My recent experience on CCDE Written Exam.
If you are reading this post , probably you know that CCDE Written (Qualification) Exam is the only prerequisite for the CCDE Practical exam.
Also when you pass CCDE Practical exam and get the magical number, you need to retake every 2 years CCDE Written or any other Written exam in fact.
But since one of my businesses is CCDE Training, I prefer to take CCDE Written to recertify my CCDE.
Recently I recertified my CCDE and want to share my thoughts about the exam , without breaking NDA (Will be hard though 🙂 )
First of all, I should say that, most of the questions were very clear. Compare to my early Written exam experience ( I passed that exam 3 times, one before my Practical and two times for recertification) , this time questions were very clear and more new technologies (Cisco called them Evolving technologies) focused.
As you might expect, Layer 3 Routing Protocols were very common. OSPF , IS-IS , EIGRP and BGP should be known very well.
I always say in my CCDE Practical classes that amount of Layer 2 questions in the CCDE Practical is very low. It is not true for the CCDE Written exam. So many Layer 2 technology questions you will encounter. Spanning Tree, Vlan and Flow Based Load Balancing , Layer 2 convergence mechanisms ( REP, STP , G.8032 , UDLD etc.) should be known very well too.
Multicast , QoS should be understood. IP and MPLS QoS and IP and MPLS Multicast.
Let’s not forget MPLS and it’s applications (Use Cases, Services). L2VPN (VPWS, VPLS) , L3VPN , CSC , Inter-AS , RSVP-TE. Understand these technologies from the architectural point of view. (High level, understand the alternatives , pros and cons of choosing different way of providing the same service , not deployment steps , configuration syntax , troubleshooting methods etc.)
There was couple problematic questions , though you can estimate what author is trying to ask , all the options in the question were wrong, I can’t talk about exact question , only the topics which you should focus , as most of these technologies are in the blueprint , I strongly recommend authors should reconsider Fast Reroute technology , Microloop Mitigation and Avoidance , their differences and so on.
I recommend you to take my Self Paced CCDE Course a lot. This is not just I want to sell you the course. Trust me , many of the topics (90% almost) which I cover in that course will be asked in the exam. So learn the technologies from my course , if you need extra study resource suggestion , send me an email , you will thank me later on a lot. Not just that you will pass the CCDE Written exam. because you will learn all those technologies from design point of view.
Overall, my experience with the exam was good , Cisco is doing good job for that exam. Just consider the above technologies and the associated questions with them again please.
If Cisco things that I break NDA anywhere in the post, please let me know, I am okay to modify it. You can reach me out over here.
Also, please let me know if you are considering to attend CCDE Written or Practical exam in the comment box below.