Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: Getting Started
Since our last journey, some exciting additions and changes to the Cisco Certification Program have taken place. First and foremost, Cisco has introduced a number of additional certifications, including entry- and intermediate-level programs. The market has responded admirably to these new additions, with Cisco certifications in general being one of the most talked-about and coveted certifications in the history of internetworking.
If you're reading this book, you've already made some important decisions. First, you've decided to work with equipment from Cisco, the world's leading manufacturers of network infrastructure devices. Second, you're so serious about the subject that you've decided to join the ranks of a limited few who have achieved the status of Cisco Certified Professional. That's great! This book was written to help you achieve that goal. Third, you've decided to help yourself with information from many sources.
The book in your hands is not a rehash of information already available from Cisco; it calls on years of experience with Cisco products. It was, however, written with Cisco's educational philosophy in mind. In fact, this book was written in part to put information you need to pass the exams into a larger context so you'll understand and remember the technology for what it is and does. In effect, this book was written to benefit you before, during, and after your CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE Routing and Switching examinations. This book covers the Cisco Routing and Switching CCIE Sylvan exam # 350-001 with bonus questions for Cisco's CCNA exam #640-407, CCNPFoundation Routing and Switching exam #640409, CIT exam #640-440, and CCIE-SNA/IP exam #350-013. This book does not cover the two-day CCIE Certification Lab. However, the configurations included in each chapter will provide a baseline of understanding required for the two-day hands-on lab.Certain assumptions were made about you in the preparation of this text. You have a background in networking; otherwise, you wouldn't be preparing to become a Cisco Certified Professional. You understand the Physical layer of networking well and can perform different types of physical connections to a network. Further, you understand LAN environments like Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gb Ethernet, FDDI, ATM, and Token Ring and have experience in networking with Windows NT, NetWare, Banyan Vines, RSVP, IGMP, OSPF, IGRP, EIGRP, BGP, ATM LAN Switching, or DECnet. The information here will help you build from that strong foundation.
Let's look briefly at how this information is organized. This chapter has valuable information about Cisco, the company's education programs, CCIE status and how to use it to help you market yourself, how to study for and take the exams, and more. Starting with the Chapter 2, we dive right into the technology, so be prepared. It's not easy, but if you are ready for the journey, you will join an elite class of engineers when you arrive at your destination.
Because the information is highly technical, it is organized by type of technology. Although this book covers a lot of networking technology, it does so in the context of Cisco routing, LAN and Cell switching, and bridging. Each chapter covers a different major area of networking.
Each chapter's introduction briefly covers the major topics within that chapter and brings home the concepts in a manner specific to the needs of a future CCIE. Next, an overview of the specific chapter's technology is given. Then, you'll get into specifics of LAN and WAN routing, bridging, and switching as they each pertain to that chapter's subject.
To help you really understand the technology in a real-world sense, many chapters include configurations, troubleshooting information, and network design worksheets that don't exist anywhere else. All chapters, except this one, include review questions to help hone your skills.
In addition, you'll want to use the configurations on the enclosed CD to further assist you in understanding how Cisco implements these services for real-world networks and certification. Also on the CD, you'll find testing software for FastTrak ExpressTM to further help you prepare for the exam.
Because a picture is worth a thousand words, this book contains many helpful diagrams. The diagrams help you put the technical details into a larger, real-world perspective. Plus, you'll drill way down into the network with Sniffer traces to find out how everything happens on a Cisco network.
You're beginning a very exciting venture. We'll start the technology discussion in the next chapter. First, let's look at how to become a CCIE, what it means, and what the process covers.
CCIE: An Overview
Make no mistake: The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert program is all about helping people become experts. It is a very high-level program aimed at making you a Cisco expert. In today's business world, whether you're on the IS staff of a corporation, an ISP, or a network integrator, people are asking more of you. More network use is the norm. More bandwidth is a constant need. More reliability is expected. Companies are putting their most valuable commodity-information-in your hands.
The CCIE program is well named because you will be an expert in the multitude of internetworking technologies in use today. Armed with knowledge gained from this book, onthe-job learning, and from training programs from Cisco Authorized Training Partners, you will provide benefits to your superiors or your customers because you will be able to design, implement, and evolve networks more intelligently and efficiently than your colleagues who perhaps lack the proper training and information.
Besides the recognition that accompanies your CCIE status, other benefits will come your way. CCIEs have the option to jump to second-level Cisco technical support for any technical questions or problems. You can also participate in a special CCIE chat forum and answer questions on a CCO open forum.
When you become a CCIE, you are certified, not your company. No matter where you work or live, you retain your certified status as long as you adhere to Cisco requirements.
Cisco does not require you to take Cisco-certified training classes in order to be certified. Theoretically, you could use this book in combination with your existing knowledge to pass the CCIE exams. However, the training courses are highly recommended-in a classroom situation, you have the extra benefit of immediate feedback to questions and comments. Your instructor is already an expert in the technology and can fill in lots of technical gaps for you.
What Background Do I Need to Become a CCIE?
As stated earlier, the CCIE is an advanced certification program. The Cisco entry and intermediate certifications such as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), and Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) can provide you with a Cisco certification career path toward your goal of becoming a CCIE. In order to become a CCIE, Cisco recommends that you complete appropriate course work and obtain significant experience working with internetworks and end-to-end systems before continuing on your journey to certification.
As a rough rule of thumb, Cisco recommends that you have two or more years of internetworking experience. A good understanding of TCP/IP, LAN and WAN protocols, the OSI Reference Model, Internet, security, and client/server architecture is essential. The company also recommends you have experience with packet-level diagnosis as well as real-world experience with Cisco and non-Cisco products. Again, the CCIE certification is to become an expert, not to be introduced to intermediate network subjects.
It is not a requirement to attend instructor-led training in order to prepare for your Cisco certifications. You may be able to meet your requirements using self-study materials, CCIE study groups, and Web-based training supplemented with remote labs.
Steps in Becoming a CCIE
When you prepare to become a CCIE, you must choose which of four areas of expertise to pursue tyou can pursue all of them, but one at a time). The four areas are CCIE Routing and Switching, CCIE WAN Switching, CCIE SNA/IP Integration, and CCIE ISP Dial. Although it's easy logistically to become CCIE-certified, the demands are great. Only two requirements must be met per CCIE certification: a two-hour CCIE certification test and a two-day CCIE certification laboratory It is highly recommended that you pursue course work, read this book, obtain on-the-job training, and use remote labs...