Posts from ‘CCIE Collaboration’


Cisco has announced that the CCIE Collaboration Lab blue print is changing from version 1.0 to version 2.0. The new blueprint goes live on July 23, 2018.
As expected, the lab will not have any physical devices, everything will be virtualized. The phones (8845), being the only physical devices, will be remotely controlled, students will not have them on their desk anymore.
Besides the phones, students will also have remote control of Spark, Jabber and the Cisco Meeting App.

Cisco also announced several new products and solutions, such as the Cisco Expressway Series, Cisco Meeting Server, Cisco Spark Hybrid Services, Cisco Unified Communications Mobile and Remote Access, and Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V. New topics such as APIs have also been added to ensure that CCIE Collaboration certified engineers have the knowledge and skills needed to satisfy dynamic requirements in customers’ collaboration environments today.

The traditional UC products are using version 12 (UCM/IMP/Unity Connection) and 11.6 in the case of CCX. All CCIE Collaboration v2.0 lab exam candidates will be provided a headset for questions that require audio verifications.

The new lab exam curriculum comprises seven domains. The new segmentation into these seven domains improves the logical exam topic structure and ensures alignment to Cisco’s Collaboration products and solutions. So, let’s have a quick look at these seven domains and how cisco has divided these domains into an approximate percentage value of questions that you may expect in the lab.


With network programmability having a continually larger slice of Cisco’s focus, it’s no surprise that Cisco’s list of topics added in version 2.0 starts off with Collaboration APIs. Here is Cisco’s list of major additions to their CCIE Collaboration unified topics:

Key topics added in v2.0:
Collaboration APIs
Cisco Expressway dial plan
Cisco Unified Communications Mobile and Remote Access
Cisco Spark Hybrid Services
Ad-hoc and rendezvous conferencing on Cisco Meeting Server

Key topics removed from v1.0:
Digital telephony signaling: BRI/CAS/R2/NFAS
H.323 Registration, Admission, and Status (RAS) and gatekeepers
Cisco Mobile Voice Access (MVA)
Cisco Service Advertisement Framework (SAF) and Call Control Discovery (CCD)
IOS basic automatic call distribution (B-ACD}

So, let’s compare the Hardware and Software between CCIE Collaboration v1.0 and v2.0



Besides the blueprint change, Cisco also announced a format change in the CCIE Collaboration v2.0 exam. The lab v2.0 exam now consists of three modules:

Module 1: Troubleshooting:
In the Troubleshooting module, you’ll be presented with a series of troubleshooting scenarios to resolve. Your troubleshooting is done entirely on virtualized equipment, and what you do when troubleshooting one trouble ticket doesn’t impact any other trouble ticket. Similarly, these troubleshooting scenarios are performed on virtualized gear separate from what you’ll be working with in the Configuration module.

Module 2: Diagnostic:
During the Diagnostic module, you’ll be diagnosing collaboration issues using documentation only (e.g. e-mail threads, console outputs, trace files, traffic captures, etc.). Using the provided documentation, you’ll attempt to diagnose the root cause of the reported issue. You should also identify where the issue is located on a network diagram. If you successfully diagnose the root cause, you should be able to state the key piece of information that led you to your conclusion. If you were unable to diagnose the root cause, you should be able to state which key piece of information was missing from the provided documentation. The Diagnostic module does not provide actual access to any devices or applications.

Within the Diagnostic module, the items are presented in a format that is similar to the Written exam. It includes:
Multiple-Choice (single answer or multiple answers).
Drag-and-Drop type style.
Point-and-Click on diagrams.

