The CCIE R&S Program is the latest certification track to join the brigade of Cisco’s routine up gradation. Cisco confirmed the revision of the current version (v4) to v5 and announced the new blueprint in the first week of December. In alignment with the current industry trends and job roles, the old version has been revamped with the addition of new study materials and changes have been incorporated in both training and the exams (written & Lab).
This is the highest level of Certification from Cisco. It authenticates one’s indepth understanding and expertise on Cisco products and solutions. Besides being one of the most prestigious and highly paid certification in IT Industry, it validates the skills required of expert-level network engineers to plan, operate and troubleshoot complex, converged network infrastructure. CCIE candidates are deployed for the most technically challenging network assignments.
As a prerequisite, the CCNA/CCNP certifications will work. Candidates with an in-depth understanding of the topics along with 3-5 years of job experience can opt for this certification program.
320 HRS (Lab&Theory)
The emphasis on virtualization is one of the highlights of the version update. The new curriculum comes with enhanced virtualization and this would mean that some of the L2 features like Layer 2 QoS or Flexlinks can no longer be tested on, as they’re not supported in the virtual IOS and have been omitted from the v5 exam. The complete lab exam would be with virtualized routers.
Cisco has moved some of the peripheral topics from lab to written and introduced more mainstream and hands-on topics to lab.
One of the new additions to the Lab exam is the Diagnostic section. The module which is of 30 minutes tests the ability to diagnose external issues in trouble shooting using restricted diagnostic information. Instead of an interactive device access, one will have to leverage on diagrams, ticket updates emails or analyze packet captures to diagnose an issue.
New topics like DMVPN and IPSec which are more frequently applied in daily implementations has been added to the revised curriculum.
Yet another feature is the time flexibility in the lab exam. The 8 hour lab exam is divided between 2.5 hours (approximately) for troubleshooting, 30 minutes (fixed duration) for the diagnostic section, and the remaining to complete configuration. Surplus time from troubleshooting (if finished in less than 2.5 hrs) will be credited towards configuration.
The written exam changes from 350-001 to 400-101.
The TS section remains almost untouched since rapid trouble shooting is still considered the USP of the CCIEs with its intense pressure and demand for extreme focus and expertise. The updated version reasserts the reputation and credibility of CCIE certification as the revised labs leave no loopholes but to master the art of networking.
For CCIE R&S version 4 students, Cisco has provided a 6 months duration to wind up with the written and lab exams as the validity is till June 3, 2014. The updated version will be implemented from June 4, 2014.
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