Posts Tagged ‘blueprint’
Finally, Cisco has made the official announcement on the upcoming changes for CCIE Security Version 5. Both the written exam and the lab exam will be changes go live starting 31st of January 2017, which gives you the usual 6 months window to pass the Version 4 exam, before the change to Version 5 occurs. As opposed to the old blueprint, there are major changes in both the technical content and exam delivery format.
As expected, the new exam topics are inline with Cisco’s current Security product line with pretty much nothing missing. Yes, you got that right! Also, as expected, Cisco is trying to push the same exam delivery model for all CCIE tracks.
Blueprint Technical Topic Changes
We now have a Unified Exam Blueprint, covering topics for both the written and lab exam, similar to the change that was introduced with CCIE Data Center Version 2. The Blueprint for Version 5 is divided into 6 sections, with the last one being relevant only for the written exam:
- Perimeter Security and Intrusion Prevention
- Advanced Threat Protection and Content Security
- Secure Connectivity and Segmentation
- Identity Management, Information Exchange and Access Control
- Infrastructure Security, Virtualization and Automation
- Evolving Technologies*
*Written exam only
Topics removed from both written and lab exams:
- EzVPN is out now, as expected, Cisco is moving forward to its AnyConnect (IPsec and SSL) Remote Access VPN Client
- Legacy IPS, or Cisco’s old IPS technology, is out now as well
There are many topics added to the current blueprint. As we no longer have different blueprints for the written and the lab exams, it means that what’s in the blueprint can show up in both exams. Although based on the lab exam equipment changes, some technologies cannot be configured in the lab exam, you might still get questions about these technologies in the new Diagnostic section of the lab exam. This means that you should be prepared for the technologies as per the blueprint, for both exams.
New Version 5 Topics:
- ASA Clustering
- NAT for IPv6
- Cloud Web Security (CWS)
- Email Security Appliance (ESA)
- Content Security Management Appliance (SMA)
- Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)
- Virtual Security Gateway
- TrustSEC with SGT and SXP
- ACI, EVPN, VXLAN and NVGRE
- ISE Personas with multimode deployment
- MDM Integration with ISE
- Wireless concepts such as FlexCONNECT and ANCHOR
- NetFLOW/IPFIX and eStreamer
- APIC-EM Controller
- RESTful API in scripting languages such as Python
- Evolving Technologies (Cloud, SDN and IoT) being only in the written exam
Lab Exam Equipment Changes
As previously rumored, in Version 5 we have more equipment going virtual:
- FirePOWER Management Center version 6.0.1 and/or 6.1
- FirePOWER NGIPSv version 6.0.1
- Cisco FirePOWER Threat Defense version 6.0.1
- FireAMP Private Cloud
- Cisco ASAv version 9.1
- Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module version 1.2
- Email Security Appliance (ESA) version 9.7.1
- IOSv L2 version 15.2 (which is virtual IOS for layer 2)
- IOSv L3 version 15.5(2)T (which is virtual IOS for layer 3)
- Cisco CSR 1000v version 3.16.02S
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager version 8.6(1)
Other virtual devices have been kept from previous blueprint, with a version change:
- Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) version 2.1.0
- Cisco Secure Access Control System (ACS) version 18.104.22.168
- Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA) version 9.2.0
- Cisco Wireless Controller (WLC) version 8.0.133
- Test PC is Microsoft Windows 7
- Active Directory is running on Microsoft Windows Server 2008
- AnyConnect version 4.2
As for physical devices we have the following devices in Version 5:
- Cisco Catalyst Switch C3850-12S 16.2.1 version 16.2.1
- Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance: 5512-X version 9.6.1
- Cisco 2504 Wireless Controller: 2504 version 22.214.171.124
- Cisco Aironet1602E version 15.3.3-JC
- Cisco Unified IP Phone 7965 version 9.2(3)
FirePOWER is the major new addition, where we have both the FirePOWER NGIPS and the FirePOWER Threat Defense (unified code for ASA and FirePOWER Services) being added, alongside with FirePOWER Management Center as the management platform. FireAMP will also be present through the private cloud appliance, used for advanced malware protection through big data analytics, policies, detections, and protections stored locally on premises.
