Author Archive

Nov
05

A few changes have occurred with regards to the CCIE Data Center certification, some on Cisco’s part and a few on ours.

Cisco Makes a Change

Firstly, released a new testing rack into the system in the middle of last week, and a lot of new seats have opened up to sit for the CCIE Data Center exam. Jump online and book yours today if you’ve been waiting for one.

Next, Cisco made a seemingly inconspicuous change a few weeks back to the “Lab Equipment and Software Versions” document, not by adding anything, but rather by removing most minor version numbers from software that was previously listed. This doesn’t go against anything Cisco has done in the past or anything that they normally let the candidate know six months ahead of time – that goes for major software revisions or hardware changes only.

For instance, the software section previously looked like this:
• NXOS v6.0(2) on Nexus 7000 Switches
• NXOS v5.1(3) on Nexus 5000 Switches
• NXOS v4.2(1) on Nexus 1000v
• NXOS v5.2(2) on MDS 9222i Switches
• UCS Software release 2.0(1x) for UCS-6248 Fabric Interconnect
• Software Release A5(1.0) for ACE 4710
• Cisco Data Center Manager software v5.2(2)

And today looks simply like this:
• NXOS v6.x on Nexus 7000 Switches
• NXOS v5.x on Nexus 5000 Switches
• NXOS v4.x on Nexus 1000v
• NXOS v5.x on MDS 9222i Switches
• UCS Software release 2.x for UCS-6248 Fabric Interconnect
• Software Release A5(1.0) for ACE 4710
• Cisco Data Center Manager software v5.x
(A bit funny that ACE didn’t feel the love and remained untouched)

The implications to this are that things like a ‘true’ Admin context in Nexus 7Ks Sup1s (Sup2(e)s already have this) as well as Native FC Zoning in UCS, Single-Wire Cable Management for UCS C-Series from FIs and the biggest of all, Northbound FCoE from the UCS, can be potentially tested in the future. We’re told that for now many of these new UCS 2.1 features are not being tested, but we’ll go ahead and add content for them to prepare you.

What INE is Doing About it

We will be upgrading our code following our currently full bootcamp, which will give you the option to practice with the new features, while changing nothing from the current features that you already test with on our racks. We also will be adding scenarios to our online workbooks in the coming weeks, specifically demonstrating and testing you on these new features. Finally, beginning on November 16, you will see the amount of racks we have available for rent more than double.

We’ll continue to stay ahead of all major and minor changes that occur in the CCIE Data Center space and alert you as things progress.

Also, we’re currently completely booked full in our Data Center classes until March, and even now March and April classes are nearing capacity. If you have any intention of getting into one of these, you’d better head over here and register for one today.

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Sep
18

Cisco hasn’t exactly changed their minds, but has made some – ahem – slight adjustments for those current CCIE Voice holders and how they may transition to the new CCIE Collaboration. Three options are laid out quite clearly here on Cisco’s Learning Network page. Note that option 2 (what most previously thought was the only designated path) does expire on Feb 13, although that’s Feb 13, 2016, so there is plenty of time to make your decision.

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Jun
21

Just as every year, I will be attending the additional 8-hour CCIE Voice/Collaboration Techtorial at Cisco Live, this Sunday June 23 2013, and will be tweeting live all of the additional nuanced details that I find out about changes to the CCIE Collaboration exam as it transitions from Voice. I’ve already downloaded the slide deck, and there are plenty of mentions about the new Collab track, but nothing that we don’t yet already know. You can be sure that many questions will be asked and those will yield the information worth tuning in for. You can follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information, and then as I do every year, I’ll create a summary post here that includes all the details that were discussed.

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Jun
05

After a huge outcry by many on Twitter, Facebook and even a Change.org petition with currently almost 1,200 signatures gathered in less than a week, Cisco seems to have recanted their position, and will be allowing current CCIE Voice certified individuals, as well as those that certify before the February 14, 2014 switchover date, to migrate to the new CCIE Collaboration, simply by taking and passing the new CCIE Collaboration Written exam, which will debut on November 21, 2013.

Here is the official statement from Cisco.

