Nadeem Rafi, CCIE #28781


Hi, INE Team! I have attempted Mobile Lab in Riyadh on 1st May 2011 and by the grace of God i successfully passed it. Here goes my story for this journey..... It was around 2000 that i first time came to know about Cisco, as one of mine friend advised me to go in this particular field of networking. I purchased "Todd Lammle" and read few chapters. At that time i was not able to get any kind of help or further information and job nature became Microsoft oriented. I was just able to study this stuff for 2-3 weeks and then shifted completely to MS and abandoned Cisco. It was mid 2006 that i felt i am almost done with my present job track and started looking into Cisco again. Most amazing books for starting were Jeff Doyle's Routing TCP/IP, these books gave ample knowledge and understanding. A major boost for CCIE prep was deciding to purchase INE end to end program. This helped a lot to put things on fast track. I really would like to say big thanks to Anthony Sequeira for his outstanding support and always being available when i need him. I would like to say big thanks to Kady Dennis also, she was always very supportive. I have worked with INE end to end program intensively and without INE/Anthony's help it was not possible to achieve this number. They are best and massive. They cover almost every thing you can see on blue print and mostly more than required. INE's only problem is that they feed you more than you need to pass :) Their volume-1 is amazing and i have done it more than 4 times end to end :) If some one can do volume-1 end to end, i am sure he will not fail the exam. This volume have every thing you need to pass the exam. If some one want to pass CCIE with extensive knowledge and have no worries about time then INE is best suited for him. Only OLS will kill some one with short time, these are around 150+ hours in depth lectures. I watched them more than twice end to end and some selected lectures periodically. INE end to end program is best. This journey was not an easy one. I have to steal time from family and my kids, even my 5 year old daughter was understanding that "baba" is doing some thing important. When she wants to do some playing or going outside she would say, Baba when you are done with your studies and free then we will go play land. These moments were really heart breaking. I am really thankful for my wife for being supportive and understanding, occasionally she got frustrated with this non-stop marathon. But without her help and support this journey was impossible. I am proud of her.... Thanks once again for your sacrifices. Most difficult part was when i developed signs of RSI. I was in terrible pain and afraid of this to be a permanent issue. I shut off the studies for at least two months and it helped to overcome affectively along with some other precautionary steps. Thanks God i dont have this issue today. I would like to thank all of mine friends who met during this journey and we learnt a lot of things from each other. Lab: It was CCIE Mobile lab held in Riyadh 1st of May. I reached almost 1 hours earlier. we started lab around 9:10 after short introductory lecture from proctor. TS part proved to be quite easy for me i never panic in this part of lab although my first ticket took more than 20 minutes to be solved, and i was thinking it was most easiest ticket to attempt. Lab topology was huge but very well documented. Almost every thing you need to know about it was on diagram. Monitors were big enough to hold a lot of open session screens, but i had strategy to open only those sessions which involve with one particular Ticket. When i was done with that ticket i would close all those sessions. I was able to verify 90% of tickets working as expected. When i was done with TS section in 1:55 minutes. Over all experience with TS section was quite satisfying. Speed of the terminals was quite amazing. IOU is really fast as compared to GNS. My advice for TS section, as it worked for me. I think candidate can start from any vendor's workbook to understand and enhance his TS skills. Then he should create his own topology for 30-40 routers in Dynamips. He can try to put as many configs as possible and then break them, getting help from friends to break configs and don't let you know, whats have been broken can make this whole process a lot more "fun", and it helped me a lot. To solve issues, diagram in lab is very crucial, it has every thing you need to understand the scenario. But plz dont waste time to understand in depth whats going on, its not required to do so. Time is very important factor to solve the lab, given 120 minutes for 10 tickets, if you stuck on any ticket it will give you a lot of stress while solving other tickets. First try to solve tickets which you feel are easy to fix and then return to other tickets. Solving each ticket is not required but at least 8 are must. TS is all about basic skills, not in dept or gotcha/tricky commands. If you know basic skills, its more than enough to pass TS. Try to increase the speed which can only be done through practice. This practice will help you to make your plan to solve tickets in different approaches, like top down approach, from down to upward or try to solve it from middle. No single approach can help, and practice will give you what all you need to work with TS. TS is best part of Lab which i liked and it helped me a lot to understand things in quick and precise manner. Try to work with debug and show commands as much as possible, but don't forget that there is no restriction to "do sh run". You just have to find a proper equilibrium among sh run and other show/debug commands. These are just my recommendations and every one can have his own way of doing stuff. Config Section: Config section proved to be a real heart breaker for me. It was a very lengthy lab, with lot of services and non-core stuff, and fun was that this non-core was actually "core" of the lab. I struggled with this part, and at least tried twice but it was not working. At one point i was thinking to leave the lab after lunch but then i decided to leave this "non-core" topic and finish other tasks. When i was done with my all other tasks i was left with only 20-30 minutes. As a final try i checked again this "non-core" task and found some very silly mistakes, as soon as i rectified these mistake i was up and routes were behaving as expected. At that point i was sure that i have nailed this big day. I have to consult doccd on few occasions and this is only friend you can get in your lab, so be friend with it during your prep time. If any thing is on Cisco Blue Print then its fair game, you can expect it in your lab. Even if you heard that this is just introductory stuff dont believe, that stuff can be a "core" in your version of lab. If you have some thing in blue print do that stuff in depth. I have studied following books during this journey and these helped a lot............May be i am missing some other books but.... CCNP Self-Study BCMSN Official Exam Certification Guide, 4th Edition CCNP BSCI Official Exam Certification Guide 4th Edition CCNP ISCW Official Exam Certification Guide 1st Edition CCNP ONT Quick Reference Sheets 2007 Cisco Press CCSP SNRS Exam Certification Guide 2nd Edition Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI) (Authorized Self-Study Guide) (3rd Edition) KnowledgeNet - Cisco Multicast KnowledgeNet - Cisco QoS KnowledgeNet - Cisco MPLS CCIE Routing and Switching Exam certification guide 3rd CCIE Routing and Switching Exam certification guide 4th CCIE Routing and Switching Flash Cards (Sequeira and Wallace, ISBN# 1587201291) CCIE Routing and Switching Exam Quick Reference Sheets: Exam 350-001 v3.0 (Sequeira, ISBN #1-58705-337-3) Cisco LAN Switching (Clark, Hamilton, ISBN# 1578700949) Cisco Press LAN Switching Fundamentals Routing TCP/IP, Volume II (CCIE Professional Development)Routing TCP/IP, Volume I, Second Edition (Carroll, Doyle, ISBN# 1587052024) Routing TCP/IP, Volume II (CCIE Professional Development) (Doyle, DeHaven Carroll, ISBN# 1578700892) Cisco OSPF Command and Configuration Handbook (Parkhurst, ISBN# 1587050714) Cisco Press Configuring BGP StudentGuide Vol.1 Cisco Press Configuring BGP StudentGuide Vol.2 Internet Routing Architectures, Second Edition (Sam Halabi, ISBN# 15787050862) Cisco BGP-4 Command and Configuration Handbook (Parkhurst, ISBN# 158705017X) MPLS Fundamentals Cisco Press MPLS Configuration on Cisco IOS Software Developing IP Multicast Networks, Volume I (Beau Williamson, ISBN# 1578700779) Cisco QOS Exam Certification Guide (IP Telephony Self-Study) (2nd Edition) Best Regards, Nadeem Rafi R&S # 28781

- Nadeem Rafi, CCIE #28781 (CCIE Routing & Switching)

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