ASA Firewall is now present through the physical model of ASA 5512-X, and the virtual model of ASAv. Addition of APIC-EM, which supports both the physical and virtual ASA models, is clearly interesting, being a strong proof about Cisco’s vision moving forward, which is clearly the adoption of SDN technologies in the Enterprise market.
As expected, ESA has been finally added to the game, as even in version 4 it was supposed to be in the lab exam, but Cisco decided in the end to skip it.
Routers and switches are now virtualized through IOSv for Layer 2/Layer 3 and CSR 1000v, exception being the 3850 switch model which most probably is there for some TrustSEC features not supported by virtualization (MACsec, SGT, SXP).
Finally, I would assume that the only scope for the Cisco Unified Communications Manage being in a Security CCIE lab, is for the IP Phone to register, which means you need zero knowledge about this technology.
Lab Exam Format Changes
The new lab exam format follows up with Cisco’s current vision of exam delivery, aimed to properly test you on different set of skills. The format is the same that was introduced with CCIE R&S Version 5, but of course with the Security technical topics instead of R&S ones.
The eight-hour lab format is now divided into three modules with order of the modules being fixed as follows:
- Troubleshooting module
- Diagnostic module
- Configuration module
- It’s 2 hours in length, you can optionally borrow 30 minutes from the configuration module.
- By the name, it’s a troubleshooting section, where you’ll be given a certain number of tickets/incidents that you need to fix. There is no inter-dependency between tickets and you can fix tickets in whatever order you want. You have access to devices consoles in order to reconfigure the network and fix the problems.
- This module is aimed to test your troubleshooting technical and methodology skills, and the ability to fix a problem from an unknown network topology within fixed allocated time.
- It’s 1 hour in length, and you cannot extend it
- By the name, diagnostic, it’s still a troubleshooting section, but in a different format; you’ll be given a certain number of tickets/incidents that you need to fix, there is no inter-dependency between tickets and you can fix tickets in whatever order you want; challenge is that you have NO access to devices console, instead, for each ticket, you’re being given many inputs (e-mail threads, diagrams, logs, traffic captures), out of which you have to diagnose the problem and select the correct answer(s)
- This module is aimed to test your ability to analyze and correlate multiple inputs related to a network problem within fixed allocated time, and without being given access to the devices you need to identity the root cause
- It’s 5 hours in length, but it can be 4.5 hours if you extended the troubleshooting module
- By the name, it’s a configuration section, where you’ll be given a certain number of configuration tasks, with access to devices console to implement the given requirements; this is nothing else but what was in version 4 the actual exam itself, as it had only one module; there will be dependencies between tasks, some of them will be explicitly stated, some of them you’ll have to figure it, are implicit
- This module is aimed to test your understanding of a solution design and architecture, of the traffic flows and dependencies within a network when multiple technologies are combined, ability to understand network requirements and translate it into working configuration within fixed allocated time
Passing the Lab Exam
In order to pass the lab exam, two conditions need to be satisfied:
- Pass each module, score enough points in each module to meet the minimum cut score for the module
- Total number of gained points must equal the minimum overall cut-score criteria
As each individual module tests you on different set of skills, though for the same technologies, the first criteria make sense, having to pass each module. This is to ensure that you have proved being an expert not only from the technology point of view, but also through the fact that you can make use that knowledge to fix various types of problems, being challenged in different ways. The minimum cut-score for each module is unknown, most probably because it could vary between different lab exam versions; for example you might get a more complex Diagnostic section with a lower minimum cut-score, or a less complex Diagnostic section with a higher minimum cut-score.
The second criteria also make sense, the minimum overall cut-score. This is probably to ensure that you don’t pass the exam if you passed each individual module with close to exactly the minimum module cut-score. Basically you can have a PASS for each module, but a FAIL for the exam. What this means, is that in order to have a PASS for the exam, you need to score more than the minimum cut-score for all modules, or only for some modules.
