I would like to share my DCv2 experience, off-course in regards with the Cisco’s NDA,
It was around 2 Years preparation, I’ve started to study for DC on mid-2015, when I decided to get the CCIE in DC tracks. But unfortunately, the DC track changed to v2, where Cisco introduce the new Topic, like VXLAN and ACI, as well as new Hardware (N9K), where at that point, I’ve already halfway learned about the topics that was listed on the v2 Blueprint.
With that being said, I’ve decided to took the new DCv2 exam in the late-2016, where I thought I could learned the basic hands-on on the new topics for the v2.
I sat for the exam, the new thing that I’ve learned during that first attempt Lab exam was that CCIE Lab using dual ‘big-screen’, and I was mesmerized: p.
So it was start by Diagnostic section, where basically we are playing role like TAC engineer, receiving information from the Customer, and we were expected to find the root cause of the issue. It was cool, But I felt that a lot of information that were given, and I was quite panic how to start with >.<. basically it was my first time experience dealing with the Diagnostic Session.
The next section was Config, where basically we have to build and/or repair the config, based on the specific guidelines that was given by the question. It was really tough, because I was really dependent on the DocCD, especially for the topics that I was not really familiar with it.
And as I thought, I failed in my first attempt, and I learned that I have to study more, not only for the Technical part of the exam, but also the right strategy on the next attempt.
So went back, spent my nights with the blueprint topics, I used INE to study, where luckily, they’ve already released Video material on the DCv2, I would say the VXLAN & ACI topic presented by Brian M, were really great, They breakdown that Technology into smaller pieces, where they always start with the building the L1-L3 (underlay) and go up. Especially for the ACI parts, where usually my focus was on the EPG and contract relationship, I’ve learned that how the access-policies under the fabric was playing a big important role on the L1-L2 connectivity, and how everything glue together on the ACI, thanks to INE.
After I felt ready, I’ve decided to take my second attempt DC Lab Exam. I flew to the lab exam one day prior to my exam, get to the Cisco office at early morning, where I’ve already stand by in the location at 6.30AM.
Start with the Diag Section, my strategy was to put the questions on one monitor and put all the provided information on the other monitor, it was really help me jump around between questions and information I’ve looking for to answer that question.
In the Configuration section, same strategy, I put my consoles on one monitor and the diagram & questions on the other monitor, again it help me to jump around between question and config the devices. In the second attempt I didn’t draw the Lab diagram like I used to, because I believe I can use the dedicated second monitor to always view the Diagram.
In the middle of the lab exam, I’ve experiencing lab delivery problem, where I called the proctor, and he was spending about 15-20 minutes to troubleshoot the issue, but the good thing was that I’ve got an extended time to finished the lab.
I was counting my points, make sure that I’ve collected enough points that I consider to be safe, and I’ve only got about 40 Minutes left to re-verified all my works on the Config sessions.
When the lab finished, I went to the hotel with a blank state, worrying that I should take another attempt. When I got to the hotel, I’ve got the emailed that my Lab score could be seen, and I’ve grab my laptop right away to see the result, with my heart pounding really fast……..
When I say the exam report, I saw that I’ve passed the Exam, Alhamdulillah.
I basically don’t believe at that moment, I’ve rechecked the lab score again, as well as the CCIE verification, and got to the conclusion that I passed that CCIE DC lab exam…..
I was really happy that finally I can pass the exam, I would like to thank you to God for granting my wishes to pass the Exam and my families for their supports.
I think I would spend another weeks to enjoy the moments…..