My CCIE Data Center Certification Journey!
I just achieved my CCIE Data Center certification and felt so much relaxed as I got rid of a big tension from my mind after passing such a tremendously difficult certification process. I received my score report before a couple of days. Now, looking back on the whole process, I’d like to share some of my CCIE Data Center certification exam experience in the ongoing article.
Why I went for certification? Why did I choose CCIE Data Center certification?
Being a Senior Network Engineer of a company my primary job roles include gathering and understanding clients’ business objectives and requirements, then interpreting them into workable network architectures, while keeping in view the project budget.
Doing this successfully is persistently upgrading my skills and expertise, continuing to study present products more deeply and learning all about emerging technologies. Certifications are a distinguished means of doing all this. But an intense studying is required to prepare for the Certification written and lab exams. This builds up your skills and achieving the certification demonstrates these skills. As a result, it enables you to become a better engineer/architect.
So, I opted to go for the CCIE Data Center Certification to prove myself to Cisco and our clients that I understand the architecture and hardware of Cisco’s Data Center products. I am a person who is always ready to face challenges. I really wished to enjoy the excitement which CCIE certification brings when you get the “Pass” status on the CCIE portal.
How did I go through CCIE 400-151 Data Center Certification process?
Chasing the CCIE Data Center certification is not just taking two exams, it requires full dedication and a continuous hard work. I devoted countless hours over the last 8 months to study. I utilized my years of hands-on networking experience, expertise, and lab access. I drew upon the time management, stress reduction, and learned strategy lessons that I got while achieving my other Cisco certifications.
To successfully pass and achieve the CCIE certification requires a thorough plan and approach. This article would share mine, together with some advice for certification seekers.
- Study the CCIE 400-151 written exam topics:
The first step of any CCIE Certification track is studying for and passing the written exam. I began this process by downloading the exam topics from Cisco.com. It’s a general guideline for content, and I personally noted that not everything in the exam is included here. Then I used to study from CCIE Data Center Reading List at Cisco official site that covered most of the exam topics very comprehensively. I recommend you a very important thing here, rate your knowledge of each exam topic and then allot a specific time to every topic accordingly. I studied hard for continuous 8 months and gave 5-6 hours daily to my preparation. After studying from different official and unofficial resources I used www.dumpspdf.com’s CCIE Data Center exam dumps for final preparation round. I also used to practice their CCIE 400-151 Data Center online tests which gave me full confidence to face the actual exam. I found to be an outstanding study resource for my CCIE 400-151 Data Center exam prep. Their CCIE 400-151 Data Center exam dumps were so valid and of really an excellent quality.
- Take the CCIE 400-151 Data Center written exam:
After 8 months of study, I felt I got a firm grip on the written exam topics and then I scheduled my written exam. I normally schedule the written exam three weeks from the moment I feel completely prepared and understand the whole topics. This exam is of two hours having 90 to 110 questions total. I found that if you understand the exam topics very well then you don’t need full two hours to complete your exam. Fortunately, after the exam, I got my score report with “Pass” status at my first attempt.
- Study the CCIE 400-151 Data Center lab exam topics:
Next, I grabbed the lab exam topics also from Cisco Official site. The topics Outline here included complete notes with Configuration Guide and Command Reference locations for each and every topic. By using the Outline, Software Version and Hardware list provided by Cisco, I developed a full strategy to confirm complete coverage of a particular topic. I studied and prepared each topic acting upon this strategy. This is how I reached the end of the Outline and became comprehensively prepared for my Lab exam. I was very much confident that I understand the design, configuration, and requirements of each topic.
- Practice, Practice, and Practice:
After I got a very good knowledge of the technologies involved, I started practicing on the topics. For this purpose, I used INE and IPExpert workbooks which sync nicely with rack rental equipment. I also got help from Dumpspdf.com and purchased CCIE 400-151 Lab exam dumps and CCIE lab workbook from here. I prepared CCIE 400-151 exam dumps and practiced CCIE practical lab dumps very well. They greatly helped me to pass CCIE 400-151 Data Center certification exams in my first attempt. According to my experience, the INE, IPExpert workbooks, rentals equipment, and DumpsPDF.com CCIE lab workbook are great to build time management skills and develop the memory needed to analyze a lab question and understand exactly what needs to be done in the minimum amount of time. I recommend analyzing the workbook against the Blueprint to determine which topics you will need to thoroughly understand.
- Schedule the lab exam:
When I got through the workbooks + whole preparation material and felt comfortable with my knowledge/skills of the outline, I logged into the CCIE Lab scheduler and picked a date for my Lab Exam. After scheduling the lab exam I reserved my hotel, flight, and car a day or two early to deal with unexpected travel delays or getting lost. It’s very significant to relax and limit the stress, before taking your lab exam. It directly affects your final day performance and eventually your result too.
- The Exam day:
Finally, the exam day came. Let me share my lab day experience briefly.
- I left my stuff in the car and only took a photo ID and car keys with me. Cisco provides unlocked lockers for personal belongings and you will not be allowed to touch them until after you finish.
- Then I read the entire lab exam end-to-end to get the “Big Picture.” At the same time, I built my own running score sheet so I knew when I had finished a task and verified it’s functional.
- Once I had finished and verified all tasks had been completed or time had come to an end, I saved my configurations and concluded the lab.
- Getting the result:
The lab results are sent to CCIE portal. When I got the email stating my score, I impatiently logged in, wondering which of the two possible outcomes I would see.
Luckily, I received my email with the “Pass” status. It’s a marvelous feeling to finally see the successful end of such a long journey. After finally completing the exhausting mission, I look forward to better serve the people who depend on my advice.