Friday, December 28, 2007

CCIE R&S Lab info by Maurilio Gorito (Content Manager)

Yesterday i fell into a Q&A session on Cisco's NetPro Forum, where i found out a lot of interesting things about the actual lab. Too bad i didn't know it before, because i had some questions of my own too.

Welcome to the Cisco Networking Professionals Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to get an update on CCIE routing and switching with Cisco expert Maurilio Gorito. Maurilio is a customer support engineer with the CCIE program at Cisco Systems, Inc. He has more than 22 years of networking experience and is a triple CCIE, with certifications in Routing & Switching (1998), WAN switching (2001), and Security (2003). Maurilio is the content manager for the CCIE R&S exams, written and lab exams and also serves as an exam proctor.

These are the most interesting notes i kept:

There is no plan to change the CCIE R&S blueprint in the near future. We introduced this blueprint v3 3 months ago and I don't see any change happening in a time frame of one year from now, at least.

No, there is no plan to change the blueprint at any time soon. Usually when a change is planned we will announce it in advance, on a time frame around 5 to 6 months before the changes to take place.


We are always looking into the technologies trends to keep the blueprint up-to-date. We did introduce the Wireless and MPLS/VPN topics to our CCIE R&S written blueprint about 3 months ago.

For the lab CCIE R&S lab exam we are researching these technologies too and the replacement of the 3550s and the 3725s but no decision was made yet and there is no time frame on this too.

I don't see any change on the blueprint or hardware for the lab exam happening in a time frame of one year from now, and any change will be also announced with 5 to 6 months in advance.

Wireless was removed out of the Written Blueprint on version v3.0.

We are rethinking about the topic or how to address Wireless as it became an important technology in the core, so we are researching how to cover that either adding it to the core certifications, i.e. to the CCIE R&S and/or to have a separated Wireless track.

Yes, we are working on a several projects looking to expand the CCIE lab exams offering worldwide. I cannot give a exactly time frame but I see some news on it to be coming at some point in 2008.

We are working 1) to offer more seats at the full time lab locations such San Jose, Raleigh (RTP), Brussels and Beijing; 2) to turn the part-time lab locations such Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai, Bangalore, Sao Paulo to a full time labs; and 3) to open more lab locations.

This is part of a big plan and we forecast you will see the lab seats offering become less painful on early 2008.

We are working to open up more seats availability to our current labs, but the ultimate goal is to extend the offering worldwide to more locations. The idea is exactly to minimize the cost and travel time to candidates while opening more opportunities to candidates worldwide to take the exam.

I can't tell you at this point how it is going to be as we are working on the planning.
News on it we will have more in 2008.

-If you arrive up to 2 hours after the exam has begun you can still taking the exam but no extra time will be given you. If you are traveling to take the exam I suggest you to plan to arrive the day before of the exam.
-You just need to bring your ID with you as you will be asked to register at our reception when you arrive. Pen, pencils, scratch papers, etc will be available for you at the lab location. No food is allowed, but snacks and brinks are.
-Depending on the lab location we have either restaurant/cafeteria for lunch or lunch will be ordered. Yes, we do provide the lunch.
-Usually we have washroom, restrooms and breakrooms close to the lab room. Candidates can go there any time during the day but one at a time.
-You can ask any question that you feel you need clarification on. Proctors are there to help you to understand the requirements and/or questions restrictions.
-Sure, you can report to our Customer Service if you feel the proctor as not available or didn't address your inquiries. During the exam if you feel you are having an issue on performance or hardware problem you must advice the proctor. He or she will double check and make sure there is no problem on our side. If there is a problem on our side the time that the proctor took to fix it will be given back to you in the end of the exam.

Again, you can report any issue you have during the exam, including proctors issues to our Customer Service.

Proctors are to clarify the questions to help you make you understand the question's requirement(s) and if the question has a restriction.

You can make as many questions you feel you need clarification. There is no such thing as to mark you points down for asking questions.

At the moment we have a mix as the documentation shift still ongoing so we have part of the documents on each website, but again we try to make the shift on our side as you we identify the need.

If someone during the exam identify that a link or website to a technical documentation is not available it should be informed to the proctor to have it fix.

When you search for a specific website into and it is being redirected you still getting the same information needed as before.

The physical connections are pre-cabled and you don't need to touch them. Also, in some lab locations the racks are remote so you don't even see them. If you suspect you have a physical problem you ask the proctor to verify it for you.

The lab document has L1/L2 diagrams for the physical connectivity. An IP or topology diagram and an IP Routing diagram.

The re-read will not give more details from your exam.

The process is having a second proctor loading your configurations into a rack and re-grading your exam to see if there were no issues from the first grade. If a score change your score report will be updated but no additional information is added. No details on what went wrong.

1. Take DVMRP on the basics when preparing to the lab as it is not that much explored.

2. Good point here. You should consider looking at the L2 Multicasting as well when preparing to the exam. Consider looking at

You are not penalized for adding extra configuration as long as this will not break a specific restriction. Your example on OSPF router-ID is perfect.

And the same applies to aliases: You don't need to remove them if they do not interfere on getting access to the device when the exam is over.

There is no restriction on configuring features or extra configuration as long as it does not break specific criteria. Usually we ask candidates not to change: passwords and hostnames.

I would just add concerning to debug is that depending on what debug you are running it may affect the device itself. I suggest if you use a debug command you to remove after making the test or verification, just to avoid a crash or similar thing.

We are not testing Mobile IP. VRRP and GLBP will fall under IP/IOS Features and the total of points for this section is around 8 points total that includes all other content.

Surely, many of my questions have been answered. Thanks Maurilio!

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