CCIE or Null!

My journey to CCIE!

Archive for the ‘Certification’ Category

BGP+MPLS passed onto QoS!

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Well I was finally able to sneak out of the office to go take the BGP+MPLS 642-691 exam earlier this week, something I have been trying to do for almost 2 weeks now. I really didn’t think finding the time to schedule the test was going to be the toughest part. The test took me an hour, and I passed so all my studying and work has paid off.

I was honestly a bit disappointed with the test, it seemed a bit more one-sided to me and the simulations were less than challenging in my opinion. I’ve done much more complicated labs in GNS3 and at work that matter. So as I was going the exam I felt more and more confident and really over-prepared. I do suppose it’s better than the alternative and failing the exam so I won’t dwell on this any further I passed and I am one step closer (well two technically) to getting my CCIP certification.

I’ll be jumping into QoS in hopes of taking this test by end of the year, and starting 2012 with my CCIP Certification!

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

November 20, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Posted in Certification

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BGP study notes posted.

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I’ve updated my Study Notes page to include my BGP notes. Due to my recent job change I’ve found myself working much more closely with WAN Technologies QoS, BGP, IPSec, MPLS, EIGRP, OSPF Networks. So I figured CCIP level knowledge would very beneficial. My goal to take the BGP+MPLS 642-691 exam within the next month. Then hopefully pass the QoS 642-642 Exam before the end of year. I’m hoping to ring in the new year with a CCIP certification.

I’m using the following resources to study for the BGP+MPLS 642-691 Exam:

Not to mention a lot of hours labbing in GNS3.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

October 24, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Study Notes page is up!

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I’ve added a new page to the blog, Study Notes. In this section I will be posting the notes I take while studying for different topics.  Now my notes are usually pretty rough and right to the point I take the notes in evernote so I can read them anywhere. Currently I have my CWNA Security Objective notes there, next up will by notes for the Site Surveying Objective. I’m hoping to tackle one CWNA objective a week.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

June 6, 2011 at 7:59 AM

Posted in Certification

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CWNP Question of the Day

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Well, it appears after a few months of visiting CWNP’s website (Yes, even on the weekends) their daily questions have finally started to repeat themselves. I knew it would end eventually and considering the price (free) 3 months of questions is a pretty good deal.

I really recommend anyone who is studying for a CWNP exam (or anything wireless related) to head over to this page and take a shot at the daily question. Don’t let the fact that they are free put you off they are good quality questions, and every question has a detailed explanation so if you get the question wrong or don’t understand it at first the explanation will lead you in the right direction. These questions will also touch on many different topics within the world of wireless, I’ve seen stuff ranging from non-technical security questions to questions concerning the 802.11 frame so this is a quick and dirty way to see inside the CWNP Professional level tracks (CWSP, CWAP, CWDP) just no where near as in-depth.

You can find a link to the CWNP Question of the day right here, their is also a link my Blog Roll. I am going to leave the link in my Blog Roll for any new visitors to find, so it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Hopefully CWNP will update the question as time goes on so we will see.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

May 3, 2011 at 8:25 AM

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Took the CCDA Exam 640-863.

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Well after my two months of going through CCDA material I finally sat down and took the exam. I am happy to say I passed the exam with a score in the 900’s. All in all it was a good experience, similar to the CCNA exam the CCDA doesn’t focus on a single topic but instead touches on multiple technologies including routing, IP Addressing, wireless, voice, security, and a few more topics so its definitely at a different pace compared to the CCNA: Wireless and Security concentrators. Here is a link to the exam topics.

The exam took me about an hour (almost to the minute) so while I had time to spare it was not a quick exam. I found the drag and drops and the few questions concerning route summarization to be the most time consuming questions. It’s a good thing route summarization is like riding a bike and you just don’t forget how to do it (At least for me anyway). So I didn’t find this test to be very challenging just long winded.

Something I feel that sets this exam apart from the other Cisco exams I’ve taken is this exam does not rely on you learning any new configurations as long as you are familiar with the topics already. I know Cisco lists CCNP SWITCH knowledge as a recommendation prior to starting the CCDA but not as a requirement. That’s something I can agree with, while the CCDA will not test you on the configuration or the troubleshooting of SWITCH topics (L3 Redundancy, Etherchannel, QoS, and so forth) they expect you to be familiar with them and know about these topics. Instead this exams covers more of a “best practice” solution, providing guidelines about when to break a network into multiple tiers, and it also provides a recommended practice on the network life cycle (The PPDIOO methodology).

While the certification itself is nice to have under my belt, I have found the topics covered by this exam to be the most the beneficial. Even though it was less of a technical certification the knowledge about network design and best practice setup would be beneficial to any network administrator or engineer out there in the field.

So, I am rather happy I was able to get this certification under my belt before Cisco retired this version. It’s material I’ve been through countless times over the last few years but never dedicated enough time to take the test until now. After this I am going to head back into the world of wireless and pursue that CWNA certification. At the same time I will be reading though this Wireshark book, in hopes of taking to the WCNA (Wireshark Certified Network Analyst) certification test later this year (Probably near summer time June/July). I am not usually one to study for multiple topics at once, but Wireshark is a tool I use fairly often and I feel it would supplement my skills/knowledge as a network analyst without hindering me at all.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

April 21, 2011 at 12:44 PM

My thoughts on the CWTS exam from CWNP.

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Last week I went ahead and took the CWTS (Certified Wireless Technical Specialist) exam from the CWNP group, now I know they consider this almost a “sales” certification but I wanted to start with this exam just to see how the CWNP group present their exams compared to Cisco, Microsoft, RIM, and CompTIA. Well I managed to pass the exam with a 90% (70% is the minimum score required to pass) so I did fairly well on the exam. I did think a few of the questions were not worded in the best way, but it appears I understood what they were asking for.

My primary sources of study was the Official CWTS study guide from CWNP, along with their practice exams hosted off the CWNP website, not to mention a few years of supporting multiple wireless networks. Now I’m not usually one to say “yea get the official study guide you’ll be ok with that” but in this situation I have to recommend the official study guide. It does an amazing job at covering the CWTS exam objectives. Plus I found it a very easy book to read there plenty of clear concise explanations with enough images that promote the text (Images also span between some of major WLAN equipment vendors Cisco, Proxim, Motorola, etc). The only downside I found concerns the material on the CD that is included with the book.  While it does come with sample tests and flash cards I found a few of the questions to be incorrect, another reason to purchase the online practice tests.

Now the material on this exam are the fundamental basics of a WLAN (pertaining to the 802.11 standards, the RF spectrum, and WLAN hardware) and because of that I really do recommend this to any type IT professional who is new to working with WLANs. Whether you are help desk/field technician or even a network administrator that needs to support/implement a new WLAN this book does deserve at least one look over. When I first started working with WLANs I would have loved to have this book it would have saved me hours of research back then. However if you are like me and you have plenty of experience with wireless already I would skip the CWTS and go straight for the CWNA certification.

Now that’s a rap for the CWTS, considering my experience with this exam and the material, I will be pursuing my CWNA certification later on this year but I want to squeeze in a lot of study time for the CCDA exam before Cisco retires the 640-863 April 30th. It’s a certification I tried pursuing a long time ago but just never dedicated that much time to, however between then and now I’ve read many Cisco design guides and both 640-863 Cisco Press books. So if you notice my upcoming entries leaning more towards network design consideration that’s why.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

February 20, 2011 at 3:09 PM

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