Thursday, October 8, 2009

CCIE Flyer Reader Exclusive Soup-To-Nuts for FREE! Why Pay More?

The journey to become a CCIE is an expensive one and in my everyday interactions I always look out for bargains. Recently Micronics, Voice Boot Camp, Global Knowledge and SkylineATS all reduced rates or agreed to for their CCIE boot camps. I thought I had really done something for future CCIEs with those announcements. The ads for training companies in the CCIE Flyer for September made history as well. Come on, have you ever seen those training companies all advertised on the same page before?

Well now the CCIE Flyer has really done it. We are offering Narbik’s Soup-To-Nuts workbook for FREE in the October issue of the CCIE Flyer . Yes you can get the hottest deal on one of the industry’s best workbooks to use as a guide book for your journey to become a CCIE from the CCIE Flyer . So for all you who have been visiting the CCIE Flyer this is our way of saying thanks!

How can you go wrong with free?

How to order? Go to the CCIE Flyer October issue out around the 17th and see.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Webinar: Official Update – CCIE R&S

I´ve just attended the live Webinar with Brad Ellis (CCBOOTCAMP), Maurilio Gorito (Cisco) and many others, and some key points were discussed in there:

Open-Ended Questions:

No news here, just a heads-up, they´re looking for straight answers, few words, sometimes only one word to answer the question. Non english speakers (like me) can relax, they´re not looking at specific words or sentences, they´ll check each and every answer and grade it manually;

Troubleshooting Section:

- Troubleshooting section will be in a “virtual” enviroment (like Dynamips) not on real equipment;

- No switches, only routers, so any Layer 2 tickets will be related to WAN issues (Frame-Relay, PPP, etc);

- The number of Routers in the troubleshooting section can range all the way from 20 to 36, 37 routers, but, not all of them will be involved in the same ticket. They need this “high” number of equipments to keep one ticket independent from the other;

- The virtual enviroment will work just as if they are real equipments, all comands available (also show and debug) so don´t freak out, just think it as Cisco Official Dynamips enviroment! ;)

New topics on the V4 Blueprint:

Any topic just added to the V4 Blueprint will be non-core, you can even take a V4 CCIE R&S Exam and don´t have any MPLS tasks, those will be really basic (according to Maurilio).

Also, keep in mind that this event was recorded (sorry, I don´t have the link here, I´ll try to look out for it and post it back) so you can watch and see all the news yourself.

Keep you posted of any other news I have!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Slowly coming back – So, what´s up!?

After some personal issues, I´m slowly coming back to my normal routine of work, study, work, study, over and over again!

So, what changed so far in the CCIE World, in my preparation, in anything else regarding my studies?!

CCIE is now reaching version 4.0, with some news, good for some of us, bad for the others, anyway… Vendors are updating their products ASAP, and some of us finally discovered the small letters in the called “Investment Protection Program”, is it fair?! In my opinion it is, but for sure, if that was really explicit when I made my choice, I would NEVER (and let me say again NEVER) get it. It looks like the “Fantastic” workbook that expires after 12 months!

Their products are AWESOME, a “must have” but when I signed for it, I wanted to be updated to any changes for the CCIE, that´s why I bought an End-to-End solution, but, again… It´s fair, they´re spending time and efforts updating the materials, but please… be a bit more specific when describing the “Investment Protection” policy, stating that the “Products” inside the “End-to-End” program are protected and not the program itself… (and please, do not ask me which vendor it was, I can tell you which vendor it wasn´t if you ask me). Again, the products are great, but the self-called “investment protection” program wasn´t very clear. It´s fair to charge in my opinion, if that was explicit explained in the website… (Old stuff, but I still mad with it).

Internetwork Expert is updating their Volume I Workbook, they´ve also released the Volume IV (Troubleshooting) workbook, with just a few labs, but those look great!

Also, anyone checked IPExpert Volume I after the updates?! Very nice! I´m working on it right now, expect some reviews soon!

One thing that made me really happy was to see Joe Astorino joining IPExpert! He´s the man! An example to be followed! Few months of hard study and dedication, he got his digits and “upgraded” his career forever in my opinion! CONGRATULATIONS buddy! :)

It seens Narbik is also out with his new Workbook, another friend of mine (Nickelby Thane) is very excited with that! I may join him if I make up my mind and actually get Narbik´s workbook (it looks I´m going for it and with the new Cisco Press CCIE Certification Guide 4.0 those will be the last thing I´ll buy for my CCIE Preparation).

