Posts Tagged ‘updates’


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 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.

Tags: , ,


Rack Rentals for INE’s CCIE RSv5 Workbook’s Troubleshooting Labs and Full Scale Labs are now available via the Members Site. To access them login to, click “Rack Rentals” on the dashboard on the left, and then click “Schedule” under “CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Full Scale.”

This topology uses 20 routers and 4 switches and is for both Troubleshooting and Full Scale Labs. The topology above it, “CCIE Routing & Switching v5″, uses 10 routers and 4 switches, and supports all the Advanced Technology Labs and Foundation Labs.

The loading and saving of initial configs is supported through the Rack Control Panel, which can greatly save you time in your studies, especially with very large topologies such as those used in the Troubleshooting and Full Scale Labs.

Additionally, Full Scale Lab 2 and Troubleshooting Lab 2 have been posted to the CCIE RSv5 Workbook. More Foundation, Troubleshooting, and Full Scale Labs are currently in development and will be posted soon. For discussion on these new labs please visit the CCIE RSv5 Workbook section of IEOC, our online community.

Tags: , , , ,


The first of the new “Foundation Labs” in our CCIE RSv5 Workbook series is now available on the members site, as seen below:

These Foundation Labs are designed to refine your configuration skills on the core technologies used in the CCIE lab exam. Each lab guides you through the critical steps necessary for building and verifying a working networking topology. The labs are designed to increase your speed and refine your task-management skills, capacities that are crucial when working in a timed full-scale lab environment.

Currently Lab 1 is still in Beta, as there are some other topics I’m going to add to it. I figured I’d post it now anyways, just in case you have the day off today because of the long Memorial Day weekend, and you wanted to get a head start on some new material. The rest of the lab tasks will be posted shortly.

Also don’t forget that tomorrow is the kickoff for the new CCIE Routing & Switching Advanced Technologies Class v5. AAP members can attend for free. It’s not too late to sign up for an AAP or buy the standalone download of the RSv5 ATC, both of which will get you access to the live class tomorrow. Class starts at 8am PDT and will run just a few hours, as mainly I’m going to be talking about what the overall scope of the new class will be, and other key changes with new technologies, the new topology, etc.

Everyone is welcome to attend the class tomorrow even if you don’t have an AAP, so if you have any questions that you’d like answered in real-time then I would highly recommend attending.

Hope to see you there!

Tags: , ,


INE’s CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Workbook is now available in initial beta release. The RSv5 Workbook combines our previous four volume format into a single product, offering Advanced Technology Labs to learn new technologies in a step-by-step approach, Advanced Foundation Labs to increase your speed and accuracy at core configuration tasks, Advanced Troubleshooting Labs to help you master a structured troubleshooting approach, and Full-Scale Practice Labs to simulate the CCIE Routing & Switching Lab Exam.

The RSv5 Workbook is delivered in an online format that allows you to instantly access the content in both HTML and PDF format. The format also includes advanced features such as bookmarking and notations that can be added and accessed from your PC, Mac, iOS, or Android device, and has no restrictions on access, printing, or time limits. A sample of the online format can be seen here. The RSv5 workbook uses an updated topology which includes IOS version 15.4 and Catalyst IOS version 15.0. Rack rentals are available for the v5 workbook here.  I would recommend to start booking your sessions now for v5, as they are currently 1/2 priced during the workbook beta, only 3 tokens per hour.

Right now about 200 new and updated Advanced Technology Labs are available in the beta release. During the beta period, updates will be continue to be posted on a daily basis, so keep an eye on the release notes section of the workbook for new updates. During the beta period new customers who purchase the RSv5 workbook will additionally get access to the RSv4 Workbook Volumes 1 – 4. Upgrades for previous RSv4 Volume I & Volume II Workbook customers are free, and should already be posted to your members account.

Additionally we now have a hard timeline for the CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Advanced Technologies Class. The RSv5 ATC will run as a live online class over the course of about 3 – 4 weeks, starting immediately after Cisco Live. All Access Pass members can attend the live class for free, and will have access to the recordings in streaming format afterwards. If you purchase the current v4 ATC download, you will also be able to attend the new v5 class live, and get access to the videos in both streaming format and download format afterwards. Special bundle pricing is available which includes the RSv4 & RSv5 Workbooks, RSv4 & RSv5 ATC, and Rack Rental Tokens.

Specifically the RSv5 Advanced Technologies Class has the currently planned initial schedule:

  • Saturday May 24th at 09:00 Pacific – RSv5 ATC Kickoff
  • May 27th – 30th 08:00 Pacific
  • June 16th – 20th 08:00 Pacific
  • June 23rd – 27th 08:00 Pacific

The first class session on May 24th is free for anyone to attend. In this session I will be covering introductory and overview topics such as key changes to RSv5 vs. RSv4, scope and depth of topics that will be covered, initial preparation strategy, initial preparation resources, etc. Initially I’m budgeting 3 weeks for the class, but it may run more or less depending on how the flow of topics go, as the scope is seriously immense – more so than ever before. Also note that if you have an AAP membership or you buy the class you don’t have to attend all sessions. Feel free to drop in and out as you like, but remember that when you attend the class sessions live you will be able to ask me questions in real-time, which you obviously don’t get when you’re watching the videos in recorded format afterwards.

I look forward to seeing you all in class!

Tags: , , ,


It’s about that time of year again – with Cisco Live US 2014 just a few weeks away, INE has several new and exciting developments to talk about.

First, I’d like to invite all of you to join us at INE Rewired, our 2014 Customer Appreciation Party at Cisco Live. The party is on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014, at 6:00pm at the Mezzanine Nightclub San Francisco. We’ll be serving complimentary cocktails and appetizers, there will be over $25,000 in prizes and giveaways, and most importantly we’ll have a sneak peak at INE’s revolutionary new training platform, which will completely change the way you learn – but more on that coming soon. Second, we have two important announcements regarding new and updated products for CCIE R&Sv5.

On May 9th & 10th, 2014, I will be running an online CCIE RSv4 to RSv5 Transition Technologies Class. This online course is for candidates who have already invested a significant amount of time preparing for the CCIE Routing & Switching version 4 blueprint, but will be taking the lab exam in the new version 5 blueprint format that begins on June 3rd, 2014. This class focuses on technologies that have been newly introduced in the v5 blueprint, such as IPsec VPNs, DMVPN, GETVPN, and Embedded Packet Capture, as well as technology enhancements such as VTPv3, EIGRP Multi-AF Mode & Wide Metrics, EIGRP HMAC & OSPF SHA Authentication, Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD), and OSPF Loop Free Alternative (LFA) just to name a few. All Access Pass members can attend the class for free, but customers who purchase the CCIE RSv4 to RSv5 Transition Technologies Class will have real-time access to ask me questions via chat and will also be granted early beta access to our new new training platform, which is scheduled for release shortly after Cisco Live.

Last but not least, this week we will begin releasing our updated CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5 Workbook. INE’s CCIE Routing & Switching v5 Workbook will collapse the previous four volume format used in our CCIE Routing & Switching v4 Workbooks into a single product. Customers who previously purchased either INE’s CCIE Routing & Switching Workbook Volume I or Volume II will have the new Version 5 Workbook automatically added to their INE Members account before the end of the week. Anyone who purchased just Volume III or Volume IV as standalone products can get in touch with for special upgrade pricing to the new Version 5 workbook.

The new CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5 Workbook will be priced at $499, or $299 for AAP Members. However, if you purchase either the current Volume 1 or Volume 2 workbook before Thursday, you’ll still be eligible for the free upgrade to the Version 5 Workbook, and essentially save $300 on it.  Just don’t tell my sales team that I told you about this loophole ;)


Tags: , , ,


Today Cisco posted their official announcement on the upcoming changes for CCIE Routing & Switching Version 5.  The majority of the announcement is along the same lines as previously rumored changes, except for the official launch date, which is now scheduled for June 4th 2014.  This should bring a great sigh of relief to you if you’re currently nearing the end of your CCIE R&S v4 preparation, as you now have a 6 month window to pass the v4 lab exam before the change to v5 occurs.

