MPLS 642-611 really a 643-611?


I did yesterday this MPLS exam. I failed. I got 785 and needed 790. To be honest I felt good about this exam. To compare: I did 3 weeks ago my QoS exam, felt really bad about it and got 904 points. I have no practical experience with MPLS but followed a few years back a 5 day MPLS course, a 2 day internal course from our company. They to prepare for this exam I studied really hard the Ciscopress MPLS and VPN Architectures, CCIP edition. I got this book fresh from Amazon, print date: 2002. BTW: The book is realy really boring to read. The only part I glossed over was the Internet and VPN coexistance. This part was a bit too much of a braincracker to comprehend to the details.

Anyway, what pissed me off was that they asked questions which were not in the Cisco advised preparations materials (the MPLS book) and not in the Cisco list of topics which were covered in the exam 642-611 MPLS on the Cisco website. After the exam I reread the outline of the exam 642-611 because I focused on the topics and it states:

"The MPLS exam is a qualifying exam for the CCIP certification (Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional). The 643-611 MPLS exam will test materials covered under the Implementing Cisco MPLS course. The exam will certify that the successful candidate has knowledge and skills necessary to gather information from the technology basics to some of the more updated features and functions such as Traffic Engineering, Fast Reroute and any Transport over MPLS (AToM). The exam covers topics on MPLS Concepts, MPLS Label Assignment and Distribution, Frame-Mode/Cell-Mode MPLS Implementation on Cisco IOS Platforms, MPLS Virtual Private Networks Technology, MPLS VPN Implementation, Complex MPLS VPNs, and Internet Access from a MPLS VPN."

It seems they are talking about exam 643-611 which is still a BETA exam...

In the 642-611 topics or book there is no mention that you must also be able to configure EIGRP (EIGRP was according the book not even possible), no mention AToM, no ATM platform based or interface based questions.

Double assigned VPI/VCI labels on an MPLS ATM switch, is that possible? (Not according the MPLS book)

L2 over ATM... Multicast VPN over MPLS? You think its in the book or the topics on the CIsco website? Don't make me laugh...

What about QoS with MPLS? MPLS traffic engineering?

There is no mention on the Cisco website that I needed to know these subjects. I hope I find a way to complain about the way this was handeled by Cisco. As I just read there is an upcoming BETA for MPLS I was maybe thinking I got an early BETA and am entitled to a retake. (Wouldn't hurt because I am paying for it myself...)

Maybe Cisco advises me to follow an expensive network academy to prepare me fully for the exam questions. Sort of telling me I shouldn't be a cheapscate an only learn the advised materials. Who knows?

I'm currently an CCNA/CCNP and MPLS was my last exam (Really do your BGP exam before MPLS) and this axam really sucked. Also there were spelling errors in the questions (Doesn't they use proof readers for those exams?) and one routersim was impossible to execute because it had an error. You had to configure EIGRP (AS10) PE-CE exchange and redistribute it in BGP (AS65001). The point was that the "routersim" script wouln't let you configure "router eigrp 10" (Which was needed) only it WOULD let you configure "router eigrp 1". Okay, I can live with that part, maybe I'm lucky. What was the problem was that you had to refer from BGP with the redistribute command to this EIGRP process. Which was by the damn "routersim" script not possible. That was quite annoying. They really should proof test those exams by different people before letting it out in the public. (Maybe it was a BETA after all?)

Does anyone had any simmilar experience where the topics of the exam were NOT conform the questions in the exam taken?



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Danny Muizebelt
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