Welcome

This is the site where I'm collecting my study notes on my path to the CCIE. This is not a "complete" site and it carries no guarantees - explicit or implied. My goals are to attain a double CCIE - R/S and Security.

I have been working towards this (in varying degrees) for a very long time. Originally I started working towards the R/S track. I passed the CCIE Written R/S in 2009, 2010 and 2013. I attempted the R/S Lab in 2012 and did not pass. More recently, I decided to put the R/S path aside and first attain the Security track. My first attempt at the Security Written exam was in Jan 2016 (Version 4.0). My second attempt was in Jan 2017 (Version 4.1).

Often people recount their success and ignore their failures. However, I am not ashamed of my failures since they are valiant attempts at a lofty goal. It is a hard fought battle and not some easily obtained credential. And perhaps my persistence may encourage others who may also stumble along the way.

The Sections of this Site:

* CCIE Security 5.0 - this is the category for posts on the 5.0 version (current material)
* Routing and Switching (legacy) - these are archived posts from my R/S studies
* Security Written - these are posts on the 4.0 exam and my review of each topic on 4.1


Today (1/31/2017) is the first day of availability of the CCIE Security version 5.0 exams. At this point, there are 0 Study Guides for this exam. Classes for this are not available until spring. The one INE bootcamp (March) is already sold out. The INE Security Workbooks and Lab Racks for version 5 are planned to be available sometime around spring.

If we wait until materials are available, we are shortening the time we have to study those materials. We have no choice but to create our own. At this time, we don't know how long Version 5.0 will be the current version. If it only lasts a year, you could waste half that year waiting for a class seat. On top of that - no class, video series or program prepares you completely for the Written or Lab exams. You have to do that yourself.

The silver lining in this dark cloud is that the version 5.0 uses Unified Exam Topics. The same topics that are on the Written Exam are the same topics that are on the Lab Exam. The only difference is the Evolving Technologies section - which is only on the Written - but across all tracks. Even though we are starting all over from scratch, what we study will be twice as effective. Every topic that you master for the written will be tested in the lab. And when you move from track to track, you've already got 10% of the written test under your belt.

Let's start with what we already know. From experience, the "Recommended Reading List" put out by Cisco and INE have not been worth the electrons used to create them. They are well-intentioned, but not as useful as they were years ago. Some of the titles encompass out-of-date materials. While helpful, they can also waste your time and effort with obsolete material. So don't focus on a reading list. Focus on a technology list and task list.

Link to the CCIE Security 5.0 List of Topics in PDF format.

Link to the Study Materials from the Cisco Learning Network.

Link to the Lab Equipment and Software list.

Link to a page on Version 5.0 Exam Content Updates from the Cisco Learning Network.

Please note that the topics in the exam serve as a general guideline for the content likely to be included in the exam. Other related topics may also appear on any delivery of the exam.

Which means even these "official" lists may not be complete and may not completely prepare you. And they may change - and the questions may be on something else. But this is what we have for now and that's what I'm going to go with to guide my studies. In addition, I will be using my researching skills to completely prepare for the topics. But this is going to be the starting point.

Good luck - study hard - and practice daily.

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