Cisco has announced their plans to transition the CCIE Service Provider certification blueprint from Version 3.0 to Version 4.0 starting May 22nd, 2015. The official announcement for the Written and Lab Exam Content Updates can be found here.
There are four key points to this announcement, which are:
- Lab Exam format changes
- Hardware & software version changes
- New technical topics added
- Old technical topics removed
CCIE SPv4 Lab Exam Format Changes
The Lab Exam format of SPv4 has been updated to follow the same format as the new CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5.0. This means the exam now consists of three sections: Troubleshooting, Diagnostic, and Configuration.
CCIE SPv4 Hardware & Software Version Changes
Following along with the current CCIE RSv5, CCIE SPv4 now uses all virtual hardware as well. Specifically the new hardware and software variants are as follows:
- ASR 9000 running Cisco IOS XR 5.2
- ASR 1000 running Cisco IOS XE 3.13S.15.4(3)S
- Cisco 7600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S
- Cisco ME 3600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S
Both the IOS XR and IOS XE variants are already available as virtual machines that you can download from cisco.com and deploy yourself on VMWare ESXi 5.5 and other similar hypervisors. The current IOS XRv release is 5.2.0, and CSR1000v (IOS XE) is 3.13S/15.4(3)S. As for the 7600 and ME 3600 images, I would assume these will run as L2 IOU/IOL images, however I haven’t personally seen either of these complies yet. The key functionality of them will be based around L2VPN for Ethernet, such as EVC and VPLS, which is not covered in depth in the current SPv3 blueprint.
CCIE SPv4 New Technical Topics Added
With the new IOS XR, IOS XE, and Catalyst IOS code versions used, the following is some of the key new features that have been added to the SPv4 Blueprint:
- Ethernet VPN (EVPN)
- Provider Backbone Bridging EVPN (PBB-EVPN)
- Multicast Label Distribution Protocol (mLDP)
- Unified MPLS (Seamless MPLS)
- Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)
- mGRE VPN
- IPv6 NAT44/NAT64/6RD
- MPLS OAM & Ethernet OAM
CCIE SPv4 Old Technical Topics Removed
Frame Relay and ATM, the old holdouts for years, have finally been removed from the CCIE Service Provider Blueprint. This was expected, as most L2VPN services now focus on Ethernet last mile (EVC, VPLS, L3VPN over Ethernet) vs. legacy Frame Relay and ATM.
More information about our plans for content updates will be available as we get closer to the official release date of the new blueprint. In the meantime for those of you that want to get in before the Blueprint change I would recommend to book a lab date as soon as possible, and start reviewing our CCIE Service Provider v3 Advanced Technologies Class and CCIE Service Provider v3 Workbook.
Rack Rentals for INE’s CCIE RSv5 Workbook’s Troubleshooting Labs and Full Scale Labs are now available via the Members Site. To access them login to http://members.ine.com, click “Rack Rentals” on the dashboard on the left, and then click “Schedule” under “CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Full Scale.”
This topology uses 20 routers and 4 switches and is for both Troubleshooting and Full Scale Labs. The topology above it, “CCIE Routing & Switching v5″, uses 10 routers and 4 switches, and supports all the Advanced Technology Labs and Foundation Labs.
The loading and saving of initial configs is supported through the Rack Control Panel, which can greatly save you time in your studies, especially with very large topologies such as those used in the Troubleshooting and Full Scale Labs.
Additionally, Full Scale Lab 2 and Troubleshooting Lab 2 have been posted to the CCIE RSv5 Workbook. More Foundation, Troubleshooting, and Full Scale Labs are currently in development and will be posted soon. For discussion on these new labs please visit the CCIE RSv5 Workbook section of IEOC, our online community.
Troubleshooting Lab 1 has been added to the CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Workbook. This is in addition to Full Scale Lab 1 which was posted yesterday. More Foundation, Troubleshooting, and Full Scale Labs will be added soon to the workbook. More information about additional content and its release schedule will be available shortly.
This lab uses a 20 router topology which will be available through our rack rental system shortly. In the meantime if you have your own lab built on CSR1000v, IOU/IOL, etc. the initial configs are available to download on the lab 1 tasks page. For technical discussion of this lab, please visit the Troubleshooting Labs section of our Online Community here.
Full Scale Lab 1 has been added to the CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Workbook. More Foundation, Troubleshooting, and Full Scale Labs will be coming soon, including additional updates before the end of the weekend. I will post more information about additional content and its release schedule shortly.
This lab uses a 20 router topology which will be available through our rack rental system shortly. In the meantime if you have your own lab built on CSR1000v, IOU/IOL, etc. the initial configs are available to download on the lab 1 tasks page. For technical discussion of this lab, please visit the Full Scale Labs section of our Online Community here.
