With the new ccie version 5 blueprint there are a lot of version 4 students who are trying to work out what has changed, what is new and what has gone. For new students to Version 5 it is probably just as confusing.
One of the changes is the jump to 15 code and the use of virtual switches in the lab.
This certainly left me with a few questions, if there are no physical switches in the lab then what should you be focussing your studies on?
For version 4 I previously just read through the 3560 switch configuration guide.
This pretty much is the same for version 5. To master all the switching topics just read through the 15.0SE documentation from the 3750X and 3560X. The virtual switches used in the lab are an equivalent compile of this code.
You can find the 3750X / 3560X documentation here.
I am planning on reading through this again to pick up on any new features. Its only 1552 pages!
There is more info on the changes here CCIE R&S 4 to 5 updates
The part relevant to this post is:
Candidates who want to prepare using hardware based labs can use the following equipment and Cisco IOS Software Releases
- Cisco ISR 2900 Series routers running IOS version 15.3T (I am using the CSR 1000v routers)
- Catalyst 3560X Series switches running IOS version 15.0SE
Personally I am running 4 x 3560 switches running the latest 12 code, this will allow me to lab the majority of topics, for anything relevant to 15 code I will just rent some rack time