CCDE Written Exam Prep

Just wanted to take a little bit of time to go over what I used to prepare for the CCDE Written Exam. Let me start by saying that I have only passed v1 of the written exam, which has been retired. I have not taken the v2 written exam yet, so take this post with a grain of salt if you’re actually preparing for the written. That will be my free exam at Live next year… on a Monday of course.

I was a brand new CCIE R&S when I first took the CCDE written, so I had a good understanding of routing, QoS, management, and security technologies and concepts. I didn’t have to put Routing TCP/IP Vol. 1 and 2 on my reading list, but YMMV. Always refer to the official book list. MPLS, IS-IS, and L2VPN were weak areas for me…

Optimal Routing Design
MPLS Fundamentals
QoS Exam Study Guide
CCDE Quick Reference
Comparing, Designing, and Deploying VPNs

I must have read Optimal Routing Design 5 times since I started pursuing the cert. The Quick Reference came out later, and I used that as a quick tune-up before re-qualifying. I read MPLS Fundamentals when I was studying for CCIP, and I really feel that gave me a good enough understanding of MPLS to pass the CCDE written. I re-read it as well when I was preparing to re-qualify.

That’s just what I used, but you could certainly get away with other resources. Definitely read Optimal Routing Design, but the other books could be replaced with similar titles. For instance, you certainly could get away with MPLS VPN Architectures instead of MPLS Fundamentals. You could also get away with reading the QoS SRND instead of a QoS book. Cisco Live 365 is also a great resource…

Next time I’ll get into the fun stuff… prepping for the Practical Exam. You can’t just read a bunch of books to pass! (and no, I did not read a bunch of RFCs)


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