How to Study for the R&S CCIE Lab

01 Apr 2011 - Lab-Rat

Once you’ve completed your CCIE lab foundation study for the CCIE lab, it’s time to pull the trigger and get good with the equipment. I worked with three vendors and a variety of training methods during my lab preparation- I’ll give you a little detail on each and then make a recommendation on how I would have done it if I had to start over again.


I took several bootcamps- most at CC Bootcamp. They’re nice people, and they try hard. The problem for me, is that a bootcamp format doesn’t lend itself well to what I needed to prepare for the lab. Let me elaborate. A week isn’t a very long time to hit any particular target in any depth (heck, there’s one week BGP bootcamps). So what that means is you’re basically there for a brief review.

Fine, but invariably there’s one or more people in the bootcamp who shouldn’t be there. You know, the guy who can’t subnet- or how about the guy who is there because the training budget was going to run out so he just came. They’re woefully ill prepared, and the instructor ends up teaching to the lowest common denominator. For me, my time is better spent studying at home- and I could have spent that cash on buying or renting my own CCIE lab equipment to practice.



Video on Demand

I bought the Cisco 360 Video on Demand Modules, I’ve also had experience with a couple of different vendors during my CCNP training. Overall they’re a pretty good resource- especially if you have to the option to practice the technology after the presentation (some come with labs and workbooks). Really this a hybrid solution, you get “just the facts” from a qualified instructor, and you can replay the presentation any time you like. I like these better than bootcamps.




I had the opportunity to use the Cisco 360 labs (currently there are 10 of them), the CC Bootcamp workbook, and INE’s workbooks. I recommend getting a couple of vendors workbooks, as multiple views of the technology make you a stronger network engineer. Each workbook had different areas of focus (and difficulty), and working through all of them helped me identify my weak areas and supplement my training.




So looking back, if I was starting my R&S CCIE lab study over again, here’s what I’d do:

Option 1, my budget is so tight it squeaks:

Option 2, I have a little more cash, but let’s not go crazy:

Option 3, Money is no object, let’s do this!:

So there you go- how to study for R&S CCIE Lab in nutshell- or a rat hole. 🙂