This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by David Roy, Network Support Engineer at Orange Domestic Backbone. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company he works for.
Hi, my name is David Roy; I have been working for Orange for the past four years in the Network Support team for the Domestic Backbone. Here’s a short story of my Juniper Networks certification journey, which took me just under two years to complete.
My Juniper certification journey started back in 2010 with the M/T track, which was the closest certification related to my job. At the time the books from Harry Reynolds were available and constituted most of my learning for this certification track, I found these to be awesome books, which helped me a lot. I would recommend that you try to get hold of these books if you can, you might have to try the second hand market on ebay. Next up was the JNCIS-M/T; to be honest I didn’t find this track so difficult. After that, I then prepared for the JNCIP-M/T Lab (actually, the P level of the old track was an eight hour lab exam.) To prepare myself for this exam I used a Junos emulation (called Olive), with ten logical systems. All topics for the P level are well implemented in Olive. The first lab was so impressive after two hours I passed, so to configure my topology and playing with several interfaces I was a little more relaxed and I finished the final exam in eight hours (no more, no less). The preparation of my JNCIE-M/T was done by using Olive again for the IGP/BGP/VPN configurations. Nevertheless, I used a real MX960 to prepare the L2VPN part (not well supported by Olive). The E level was much more difficult, the IGP topology was quite unstable. I was so stressed and I spent a lot of time debugging it, and unfortunately I didn't have time to finish the entire exam (so I lost critical points) a little disappointing at the time. Needless to say I didn't pass the JNCIE the first time. However, second time round for JNCIE I was much better prepared for the troubleshooting part as I had created more scenarios in my own lab, which I think armed me with a better understanding and knowledge going into the exam, I finished the exam on time and I passed the JNCIE-M/T in December 2010.
At the start of 2011 I had planned to begin my second certification track: ER, but during the year all the Juniper certification tracks had been changed: M/T became SP and ER became ENT. So, I started studying the enterprise track, I more or less used the Juniper site and its technical documentation, which helped me pass the sample written exam as well. I passed the JNCIS-ENT in February 2011. Before starting to study the P-ENT level and in order for me to finish a complete track, I passed the JNCIP-SP written exam which allowed my JNCIE-M/T to become a JNCIE-SP. It was completed during July 2011.
Then, I started studying JNCIP-ENT using Junos Enterprise and Routing 2nd Edition, and Junos Enterprise Switching - more awesome books and I recommend you buy these books if youre studying this level. With this good preparation in hand, I passed the JNCIP-ENT in November 2011.
Next step: I want to pass the JNCIE-ENT during Q1 2012. In order to do this I will use a lab I have already created with two EXs, one SRX and one MX960 to prepare for it. In parallel, I believe I will be able to pass the JNCIS-SEC written Exam. I'm also very interested in trying out the security track, and will need to schedule this in at some point.
All in all what can I say? I just love Juniper certifications. I would be interested in hearing how you’re getting on with your certifications, so drop me a note in the comments field below.