Thursday, March 21, 2013

CCIE Voice training lab

   So I'm back for good now. I decided to use my own lab this time until some point at least. In THIS post you might have read about my thoughts on what to select as a studying equipment. Rent a virtual rack from one of the third party vendors or gather my own hardware and make my own lab? I decided to rent a rack. There are pros and cons for any decisions you make. I'm not going to list each one of them, but I'll try to explain the main points of having your own lab versus a rent lab. At least from my point of view. More after the break.
    So you might think that I won't have something new to say and I'm sure that you've done the same thoughts or read several similar posts on blogs about this. But for someone who is at the state of searching and considering what to do this might be some help.
Rent rack Pros:
  • Everything is set up. No time spent for finding, configuring and installing hardware/topology
  • You can use workbook labs directly by selecting whatever you want to load from a web page
  • You can test your preparation level in a real CCIE Voice lab environment
  • No network troubleshooting needed. They provide support*
Rent rack Cons:
  • Limited time to finish what you want, no time left to test things with your tasks
  • Not quite flexible studying pattern can be followed
  • Scheduling at specific times around the clock. Strict personal life schedule
  • Support is delayed (most of the times especially if you don't live in the US)
Own rack Pros:
  • Unlimited time to test whatever you want for every scenario
  • You can stop and continue whenever you want 
  • Setting up the lab will give nice knowledge of the environment into the actual lab
  • You can take snapshots of your servers and routers and load whatever configuration you want
Own rack Cons:
  • Need time and effort to find your own hardware. It's quite expensive to buy
  • You'll need a considerably long period to set up and configure everything as you want
  • You cannot load whatever scenario of any workbook you want automatically
  • Not good to test your preparation level under timed frame
   So I believe that what you have to do is a combination of both. And that's what I'm planning to do now. Run some custom scenarios inspired from any workbook I have in my disposal to my own lab without the pressure of timed. Test whatever I want and cover some sections that I know I wasn't good enough with. The actual lab exam helps with that. After that I'll do some labs to a rent rack to level my speed and fast typing under pressure. Will try to finish any fixed scenario that I have from the vendor.
   That's all for now, in my next post I'll talk about the hardware I got and the configurations I've made.

Cya!
Stefanos

* At INE they have an emergency ticketing system. They'll respond fast but it isn't 24x7. IP Experts don't respond fast enough. It might take several days for some issues to respond.