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Thoughts on My First JNCIA Lab

By stretch | Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 1:57 a.m. UTC

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a free online JNCIA training seminar held last week by Juniper. Entitled "Certifiably Simple," the free training is part of Juniper's certification incentive program (which ends December 31st) and includes a free voucher for the JNCIA exam. The course consisted of three 2.5-hour remote sessions, hosted by Ken Mayer. Along with the traditional course material (which is freely available on Juniper's Fast Track site), the session included a number of two-hour lab slots for students to use as they see fit.


I'm a Junos newbie, so I was pretty excited to be getting some formal Junos training and a chance to play with a Juniper lab. The first two days of the training went well, and Ken covered a great deal of the Junos CLI in a relatively short time. The third day we were not so lucky, as the Adobe Connect service on which the training was hosted took a dive. After an hour of trying to get Adobe to restore service the Juniper folks unfortunately had to cancel the final session. However, they did make available a recording of a sister session which had taken place earlier in the day, which I still need to watch.

After attending the instructor-led sessions, I turned my attention to the labs. Four formal labs were offered, including initial CLI configurations, operational monitoring, OSPF and static routing, and firewall filters and class (quality?) of service. We were also encouraged to expand beyond the scope of the official labs (without breaking anything) if we felt comfortable.


Junos is pretty nice. Its CLI is certainly more feature-packed than Cisco's IOS, but does take some getting used to. Junos is built on top of a customized FreeBSD base, which makes available to the administrator some very powerful tools. The software service modularity and single-image approach also lends a nice sense of modernity.

Going through these practice labs make me want to break out the old J2300 that's been sitting idle in my basement for some time. At any rate, I'll probably try for the JNCIA by year's end, not just because I have a voucher, but also because I'm curious how the experience of taking a Juniper certification exam compares to that of the Cisco world.

Posted in Juniper


December 15, 2010 at 8:52 a.m. UTC

I believe you will really enjoy JUNOS and the topics covered in JNCIA/S exam. ALso, you can try JUNOS in latest GNS version.


December 15, 2010 at 12:36 p.m. UTC


I just got into Juniper as well. I have used Cisco for the last five years and I gotta say...I really like Junos. I think Juniper Networks have done a great job building in some nice features into the OS (specifically the rollback feature!). Anyways thanks for the great posts and keep them coming.

Happy Holidays.

December 15, 2010 at 12:48 p.m. UTC

I passed the JNCIA-JUNOS a couple of months ago, and what I'll say in terms of the structure of the exams is that it is similar in scope to something like a CCNA. However, there are no sims, no simlets, it is ALL multiple choice questions.

That kind of disappointed me, as I like to put learning into practice, even in exams, but its not until the JNCIP level where you do any configuration (and even then thats up in the air as to whether thats gonna change from Lab to a written exam, which would mean only the JNCIE would have actual interactive configuration).

December 15, 2010 at 2:20 p.m. UTC

Was it all Junos? Was there any ScreenOS?

December 15, 2010 at 3:37 p.m. UTC

sounds like a number of us are getting into JUNOS. I'm getting 5 SRX210 firewalls, and am testing out some of the EX4200 switches. I'm interested in learning more about JUNOS I'm interested in any resources on JUNOS. I have some links. I'll post them later.

December 15, 2010 at 3:42 p.m. UTC

Picked up the JNCIA ER & EX during the summer. The exams were almost too easy after taking the CCNA. The lack of simulations make them simple memorization and regurgitation. Also, I didn't find the instruction on underlying technology standards very deep, ie frame relay, ethernet, ospf, rip etc. I felt Juniper tends to just teach you how to turn it on not how or why it works or should be used. Not to say people beginning their career in this field is their target audience, just if they are passing these exams won't get you beyond "this is juniper and here's how to turn our gear on" This is opposed to the CCNA and how it details the underlying tech not just turning it on.

December 15, 2010 at 9:48 p.m. UTC

Juniper has started modeling their certs after Cisco (minus the sims) where as the JNCIA will be equivalent to the CCENT, all JNCIS level tests equivalent to CCNA/CCNA-Sec/CCNA-Voice/ect and so on up the ladder. I find Junos to be very user friendly as compared to IOS.

December 16, 2010 at 11:24 a.m. UTC

@ CCNP/JNCIA (guest) commented on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Juniper have went after a lot of Cisco certified people knowing they already have the fundamentals engrained in them, it's a wise move by them to get their numbers up quickly instead of going the whole hog and teaching newbies so to speak.

I think they've offered the exams free in the past to those holding current Cisco certs.

December 16, 2010 at 11:31 a.m. UTC

we had some Juniper Routers as BGP Edge Routers and as RR, i think the CLI with th {} style is quite good.

For a quick look to the syntax, Junos as a second language on the juniper homepage is perfect for Cisco users

December 17, 2010 at 2:13 a.m. UTC

Junos is great. Our work has just installed a bunch of SRX and EX devices and required us to get certified.

It really makes Cisco's IOS look outdated with some of the powerfull features.

December 20, 2010 at 8:59 p.m. UTC


I got signed up and wanted to get a hold of the on-demand class or vids? any ideas?


January 22, 2011 at 8:18 p.m. UTC


I want to thank you about this amazing site. hopefully you will fill this wiki with MPLS,QOS and advanced BGP sometime.

thank you saar

January 1, 2013 at 8:26 a.m. UTC

A free online juniper lab-

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