So in this post before we get into the technical content, I figured I’d discuss what books, websites and software I’m going to use to start with. This list I’m sure will change as time goes on and I start to search for different topics, therefore I’ll always come back to and edit this post to update the resource list.
So to start with, for the majority of the theory and the most up to date exam topics, I will be using the Cisco press Official Cert Guide for the ENCOR 350-401 exam. I also have a slightly older Cisco press book called “bridging the gap between CCNP and CCIE for version 5.1. This book includes topics such as MPLS and L3 VPN that aren’t covered in the ENCOR book. These are the hard copy texts I’ll be utilising. I know its not the best for the environment, but me personally I prefer learning from a book rather than reading it from a PDF. It just seems to go in better, I’m not sure why.
For labbing protocols up, I will be using GNS3 on an old Dell server I have pre-configured that’s sat in our office. Its running Linux Mint and can run GNS3 appliances natively, without the requirement for a separate VM (like you’d need on Windows or Mac.) Its got 32Gb of RAM so its plenty for the majority of what I’ll be labbing (which will mostly be large router topologies) and when it comes to learning about DNA center etc, I’ll be using Cisco DevNet.
I also have other texts for certain parts of the syllabus such as python programming for the absolute beginner, Network programmability and automation, and Linux +.
I will then just be using the online Cisco documentation for each technology as I go through the syllabus, and will be building labs in order to learn the ins and outs of everything. So without further ado, let’s get stuck into the first topic on the syllabus!