Friday, February 10, 2012

CCIE Voice renewal study notes

It starts with an email, which comes six months before the due date, but six months are more than enough and the email is archived and forgotten.

Then, at three months another email reminder, this time it has a large CC list, still in the normal time frame and this one is left in the inbox as a reminder, but is quickly forgotten.

Thirty days passes fast and at sixty days another reminder is sent, again with the same CC list and this one is usually the one that triggers the learning activities and makes a typical certified engineer to step in and get the renewal going.
If you wait until it's thirty days before, it may be hard to finish on time and a project can turn into a priority.

Renewing a CCIE is accomplished by taking a written exam, from any track. If you׳r planning on another CCIE it makes sense to study and take the new track's test, but if not, the quickest route is to take the one you already have.

There aren't any official study material or textbooks for this test, independent authors have wrote a guide here and there (including myself a few years ago), Cisco press has a quick reference guide available, which can be purchased in amazon at:

CCIE Voice v3.0 Quick Reference
But the ultimate learning guide was and still is the Unified Communication SRND (Solution Reference Network Design).
Since there are more than a few versions of this doc, I'm planning to focus on the one that is in the same version as the published version of the lab, version 7.x

The SRND is a > 1000 pages document, if it's your first attempt with the voice written, it's probably not the best way for you, but if you are only renewing, it's a good resource to catch up on latest deployment modules of cucm.

Once the SRND is scanned and weak issues are covered, practice questions are used to test the level of understanding and identify week points. I'm not suggesting to use any of the NDA violating questions, but instead looking for legitimate sources that would have them. For every question that you are not sure or have doubts, go back to the SRND or your favorite book and learn the entire subject. If you are not sure about the bandwidth requirements for G.729 in layer 2 over ethernet, figure out how to calculate the required bandwidth for G.729 on ethernet, frame relay and multilink ppp and also for G.711, iLBC and G.722.

Two questions are available online at:

You can also use the CCNP Voice (CCVP) books, at the end of each module there are practice questions. If your books are outdated than its probably not a great idea to use them.

It also appears that on Amazon there is a product by IPExpert with practice questions:

CCIE Voice Written Test Prep Quizzer

Once most of the questions can be answered and you feel confident enough to take the test, schedule and take it. If you fail, learn from your mistakes and go for it again.

Good luck, I'm planing to reflect on the test in a week or two, once I'm done with it.

*** here is what I had to say after taking the test.