Making Good Progress Through Narbik’s Workbooks


I’ve been crunching on labs for the last 4 hours or so, and I’m out of gas now.  Been up since 4:30a, and I don’t have eternal stamina like some of you seem to.  I hear stories of CCIE candidates going through life with only 3 hours of sleep a night so that they can study.  I wish I could survive like that, but I’m not a nice human being if I become sleep-deprived.  (Arguably, I’m not a nice human being, period.  :-) )

I covered some good material this week in Narbik’s advanced lab workbooks:  OSPF filtering (a lab I’m going to do again just to drill it), basic and advanced frame-relay (I got better with PPP over frame), 3550 and 3560 QoS (lots of shaped and weighted round-robin queueing), FREEK, and IPv6 OSPF (including all the area types, costs, and summarization).

My goal for tomorrow is to make it through Narbik’s entire advanced BGP workbook, plus the IPv6 tunneling module.  That might be a little ambitious, but it seems do-able.  I know BGP reasonably well, so I should get through the majority of the 15 BGP labs without too much difficulty.  At least, that BETTER be the case this late in the game.  I set up for the IPv6 tunneling lab already.  I’d do it tonight, but I need to get every scrap of knowledge I can out of that one, and my brain is soggy.

I am only one lab off of the schedule I wrote to complete Narbik’s advanced lab books before I go back to Pasadena for a bootcamp retake.  If all goes well tomorrow, I’ll be right back on track.

About the author

Ethan Banks

Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.


  • “I don’t have eternal stamina like some of you seem to ..” I actually admire your stamina for doing things like getting up at 04:30 to do labs or go to work, and being able to concentrate on boot camp from 9 am to 9 pm ;-) … and then still have the energy to blog about it to the benefit of the rest of us.

    Personally I would hesitate to go on a boot camp that does a 12-hour day, because I am not sure I could get 100% out of it. OTOH, I think you have.

    Keep up the good work!

  • It is nice to know that you are able to completed the workbooks from Narbik’s as fast as you are doing it….I am doing them as well but at a very low pace as he recomended….This entire week was dedicated for switching only…next week I will start working on Volume II….one issue that I am having is just focusing only on the specific technology but not doing entire lab where you will have to deal with all technology at the same time…my problem is that my rack right now is configured only for Narbik and then I am not able to do the labs from Internetworkingexpert only because then I will have to recables the rack..but again right now I am following/stick to Narbik’s recomendation….BTw i like your new lab approach….


  • Tony, I ended up with a lot of snow to clear yesterday, plus I was a little behind on my schedule. So I didn’t get nearly as much done in BGP as I’d hoped. I still have about 12 BGP labs to go. Ugh. It’s SO HARD to stay focused on lab work with weather, family, work, and whatever else constantly demanding my attention. That’s a big part of the reason I went to the bootcamp in the first place – to allow me to put life on pause and focus on CCIE prep.

    I know Narbik recommends a slower pace, but I’m trying to get through all of the material before I go back in a couple of weeks for my first retake. Plus, I am soaking it all in pretty well. I don’t have difficulty understanding what I’m doing, as I’ve been exposed to most of what’s in Narbik’s workbooks at least once before through the NMC DOiT series.

    For me, the challenge is remembering the commands that accomplish a given task. I’m good with most core topics, but when it gets into some of the IP services or layer 2 QoS, I have to dig a bit to remember the right IOS commands to get the job done. I usually grasp what I’ve been asked to do, but I need those specific commands to flow through to my fingertips automatically.

  • Ethan,
    If you got the core under control then you are in good shape…the ip services is not that bad…things like:
    dhch, snmp, directory, wccp…hrsp…I think that you should be fine as soon as you play with it….QOS and Security are different animals…… Because qos is so complex….I am trying to understand as much as I can but I willing to sacrifice my qos and make sure the rest of my core and ip services I have it under control…next time on the lab what I


Most people know me because I write & podcast about IT on the Packet Pushers network. I also co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

Find out more on my about page.

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