I am Rasika Nayanajith from Sri Lanka. I started my Cisco career in 2003 with one of MPLS service provider (Suntel Ltd) in Sri Lanka.In 2007, I moved to Dubai to work for a solution integrator (Getronics) and did my CCIE (RS#22989) in late 2008. I moved to Australia in 2009 & ended up in a University environment. That environment gives me enough challenges to keep me motivated in my current role as Network Team Leader while giving me lots of opportunity to learn.
Currently I am studying for my CCIE wireless certification to be completed before end of year 2013. This blog is telling my story of how I am preparing for this exam & sharing it with the rest of the world. I hope I can bring a good news sometime in 2013. When is my Lucky Day in 2013 ?
If anyone of you on this same journey please drop me a line (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @mrncciew) to have a study group.
Update@21st Aug 2013:
My lucky day was 20th Aug & I have become a CCIE Wireless passing the exam on my 2nd attempt. I will keep the blog running to be touch with the rest of the world. Here is my success story.
Nice blog!! Also on same path CCIEWireless 2013, not many of us out there lately. >2011.
Thanks, Glad to know both of us are inline to hit the target in 2013…will see how we can help each other on this journey.
On Ciscoś aaa-override-acs52 doc, WLC uses management interface for WLAN. Does it matter if WLC is Anchor and WLAN has a define dynaminc interface? or does not because AAA override setting.
Very good blog, easy to understand step by step instructions with many declarations.
Keep on blogging!
Thanks and good luck!
Thanks for the feedback Stefan,
Glad to hear my blog is useful to you guys…It help me as well. Though I spend lots of time to do a blog it helps me to understand these topics.
Congrats for the great blog,very useful material! I’m thinking of starting my CCIE studies next month.My target is to finish the written exam til September and then start practice for the lab exam. A few questions:
1) How much time you think is sufficient for preparing only for lab exam?My concern is if i will manage to finish the track before v3 is released.With v3 things will be more difficult,new equipment,no training material for beginning etc.
2) Do you use Ip Expert’s and Fastlane’s workbooks and IPexpert’s videos?Are you satisfied with these material? If you had to choose only one workbook,which one would be?
3) Which version of VM-MSE do you use?
Good luck with your studies,wish you the best!!!
Thanks for wishes for my exam. Glad to hear about your CCIE wireless study plan. It’s great you set up timeline for these & try to make it happen as per your plan. Finish your written exam & book a lab date soon after. Then you will be on track.. otherwise things may drag…
Here are answers to your questions
1.) I think you have enough time to complete it in version 2.0. I would say studying 4-5 hours daily ( 10-12 hrs in weened) for 6-9 months that would be a good time for a lab exam preparation for an average student. All depends on how much hands on experience you have configuring those lab devices. I think v3.0 won’t come before Q2-14 (Cisco may announce it this year, but exam will be around Q2-14 time frame).
2.) All these material are good, But I did not have time to go through all of them start to end. Based on my experience with these material & If I had to pick one, I would say Fastlane Workbook.
3.) I do not have MSE in my lab setup. That’s a product I have least experience with. % wise WCS/MSE is not that big in blueprint, even if you cannot find it for your home lab, do not worry that much… But in final stage of your studies you can go with some online racks & get some experience configuring it (VM versions of MSE may have certain compatibility limitations with the current software code of WLC/WCS – not sure though)
Do let me know if you have any other queries, I will help you & give my advise on that.
Thanks for your answers Rasika.
I have so many queries about the track,studying strategy,training resources that we could talk for days… 🙂 CCIE-W is a big big mystery!!
Could you be more specific why you would choose Fastlane workbook?
So you suggest Fastlane WB for technology practice and IpExpert for mock labs?
I see your home lab topology is very similar to IpExpert, for FastLane workbook do you use the same topology and same amount of equipment?
My budget is very limited,my company will (probably?) sponsor only the lab seat and a few equipment so is very critical for me to make a right choice on which WB i’ll buy.
My experience in wireless technology is near to CCNP-W level except wired and wireless Qos and multicast that is my big weakness.
i’ll try to organize a study plan for Written exam and i’ll ping you for more tips…
Thanks for your time,i really appreciate it.
