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What Is CCIE Certification?

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Cisco Certified Internet Expert, or CCIE, is a technical certification provided by Cisco Systems. Cisco Certified Internet Expert (CCIE) and Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) Certification are designed to help the industry distinguish the world’s top Internet Experts and assess the global Expert Level Infrastructure Network Design Skills. These certifications are recognized as the most authoritative network certification in the industry all over the world. CCIE and CCDE Communities have established a reputation as the leading network industry in terms of deep technical network knowledge, and have been deployed to the most technically challenging network tasks. The expert certification program constantly updates and modifies its testing tools and methods to ensure and maintain the quality, relevance and value of the project. Through strict written examination and performance oriented experimental examination, these expert level certification projects set standards for Internet professional knowledge.

The project is currently divided into six different professional areas or “categories”. People may choose CCIE Certification to apply for in different categories of Cisco technology, including Routing and Switching, Service Provider, Security, Collaboration, Data Center and Wireless.

CCIE candidates must first pass the written test, and then take part in the corresponding practical test. Although there is no formal requirement to take the CCIE Certification Exam, before applying for certification, the candidates should have an in-depth understanding of the subject of the examination and three to five years of working experience.

The certification examination is divided into two parts

Written test: 120 minutes, 90-110 questions, multiple choice questions and simulation questions.

Experimental test: the experimental test lasts 8 hours (one day), in the past, CCIE Experimental Test lasts two days.

CCIE Routing and Switching Test includes 2-hour Troubleshooting Part, 30 minute Diagnosis Part and 5-hour and 30 minute Configuration Part. The examination time of different certification categories is different.

The eight-hour Experiment Test will test your ability to configure the actual equipment and eliminate the network fault under the condition of regular test. Within 18 months after passing the CCIE Written Test, you must take the CCIE Experimental Test. Those who fail to pass the test must take the test again within 12 months after the last time, so that candidates’ written test scores can remain valid. If you fail to pass the experimental test within three years after passing the written test, you must take the written test again before you can take the experimental test again.

CCIE was first introduced in 1993, and the test lasted for two days. Due to the great demand for CCIE, the waiting time for the experimental examination is at least six months. In October, 2001, Cisco shortened the two-day experimental examination to one day and canceled some test measures, such as Charting, Internet Protocol (IP) Addressing and Troubleshooting.

The arrangement of CCIE Experimental Examination for two days is as follows:

Day 1: you need to build the network by patching, IP addressing and configuring to the terminal server: This is the way to verify your performance in the entire layer 2 and layer 3 configuration. At about 5:15 p.m., before the end of the test on the first day, the invigilator will score your ability and decide whether you can take the experimental test on the second day according to the 80% passing rate on the first day.

Day two: you will receive another paper covering more configuration of your tasks during the morning session.

To configure the device correctly, you should understand the core technology. Because there are all kinds of dangers, you should know the basic knowledge of network, including practical experience. The invigilator will observe your operation process and let you know if you can take the troubleshooting field test in the afternoon before the end of the day.

  • The current CCIE Exam lasts one day (eight hours).
  • The Experimental Examination is divided into three parts.
  • Troubleshooting Module, Diagnosis Module and Configuration Module.
  • The experimental test effectively evaluates the candidates’ mastery of basic network knowledge.

You will receive the results of the CCIE Lab Test within 48 hours. Candidates who fail the lab test will receive a report detailing your scores on the main topics. If you pass the experimental test, you will receive the test result without detailed description.

There are seven kinds of Expert Certification. These certifications are designed to meet the needs of the industry and are updated over time. The latest expert certification should be verified on CCIE Official Website.

  • CCDE: Cisco Certified Design Engineer, is able to transform business requirements, budget and operational constraints into integrated solution design.
  • CCIE Routing and Switching: the most popular CCIE Certification. Certified Internet Engineers who can plan, operate and troubleshoot complex converged network infrastructures.
  • CCIE Collaboration: Expert Level for Collaborative Architect, Unified Communications Architect or Voice and Video Network Manager.
  • CCIE Data Center: Expert in the planning, design, implementation and management of complex and modern information technology data center infrastructure.
  • CCIE Security: This is a certification against modern security risks, threats and vulnerabilities. Security Experts have the knowledge and skills to architecture, design, implement, troubleshoot, and support the full range of Cisco Security Technologies and Solutions, and can use the latest industry best practices to protect systems and environments.
  • CCIE Service Provider: Expert Level ISP Network Engineers with the knowledge and skills to build Expandable ISP Infrastructure to provide rich hosting services.
  • CCIE wireless: Experts who have a broad grasp of the theoretical knowledge of Wireless Network and a solid understanding of Cisco Wireless LAN Technology.

Active CCIE holders can apply for CCIE Honorary Retirement Qualification after the 10th anniversary of CCIE Certification. CCIE Honorary Retirement Status is generally applicable to those who have quit their “Daily” Network and Technology work, but want to continue to participate in CCIE Projects and act as ambassadors for current and future CCIE Projects. An inactive CCIE holder has the CCIE Honorary Retirement Qualification, but his technical proficiency and long-term status in the CCIE project are recognized.

CCIE Honorary Retirees have the opportunity to re-enter the active CCIE State by taking any written test at the current CCIE level. The continuing education program is another way to re-certify CCIE, rather than passing the written test. The program is managed according to three core principles: Flexibility, Diversity and Integrity.

  • Flexibility: individuals have a wide range of options for CCIE Re-certification.
  • Diversity: a variety of training options: online courses, training led by instructors and content creation.
  • Integrity: by allowing Cisco Certified Content Providers with re-certification requirements to verify the credit submitted by individuals.

As for the new method of building network with software defined network, some people criticize that CCIE Certification challenges the extreme situation of written examination and experimental examination. However, the principle of network is still the same, router or switch is a physical device or just a software, and the basic network operation remains unchanged in the real Internet. CCIE holders are still relevant to the Internet era defined by the software.


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