One thing I will try to do, I´ll keep most of my time on the Workbooks and Books, and less time on Videos, CoDs. Those are really nice, and I´ll use it as a reference, when I have some difficults, but not as my primary resource. I plan to study each topic, each protocol like this:

- Read about it (OSPF for example) in any Book (like Doyle);

- Watch the Video-on-Demand and listen to the MP3 files for the topic in question;

- Do the Volume I labs regarding this specific technology;

I think this is a good aproach, not all the time reading, not all the time on the workbooks and not all the time on the videos, just learning each topic at a time, with reading and hands-on.

Anyway! I´ll keep you posted of my progress, and also publish any reviews, tips and advices while I´m doing that! Just give me a couple days to organize everything!

Talk to you soon!


A CCIE Widow’s Request

CCIE # 5804 was one of the very few CCIEs in Alaska. I met him at Networkers in 2008 the month before his death. I did not find out about his passing until March of 2009 when a friend and co-worker sent me a message about him after seeing his picture on my blog. I had exchanged emails with him prior to Cisco Live 2008 so when we met I was pleased to make the acquaintance of one of only 4 CCIEs in Alaska that I knew of. After Cisco shut down the NASCAR Grille CCIE party, I hosted a bunch of CCIEs at the Hard Rock Café near there at Universal Studios Orlando. The band Modest Mouse was just finishing their last set for the night and we had a few beers together along with seven or eight other CCIEs. The other guys were from Holland, Texas and a few other places. But Dave and I talked a lot that evening and I am happy now, looking back that I had that chance.

At the end of August 2009 I received this email from Lee Gahm, Dave’s wife;

Dear Eman,
My name is Lee, I am Dave's wife.  Tonight I spoke with his parents and they told me about what you had written and I looked it up.  I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to share your kind words about Dave.  The proudest day in his life was when he passed his CCIE test.  Actually we were all very proud.  Dave LOVED his job and by what I could tell he was very good at it.  I miss the middle of the night calls from his work..I never understood a single word he said but I was always impressed.  His trips to those conventions were always important to him.  He was proud to be a "techno geek". He was looking forward to the next CCIE gathering as he was going to speak.
I am not ready yet but I will be putting together a memory book for Abby.  I would be grateful if you and some of the others would share some of your memories or stories about Dave with me.  If you have any other pictures too, I would love to have them.  I know his parents would like to see them also.
He truly was doing something that he loved.  I was so fortunate to speak to him the night before and could hear the happiness in his voice.

So I am posting this so that anyone who knew CCIE # 5804, Dave Gahm will share in photos or in writing their experiences with Dave. CCIEs have a way of influencing others across borders so I am happy to help Mrs. Gahm and Dave’s parents in gathering what I can through this medium Dave loved so much.

If you have anything you would like to share about Dave Gahm please respond to


Saturday, June 27, 2009

How about a CCIE R&S Bootcamp in Sao Paulo, Brazil ?!

A good friend of mine just finished a CCIE Voice Bootcamp here in Sao Paulo, Brazil… This Bootcamp was conducted by the guys from CCBootcamp

Well… I know CCIE Voice is not the most “famous” track… not even in a near future, I don´t see Voice beating up the CCIE R&S and that´s a fact… Just check how many R&S guys are getting their digits and how many Voice guys…

Oh yeah! I´m not saying that CCIE R&S is better or worse than CCIE Voice, not at all! I´m just saying that Voice is not so “famous” as the R&S track! ;)

Anyway… His class was full of engineers from all around Latin America, and the class was conducted in english… Everyone was happy and the price was fair!

Travelling costs are also cheaper for a travel to Brazil (if you´re in Latin America) than to go all the way to US (hotels are too expensive over there).

So my question is: WHY NOT A “DECENT” CCIE R&S BOOTCAMP in Sao Paulo, Brazil ?!

You can ask me… Why do I say “decent” ?! I say that because we do have some offerings down here that DO NOT ATTRACT me at all… I don´t know a single guy who attended one of those local bootcamps and passed the CCIE R&S Lab Exam in less than two attempts!

Anyone around here would be interested in a CCIE R&S Bootcamp here in Sao Paulo, Brazil ?! Maybe if we have a good number of students one of the vendors would be interested in come down…

I just know one thing… If it was possible to have a full class for the CCIE Voice, it´s possible to have a full class for CCIE R&S! That´s for sure!

Leave me your comments and thoughts!

Anyone ?! :)

Two new Cisco books on their way to my HOME! :)

Just got two Cisco Press books, can´t wait to put my hands on those!