Fastlane work book wrote by Jerome Henry & I think he is the best instructors for wireless CCIE (based on his youtube vidio, blog, CiscoLive presentations). So his book is easy to follow and explanations are great.
Yes, I tried to build my home lab similar to IPExpert and practice their workbooks. Since it was not 1:1 match I had to change initial configs to suit my lab. These consumed a lots of time & sometime answers in the workbook pretty much CLI output & if your lab is not identical hard to follow the explanation without an extra effort.
Good thing about Fastlane workbook is there are no multiple initial config for each technology labs. You can do those task with few equipments, no need to have a full scale lab. (By the way I have uploaded Fastlane lab topology in to “My Home Lab Post”, you can have a look). I have not set up a lab for fastlane, but doing small labs to understand the concept at my own lab.
I think INE’s Video-on-Demand series is my favorite when I did my R&S. But they do not do wireless. I think even fastlane does not have any VoD. IPExpert VoD is good starting point(CCIE lab v2.0 VoD Recently done by Nicolas Darchis – A Cisco Employee) which may help you for both written & lab.
Get your wired/QoS/Multicast skills upto a level where you are comfortable with any configuration tasks listed in the configuration guide of 3560 switches specific to these topics. I had that advantage since I did my R&S & went through those material in the past.
I agree than Jerome is the best,wireless guru!
So the equipment you have is enough for Fastlane WB?
Do you need more than 3 WLC to do the scenarios?
Do you use the IpExpert Lab preperation VOD? If yes whats your opinion?
I just saw the rest of your post so you have answered all my questions.
Thanks again for your help..
Good luck with the lab Rasika!!!
Wish you a score of 80,0000001 or above!Hope you bring us good news!
Enjoy the lab and be strong!
Thank you very much Chris….
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for the great blog and sharing your best-practices knowledge.
Glad to hear my posts are useful …… thanks for the feedback
I need your help i have wireless LAN controller 5508 with code 188.8.131.52 my wireless network is fluctuated and with high ping latuncey
Upgrade to 184.108.40.206 and see if behavior is same
I am starting my CCIE Wireless studies.
I have exposure on wireless have done some implementation. But just getting discouraged as people say there is no scope for wireless as of now?
what your say? I love the technology of wireless.
How was the lab? I am sorry you couldnt clear it in first attempt. Same happened for me when i went for my CCIE secuirty cleared the second time.
Want your guidance and help in preparing for CCIE-W
Best of luck,
What do you mean by “no scope for wireless” ?
I think wireless will be the most challenging technology in years to come. No body can stop moving all consumer devices into this space. I think CCIE wireless track is the most difficult one (considering number of wireless CCIEs in last 5 years) gives you a good value if you could get it.
As long as you love the wireless technology, that should motivate you enough to complete this journey. Start now as there may be possibility of version change within next 12 months. Once version change it is difficult to find training materials until some time
Thanks for the motivation… what you suggest using for the study material??
fastlane or ipexpert?? or should prepare using cisco documents itself???
what is the best methodology to follow?
I used both IPX & Fastlane materials. I would suggest Fastlane material for learning technologies & Volume 2 (Mock labs) of IPX towards end of your preparation to improve your speed in full scale labs.
Cisco documents is MUST & you should read config guides, tech notes irrespective of any other material you used.
If you haven’t done the written exam, then clear it off & schedule a lab date with reasonable time ahead for your 1st attempt. Then fully committed to it & start your lab study. Have a small home lab to practice technology specific topics (at least few controllers/SW/APs is required for this).
Maninder Singh said:
Wireless has gr8 scope agreed.
I am not able to find the fastlane workbook. i have called their India branch but they are not aware of such book and their us branch is not replying also. they have very bad service regarding this seriously.. so i am not able to get any workbook for the same.
Thank you and Thank you for the great blog and sharing your best-practices knowledge. I love this blog!
Good Luck for your Exam.
Thanks for the comment & it’s pleasure to share my knowledge through this blog
Peter Saltarelli said:
I just wanted to say thanks, your website did help me with my lab and good luck in your 2nd attempt.
