CCIE R&S vs CCIE DC - Urgent advice please

Hi Guys,
I do apologize for the lengthy message, but needed you to get the whole picture.
I am confused as to what to do and how to go about it, so I need your honest advice please?
In Oct 2012, I decided to start the CCIE track and to help me achieve this; I bought (from my own pocket) the CCIE complete bundle from INE and got some switches from my office to setup the hybrid GNS3 – Cisco LAB which was completed in Nov, 2012.
Just about a week after setting the lab up, my company decided it was time to move me over to the Data Center team having completed a Nexus course over a year ago and my company was bidding for a DC project.
Eventually we won the bid and I was assigned as the Focal engineer to implement the design and troubleshoot any issues. This involves the Nexus 7Ks and 5Ks.
Now in order to refresh my knowledge and obviously gain a lot more I purchased the CCIE DC course last month (all 3 from my pocket again –now I am broke and the wife isn’t happy :) ) and looking through it I am learning a lot to help me achieve a successful deployment.
My worries now are I am seriously thinking of starting a full study of the CCIE DC course rather than the CCIE R&S but I have some questions.
My questions are:
1.    Do you think this is a good idea to now do the CCIE DC rather than the CCIE R&S, taking into consideration its all new to me and could take me a long time to get there?
2.    If I should go for the CCIE DC, what can be the recommended way to go about this? Is it wise to do the CCNA DC, CCNP DC before looking to do the CCIE DC Written then the lab exam?
3.    What will then happen to my CCIE R&S course materials and study? Do you think I will ever be able to get round doing it again?
4.    Or should I just slow than on the CCIE DC and continue the CCIE R&S study now that I have the lab built up?
Sorry guys if I am being a pain but I am not quite sure what to do and just need someone to tell me what they will do in such situation.
My company are also getting some UCS deals coming through at present although there is another engineer working on that though we are in the same department.
Any advice will do.
Thanks

Comments

  • What level do you judge your R&S knowledge to be at? If you were to focus on R&S, how long would it take? Realistically?

    If it's going to take you 12+ months to complete R&S, then it doesn't really matter which path you choose. Go with the one that interests you the most. I think that there will be a lot of demand for CCIE DC, but I also think that it will also be tough studying for a while, until the training vendors work out the best ways to help prepare people for the exam, since it's so new.

    Generally I recommend people go through the CCNA & CCNP routes first, but it depends on your experience level. Might be better for you to go through that path. The knowledge should build up, and it's helpful to be able to mark off your progress. 

    Let's assume you finish CCIE DC in say 12-18 months. Will you come back to CCIE R&S? Hard to say. Some people finish one CCIE, and find they have this big empty hole in their life, so they go on to take another one. Others find the experience pretty traumatic (so much time away from friends & family), and they don't ever want to do another one. I took a few months well deserved break after finishing R&S - I'm just now contemplating my next move. Probably a few shorter certs, then either CCDE or CCIE Security.

    By the time you come back to R&S, there will be a new blueprint. My pick (unsubstantiated) is for v5 to be released this year. Not sure, but you may be able to get the new versions at no/low cost. You'll probably need new switches by then. If your current lab is GNS3 + switches, then it's not going to take long to build something up again. It's not like you've got a lot of sunk cost in a huge pile of routers.

     TL;DR: Pick that path that excites you.

  • Thanks Northlandboy for you quick response,

    I am actually CCNP certified and thats why I was looking to start the CCIE R&S.

    But I know with work presure and stuff, there is no way I will be able to achieve it in 12 months.

    So I guess I may have to look at the CCIE DC for now and start as you suggest with CCNA DC, CCNP DC before going for the CCIE DC.But I will wait and see if I get any other response from the guys before making a decision.

    Thanks for the time take to reply.

