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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default Arch Exam 642-873 (CCDP)

    With SWITCH behind me I am about to focus on the Arch 2.0 exam before it's retired. I'm planning to use the Hutton/Teare self study second edition (link below) and I haven't yet decided on a CBT... most likely the INE since its the most up to date.

    My plan of attack is as follows:

    -Use the same method of preparation as I did for CCDA/CXFS!!! Master the theory and practice application on real world scenarios

    -Review each chapter and practice applying the concepts to real world design engagements I have been on in the last 12 months.

    -Summarize each chapter and document key findings in an outline for final exam review

    -Spend many long hours at Starbucks reviewing since I will be out of town for the majority of the next month. Caffeine plus review material = success (Venti Pike's Place Please)

    -Postpone taking ICNX5+7k until after completing this exam! The sections on storage architecture will help further my understanding especially since I've had to do a number of FC to FCoE engagements using the Nexus 5k over the last few months.

    Books I plan to use:

    Amazon.com: Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH) (Authorized Self-Study Guide) (2nd Edition) (9781587055744): Keith Hutton, Mark Schofield, Diane Teare: Books
    Amazon.com: Top-Down Network Design (3rd Edition) (9781587202834): Priscilla Oppenheimer: Books
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  3. Cisco Addict ITdude's Avatar
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    #2
    Sounds like a great study plan. I did not know that INE even had a training pack for ARCH, or are you just using the blueprint and accessing appropriate areas?



    I take that back. I just found it. Do you have any feedback from people about their course?

    Any feedback on CBT Nuggets for this one?
    Last edited by ITdude; 03-05-2011 at 12:12 AM.
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    #3
    No feedback so far on the CCDP course, but I enjoyed their CCDA CBT class. The other reason I am leaning towards the INE is that they developed the Arch course around the v2.1 material. This could be beneficial just in case I don't complete this before the May 11, 2011 exam retirement. The CBT Nuggets CCDP track hasn't been updated in a while and while it is still applicable to the v2.0 material, it would be lacking for the v2.1
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    #4
    Okay, well actually CBT Nuggets finally released 642-873 track videos, just in time for it to retire.

    I was so used to seeing 642-871 that I almost missed it but it is there. The INE looks like it is based on 642-873 too which would be the 2.0 versus 2.1 642-874 track.

    Not too much out there yet officially for the 2.1 track although not all that much different, I guess.

    P.S. Congrats on passing Switch.
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    #5
    So it appears Chapter 1 of the Self Study is just a review of PPDIOO/SONA. I'll be reviewing chapter 2 shortly which is the Enterprise Campus Network Design model. If (or I should say when) I get some free time, I'll try to post a few example scenarios in this thread.

    ITDude: I did notice CBT Nuggets released an updated set. The INE is focused on the 873 but presented on the 2.1 framework which is the basis of the 874. There doesnt seem to be a HUGE difference in the versions, though I was surprised to see some Nexus and more virtualization on there. Oh, and plenty of marketing!
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    #6
    Yes, first chapter mostly review of SONA/PPDIOO marketing type stuff. The real meat starts with the ECNM.

    I was looking at the INE and was wondering abvout the Nexus topic. There is nothing about that in 2.0. In fact Nexus was not even around when it was written.

    I was thinking of getting it just to be on top of latest blueprint but not sure yet. The design stuff is not as much fun to read as the NP topics because of the more theoretical nature and of course the marketing hype from time to time.
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    #7
    Nexus is good stuff! I made sure to pick up the NX-OS book (link below) a while back so no worries on that front.

    Amazon.com: NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching: Next-Generation Data Center Architectures (Networking Technology) (9781587058929): Kevin Corbin, Ron Fuller, David Jansen: Books

    Reading and reviewing the theory isn't that bad, trying going through some of the Security studies (CISSP, ISSAP, ISSEP, CISA, C|EH, etc) and you get used to reading theory real fast! It also helps that I keep a steady supply of coffee to keep me awake for the less interesting sections.

