CCIE Pursuit Blog

May 5, 2009

Rumors Confirmed – CCIE 4.0 Launches 18 October

Filed under: Cisco,Cisco Certification — cciepursuit @ 9:40 am
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This was in my inbox this morning:

Cisco® Revises its Popular CCIE® R&S Certification

Cisco has revised the certification requirements for CCIE Routing & Switching (CCIE R&S)-the expert level certification for network engineers.

The new certification standards reflect the job skills employers look for at the expert level and are outlined on the Cisco Learning Network at CCIE R&S v4.0 written exam topics and CCIE R&S v4.0 lab exam topics. The revised CCIE R&S v4.0 exams are scheduled for release on October 18, 2009 and will immediately replace the currently available v3.0 exams.

To support the certification changes, the Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE R&S is being updated with new lessons on MPLS and Troubleshooting, additions to the instructor-led workshops, new lab exercises for self-paced practice, and new performance assessments. The Program is the only authorized expert training currently aligned to CCIE R&S v4.0. The program is delivered globally by Cisco Learning Partners .

Save the Date: Two Live CCIE R&S Certification Webinars, May 20, 2009
Cisco will conduct two live webinars on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 covering enhancements made to the CCIE R&S certification and to the Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE R&S to align with the updates.  Attendees can choose from calls at 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM PST. Click here to register.

For more information on the updates, the Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE R&S, and how to locate an authorized Learning Partner, access the Cisco Learning Network.

This confirms the rumor that IPexpert posted on their blog.  It looks like the major additions to the lab blue print will be troubleshooting(more on that below) as well as MPLS.  Although the email does not list the date of these changes, a quick trip to the Cisco site shows that October 17, 2009 is the last date to take the current version of the lab:

Effective October 18, 2009, important content changes will be implemented in the CCIE Routing and Switching certification exams.

Candidates who have exams scheduled October 18, 2009 or later should prepare using the CCIE R&S v4.0 Written Exam Topics (blueprints),  CCIE R&S v4.0 Lab Exam Topics and the CCIE R&S v4.0 Lab Equipment and Software Versions.

Candidates prior to October 18, 2009 should continue using the existing CCIE R&S v3.0 Exam Topics and equipment list.  Visit Lab Exam Study/Learn for more information.

Troubleshooting is returning to the lab in a big way.  It will now be a two hour portion at the beginning of the lab.  It looks Cisco stopped short of using it as a velvet rope for the configuration portion, but I’ll bet that it will be structured similar to the existing Core Knowledge questions in that if you don’t score a certain percentage on that section, you will not be able to pass the lab:

NEW: Troubleshooting

Beginning October 18, 2009, the CCIE R&S lab exam will feature a two-hour troubleshooting section.  Candidates will be presented with a series of trouble tickets for preconfigured networks and need to diagnose and resolve the network fault or faults.  As with the configuration section, the network must be up and running for a candidate to receive credit.  Candidates who finish the troubleshooting section early may proceed on to the configuration section, but they will not be allowed to go back to troubleshooting since their equipment will need to be reinitialized for the configuration portion.

The equipment has changed as well, although only minimally.  The 3550 switches are now gone.  The good news is that I don’t see any equipment in this list that will necessitate a change in current home labs and rack rentals.

Version 3.0 (effective through October 17, 2009)

3725 series routers – IOS 12.4 mainline – Advanced Enterprise Services
3825 series routers – IOS 12.4 mainline – Advanced Enterprise Services
Catalyst 3550 series switches running IOS version 12.2 – IP Services
Catalyst 3560 Series switches running IOS version 12.2 – Advanced IP Service
Version 4.0 (effective begining October 18, 2009)

1841 series routers – IOS 12.4(T) – Advanced Enterprise Services
3825 series routers – IOS 12.4(T) – Advanced Enterprise Services
Catalyst 3560 Series switches running IOS version 12.2 – Advanced IP Services

For some reason the new changes are not currently listed on the Cisco CCIE webpage, but only through the Cisco Learning Network.  To see the blue prints you need to register for the Cisco Learning Network.  You can access the new lab blue print here (PDF here) but be warned that you may have to go through an annoying registration process to view it.

A quick and dirty scan of the new blue print shows these changes(I’m sure that the vendors will be coming out with a more detailed list soon):

Implement Layer 2 Technologies
PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE)
Frame Relay is still on the blue print. 🙂

Implement IPv4
Implement Performance Routing (PfR) and Cisco Optimized Edge Routing (OER)

Implement MPLS Layer 3 VPNs
Implement Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
Implement Layer 3 virtual private networks (VPNs) on provider edge (PE), provider (P), and customer edge (CE) routers
Implement virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and Multi-VRF Customer Edge (VRF-Lite)

Implement IP Multicast
Implement IPv6 multicast, PIM, and related multicast protocols, such as Multicast Listener Discovery(MLD)

Implement Network Security
Implement Zone Based Firewall
Implement Cisco IOS Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)
Implement Control Plane Policing (CoPP)

Troubleshoot a Network
Troubleshoot complex Layer 2 network issues
Troubleshoot complex Layer 3 network issues
Troubleshoot a network in response to application problems
Troubleshoot network services
Troubleshoot network security

Optimize the Network
Implement SPAN, RSPAN, and router IP traffic export (RITE)
Implement Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager (EEM)
Implement Switch-module Configuration Protocol (SCP)

Ladies and gentlemen, your new CCIE 4.0 lab!  I fully expect to see all of the lab dates between now and 17 October to disappear pretty quickly as current candidates will make want to attempt the lab prior to the change-over date.

UPDATE:  IE just blogged that the Core Knowledge question will remain part of the lab.  Oh joy.



  1. Well well well. Good to see. Let’s see how quickly the R&S lab dates disappear 🙂

    Comment by — May 5, 2009 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  2. Good to see Cisco making sure CCIE maintains its elite status in the IT world.

    Comment by Christian — May 5, 2009 @ 11:18 am | Reply

  3. The CCIE Lab is still a fair game lab! I love the new blueprint. Thanks for the information.

    Comment by Mar Apuhin — May 5, 2009 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

  4. I have some confusion and question regarding this recent anouncement of cisco.Say for example I just recently passed the 3.0 written exam and I am planning to take the lab by Dec,does it mean I still have to take the new 4.0 written.thanks.

    Comment by Francis — May 10, 2009 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

    • @Francis – As long as you take your first lab attempt within 18 months, passing any version of the written qualifies you to take the current version of the lab exam.

      3 – Q: Now that the CCIE R&S v4.0 has been announced, can I still take the CCIE R&S v3.0 exam? How long will it be valid?

      A: The CCIE R&S v3.0 written exam will be available through October 17, 2009, at all Pearson VUE testing centers. Passing the v3.0 written exam qualifies a candidate to take any available version of the CCIE R&S lab exam. As with all CCIE written exams, a passing score on v3.0 written exam will remain valid for three years, as long as the candidate attempts the lab exam once within the first 18 months. If the lab is not attempted, the written exam becomes invalid and the candidate will have to retest using whatever written exam is available at that time.

      Comment by cciepursuit — May 10, 2009 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

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