Although it might seem that you’re walking in blind, you go to the lab exam without knowing how many points are required to pass and in which of the three modules, this new lab exam format also has some benefits:
- It gives flexibility, as you can score less points in one module because of being less prepared or less knowledgeable, and more points in other modules
- It gives you a better focus, as you’re no longer chasing points in the exam, you’re now chasing to do your best in each module and prove your skills; this also implies a strategy change for the lab approach
- By passing the current lab exam format, you’ve become an expert in the field, with certified skills required to implement Cisco’s technologies into today’s and tomorrow’s networks
In conclusion, it’s now clear that if you want to become CCIE Security Version 5 certified, you will need more FirePOWER.
Cisco has just announced CCIE Data Center Written and Lab Exam Content Updates.Important dates for the changes are:
- Last day to test for the v1.0 written – July 22, 2016
- First day to test for the v2.0 written – July 25, 2016
- Last day to test for the v1.0 lab – July 22, 2016
- First day to test for the v2.0 lab – July 25, 2016
Key hardware changes in the v2.0 blueprint are:
- APIC Cluster
- Nexus 9300
- Nexus 7000 w/ F3 Module
- Nexus 5600
- Nexus 2300 Fabric Extender
- UCS 4300 M-Series Servers
Key technical topic changes in the v2.0 blueprint are:
- Policy Driven Fabric (ACI)
More details to come!
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.
As many of you hopefully already know, the CCIE Routing & Switching certification blueprint is changing from version 4 to version 5 on June 3rd 2014. As this date quickly approaches, and as the last of the v4 lab seats are fully booked, it’s time to start planning your attack on the RSv5 blueprint.
While Cisco’s official blueprint for v5 is now more detailed that it has ever been in the past, it still lacks some details in certain areas, for example “Implement, optimize and troubleshoot filtering with any routing protocol.” Additionally it would be difficult to use Cisco’s blueprint for a study plan as it stands in its current linear format. For example “Layer 3 multicast” is listed before “Fundamental routing concepts”, which from a learning perspective doesn’t make sense, because you must understand unicast routing fully before you learn multicast routing. To help remedy this we’ve re-ordered and expanded Cisco’s blueprint into INE’s RSv5 Expanded Blueprint, which you can find below after the jump.
Our CCIE RSv5 Expanded Blueprint is meant to be used as a checklist that you can use as you go through your preparation. This way when you’re finally ready to attempt the lab exam, you can be assured that you’ve at least heard of all the topics in the scope, regardless of how obscure some of them might be. Additionally note that some topics listed below might appear only on the written exam and not the lab exam, such as MPLS Layer 2 VPNs or RIPng, but are still included in our content and the outline below.
The below outline will continue to be updated, so check back periodically during your preparation to see changes, adds, and removes. Good luck in your studies!
INE’s CCIE RSv5 Expanded Blueprint
After the huge popularity of our CCIE 3.X Expanded Blueprint here on the blog, I am going to put extra effort in the next two weeks for the new CCIE 4.X R&S Expanded Blueprint. Adding links for Core Knowledge (Tier 1) study should help in that section, as well as Configuration and Troubleshooting. I hope you enjoy and thanks as always for choosing INE.
In preparation for the upcoming CCIE R&S v4.0 Blueprint, new topics are being added to the CCIE R&S Open Lecture Series. For those of you that have been unable to attend the live sessions, Class-on-Demand recordings are now available for MPLS and Zone Based Policy Firewall. Currently there are 4 sessions on MPLS, totalling about 5 hours of class, that cover theory, implementation, and verification. Zone Based Policy Firewall has been added from today’s session, and covers the evolution from standard/extended ACLs to Reflexive ACLs to CBAC to Zone Based Policy Firewall.
If you have any topics that you would like to see covered in upcoming sessions please email me at email@example.com with the subject “Open Lecture Topic Request”.
Probably one of the most difficult parts of the updated CCIE R&S exam will be the Troubleshooting section (you may check our recent poll to confirm that). So far, not much is known about this one. It has been announced that a separate topology will be used for this part of the exam, and the candidate will be required to obtain 80% of the total section score to pass is successfully. The exact amount of points allocated to this section is not know, but there should be around 10 “incidents” or “trouble tickets” covered.
