Monthly Archives: August 2016

Next Up: Juniper JNCIP-ENT

Now that I completed the JNCIS level exams, I will be moving onto the JNCIP level, and my initial focus will be on the JNCIP-ENT exam. Unlike the JNCIA and JNCIS level, Juniper does not provide a “Fast Track” program for the JNCIP level.

I will be using Juniper training documents (which I am borrowing from a co-worker), Juniper books (JUNOS Enterprise Routing and JUNOS Enterprise Switching and virtual box with JUNOS running. The books will provide the reference and study material while the virtual box with JUNOS tied into GNS3 will provide the environment to test my configuration skills.

The books and virtual environments should provide the ability to configure most of the items required to pass the JNCIP-ENT, but I will also leverage my day to day work items to also assist in “training” for the exam.

I will provide updates as I go along and hopefully post about the passing of the exam in the near future.

Juniper – JNCIS-SP

To complete my goal for the JNCIS certifications, I had to pass the JNCIS-SP (Service Provider) exam, so once again, I started with the Juniper Fast Track site for study material and practice test.

The first thing that became very evident is that the Service Provider exam include a lot of information, and the study materials included approximately 850 pages of information which is about four times more than the other JNCIS study material. The information included in the study material covers a very broad range of info to include routing protocols, switching, provide bridging, MPLS, VPNs and etc. Due to the vast amount of reading, it took me an additional week to get through the material, and I took a lot of review notes.

The other item that became evident is that my 210 SRXs do not support a lot of the Service Provider technologies, so I was very limited on what I could practice. The SP exam was focused on the MX series, and those are expensive to buy on the gray market; however, if you do feel the need to practice, Juniper does offer Junosphere which is a virtual environment that can be used to study. I believe Juniper charges $50 per 24 hour period for Junosphere.

Anyway, I completed my studying and took the practice exam. I intentionally “failed” the practice exam the first time which gave me the ability to take notes on topics that I can focus additional study time on. This was useful, and I did gain good insight into additional studying. The second time taking the practice test, I did pass and received the 50% off exam voucher. I do like these vouchers!

The voucher triggered the scheduling of the exam, and I can honestly say that I was a little nervous on this test due to the mass quantity of information and limited hands on practice. Once I got to the exam location and got the test started, my “fears” were not unfounded. Juniper asked questions across the entire span on study material and some of the questions were very detailed. After I completed the test, I had no confidence in passing the exam, but after a 30 second wait on the computer, a passing score was displayed, so a big sigh of relief was heard.

This was the last JNCIS level exam I plan on taking and completed my goals for the JNCIS level. I will move onto the JNCIP level next, but I need to decide on either the ENT or SEC track. The SP track has too much info I don’t have practice access to, so that will be backburnered for now.

Juniper – JNCIS-SEC

With the JNCIS-ENT exam in my rear view mirror, I focused on the JNCIS-SEC exam which is part of the security track. Once again, I started with the Juniper Fast Track program on their website and downloaded their pdfs. The pdfs are used to study and assist in identifying key items to study using other means such as Juniper’s website and Youtube.

I felt that the Security test would be the “easiest” one for me because my previous job involved a lot of Juniper SRX firewall configurations within a large lab environment. This experience provided the foundation of the SRX to include zones, interfaces, redundancy and policies; however, the study material quickly went into areas that I had no real experience such as IDP and Screens.

Along with the Fast Track pdfs, I used a pair of SRX210s to practice the configurations of the various technologies, and if there were items that I could not practice hands on with, I used YouTube and Google to find videos which provided a view of such items.

I spent about three weeks reviewing the pdfs, videos and hands on practice prior to taking the JNCIS-SEC exam. I felt the exam was very fair, and it covered the study material very well. This is my third Juniper test, and some of Juniper’s test questioning strategy is becoming apparent. While a few questions are very straight forward, they seem to always include several questions, which are clear, that require the test taker to pull in a couple\few technical principles to develop the final answer. These do take a little extra time to figure out, but it is a legitimate way for Juniper to check to see if the test taker understands the technology.

All in all, the test was what I expected, and it was the highest score that I achieved on a Juniper exam, up to this point. If you study the Fast Track material, do some hands on and review videos for items which you cannot complete hands on, you should be able to pass without issue.

Juniper – JNCIS-ENT

Now that my JNCIA was completed, I moved onto the JNCIS-ENT certification. This cert is a part of Juniper’s route\switch path, and since I’m most familiar with this type of information, I thought it would be the logical starting point for my “Specialist” certs.

I had a good experience with the Fast Track information, so that is where I started for the JNCIS-Ent studying. Juniper provided downloadable pdfs to study along with a practice test, and as before, the passing of the practice test generated a 50% discount voucher for the exam.

The pdfs provided a lot of pertinent information that was valuable in passing the exam, but I also used YouTube to watch videos on the various technologies discussed in the pdfs. I found that there were many useful free videos on YouTube, and now, I use that site for a lot of “how to” videos. I also used my two SRX210s to work through many of the configurations covered in the Fast Track pdfs.

The SRXs were very useful; however, there were a few limitations on the switching side of the study material that they could not support, so for those areas, I spent a little extra time reviewing the study material to learn the configurations and show commands.

Once I got my studying completed and practice test passed, I scheduled the exam. The exam location I use is pretty decent, but I have been in some test locations that were not conducive to test taking. There are a lot of locations around, so if you do not like a location, you should try a different place.

The exam was pretty much what I expected; however, I did get several questions that I did not spend much time studying. In my opinion, the items which Juniper focuses on is a good bit different than Cisco, so don’t focus on the Cisco items, you should review and know all sections from the Fast Track pdfs.

I did pass the exam, and I learned a lot on what to focus on for my next exam – JNCIS-SEC.

Juniper – JNCIA

Well, I changed jobs, and now, I’m working in a Juniper shop, so I put my Cisco studying on the backburner and started to focus on Juniper. Currently, I’m waiting for paperwork to get through “the system”, so I have time to study for the Juniper exams.

Juniper requires the JNCIA cert to be completed prior to moving onto the JNCIS certs, so I started with the JNCIA. A big difference between Cisco and Juniper is that Juniper does not have third party practice tests and brain-dump websites, so I used Juniper provided resources to study for the JNCIA exam.

Their website has a Fast Track program for the various certs, and the JNCIA Fast Track was very useful. The pdfs that are downloadable provide all of the information required to pass the exam. The pdfs cover the theory and configurations for the exam, and to assist in learning, I used (2) SRX210 devices for configuration practice.
Once I read the documents and practiced on the SRXes, I completed the Fast Track practice test, and once passed, Juniper provides a voucher for 50% off the exam costs. This was an unexpected bonus, and it was welcomed.
The exam is very typical, and I felt Juniper’s questions were very fair. There may have been a couple “trick” questions, but nowhere near the amount that one experiences on the Cisco tests. There were several questions that I had to link a couple items together to get the answer, so I felt this was Juniper’s way of ensuring that the test taker understands the technology and did not just memorize the study material.

I passed the JNCIA on my first attempt, and moved onto the JNCIS tracks. I will provide an update on those in the coming weeks. All in all, if you have the CCNA, the JNCIA should be relatively easy to pass, but you will need to learn the Juniper syntax. The good thing is that the protocols are the same, so you do not have to learn all new protocols.