In this blog post I gathered everything I did to pass the Cisco CIPTV1 exam.
Build a Home Lab
It is hard to pass the CIPTV1 exam without a home lab. You need to break things and observe how components behave. And you can not risk your job by doing this on your company’s network, LOL.
Throughout my blog you will see many home lab setups. It took me weeks and months to perfect my home lab settings, since I did not have any user guide. Besides, I found almost no blogs describing how to build a virtual home CCNP Collaboration lab on a tight budget.
Participate in Forums
Subscribing to forums and asking questions is a good complement to your studies. A be sure not to stay passive and scroll through the pages: make an effort to be the first to reply to questions from other members too!
Download The CIPTV1 Exam Syllabus
The exam blueprint should guide your study plan content. All exam questions will be derived from this document.
Buy The Official Cisco Study Guides
I am always a supporter of Cisco study guides because they are the closest to the Cisco exam contents. However, be prepared: this is the only Cisco Press book for the CIPTV1 exam you will find!
In my situation (around first semester 2016), CIPTV1 Foundation Learning Guide was not even published!
That’s why I supplemented my basic reading list with Cisco Press books from the previous CCNP Voice track, namely CCNP CIPT1 and CCNP CVOICE:
Enroll in A CIPTV1 Training
Negotiate with your employer to pay the cost of a CIPTV1 training for you. Since I am responsible in my company to write the scope of work of our network integration partners, I made sure to include training whenever the project involves Cisco Collaboration products.
I enrolled in Cisco CIPTV1 training in France in April 11, 2016. From the first sight I saw a couple of 9951 and 7961 phones and servers like CUCM, TelePresence Server and TelePresence Conductor. All other servers were hosted elsewhere and we had remote access to them.
The lab gear I had access to is:
- one Cisco 7961 phone (Type A SCCP phone)
- two Cisco 9951 (modern SIP phones)
- two routers:
- Cisco 2911 HQ router, equipped with one E1 card, for PSTN connectivity
- Cisco 2911 router equipped with one E1 card, to emulate the PSTN.
The lab sessions were chunked in a way that allows to understand one key concept at a time. But:
- The lab sessions focused less on Toll Bypass techniques.
- There are a couple of errors towards the last lab sessions.
We had only two participants, including myself, which is awesome. I had the opportunity to ask as many questions I wanted. And we were able to finish the curriculum and focus on the labs.
Here are some of the topics I’ve practiced in the labs:
- Checking correct settings on phones
- Eliminating DNS Reliance in CUCM
- Configuring Feature Services and Network Services on a CUCM cluster
- Configuring LDAP synchronization
- Configuring LDAP authentication
- Configuring phones on CUCM
- Associating directory numbers to phones
- Configuring shared lines
- Configuring line appearance
I had both the CIPT1 Student Guide (which I received during the official Cisco training in France) and the Foundations Guide. I found that the Foundations Guides gave more details and explanations than the Student Guide.
Throughout the pages, and after reading some official Cisco technical documentation, I’ve found that the Student Guide contained some mistakes.For example, let’s take Call Survivability.
In the Student Guide, it says that call survivability is maintaining the RTP stream between two IP endpoints when the CUCM fails. However, the foundation Guide and I agree that call survivability involves TDM-to-IP-calls too.
Another exemple: does MGCP support call survivability? the Student Guide says no. Maybe it was supported in a later release, you’ll probably say. Read the following line:
“Media Gateway Control Protocol has supported call survivability (call preservation) since it was introduced on the gateway routers, but H.323 gateways did not support this feature until Cisco IOS 12.4(9T)” , Dennis Hartmann, from Network World magazine..
Here’s what the Foundations Guide says:
So I focused my efforts on the Foundations Guide and dumped the CIPT1 Student Guide I got from the training course.
Write Blog Posts
Throughout my studies for the CIPTV1 exam I documented my notes in posts, which helped me evaluate my assimilation level.
Find my CIPTV1 exam study notes under the category CCNP Collaboration.
Complement With Cisco Online Documentation
When I decided to go the CIPTV1 exam route, I saw some gaps between what the blueprint contained, and what the study guides describe. To fill in the gap, I read the following documents, either completely or selectively. I decided in advance that I am accepting reading from the screen. Why? because as a network engineer that climbed the ladder from the bottom, I did not have the luxury to print all the online documents.
Why did I not continue with CIPTV2?
If you study and pass the CIPTV1 exam, then the logical next step is to study for the CIPTV2. Here, I briefly expose the CIPTV2 exam: Implementing Cisco IP Telephony and Video part 2. The Foundation Learning Guide is officially published but not yet released by Ciscopress on March 24th 2016. As of March 19th, the book is also still not provided by Amazon.
Why did Cisco release a CIPTV2 book before CIPTV1? I think Cisco aims to migrate the existing CCNP Voice professionals to CCNP Collaboration.