Cisco QoS Exam

My CCNP was due to expire in August, so I needed to pass any 642-* exam to renew it. I decided to sit the Cisco QoS exam (642-642), since it was one of two remaining exams I need to become CCIP. After a few weeks of study on and off, I’m pleased to say I passed the exam without much effort, thus renewing my CCNP for another three years. If I sit the BGP+MPLS exam next (642-691) I’ll also finally have CCIP, which should be a nice stepping stone along the way to CCIE.

Unfortunately my current job doesn’t really put my Cisco expertise to much use, which makes it a bit harder to keep the knowledge “fresh” in my head. That knowledge is also continually getting edged out by other things, such as OpenSolaris and all the daily, run of the mill sysadmin stuff I do.

I think my skills are becoming a little bit too rounded, and it’s time to really specialise in something.

CIT exam

Second time around, passed with flying colours. It’s amazing the difference it makes when you have up to date study material. So that’s all four exams done, but it appears I might not yet be a CCNP. Since my CCNA expired a couple of years ago, I think I will have to re-sit the CCNA exam just to renew it so that it counts towards my CCNP.

It’s a pretty stupid rule, IMHO, since, if you can pass all the CCNP exams, you are obviously well beyond CCNA level. It seems like it’s just another way for Cisco to make money. I’ll be in big trouble if I ever let my CCNP expire, because that would mean sitting all four (or maybe five, including CCNA) exams again!

Of course, CCIE does not have any prerequisites – not even a current CCNP or CCNA. You’d be pretty brave to attempt CCIE without at least several years experience and/or having at least gained CCNP once. But since I plan to tackle CCIE next, I doubt I’ll worry too much about keeping my CCNP up to date. The way I see it, CCIE trumps all previous qualifications anyway.

BCMSN exam

I passed my Cisco BCMSN exam with flying colours, despite a really bad feeling I had about the exam before clicking the final “submit” button. Cisco have changed the format of the exam, and while it certainly looks more modern, I couldn’t really say whether it’s an improvement or not.

I’ve decided to study for the BSCI exam next, which should hopefully be a little more of the topics I’m used to – routing, IP subnetting, etc. Finding time to study has been difficult lately, with work starting to get a little busier. My estimate of two weeks of study per exam might need a little tweaking, or at least consideration of a couple of weeks between each study run.