Having passed the CCIE Voice 10 years ago, and having taught on the technologies surrounding both Voice and Collaboration ever since, one might think that the exam would be easy to pass. I can assure you that no matter how much you know, no CCIE exam is easy to pass. Cisco doesn’t allow them to be. Every CCIE track requires hard work and preparation, even if it may, at first glance, seem somewhat of a repeat of things you already know. You may ask since I had the CCIE Voice already, why I didn’t simply take the Collaboration Written exam and convert my cert to a CCIE Collaboration? The answer I think is pretty straightforward – it’s the challenge!! Seeing if you still have it 10 years later. Seeing if what you’ve been teaching your students for 10 years is still up to par and still relevant. To take you back to when I passed CCIE Voice ten years ago, the track was literally brand new that year, and Cisco was testing on CallManager version 3.3, SIP wasn’t anywhere to be found, and creating a hunt group meant tweaking Attendant Console to make it do things it shouldn’t ever be expected to do (like work). I’m quite happy to find that I may still have ‘it’ and that my content is right on par and not only relevant on all accounts, but as always goes well above and beyond the minimum of what you need to know to pass the exam, and takes you into the deep inner-workings of the technologies and answers the all of the “why” questions. Bear in mind that we never create content with the singular goal of simply getting you “past” the lab exam (the people that can only barely pass the lab can’t make it past a technical interview in the real world), but rather our focus is making you a true expert whereby, as a byproduct, you do pass the lab exam and quite handily at that. Over the past 10 years I’ve had the pleasure of helping over 1,500 people do just this, and it’s been so enriching in my life to see their professional and personal lives bettered for it. So what took me so long to getting around to sitting for this new exam? Simply put – my schedule. As some of you may know, I’ve been teaching a lot of 2-week CCIE Data Center courses and 2-week CCIE Collaboration courses, as well as working on building all of the Collaboration racks and self-paced learning content, and quite frankly just hadn’t found time in my schedule to get around to preparing to sit for and take the actual new lab exam until just a few weeks ago. So onto more of what you need to know and what it takes to be ready.
It’s quite possible that I may be one of the only people besides Frog that possesses 3 or more CCIE’s, where one of them is not Routing and Switching.
Update 1: CCIE Collaboration Racks are now available for rent. Sign in to your members account and click on Rack Rentals in the left navigation. Please note that these racks are currently in general beta release, meaning they are available to everyone, but if you happen to find a bug or an issue with the scheduler, rack control page, or rack equipment, please start a support case and kindly let us know about it so that we may remediate it quickly. We’ve had a number of closed beta testers and their tests have all gone very well. We should be out of general beta release within a few weeks. Full instructions on how to use our racks can be found in our new Collaboration Rack Rental Guide, and I will be releasing a few follow-up videos later today with links inside the guide, to further demo things and walk you through how to use these racks, including the use our new rack control panel.
The CCIE Routing & Switching Advanced Technologies Class v5 resumes Wednesday, July 23rd at 8:00 AM PDT (15:00 UTC) at live.ine.com, where we will be discussing MPLS Layer 3 VPN. In the meantime, you will find the streaming and download playlists have been updated and now includes over 63 hours of content.
We have some other great news as well. The CCIE R&S v5 Rack Control panel has been released with the built-in telnet, loading and saving configs and one click device configurations and reset requests. Also, new content will be posted this week to the workbook, including all new troubleshooting labs.
INE is reducing the cost of our live, instructor-led bootcamps by $1,000 each. Our new pricing model will still include access to our workbooks and ATC video courses with the purchase , but will separate out the Lab Exam Voucher and access to our All Access Pass as optional add-ons to provide you with a more flexible options for both your learning style and your budget. If you would like the existing complete, bundled solution, you have until Aug 1 to make a bootcamp purchase.
See this advert for more details.
Look forward to seeing you in a bootcamp soon!
Tomorrow’s CCIE Routing & Switching Advanced Technologies Class v5 is postponed, as baby 3.0’s shipping date has arrived Class will tentatively return the week of July 21st, however I will post more information and updates about workbook changes before that.
In the meantime the current CCIE RSv5 ATC streaming playlist can be found here, and the download playlist can be found here. Some videos are still in post processing and will be posted within the next few days.
Although we’re only in week 47 of the class (or so it seems), we’ve put a huge dent in the overall topic scope so far. You can see our current progress in the overall CCIE RSv5 Expanded Blueprint here. Some of topics that haven’t been covered in the v5 ATC officially yet can be found in the CCIE RSv4 ATC and the RSv4 to RSv5 Transition Technologies addendum at the end of that playlist.
Tomorrow (2014-07-09) at 08:00 PDT (15:00 UTC) I will be starting our next major section of the CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5 Advanced Technologies Class – MPLS. This class is free to attend for all at http://live.ine.com – simply sign up for a free INE members account here or sign up for a free trial of our All Access Pass - which includes streaming video access to our entire video library – including all of the new CCIE RSv5 ATC videos up to this point.
For me personally when I was first learning MPLS, the biggest hurdle I found was sorting through all the buzzwords and acronyms. For the life of me no matter how many books I read, I couldn’t figure out why MPLS would even be needed in the first place. Tomorrow’s class will cut to the chase, as essentially MPLS 101 for CCIE Candidates.
Specifically I will be first starting with the main MPLS use case, tunneling BGP over the core. Through live examples on the Cisco IOS CLI I will show why MPLS is the preferred transport method for Service Providers that offer both public and private IPv4 & IPv6 transit services, and then expand into further use cases such as Layer 3 VPN and Layer 2 VPN services, and talk about where MPLS is even applicable in the Enterprise. As always, questions are welcomed and encouraged during the class – the more you put into class ultimately the more you get out of it.
I hope to see you live during class tomorrow at http://live.ine.com!