Everytime that I get something online, I look like a child in Christmas eve waiting for Santa to arrive! lol!

This time I got:

Cisco Express Forwarding (ISBN: 9781587056109)


Cisco LAN Switching Configuration Handbook, 2nd Edition
(ISBN: 9781587056109)

Many of you already have those books, many not… In my case, I was waiting for a while to buy the CEF book, and what a perfect time get it now that the new Lan Switching Handbook was realeased!

As soon as those arrives (it seens CEF is delayed, but Lan Switching Handbook is already on it´s way to my home) I´ll put a little review here! Just hang in there and wait with me! :) lol!


Friday, June 26, 2009

THE BEST OF THE BEST (Narbik on Steroids!) by Eman Conde – CCIE Agent™

I just read through this wonderful interview from Mr. Eman Conde (the world famous CCIE Agent™ and owner of the CCIE Flyer) with the “amazing” mr. Narbik Kocharians (Micronics Training).

It´s a very interesting interview, it goes all the way from Workbooks, Bootcamps to Cisco 360 Program, just check it out:


The whole world is going nuts and the best way to distinguish yourself from the herd during this crazy time is by raising the bar on your own accomplishments every day. I do it and it keeps me fresh and in demand as the CCIE Agent™. Those around me that I associate professionally with do it too, like M and Jack Taylor my team. We hustle every day and try to take care of our network of clients and CCIEs as we navigate the muck and mire.

Training material for CCIEs is another area of distinction for some authors. I have personally seen some very good ones out there and distinguishing themselves becomes difficult for some of the authors. CCIE training material is written and published all the time by various sources and authors. I have heard of some plagiarized products out there from several of my network members. I speak with one author regularly, Narbik who recently called while I was in Jamaica (did you know only one CCIE lives in Jamaica?) talking to him about his new 2.0 Boot Camp. I get excited about CCIE stuff so I was excited to help spread the word about this news.

So when I landed back in the states I called Narbik back and asked him to answer a few questions about his latest work and activities on behalf of CCIEs around the world. What follows is my best effort to capture that call.

Q: Narbik why do I go on vacation to get away from work just to end up taking your calls? Is it the love of what we do or are we both nuts?

A: Eman I think we are both nuts driven by a passion that is based upon our love of helping others. What we do is not all for money we both spend so much time helping others and we are lucky we get paid for what we do and love. Vacation is for people who are stressed out every day and need a break. We are kindred spirits in that way and we don’t need a relief from stress, just more time with family that is less interrupted! I know you took my call because it was me. How many calls did you not take?

Q: Narbik I am asking the questions here. Yes I took your call because it was you but I also took a few others. I actually added two new clients while on vacation since they called out of the blue and rekindled an old relationship with another channel partner. The call from Dubai was a good one since some of my CCIE network will have a chance there to get submitted for new roles. But in all I did avoid a few callers and M was instrumental in keeping everyone happy for me.

Tell me what’s new with you? I know you have been working on new training materials and had a few calls with Cisco lately.

A: As of Aug, who ever attends my book camp, they will get “THE BEST OF THE BEST” the reason I call it the best of the best is because the students get my ALL NEW 2.0 boot camp which is by far the best, and they also get another best which is Cisco’s CCIE training called “The 360 program”.

Q: Whoa! You are now offering the 360⁰ Learning Program?

A: Only select Cisco Learning Partners are invited to deliver the Cisco 360 Learning Program, and I am proud to be a company that is recognized by Cisco. BTW, I am also a Master instructor.

Q: How did you come to the conclusion that combining your efforts with Cisco was a good idea?

A: I have been thinking about this for the longest time and I had to come up with a program that best serves MY students, a program that provides a passing rate of 80 percent, and I mean that, therefore, I wrote the all new foundation called “Foundation 2.0”, “Advanced CCIE R&S 2.0” and “The ALL NEW Boot Camp 2.0”. We are also coming up with an “Advanced Troubleshooting 2.0” which is 10 rigorous Mock labs, basically you load the initial configuration file and start going from task to task and resolve one problem after another, you see I never cared for 8 hour mock labs, NEVER, but this is very interesting and actually teaches the students to troubleshoot one task after another, and let me tell you, they are pretty tough, as a matter of fact very tough BUT RELEVENT.

Q: With all this did you feel you would be diluting your offerings?

A: The last thing that I wanted to add to this program was another program, and who better than CISCO or I should say who better than Bruce and Val’s program.

Q: Do you think this separates you from your competitors?