CCIE Wireless # 39605
Hey… Congrats on your success… I think you should be very proud of this as very limited people achieve this certification..
When did you do the exam & where ? what was your experience & any advise for us
Thanks for the feedback.
Peter Saltarelli said:
I did my exam last week (6th attempt) in San Jose. FYI – the GUI for the controllers and WCS is pretty fast up there.
The 15 minute rule, basically if you can’t solve a section in 15 minutes – move on, helped me the most. Previously I would get stuck and work on a section and loose track of valuable time. So, I always had an eye on the clock. Plus, when you go back to a section you are having trouble after an hour or so, you have a better chance of solving it. (at least for me)
Your site helped because after looking through so many config guides, its nice to have a different perspective on subjects. It keeps things ‘fresh’ instead of reading the same docs over and over again.
Probably the best advice – spend some time and go over every config setting on the GUI of the wlc. If you know what every setting does ‘without looking at the config guide’ your ready. Once I did this, I stopped getting stuck with confusing bullet-points in the exam. They seemed less ‘tricky’.
hope this helps.
Thanks for your advice.
Great to see that you have put great effort which finally paid off for you. I think you well deserve it.
Enjoy this for sometime….
This is an awesome blog!!! Very inspiring.
Thank you for the feedback….it motivates me to keep blogging…
Good luck Rasika!
I hope to see in your next post a big PASS!!!
That’s my hope as well..
Ghassan Awadallah said:
This wouldn’t be enough to say how great your work with this blog is.
As I’m thinking on preparing CCIEW myself, this site is really inspirational and motivating. Many thanks for this great work!!!
I should pass my last exam for CCNP Wireless in a few weeks (IUWSS remaining!), and I’m looking to prepare CCIEW for 2014 or early 2015, depending on how my two little girls will let me work 🙂
I think you could help me about two questions:
– CCIE v2.0 or maybe v3.0…?
A colleague of mine takes his first attempt for the CCIE R&S (v4.0) in December. He’s preparing for almost a year, and it’s a great deal!!! But we recently heard about the v5.0 released in March. This is really bad news, because if he doesn’t succeed this first time, he will go for the v5.0, and a lot of work will be lost…
Regarding the CCIEW, I fear being in the same problematic… If I buy all the study material now and v3.0 is released in 2014, some topics will change and I’ll maybe lose some time and some money…
I didn’t see any news about a revision. Do you have some information or advices about the path to choose?
– Study Materials: IPX/FL
You have clearly expressed your opinions about the IPX and FL materials to work, thank you for that! It really helped me make a choice. I’ll see if I can afford the following:
– FastLane Workbook : http://www.flane.de/product/fl-cciew-wb
– IPX Self-Study Bundle: http://www.ipexpert.com/Cisco/CCIE/Wireless/Self-Study-Bundle
Do you agree with this choice? And do you think a bootcamp is useful to prepare the lab? This IPX offer seems interesting, but not sure my company will agree:
– Study Materials: Written / Lab
I can see IPX offers some resources for Written : http://www.ipexpert.com/Cisco/CCIE/Wireless/Written-Training
Do you think there can be a need for these resources if I acquire the lab materials?
Thanks for your precious advices, and congrats for your recent certification 🙂
Thanks for appreciation.
Here is my advice on your queries
1. v2.0 or v3.0
If you are targeting do the exam in early 2015, I would think it would be v3.0.If you are spending money on your own home lab, then I would be cautious, since v3.0 software codes may not run on 4400,2100,ect (v2.0 software can be run on these)
There are certain sections (L2/L3, Infrastructure services, Autonomous) pretty much independent of the WLC/ACS/MSE/WCS-ie unified wireless topics. So I don’t think those area will be hugely impacted in v3.0 So if you study those area today, it won’t be a complete waste. Even if you Unified Wireless, technology won’t be change, only the platform you implement it may vary. So it is not a complete waste.
If I was you, then I would focus on those area & study that within H1-2014 & see where the cisco direction on version change.Still no update till mid year, then you can safely go for v2.0 towards end of year.
