Posts from ‘Cisco General’


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.


    Presented by INE instructor Keith Bogart (CCIE #4923), this free 60 minute session is an open forum for anyone seeking information regarding the Cisco CCNA or CCNP Routing & Switching exam and related technologies. Ask questions live with an experienced industry expert!


    When: February 9th at 10 am (PST)/1 pm (EST)

    Who Should Watch: Anyone with questions about earning their associate or professional level Cisco certification

    Instructor: Keith Bogart CCIE #4923


    Tune into our live CCNA Kickoff session to get advice from a seasoned professional on what to expect during the CCNA Certification exam, and how to pass the first time.

    When: February 1st at 10 am PST/ 1 pm EST

    Estimated Length: 3 hours

    Instructor: Keith Bogart CCIE #4923

    Cost: FREE

    Who Should Watch:
    This webinar is for anyone and everyone! Since this webinar is geared towards those who are just starting out on their journey towards CCNA certification, no prior knowledge is needed in order to participate, just an interest in earning your CCNA.

    What We’ll Discuss:
    We will cover common trouble areas that most people experience when getting started with their CCNA certification, such as how to approach making a study schedule and strategies for not becoming overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of topics to be learned. We will also discuss the testing experience and the CCNA Certification test format. Topics include: Deciding whether to take one test or two to get your CCNA, What to expect when you walk into the testing center, which topics to study and how in depth, and what study tools can be useful. Last, Keith will talk about his own experience taking the CCNA exam and offer advice based off of his own personal observations.

    Check Out All of Our Upcoming Webinars:

    CCNA/CCNP Q&A: February 2018
    February 9, 2018 10 am (PST)/ 1 PM (EST)

    Deciphering Spanning-Tree Technologies
    February 16, 2018 10 am (PST)/ 1 pm (EST)

    Introduction to Networking Technologies
    March 15, 2018 10 am (PST)/ 1 pm (EST)


    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.


    For those who may not have heard, Cisco recently updated their blueprint for the CCIE Service Provider Written and Lab Exams. According to Cisco, only about 10% of the overall blueprint has changed and topics on 4.1 will be similar to those on 4.0. Read on to learn more.

    Domain Changes:

    4.1 domain topics are almost exactly the same as 4.0 topics. The main difference in domains is that domains 1 and 3 (service provider architecture and evolution and service provider base services) have been merged into one domain. While other domain topics did not change, slight shifts were made to domain weights.

    Weighting of Domains:



    Topic changes within the Domains:

    • Domain 1 (Core Routing): No topics were added or removed within this domain, but some items were moved, rephrased, or merged into one single item.
    • Domain 2 (Service Provider Architecture and Services) now holds tasks of the original domain 1 and 3. Other items that were part of domain 1, such as software architecture, mobility node functions, and virtualization concepts, were rephrased to better define their scope.
    • Domain 3 (Access and Aggregation) had a few topics items removed.
    • Domain 4 (High Availability and Fast Convergence) remains unchanged, only the weights changed.
    • Domain 5 (Service Provider Security, Operations, and Management) had the most changes. In this domain, service provider operation oriented items have been removed.

    The CCIE Service Provider version 4.1 exam continues to focus on dual-stack solutions for both IPv4 and IPv6 technologies, as it was already deployed in the CCIE Service Provider version 4.0 exam. All solutions, for example, routing protocols, fast convergence, and L3VPN cover both IPv4 and IPv6 technologies.


    Changes to Recommended Hardware and Equipment:

    No new technologies or features were added to the exam topics and therefore, the impact of this software update is minor. Candidates who want to prepare for the exam using hardware equipment are advised to use the following Cisco equipment and Cisco Software releases, which are used in the Diagnostic module.

    • P, PE, and RR role: ASR 9000 Series running Cisco IOS XR 6.0 release

    • PP, PE, and CE role: ASR 1000 Series running Cisco IOS XE 3.13 (15.4S) release

    • PE and CE role: Cisco 7600 Series running Cisco IOS 15.4S release

    • Access and Aggregation role: Cisco ME 3600x Series running Cisco IOS 15.4S release


    Exam Format:

    No changes were made to the exam format. The Exam Number remained the same (400-201), and still consists of three modules: Troubleshooting, Diagnostic and Configuration.

    To learn more about these blueprint changes read the full Cisco Article


    I recently added a couple Catalyst 3850′s to my development rack as we are starting to develop them internally. I’ll do a few more detailed blog posts on the Catalyst 3850 in the near future but I just wanted to show how simple it is to perform basic QoS functions using the MQC on the 3850. Below is the configuration to limit VLAN 15 traffic received on a trunk link from a router to 512k.

    class-map match-any test
      match vlan  15
    policy-map test
     class test
        police cir 512000
    interface GigabitEthernet1/0/5
     switchport mode trunk
     load-interval 30
     service-policy input test

    Not only is it extremely simple to configure and intuitive from an IOS perspective but you actually get output from the show policy-map command.