Feeling that this section will be the most difficult to CCIE candidates, we started working on the new VOL4 part of our renowned IEWB-RS workbook. In this new product called “Advanced Troubleshooting Labs” we present you with ten scenarios each consisting of ten trouble tickets. This amount should be approximately equal to the number of the troubleshooting tasks you will encounter in the actual exam. The topology used for every scenario is the same that we use for all our RS products, including VOL1 (technology-focused labs), VOL2 (full-scale mock lab scenarios) and VOL3 (core technologies scenarios). You may already order the new product at introductory price and start practicing! New scenarios are to be added to VOL4 on regular basis (target rate is one-two new labs per week) so you should be fully covered by the time blueprint changes.
Our ultimate goal is not only prepare you for passing the Troubleshooting section of the CCIE R&S lab exam, but also to teach you a structured troubleshooting approach. As opposed to simple guessing and peeking at the routers running configurations you should learn using the debugging commands and interpreting various show commands output. For every ticket, we are going to follow the same structured procedure to resolve the issue and provide an in-depth illustration of the process.
You may find more information and sample material by following the Free Sample PDF Link at the product’s page IEWB-RS VOL4.
Good luck with your studies!
We are excited to announce our newest release of IEWB-VO VOL1 labs covering the new CCIE Voice blueprint, which becomes effective as of July this year. The first of the CCIE Voice v3.0 labs are now out in beta format, in addition to new Voice Racks available to rent covering the new topology! All current customers who have purchased IEWB-VO VOL1 will automatically receive the new updates in their members account at no additional cost. Each section of the new VOL1 includes technology-focused labs with explanations, verifications, further reading links, and dedicated troubleshooting sections.
The initial release covers Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (CUCME, formally known as Call Manager Express or CME). We will continue releasing new voice content covering all new blueprint topics, with a new section being released each week. The next release will include more CUCME labs, as well as Unity Express tasks, followed by the first of the new Unified Communications Manager Labs! The initial VOL1 release covers the following topics:
CUCME Basic Configuration
Phone Registration & Number Assignment (SCCP Phones)
IOS Call Routing
Voice Translation Rules
Single Number Reach
Softkey Customization – SCCP
Softkey Customization – SIP
Voice Hunt Groups
Ephone Hunt groups
Dynamic Hunt groups
The new voice racks are fully compliant with the CCIE Voice hardware specification posted at Cisco’s website: CCIE Voice Hardware Specification. To many folks out there, the new hardware lists is a huge relief, as the many old and expensive devices including the 6500 switch and the VG248 are now gone. Plus, the addition of SIP phones allows for more flexible choice of softphone software, not limited to the small set of SCCP-compatible products available on the market.
As for the people preparing using the old blueprint, our rack rentals support the old CCIE Voice hardware specification as well. Nothing will change until the lasts days the old blueprint remains valid.
Thank you, and be sure to check back often for more updates!
One of the biggest challenges for CCNA students (not to mention other Certification levels) is mastering Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). And the bad news for students is the fact that you no longer must master one version, but three versions of this critical protocol. Here is a quick review of the Spanning Tree Versions you want to be well-versed in for the CCNA, and beyond.
Classic Spanning Tree Protocol possesses a standard designation of 802.1D. You need to memorize these standard identifiers. For classic STP, just think Dog-gone Slow. The convergence delays the classic version can present are unacceptable for modern LAN uses of today, like the transmission of Voice and Video traffic. There is plenty of excellent documentation about Classic Spanning Tree Protocol out there, and that is really beneficial since most environments are still using this approach (as of the time of this writing of course). We need to study 802.1D very carefully and with intensity. This protocol prevents Layer 2 loops, and its operation is still at the heart of the enhanced versions.
Welcome to the 4.X Expanded Study Blueprint – it is a constant work in progress – feel free to comment!
LAST UPDATED: Feb 1, 2011; Added PPP AAA Authentication
1.00 Implement Layer 2 Technologies
(d) Loop guard
(e) Root guard
(g) Storm control
(h) Unicast flooding
(a) No VTP (TRANS)
(d) VTP Authentication
(e) VTP Versions
(f) Regular Macros
(g) Smart Macros
(i) Telnet and Telnet Controls
(l) Switch Virtual Interfaces (SVIs)
(m) 3560s and VoIP Phone Support