We were provided with a copy of the new Cisco Press multimedia publication "CCNP Video Mentor". As you probably know, Cisco Press on a regular basis releases a number of books that are of a great help for both Cisco practitioners, as well as those learning for one of the certifications that this networking leader offers. Over the past couple of years I had access to a vast collection of their titles and while the quality is almost always astounding, there was a clear need for this kind of a "video mentor". Reading through extremely technical topics, understanding diagrams, snooping through the command line interface commands was never this easy.
The author Kevin Wallace, CCIE No. 7945, is a full-time instructor of Cisco courses. With 17 years of Cisco internet-working experience, Kevin holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky.
The CCNP Video Mentor helps CCNP candidates prepare to pass the series of CCNP exams by supplying 16 instructional videos. Each video presents a unique lab scenario, with both visual references and audio explanations of what you should expect to happen in a particular lab. The videos also show how details of the command-line interface commands are used to implement the features described in each lab video, along with running commentary. The result is a set of videos that explain some of the most important CCNP topics from the BSCI, BCMSN, ISCW, and ONT courses, with thorough explanations from a trusted mentor.
As you can see from the images accompanying this preview, the packaging includes a DVD-ROM with the video course bundled together with a booklet covering all the labs contained in the video presentations. The DVD-ROM sports a spartan but easy to use interface that starts of the video course with a personal introduction by the author. After this short video, you can chose one of the CCNP labs including "Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks", Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks", "Implementing Secure Converged Wide Area Networks" and "Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks".
All of the seperate labs are also personally introduced by the author and afterwards split on four specific chapters. While all of the videos combine the author's audio with product screenshots, usage videos, diagrams and code, you can also complement your experience by viewing accompanying PDF files to further understand the topology diagrams and the code.
Cisco Press people really made this video mentor available for multiple platforms, as the DVD-ROM root contains auto start applications for both Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X. There is also a pure HTML (+flash) version of the whole class, which targets additional operating systems.
Overall, "CCNP Video Mentor" will definitely be the next big step for Cisco Press. The videos contain quite a lot of in-depth content provided in an easy to follow way.