Ok, so it is actually Day 2 of Live but I wanted to recap on the CCDE Techtorial that I took. I will not give it all away, but want to cover the highlights for those who are studying or planning to test. I will disclose that i am interested in this cert and may pursue it next year, hence the reason that I chose to sit the class.
The CCDE class was called – TECCCDE-8005 – CCDE: The Cisco Certified Design Expert. The presenters where Mosaddaq Turabi, Russ White, and Bill Parkhurst.
If you are not familiar with the CCDE, it is similar in certification level to the CCIE but focused on the design track. It is the natural progression from CCDA -> CCDP -> CCDE whereas the CCIE is CCNA -> CCNP -> CCIE. It is not above or below the IE, but viewed as an equal-level certification.
The CCDE certification consists of a pre-qualification written just like CCIE. You do not need to have any other certification if you want to pursue CCDE – and that is just like the CCIE as well. If you think that you can pass the pre-qual, go for it!
Since it was mentioned in the class, I will briefly cover what they said about the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr). If you wish to pursue that certification, you must have a CCDE in order to apply for the certification. That certification is not a test per-se, but more of a real-world scenario that you need to address. It is still infrastructure focused but is more focused on business requirements, long-term architecture, budgets, dealing with internal business conflicts, as well as your communication skills. Out of all of that, the communication skills may be the most difficult to deal with. They look at both verbal and written skills. The fee for this certification is $15,000.00. Here is a link to the CCAr on Cisco – http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/cisco_certified_architect/index.html
Now, back to the CCDE stuff. I will skip info on the written as Cisco has the best info on that. http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le3/ccde/index.html One comment I will make is the study material for the pre-qual. One of the recommended readings was the CCDE Quick Reference Guide from Cisco Press. http://www.ciscopress.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=1587058391 It is in PDF only via CiscoPress.
So, let’s get on with the practical information now.
When it comes to the practical they said that you should take what you know, keep that in mind, but read what the customer is saying. If you know that there is no box that can filter MPLS traffic but the customer says they have a box that can, assume the customer is right. Look at what they are trying to do and design to that. You should not necessarily design to best-practice methods that you have already done, but try to design to what the customer is asking.
The SRND guides that Cisco produces are good to review and understand. You should be able to read them, understand the technologies, and they figure out the how and why the solutions was done. Things like that can help you on the practical.
You need to be able to “listen” to their request, figure out what they are asking, and then know what questions to ask based on the information that provided. You will be presented with questions and answers that you might need to choose from. Like what additional information would you need in order to work on a solution. There may be some red-herrings thrown in to make you second guess yourself, so be confident on what you are doing. Trust yourself.
There is also extraneous information that you are provided and need to know how to filter it out. You are able to “highlight” on the test via software, so be sure to do that when you come across important information. Also know that there is info to ignore, so don’t get too bogged down in the details. You are not supposed to build the best network, but build the best network based on the requirements.
Understand underlying technologies. Stuff like how does QoS work with tunnels? If you create a tunnel, will Qos still work on the traffic? What tunnel will allow you to do this? Not the how to configure it, but what will do what.
There are two IGPs that you will see – OSPF and EIGRP. You will see BGP and ISIS as well, but they will be add-ons to an existing network and not a primary underlying protocol. Know how to merge networks or split them apart. What happens if a business spins off?
There are 4 work models that you are testing on. Merge/Divest — Add a service — Scaling — Replacing a technology. Within those work models you will get either a design and deploy or a design and failure scenario. When it comes to failures and such, fix the problem rooted in the design. ID it and design a fix.
You will get at least two design scenarios and at least 1 failure scenario to work on. The BGP and ISIS parts may appear on more than work model, but you will get them. And be aware, BGP will probably be somewhat in-depth as well. Also be aware that IPV6 will/may be on there. And more likely than not, it will be an additive to an existing network – think tunnels 🙂
Now there are some changes coming to the practical in the future. The CCDE practical will be split into two platforms each consisting of two work models. The first platform must be completed in the morning before lunch. There is a timer so you will know how much time you have left, but this must be completed before lunch. This is being done for two reasons 1) probably easier on the testing center with regards to lunch 2) Candidates can sit together for lunch and talk. The current testing model you need to eat lunch alone as you do now know what candidate is where in the test. This is a nice way to maintain the integrity of the test if yo ask me.
That split-platform is not implemented yet, but is something they are working on.
That covers most of the highlights of the session. There was other things discussed but those are probably too risky to share outside of the session. I just covered what most people already knew and they just confirmed.