2. IPX or Fastlane,
When I was doing this comparison, Jerome Henry was in Fastlane & they had very good recognition with CCIEW studies. Since he moved to Cisco, I do not think they are having that anymore.
Now I would say you better off going with IPX as they are the only provider actively doing CCIE wireless training in the world. I know Jeff Rensink is one of very good instructor over there.
If you purchase there material for v2.0, you will be automatically get v3.0 update when they do it. So better stick with them for the time being
Bootcamp is always good, BUT it is not mandatory. If you get a chance then go for it. Otherwise don’t think without that you can pass it.
Please write a post explaining step by step modulation, encoding etc in 802.11n and some good simplified explanation about OFDM in 802.11n.
also MU-MIMO too 🙂
Noted your request & I will try to do this as time permits. Give some time 🙂
Vinod Rathore said:
I know this is not right place to post my query but ultimately i have to write because since few week i am facing problem after implementing 2504 WLC and 1042 and 1642 series AP in network.
Here we are used to do Video conferencing call and as wireless implementation is done now mobile users are shifted to wireless and they also love to connect calls over wireless.
Problem is when one or two user dial a call (connected to single AP) it works fine and audio/video quality of call is acceptable but as soon as number of users increase to 4-5 or more or any other user start file copying on wireless (connected same AP) call completely dies or user get pixelate video and very poor voice over call.
To resolve this issue i implemented AVC and set QoS profile under SSID to platinum (voice) to give preference to VC call traffic over file copy traffic.
Still same problem…
Then i applied action to DROP under AVC profile for Microsoft-DS protocol (as it is being used by MS windows while file copying) but outcome was ZERO because finally file copy over wireless was not getting dropped……….. You also suggested to checked with cisco if its not working..
Then i logged a case with cisco Engg. and explained the problem …
He replied like Wireless works on half-duplex and has very different characteristic then wired network hence if number of user increases over wireless to 4-5 (and there is no other user on that AP) its obvious to see such poor quality on call …
I agree that if medium is being shared by more users quality would be poor and poor …. and if we think about real time traffic .. YES we would see quick impact on call quality ….
BUT my query is – Is cisco designed such wireless APs just to handle two or three user’s audio/video traffic ? even-though client is N capable .. i think not..
In my scenario there is no user connected on the AP and two are there which i mentioned above as VC call users….
Please suggest a proper direction following that i can achieve and conduct at-least 5-7 users conference call at the same time on same AP.
Thanks in advance …. Please share any appropriate URL or Email for any discussion if you are OK.
Just a thought,
I know that when a wireless device start the communication, it start a count down by picking a random number from 0-31 and when it reaches to zero if no one is using, it starts sending its frames.
What happens if 2 devices ends up with reaching the count down to zero at exactly same time? How to define what will send 1st?
both will send & traffic get collide 😦 & then both backoff for a random time expecting no collision occur next time.
Watch this Ciscolive session from Jerome Henry, It is a great resource
Ohhhh.. thanks Rasika.. 🙂
I passed CCNA last yr, Today i passed CCNA Wireless, moving forward to CCNP Wireless 😀
Well done Roshan… Yes keep going until you get CCIE wireless
hi Brother..I want one sugesstion can I install Evaluating ACS 5.1 as Vmware and practise there
Yes, you can, get ACS 5.2 as that is the version in v2.0 lab exam
Nice blog! I’m still studying for CCIE wireless. It’s a long way to go.
As long as you have a determination you will end up there in CCIE Wireless.
Keep focused & go for a timeline….
This is an excellent blog! I am going for my first attempt in august. It has been a tough decision knowing that V3 is on the horizon, I am hoping I have around 10-12 months left on V2.
Thanks for the feedback & I think you have enough time to clear this on v2.0.
Even though we predicted v3.0 come soon, there is no sign of that become reality.
Good luck with your studies
Jaromir Likavec said:
you have written best material for CCIE Wireless preparation. There is nothing better to find on the net. Have you in mind to put together all the stuff as cisco press book:-)
Best Regards from Germany
Thank you very much for encouraging feedback.
It’s a good idea & will see.
Enjoy your CCIEW studies & get best out of my blog for your preparation.
i must say i am really impressed by this awesome work you are doing and may God bless you accordingly.
well for me i am just a new guy trying to find my way into the IT world but finding it hard to know where to start from. Probably you can share your experience/story with me on how you started step by step. And any advice from you on being a successful system administrator ( having a successful career in IT) will be highly appreciated.
Good to see my blog inspire you…
Start from basics & try to get hands on experience with technology of interest for you (do something that you enjoy doing) . You have to dedicate some time (daily) for studies. I pretty much used self study & internet is great pool of resource.
When get certifications do not trap into shortcuts…study fundamentals & keep focus. I have done lots of cisco associate, professional level certs, but realized I did not have strong fundamentals until I started studying for CCIE. So even for associate, professional level exams try to build up strong fundamental skills.
With family life all these become challenging.. so better planning is a good skill to have 🙂
Good luck & drop a line if you need any help/advice
You are doing excellent job , encouraging and helping people worldwide their dreams come true. My dream comes true CCIE W 45051 🙂 . Many thanks. Keep doing excellent job
Jaromir Likavec, CCIE-W 45051
I am really happy about your achievement, well done.
Thanks for keep us informed & glad my blog helped you on this journey.
Keep in touch
thank you for your brotherly advice, it means so much to me.
I am currently working on my ccie lab in Sept in NC. I would like to connect with you for guidance of journey to completion. I am a CCIE in SP and try to explore farther.
I believe you have all the background for this.
If you need any specific advice/ assistance, You can contact me email, skype, twitter detail given.
Do we have redundancy structure in local wireless network
Typically you would deploy WLCs in HA pair in order to provide redundancy.
Thanks Mr. Rasika
Do we have documents for redundant link configuration
Hello Dear Rasika
kindly have help me how i can get list of mac address and username from cisco wireless controller 5508 i have enable the mac address in specific SSID
I’m a fan of your blog site! It’s a great resource for a quick look up on wireless.
I’m also taking my wireless and journey and would like to ask if it’s a pre-requisite to get CWTS before going for CWNA?
No, it is not a pre-requisite. You can go for CWNA directly.
I am new to wireless- but not so much! i want to achive CCIE wireless. Please guide me to write path.:) books/materials/ as much info as possible is appreciated-
Did you check this page (you need to have a account created to view it)
Just a simple thank you for your blog. I often refer to it even today!
Leandro Carvalho said:
I’m curious. What’s meaning the letter “m” in your domain “mrncciew”?
My full name is “Manannalage Rasika Nayanajith”. So “mrn” is first letter of each name.
Hope that helps.
Very good information ur blog has provide.
Really thanks to u
Thanks for the feedback Srinivas
I need your expertise on below points, Please help.
1. What is purpose of creating Bridge Group, Do we have to create Bridg group when Autonomous AP is acting as a Root?
2. Any specific reason why we have to create bridge group one only for NATIVE VLAN? and for rest any bridge group ID works?
3. And In my configuration is it mandatory to create bridge group under subinterface for VLAN 687, I have not configured IP of VLAN 687 on my AP. or is it ok just to create subinterfaces of VLAN 687 and define encapsulation dat1Q?
4. Why we have to create subinterface, Does it have same purpose like Router on stick, Where we create multiple subinterfaces as per multiple VLANs on Router?
1. Refer below article, it should help you to understand “bridge-group” concept
2. AP will have mgmt IP on native vlan. Since bridge group X map to BVI X, you have to use brige-group 1 under BVI1 interface.
3. IP address can be configured under only one BVI interface (normally used with BVI1 that is using for AP mgmt). So no need to define other BVI interfaces (eg 687)
4. Yes, sub-interfaces to map different vlan to different SSIDs
Mahamat Ahmat Mahamat said:
Thanks for the good efforts you are doing for us, I’m really so grateful for all your knowledge sharing. but it will be more beneficial if you create your own training of Wireless in UDEMY, I will be the first one to buy it.
Thank you so much for kind words. If I ever do something like that I will let you know.
Nothing on my radar yet.
What was the salary range of CCIE when you were working in Dubai?
I am talking about prior to 2009. I started working there before had my CCIE. It was around 17K AED per month.