    Rack1SW1#sho policy-map interface g1/0/5
      Service-policy input: test
        Class-map: test (match-any)
          Match: vlan  15
              cir 512000 bps, bc 16000 bytes
            conformed 18935704 bytes; actions:
            exceeded 761225593 bytes; actions:
            conformed 0000 bps, exceed 0000 bps
        Class-map: class-default (match-any)
          Match: any

    I can’t imagine having to use the 3750 or 3560 switch anymore after working on the 3850 much less doing QoS on them. Basically if you know the IOS then you already know how to configure the 3850.

    Rack1SW1#sho ver | in Software
    Cisco IOS Software, IOS-XE Software, Catalyst L3 Switch Software (CAT3K_CAA-UNIVERSALK9-M), Version 03.02.01.SE RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)



    As everyone knows INE has made INC 5000′s list of fastest growing educational companies for two years running and we’re having our best year ever by roughly 30% over our 2011 numbers. With this growth INE is once again expanding. Starting mid-January 2013 INE will have a new office in RTP, NC. The office in RTP will be for sales and support so that means sales will be available starting from 6am EST (-5 GMT) in January. We’re also doubling the size of our datacenter in Reno, NV in January. We’ve signed the lease on the building next to our current Reno datacenter and are close to finalizing the RTP sales/support location. We’re looking for a mid-level rack support engineer for the RTP office location and for Reno. Hours would be from 6am to 2pm Monday through Friday for RTP and 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday for Reno. For the Reno location I’m willing to relocate the right candidate and their family within the US. These will be fulltime permanent positions.

    Additionally I’m looking for four fulltime support engineers internationally. These engineers would be responsible for evenings (US time) and weekends. The ideal candidate would be located around the +1 to +6 GMT timezone (Nigeria, UAE, Egypt, India, Romania, Pakistan, etc). These will be hourly contract positions.

    Without listing a bunch of standard HR type responsibilities and requirements, let me just sum these positions up. You need to be diverse in troubleshooting issues with a broad range of technologies (R&S, SP, SC, Voice, DC, Storage, Wireless, Linux, etc) to provide front line support for our rental equipment via phone, chat and email. Also you need to be able to integrate well with our existing team.

    For our US locations we provide zero cost health care for you and your family plus relocation assistance. For all locations we will cover costs associated with obtaining your CCIE which includes travel, exam fees, etc. When you’re not busy answering chats, tickets, etc ideally you will be on the racks yourself studying for your CCIE. So what about pay for these positions? Pay depends upon ability and not necessarily just experience.

    To apply send a cover letter and resume to Include your salary requirements in the cover letter. After reviewing the cover letters and resumes our Support Team Manager will contact you and schedule a time to do a two hour graded assessment prior to an initial phone screen.

    Tags: ,


    Just announced at the Cisco Partner Summit yesterday, Cisco is making Unified Presence, IM and it’s Jabber client for Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Cisco Cius, Blackberry and all Android devices completely FREE. This probably has something to do with how badly they’ve been spanked in Presence server and client sales by Microsoft basically giving away the presence features of Lync (although MS does make you pay when you want to add Voice/Video features to those clients – just as Cisco will). At any rate and for whatever their reasons and motivations – I personally think it is a very, very smart move for Cisco. It’s also one that makes complete sense seeing that UCM v9 is about to go into beta testing next week. Understanding that the Jabber client can interact with video from any IP phone or Telepresence unit, and the fact that Cisco announced that this free Jabber client and Presence support is not only for those with existing IP Phones, but for every member of any enterprise with a UCM server, this makes the announcement all that more powerful. This doesn’t include Voice or Video, but those can be enabled later with a simple license upgrade. Still not bad at all – especially with the new Jabber client for Windows, and the fact that once installed it enables all MS Office apps to have native presence tied into them directly to Cisco Jabber. This was the entire reason that Cisco purchased Jabber.

    Another thing that Cisco is making free (at least for some limited time) is their WebEx Meetings Beta offering – for up to 25 participants. This includes desktop sharing and VoIP as well. Sign up here.

    Also of no small merit, Cisco just shipped its 50 millionth phone – that’s 50,000,000 phones shipped. I still remember putting in my first Selsius Call Manager more than 13 years ago. Not bad Cisco, not bad at all.

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    Hi Brian-

    A fellow CCIE candidate and I were recently discussing reflexive access lists and he brought up that in INE Vol 2, Lab 5, Section 6.1, the breakdown for reflexive access lists notes that traffic originated by the router is not reflected. He thought this may be because the traffic originating from the router is always control plane which I disagreed with, holding that the categorization is not strictly dependent on origin.

