Nikhil Behl, CCIE #23335


For me, it seemed that sometimes the goals you set seem just outside your grasp. Slowly that goal becomes just a dream you had once. CCNA in 2006, CCNP in 2007 but soon family and life began to take hold and thing didn't come so easily after that. Like many others, failing the first time, in '08, was an eye opening experience and I learned first hand just how high the bar was set. Later in '08, I half-heartedly tried to get back into study mode but I failed to keep an eye on the calendar and didn't drop my date before the old 30-day mandatory pay period. It was an expensive lesson to say the least. I lost all motivation as my goal seem farther away then when I started (in addition to $1400 more expensive). Paying for a lab that I never got to take drained my motivation and I lost all desire to continue. Armed with additional preparation materials, courtesy of the extremely generous INE nuggets, I was back on my way. 4 months of hard study, I was back in Brussels taking the lab. Things were going so smooth through the first couple of sections. That is when I should have known better. I did my usual prep and read ahead to identify land minds. 45 minutes into the test and getting to the PPPoE section, I noticed that the client-side config was already there. Up to that point I was just configuring things so I hadn't noticed but I knew there was no way any of the PPPoE stuff would be preconfigured and I notified the proctor. Looking back it was certainly worth a laugh, but Stefaan informed me that the grader failed to reset my lab and I had someone else configs on my rack. The rack wasn't even setup for the topology I had been given. Stefaan, being the cool guy he is, kept a smile on his face, started the reset procedure and let me sit and read the lab while things restarted. Now this by itself is highly unusual and hopefully not something that most people get to experience, but it takes close to 45 minutes for the rack to fully reload. If you thought it was tense doing the lab, imaging sitting in there with nothing to do but look at your test booklet and listen to the clock tick by. So Stefaan comes by letting me know I can restart the test but all my work to that point was gone because the restart obviously clears everything, so I have to restart from the beginning. I gave it a good go. Stefaan let me work through lunch (not sure I would have eaten anyway) and I skipped time consuming sections for the low hanging fruit in a crazy race against time. I came close to finishing but knew it was good enough. At 3 am score report email confirmed what I already knew, another swing and a hit. I thank my parents along with my elder Brother (who always inspired me to go for this beast) and god. They all stand by me through this tough journey and let me tammed this beast. Nikhil Behl CCIE (R&S)

- Nikhil Behl, CCIE #23335 (CCIE Routing & Switching)

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