Specifically the announcement details changes to technical topics covered both in the written and lab exams, the equipment used, as well as the exam format, as follows:

Technical Topic Changes

New Lab Topics:

  • Interpreting Packet Captures
  • Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD)
  • Multi Address Family (AF) EIGRP
  • Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN)
  • IPsec
  • IPv6 First Hop Security

Of the new topics announced, the big ones are DMVPN and IPsec.  These are specifically listed as DMVPN Single Hub and IPsec with Pre-Shared Keys, so the scope is not nearly as large as the CCIE Security.  If you don’t yet know what any of these terms mean, don’t worry, you soon will ;)

Topics moved from the Lab to the Written:

  • IPv6 Multicast
  • RIPng
  • IPv6 Tunneling
  • 802.1x
  • Layer 2 QoS
  • Performance Routing (PfR)

Topics completely removed:

  • Flexlinks
  • ISL
  • Layer 2 Protocol Tunneling
  • Frame-Relay
  • WCCP
  • IOS Firewall
  • RITE
  • RMON
  • RGMP
  • RSVP QoS

For topics removed, there are three killer areas here: Frame Relay, PfR, and Layer 2 QoS.  Frame Relay’s removal is no surprise, as Ethernet based last mile access solutions such as Metro Ethernet and Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS) have exploded in the past few years and have eclipsed legacy methods such as DS3 Frame Relay.  From a technology design point of view though, a lot of the Frame Relay theory transfers directly over to DMVPN, as DMVPN could be thought of as a way to emulate legacy hub-and-spoke network designs over a public transport.

As for PfR’s removal, this one is a bit of a surprise, and I can already hear Brian Dennis’s screams of agony:

While the general idea of PfR is great, I’ve never seen it implemented other than in very small scale environments due to the management complexity.  You have to give Cisco credit though, as PfR is essentially SDN version 1.0, and now a very large portion of the industry is focused on this type of application.

The other large change here is the removal of Layer 2 QoS.  While this is still a very important topic, the problem with L2 QoS is that it is highly platform dependent, and the way that Catalyst 29xx/35xx/45xx/65xx implement L2 QoS is generally unique to each.  Therefore in the interest of platform independence and virtualization, L2 QoS gets the axe.  This brings us to our next topic, which is the hardware changes in the new blueprint.

Equipment Changes

As previously rumored, the new CCIE R&S v5 equipment is going all virtual.  As CCIE R&S v4 had already been using virtual IOS for the troubleshooting section of the exam, this should come as no surprise. The biggest implication of this change is that the size of the topology is now arbitrary.  I wouldn’t be surprised going into the exam and seeing a configuration section with 20+ routers in the topology.

The other implication of this change is that certain features can no longer be tested on, as they’re not supported in the virtual IOS.  Those topics that can’t be tested, such as Layer 2 QoS or Flexlinks, are now explicitly excluded from the topic scope of the exam.

Format Changes

Last but not least, a new testing section has been introduced into the R&S v5 lab exam format.  While the written exam format stays the same, the lab now includes a “diagnostic” section, which focuses on the diagnosis and resolution of network issues from a more high level point of view.

This new section won’t use equipment, but instead will present the candidate with information such as network diagrams, CLI outputs, log outputs, traffic captures, and email exchanges, based on which they will be expected to diagnose a presented network problem.  Based on the description in the announcement, I would assume that this format is going to be similar to the CCDE Practical Exam testing format, which tests analytical skills without the need of access to actual devices CLI.

Another minor change to the exam is how the timing of sections works.  In the v4 format, candidates had a maximum of 2 hours to complete the troubleshooting section, and a minimum of 6 hours for the configuration section.  If the candidate used less than 2 hours in troubleshooting, the extra time rolled over to the configuration section.  In the v5 format this changes along with the addition of the diagnostic section.

In v5, candidates will have a maximum of 2.5 hours to complete troubleshooting, a fixed 30 minutes for the diagnostic section, and the rest to complete configuration.  Any time less than 2.5 hours used in troubleshooting will be credited towards configuration.  For example if a candidate uses only 1.5 hours in troubleshooting then the configuration section would be 6 hours, which along with the .5 hour of diagnostic adds up to a total of 8 hours for the exam.

How Does This Affect Me As An INE Customer?

The good news is that if you’ve purchased and of the R&S v4 products from INE, you’re covered for the v5 products.  You won’t have to pay anything to upgrade to the v5 products, including the Bootcamps.  If you already attended a v4 bootcamp and want to resit a v5 bootcamp, there’s no charge for it.

