Recommended readings - Printed Books

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Recommended readings - Printed Books

Post by daniel.larsson on Sun May 03, 2015 1:50 pm

As with any exam there will be a long list of books that can help you pass the Exam. Most of the time it will only be required to read a single book, maybe the official certification guide for that exam.
With CCIE you are looking at an entirely different approach. It's an Expert level exam and that requires more Reading than you've ever done Before!


There are many good sources on what to read in terms of books, but this list is what i've collected across the web that almost all CCIE's have read along their journey. Expect these books to form your basic foundational knowledge for the Written Exam. I've also Heard of engineers that have not read a single book and only prepared using the Cisco documentations from the Cisco website, or simply Learning by labing and figuring out what's wrong.

What will work for you is how determined you are. But preparing for the CCIE-exam means you have a lot of Reading to do or you won't be successfull.

This list is divided into two different categories, and it's also the same list that INE with Briand McGahan is recommending as a "minimum read". The categories are:
-Vendor independend technology books
-Cisco specific technology books.

What you have to remember is that at the end of the day it's a Cisco exam and you are required to have an Expert Cisco level of understanding of all the Technologies, but when it comes to the real World you are expected to be the expert and being able to solve inter-vendor specific designs, implementations and troubleshooting. Therefor the recommended books to read first are the vendor independent ones.

Vendor independent list

  • Interconnections: Bridges & Routers, Second Edition (537 pages)
  • Internetworking with TCP/IP, Volume 1 (688 pages)
  • TCP/IP Illustrated: Volume 1 (1017 pages)
  • Routing and Switching: Time of Convergence? (1008 pages)
  • IPv6 Theory, Protocol, and Practice (536 pages)
  • MPLS Enabled Applications (628 pages)

Total amount of Reading: 4414 pages.

Cisco books:

  • Cisco LAN Switching (960 pages)
  • Routing TCP/IP Volumes 1 (936 pages)
  • Routing TCP/IP Volumes 2 (976 pages)
  • Internet Routing Architectures (528 pages)
  • MPLS Fundamentals (672 pages)
  • Developing IP Multicast Networks (592 pages)
  • Implementing Cisco IPv6 Networks (504 pages)
  • Cisco QoS Exam Certification Guide (768 pages)

Total amount of Reading: 5936 pages.

That's a lot of Reading, over 10.000 pages in total. Is it really required to read it all?

Short answer: No. I personally haven't read more than half of those books to prepare for the CCIE RSv5 Written exam.

Long answer: Yes.

Most of these books overlap with a lot of previous other books that i've read so I personally don't let this book-list be a law. For example QoS is well covered in the CCNA/CCNP Voice and CCDA/CCDP track. IPv6 is a very big topic in the CCNP ROUTE exam. MPLS on the other hand is not covered unless you go the Service Provider track.

In short this list is recommended Reading to every CCIE Candidate because together they will give you a very solid Foundation to stand on. The recommended way of preparing for the Lab exam is going into it with enough theory in your head that you can at least figure out a sollution to every configuration task you will be assigned. To do that, you would have to at least know that a thing is doable and in which way you could solve it.

That's what these books are for, to give you the Foundation not only to pass the Written exam but to be as good prepared as you can when taking the Lab exam.

At the end of the day though, every single topic for both the Written and the Lab can be found and read freely at the Cisco DocCD website. Link:
http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/psa/default.html?mode=prod

What i find to be more effective to me is to read about the Technologies in the Blueprint there, and when i need in depth explanations i find other sources. There are very good CCIE blogs out there.
I have personally borrowed, bought, rented or looked at all the books above and there's not much in those books that you can't find online at Cisco's website if you know HOW to browse that website!


What about the CCIE Official Certification Guide?

Yes you could also add this book to the list but it won't be a big deal if you do or not. The reason is because that book is missing a lot of in depth explanations and technology guides. It certainly won't hurt if you read through it, but your time will most likely be spent better with other books that goes more into detail and really making you an expert on the subject. They key focus on your theory studies should be gaining an expert theory level of understanding and not just a basic understanding. That by itself means that a single book is not going to help. It pretty much means that to just scrape the Surface of the topics compared to Reading a book dedicated to a single topic is just not Worth it.
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