Plans are forming: Security Books, Blog, Courses

I took some time out to decide my next move. It is clear that I rushed my attempt at the CCIE Security and because of that, did not pass.

I contemplated moving onto Service Provider. However, I have come this far, it would be a shame to waste the work I have done.

So I bought myself a Cisco 5506-X. It is a start, but this, alone, will not be enough. I need to structure the CCIE Security studies, in the same way that I tackled the Routing and Switching.

My 2017 plan for the CCIE Security

The CCNP Security is woefully under supported by Cisco. There is no middle ground between the CCNA Security and the huge reading list for the CCIE. There is a void. A void that needs filling.

I have the hardware, I have seen a gap that could be filled. With some decent planning, the two can be combined.

This will take time. I have broken down all the sections for the CCNA, CCNP and CCIE security exams joined them together, and have a framework. A framework that could easily fill four volumes. It will be my “orange” series to follow the “blue” series. These four volumes will cover CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE. There will be (hopefully) one topology between all the exams and it will be more like a CCIE lab exam in the approach, but with the explanations required for the associate, professional and expert.

I have not completed the topology yet. That still needs planning. Extensive planning to get it right. I don’t want to get half way through a volume and have to rewrite loads to fix any changes in the topology, so I need to get it right the first time.

Four volumes of Security books

I have started writing the first volume, and at the moment the plan looks like this:

Volume:

1: General security topics, Firewalls, and FirePower.
2: VPNs
3: Layer 2 and layer 3 security, services and routing
4: Identity management (ISE, ACS, ESA, WSA and so on).

There will be basic initial config, enough to get us up and running, but the network will build up as we progress through the volumes. The same approach I took for the other books, just wider spread. This is certainly the best approach for me. It worked Routing and Switching. It could work again.

I am not going to hold myself to any timelines, and will only publish the four Security books once I have passed the CCIE Security lab exam. The majority should be completed by the end of 2017.

Courses and Quizzes

Along with the books, I am working on a Moodle-based learning zone for the website. I have not used Moodle before, but it will allow me to create structured learning to accompany the new books, the old books, and anything else that could be fun. The quiz types can be varied with Moodle. There will be multiple choice, drag and drop, not sure about simulations, but I can certainly make it a bit like a proper exam environment.

The blog

I have just moved the blog from Blogger to WordPress. It’s a little slower than I would have liked, but I have also set it up with CloudFlare, which has sped things up a lot. I will also be moving it from a shared host to a proper private virtual server, which should speed things up even more.

To do this move there will be a period of downtime, between 12-24 hours. This will affect the website and the forum. Then I’ll have to set up the DNS on CloudFlare again). I just need to plan when to do this.

Feeling positive again

I feel good about it again. I have a plan. It is not a short plan, but I think I and others can benefit. I think the lack of Official Certification Guides from Cisco is shocking and hopefully, I can do something that will help others.

Time will tell.