April 4 2018 I did my 4th attempt of the CCIE R&S Lab in Brussels. This time I passed!
Now I know how to approach the lab and through my failed attempts I learned what works for me in terms of strategy. I will go through it here:
First of all you need to master all topics in the blueprint. This goes without saying. Not only do you need to know the technologies inside out, but you must also master how to troubleshoot, diagnose, and configure them – fast!
Second (for me at least) you should keep track of the troubleshooting tickets as well as tasks on the configuration section. What works for me is to create a table with these columns:
T P R V Notes
I only use the notes column in the configuration section where task inter-dependencies can be tricky. For example a note in L3 might read:
Site1 OSPF - MPLS UL
UL is short for underlay.
The strategy I used for TS was to make a note of the overall lab start time. For each ticket I would also note the start time and give myself 8-10 minutes. If I didn’t have a solution or was close and confident that I could do it quickly, I would make a note about it and move forward. This is key throughout the lab – DO NOT GET STUCK!
In the configuration section the strategy was to do L2 without reading through it. Then I would read the rest of the tasks and fill out the table to create an overview of what is required. Look at the drawings and get yourself familiar with the topology. Then pick the tasks that makes sense to do first. For example you can’t configure an overlay without first having configured the underlay. Or you can’t match certain outputs they ask of you without solving other tasks. It is up to you to understand and make this happen.
The CCIE R&S lab is a performance test.
I spend hundreds of hours studying for this exam and it took me 3-4 years. Finally I can rightfully use this logo: