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CCIE R&S vs CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure

CCIE R&S vs CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure


Objective & Syllabus:

Cisco is updating its flagship certification program to reflect the rapidly changing technology demands and adoption patterns in the industry. The main theme behind the certification program revamp is ‘Be Job ready Today, tomorrow and Beyond’. This is exactly why the revamped certification program reflects the changing needs from the market and the way is Cisco is catering to their demands and needs.

The CCIE R&S lab exam v5.0 was aimed at testing skillsets related to troubleshooting, diagnostics, and configuration of the technologies using Cisco devices. With the evolving technologies and the sophisticated demands from the industry, Cisco has revised its focus on validating the competence and skillsets of a CCIE to reflect the changing dynamics and future needs of the industry.

CCIEs can no longer restrict themselves to the Troubleshooting, Diagnosing and Configuring tasks in the network. The industry is demanding them to play a far bigger and complex role to set up, operate and maintain their ever-changing network needs. The new CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure lab exam v 1.0 is aimed at assessing and validating the candidate’s skills through the entire lifecycle of designing, deploying, operating and optimizing complex network deployments.

As it is called, Cisco has rebooted the Certification program to enable a CCIE to take care of Day 0, Day 1 and Day 1 of the network life cycle. It means a CCIE should be able to look after design on day zero, they should be able to deploy and configure the solution on Day 1 followed by operating, managing and optimizing it on day 1. This is the entire philosophy behind the certification revamp. The other aspect which has played a very important role is the focus on Automation and Network Programmability.

It essentially means that the CCIE certification program has been revamped completely based on the updated syllabus to meet the present and future needs of the industry, examination method (lab structure) to validate skillsets across the network lifecycle and the marking system to match the difficulty rating and weightage.

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure

Courtesy –

Layer 2 Technologies       20%
Layer 3 Technologies       40%
VPN Technologies           20%
Infrastructure Security     5%
Infrastructure Services     15%

Whereas CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 will assess the following topics:

Network Infrastructure                                             30%
Software-Defined Infrastructure                              25%
Transport Technologies and Solutions                     15%
Infrastructure Security and Services                         15%
Infrastructure Automation and Programmability     15%

For detailed exam topics for CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 lab exam please visit:

The biggest difference between CCIE R&S v5.0 & CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0

The nature of the lab exam and the scoring method:

In the outgoing CCIE R&S lab exam version 5.0 following is the structure of the lab exam:

The 8-hour CCIE R&S lab exam version 5.0 is composed of three independent exam modules:

                2 Hour – Troubleshooting (TS)

                30 Minutes – Diagnostics (DIAG)

                5 Hours 30 Minutes – Configuration (CFG)

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0

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Virtual devices are used throughout the exam which helps in more realistic and bigger network topologies. It improves the reliability of the lab exam by focusing on technology concepts rather than testing specific hardware platform features and management.

The sequence of the three lab modules is fixed. The troubleshooting module is followed by the Diagnostic module and finally the Configuration Module. You cannot go back and forth between the modules and the Diagnostics module is fixed for 30 minutes.

Passing Marks –

To pass the CCIE R&S lab exam version 5.0, candidates must meet two conditions

  1. The examinee must meet or exceed the minimum score on each of the three modules


  1. The examinee’s total score (the sum of each of the three modules must meet or exceed the overall lab-exam cut score)

Failure to meet either of these criteria results in failing the lab exam. There are instances when the candidate has achieved the minimum score required in all the three modules and has still failed in the exam. This failure is due to not meeting the second criterion of the total score.

This criterion was aimed at making sure that the CCIE must have competency in all three areas (TS, DIAG, and CFG). Candidates cannot neglect one module and concentrate on the remaining two to pass the exam.

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Training

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The lab exam for the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 is as follows:

The lab exam is divided into 2 modules that have fixed time and sequence.

Module 1 – Design (3 Hours)

Module 2 – deploy, Operate and Optimize (5 Hours)

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure India

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The first section ‘Design – 3 Hours’ covers the applied design of the network based on the technological requirement; It is different from the CCDE exam which focuses on high-level design based on business requirements. The second module is 5 hours which assesses your skills in ‘Implement. Operate (it includes troubleshoot) and Optimize’ aspect of networks. Cisco intends to maintain the overall storyline while going through the two modules while making some add/revisions in between like adding a branch network for example. At the same time, both of these modules are separate.

Module 1: Design (3 Hours)

The objective of this module is to assess the ability to create, analyze, validate and optimize network designs. Following skills will be validated:

  • Understand the capabilities of different technologies, solutions, and services
  • Translate client requirements into solutions
  • Assess readiness to support proposed solutions

This is a scenario-based module with no access to any devices. The examinee will be provided with documentation like email threads, high-level design, network topology diagrams, client requirements, and restrictions.

Regarding the passing threshold for the new CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, there is no fixed number or percentage. Each lab exam is going to be different and each question will be weighted by a resident psychometrician for its difficulty level and passing marking weightage. This means each lab exam will have a different passing score based on an internal valuation by the Cisco team.

Point values associated with each item are not displayed in this module.

Module 2: Deploy, operate and Optimize (5 Hours)

The objective of this module is to validate skill sets related to deploying, operating and optimizing network technologies and solutions.

