CCIE Pursuit Blog

April 23, 2009

Rumored Changes To CCIE R&S Lab

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 12:07 pm
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As Networkers approaches the rumors about CCIE lab changes start popping up.  Cisco has a history of announcing changes to the various tracks at their annual convention and this year is no different.  IPexpert’s blog recently posted this:

I thought I’d post the stuff I’ve heard from a reliable source connected to the CCIE team and Cisco’s learning organization.

(*Note: None of this stuff has been confirmed or announced by Cisco – again, it’s just “buzz” right now, but I am pretty confident that it’s legitimate info.)

Supposedly – in early May – Cisco will be announcing a change to the CCIE R&S lab exam. This change will consist of the additions of MPLS and Layer 3 VPN. There will also be an extensive Troubleshooting portion added to the lab exam. These changes are expected to make up 30% of the lab – and be effective beginning in October 2009.

—Read More Here—

As Wayne noted, this is all speculation at this point. BUT this does sound like an expected evolution of the CCIE R&S lab and the time-frame is consistent with past changes.  MPLS has been on the written exam for about 1.5 years now and it is pretty much a ‘must know’ topic in the field.  I welcome the addition of a troubleshooting section.  Hopefully Cisco will ditch the Core Knowledge questions at the same time.  🙂

Of course, if this is announced in May, you can expect a run on open lab dates as candidates will rush to get their lab scheduled before the changes are implemented.

April 7, 2009

IPexpert: Free CCIE R&S Core Knowledge Quizzer Released

IPexpert released a free quiz application today with a bank of CCIE (R&S) Core Knowledge questions.  CCIE Journey has a review up over on his blog so surf on over and give it a read. [CCIE Kid has a review up as well.  Check out the video.  🙂 ]

I just downloaded the app and am starting to play with it now.  I like the fact that it’s an .air file.  You’ll need to install Adobe Air (link is on the IPexpert post) but this also means that you can run the application on Linux boxes (and presumably on a MAC).  I have it running on an Ubuntu box right now.

Anyhoo…this is a great application for CCIE candidates to get a feel for where they are as far as the Core Knowledge questions.  And at $0.00 it’s definitely “recession priced”. 🙂

February 19, 2009

IPexpert: Free Graded Mock Lab – Plus Two Free Rack Rental Sessions

I checked my inbox today and found this great deal from IPexpert:

FREE CCIE R&S Graded Lab Assessment

Are you wondering if you are ready for the real lab exam? Here is the perfect opportunity to find out – FREE – while test-driving IPexpert’s training material and Proctor Labs’ online vRacks!

You will receive FREE access to electronic files for the following training components:

* Graded Assessment Mock Lab: You will receive a full-scale, 8-hour “Mock Lab” designed to deliver the true challenge of the actual CCIE lab exam. The configuration files are included, allowing you to compare your work to that of our instructors that created the industry-leading practice lab scenarios seen in our lab preparation workbooks.
* Proctor Guide: This is the detailed solution guide providing you with detailed written explanations for the Mock Lab taks.
* Video Tutorials: After you complete the Mock Lab, you will receive a detailed grading report, listing each section of the lab with your results. On that page, with the click of a button, you can watch videos of the instructor walking you through each section, step by step! You will be amazed by the level of detail as the instructor painstakingly walks through every task and solution involved in the lab. There is nearly 10 hours of video included for THIS FREE LAB SCENARIO (as well as every lab included in IPexpert’s lab mentoring kit)!

Online Rack Rental Sessions:

Included with this free offering, you will also receive:

* TWO Online Rack Sessions for you to test your skills using a full rack of the latest and greatest Cisco gear at Proctor Labs.
* Both sessions provided are 8 hours in length and can be scheduled back-to-back or at different times.
* At the end of each session, you will receive a detailed grading report breaking down every section of the lab.
* See exactly what you got right and compare your work to the Verified Labs™ grading engine to see what you got wrong and why.

CLICK HERE to get started!

If you click on the link above, you’ll go to a page where you can get access to the mock lab materials:

To get started, simply click the green “Buy Now” button below. You will see that the price remains at $0.00 through the checkout process. When your order is complete, you will have immediate access to the lab, solution guide and configuration files. You will get an email with two voucher codes for easy scheduling of your vRack sessions.

This is an amazing deal.  You’re basically getting the “$35 Mock Lab” that I reviewed here but for free…plus another 8 hours of rack time thrown in for free as well.  You’re getting $70 worth of free rack time, plus a graded mock lab.  I would strongly recommend this for candidates who are just dipping their toes into the CCIE waters to get a taste of a full-scale mock lab, as well as candidates on their final approach using a different vendor who want to be exposed to another vendor’s labs.

***Update***

I received my vouchers for the two free rack sessions within 15 minutes of ordering.

