Category Archives: Study

Cisco’s “Enterprise Networks Core and WAN Exam”

Cisco’s partner program currently contains four specializations. Besides having multiple individuals owning certain “regular” certifications like a CCNP or CCIE, also additional exams are required to fulfill certain roles and achieve the specialization.

One of those additional exams is called “Enterprise Networks Core and WAN Exam (ENCWE)” with number 500-452. Besides the blueprint itself and a full-blown training Cisco does not provide specific content for this exam.

I have recently passed this exam and, without breaking the NDA, I highly recommend you to watch and study the materials presented in the following two Cisco Live sessions:
BRKCRS-2002 IWAN Design and Deployment Workshop
BRKARC-2091 Emerging Trends in Branch Office Architectures

Doing so, in addition to a quick refresher on the CCDP content, was sufficient for me to pass this exam. Good luck with your studies!

CCIE Wireless.. we are still going!

I have been quite busy studying for my CCIE Wireless since I started the journey almost nine months ago. Late December last year I passed the latest exam for CCNP and after three attempts I passed for my CCIE Written last month! To give you an idea; I had to put in more that 250 hours of studying after getting my CCNP to get the written; failing with just a few points of is an art I guess.

And now I have an date for the lab: 29 june in Brussels! For the next two months I have an very tight study plan with more than 250 hours of building (and breaking) stuff in my home lab (with IPexpert VoD’s on the side..). I decided to do it this way because of the coming 3.0 version of the exam in September. With the first lab attempt in June, I can have a second attempt in Augustus…

And because an picture says more than thousand words:

CCIE Wireless lab

The controllers
2x 5508
1x 2504
1x vWLC (not on the blueprint, but the technology is cool)

1x 3702I (with the WSSI module, associated to my vWLC as “production” network)
1x 2602I (Associated to my “production” network as an WGB so I don’t have to hear the noise πŸ™‚ )
1x 2602E (with some external antennas, also autonomous)
1x 3500I (Spectrum Expert / test AP for converged access)
5x 1242AG (All over the WLC’s…)

1x 3650-24PS (also for doing the converged access stuff, not on the 2.0 blueprint but it is coming anyway..)
1x 3560CG-12P
1x 3560-8PC

2x 7925G

For running WCS / Prime, MSE and ACS I have a VMware server collocated in a datacenter connected with a VPN on a ASA firewall. Some hardware I bought myself (the 3650 for example) and some borrowed from the company lab, which I’m grateful for.

I’m already looking forward to continue the lack of sleep for the next two months.. πŸ˜€

CCIE Wireless… we have a liftoff!

It started in my early years as a kid. I was curious about how stuff actually worked, especially radio technology had my interest. Two years ago I passed my CCNA Wireless certification and since than I did a few deployments with a lot learning on the job.

The problem with working for a relatively small Cisco partner is that you don’t have a real specialty; you need to know a lot about a lot. It is not that I do not like that. I love to do consulting, create designs and actually implement that firewall or Nexus solution. I do have my CCNP R/S and CCDP, but I always loved the wireless technology.

And now the moment is here. I scheduled all of the four CCNP Wireless exams four the next few months, every month a exam starting with the site survey one next Wednesday. The CCNP should give me a foundation for the CCIE. My plan is that I at least try the CCIE Wireless lab once before I turn 25 in September 2015. They say it is the hardest CCIE exam, I guess I will find out!

My plan is to read as much as possible on the Cisco Supportforums and blogs and by actually doing wireless projects. If I find something interesting I will write a blogpost about it. So, let’s start with my home lab:

The controllers
1x 5508
1x 2504
1x vWLC (not on the blueprint, but the technology is cool)

1x 3702I (with the WSSI module)
1x 2602I
1x 2602E (with some external antennas)
1x 3500I
1x 1242AG

1x 3650CG-12P
1x 3560-8PC

2x 7925G

For running WCS / Prime, MSE and ACS I have a VMware server collocated in a datacenter connected with a VPN on a ASA firewall.

It is not enough for CCIE, but it will be for CCNP and it is a nice start.. πŸ™‚

Cisco CCNP / CCIE Wireless lab


Never in my life I left a testing facility with a smile that big like I did on 16 august last year. It was just minutes ago that I received my score on the Cisco CCNP Troubleshoot (TSHOOT) exam. It was the magic 1000 points, incredible high! Not that the a lower score should had matter, the reason behind the smile was the fun I had in answering the tickets. All the pain of doing the CCNP route exam twice earlier that year was suddenly disappeared.. πŸ™‚

Cisco did a very good job in creating this exam. I have to troubleshoot a lot in my daily work, so for me troubleshooting is like a second nature. However I do have a few recommendation to make it more fun;
– Create a few tickets where more than one thing is broken, stuff like that happens in the real world!
– I missed the option “it is not the network, it is the server..” sounds like a joke but with the ability to look into the network traffic and spot a “tcp reset” from the server could prove a configuration failure on the server. (yes, that kind of prove is sometimes necessary…)
– Where was the option “It is a IOS bug, create a TAC case”? πŸ˜‰