Exam JNCIP-SP [JN0-660]

JNCIP-SPFew days ago, at March 14 to be precise, my Juniper Service Provider path had received another one pleasant milestone – JNCIP-SP exam has been passed!

As always, my thoughts and a short overview of the exam are presented.

1. Past

An interesting fact: a bit more than 5 years ago, Juniper was paying to J-Partner persons, who passed an exam. (the proof, slide 10)
Just imagine, you took a free exam and if pass, get 100+ euros (from 50 for successful JNCIA up to 500 for JNCIE).
Moreover, some exams were available online! Sounds good, huh?

Decades ago, all Juniper exams at a professional level have been presented as hands-on labs. You had to go to Juniper local office and sitting personally take a 7 hours exam.

As I remember, JNCP (Juniper Networks Certification Program) was completely rebuilt by a team in charge with Liz Burns and JNCP get shaped in forms we are seeing today.
Most of platform dependent exams like JNCIP-M have gone and non-intersecting tracks for Enterprise/Security/Service Provider appeared on the horizon.


2. Present

Nowadays, JNCIP-SP exam distributed via Pearson Vue platform and require much less hands-on experience to pass.

The exam contains 70 questions which should be answered in 2 hours (120 minutes).

A while ago, I was impressed by JNCIP-ENT exam – after all those Cisco exams with pointless questions about timers and proprietary protocols, Juniper P exam was interesting to learn and pass. From that moment, not only to explore exam topics was an interesting journey but the finish them as well. There was no doubt, another one JNCIP-level exam will be taken.

I have to admit, JNCIP-SP exam was even better than ENT. More challenging and, of course, more valuable, because service providing is not my main field of occupation.

Let me describe the exam as set of assertions:

  • 70-80% of questions have at least a diagram or log output or configuration block, or all together;
  • in 70 questions only one diagram was presented twice (IS-IS section), a variety of figures took some time to find objects described in questions;
  • dummy questions, which always exist in exams was presented in a quantity of 2.

I’m not sure if it is allowed, but this information printed on exam result list, so probably allowed to be shown in public – below is a list with quantity of questions in every section:

  • OSPF – 8
  • IS-IS – 7
  • BGP – 11
  • CoS – 6
  • Multicast – 5
  • MPLS – 10
  • L3VPN – 8
  • L2VPN – 7
  • Automation – 2

Looks like a high priority during learning shall take BGP and MPLS (+RSVP/LDP) sections.

Most of the topics are configured in Juniper SP Lab – http://sk1f3r.ru/jlab. To be honest, I would say about 70% are covered by the lab.


3. Future

This exam was not only about to become familiar with SP technologies in Junos OS, but about to recertify my rest Juniper certifications as a bonus – JNCIP-ENT and JNCSP-ENT.

The worst part: exams from SP track are not recertifying certs from any separate track!

I was stunning and disappointing for sure, because who would like to have certification level on two or even more tracks and fully renew them every 3 years.
In this point, the Cisco recertify possibilities are much comfortable – every Professional level exam prolonging any other Professional status (except very few exams). That gives you a wonderful option to jump from RS track to SP, then Design, then whatever and you will never take the RS exam passed a while ago.

To lay cards on the table, I don’t want to take the JNCIP-ENT exam again, even if it’s for free. That sounds like a waste of time.

I was thinking about SEC track, but at now, if I need to recertify them every 3 years independently with 2 other tracks – no, thanks, Juniper.

The reasonable option is to start a journey to Expert level and I would like to do it, really.
BUT, my current employer said we don’t need Experts more than we have in the company already – their number tens, that’s true.
So no one will pay the JNCIE exam for me and with my own it has not solid ROI points.

Please, feel free to request any additional commentaries or list of preparation materials.

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  • Pavel Glushkov

    Was it worth it? AFAIK, you are employed by a system integrating company. So am I, and 99% of our customers use Cisco/HP/Huawei. WIth all my respect (and love) for Juniper, their enterprise market share looks very low in Russia. They made redundant quite a bunch of people from Moscow office last year and future looks grim.

    • Sk1f3r

      Hello and thank you for the comment, Pavel.

      I do not regret for a single second that I spent on the preparation for the exam, it was really fun and enjoyable.

      To be frankly, I am agree with you about shaky position of Juniper on russian enterprise market.
      Most of our customers also prefer Cisco or Huawei, but I might confuse you with a fact that more than one customer per year trasitioning to Juniper from Cisco. And there is quite long list of customers which are loyal to Juniper in LAN/WAN and even DC.

      PS: As far as I know, HP is a very squishy competitor in enterprise market and I can’t remember even one customer with network mainly built on HP products.