February 5, 2009

IPexpert: New Training Company Formed – NOT Offering Cisco 360 Training

IPexpert announced today that they will be creating a new ‘sister company’ (IPexpert Training) to begin training for ‘lower level’ certifications such as CCxP and others.  This consistent with their already announced push into this market (earlier announced as IPexpert University).  Internetwork Expert has announced a similar push.  My speculation is that this is a way of increasing market-share borne out of goals of expansion – or simply to contend with the loss of Cisco training due to the Cisco 360 program.

Thankfully, this announcement will not affect the current CCIE training that IPexpert offers.  They have also announced that they will NOT be offering the Cisco 360 CCIE training program – an idea that they seemed to be considering earlier.

* The IPexpert CCIE Team will not be participating in this initiative.  We have created a 2nd “sister company” to leverage the IPexpert brand, however – our CCIE Lab efforts will not be diluted and our CCIE Instructors will remain focused on CCIE Lab training, product development and support. The IPexpert Training developers and instructors are different individuals who have already proven themselves in this different (lower-level) market.

* There will be different websites, different communities and different “legal companies”.  However, the management team and sales team will remain the same – giving you sales reps that understand technology and management that understands how to deliver a phenomenal product and ensure a successful delivery with a high customer satisfaction rating.

* These classes will *NOT* be Cisco authorized and neither business unit will endorse or offer the Cisco 360 CCIE Lab offering.  After understanding the 360 program, products and Cisco’s initiative – I have made the decision that the current CCIE Lab offerings we have (already shipping) are much more mature, proven, more up-to-date and more cost-effective for our clients.

As long as the CCIE training will not suffer, I think that this is a great opportunity for students coming up through the Cisco certification ranks, especially those with their eyes on a future run at the CCIE.  The downside is that there may not be a lot of space in this new market space with the economic downturn and a number of already established training vendors competing in that space.  If IPexpert (and IE) port some of their training method and principles (lots of hands-on lab work, class-on-demand videos, integrated workbooks, communities and forums) then they should be very successful.  The good news for CCIE candidates is that there will continue to be multiple CCIE-level vendors competing for your training dollars…and that will only drive more innovation and improvement over the long run.

January 15, 2009

IPexpert: Will IPexpert Begin Offering Cisco 360 Training?

I received an interesting tweet from a new Twitter account today:

Get ready for the IPexpert Training, Inc. announcement coming soon! Authorized CCENT, CCNA, CCNP, CCSP, CCVP, CCIE R&S 360 – and more!

This piqued my interest because of a tweet earlier this month from IPexpert’s CEO Wayne Lawson:

Looks like IPX is wanting to get into the 360 game.. Wonder how that will flow with the current customers and will they lose access

we might be able to do both….expect an announcement soon [Wayne’s response]

For those who don’t remember, the Cisco 360 training program is Cisco’s new, official CCIE (Routing and Switching (so far)) program.  It’s basically a rebranded version of NMC’s training program (with some added bells and whistles).  The biggest downside is that the training is very expensive and you must be a Cisco Learning Partner (Arden Packeer has a great explanation here).  Wayne Lawson seemed pretty underwhelmed by the whole deal in this post.  Does this recent announcement mean that IPexpert is joining the 360 training program?  More importantly, what will this mean for their current curiculum and customers?

Looking closely at the Twitter account you’ll see that it’s “IPexpert Training”.  The URL associated with that account also points to a new site (http://www.ipexperttraining.com).  Maybe this is IPexpert’s promised IPexpert University (focusing on non-CCIE training) and by “spinning off” this business segment they can maintain their current CCIE material as well as sell the Cisco 360 training through the new company?  This is pure speculation on my part.  I guess we’ll just need to wait for the upcoming announcement.

If IPexpert(Training) can “do both” then I’m not concerned about the move.  I would just hate to see their existing training get deep-sixed in the process.

December 16, 2008

IPexpert: More Xmas Giveaways

IPexpert is continuing their Christmas season training giveaway with $50,000 worth of training over the next week.

I’m going to give away $50,0000 in training this week in the form of end-to-end program seats, self-study kits, 5-day class seats, vClass seats and online vRack sessions (winners will be announced Friday December 18th, 2008).

Anyone can enter to win the training.  You’ll need to do the following:

If you’re interested in being considered – here’s how you apply:

  • Email me (wlawson@ipexpert.com) (the info / message must be in the body of an email, no attachments or links) – in English – the following information:  Your full name, Geographic location, Technical background / experience, currently-held certifications, educational background, the CCIE track you’re interested in, a list of any products you currently own and the reason you *NEED* free CCIE training materials.

