planning on taking week 3 to review these sections and practice more. Some of my labs scenarios did not verify exactly as the workbook described. So my plan is to run through some of them again for deeper understanding of the technology. I still have plenty of time left before I dive into the Vol 2 Workbook. The next milestone is to be ready to tackle Vol 2 in January.


ComputerConcepts LLC – Internetworking Professionals

The Blueprint – Week 1

The word blueprint is defined as, a plan or a process one follows to construct or create something. Once the blueprint is created, it is typically used as a reference or template by which one follows to create the same thing multiple times. As we know…sometimes the blueprint is tweaked along the way to make it better than the original. New ideas are formulated and better ways to create and construct are discovered during this process. For me…this thing here is the creation of my Blueprint…my plan, my process, my template. This is my way of documenting my learning experience and my process of passing the CCIE R&S Lab.

I’m ending my first full week (Mon – Sun) of structured study.  Using the INE VOL 1 Workbook, I have completed the following sections:

Bridging and Switching
IP Routing

Mon – 4hrs
Tues – 4hrs
Wed – 4hrs
Thur – 4hrs
Fri – 7hrs
Sat – 8hrs
Sun – 6hrs
TOTAL = 37

I am very pleased with the INE workbook thus far. Some of the scenarios have been easy and others very challenging. It humbles you very quickly. I’ve stayed on the site looking and learing how to navigate my way through the online DocCD (this is the only aid Cisco allows during the exam) as my reference while practicing. The goal here is to make sure you learn all the CORE technology. This is just the warm-up and I’m anticipating a LONG and difficult road ahead. My plan is to complete the VOL1 workbook in 4 weeks then start VOL 2.

Moving forward, I will do a weekly blog (each sunday) leading up to my actual test day. This is my way of keeping track of this on my own as well as updating those out there following my progress. I’ll posting my hours and study topics along with some hurdles/challenges during this process. I have reevaluated my test day and will most like shot for it in August of 2011. With the amount of hours I am able to study daily and having my own lab at home (I cant stress enough how great this is) is a blessing…I believe I can achieve this in 9 months.

Thanks for reading!

ComputerConcepts LLC – Internetworking Professionals

CCIE Lab Build – Finished! (Part 4)

I first want to give thanks for those that are following my BLOG. Writing a BLOG about the CCIE journey is nothing new however, I’ve gotten some really good feedback and encouragement since starting this. 

I have finally finished building my CCIE home lab this past weekend. I took about 4 weeks to complete. I pretty much ordered everything online. As I mentioned before, I had to put my foot on the accelerator and get this thing built fast because I felt I took way to long of a break after passing the written exam. I am now in my zone and I am 100% focused for studying for this thing. Here is short breakdown of the current gear that I have:

R1 – Cisco 2620XM (128D / 32F)
R2 – Cisco 2620XM (128D / 32F)
R3 – Cisco 2621XM (128D / 32F)
R4 – Cisco 1841
R5 – Cisco 2811
R6 – Cisco 3725
SW1 – Cisco 3750
SW2 – Cisco 3750
SW3 – Cisco 3550
SW4 – Cisco 3560
BB1 – Cisco 2620XM
BB2 – Cisco 2620XM
BB3 – Cisco 2620XM
Access Server – Cisco 2511RJ

Note that I am following the INE framework somewhat. Im not using the hardware they have …but I have checked and checked and I should be good for 99% of the labs. I focused in IOS versions and making sure these routers can run the proper code to do all the labs. I got a really good deal on the 2620XMs…so thats why I have so many of them. Using them for the BB1, BB2, BB3 might be overkill…but whatever.  I have been on the message boards and other blogs and I have seen quite a few people pass this on the first attempt. From day 1, I always said that my goal is to pass on the first attempt. I’ve heard waaaaay to many people say the first attempt it just a “recon mission” to see what the exam is like. They psyche themselves out. NOT ME…a $1400 dollar recon mission…yeah right. Not to mention hotel and travel (I’ll be taking mine in RTP) serious about this.  Seeing others do it motivates me even more…Advantage Me, because I have my own lab that I can use 24/7.

I also purchased Workbook Volume 1 from INE (im not advertising for them…lots of people been asking me what I plan to use for study) and got started studying this past weekend. I started on Saturday and I have logged in 22 hours of study. I have completed Section 1.x, 2.x and 3.x of the workbook. My goal is to have Section 4(RIP) and Section 5(EIGRP) completed by the end of the week. I’m actually mad that I’m doing this blog because it’s cutting into my study time. I’ll publish my study schedule and progress on this blog weekly.

Kudos to a former co-worker of mine…He passed the CCNA (on his first attempt) right before the holiday. Good job and Congrats!

This is probably the last of the pictures you will see of my Lab…not much more to show. Good Luck for those out there trying to make it happen. Holla at me if you have any questions and SUBSCRIBE to this blog! Enjoy.

– CiscoNinjaNC

1ft Gray Crossover, 3ft Black CAT5e, 3ft Serial Cables

Final Order of 3 Cisco 2620s and 1 Catalyst 3550 Switch

This is "The Blueprint"

"The Blueprint"

got the 1ft grey crossovers to keep the rack looking clean

another shot of "The Blueprint"