Ricardo Martins

Archive for the ‘Exams’ Category

Cisco Expert – Cisco Certified Architect

Posted by Ricardo Martins on June 30, 2009

Cisco has just introduced a new certification called Cisco Certified Architect. My opinion…awesome…:)

If CCDE is already hard and good, Architect is even better. I have always thought CCDE would be something for every single Cisco Engineer to chase on the long run anyways. Don’t take me wrong, I love configuration, I can spend hours looking at my green terminal typing config, but the truth is that eventually every single engineer after maybe 10 years of experience would like to design solutions and networks and of course be certified on it.

Cisco Certified Architect requires a CCDE.

All the information concerning this certification can be found here

This picture is straight from Cisco’s website and shows all the certifications available:

I have actually ordered 2 books from Amazon, one for IP Network Designs and the other MPLS Designs. Maybe I will give a try on the CCDE Written to start with….Nope, I’m not going for the Architect :), not just yet hehe

In other news:

For the people who read this forum…Guys I didn’t make it on time to the CCIE SP Lab in Brussels. I was on my way to the airport when I just realized that my Credit Card had been canceled by mistake. It did caught me by surprise and I decided not to take the Lab. Unfortunately, I lost the money I had paid for the Lab and for the flights. But…I will take the SP lab quite soon anyways.

Actually my plan for the rest of the year is:

CCNA Wireless Exam (Starting…)
CCDE Written (Maybe)
CCIE SP Lab (Very soon)

Well, I won’t be making all of these this year, but I will start to do some of it. Life ain’t just studying and work…


Posted in Exams | 2 Comments »

Cisco Expert – Got my CCIE R&S and CCNA Voice

Posted by Ricardo Martins on January 31, 2009

Hello everyone,
For now, just let you now that my CCIE journey, lots of hours of studying and hands on live routers just payed off. Yesterday I became CCIE# 23373 in Routing and Switching on Thursday 29th January 2009.

Earlier this week, on Tuesday 27th January, I also got my CCNA Voice, in my opinion, the best and more pleasant certification I ever studied for. Call Manager Express or CUCME like Cisco now calls it is definitely funny to configure. I am starting to think that Voice may be my thing in the future. We will see…

I will update this post over the next few days after I get some hours of sleeping and resting, well deserved.

Story of my life:

All started in February 2007 when I decided to take my first IT cetification MCDST. I attended the MCSE course certification at a Microsoft learning center. On the first day, I knew nothing about IT, only windows XP and that was it. After the first lesson, I knew that certifications was my thing and IT would be my passion.

After my first exam I was a MCP and I jumped so much when I got my certification. After the second exam I got my MCDST. After 6 months I was done with MCSE, then I asked myself, now what?? Well I got some old CBT Nuggets of CCNA of a friend in September 2007  and I started to watch the first video. After 5 min I was like…where are the wizards and all the GUI’s? Didn’t like the feeling, but I kept on going because at the Microsft Center, everybody said that being a MCSE + CCNA was the best thing anyone could be. So I used GNS3 and practice a lot so I got my CCNA. At this point I was in love with Cisco. Worth to mention that, I found no use in taking lessons for Cisco Certs as I did for Microsoft. Found that most places are just trying to sell courses for huge price, and most trainers aren’t even prepared to teach.

After that I took my CCNP, CCSP. CCDP, CCIP. I studied day and night for these certs. After this I got a job in Northern Ireland in HP.

In HP, with all the certs and some experience in the pocket that I already had from a portuguese company I was offered that job. Man, the network here is huge…Anyways, I saved some cash and bought my own rack…and started my CCIE journey.

The next 8 months, used Internetwork Expert Vol 2 and spent 3 hours daily in my rack.

After practicing for a while, I started to feel confident so I went for the CCIE R&S Written exam which I cleared it. After this exam I practiced another 3 months just labbing, labbing, labbing and 12th Nov.2008 arrived fast….I was in Brussels…

“I will be your proctor for the day” – says Bruno

…. Ricardo….Rack 11

The exam started….after 4 hours I had only BGP and Multicast left…so I was relaxed. QOS and Security seemed a bit odd to me but there was a good chance to pass. Spent the whole afteernoon checking the configurations, having drinks, I knew I had a huge chance to be a CCIE…16.30…Lab over.

They say, if you were to pass your results should be available earlier, I’m guessing they run a script and if it says you pass, you passed but if says you have failed probably a proctor will check all your configurations and that takes extra time. Again I have no information on this, I am just guessing.

1:48am in the Hotel…the email came through and I had failed but with a good and very very very close score…QOS and Security was horrible…I say good because most topics I scored 100%, then on QOS and Security a disaster. I was actually happy, I knew if I studied those 2 topics, I would be fine next time…Flew back home and scheduled my 2nd attempt for 29th January…

During this 2.5 months I didnt touch 1 lab from start to end. I just practiced random stuff, OSPF, EIGRP and all the normal easy stuff just to make sure I wouldn’t forget a thing. Now the big secret….I opened the Cisco DOC CD online during my preparation, I read from cover to cover, Ip services, QOS and Security stuff and I labbed everything. Man…this was my salvation. I think IE vol.2 is not very good for Security, IP services and lacks some information for QOS as well.