Module 3: Configuration:
As you might guess, it’s in the Configuration module that you’ll be executing a series of inter-related lab tasks on a common collaboration topology. This module is most similar to prior lab versions.
You have to complete these modules in order, and you cannot go back to a previous module. So, you must do the Troubleshooting module first, and after you complete it, you cannot revisit it.
Next, let’s consider how much time you have for each module. The goal is to complete the modules in the following times, which total to 8 hours:
Module 1: 2 hours
Module 2: 1 hour
Module 3: 5 hours
However, let’s say you’re nearing the end of your allotted 2 hours for the Troubleshooting module, and you need more time. You have the option of taking 30 minutes from your Configuration module and adding it onto your Troubleshooting module. That would give you 2.5 hours for Troubleshooting and 4.5 hours for Configuration. Of course, you’ll be forced to make that decision without having seen the Configuration module. As a result, you won’t know if you’re making a wise decision or not.

In order to pass the lab exam, the candidate must meet these two conditions:

  • The total sum of all module scores must be at least the minimum value of the overall cut score or higher.
  • The minimum cut score of each individual module must be achieved.

  • Will You Be Impacted?
    If you’re currently preparing for your CCIE Collaboration v1.0 lab exam, the topics you need to know for that exam are still version 1.0 topics until July 23, 2018. If you already have a few months of study under your belt, you might want to accelerate your study efforts to clear the lab prior to the cut-over date. INE has a bootcamp which can help you achieve your CCIE before the blueprint change.

    When will INE be releasing the new CCIE Collaboration Lab Version 2.0 Video’s?
    The good news is that, INE has already chalked down an action plan for the new CCIE Collaboration v2.0 video series. Each of these videos would be technology based, with practical demonstration of the technology.
    Our first plan of action would be, to build a demo pod by mid-March where we could start creating videos for the new topics which cisco has listed in their v2.0 blueprint. Once the new blueprint is active, we would fine-tune our pods for rack rental. We expect all videos to be released to students by mid-August 2018.
    If you have any specific questions, you may email me on and I would be happy to assist you in achieving your CCIE Collaboration v1.0 or CCIE Collaboration v2.0.


    Effective January 23, 2018 Cisco will be incorporating a new version of its CCIE Collaboration exam blueprint into both the written and lab exams. Those who are scheduled to take the CCIE Collaboration exam prior to this date will not be affected by the blueprint change.

    For those who are scheduled to take the CCIE Collaboration exam on or after July 23, 2018 here are the major changes you can expect to see:

    • New segmentation of topics among exam domains
    • Removal and addition of some key topics in both the written and lab exams
    • The lab exam format will be 100% virtual with no physical technologies use

    Domain Level Changes:

    The v2.0 CCIE Collaboration exam will be split into 8 domains unifying the written and lab exam topics. What this means is that instead of having 9 domains in the written exam and 7 in the lab exam, candidates will be tested on topics in only 8 domains total across both exams. In version 2.0 of the CCIE Collaboration exam, instructions will explicitly state which domains pertain to which exam, and the relative weight of each domain.

    Topics Added in v2.0:

  • Collaboration APIs
  • Cisco Expressway dial plan
  • Cisco Unified Communications Mobile and Remote Access
  • Cisco Spark Hybrid Services
  • Single-Sign-On
  • Ad-hoc and rendezvous conferencing on Cisco Meeting Server

  • Topics Removed in v2.0:

  • Digital telephony signaling: BRI/CAS/R2/NFAS
  • H.323 Registration, Admission, and Status (RAS) and gatekeepers
  • Cisco Mobile Voice Access (MVA)
  • Cisco Service Advertisement Framework (SAF) and Call Control Discovery (CCD)
  • IOS basic automatic call distribution (B-ACD}

  • Exam Format Changes:

    The written exam format will stay the same with only the topics changes incorporated, the lab exam format however will be extremely different. In version 2.0 of the CCIE Collaboration Exam most devices will be virtualized. Additionally, there will no longer be any physical IP phones on candidates’ exam desktops – IP phones will be remotely controlled from the candidate’s PC.


    For further information on the CCIE Collaboration exam blueprint updates visit the Cisco website.


    A long time student of INE, Neil Moore has done it again, last time becoming the worlds first 7x CCIE, and this time becoming the worlds first and only 8x CCIE. And no, he doesn’t work for Cisco.

