While we at Intense Resources feel pretty great about our Cisco content – we’ve created hundreds of labs in GNS3 and Packet Tracer, untangled countless networking issues, and even released a CCNA eBook – we aren’t above giving credit where credit is due. For the next three days, we’re counting down our 40 favorite Cisco resources, whether they’re blogs, tool sites, or forums, and we’re letting you know some great starting points for each. In this installment: CCIE quests, blogging bulldogs, and a mighty push up Loopback Mountain.

Come along, if you dare!

40. Brian Raaen (The Cisco Kid)
http://www.brianraaen.com/

The Cisco Kid rides again after a long absence! Article lengths and depths vary wildly, but he’s not afraid to throw some substantial hunks of code your way, like this article on copying Cisco configs using SNMP. Give it a look – nearly every post is built to solve a problem you might not even know could be easily solved!

39. My CCIE Training Guide

http://cciep3.blogspot.com/

The CCIE’s changed a bit since this blog last published, but a good study guide is a good study guide. Loads of network scenarios and problem-solving posts, like this long piece on BGP free core, and this step-by-step guide to basic MPLS setup.

38. BitBucketBlog

http://bitbucketblog.com/

A short, no-nonsense blog that gets right to the task at hand, providing you with useful workarounds and helpful tutorials.

37. Amp’s CCIE Quest

http://www.cciequest.com/

Stats show that only 3% of people who take the CCIE pass it on their first try. That means you can’t have enough study guides or study strategies. Amp doesn’t just tell you the information, he gives you useful tips on how to study, not just what to study.

36. CCIE Journey

http://www.sunpenguin.net

Another excellent step-by-step site aimed at helping you to avoid the common pitfalls to passing that most difficult Cisco certifications, the CCIE.

35. IP Networking, Security, and a bit of fun

https://iptechtalk.wordpress.com/

I wish this site had gone this distance – only a few posts under their belts, but each one is a thorough, in-depth, security-focused tutorial that deserves your attention.

34. In Search of Tech
http://www.insearchoftech.com

Matthew Norwood is all over Twitter and elsewhere, but don’t miss his blog, which is just full of long, journalistic articles that’ll suck you in. There are some tutorials, but also a lot of excellent examples of thought leadership. These are long pieces, too, so stake out some time at lunch or something.

33. Jaluri – A Cisco Blog Aggregator

http://www.jaluri.com/

As the British say, “it does exactly what it says on the tin.” Jaluri is my go-to site to check out all of the other Cisco sites and what they’re up to. Available in feed form, or via a lengthy blogroll. Even better, their feed includes your daily dose of xkcd.com. Bonus.

32. Cisco Learning Blog

http://blog.sazza.de/

Hasn’t been updated in a long while, but Frank Wagner’s site still has some good, evergreen articles about study strategies for the CCIE and pitfalls to avoid during the exam.

31. The Bryant Advantage Bulldog Blog

http://thebryantadvantage.blogspot.com

You probably already know Chris Bryant for his Cisco cert study guides, but his blog shouldn’t be missed, either. It’s full of free study tutorials on big subjects, like this CCNP-level OSPF tutorial video. Bryant’s enthusiasm for focused study and passing on knowledge to his devotees is beyond admirable.

30. Hacking Cisco
http://hackingcisco.blogspot.com/

Jaro Rek is an occasional Intense Resources contributor, so we’re naturally a bit biased, but this collection of CCNA and CCNP tutorials, many with GNS3 topologies for home study, will keep you busy for hours.

29. Loopback Mountain

https://jayswan.github.io/

http://unroutable.blogspot.com

Jay Swan has been at the blogging game a long time. His previous blog has some deep archives. He’s switched over to WordPress, and although he promises “intermittent geekery,” it’s worth keeping an eye on for updates.

28. Inevitable

http://www.himawan.nu/

Himawan Nugroho has certs like Stephen King’s got metaphors for evil. Triple CCIE, CCDE, Scrum Master, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He’s very SDN-focused, but there’s a lot of Cisco around to be had. And don’t miss his lengthy article on skill development planning, either!

27. ShortestPathFirst

http://www.shortestpathfirst.net

“Network Architecture and Design, and Network Security Best Practices,” promises the subtitle. Covers plenty of Cisco (with a security focus) and also has a nice archive of whitepapers and presentations, for when you’ve got some time to get some serious reading done.

26. Blind Hog
http://www.blindhog.net/

An excellent tips-and-tricks-style blog, with tips and video tutorials for Cisco, Ubuntu, and VoIP.

I hope you found some new favorite Cisco sites and resources here. If you liked these, check back tomorrow, when we’ll count down 15 more. On Monday, the top 10 shall descend from the sky like the space baby at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

See you then!