Cisco has announced their plans to transition the CCIE Service Provider certification blueprint from Version 3.0 to Version 4.0 starting May 22nd, 2015.  The official announcement for the Written and Lab Exam Content Updates can be found here.

There are four key points to this announcement, which are:

  • Lab Exam format changes
  • Hardware & software version changes
  • New technical topics added
  • Old technical topics removed

CCIE SPv4 Lab Exam Format Changes

The Lab Exam format of SPv4 has been updated to follow the same format as the new CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5.0.  This means the exam now consists of three sections: Troubleshooting, Diagnostic, and Configuration.

CCIE SPv4 Hardware & Software Version Changes

Following along with the current CCIE RSv5, CCIE SPv4 now uses all virtual hardware as well.  Specifically the new hardware and software variants are as follows:

  • ASR 9000 running Cisco IOS XR 5.2
  • ASR 1000 running Cisco IOS XE 3.13S.15.4(3)S
  • Cisco 7600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S
  • Cisco ME 3600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S

Both the IOS XR and IOS XE variants are already available as virtual machines that you can download from cisco.com and deploy yourself on VMWare ESXi 5.5 and other similar hypervisors.  The current IOS XRv release is 5.2.0, and CSR1000v (IOS XE) is 3.13S/15.4(3)S.  As for the 7600 and ME 3600 images, I would assume these will run as L2 IOU/IOL images, however I haven’t personally seen either of these complies yet.  The key functionality of them will be based around L2VPN for Ethernet, such as EVC and VPLS, which is not covered in depth in the current SPv3 blueprint.

CCIE SPv4 New Technical Topics Added

With the new IOS XR, IOS XE, and Catalyst IOS code versions used, the following is some of the key new features that have been added to the SPv4 Blueprint:

  • Ethernet VPN (EVPN)
  • Provider Backbone Bridging EVPN (PBB-EVPN)
  • Multicast Label Distribution Protocol (mLDP)
  • Unified MPLS (Seamless MPLS)
  • Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)
  • mGRE VPN
  • IPv6 NAT44/NAT64/6RD
  • MPLS OAM & Ethernet OAM

CCIE SPv4 Old Technical Topics Removed

Frame Relay and ATM, the old holdouts for years, have finally been removed from the CCIE Service Provider Blueprint.  This was expected, as most L2VPN services now focus on Ethernet last mile (EVC, VPLS, L3VPN over Ethernet) vs. legacy Frame Relay and ATM.

More information about our plans for content updates will be available as we get closer to the official release date of the new blueprint.  In the meantime for those of you that want to get in before the Blueprint change I would recommend to book a lab date as soon as possible, and start reviewing our CCIE Service Provider v3 Advanced Technologies Class and CCIE Service Provider v3 Workbook.

About Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13:

Brian McGahan was one of the youngest engineers in the world to obtain the CCIE, having achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching at the age of 20 in 2002. Brian has been teaching and developing CCIE training courses for over 10 years, and has assisted thousands of engineers in obtaining their CCIE certification. When not teaching or developing new products Brian consults with large ISPs and enterprise customers in the midwest region of the United States.

Find all posts by Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13 | Visit Website

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44 Responses to “New CCIE Service Provider Version 4.0 Blueprint Announced”

  1. Talha says:

    I finished ine video serious and about to begin 4 full labs. should I wait and prepare for the new updaded exam?

  2. Talha says:

    is there big difference between v3 and v4?

  3. sam says:

    Hello Brian,

    I have gone through all ine videos and all set for exam in 2 months for now. I hope current lab format will not be impacted by the new blue print and no new topics will be added for anyone who appear for the exam before 21st May,2015 ?

  4. Deepak says:

    Is there will be a beta exam for written or lab?

    Just curious to know because if there then it will be 50$ rather than 400$

  5. Mohamed Taher says:

    Hi Brian,

    i would like to know when you will prepare videos or bootcamp for the new service provider V 4.0 lab exam?