A: I don’t have to brag about our boot camps, but if you thought the old boot camp was great, you have not seen anything yet. Come and see the difference in philosophy. This program is what I had BUT on Steroids. I honestly believe that this is by far the BEST of the BEST.

Q: Ok. You are getting all worked up again and I can’t keep up. Give me a real run down.

A: Some of the new offerings are as follows:

  • Ciers-1 PLUS my 2.0 boot camp:

This providers 60 percent lecture and 40 percent hands on.

  • Ciers-2 PLUS my 2.0 boot camp material.

This provides 5 days of intense MOCK labs + lectures.

  • Once again, my retake policy is still in place, you can retake any one of these classes any number of times. As a matter of fact, I RECOMMEND it.
  • Micronics has a total of 24 R&S racks and these racks can be rented by our students for a price of $450 per month.
  • Soup-to-Nuts on special for $50
  • The new “Advanced CCIE R&S 2.0” for $395.

Q: Will this affect your delivery? I mean come on, the colored markers and white boards are a hallmark of your teaching style.

A: I will NEVER change the style of teaching, because if I do, I will be another vendor offering boot camps. When I tell everyone that my philosophy is different, some vendors get upset but, hey… my philosophy is different, my philosophy is to “TEACH” and NOT “LECTURE”. I have combined the two courses so my students get the BEST, I have added another 5 hours to my lectures, and if you have been to any of my boot camps you know that I DO NOT COVER FAT, I cover the MEAT of the subject.

Always remember it is NOT the company that the students should look for, it’s the instructor, I do not care if the company has been around since Rocky Marciano days, the company is NOT the one teaching the class, it’s the instructor. In real estate there is a saying and I quote “Location, Location, Location”, in CCIE or any training for that matter, the saying is “Instructor, Instructor, Instructor”.

Monday, June 1, 2009

CCIE R&S v4.0 – Your questions answered by Mauricio Gorito (from the CCIE Team at Cisco)

Cisco is running a nice “Ask the Expert” with Maurilio Gorito (you can access it through this link) regarding the new CCIE R&S Exam v4.0. This section will end in June 05, 2009.

The Last day to take the CCIE R&S Lab Exam v3.0 is October 17, 2009. The new exam format – v4.0 starts on October 18, 2009.

Personaly I really like the troubleshooting idea! Ok, I´m not a big fan of the OEQ, but troubleshooting seens really nice!

Here are the answers from Maurilio Gorito that I consider to be the most important (at least to me) so far:

Exam Format:


1. Open Ended Questions: up to 30 minutes.

2. Troubleshooting: up to 2 hours.

3. Configuration: up to 5 1/2 hours. 

The candidate will be graded only at the end of the day so even if the candidate fails in one of the sections he or she still going through all three sections.

There will be a big concern on integrity of the exams as all three sections are totally independent, per example the scenario or topology presented on the Troubleshooting section will be different from the configuration section.

The v3.0 lab exam has about 36 to 40 questions.

The configuration section on v4.0 will have something around 25 to 30 questions on 5.5 hours.

The Troubleshooting section will be independent from the Configuration section, i.e., it will be presented on a different scenario.

Once you finish the Troubleshooting you will move to the Configuration section that will be presented on a new scenario or topology.

The Troubleshooting section will have a maximum of 2 hours. The candidate will be presented a series of questions or 'trouble tickets' for a given scenario or topology. The referred topology will pre-configured.

Based on the information provided such as IP addressing diagrams, IGP routing diagrams, and so on you will work to identify and fix the issues. You will be given points for working scenarios.

1. The Open Ended Questions are 4 questions total and the candidate needs to get at least three out of four, and yes, usually 2 to 3 words are enough to answer them. During this section you can ask the proctor for clarification.

2. The total score of the CCIE lab exam still 100 points, now divided between the three sections. At this point I can't disclose the exact point allocation per section but you can expect the Configuration section to have between 25-30 questions and the Troubleshooting section to have between 10 to 15 trouble-tickets.

3. Regarding of MPLS we are planning to cover the basic configurations on label switching, VRFs and L3VPN. No advanced scenarios will be part of the exam.



One good way to prepare for the Core Knowledge questions is along with your preparation to the lab exam where you will be applying the overall concepts during your hands-on practice studying.

During that section you will be asked concept questions about technologies that are listed on the lab exam blueprint so while you are preparing to take the lab exam you are implementing all those concepts and then you will be well prepared for that.

There is no memorization type of questions, like to memorize RFCs (as someone asked before) or specific protocol timers.

You may find questions the will have an output command and / or a topology for your interpretation, but not memorization questions such RFC numbers.


The questions are suppose to be clear and direct so you should not need clarification, but if the candidate feel the need to clarify something on the question because per example English is not his or her first language proctors will help to clarify that.

Proctors will not go into technical discussions or possible directions on answering the questions, but still available to clarify the meaning of the question's wording.

We do not look on language specifics. Although the questions are written in English during grading we do not look for correct grammar or perfect phrases, rather we look for key words related to the technology involved in the questions. Proctors are very careful on it as well they are available during the exam for any clarification if needed. Here is a link where you can find a sample for the Open Ended questions:


The Open-Ended Questions are graded by the proctor, no by a script.

The only available tool during the Core Knowledge section is the Notepad. No calculator is available.

 Troubleshooting Section:


A good way to prepare to the troubleshooting is when you are practicing on hands-on preparing to the lab exam try to change your scenarios, try different approaches when configuring routing protocols, different configuration on QoS, and so on. During your ‘experiments’ observe what happens, the changes on behaviors, and then record your finds. These will help you to understand how the technologies work at the same time how they behave during transitions, and then you will know how to deal when something is broken. Consider the following approach when analyzing a problem.

When analyzing a problem you should consider the following facts:

- Make sure you have a clear definition of the problem.

- Gather all the relevant facts and consider the likely possibilities.

- Create and implement an action plan and then observe the results.

- If the symptoms do not stop try another action plan and gather additional facts. If you try one thing and it doesn’t work you should take that configuration or feature off. In case you make the situation worse, always keep the basic and get back to a known position.

- If the symptoms do stop, document how you fixed the problem.

The Troubleshooting section will have a certain number of trouble tickets and points allocated to the section. You will receive credits for the points you get. Your score on this section will show as, 30%, or 50%, or 80%, and so on.
You will need to get a minimum of 80% on each section of the exam to pass on the CCIE lab exam.
Yes, we are planning to post a sample Troubleshooting questions/trouble ticket for study reference.

CCIE Lab Exam:


The main changes on the new CCIE R&S v4.0 are:

1. The addition of MPLS/VPN, EIGRPv6 and the emphasis on troubleshooting.

2. The addition of a separated 2 hours troubleshooting section to the exam.

No topics were removed from the syllabus and those topics (aka blueprint) will be covered through 3 sections:

1. Open Ended Questions: up to 30 minutes.

2. Troubleshooting: up to 2 hours.

3. Configuration: up to 5 1/2 hours.

You can find more detailed information on the CCIE R&S v4.0 at


Yes, the v3.0 lab exam has about 36 to 40 questions.

The configuration section on v4.0 will have something around 25 to 30 questions on 5.5 hours.


Performance Routing will not be a big topic, and may not appear in all exams.

IOS IPS it is also a topic that will not appear in all exams and it will not require to know the signatures but the basic configuration.

The same applies to the IOS Zone Based Firewall. This is new to the blueprint and it will be basic in the exam and may not appear in all exams.

No Radius server will be part of the CCIE R&S exam scenarios, and initially no SDM software will be installed on the ISR routers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Simply Amazing! Those guys do not mess around when it comes to study material!

After the “Official” announcement from Cisco regarding the new blueprint for the CCIE R&S v4.0 (how nice, now they´re using versions) every vendor out there are making their moves, but I can´t believe that IPExpert will have their technology focused labs released THIS WEEK! Yeah! That´s right!

Also, their Audio on Demand will also be reworked and will cover both written and lab exam topics, and a huge bonus (Ask the Expert) which you must see for yourself at their blog, please follow this link to check in detail what I´m talking about (there are many other surprises in it): New Routing and Switching 4.0 – Simply Awesome

I will definitly need to go for the CCIE R&S v4.0, no time to finish all my studies and go for a try before the changes take effect, so I feel a bit better… I´ll have everything needed for a good preparation!

IE will also release their material really soon according to their CCIE Blog also, somewhere between May-June, you can check their blog post here: New CCIE R&S: Reload

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Uh-oh! The rumours were right! CCIE R&S Exam Changes (Written and Lab) - Official!

It seens Wayne (IPExpert president and owner) were right… Changes are “really” coming to the CCIE R&S Certification, either written and lab exams!

Just received an email from Cisco, with news regarding LAB (and Written) Exam changes!

Also, there´s a note on Cisco´s Website (CCIE R&S Section), which you can check below:


NEW: Cisco Revising CCIE R&S Certification

New lab requires hands-on troubleshooting; both exams cover MPLS and VPN

Cisco has revised the certification requirements for CCIE R&S and published the new v4.0 standards on the Cisco Learning Network. Exams based on the new requirements are scheduled for release on October 18, 2009 and will immediately replace the current exams. The Cisco 360 Learning Program will also be updated to support the new requirements.


Changes are good, changes are nice, I really like the troubleshooting idea, candidates MUST know how to approach an issue, how to solve it, how to document the solution, and others. This troubleshooting section can be a problem, because, you´ll troubleshoot a network you´re not familiar with, deal with problems created by high-skilled engineers, but, I really liked this new troubleshooting section, it´s a waaaay better idea than the open-ended questions!

Now… MPLS and VPN´s… it was about the time to come to the CCIE R&S Lab exam… I don´t deal as much as I like with both technologies in my daily activities, but now, will need to master those topics as well…

It seens my plan will change a bit for now… oh my… :S

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

IPExpert: “FREE!” CCIE R&S Core Knowledge Preparation Quizzer

I know, I know… I´ve been away for a while now, but my life changed a lot after the world “recession”, too much to do, and no time to make everyone happy!

Anyway, I´m here, still focused in my preparation, I spend most of my free time, either at home or on the road, reading books, making a solid “foundation” to face the beast when the time comes, in my point of view, it´s insane to learn by doing, we need to understand the technology behind the IOS commands in order to be a “real” CCIE! And now, with the introduction of the Open Ended Questions, this makes all the difference!

I just received this month IPExpert Newsletter, there are some exciting news in there, but none is a match for their CCIE R&S Core Knowledge Preparation Quizzer! I just downloaded, installed, and played with it a little bit! Fantastic! :D

And guess what! IT´S FREE! Yeap! That´s right! FREE, $ 0.00, nothing, just download it and play! :)

You can check their Newsletter and find out what´s going on by clicking this link.

Exciting! Now both major vendors do have a product developed to help us with the CCIE R&S Open Ended Questions!

Go check it out yourself! ;)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

FREE CCIE R&S Graded Lab Assessment at IPExpert ?! With Voucher codes ?! For real ?! :)

Yep! That´s real! You´re not dreaming! :)

This morning I´ve received the latest IPExpert Newsletter (which, by the way can be accessed by clicking here) with some wonderful news! You must check it out!

But this particular one cautch my attention! They´re offering FREE CCIE R&S Graded Lab Assessment! That includes immediate access to the lab scenario, solution guide and configuration files!

Also, you´ll receive TWO VOUCHER codes to be used at their vRacks (Proctor Labs)! And the best part, at the end of the session you´ll receive a detailed grading report breaking down every section of the lab!

Now you can check your accuracy and while checking out IPExpert´s materials for free!

Check this screen from their site:


That is really a SWEET deal! :)

Christmas is over, but it seens that my “carnival” will be really busy next week! lol! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

IPExpert is launching a new sister company for lower level certifications (CCNA, CCxP, etc)! COOL!

It´s official! IPExpert is launching a sister company, called IPExpert Training, Inc. to offer lower level certifications like CompTia, VMWare, CCENT, CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, CCSP, CCVP and MCSE!

A great opportunity to anyone who wants to join the amazing “Network World”!

I remember my first “Cisco” training, I was so excited when received a call from my boss telling me that, something like: “Hey Caue! Next week you´re going to a CCNA class”! That made my day that time!

And the BEST thing is: Neither IPExpert and IPExpert Training, Inc. will be offering the Cisco 360 Program (also known as NetMasterClass – thank God I didn´t bought from them)! Blended Learning Solutions is 1000 times BETTER (and cheaper) than the Cisco 360 Program!

One other thing: the CCIE team at IPExpert will not be involved in the IPExpert Training, Inc. It´s a completely new company,  different instructors, with a great material and the same philosophy, to help you achieve your dreams, improve your career, your knowledge and your lifestyle!

I know many guys who will get VERY EXCITED with this announcement!

Wish IPExpert Training, Inc. all the best, and hope you can help many engineers to achieve their goals, just like IPExpert is doing for years now!!!!

By the way, those lower-level trainings will NOT be Cisco Authorized! ;)

Check their official announcement clicking here!

Monday, January 26, 2009

CCIE Lab: Short Answer Questions – Q&A

We all know that Cisco is introducing a new type of “exam” between the CCIE R&S Written and CCIE Lab Exams… The World Famous “Short Answer Questions”! It consists of a series of four or five questions asked to the candidate BEFORE the CCIE R&S Lab exam!