  • Deploy – Successful network implementation including configuring, integrating and troubleshooting the commissioning of technologies and solutions based on the exam syllabus
  • Operate and Optimize – Monitoring network health, network performance, service quality improvement with reduced disruptions and outages. Other parameters to be tested are reducing operating costs, maintaining high availability, reliability and security. It also assesses the ability to diagnose potential issues, adjust/finetune configurations to meet changing business goals and technical requirements.

Point values associated with each item are displayed in this module.

Exam Score Evaluation

Both the modules will have a minimum score and a passing score based on the difficulty level.

The examinee must score higher than the aggregated pass scores of both the modules and score higher than the minimum score set on each of the modules individually.

If examinee scores less than the overall aggregated pass score of both modules, he/she fails. Or if the examinee scores less than the minimum score on 1 or more modules, he/she fails too.

Candidates who fail the exam will be given a report specifying the scoring percentages domain wise for the modules they passed or failed.

What are the benefits of CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure?

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure lab exam and syllabus are designed in such a way that the skillsets of the examinee get validated most efficiently. The syllabus covers the topics which are most relevant for the candidates based on their job roles and organizational needs. The candidate’s skillsets get validated across the lifecycle of the network. Successful candidates are ready with the Automation and Network Programmability knowledge since both these buzzword modules are covered in the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure lab exam.

Successful completion of the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure lab exam puts you ahead of all the other candidates who are competing with you for the coveted post or the job. Large organizations and corporates are looking for candidates who can take care of the complete lifecycle of their networks while being ready for the upcoming technologies.

Achieving CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certification after passing the lab exam means that the candidate is ready with the most advanced knowledge of the network lifecycle. His capacity to be able to understand, practically apply and manage the networking technologies is validated.

Market Demand for the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure:

Markets are looking for capable, knowledgeable and certified network engineers who can straight away take care of their networking requirements. CCIE certification by Cisco has been the gold standard of the networking prowess for a long time. Revamped CCIE program such as Enterprise Infrastructure is the next step in this direction. Markets have an idea about the skills and knowledge of CCIE certified professionals. It helps candidates get better job opportunities across the globe.

CCIE certification opens up the global job market for professionals. The CCIE program is a well-known and well-received career certification across the continents.

Market Opportunities for the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure:

CCIE candidates can get Network Architect, Senior engineer, Network engineer kind of roles. These are responsible and performance-oriented posts which can fetch a good salary for the right candidates.

Irrespective of the industry verticals and domains, CCIEs are always in demand due to the rigor, integrity and brand value associated with the certification program and the candidate who has gone through the whole nine yards of preparation, practice, and examination to prove his mettle.       

Who should opt for the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure?

Candidates who are looking for a long term career in the networking industry are the right candidates for the CCIE. CCIE is not something that can be attempted as a pastime if you are not committed enough. Professionals who have worked in the networking industry for 5-7 years are the right candidates for the CCIE provided they have enough fire and hunger in them to achieve this pinnacle of networking certification in the world.

The CCIE certification is the best option for candidates who are expected to deliver expert-level problem-solving skills to support complex network technologies and topologies.

It is the best career enhancement tool for the students and IT professionals who are looking for an internationally recognized certification to improve their job growth prospects.

Prerequisites for the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure:

As per the CISCO certification guidelines, there is no prerequisite for attempting the CCIE lab exam except the candidate needs to clear core technology exam ENCOR (300-401). Candidate need not complete his CCNP or CCNA to appear for the CCIE lab exam.

Migrating to the new Program& Recertification –

Many of us have been working towards CCIE R&S for a long time. We need to keep working on the same, we’ll receive the credit for work completed in the current program.

  1. If you have passed the current CCIE Routing & Switching Written v5.0 exam before Feb 24th, 2020, you can go for the CCIE R&S lab exam v5.1 till April 26th, 2020. After 27th April 2020, you are eligible to attempt CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure within 3 years of passing the written v5.0 exam.
  2. If you pass ENCOR 350-401which will replace the current CCIE Routing & Switching Written v5.0 exam once it is available on Feb 24th, 2020, you are eligible to attempt CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 lab exam within three years of passing the ENCOR exam.
  3. If you complete the entire CCIE R&S certification on or before April 26th, 2020, then on April 27th, 2020 you will automatically receive the new CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 certification. You will also receive the Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Core certification.
  4. IF you have an active CCNP or have passed an exam that will be made equivalent to a technology core exam after migration, you will be able to attempt the CCIE lab exam within 3 years from the date of passing the exam equivalent to the core exam ENCOR 350-401. That means if you have cleared ROUTE (300-101), SWITCH (300-115) & TSHOOT (300-135) you have achieved Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Core. It makes you eligible to attempt the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 lab exam within 3 years of passing the three exams mentioned before.
  5. If you are an active CCIE R&S v5.0as of April 26th, 2020, you will receive a new CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certificate. The validity of the original CCIE R&S (two years) remains unchanged. With the new CCIE program, recertification will be required every three years. Current CCIE R7S v5.0 recertification requirement is after every two years
  6. CCIE Suspended status will be retired as of Feb 24th, 2020. If you are in a suspended status as of Feb 24, 2020, your certification will be considered active for the remainder of the suspended term. To remain active after the suspended term, CCIEs will have to meet new recertification requirements. For example, if your suspended status ends on May 5, 2020, your CCIE will become active on Feb 24th, 2020 and will expire on May 5th, 2020 unless new recertification requirements are met.
  7. For recertification details, please get in touch with us at Octa Networks or visit the Cisco website.

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