Am I ready for the Lab?

Hi everyone,

Wanted to hear from some guys who have passed the Lab to help me get an idea whether I should book my first attempt.

So I did the written in January last year, then I started Labbing. Went through all of INE's workbook Advanced Technologies section. I then went through the Foundations, TShoot, Full Scale and Mocks.

I have now been back over the Foundation, full scale and Mock config sections about another 3-4 times each. I did the INE Graded Lab with Dave Smith in November and got 24%! To be honest, I didnt let it dishearten me because I got about 70% in TShoot alone., but due to the no partial marks the config section killed me as you would have about 5-6 objectives under one task, and there would always be 1 odd one that I didnt know off the top of my head.

So I took that onboard and thought, right its almost impossible to remember every little feature and setting so I thought I needed to get more savvy with the Doc CD. I also went back over some core topics which I felt I needed to work on like which I am feeling pretty good in.

The last 2 weeks I spent going through the Cisco 360 workbook labs, done 8 of them and when marking myself after found I was getting around 70% in them, and I mark myself badly and make sure I wasn't giving myself anything.

One thing I noticed was how different the Cisco labs were in that the tasks seemed a lot more ambiguous that INE's so the first few I did were really tricky as I didnt know what they were asking for when they said for example, "Use conventional routing algorithms only" basically means no PBR. Also, anything tasks I couldn't figure out I would search the Doc CD and some stuff I would manage to find which would boost my confidence and has help me to get more familiar with the Doc CD. For example, there was a task to setup a redundant gateway which talked on UDP port 3222. I when into that section and went into each VRRP, HSRP, GLBP and searched on that page for UDP 3222 and found it was under GLBP so manage to complete that task successfully.

So I have heard that their 360 labs are more like the real thing and without having gotten some exposure to them recently I feel like the real lab would have really tripped me up.

In summary, some days I feel like I am there, labbing and smashing through everything. Then other days I will get labs which throw something at me which I dont know how to do or how to find in the Doc CD.

I was just reading "mlukasczyk" success story here;

And was taken back by the fact he implies he had only used INE's material and passed by going through it all and all the full scale, Mocks about 5 times each.

As I feel I am pretty much there and have done them all nearly 5 times each as well, was wondering what some of those who have tackled the real Lab can advise me with? I feel pretty strong in the core topics like IGPs, BGP even feel good with MCast. Areas I feel weaker in are IPv6 tunneling methods, basic ipv6ip gre is fine and IPv6 in general im fine with but its the 6to4, etc which I am a bit shaky with. Other subsidiary ones like NAT, DHCP ( I know its simple, but CCIE level can find some weird usage of client-identifier used with bootp relay to complicate things) are areas I know I need to give a bit more attention to which is my aim this month. Was really thinking about hitting it at the end of this month or next but don't want to just waste $2000+.

I appreciate that only I can determine if I am ultimately ready but with me explaining where I am at and those who have tackled it and passed may be able to give me some valuable pointers to perhaps aid me in getting that first time pass, ambitious I know, but you've got to be! :wink:

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