Just wanted to share my experience with anyone that is looking to take on the CCNP Service Provider track and specifically looking to take SPADVROUTE!
I found the exam quite challenging but fair, I would say the vast majority of the questions I got were on topics listed in the blueprint, so having said that if you work through the blueprint and study the topics listed you should pass.
As a bit of background I work for a service provider so working with IOS XR wasn't new to me, particularly the BGP aspects. If you want to pass you will definitely need to know all the XR specifics that are listed in the blueprint, if you don't know these you will really struggle as the way things are done in XR are slightly different, everything is very modular.
My weakest point was multicast, I had never actually had to configure or troubleshoot it before studying for this exam, it was already established in networks I had worked on and we don't use it in my current environment. I spent a lot of hours studying it but focused on IPv4 which was fine but I really should have put more focus on IPv6.
Having said the above, know your IPv6, not only is IPv6 cool it's weighted as 27% in the blueprint so knowing it is going to get you a large amount of points in the exam. I have a bit of background in IPv6 since we use dual stack in the environment I work in.
I used the following study materials, it's a pretty big list but I didn't read all the books cover to cover and the video's I just watched the relevant sections:
- CBT Nuggets IPv6 Fundamentals videos - just as a bit of a refresher
- INE CCIE v5 video's - just the sections on Multicast
- IP Routing on Cisco IOS, IOS XE and IOS XR An essential guide to understanding and implementing IP routing protocols - This book is great.
- IPv6 Fundamentals cisco press book
- Various blog posts, too many to possibly list, these helped me understand some topics better by seeing another take on it.
I used the following for labs:
Unetlab running on an Intel NUC, I ran IOS XRv and CSR1000v on this setup with no problems, highly recommended.