How are you preparing for the CCIE Collaboration LAB ?

Just for curiosity, I would like to know how is the people on this group preparing for the CCIE Collaboraiton Lab, right now here is my preparation and roadmap:

I have completed a lab in order to be able to study most of the technologies included in the blueprint, here is what I have:

3 Cisco 2811 64 PVDM2
1 Cisco 2821 128 PVDM2
1 Cisco 3750G 24 Port
1 Poweredge 1950 III 32GB – 2 TB HD – 2 XeonQuadCore E5240 2.4Ghz
5 Cisco 7961
2 Cisco 7965

Currently running INE’s Advanced Class topology (with the exception of the 2911’s)

I’m taking at least couple of hours to watch the videos from INEin order to get most of the material, also preparing the lab has been very fun because you encounter a bunch of issues that are nice to solve and that will help you in your day to day. My currently job allows me to play with the latest UC technologies and its also really easy that way.

I’m hitting very hard Dial Plan configurations and technologies in order to be able to Globalize without even thinking about it. I think that my weakest points right now are Dialplans, QoS and SAF, I have done quite enough CME configurations in my career, but I think I also lack of some good base knowledge there.

As far as time, I struggle between my job duties (Pre-sales,Post-Sales, implementations, troubleshooting, Upgrades and Project Planning),which sometimes keeps me a little to the margin of studying very often and as consistent as I would like to be.Also my family plays a very important role on this one, I know they want to see me succeed on my first lab attempt but is just really hard not to pay attention to them.

In case you are interested in sharing your experiences and if you have some recommendations please feel free to send me a message or reply to this post, I love helping others when needed and I also appreciate some help as well.

After my lab I will take a very well deserved vacation with my family, regardless if I pass or not!

About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520 (Collaboration)
With more than 13 years of experience, Andres is specialized in the Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies. Consulted for several companies in South Florida, also Financial Institutions on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has been involved in high-profile implementations including Cisco technologies; such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security and Hosted IPT Service provider infrastructures.

You can follow Andres using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook

2 thoughts on “How are you preparing for the CCIE Collaboration LAB ?”

  1. Hi,
    Hope you’re doing great!
    After 4 years work in UC technology, this year, I start think about CCIE collaboration exam. I need your advice, which is better between provide home lab ( buy lab requirement ) or rack rental? And what is your consideration about that? Many thanks.


    1. Hi Roy,
      I have purchased the LAB and done the rack rentals. One thing to notice is that noise is a big issue for me, I have the lab in my home office and it gets very loud and hot, like boiling hot, if you have the facility to put your devices in another place, ten it will be a very good idea, also the $$ to invest in the equipment. The good thing with rack rentals is that you get more conscious about the time you use them and scheduling a session becomes an expense and will help you procrastinate less.
      I wish you very good luck on your studies, and hope you knock it out the park soon by passing the LAB.

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