CCIE Exams Undergoing Major Changes: Are you Ready?

CCIE Exams Undergoing Major Changes: Are you Ready?

There is a major announcement from Cisco CCIE program team on upcoming sweeping changes to Cisco CCIE Certification program as a whole (the content, update cadence, alignment with mega technology shifts etc). Core reason for change for which I am totally excited about, as Cisco put it, is “to build a workforce capable of moving rapidly and flexibly with the transformation of IT in our digital era”!

Before I deep dive into the details, let me first recap the highlights of the announcement.

  • Agile and Modular Content Lifecycle (as opposed to monolithic): Moving away from infrequent (3-5 years) major CCIE content updates to more frequent minor updates (every 12 months or yearly). Cisco defines major and minor content updates as 50%+ and <=20% to official exam blueprints respectively
  • Forthcoming Changes (as opposed to random): New approach brings predictable pre-scheduled content updates to each CCIE exam track. Major content revisions will still happen with 50%+ changes but every 3-5 years (read: 3 years!)
  • CCIE Program Notification Cadence: Change notifications will be posted with a lead time of 4 months and 6 months for minor (yearly basis) and major (once every 3 years) on Cisco CCIE website
  • CCIE Exam Revision Naming: Yearly changes will carry X.1, X.2 and X.3 naming conventions, before it moves to Y.1 (next major update) after 3 years
  • CCIE Candidates Adopt and Evolve Skillset: Last but least, incremental content update approach with yearly updates is expected to “keep IT professionals nimble in their ability to rapidly adopt and deploy new products and evolving technologies.”
  • CCIE SP Exam will be used as pilot to apply new paradigm and CCIE SP V4.1 taken after June 21 2017 will have new content (more later on this).
  • There are NO changes to CCIE Written and Lab exam formats as such, i.e. lab exam will constitute Troubleshooting, Diagnostic, and Configuration modules

Now to the specifics of “what all of the above means”, Cisco team referred to Cisco CCIE SP Exam changes that are now slated for June 21 2017 date. For those of you who are preparing for the CCIE SP written or lab exam, regardless of if you are sitting the respective exam before or after June 21, I strongly suggest to take a read of the summary below.

CCIE SP V4.1 Exam (Upcoming changes broken down by official blueprint sections).

Overall the new format consolidates the exam blueprint to six sections versus seven in the older revision. Please note topics added or removed below for each blueprint section.

  • Section 1: Service Provider Architecture and Services (New name, written and lab exams weight changes to 21% and 22% respectively): Cisco has added topics of eNodeB, Interprocess communication, Cisco IOS/IOS‐XE, and software architecture components, Service Function Chaining, ESP, EPN, and NFVI.
  • Section 2: Core Routing (written and lab exams weight changes to 25% and 30% respectively): LISP implementation & troubleshooting and mLDP removed (just concept only). Advanced BGP features (seems more expanded as there are no examples features listed), mVPN added.
  • Section 3: Access and Aggregation (written and lab exams weight changes to 18% and 21%): No content changes.
  • Section 4: High Availability and Fast Convergence (written and lab exams weight changes to 14% and 15%): No content changes.
  • Section 5: Service Provider Security, Service Provider Operation and Management (written and lab exams weight changes to 12%): MPLS OAM and Ethernet OAM, network event and fault management, performance management and capacity procedures, maintenance, operational procedures, incident management process based on ITILv3 framework, and network inventory management process are removed.
  • Section 6: Evolving Technologies (weight on written exam remains at 10%, not applicable to lab as before): No content changes.

Bonus Content: Check out the Diff of the old versus the new exam revisions.

At CCIEin8Weeks, we take pride in keeping our study guides, practice quizzes and all other exam prep content up to date. We provide CCIE written exam prep material for Routing and Switching (R&S) V5.1, Service Provider (SP) V4.1, Data Center (DC) V2.0, Security V5.0 and Collaboration V1.1 exams.

Please leave any comments or suggestions below and I will be answering them over the next few days.

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