    We consulted the Wendell Odom CCIE book and found this text, which further blurred the lines:

    … But routers and switches must handle a variety of traffic, including BPDUs, routing updates, HSRP, CDP, CEF, process-switched packets, ARP, and management traffic such as SSH, SNMP, RADIUS. All of these are processed by the router or switch’s control plane…

    Odom states that even SSH traffic can be considered control plane which seems contradicting to us.

    We were hoping you could assist in drawing the line between the control plane and data plane. Is it determined by the source/destination of the packets, the use or intent of the packets, or is it more of a general abstract concept?

    Thanks so much for the help!


    Hi Joseph,

    It’s kind of a gray area. The control plane in general is anything that’s needed in order to get routing working on that device; in other words, it is the “signalling” of the network. Control plane packets are destined to or locally originated by the router itself. This is really what separates the concept of the control and data plane.

    What Odom is saying is that a routing update, let’s say OSPF, going to the router is process switched, which means that the general purpose CPU has to handle it. Management protocols, like Telnet, SSH, SNMP, etc. could be considered part of the control plane, but are more properly considered part of the Management Plane, which is a specific subset of the control plane. This may give you an idea of what I mean.

    As for the data plane, sometimes called the Forwarding Plane, this is basically anything that goes *through* the router, and not *to* the router. The protocol or application itself doesn’t really determine whether the traffic is control, management, or data plane, but more importantly how the router processes it.

    For example suppose we have a simple 3 router topology that is R1–R2–R3, and R1 and R3 are running BGP with each other. From R1 and R3′s perspective, these packets are part of the control plane, because they are locally originated/destined, and need to be process switched in order to look into the packet details and actually build the BGP table. However from R2′s perspective, these packets would be in its data plane, because the traffic is neither originated from or destined to it. If R2 was a distributed platform, say 7600, it would be able to CEF switch these BGP packets at the line card without having to consult the general Route Processor (RP). However regardless what architecture R1 and R3 used, this traffic would be process switched because it is their local control plane traffic.

    The same would be true of Telnet in this case. If R1 Telnets to R3, on both of these routers the packets need to be handled by the control/management plane. However from R2′s perspective this is just data plane traffic that is transiting between its links.

    As for the reflexive access list, it’s unrelated to this. The issue is that an outbound access-list does not affect locally generated traffic on the router. It’s an issue with the internal order of operations of the router’s processes.  Check this video for more information on the reflexive access list issue.


    For each new CCIE Testimonial we are extending the seven years of success sale! Share your INE success story and congratulations to the following new CCIE Testimonials who have extended the sale thus far!

    Thomas Fischer, CCIE #26636 – Routing & Switching

    I am proud to let you know, that I passed my CCIE R&S Lab in Brussels on Aug. 5th. This was my second attempt. I want to express my deepest appreciation for your Products. I am a self-paced student, using Vol1 (*****), Vol2 (****) and Vol4 (***). Thanks INE, it feels so good to have a social life again :-) )

    Matthew Ayre, CCIE #26654 – Service Provider

    Big shout out for INE and their OEQ / lab preparation resources! I just cleared service provider on second attempt finishing about an hour and a half early. Was ~7% of passing the first time using INE 1 & 2 as my primary material then just drilled down on the finer details reading theory. The workbooks really developed the speed and confidence required to beat the exam!

    Prateek Madaan, CCIE #26772 – Security

    Had been a long and tough journey. Would really like to thank INE from the Core of my heart for facilitating in imparting the skills required not to just pass the exam but to DESERVE it as well…

    There are many workbooks available which I prepared along with INE , do not want to name or list any one of them…or make any comparisons…But in comparisons INEs Security Workbooks may sound tough as compared to others BUT once you go through these workbooks is when you actually feel DESERVED the tag rather than just passing it.. Each of these workbooks and the tasks test each and every technology in detail and till the dead end….

    In my last attempt on Version 2 I was deprived of the number by 1%, still followed and trusted INE workbooks and finally it helped….Today I am more happy not to procure the number but to actually have the feeling of confidence that ‘YES this time I deserve to be a CCIE’ and all due to the exhaustive INE workbooks….

    Olusegun Olurotimi Medeyinlo, CCIE #26683 – Routing & Switching

    I the Passed the CCIE R&S lab in Brussels on my Second attempt. I’d like to thank the instructors at INE for their excellent workbooks and blogs. Special thanks to Keith Barker for his encouragement and advice.

    Now, I have my own CCIE number #22683.

    Congratulations to everyone who passed the CCIE Lab Exam. Our instructors, authors, and staff have been committed to helping you pass your exam for the past seven years and we will continue to make your exam our number one priority. Only at INE.

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