CCIE Written (350-001) Passed. Now the fun stuff!

I finally got around to retaking my CCIE written and came out this time with a pass. I'm a little upset that it took me three times to pass but it at least shows I am moving forward. My first attempt I just did not know the theory like I should and the second attempt I over thought and over complicated too many questions.

Now what is my plan for the version 5 CCIE lab?

Study Material

Im jumping straight into the INE workbooks with volume 2 labs and sprinkling in volume 1 labs on weak areas as I go. Any area that is not making the version 5 transition I will not focus on. My main forcus areas at first will be the core areas along with IPv6.

Once INE releases their version 5 materials I will shift to those and focus in on the new areas such as DMVPN.

Last week I won a free 5-day bootcamp from IPExpert that I plan on using around September or October, depending on when their R&S bootcamp is scheduled and when work will permit the time off.

I then plan to take my first lab attempt shortly after that bootcamp.

What about hardware?

Well for right now I'm keeping with my same setup. I have a 100% dynamips virtual machine and a hardware server with breakout to 2x3560 and 2x3550 switches. 90% of my labbing I have been doing on the dynamips server as its super easy to load a lab. Plus it runs faster than my breakout server.

For the version 5 refresh Im banking on CML (or VIRL). Once CML releases and I can get my hands on it, I will most likely refresh my current ESXi server with something more powerful and shift my labbing to CML.

If CML flops then I will have to re-evaluate what I will do. I also have a large number of INE tokens that I still have not used which I can fall back on once INE refreshes their racks. Ive been saving these tokens for mock labs and such for my last mile preparation and would rather not touch them for labbing.


My intention is to blog as much as possible on weak areas or areas Im focusing my energy.

So time to stop yapping and time to start labbing!!


  1. How did you study for the written? Did you use Workbook 1 at all? Congrats on your gateway exam pass!

    1. Its been a good mix of stuff. I stopped using the Certification guide after my 1st attempt as it didnt go into the depth I needed. I did run through all core INE volume 1 labs last year along with several volume 2 and a volume 3.

      For my last two attempts I used Boson ExamSim as it is inline with the topics on the test. I do not recommend using Boson 100% for your studies as it will not get you the pass alone. I also used Cisco Docs, and reading weak areas out of the recommended reading list for the CCIE. I didnt do much labbing, only in my weak areas.



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.