    On a side note, I just realized that the author of the INE CCDP Arch course is no longer with INE. When he was developing the CCDA/CCDP video series he and I actually exchanged a number of emails since I was curious about the delivery/approach of the course. His name has been replaced with "INE Instructor" on their blog.
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  9. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #8
    I am also studying for this exam. I am just about done reading the cisco press book. However it is a lot of information and after 3 months of reading/studying most likely I will have to go back and review a lot of information.

    It seems like the new CBT is shipping which is geared towards the updates. I will try to get a hold of this material before taking the exam. I will be hunting for the 2.1 version. I also want to purchase the Boson exam for $99 which has 200 questions, this should help me very much. I dont think i will be ready until sometime in April.

    So far my study materials/Plans are:

    Cisco CCDP ARCH book
    CBT Nuggets 873 ver
    Boson practice exam
    INE study materials look promising as well.

    Perhaps i will just purchase the INE and "share/borrow" CBT nuggets resources with someone else hahaha However I probably wont need the CBT if i purchase the INE to begin with. Plus INE is cheaper in price...
    Last edited by chrisone; 03-07-2011 at 08:53 PM.
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    #9
    I tried watching the CBT Nuggets for CCDA and CCDP. Real snooze fest (whereas the Jeremy Ciora CCNP Route, Switch, CCVP and CCIE are a pleasure), but it's probably because of the subject matter.

    I also don't see a rough cuts for the new ARCH exam, wheras there is a rough cuts to the new CCDA on Safari.
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    #10
    Yes, I agree. I listened to several of the 873 Nuggets and aside from the fact that he does not have Jeremy's flair, the material is dryer than for other exams.

    ARCH does put a lot of stuff in perspective but you have to deal with it being more theoretical. Nevertheless, the 873 series really could have used a more high energy person doing it.


    Not to mention several minor mistakes he made like calling it the "CCNP Arch series" and saying that the CCIE never expires, which is not really true.
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    #11
    CBT Nuggets should have re-recorded the entire series for the v2.1 update but my understanding is they did the same with this as they did for the SWITCH exam... added updated videos or new content where necessary and recycled as much as possible (which is great for profit, bad for us). I agree with you guys, Jeremy C has a great and energetic delivery while Michael does a good job covering material but is not nearly as enthusiastic in his approach.

    Reading the Self Study book feels like a high level review of the Teare CCDA with a chapter thrown in on Storage and cross-coverage of a few select topics from BSCI/BCMSN (like NSF & SSO, Route convergence, and Multicast as examples).

    I'm debating on an early April attempt at this exam.
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    #12
    Jeremy is one of the best instructors I've ever seen. CBT should get him to do all of the videos. He just completed the CCNP Switch module. I guess he'll be moving onto CCNP Troubleshoot and then moving to CCNP Voice.
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    #13
    According to their website the TShoot video series from CBT Nuggets is scheduled to be released Q2 2011. Since I will be doing TShoot after the Arch exam (or maybe ROUTE as a refresher since my BSCI is almost 3 years ago), this may not be a bad one to pick up!

    Today's reading includes Layer 2/3 Distribution Interconnections, Gateway redundancy protocols, IP telephony review, and QoS (so basically, finishing chapter 2).

    One thing that's nice about the design track, it reviews some of the best practices that we often either neglect or take for granted. For example: Optimizing FHRP Convergence and L2 vs L3 redundancy considerations.
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  15. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #14
    CBT is pretty expensive for the ARCH it is $350

    INE's package is only $200

    You can also spend an extra 100 on the Boson test exam and still be under the 350 of what CBT costs.

    Whats your guys opinion on the two? (CBT / INE)
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    #15
    Well another option is that you can subscribe to the CBT Nuggets streaming subscription for $199 per month. You have access to all of their videos for that price.

    Alternatively you can do a 1 year subscription. I have not seen the INE material, so I can't really comment. The Nuggets so far are okay but it would be much better with a high energy person.

