Saturday, November 16, 2013
After playing for a few days with the online lab scheduling, i managed to schedule my lab exam for 10th of February 2014 (this means that i had to pay at the same time). Since i wasn't so lucky to find an earlier date (there are various work projects scheduled for February 2014, where i wanted to be free of non-work matters), i started looking for important things (besides dealing with these work projects) to do before the 10th of December 2013, where i am planning to actually start my lab study.
First of all i needed to find some mock labs in order to rate myself. Unfortunately i couldn't find any, because as it seems only R&S mock labs are available from most trainers. Since no SP mock labs are available, i decided to follow another path. Get some time on rack rentals, find some workbooks with labs inside and make my own version of mock labs. What does this mean? Run an 8-hour lab on online racks and then grade myself based on the expected results. Like i did in R&S, honesty is what counts most, so even the smallest error will make me lose all the topic points.
I did a quick research and i ended up with INE's rack rentals in combination with their workbook (a bundle for which i got a nice offer). The workbook contains 4 full scale labs, 2 of which i'm planning to run at least twice. So in total i am planning to run my own version of 6 mock labs. I don't know if i'll be able to do some of the other staff in the workbook (besides the labs), but i hope i do find some time to test a few of those things too.
At the same time, i am planning to run some of the above labs on my upgraded dynamips environment, in order to get used to the technologies that i feel weak. That means that i'll have to prepare my virtual lab for that. I'm not planning to use IOU/VIRL/etc, because my current hardware setup is able to cope easily with the required amount of dynamips resources and i mostly want to focus on the technologies themselves rather than on the virtual environment or the actual device configuration.
After i covered the practical side of preparation, i needed to do something for the theoretical too. So i ordered two new books based on the list at https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-10002. My library already has most of these titles, so i went for "MPLS-Enabled Applications: Emerging Developments and New Technologies" and "Traffic Engineering with MPLS" which seemed interesting, although the topics are well-known to me.
Last but not least, i ordered a new MP3 player/recorder (my old had broken one year ago). The reason i use such a tool has been described in my previous CCIE. I still consider this hear-yourself tactic as of major importance for my preparation.