Sample CCIE Routing and Switching Lab I

NOTE Although the aim of this book is to help prepare you for the CCIE Security written exam, I include this appendix as bonus material for a few reasons. First, even though this is a sample lab for the CCIE Routing and Switching lab exam, it gives you an idea of the level of tasks involved in a CCIE lab examination. Second, being a triple CCIE myself, I recognize that if you are interested in attaining CCIE Security certification, you might be curious about the other CCIE options, as well.

This appendix is designed to assist you in your final preparation for the lab portion of the most popular CCIE certification to date, CCIE Routing and Switching (CCIE R&S).

There are two versions of the R&S lab in this guide. This appendix includes a complex routing lab designed for readers who have access to a generous amount of equipment. Appendix D, "Sample CCIE Routing and Switching Lab II," is a sample lab with the same level of difficulty but with only four routers. This gives you access to two sample R&S labs with various equipment requirements, and both provide an excellent guide to the level of difficulty you can expect in any CCIE laboratory exam.

Many books are published today on how CCIE R&S certification can be achieved, but, in reality, no matter how many books you purchase, it all comes down to your level of hands-on experience. The strict Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) policed by Cisco ensures that candidates do not share any information about the lab exam content, so very little is known before your first attempt.

For the first time ever, the CCIE team has approved this sample CCIE Multiprotocol lab so that you can be aware of the level of difficulty involved in the lab exam and prepare accordingly. Solutions are not provided, at the request of the Cisco Systems CCIE department. You are left to research the various solutions on your own. You may e-mail me at [email protected] with any thoughts or queries you have, and together we can work through any problems you encounter. In researching the solutions, you learn more about each topic and commit the information to memory better. In the end, this ensures that you are as prepared as you can be for the lab if you decide to take it.

The end goal of any CCIE lab is a working solution. However, you might be restricted in the way in which you provide a working solution, as you discover in this sample CCIE R&S lab.

Candidates who prepare for the lab often ask me what is the best way to prepare. My answer to them is to practice configuring every feature available, and then practice some more. Of course, not every feature will be tested on the lab exam. You are encouraged to read the most up-to-date information about Cisco exams and certifications at

You must be able to provide a working solution quickly and adhere to the guidelines stated in the question. A good analogy is a driving test; imagine you're asked to drive down a 100-mile road that is perfectly straight, but instead of going down the road the way you think is best, a sign every 100 feet indicates an action you must take. The exam designer does not always ask for the best solution or your favorite solution, but might ask you to solve the problem in a very specific way. For this reason, you must have a broad knowledge of all Cisco IOS features. The lab exam is designed to discover if you are capable of configuring more challenging and difficult scenarios.

The CCIE lab changed format on October 1, 2001. The lab changed from a 2-day lab to a 1-day lab, which means that a candidate is no longer required to sit for a separate troubleshooting section but must configure a network in 8 hours. One of the most critical skills in the new format is time management. Troubleshooting is still regarded as a fundamental skill in today's most critical IP networks.

The R&S lab contains the following hardware and Cisco IOS revisions:

■ 2600 series routers

■ 3600 series routers

■ 3700 series routers

■ Catalyst 3550 series switches running Cisco IOS Software Version 12.1EA

■ Cisco IOS Software Version 12.2 for all routers

■ Cisco IOS Software Version 12.2T became eligible for testing on August 1, 2004

■ IPv6 features in 12.2T become eligible for testing on January 1, 2005. Expect to be tested only lightly, though, on new advanced topics.

■ To ensure the maximum possiblity of success, endeavor to install 12.2T on all of your lab routers and read the release notes on 12.2T, which can be found at the following URL: prod_release_notes_list.html

■ As the candidate, you should be aware of the new features in the Cisco IOS software, because you may be asked to configure some of these new features in the lab.

NOTE Token Ring switching and legacy routing protocols, such as IPX and IGRP, are no longer tested in the CCIE R&S lab exam. DLSw+ over Ethernet remains a core test topic.

For more details on the CCIE R&S lab content blueprint, visit:

Each task in this sample CCIE R&S lab examination includes a recommendation for the amount of time that you should allocate to complete the task. This lab is designed to be completed within 8 hours. A designation of "No Time" in the section heading means that in the real CCIE lab, that particular section has already been completed for you. For example, this sample lab asks you to physically cable the network; no time allocation is provided because in the real CCIE lab, the physical cabling is already completed for you.

This sample lab's goal is a working IP network according to the set design criteria. Figure C-1 displays the sample topology with nine Cisco IOS routers and the logical topology. Figure C-1 CCIE Lab Topology

S2 S1

Frame Relay

S2 S1

S2 S1

Frame Relay

S2 S1

Figure C-2 displays the Frame Relay connections between the Cisco routers.

Figure C-2 Frame Relay DLCI Assignment R2

Figure C-2 Frame Relay DLCI Assignment R2

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