  6. Ali says:

    I dont see many learning providers offering trainings for tracks like service provider or wireless mainly due to less number of candidates or expensive gears. Would INE be offering materials for upcoming CCIE SP track ? Note that we now have VIRL out and 100% of this lab is emulated so we might be able to emulate whole of CCIE SP lab in VIRL (not 100% as I personally haven’t tested VIRL)

  7. Mohamed Taher says:

    Hi Brian,

    I would like to know when you will announce for the new video series regarding the new CCIE V 4.0 LAB

  8. Tarik says:

    I think now it’s fun :) !
    Do we know if the DC track will also have an update ?

  9. Deepak says:

    I cleared written for v3, can i give v4 lab or do i have to give written again for v4 and then v4 lab

  10. Jon says:

    For the upcoming CCIE Service Provider Bootcamp, is it purely based on v3 or a combination of v3 and v4? Is the v4 SP COD be conducted only after v3 has ceased?

  11. dimonpc says:

    Real good changes!

  12. Very good news. I think the topic reflects what’s happening around SP offers to customer.
    @Do you have a time frame on when the ATC should be scheduled?


  13. Jigar says:

    Will there be new ATC videos, workbook and bootcamp for SPv4 blueprint?

  14. nate says:

    do you think cisco/ciscopress will actually write any books to help people vs the few pieces you may need from their long “reading list”?

  15. adamson says:

    I just began studying for the ccie v3 about a month ago using the INE video now there is a change. Should i still continue with the use of the v3 material or wait for the new v4 materials when they are out because i feel this might be a major change.

  16. Michael Albøg Olsen says:

    When will the INE CCIE SP study material be updated to V.4?

  17. Petr says:

    Hi Brain

    Cisco announce that all lab was virtual. What do you think about virtualization Cisco ME 3600?
    How it would be? IOU-like solution or something more complexity?

  18. Steve Di Bias says:

    At what point will INE be updating the video training to match SPv4 blueprint? Will existing customers of SPv3 be eligible for SPv4 upgrade when it’s complete?

  19. Faisal Fahmi says:


    If i take the written exam v3, is it possible to take the lab exam v4 ?


  20. Tom Payne says:

    Brian, I see on the INE announcement page that “Both the IOS XR and IOS XE variants are already available as virtual machines that you can download from cisco.com and deploy yourself on VMWare ESXi 5.5 and other similar hypervisors”. I have been running CSR1000v for IOS XE but I find no reference to a virtualized IOS XR. I have ESXI 5.5 would appreciate any guidance on virtualizing IOS XR and IOS/7600 for that matter. Would you point me to a resource please? I am not a DC CCIE but I am Voice and R&S and am fairly comfortable in ESXI/VMware. Thank you

  21. Pedro says:

    Hi Brian,

    any news on the new version training material?


  22. Pieces of Eight says:

    Hi Brian,

    Any chance that metro-e is going to to be covered more thoroughly in the new material? How about MPLS-TE and QoS? L2 VPNs?

    I know these topics are covered in the current videos, but when compared to the depth of the R&S video series, it really feels like they just skim the surface.


  23. Saurabh says:

    Brian, Looking for SPv4 LAB guides & workbooks. If you can advise on availability?

  24. Muhammad Ausaf Ali Yousaf says:

    Dear Brian;

    Cisco has announced that it is going to include SDN in all of it Certification tracks including SP, Security, R&S, Wireless etc.

    How will SDN affect SP Blueprint and format of its questions in exam and it is not mentioned in the current SPv4 blueprint?

    Moreover please elaborate on how widely can SDN affect these certifications?

    Muhammad Ausaf Ali Yousaf

  25. Ibra says:

    Hello Brian,

    What can we use to simulate Cisco 7600 running Cisco IOS 15.5(3)S in GNS3 environment? When will be released the v4 workbook, ATC and Rack Rentals?

    Thanks in advance,


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