CCIE R&S - Finding the Right Training Vendor

This is CCIE Talk again after a short absence. I have been busy with a Disaster Recovery implementation and was not able to find any time for blogging. Last week I provided an overview about the CCIE Routing & Switching track and the various stages you will go through. Here I am assuming that you have already passed your CCIE R&S Written exam and are ready to start preparing for the lab. You also need to figure out your budget because training material ranges from $150 to $20,000 with the introduction of the new Cisco 360. I personally have no experience with the new Cisco 360 program so I am not able to comment on it. I will share my experience and what I went through before I purchased my material. Here is a list of a few training vendors for CCIE R&S Track:

  • Internetwork Expert
  • IPexpert
  • CCBootcampt
  • Unitek
  • Micronics
  • NetMasterClass

I will say it once again that I am not associated with ANY of these vendors and I am just listing the popular vendors and what I evaluated before purchasing a package. From my experience, I think a bootcamp is the perfect way to get started. I did not purchase a bootcamp to start with and went with the Internetwork Expert end-to-end program. That slowed me down a little because I was not able to dedicate the required time. I did however, purchase and that got me going. Once again you don't have to purchase a bootcamp and can just go with the workbooks but you need to make sure that your understanding is solid. I have compared Internetwork Expert & IPexpert's training material and I think they both are really good. They both have individual technologies workbooks that help you isolate the technologies and then full labs that can bring everything together. Doesn't matter which vendor you go with, make sure that they have workbooks for each of the CCIE technologies, full 8 hour labs and On-demand videos so you can refer to those incase you are not sure about some technology. I went with Internetwork Expert because I had a close friend who passed R&S using their material. All these vendors have posted success stories so I am sure you cannot go wrong as long as you keep the 3 points in mind - Individual technology labs, 8 hour labs & Class on demand videos. To summarize my post, training material is the key to passing the CCIE R&S lab. After reading through various blogs where CCIEs posted their stories, it appears that having a solid understanding of the individual technologies was the base behind their CCIE#. So start looking through the websites for all the vendors and get your credit card ready :) Next week we will discuss how to build a budget home lab so stay tuned..

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