CCIE Study: 4 Months Deep

I’ve been informed that three months is when the wear-marks begin to show when doing a long period of study; and if that’s true I’d like to claim that four months is the start of the second-wind. I’ve been busier than ever this month yet I’ve made serious headway.

As none some of you may know, my wife and I are working through the process of adopting a child. This month the adoption agency issued us homework, consisting of a workbook, an online course, several videos, and two books. Having to read two books while studying for your CCIE is absurd, but it got done.

When I started studying for the CCIE, it had been a few months since my last vacation. I was able to get through the first few months, but all the added hours were starting to take their toll. It was unsustainable. A three-day-weekend pass to Seattle was a quick remedy. One must learn to rest instead of quitting.

So where am I now?

After three months of restarts, broken labs, and disappointments, I was getting pretty burnt out on re-learning the same topics over-and-over; but the fourth month has brought new life into the game. I’ve been able to move on to a topic that’s fresh to me: OSPF! I’ve never had the privilege of running an OSPF network (in production; I have labbed OSPF as much as I could). I’ve always wanted to — so much so that I even moved jobs so that I could participate in a migration to OSPF from EIGRP (which I’m in the middle of). Starting a new(-to-me) subject has really made all the difference, as I now have far more desire to study. I’m hoping to put together some OSPF posts in the future.

Speaking of OSPF (and the job with an OSPF network): We’re in the middle of an OSPF migration for VMware NSX implementation. There were some initial foibles of working with NSX (and doing so through another team), but we’ve gotten it up and running, and stable in a lab environment. I’m planning to put together a post on this as well.

What’s Next?

I’ve barely touched the surface of OSPF, and I’ve got a ton of reading and labbing to do on this one. I need to make up for a wealth of inexperience. Hoping to plow through “OSPF: Anatomy of a Routing Protocol,” knock out some labs, and view a lot of packet captures. Also anticipating a quick re-read of some of the EIGRP DUAL FSM states, path recalculation, and EIGRP OTP. Finally, I want to do a “speed run” on the INE ATC labs up to where I am now.



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