My Experience of JNCIE-ENT: Hard prep for a hard exam
Jun 26, 2012
This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by David Roy, IP/MPLS NOC Engineer at Orange. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company he works for.
My name is David Roy; I'm a NOC engineer at Orange France. I work every day with Juniper Networks routers like MX960 and T1600. I've already passed the JNCIE-SP track last year and my new challenge was to pass the enterprise track (aka. JNCIE-ENT). It was a complex challenge for me, because I work for a Service Provider and I had to play with protocols that I wouldn’t normally come across in our network (for example OSPF and PIMv6).
I started my exam preparation two months ago. The first step was to find relevant working guides. I'd bought two awesome books: Junos Enterprise Routing and Junos Enterprise Switching. The day-one books were also nice guides to complete my readings. After the theoretical studying, I decided to create my own lab in order to play and test with all the skills required by the JNCIE blueprint. My lab was made up of two EX4200, one MX960 with logical systems and virtual switch instances and one SRX in packet mode. In parallel I bought the AJEX courseware in order to have some switching labs examples.
The 15 May 2012 was D day for me and my first attempt at the JNCIE-ENT exam. The lab was scheduled in Amsterdam inside Juniper’s EMEA HQ. At 9'o clock we (me and four other guys) started the exam. After reading the complete exam, I knew that time will be my enemy. Indeed, the exam covered all the topics listed in the JNCIE-ENT blueprint. I spent too much time on the switching part and during the lunch break I was not feeling very confident. After lunch, stress had settled in, I started by doing at least one task of each part, because having zero to one entire part is a disqualification. At the end of this first attempt, I was so tired and not very happy about my work. Two weeks later, I received the unwanted email: Unfortunately you didn't pass the exam... But, I stayed motivated, I quickly re-scheduled a new date; 14 June 2012. This time round I studied again each protocol and practiced again and again in my personal lab. The 14 June 2012, the second attempt of my JNCIE-ENT, I was much more confident. I had completed more tasks before the lunch break than I did during my first attempt, so I felt more confident.
The 28 june 2012, I finally received a nice email: Congratulations, you passed the JNCIE-ENT ! The JNCIE-ENT exam is really hard exam and requires very intensive preparation that has to be combined with theoretical and practical phases. My last piece of advice I’d like to leave you with is practice, practice and practice – most people fail this exam due to poor time management and not because of lack of skills or knowledge.