    Michael is mostly a just the facts kind of guy.....YMMV
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    #16
    Apples to Apples the CBT Nuggets streaming plan provides more material than the INE but some courses are better with one vendor than the other which is understandable. A few years ago it was CBT Nuggets (Jeremy C.) vs TrainSignal (Chris Bryant) for who provided the better Associate/Professional training.

    Last night's review was Route redistribution, Route filtering using Route Maps, Eigrp Design Considerations, and Summary Addressing for optimized route convergence. I started to fall asleep during part of the reading so after my son's haircut I'll be re-reviewing a little bit of this before moving on to Scaling OSPF. Chances are I'll end up reading the Self-Study at least twice before taking the exam.
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    #17
    Yes, slogging through the material myself but fighting off the mother of all flus here, so makes concentration very difficult.

    Even looking at the white background on my monitor right now hurts my eyes and head.

    Started listening to some videos but decided just to get through the reading first and see what I can recall.....
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    #18
    Hope you feel better! Studying while sick is never a good idea.

    I'm hoping I'll be able to get through some of the OSPF design material tonight but that is doubtful since I have to pack for a return trip to Raleigh. I wish INE had the videos to load on the iPod/iPhone. Reading on the plane can be painful sometimes!
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    #19
    Thanks for the wishes. My goal was to get through at least one chapter but my body is not cooperating.

    Studying while sick is not good. I keep re-reading the pages. I think I might just be better off geting in bed and just thinking about the material.

    Tomorrow is another day (assuming that I am not still down for the count)..
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  21. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #20
    ITdude sorry to hear your sick.

    I finished reading the book, i started reading the quick references PDF , and some lab questions pdf from cisco academy I believe. I also saw the layer 2 design video module that's free of the ccdp cisco learning network page. It was really good and informative, they have a e-commerce module video I will be checking out tomorrow. I still want to get my hands on either the ine or cbt nuggs videos for review.
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    #21
    chrisone, thanks. Still feeling pretty bad but will try to get through some of the reading later.

    You are definitely moving forward. I will probably use the quick reference sheet for review and perhaps the videos, if I feel that I need it.

    Does that e-commerce module cover load-balancing techniques too?

    Sounds like you are close to taking exam....
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  23. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #22
    I havent seen the e-commerce module yet, I would assume it should cover some part of load balancing. As for me after finishing the book, i do not feel ready. I feel i need to review all the chapters key points. Review all the study questions at the end of the chapters, study the quick references sheet, and review with some CBT/INE video materials which i cannot afford but am willing to trade for or "borrow" a friends copy.

    Sorry i just dont have $400+ to spend on this cert. At the end of the day all the materials including exam fees are well over $500. That is a mark I am not really trying to reach.
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    #23
    Chris I feel your pain on the cost. I picked up the INE CCDP video set which was $200... cost of the book $50... exam cost $150... Total cost: $400 for this one! Price aside I consider the long term benefit of the investment and it'll pay off 10fold for sure. I may get the exam cost reimbursed from work which is better than nothing.

    So far the INE videos that I've gone through are a high level review of the Teare Self-Study. I think I may have to go back and read the ROUTE FLG (Chapters 2 - 4) to brush up on some of the more advanced EIGRP, OSPF, and BGP topics since its been a few years since I took BSCI. Like you I dont feel that just reading the book is enough to pass the test; it'll take a little more effort and I'll have to "try harder" (for anyone who's taken the OSCP, you'll learn to hate this phrase).

    Its a shame the group of us studying for the ARCH attempt couldn't meet @ a starbucks to review as a group... but I do plan to use this thread to highlight items for review and everyone is welcome to do the same!
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  25. Senior Member chrisone's Avatar
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    #24
    Yes definitely we should at least keep in touch here for those that are studying for the ARCH exam. Post any questions and we should try to help one another. A least if we don't know the answer it will keep us researching while we help one another.

    The cisco learning center has 5 sets of review questions. Should be a good starting point for review as well.
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    #25
    I am working on this one... life has gotten in the way, and now the clock is ticking. My BSCI shelf life expires end of June. I purchased the INE material today which seems like a small price to pay to complete my DP and extend the NP for another 3 years.
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