With all seriousness, I’ve finally decided to go for the CCIE Security v4 certification. Now with all the materials coming in from different vendors it is a good time to start with the preparation.
I’ll be starting off with Micronics and INE’s technology focused workbooks as each vendor has a different way of approaching the technology, so that should give me a good exposure there. I plan to use CIsco’s documentation for 8.4 and 8.6 to understand the theory while practicing the technology focused labs.
I hate studying the theoretical part without doing any practical studies, so I’ll be studying for the written exam using the lab workbook’s index to gauge my progress while also studying for the lab simultaneously. That way I know what all I’ve covered, what needs to be covered, which sections I need to work on, etc.
I’ll be using GNS3 and VMware for the major part of the lab practice. Later I’ll use rack rentals for Wireless/Voice tech labs (probably for ISE and WSA too).
Cisco 7200 VXR routers run 15.x IOS in GNS3 pretty well, so I can practice all the VPN stuff that needs the 15.x image. ASA version 8.4 also runs in GNS3 (although it uses 1GB RAM per ASA). Switches are a concern but I’ll use the NM-16ESW module with a Cisco 3725 image to simulate the switching environment to at least complete the physical topology of the workbook to practice other labs. Of course the advanced switch security practical will have to be done on rack rentals.
Cisco has published ISE and WSA virtual appliances (VMware image which runs on an ESXi server) and I’ve heard that the workbooks vendors are also using the virtual appliance in their rack rentals. So that shouldn’t be a problem to get that working in my home PC. But if at all I have a problem there, I’ll have to go with rack rentals for this one too.
My Desktop Config:-
AMD FX4100 overclocked to 4.4Ghz
8GB DDR3 RAM
I’m able to run six 7200 VXR routers on 15.2 IOS, two ASA 8.4 firewalls and two VMware hosts all at the same time. But I’m pretty confident I won’t be able to run the ISE and WSA appliance with the existing setup. Also I’ll need another hard drive as the WSA has some weird hardware requirements even for setting it up on an ESX server. :-/
I’ll be sharing my progress and notes on this blog so you might not be that interested in it, but do stop by and wish me good luck. :-)
By the way, I’m targeting July 2014 for the lab exam. I know it’s a long way to go from now but you know what? Time flies. :-D
Bookmark to follow my CCIE Security v4 journey -> https://networkology.net/tag/ccie