Here’s what you DO NOT do:

  • Call me, PM / IM me or attempt to “sway” my decision! ;-)

NOTE: If you already won some free training from us during our Networkers $100,000 giveaway or in this one, please allow your friends the chance to win.  (That’s a hint not to keep trying to grab for more!)  ;)

All entries must be received before 5:00 PM EST Thursday December 18th, 2008.  I will be announcing the winners on this blog.  Good luck!

As stated above, the deadline is this Thursday so if you’re interested you should fire off an email to Wayne Lawson as soon as possible.

December 11, 2008

IPexpert: $100,000 Training Christmas Giveaway

If you’ve been a good CCIE candidate this year (that takes me out of the mix) then IPexpert wants to be your Santa Claus.  IPexpert will be giving away $100,000 worth of free training starting today and running through midnight on Christmas Eve (24 December).  Wayne Lawson gives you the details:

I just left a meeting with our sales team (literally – 15 minutes ago) – and have laid out over 20 year-end discounts, product specials and numerous product giveaways.  How can you participate in Santa’s CCIE Handout?! – Follow us on Twitter and Facebook (and keep an eye on this blog! – I’d RSS it if I were you!).  We’ve got over $100,000.00 in holiday gifts (free CCIE training materials) ready to distribute!  What’s the catch?….well – the only catch is that you must believe in Santa! 😉  Watch us, Follow us and Monitor our groups / sites / pages and respond as outlined in our blogs, posts or “tweets” and you may be one of the lucky ones!  Santa’s CCIE Handout will begin today – December 11th at 5 PM EST and will end December 24th at midnight!  Good Luck to everyone that participates!

Here’s to a great year in 2008 – meeting a large number of clients and CCIEs (at Networkers and via various social outlets), and here’s to your success in 2009 – I sincerely hope that IPexpert can be a part of your success!

To participate in Santa’s CCIE Handout – make sure you’re a member or a follower of the following groups, accounts or blogs!

IPexpert did a similar series of giveaways earlier this year when the Blended Learning Solution rolled out.  If you want to grab some free CCIE training swag keep an eye on the feeds listed above.

Props to IPexpert for making Internetwork Expert’s blog their blog of the month.  An end to the vendor wars?  Peace on earth?

November 4, 2008

IPexpert: End-of-the-Year Price Drops

The $999 Blended Learning Solution is back…for a couple of months anyways.  IPexpert has announced that they are slashing prices for Routing and Switching, Voice, Service Provider, and Security tracks.  The BLS is now $999 (even less if you are a Cisco employee). 

IPexpert has also slashed the cost of a single rack rental session (7.75 hours) from $35 to $20 (cheaper if you book more sessions).

October 24, 2008

IPexpert: New Free vLectures Coming Up

IPexpert has a number of free vLectures scheduled over the next few months and the vast majority of them are for tracks other than Routing and Switching.

CCIE vLecture Seminar Series
 
Our vLecture Seminar Series offers focused online discussions led by the renowned CCIE-certified instructors at IPexpert. Each seminar concentrates on a specific topic related to CCIE preparation, including individual protocols and technologies listed on the lab blueprint, as well as test-taking strategies!
 
Register today for one or more of the following vLectures. Space is limited in each seminar!

Oct 31 2:00 PM EST
Topic: Basic-ACD
Track: Voice

Nov 04 5:00 PM EST
Topic: Campus QOS
Track: Voice

Nov 06 3:00 PM EST
Topic: BGP Fundamentals
Track: R&S / Service Provider

Nov 26 2:00 PM EST
Topic: UCCX Custom Scripting
Track: Voice

Dec 19 2:00 PM EST
Topic: ASA/PIX and NAT
Track: Security

Jan 27 3:00 PM EST
Topic: MPLS Fundamentals
Track: Service Provider

Jan 30 2:00 PM EST
Topic: Remote Trigger Black Hole Filtering
Track: Security

Mar 19 3:00 PM EST
Topic: MBGP Fundamentals
Track: Service Provider

Apr 16 3:00 PM EST: 
Topic: MPLS VPNs
Track: Service Provider
 
To register, go here:
http://www.ipexpert.com/index.cfm/product/sku/ccie_lab_vlecture_series

October 20, 2008

IPexpert: CCIE Blog Launched

IPexpert has launched the long awaited CCIE Blog.   You can create your own blog hosted on CCIE Blog, read the blogs already hosted there (including Arden Packeer’s excellent blog), or add the RSS feed for your already-existing blog to the site. 

The site is live as well as a new IPexpert Blog.

IPexpert has created this blog site as an effective means to expand its dialogue with the IT training community. Through this blog, we hope to introduce a level of candor and connectedness throughout our organization, with open communications to those interested in participating at any level.

Our company is comprised of real people with families and goals, working hard to help you achieve your goals for your families as well. We invite you to get to know us – all of us – through this blog and the many other ways we make ourselves available to you.

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