The increasing importance of the network to drive significant productivity and cost benefits to organizations as well as the role of the network in transforming businesses have driven worldwide demand for skilled IT staff. To meet the increasing challenges of the enterprise networks Cisco Services reflects both changes in technology and the evolution of job roles.
For this purpose Cisco on December 4th 2013 has announced a major revision of the CCIE Routing and Switching (R&S) Certification and expert-level training to meet the increasingly evolving networks size, scope and complexity. This revision will be implemented from the version 4.0 to version 5.0.
The Cisco new R&S exam curriculum organizes the topics into six main large domains of knowledge. All exam topic domains from the version 4.0 curriculum were reorganized and restructured into six new domains. The six domains to name are Network Principles, Layer 2 Technologies, Layer 3 Technologies VPN Technologies, Infrastructure Security, and Infrastructure Services.
Cisco in its Routing and Switching exam has introduced a new domain Network Principles to assess the expert level knowledge of these essential topics.
The Layer 2 Technologies domain covers LAN switching and WAN circuit technologies. The Layer 3 Technologies domain is the principal domain of the curriculum and covers interior and exterior routing protocols (RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, ISIS and BGP) as well as addressing.
As the industry continues its migration towards IPv6, the new exam revision focuses more heavily on dual-stack Layer 3 technologies, and equally treats IPv4 and IPv6 in all corresponding routing topics. There is no longer a dedicated section for IPv6. All routing protocols cover both IPv4 and IPv6.
The VPN Technologies is a new stand-alone domain, including Tunneling and Encryption sub-domains. The Tunneling sub-domain includes MPLS’s L2 and L3 VPNs as well as DMVPN and IPv6 Tunneling techniques. The Encryption sub-domain includes IPsec with pre-shared key for both the Written and Lab exam and GETVPN for the written exam only.
The Infrastructure Security domain includes Device Security and Network Security (both focusing on features supported on ISR routers and Catalyst 3K switches).
The Infrastructure Services domain includes System Management, Network Services, Quality of Services (QoS) and Network Optimization. Layer 2 QoS topics are included in the written exam only, supporting the Lab exam to focus on platform independent concepts.
These domains improve the logical structure of the overall topics, as well as improve the alignment between the curriculum, the exam sections and the score report sections.
Another notable change to the exam topics is the inclusion of weighting factors for each of the six main domains that represent the relative amount of subject knowledge and focus that can be expected in each area for either the written or the lab exam. The main focus of the exam is certainly the Layer 3 technologies, covering 40% of the curriculum.
The introduction of a new exam section assessing diagnostic skills will improve the certification’s validity and relevancy.