    As a side note, INE has been experiencing phenomenal growth, and tremendous passing rates for people that have been sitting our R&S, Data Center and Collaboration bootcamps. In fact, of just the bootcamps we’ve held this year, nearly all of our students have reported back to us a pass in the 3-4 weeks following their bootcamp experience. Now mind you, these folks come to us studied up and prepared for the bootcamp, but they all credit us as being the deciding factor in their pass.

    We’re also adding new content all the time, including Python scripting, Openstack and SDN such as OVS. Check out our Black Friday deals and grab an All Access Pass or sign up for a bootcamp and check out what’s new!



    Having passed the CCIE Voice 10 years ago, and having taught on the technologies surrounding both Voice and Collaboration ever since, one might think that the exam would be easy to pass. I can assure you that no matter how much you know, no CCIE exam is easy to pass. Cisco doesn’t allow them to be. Every CCIE track requires hard work and preparation, even if it may, at first glance, seem somewhat of a repeat of things you already know. You may ask since I had the CCIE Voice already, why I didn’t simply take the Collaboration Written exam and convert my cert to a CCIE Collaboration? The answer I think is pretty straightforward – it’s the challenge!! Seeing if you still have it 10 years later. Seeing if what you’ve been teaching your students for 10 years is still up to par and still relevant. To take you back to when I passed CCIE Voice ten years ago, the track was literally brand new that year, and Cisco was testing on CallManager version 3.3, SIP wasn’t anywhere to be found, and creating a hunt group meant tweaking Attendant Console to make it do things it shouldn’t ever be expected to do (like work). I’m quite happy to find that I may still have ‘it’ and that my content is right on par and not only relevant on all accounts, but as always goes well above and beyond the minimum of what you need to know to pass the exam, and takes you into the deep inner-workings of the technologies and answers the all of the “why” questions. Bear in mind that we never create content with the singular goal of simply getting you “past” the lab exam (the people that can only barely pass the lab can’t make it past a technical interview in the real world), but rather our focus is making you a true expert whereby, as a byproduct, you do pass the lab exam and quite handily at that. Over the past 10 years I’ve had the pleasure of helping over 1,500 people do just this, and it’s been so enriching in my life to see their professional and personal lives bettered for it. So what took me so long to getting around to sitting for this new exam? Simply put – my schedule. As some of you may know, I’ve been teaching a lot of 2-week CCIE Data Center courses and 2-week CCIE Collaboration courses, as well as working on building all of the Collaboration racks and self-paced learning content, and quite frankly just hadn’t found time in my schedule to get around to preparing to sit for and take the actual new lab exam until just a few weeks ago. So onto more of what you need to know and what it takes to be ready.

    CCIE Numero Quatro

    It’s quite possible that I may be one of the only people besides Frog that possesses 3 or more CCIE’s, where one of them is not Routing and Switching.

    Continue Reading

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


    Update 1: CCIE Collaboration Racks are now available for rent. Sign in to your members account and click on Rack Rentals in the left navigation. Please note that these racks are currently in general beta release, meaning they are available to everyone, but if you happen to find a bug or an issue with the scheduler, rack control page, or rack equipment, please start a support case and kindly let us know about it so that we may remediate it quickly. We’ve had a number of closed beta testers and their tests have all gone very well. We should be out of general beta release within a few weeks. Full instructions on how to use our racks can be found in our new Collaboration Rack Rental Guide, and I will be releasing a few follow-up videos later today with links inside the guide, to further demo things and walk you through how to use these racks, including the use our new rack control panel.
    Continue Reading

    Tags: , , ,


    INE is reducing the cost of our live, instructor-led bootcamps by $1,000 each. Our new pricing model will still include access to our workbooks and ATC video courses with the purchase , but will separate out the Lab Exam Voucher and access to our All Access Pass as optional add-ons to provide you with a more flexible options for both your learning style and your budget. If you would like the existing complete, bundled solution, you have until Aug 1 to make a bootcamp purchase.

