Introduction

I recently passed the JNCIS Service Provider (JN0-361) certification exam on my second attempt. This post will cover the materials and methods I used to tackle this exam.

First Attempt

Juniper had a free cert day on the 17th of September 2019 here in Australia. From the time it was announced I only had two weeks to study for this exam and I was not very confident of passing but decided to go for it as it was basically a free look at the exam. I failed, but I got very close to passing, probably within a question or two based on the score report. This gave me the confidence to stick with it and I booked a resit for the 31st of October which was the earliest day I could get and in hindsight was a bit of a blessing in disguise.

Books

The Juniper day one library is an amazing resource. Its great for picking up a topic quickly and there is a vast number of high quality books on offer for the low, low cost of .... FREE! I read all or the relevant parts of the following books.

Title Author(s)
This week: Deploying MPLS Tim Fiola and Jamie Panagos
Day one MPLS up and running Nupur Kanoi
Day one: MPLS for enterprise engineers Darren J. S. O'Connor
Day one: Routing the internet protocol Martin Brown & Nick Ryce
JNCIS-SP Study Guide-Part 1/2/3 Unknown Author(s)

Videos

There is not a lot of video content out there for the Juniper Service Provider track. I did use the following video tutorial series which were very helpful.

Title Author(s)
Juniper JNCIS-ENT (JN0-343) - CBT Nuggets Anthony Sequeira
Introduction to MPLS - INE Keith Bogart

Juniper Genius

The Juniper genius app has two JNCIS-SP practice exams. I completed them both getting 75% and 73% respectively. Any question I had to guess, got wrong or was unsure about I wrote down and went back and researched the topic more.

I did not find this out until the last week before my exam when I was going through the practice tests. There is a JNCIS-SP video based training available on the genius and if I were to start the process again I would go through this training. Check it out, its a great resource and its FREE!

Juniper Docs

I mainly read the the Juniper docs on GRE/IP-IP and NSR/GRES. There was also plenty of reading the docs for examples of configuring all the required protocols.

Labs

I used my vendor agnostic lab topology and also added automated provisioning via the Nornir framework. This allowed me to really drill out topics without wasting time configuring boilerplate.

Time Budget

All up I spent about 8 weeks studying for this exam. This included approximately 10-12 hours a week of reading/researching and 10-16 hours of labbing. I am also currently working with a customer that has a large network with a lot of Juniper devices. Day to day config and troubleshooting certainly didnt hurt my preparation.

Study Notes

I did take a lot of notes as part of my preparation. I did not have time to turn them into articles. When I get time I will create them and update this section.

Summary

As with the JNCIA-Junos exam I found the JNCIS-SP to be a fair exam. The questions were very relevant to operating juniper network devices without being vague or esoteric. In a way I am glad I failed the first attempt as it forced me to dig deeper and understand the subject matter more thoroughly. This is as far as I am going with certifications this year. Time/need permitting, 2020 may be the year of the JNCIP-SP.

certification juniper