Today I sat the JNCIS-SEC exam. I felt it was a fair exam and I am going break it down. It capped off a year of certifications for me as I have worked on transforming my knowledge and applying myself to further learnings.
Liz Burns and the JNCP team has ensured that the exam delivered by Pearson Vue is of a top quality. I found that the font was easy to read which made for analysis of questions less stressful. Network Diagrams were of a high quality without errors. The only little issue I had were when example snippets of text were actually pictures and when enlarged they blurred a little.
The exam I felt was fair and of moderate difficulty. I had trouble with VPN technologies as I am allergic to VPNs! I enjoyed the UTM and policy testing. The alignment to the blueprint was very clear and nothing on the exam surprised me at all! If you use some of the preparation techniques outlined below you should be okay. I do use a lot of the features in the exam on my home SRX so my home network was super fortified whilst I studied.
I used the Juniper SRX series book by O’Reilly and the JNCIS Security fast track books. The SRX book isn’t aligned to the exam and serves as a reference for administrators of the platform. I have commented on it before and I love the book serves as a great first a place to look and dive into a deeper understanding of the spoken technology. The superbly written fast track material was great to provide a rough outline for my inquisitive mins to dig deeper. I really like the clear and concise writing, the diagrams and and reference material it has pertaining to the blueprint. It serves as a great supplement to the SRX book.
I have my own SRX110 and Junosphere access. This affords me to be able to do labbing and testing of the technologies and get networks running using the SRX. Labbing is paramount to passing. It will reinforce the readings you have done and allow a penetrating style of learning. If you choose to just remember things you will loose your certification level knowledge fast!
The JNCIS security exam delivered a through test of my knowledge and highlighted to me how much I still dislike VPNs. The SRX is a gem of a security device and very approachable and the tests blueprint gives you all the skills to deliver a majority of firewall technologies to your solution. Whilst you may not use everything there is a tight integration of technologies tested and it serves the candidate well to know them all. Use the SRX or interested in Juniper? Go and get certified!