Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the exam centers of Juniper are at time of this writing closed for external visitors. Fortunately the Juniper Education team did a great job and made JNCIE lab exams available from your own home!
Now this does impact how you make the test and also what resources you have available to you during the test and also what you are allowed to use. In this blog I will share how the testing environment works and also exactly what documentation you have available for reference.
How do I access the exam?
The Juniper Education team did a good job in preparing candidates for a remote lab attempt. When you schedule your lab, you will receive an e-mail with extensive instructions on how to prepare yourself for the exam and even include a link to access a demo environment to make yourself aware with what you will be faced with on the day of your actual attempt. The testing environment gives you access to some Juniper documentation. It will give you access to a vSRX to test CLI access and your keyboard mapping in the remote desktop tooling. The main goal is to prepare your computer for the test as well.
- Windows PC or Laptop (Linux and Mac not supported!)
- External monitor is allowed, I believe even multiple external monitors
- Wired or wireless mouse
- Wired external keyboard or built-in laptop keyboard (wireless keyboards are not allowed)
- No headsets or music listening is allowed
- Stable internet connection with sufficient bandwidth for the remote desktop access and a webcam stream
- Zoom Desktop app
- Empty walled room/office. Nobody can come in during your exam.
- Clean desk, nothing should be in reach of your hands
- No paper or pens allowed
- Dry erase board is allowed on your desk to take notes. You will need to show it’s empty when you start and that you completely wipe it clean after the exam is finished. This can be a board behind you on a stand or on the wall, as long as it’s visible to the webcam.
The exam will be delivered through an application called Safe Exam Browser (SEB). This will block all your other apps on your PC and just open a browser screen, remote desktop session and Zoom call to the proctor. A dedicated file to join the SEB session will be e-mailed to you just before the exam starts.
When the remote desktop session opens, you will have access to the following apps
- SecureCRT with bookmarks to the devices for your exam
- Notepad++ to take notes and store configuration snippets you are working on
- PDF reader for viewing documentation
The remote desktop session will use your own screen resolution, so if you are fortunate to have a big monitor (I’m using a 34″ ultrawide 3440×1440), it’s possible to have the exam tasks, secureCRT window and notepad++ window in 3 columns on the screen. Which I feel is the best set-up for me, to read on tasks, take notes in notepad and type in the commands on the CLI.
For further details on the exam environment, please read this FAQ from Juniper very carefully as it will make your preparation for the big day better. Basically the same rules apply as when you would take the test on-site, it’s now just in your own home.
One of my concerns was how the documentation is accessed. Of course to pass this exam, you need to know 95% of the configurations by heart. For those last few small knobs or complex things it is very welcome to have access to the documentation. When accessing the documentation you can either open the documentation folder on the virtual desktop and open the PDFs using a PDF reader. But you will also have access to the PDFs using a browser session that is available within the SEB environment. Please know that you do not have access to the documentation website, only the PDFs.
To make it easier, I asked the Juniper Education team what is available to the candidates. Please be aware that the list mentioned below is different for all JNCIE lab exams. In this case it’s the documentation available to JNCIE-DC candidates.
The Juniper Education team shared the list of PDF filenames with me and I have permission to share this on my blog. I did not receive the actual files, so I have linked these PDF names to what I believe are the documents on the Juniper website, but that is my own best guess and is not officially confirmed!
I hope this helps explaining the JNCIE remote lab experience and specifically showing the documentation that is available to you during the test. Good luck on your attempt! I’m curious to learn how you feel the remote lab works and of course if you passed!!