To all of our CCIE Voice professionals. Here is a statement from Fred Weiller, Director of Marketing at Learning@Cisco:

“We are listening to the feedback from our valued CCIE community, and will be adjusting the CCIE Collaboration requirements. As a quick preview of the evolution of the CCIE Collaboration certification, a current holder of the CCIE Voice designation will now be able to migrate to a CCIE Collaboration credential by taking the CCIE Collaboration written exam only. We appreciate all of the great feedback and patience of the community while we update our webpages to reflect this change. We will be communicating further details about this modification as soon as possible.”

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Jun
03

I put together a new playlist on our All Access Pass geared toward helping those that have decided to study primarily with the new CCIE Collaboration in mind. What will be included in this playlist is primarily new technologies, specifically those that haven’t yet been covered elsewhere in our CCIE Voice v3 products. As the weeks go on, I will continue to update this list with more and more videos covering new technologies in UC v9.1. Keep in mind that until I have this list complete with everything that is newer than UCM 7.x, that you can and should still study all of our CCIE Voice v3 products, as everything except for H.323 RAS/Gatekeeper will still be completely relevant and a very much needed base for your understanding. Once I complete this list, I will probably leave it up for those only wanting to learn the new stuff, like those of you that are already CCIE Voice v3 certified (if you certified on CCIE Voice v2 or v1, and haven’t really used it in a while, you’re going to want to watch all the material over again as quite a LOT changed from v2 to v3). Also, once I complete this playlist with all the new technologies, I will be recording a completely new top-to-bottom CCIE Collaboration Advanced Technologies Class, that will include everything. And of course, the workbook is being completely re-written as well in our new online format, which you can see a sample of here and here. This video playlist is meant to not only hold you over until then, but also to be able to release material to you in a timely, incremental fashion.

To start with, here is 4.5 hours of material on Call Control Discovery over Service Advertisement Framework (CCDoSAF). At a most basic description, this is dynamic routing of DNs over an enhanced, named instance of EIGRP. It is currently much more detailed and complex than ILS (a newer and much more scalable dynamic routing protocol built-in natively to UCM), but it is also currently far more powerful and allows for things like SRST integration for failover usage with PSTN Aliases, as well as cluster-to-cluster PSTN failover, should the primary SIP/H.323 trunk route go down. Cisco pushes ILS much more in production and it is getting much more support with UCM 10.x, but since the new lab tests on 9.x, and the fact that no CCIE Lab exam has ever been that much interested in real-world design –favoring complexity over ease of configuration and good design– and the fact that it is very much on the new blueprint, I’d say you best get used to it now, even if it is going away. Also, I recorded these videos on a UCM v8.5 cluster, but that shouldn’t matter as this feature hasn’t changed since then.

The link for CCDoSAF on the UCM 9.1 Features and Services Guide can be found here.

The link for the playlist is here.

I start off with a general overview including a few slides just for concept, and then I move into hands-on demonstration of the following topic areas:

  • CUCM Inter-Cluster Call Routing
  • CUCM Call Routing with PSTN Failover
  • CUCM Call Routing during SRST Fallback
  • CUCM to CME Call Routing
  • Inter-Cluster RSVP via SIP Preconditions

Enjoy.

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May
31

We recognize that there is new content in the new CCIE Collaboration blueprint. We also recognize that a change to the name of CCIE Voice is long overdue. Furthermore, we recognize that there is about an 80% overlap in content, and only about 20% worth of new material. To this end, we will not be requiring our CCIE Voice v3 customers to re-purchase any CCIE Voice track materials when follow Cisco in rebranding it to CCIE Collaboration.

What this means is that if you have purchased any CCIE Voice v3 product such as a workbook or video course download, you will get all of the upgrades to that product, even when we rebrand the title of our products to CCIE Collaboration to stay in keeping with Cisco’s new title. This goes for bootcamps as well, if you paid for and sat one our CCIE Voice v3 bootcamps, you are welcome to come back and re-sit for one of our CCIE Collaboration bootcamps just the same – in keeping with our Bootcamp Reseat Policy.

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May
28

9 Months and counting to get your CCIE Voice v3 finished before CCIE Voice v4 –err, I mean before CCIE Collaboration– debuts.

UPDATE:

See this newer blog entry before reading anything in this current post. Some of what’s below is accurate, but anything in this newer post usurps what may have been said here.

Important

Overwhelmingly, the question I have been asked over and over again in the short time since this was announced is: “If I get the CCIE Voice certification, will I lose it come February when the new CCIE Collaboration debuts?”. In short, No, you will not lose your CCIE Voice. Once you obtain the CCIE Voice certification, then provided that you maintain any CCIE Written exam every two years, you will still be called a CCIE Voice. If you take and pass both, then you will in fact be a double CCIE.

Overview

So we finally have our answer. Those of us who are already CCIE Voice – we are not grandfathered in as CCIE Collaboration. CCIE Collaboration is a completely new CCIE track. Voice had a good 10 year run. Now it’s time to get busy and move on with the new CCIE that’s in town. At least that is what Cisco is telling us. It actually makes very little sense why they have done this. The hardware blueprint is almost identical, with a few slight enhancements. Testing days don’t overlap. Cisco even calls it CCIE Voice v4 on a few docs. Why the full retirement vs. a simple name change is beyond me. CCIE R&S has gone through massive changes over the 20 years it’s been out (next year) -it clearly looks nothing like it did in 1994- and it’s still called the CCIE R&S. Security as well. CCIE Communications and Services looks nothing like the CCIE Service Provider of today, but a simple name change sufficed in that case. At any rate, let’s take a look as to what has changed.
Continue Reading

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May
15

Again, while not officially a blueprint change just yet, it’s clearly coming. To that end we have gone ahead and taken the initiative to add another CCIE Voice bootcamp based on the current v3 blueprint.

The new date and location will be from Oct 7 – 18 in our brand new Seattle/Bellevue WA classroom and you can now register for it here.

A quick check of the Cisco CCIE Voice testing seats just now showed that there are still plenty available – with nearly one available every day between now and November in SJC, RTP and Tokyo, and fewer, but still plenty in Brussels, Bangalore and Sydney.

Those will all go quickly, just like our bootcamp seats will, so book both soon!

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May
15

UPDATE: We were contacted informally and kindly ask to remove the title that hasn’t been officially released as of yet.

UPDATE-2: The last day to test for the CCIE Voice Written will be Nov 20, 2013, and the last day to test for the CCIE Voice Lab will be Feb 13, 2014. This is much more than a blueprint change. Don’t yet know if those already certified as CCIE Voice will be grandfathered in, or if they will need to study for and pass a brand new Written and Lab exam. Seems like the official announcement will be made next week with more information as to the specifics of title progression.

It seems as though the new blueprint hasn’t been officially announced yet, the CCIE Voice track is slated to become the CCIE **redacted** track this November, 2013. As of now only preliminary information is available, but per a reliable source the we have heard that the CCIE Voice certification will be renamed CCIE **redacted** to reflect advances in networked collaboration solutions. The CCIE **redacted** certification will include voice, video, instant message, and presence.

Stay tuned, as more information is likely to surface as we get closer to Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando. Speaking of which, it’s not too late to RSVP to INE’s CCIE Candidate Party at Cisco Live 2013. Hope to see you there!

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Apr
24

Normally we don’t post many individual congratulations to new CCIEs, not at all because we don’t wish to recognize them, rather simply because the shear number of passers would overwhelm our blog. In fact we do recognize ever single CCIE passer with a very nice custom polo shirt with their name, number and CCIE logo on it. However, today we felt it important to recognize the first CCIE Data Center having passed using our materials. He talks quite openly about the preparation and his experience taking the lab in Brussels, here on his blog. In passing, Iwan mentions on his blog that he used our CCIE Data Center – Video Courses and our CCIE Data Center – Workbook, along with the myriad of reading material required to pass the exam. Iwan is no stranger to the CCIE exam, this being his 5th CCIE, along with Routing and Switching, Security, Service Provider and Voice, so for him to say this exam was difficult and that he was working up to the last moment is actually saying quite a lot.

Congratulations Iwan!

Also to note, we recently put on our schedule our brand new CCIE Data Center 10-Day Bootcamps with 2 locations in both Los Angeles and Seattle.

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