     

  • Uncanny how similar our goals, responsibilities, and desires are ejiron21.
    CCNP-RS, NW analyst some data center responsibilities yet 99% of my training funds will be out my pocket, mostly R+S background, family+work schedule meaning I will likely need another 16 or so months before my first lab attempt, desire for data center skills being the "hot" thing atm, big bucks no whammies.
    I spent several weeks contemplating and researching this question back in October.

    I have decided to put forth all efforts into the ccie R&S. I did curse and groan when I saw the new CCNA-DC and CCNP-DC certs kind of mapping out someowhat the path to CCIE-DC come out recently. I am averaging 20-24 hours of study/labbing/video/reading for only the last 6 weeks (in week 6 now). Having seen that, I have no regrets to stick to my guns and continue towards R&S and re-evalute about CCIE-DC once my number is achieved. I went the 3 year AAP route to aid me in the later journey if that's where I go.

    My humblest 0.02 on your questions, not familiar with more of your situation.

    1. I think R&S will help tremendously in DC later.
    2. Once my # is achieved I personally intend to go CCNA-DC, CCNP-DC before CCIE-DC.

    3. Of course you can get back to RS with the same desire that got you here. I have no doubt INE will keep up the resources we need to make it happen.
    4. Finish what you start. You will get great experience at work making CCIE-DC all the easier after R&S.

    Best of luck in whichever way you go.

  • I was in similar situation several months ago when I tried to decide go for a CCIE cert.  I was debating whether or not to go the R&S route which I have over 10yrs of experiences in or Voice which I don't have any exprience but in high demand.  I spoke to my cousin who is a double CCIE and he advised me to stick with what I am familiar most and get the number.  It will take me much longer to gain the knowledges to take a shot at CCIE Voice.  By then, who knows, there will be the next thing in demand.  So I am sticking with R&S now.  Good luck on your decision.

  • I was in similar situation several months ago when I tried to decide go for a CCIE cert.  I was debating whether or not to go the R&S route which I have over 10yrs of experiences in or Voice which I don't have any exprience but in high demand.  I spoke to my cousin who is a double CCIE and he advised me to stick with what I am familiar most and get the number.  It will take me much longer to gain the knowledges to take a shot at CCIE Voice.  By then, who knows, there will be the next thing in demand.  So I am sticking with R&S now.  Good luck on your decision.


    +1

    To pass, you have to be an expert.  The material has to be easy, second nature, etc. for you to succeed.  Unless you're the master at studying, you're going to struggle immensely if it's not something you do and do well.

    Back when I was a volunteer firefighter, I'd become qualified to drive everything except the ladder truck.  As I was completing my qualifications on the ladder, I asked the chief, "what are the requirements to become an instructor on our trucks?" His answer: "we make you an instructor when you can run the truck without waking up", at which point he walked over to the sheet and marked me as an instructor on most of the fleet. It's the same for CCIE - can you do it without waking up?  That's what you'll need.

  • Guys,

    Thanks for all your replies.

    I will have to really sleep over this and make a decision soon.

    All your comments have been very helpful.

    Thanks once again.

     

  • One thing that I didn't mention, but others touched upon, is that it will probably be easier to get your second CCIE.

    I know I've learned a bit about my learning style over the last couple of years, and I now use different methods to what I used to use at CCNA/CCNP level. For me (and many CCIE mendicants), the CCNA/CCNP stuff was pretty simple, and a bit of reading of the Cert Guide, coupled with on the job experienc covers pretty much everything. 

    But for CCIE, I had to get much more serious about my study techniques. Much more reading, from a variety of sources, coupled with many, many hours hands on. Add in a few other techniques around notes/flash cards, etc.

    So I _think_ that if I go for another CCIE, I should be in a better position, purely from the perspective of techniques, if not domain knowledge.

    It should be the same for you - if you get say R&S first, you'll find DC easier.

  • I will have to really sleep over this and make a decision soon.


    You don't have to make a decision soon.  A great line I heard in my last job interview: "If you can't do it right, don't do it any faster."

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