The Cost of my CCIE Data Center - Time & Money in Review

This is going to be more of a fun post since people usually ask how much a CCIE costs or the the time it takes. This post is going to go over the time and money costs of getting my CCIE Data Center. I'm a little OCD about keeping my receipts due to tax purposes so here it goes.


I guess you can say I started in 2013 with collecting the CCIE Data Center reading list and INE rack rental tokens and finally ended with a CCIE at the end of 2015.I was married in 2014 and we skipped the honeymoon. As my spouse can attest, I was probably studying the week after the wedding and just doing nothing but beastmode until my first lab attempt. Here's the breakdown:

12/2013 - NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching book purchase - $51.90

12/2013 - CCNA Data Center Book - $35.95

2014 - INE All Access Pass + Workbook Purchase - $1,587

1/2014 - 2/2014 - 2,000 Rack Rental Tokens + Video Sets from INE - $1,749

1/2014 - Cisco UCS Book ($36.55), I/O Consolidation in the Data Center ($28.58), Data Center Fundamentals ($38.51) -  $103.64

2/2014 - Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals book - $29.99

2/2014 - Implementing Cisco UCS Solutions - $18.49

12/2014 - Policy Driven Data Center - $57.04

11/2014 - IPExpert IPeverything Pass - $99

7/2014 - Cisco Storage Networking Cookbook (Kitty litter!) - $36.41

12/2014 - 100 Hours of Rack Rentals + IPExpert Bootcamp - $3999

4/2015 - 100 Hours of IPExpert Rack Rentals - $750

4/2015 - 100 Rack Rentals for IPExpert - $750

6/2015 - Cloud Videos and Storage Networking Protocol Fundamentals Book - $118.36

9/2015 - Hotel and food for retake of IPExpert bootcamp (1st time was online) - $942.42

10/2015 - 1st CCIE lab attempt - $1600

11/2015 - Attempt number 2 at the CCIE - $1600


I don't have the original receipts for travel for the lab but from the above, it was totaling about $13,528.20. I believe I lost some CBT Nugget receipts that were around as well but oh well. My jobs that I had over this time helped with some of the costs. Since data center is a costly track to do 100% rack rentals with, I was also able to utilize an internal data center rack and Gold Labs/Salesconnect labs when they were available so that when I did use my rack rentals, I was only focusing on combined technologies instead of trying to learn the smaller technologies one at a time. 

The above price also doesn't factor in the hours of labbing, watching videos, and taking notes. Below are some screenshots of the notes I took throughout the experience:

Not to mention the time it took to do meetups and training for other folks looking to learn throughout the process: