I was one of the lucky few to be able to participate in the creation of the new JNCIE-ENT lab exam. After one team met in Sunnyvale to generate a pool of exam questions, I was in the group who sat down to actually try out the exam. After a grueling twelve hours of testing the test, breaking things, editing the questions and diagrams, and doing sections that weren’t assigned to us to make sure everything got covered (okay, that was just me that did that…) we were finished. A couple conference calls later, we had whittled down the pool of questions to come up with a few versions of the exam.
I took the real exam shortly after, and did not pass. The time limit is the big deciding factor in the JNCIE lab exams, and unless you do everything correctly the first time, you won’t pass. There is very little, if any, troubleshooting time.
On my second attempt, there were issues with the lab itself – the VMs that generated multicast weren’t operational. After a while of troubleshooting with the proctor, my lab was moved to another rack. All in all, my lab ended up being about 11 hours long. I got a call as I was boarding my flight the next day that I had indeed passed!
The JNCIE-ENT lab is very much real world content. I’d estimate that 90% of the content on the lab, I have done in production before. Because of this, the JNCIE-ENT is still what I consider to be my greatest accomplishment.
CCIE #25655 (R&S)
I passed the CCIE Routing & Switching lab in 2009 after about 8 months of on-again/off-again study. The last two months went something like this:
- Work M-F 8:00a – 4:30p
- Study M-F 5:00p – 10:00p
- Study Sat 10:00a – 6:00p
- Mock Lab Sun 10:00a – 6:00p
I would definitely not recommend anybody do this – it’s painful. However, it must have worked fairly well, as I managed to pass on my first attempt. The CCIE R&S is quite a bit less real-world than the JNCIE is, but is far more in-depth as far as protocols and technologies. It is just as difficult as the JNCIE, just for different reasons.
I hold a number of other non-expert level certifications as well:
- Juniper JNCIA-Junos
- Juniper JNCIS-ENT
- Juniper JNCIS-SP
- Juniper JNCIS-SEC
- Juniper JNCIS-QF
- Juniper JNCIP-ENT
- Juniper JNCIP-SP
- Cisco CCNA
- Cisco CCNP
- Cisco CCNA Security
- Cisco Advanced Wireless Field Specialist
- Cisco Express Foundation Field Specialist
- Brocade Certified Network Engineer (BCNE)