It started in Beijing, the candidates were interviewed and it was an “oral” exam! That was kind freaking me out!

BUT, this morning CCIE Pursuit solved the mistery! The new “Short Answer Questions” exam will not be oral, but it´ll be Computer Based! Check this part of his post:


Cisco Announces Updates to the CCIE Lab and Written Exam

Effective February 1, 2009, Cisco will introduce a new type of question format to CCIE Routing and Switching lab exams. In addition to the live configuration scenarios, candidates will be asked a series of four or five open-ended questions on the computer screen, drawn from a pool of questions based on the material covered on the lab blueprint. No new topics are being added.

Dear Jehanzeb,

Thank you for contacting Certification Support.

They’re computer-base questions, and will be graded by the CCIE lab proctors.

If you have further questions regarding the CCIE Certification Program, please visit or visit the CCIE Instant Answers at

Kind regards,

Certification Support Center


That is AWESOME! I was worried about the interview… but that doesn´t matter if the questions will be computer based, I will be able to read it, and I read MUCH better than I speak english! :) COOL! So no worries! Let the questions come! :)

You can find many other  Q&A in the Cert Support Center, but those listed below are the ones I consider to be the most important (at least to me) regarding the Short Answer Questions exam:






Well… now it´s time to go back to my books! :)


Sunday, January 25, 2009

IPExpert´s vClass 50% Off (JUST THIS WEEKEND)

I don´t know how many of you are unable to travel to US to attend a "decent" bootcamp class just like me!

That´s why I love everything that´s either offered in "On Demand" and "Live, Online" , I can´t afford to go onsite for a class, the class needs to come to me! :)

Both major vendors (IPExpert and Internetwork Expert) offers those type of classes, but, during this weekend (and according to the newsletter this weekend only), if you register for a vClass at IPExpert you´ll receive a 50% discount! WoW!!!! That is nice!!!!

Just use the code "IPXvCLASS" at the checkout and get your vClass bootcamp for half of the price!!

There are 3 types of vClass available:

Option 1: CCIE 5-Day Instructor-Led Boot Camp vClass

Option 2: CCIE 5-Day Technology-Focused Lecture vClass

Option 3: CCIE 1-Week Lab Experience vClass

Those options are not available only to CCIE Rounting & Switching, but for other tracks too!

For those who still have some budget available, this is the time to use it! Hurry up, this promotion is valid for just this weekend!

Follows the original newsletter:

IPexpert Inc.

January 24, 2009

WEEKEND SPECIAL: 50% OFF Any Scheduled vClass

EXTRA Mock Labs ("Last Mile" Prep Kit) for Candidates Focused on CURRENT (v2) Voice or Security Lab Exams

Going for NEW CCIE Voice or Security (v3) Blueprint? We Have Materials and Racks Ready for You!

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook... Benefits for CCIE Candidates

Monday, January 19, 2009

It worths or not?!

During this weekend I was asked by a friend if all the time studying, reading, watching CoD´s, labbing, and everything else, worths it or not!

He got my attention with this question... He went a little further with it, all around the world, with economy the way it is, companies are not willing to pay the way they were before the crises... Also, if you look at job postings nowadays, you´ll see job offerings asking for someone who knows R&S stuff, but also, needs to be specialist in Security, needs solid understanding of Voice, years of experience in Storage, Wireless, also needs to know how to handle projects (PMP), and ITIL... So, he asked... why wasting time doing such a "time consuming" certification, like the CCIE R&S, instead of lots of certifications in lower levels!

I stopped what I was doing... in fact, I don´t even remember what I was doing, probably was answering some emails... anyway... It took me at least a couple minutes to process his question before even think about an answer... Everything was really quiet for those couple minutes...

I asked him: So, you´re saying companies nowadays preffer to hire a  "generalist" type of engineer than "specialists" ?!

He answered: No, I´m saying they want engineers who can handle everything, and not just a part of it! You know the potential of a CCIE, with all his dedication, and efforts along the way, but tell me, if you´re CCIE R&S, that doesn´t mean you know Security, Voice, and other technologies at the same level a CCSP, CCVP guy does... Also, consider a PMP guy, who is able to handle any type of project, no matter which one, he will be there to handle the project at all, puting all resources together and making it happen!

