CCIE Pursuit Blog

June 23, 2009

R.I.P. CCIE Assessor Lab

I received the following email today:

Dear Anonymous Blogger Jerk,

As you know, the CCIE Assessor Lab has been retired. As someone who has used or expressed interest in the Lab, we want to make you aware of a new program to replace the CCIE Assessor Lab. The CCIE Assessor was the first product of its kind to provide candidates with an experience similar to the actual CCIE lab exam. Our recently introduced Cisco 360 Learning Program for CCIE Routing and Switching now offers a complete experience in gaining expert level knowledge and preparing for the rigorous CCIE certification exams including classes, assessment labs and mentoring.

If you have not yet achieved your CCIE certification, you can use the Cisco 360 Learning Program to differentiate your skills and take your career to the next level with the only authorized Cisco expert training. The program is available individually or in value-priced bundles, Essentials, Preferred or Premium packages. Currently, 90% of students completing the Cisco 360 Learning Program successfully pass their R&S lab exam and achieve CCIE certification on their first try!

The Cisco 360 Learning Program is a comprehensive, blended learning program designed to accelerate expert-level competency. In as little as six months to one year, you will elevate your command of technical topics and develop the skills necessary to tackle the types of expert-level configuration and troubleshooting challenges that appear in real-life networks and in the recently updated CCIE lab exam. You can also purchase the program by individual components that can benefit someone with your familiarity of the CCIE materials and examinations.

If you are interested in learning more contact your local Cisco 360 Learning Partner and schedule a free demo of the Cisco 360 Learning Program.

The following resources are available for more information:
Cisco 360 Learning Program website
Solutions Overview
Locate a Cisco Learning Partner
Training Component Details

Best of luck on your networking career,

Actually, I did not know that the CCIE Assessor Lab had been retired.  I used this product before my first attempt.  For $399.00 you received two mock labs.  Since this was Cisco’s official mock lab offering, I decided that it was a good investment of $400.  The labs were obviously getting long in the tooth even then as the first lab only used two switches.  While spendy, it was nice to get a look at the Cisco question verbiage and topology.

The death of the CCIE Assessor is part of the push to make the 360 program the single, official Cisco offering for CCIE training.  There was recently an announcement about the unbundling of the 360 program(something I’ll blog about later).  I think that it’s funny that the email bascially tells you that the 360 program – which can run into 5 figures – is the logical replacement for the CCIE Assessor Lab.  If there is an unbundled 360 mock lab product, then it would have made sense to point out that product.  🙂

Kind of a side rant: The 90% pass on first attempt statistic is compelling, but what are the raw numbers?  90% of x?  If x is a low number (say 10) then that impressive percentage means less.  I would also think that given the high cost for the 360 program, that companies – and I have to believe that few individuals are footing this cost – that are willing to invest that type of cash into training are spending it on highly qualified engineers(there was a recent GroupStudy posting that showed evidence that this was the case).  BUT…as always, I could be wrong and the 360 may be the ultimate CCIE training program.  Maybe I’m just hating cuz I can’t afford it.  🙂


  1. The 90% percent first pass ratio seems pretty suspect to me. I really don’t know how they could be totally leaps and bounds beyond the other established 3rd party providers out there. If the numbers are truely that high, you would have to assume that they are giving their students some sort of privileged inside information.

    Comment by Jeff Rensink — June 24, 2009 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  2. 90% is just marketing….they are trying to make as much bank off of the 360 program as possible…

    Comment by christian — June 24, 2009 @ 10:05 am | Reply

  3. Dear Anonymous Blogger Jerk? Ouch…The question is, did they leave their name? That’s not a good way to make friends!

    They have really aggressively been pushing the 360 program lately, especially with emails/posts like you just put up. The fact is, we (IPexpert)haven’t noticed a difference and it is all pretty humorous if you ask me. 90% pass rate? I am also curious to the fact how they came up with that number.

    The self-funding candidate is crazy to go for the 360 program IMO, especially with reputable vendors like IPexpert, INE and Narbik who have trained thousands collectively at a fraction of the cost…

    Anywho – nice post, and you are not a jerk! 😉

    Comment by Mike Down — June 24, 2009 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  4. No he is a jerk 😛

    Comment by CCIEJourney — June 24, 2009 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

  5. That sucks. I wonder if the ASET will die the same death? When I was prepping I worked for Cisco and had free access to the ASET labs, which I guess were similar to the Assessors and they were a great help!

    Comment by Joe Astorino — June 25, 2009 @ 2:06 am | Reply

  6. Dear fellow Cisco CCIE’s

    For a very long time our accreditation has been the highest certification level in Cisco Networking. Well, not any longer.

    Cisco released a CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert) certification, not too long ago. The structure is similar to the CCIE – you have a written exam to pass and then you do a “lab” exam afterwards. It is hands-off though. It is all about Design, product choice, strategy and planning.

    So far there is only a handful CCDE’s out there on the market and as you can guess already, those guys will be in highest demand in the years to come. Experts who do not implement and troubleshoot, but Experts who design multi million dollar networks for large corporations.
    Does that sound interesting? It certainly does to me as a CCIE!

    Now the good news is, that ProNetExpert is the only company in the world who can offer both a CCDE written training course AND a CCDE lab exam boot camp. We already have 2 fully CCDE certified instructors on board who are delivering our classes.
    We currently run the first CCDE written Bootcamp in Guildford (just outside of London) and we have our next CCDE written and CCDE lab Bootcamp lined up for November in London already.

    The classes are filling up quickly with CCDE candidates from all over the world and the CCDE lab Bootcamp in November is confirmed to run. In December there will be the next CCDE lab exam from Cisco, so the Bootcamp is ideally timed.

    Next Dates:

    CCDE written in London (5 days) 16.November – 20. November
    £1,995 GBP + VAT

    CCDE lab in London (10 days) 23 November – 04. Dexcember
    £4,495 GBP + VAT

    If you are interested in becoming a CCDE, visit our CCDE website at
    or contact
    Please feel free to pass this message on to any of your friends / colleagues who may also be interested.

    Best regards,

    Martin Voelk
    CCIE # 13708

    CCDE Bootcamp Training Courses

    Comment by Martin Voelk — August 13, 2009 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

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