This is the first volume of the new Official Cert Guide for CCIE Routing and Switching. The guide is intended to help you pass the CCIE R&S written exam as a prerequisite for the CCIE R&S lab exam. Note: To write this review, I had access only to the PDF file and was unable to use the Practice Test.

Just by looking at the author’s name, you’d know that this is a great book. Narbik Kocharians is one of the most renowned CCIE training material writers. He is also well known for delivering great CCIE R&S and Security bootcamps.

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Version 5 of CCIE R&S was released in June 2014 and at that time, there was little to no formal training that covered the new blueprint. The first volume of the guide was released a few months later and it covers only a part of the topics set.

The book is arranged in the well known manner that is characteristic to other certification guides, where most of them have a few chapters that cover the topics and one part that contains the answers for DIKTA quizzes.

The book follows the new blueprint and for each topic there is a reference towards the book volume and book chapter where you can find more information.

Each chapter starts with the “Do I Know This Already?” quiz, followed by the foundation topics section and ending with the foundation summary section.

Key Topic sections have been added throughout the foundation topics to mark important areas to be reviewed.

These are the three important parts that cover topics from the blueprint:

Part I – LAN Switching

As you might have already figured out, this part covers mostly the switching topics. Basic concepts related to Ethernet are covered in the first chapter. Mirroring and VSS (Virtual Switch System) are also covered in this section.

Next VLAN, VLAN trunking are covered in detail. Spanning Tree Protocol is covered to a great extent and all its flavours are discussed. Additional features related to STP and Etherchannel are also covered here.

Part II – IP Networking

This part has two chapters only, and the first one covers IP addressing. Hence, IP addressing and subnetting are discussed. Also, CIDR, private addresses and NAT are looked over, while IPv6 is an essential topic that cannot be omitted.

The second chapter covers IP services, which includes SNMP, all the FHRP protocols (VRRP, HSRP, GLBP), NTP, WCCP, IP Service Level Agreement, Netflow, and Embedded Event Manager.

Part III – IP IGP Routing

The final part is also the largest, as it covers many of the pillar topics on which the CCIE R&S written and lab exams are based on. General concepts about routing in general open the IGP topics. For each protocol, the basics, the operation and the configuration of the protocol are covered. RIPv2 and RIPng features are covered here.

Going further, OSPF (and I use this term to cover both OSPFv2 and OSPFv3) and EIGRP are explained in detail, with around 100 pages allocated to each. Although this is quite a lot, it’s a well-condensed summary of the protocols’ operation and configuration. If you really want to do a deep dive into these protocols, there are entire books specifically about OSPF or EIGRP only. But for the CCIE R&S written exam, this summary is sufficient.

ISIS is the last IGP discussed in this part. The last chapter is oriented on IGP route redistribution, route summarization, default routing and troubleshooting. Route maps, prefix lists are introduced in the discussion as they usually go hand in hand with the above topics. Also, Performance Routing is mentioned.

This is a great book, I must say. As one would expect, it closely follows the exam blueprint and the fact that it is written by someone who helps a lot of people pass the CCIE lab exam makes it very valuable.

I recommend reading the guide, at least the first volume as I didn’t see the second volume yet, and use it as preparation material for your CCIE Routing and Switching written exam.