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:
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.
If you have any specific questions, you may email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to assist you in achieving your CCIE Collaboration v1.0 or CCIE Collaboration v2.0.