29th Jan.  2009

This time Istvan if I remember his name correctly was the proctor. I was not nervous like the first time or anything and this time….”Ricardo…Rack 10″…I know I had to do it this time. Found this lab a bit more difficult and tricky than the first attempt but I didnt care, just followed the normal cisco procedures for the problems and troubleshooting they threw at me, and before lunch I finished the lab. In the afternoon, after lunch, I checked the configurations 4 times and all seemed ok. I was a bit afraid of the interpretation of some questions but there was nothing I could do. So I just had 3 drinks, Cecemel, this is some chocolate drink with caramel…if u go to brussels drink this…it is awesome.

Well…I think the say is true…this time at 11:30 I got my result and CCIE# 23373.

My biggest tip is, if you want something really bad you will get it…there are no limits, just study, understand the technologies and pass the lab. Motivaton is the key…

Posted in CCIE, Exams | 18 Comments »

Cisco Expert – CCNAS Certified

Posted by Ricardo Martins on December 11, 2008

For the first time after arriving from Brussels, I finally feel like posting again in my blog. It was a bit hard to fail the CCIE LAB after so many hours of studying. I will be back in January 2009 for the LAB, this time I will make it.

There isn’t much to tell about the lab, fairly easy compared to those 20 Labs from Internetwork Expert, however you need to be full concentrated, avoid mistakes. Truth to be told, I failed for a maximum of 3 – 5 % and was because I forgot to enable some features after a pile of good configuration.
I say, if you study hard enough, the exam is passable.

Yesterday, I got my CCNA Security, passed the exam 640-553.
Very easy exam if I compare it, for example with CCENT or CCNA, very straight forward. Topics like AAA, IOS security, VPN or IOS Firewall are very interesting and not that hard. In my opinion a very good certification to have in your Resume. That was my exam number 28 so far.

My next goals, is to pass 3 exams to finish the CCVP, CCNA Voice which I have studied hard for it, just haven’t taken the exam yet and maybe later on CCNA Wireless. So a total of 5 exams and I have achieved all Cisco Career Certifications at Associate and Professional level. It is likely that I will do several Expert level certificatons int he future as well, hoping I get CCIE R&S already in January.

Let’s see how the story goes…

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Cisco Expert – CCENT Certified

Posted by Ricardo Martins on October 22, 2008

Today I became a CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician), 3 weeks before my CCIE Lab (1st attempt).

About CCENT exam – Cisco Web Site

I guess I just love certification too much, so normally I take a Cisco Exam every other month just to check what’s new out there, for the case technologies may change or new contents are introduced in some certification.

About the exam:

First of all, I did very well in the exam but let me tell you something…it is hard.
I do have some good experience by now and I have been studying for CCIE for quite a while, but I am thinking, someone who is just starting in Cisco World…ouch, the exam will not be easy.

My advice is, go through as much materials as you can, especially, subnetting, it is definately a topic to master. On the other hand, I am glad Cisco made CCENT and CCNA harder, because it really makes these certifications hold their values.

The key is to study and enjoy networking…yes, because it is very ugly to see CCNA’s out there that they don’t know anything but they are still CCNA’s…you know…

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Cisco Expert – 642-432 CVOICE exam – Passed

Posted by Ricardo Martins on July 22, 2008

On thursday 24th, I’m going to take the 642-432 exam. It is my 2nd exam towards the CCVP certification. I have taken the QOS exam about 6 months ago while doing my CCIP certification. Let’s see how this one goes. Voice is actually a very interesting field. It is really cool to see all those sweet IP phones full of colors getting their configuration from a router hehe.

I used Jeremy’s videos, gns3 and couple of routers I have home to prepare for it. I find CVOICE very interesting subject, I love dial-peers and dial-plans. I’m really looking forward to start studying for CCNA Voice as well because I don’t know too much about CME (Cisco Call Manager Express) yet.

Worth to mention, that If any of you wishes to take the CVOICE exam, you can take the 642-436 because the 432’s last day is 7/26/08. Jeremy has upgraded the CVOICE videos for this exam which can be found on CbtNuggets website

My next exam will be the Call Manager one, I have already watched jeremy’s videos, but didn’t have the time yet to set up a call mamanger. It’s not like I’m jumping into the exam without some hands-on.

Wish me luck!!

PS – I just took the exam today (7/24/08) and I passed. I actually found it easier than most of the exams I have done so far. I just felt like I still need to study a little bit more how to calculate the voice calls bandwith. I got one simulation how to configure dial-peers and it felt so good after I applied the configuration to the router, then pressed the phone icon and I could see the phone ringing message poping up hehe. 

Good luck with your studies!

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