At this time I got his point of view... He´s right and wrong at the same time (at least to me)... Really... My answer was something like that to him (and please, do not take me wrong, I´m a generalist type of engineer nowadays too):

Ok buddy... Now tell me, when things starts to go wrong... who the companies will chase after for some "consulting"  time to solve the problems?! A "specialist" or a "generalist" engineer?! They can have their teams full of engineers, but if they don´t have some specialists in their fields (R&S, Voice, Security, etc), well... soon of later things will start to go wrong! You can´t compare the experience of a  CCIE Voice engineer, with years of field experience, working "only" with voice, and voice related issues, with a guy who needs to handle the "security, routing and switching, storage and voice"... It´s really nonsense! By the end of the project both guys can do a good job, but the specialist will do it with less impact, faster, with confidence, while the  generalist engineer (like me), will need to do some "home work", pull out a few contacts to solve doubts, and for sure, it´ll take MUCH longer to do it! But both will do it at the end!

So... what´s the advantage?! Again... to manage a network, services and things like that, it´ll probably work... but not for new implementations, where everything starts from the scratch paper during a business meeting! Companies needs to have BOTH type of engineers! Specialists and Generalists! There´s place to everyone!

You need to love what you do to even think about getting CCIE Certified! If you don´t like, please, step away, think again about your career and choose something that pleases you most! I love it! I want to beat it! And that´s what I´m preparing myself to do!

If companies are hiring CCIEs or not it´s another history... but I want to be the type of guy who come up with solutions, and not doubts to solve! Come on! The economic crises will not be there forever, and also, it´s been used all around the world as an excuse to reduce staff, salaries, and everything else! I bet in a couple years everything will be back to normal... And when that time comes, I will be seating on top!

But, you´re right man! We need the best of both worlds... If during the way to achieve the CCIE, I can learn other technologies, it´ll be great! Thanks for the advice, I´ll work in more than one path during my studies! If possible I´ll get some CCxP level certifications (CCVP, CCSP, CCDP, CCIP)... anyway, that will help me to develop myself during my CCIE studies, and also, will make me more attractive to companies during this time!

In fact... my only concearn right now is to  to be really attractive to the company I work for! It´s really a pleasure work where I do (Orange Business Services), and I love what I do... so... no worries about changes... :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Changes in the CCIE R&S Written and Lab Exam formats!

Well... it seens that all the hoaxes out there are finally becoming truth! Cisco is announcing changes in the CCIE R&S Exam formats!

Starting with the written, according to the newsletter we´ll not be able to skip a question and come back to answer it later in the exam! We´ll need to answer each and every question before moving to the next one! Just like  CCNA/CCNP exams!

Now, the biggest change, prior to the LAB Exam we´ll have an "interview" were they´ll ask us 4 or 5 questions! Ok! I must agree that this is a good thing! BUT! In my opinion, there´s pressure enough over the candidate´s shoulder during the exam! This interview will just put more pressure!

In my opinion, this examination should be a 3 steps, like that:

CCIE Written --> CCIE Interview --> LAB Exam

So, passing the CCIE Written Exam would allow you to schedule the Interview, when you pass the interview you would be able to schedule the lab!

Come on! Questions will be in english (it´s really different to actually READ than LISTENING), that will be a difficult to me, or to anyone else who doesn´t have english as primary language!

Second... what happens if I suck in the interview, and ace the lab!? I can be nervous! That will make me a "cheater" ?!

They could charge like $100.00 for the interview, for sure that would relieve some of the pression over me, it´s better to fail just with $100.00 than $1,400.00!

I´m not against it! I just think it can be done in 3 steps!

Anyone agress ?!

Follows Cisco announcement:


Changes to CCIE Lab and Written Exam Question Format and Scoring

Effective February 1, 2009, Cisco will introduce a new type of question format to CCIE Routing and Switching lab exams. In addition to the live configuration scenarios, candidates will be asked a series of four or five open-ended questions, drawn from a pool of questions based on the material covered on the lab blueprint. No new topics are being added. The exams are not been increased in difficulty and the well-prepared candidate should have no trouble answering the questions. The length of the exam will remain eight hours. Candidates will need to achieve a passing score on both the open-ended questions and the lab portion in order to pass the lab and become certified.  Other CCIE tracks will change over the next year, with exact dates announced in advance.

Effective February 17th, 2009, candidates will also see two other changes in CCIE written exams. First, candidates will now be required to answer each question before moving on to the next question; candidates will no longer be allowed to skip a question and come back to it at a later time. Second, there will be an update to the score report. The overall exam score and the exam passing score will now be reported as a scaled score, on a scale from 300-1000. This change will not affect the difficulty of the current set of exams and will assure CCIE written exams will be consistent with Cisco’s other career certification exams.