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JNCIP-SP JN0-661 Review and Recommendations

‎09-02-2016 01:49 PM

I have not seen anyone post a review of this exam so I thought I would share some comments on my preparation process that led to successfully passing this exam.

 

This exam replaced the JN0-660 exam in July. Looking that blueprints, the major changes I saw were:

  • Addition of EVPNs in Layer 2 VPN section
  • Removal of automation topics

Even the preparation materials suggested by the JNCP team are identical for both exams with the exception of a book for EVPNs.

 

The exam:

 

I felt the exam itself was a solid professional level exam and as is typical for any Junos exam I have taken, tough but fair. Their were no questions I encountered that were from topics outside the listed covered topics. There were a minimal (~1-2) amount of trivia questions. I did not feel as if there was even a single "gotcha" question. But again, my take on the so called gotcha questions is that they usually stem from a candidate's lack of understanding.

 

A large majority (+80%) of the questions had an associated exhibits that either showed a relevant topology or Junos configuration and verification output. The questions really challenged my understanding of not only the protocols but also the Junos implementation of those protocols. I felt one needed a relatively in-depth knowledge of the topics to successfully answer these. Almost all situational scenarios I saw seemed to be taken directly from real world situations (some which I have encountered myself numerous times).

 

It took me about 1 hour 40 minutes to complete the exam and I was definitely mentally exhausted after it. My advise to the candidates would be to study the relevant Junos verification commands (show [detail|extensive|terse]) in a lot of detail and know how to glean important information from them. This is crucial to passing this exam. Some memorization of basic configuration syntax including special use keywords is also necessary.

 

Although I did like the current sample exam on the learning portal for 661, I believe that exam is essentially the same sample exam that was used for 660. Even the title says 660 even if you are linking to it via the 661 landing page. I did feel that the sample exam adequately assessed my weak points (CoS, CoS, CoS) and allowed me to work on it to get better.

 

The learning and preparation process:

 

My day to day job involves neither MPLS/VPNs nor Junos (although I do keep up with MPLS/VPNs on a regular basis) so I had to give myself enough time to refresh all the material and possibly perform detailed labs on my weakest topics. All in all, I dedicated the last 3 months entirely to JNCIP-SP studies. I created a small SP network of 6 vSRXs with 1 vSRX split into multiple VRs acting as CEs. In the end, the only topics I performed labs on were MPLS/VPNs (All flavors including L2, L3, EVPN, MVPN, VPLS and Hierarchical L3 VPNs), BGP and CoS.

 

Finally, here is the material I used in roughly the order of most used to least used:

 

Anki:

 

I use Anki as my Flashcard management software. I have several personalized decks shared at AnkiWeb -https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/89707068. I found them immensely helpful for my day-to-day review of the important topics.

 

Texts:

 

  • JNCIS-SP Study Guide from Fast Track portal - I skipped the Ethernet switching part (part 2) of this guide entirely and glanced thru my note from the IGP/BGP section (Part 1). I spent a large portion of my time on Part 3, MPLS/VPNs. Those who have taken the JMV course probably know that the entire course (minus the labs of course) has been rebranded as Part 3 of this guide. This is really good for candidates as JMV is one the best JNCP courses that I have taken.
  • JNCIS Study Guide by Joe Soricelli from the Fast Track Portal - This still to this day remains the classic book to both learn and refresh all the core material for this exam. Some sections are becoming a little dated like L2VPNs and some like VPLS are missing entirely but overall, for OSPF, IS-IS, BGP, MPLS, MPLS-TE, L3VPNS and Multicast, this to me is the best book.
  • MPLS-Enabled Applications: Emerging Developments and New Technologies, 3rd Ed by Ina Minei - My goto book for all things MPLS. I did not read it cover to cover this time but read all the chapters that related to topics covered on the exam. Still remains an amazing book.
  • MPLS and VPN Architectures Vol 1 - This is a Cisco Press book but I still find this is the best book to cover MPLS/LDP and L3 VPNs.
  • Day One: Using EVPNs for DC Interconnect - This is a great introductory guide to EVPNs and best of all, Free. It not only introduces the concept but takes a relatively deep dive through the material using Junos routers. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Well written, concise and very entertaining.
  • This Week: Deploying BGP MVPNs 2nd ed - Anyone who has interacted with Ato Monge on J-Net knows how amazing he is when it comes to MPLS technologies and this book is no different. I would even say this is the only book you need on MVPNs if you use the companion vDay One book listed below.
  • vDay One - Introduction to BGP MC VPNs - Another gem by Ato. A brand new way of writing guides taking full advantage of modern multimedia. The book has relevant videos embedded in it as was as links to important captures. Most of all, the entire lab in the book can be performed in about 6 or so hours and on Junosphere. Juniper would be helping its engineers immensely by producing more guides that follow this format.
  • Routing TCP/IP, Vol 1 (2nd Edition) and Vol 2 - Another Cisco Press book that is very relevant to this exam. I have read this cover to cover multiple times since 2008 and this particular time, I covered OSPF, IS-IS, IPv6 and BGP from beginning to end.
  • AJSPR Course Material - For the final review of all IGP/BGP topics.
  • Day One: Deploying Basic QoS v2 - One of the many books I used to re-familiarize myself with CoS.
  • Juniper MX Series by Doug Hanks - I read the CoS chapters out of this book and in my opinion, this is some of the best material available on Junos CoS.
  • Layer 3 VPNs Feature Guide for Routing Devices - Mainly for detailed study of Hierarchical VPNs but some chapters in between to clarify any questions I had.
  • Class of Service Feature Guide for Routing Devices - All exam related CoS topics including Classification, Policing and Scheduling

Videos:

 

Junos Learning Bytes:

 

I am sure I am forgetting a bunch of things but these should be the most important ones. If I do remember something egregious, I will add and addendum to this post.

 

Thanks and good luck,

Nic

2 REPLIES 2
Training, Certification, and Career Topics

Re: JNCIP-SP JN0-661 Review and Recommendations

[ Edited ]
‎09-20-2016 11:33 PM

Hi Nic,

 

Thank you for sharing your personal experience about the exam JN0-661.  i had also appeared within a week post code was changed, from JN0-660 to 661 , unfortunately i couldn't qualify and didnot pass the exam.

 

through i had compared the type of questions and complexity it had, believe me those were very time consuming and lenghty in nature as compare to previous code.

 

now i m again planning to write 661 exam in next month, however i m still not very confident on my preparation.

 

there is not much discussions/posts/Q&A available on Internet about this exam so i m reading complete JNCIP study guide and other online stuff....

 

hope i give my best this time and make it through.

 

Cheers!!!

 

Raju Malav

Training, Certification, and Career Topics

Re: JNCIP-SP JN0-661 Review and Recommendations

‎02-05-2018 05:34 AM

Hi Nic,
just wanted to thank you for this post. Just came across this and I am very happy to finally see some useful material that can be used for JNCIP-SP. I have been preparing for JNCIP-SP since a month ago and have been over just about half of the materials you mentioned but dont feel confident enough on CoS and Multicast yet. Hopefully will get there in a month or so. thanks again.