    See this advert for more details.

    Look forward to seeing you in a bootcamp soon!

    Tags: , ,


    Earlier this year in April, we reported to you about a major change in policy to retakes of the CCIE Written and Lab exam. Just today Cisco updated that policy with a major blow for anyone who has been preparing under the old pretenses. Namely that: “These policy changes will be applied retroactively from the date of a candidate’s first lab attempt.” The seemingly innocuous announcement can be found on their CCIE Lab Policy page, just above the table indicating how long you must wait between attempts. This means that if you already have, for instance, two attempts (and unfortunate fails) going into August 2 (when the new policy goes into effect), you would have to wait 90 days from the time of your last attempt to retry the exam. This still gives folks a chance to get another attempt (or 2, possibly) in before this Aug 2 deadline, regardless of the number of previous failed (or missed, if you simply didn’t show) attempts. But of course the real goal of Cisco here is to try to get you to study harder before even attempting your first CCIE Lab – which isn’t a bad idea for everyone.

    So as always – Happy Labbing and STUDY HARD!

    Tags: , ,



    Revisions have been made to our materials that obsolete some (but not all) of the information in this document.
    Please see the latest updates here.


    Many of you have been asking us for an update to our CCIE Voice to CCIE Collaboration materials transition. This document will serve to update you both on where we currently are with new materials, as well as give you a transition path and material to work on until we have everything fully transitioned over to the new Collaboration blueprint.

    Continue Reading

    Tags: , , , ,



    In a continuing effort to protect the integrity of the CCIE program, Cisco has announced a major change regarding the retake policy of the CCIE Written and Practical Lab exams. These changes take effect on August 1, 2014. Assuming a candidate happens not to pass on their first attempt at either a written or a practical “lab” exam within a given track, the frequency with which they will be allowed to retake the exam will change dramatically from past allowances, effectively not allowing the candidate virtually ‘unlimited’ retakes within a single calendar year (more specifically, within 12 calendar months from the date of the first attempt).

    Changes to CCIE Practical Lab Exam

    Perhaps the most interest for most people will be the frequency with which one will be allowed to re-sit for a CCIE Lab exam. Assuming a candidate does not pass on their first attempt at a given lab exam, they will still be allowed to attempt to retake the exam after 30 days has elapsed. The major change comes with the possibility that the candidate does not pass on their second attempt – after this attempt they must now wait for another 90 days to make their third attempt. Unlikely, but assuming a failure on attempt three, and a need to sit for attempt four, the candidate must wait another 90 days. Same goes for attempt four to attempt five. After a very, very bad year whereby a need to appear a sixth time becomes necessary, the wait period goes up to a full six months between attempts. The changes can be seen in a screenshot from a recent webinar below (after the jump).
    Continue Reading

    Tags: , , ,


    We’ve been putting a lot of time into development for quite a while now on the new CCIE Collaboration blueprint and wanted to share with you a few updates. If you’ve taken a look at the blueprint anytime recently, you know that there is quite a lot of material to be covered, and that a simple 5-day class would never suffice. So we’ve put together a new class that is extremely thorough, spanning a 10-day period, and we wanted to share with you the updated outline for the class structure as well as a sample class topology and list of equipment that we will be using, since many of you have been emailing and asking in our forums about what to buy in order to host your own rack.

    CCIE Collaboration 10-Day Bootcamp Dates, Locations and Outline

    Sample Classroom Diagram

    Sample Equipment List

    Keep watching for more updates as we get closer to releasing new material.

    UPDATE: Current customers that have the All Access Pass can already view two 4-hour classes that will assist with a few of the subjects. The first related to a (now outdated by GDPR, but still on the exam) technology known as CCD over SAF and also a CAC mechanism known as SIP Preconditions. The second – while not tested on the lab per-se (students have no access to UCS C-Series CIMC), but certainly covered in-depth on the written exam – is UC on UCS.

    Tags: ,


    CCIE Bloggers