As it’s no secret that Cisco’s blueprint changes have been in the works for quite some time, as have INE’s plans for the v5 update.  We have a bunch of new exciting product updates and more importantly new product features that we’re going to be launching along with the v5 product updates.  More information will be available about these updates in the coming weeks.

In the short term I’m going to be running a free online class this Friday – December 6th 2013 – at 10:00 PST (GMT –8) on Introduction to DMVPN for CCIE R&S Candidates.  I’ll post another blog update tomorrow with more information on this.



Tags: , , ,


INE is proud to announce that our long awaited CCIE Service Provider Version 3.0 Rack Rentals are now available, which includes access to IOS XR routers! Furthermore during the initial beta testing of our new rack scheduling system, SPv3 rack rentals are FREE to book! Our new rack scheduler is easier to use than the previous version, and breaks rack sessions down into 3 hour blocks as opposed to the previous 6 hour blocks, which allows for more granularity and affordability in your study schedule. The new scheduler will remain in beta for the next week or so, during which sessions are free to book, but are limited to 1 concurrent session scheduled per customer. Below is a short HOWTO video that I created on using the new scheduling system:

For those of you on mobile platforms the direct link is

Additionally a new update has been posted to the CCIE SPv3 Workbook, which now includes the first Full Scale Lab. These updates can be found in the Workbooks tab of the members site, as seen in the above video.

Tags: , ,


Another new update is now available for the CCIE Security Advanced Technologies Class. This update adds an additional 15 hours of videos to the series, which includes the rest of IPsec, IPS, and AAA. All Access Pass subscribers and customers who purchased download access can login to the INE members site to see the new additions.  This brings the series up to about 40 hours of videos, which will be further increased with some minor updates I’ll be adding over the next few weeks. If there is a specific topic which is missing that you’d like to see feel free to comment here, or email me at

The outline for the series is now as follows:

  • Introduction – 0h 37m
  • CCIE Security Preparation Resources – 0h 50m
  • ASA Overview – 0h 37m
  • Basic ASA Initialization – 1h 02m
  • ASA Routing – 0h 37m
  • ASA Reliable Static Routing – 0h 20m
  • ASA Access Control Lists (ACLs) – 0h 41m
  • Continue Reading

Tags: , , , ,


An additional 7 hours of videos have been added to the CCIE Security Advanced Technologies Class, and are now available in streaming format for All Access Pass subscribers, and for download.  Specifically these videos include:

  • Zone Based Policy Firewall Overview – 0h 26m
  • Zone Based Policy Firewall Configuration – 0h 44m
  • ZBPF Self Zone & ZBPF Exceptions – 0h 48m
  • Port to Application Mapping (PAM) – 0h 32m
  • ZBPF Parameter Tuning – 0h 32m
  • ZBPF Application Inspection – 0h 27m
  • IOS Transparent Firewall – 0h 28m
  • IPsec Overview – 0h 37m
  • IOS IPsec LAN-to-LAN Configuration – 0h 58m
  • IPsec Troubleshooting – 0h 42m
  • GRE over IPsec, IPsec Profiles, & VTIs – 0h 51m

Additional videos are currently in post-production, and will be available within the week. Other videos that are currently in production are CCNA Security, CCNP Security, and CCIE Service Provider v3.0.

Brian Dennis and I will also be running a 3 week bootcamp in Seattle WA in late October / early November for CCNA R&S, CCNP R&S, and CCIE R&S Written consecutively. More information about these live onsite classes will be available this week, but if you are interested in attending one or more of these class weeks please contact the INE sales team at

Tags: , ,


Hello everyone,

We are excited to announce that our CCIE Voice Core Knowledge Simulator has been released! You can try out a sample here. So far, the first 100 questions have been released, and will be followed shortly by additional updates.

The simulation is designed to help prepare candidates for the newly added “open ended” section of the 3.0 Voice CCIE Lab Exam. This new section of the exam consists of four computer based, short-answer questions which candidates have 30 minutes to complete.

The simulator is designed to:

* Pinpoint your areas of weakness on Core Knowledge
* Provide study documents to improve in these weak areas
* Practice with question interpretation and your short-answer responses

Enjoy the questions, and as always, good luck with your studies!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


CCIE Bloggers