Over the past 4 or 5 months with the Security CCIE lab change to version 4 the second most popular CCIE track behind Routing & Switching is now the Service Provider CCIE. The Voice CCIE is still very close but the Service Provider CCIE is really starting to edge it out. Below are just some of the Service Provider CCIE's submitted to our success list for their free personalized CCIE polo shirt from INE in the past few weeks:
Dario Barinic, CCIE 25071
Rachit Gupta, CCIE 29824
Tim Gregory, CCIE 38334
Azam Poulatov, CCIE 19024
Rajinder Singh, CCIE 35062
Alexey Sannikov, CCIE 38671
Aaron Foss, CCIE 18761
Mahinder Singh, CCIE 27485
Sajjad Akram, CCIE 38675
Nuno Marques, CCIE 38295
Osama Saeed Abdelmonem Aboelfath, CCIE 38590
Many are already CCIE's so the SP is their second or third CCIE. Their stories can be found here and some here on IEOC.
In addition to the increased passing rate for the SP CCIE our current SP CCIE Bootcamps in the US are sold out as of this weekend. We'll add another SP Bootcamp in Chicago to the schedule sometime this week. We've increased capacity to 16 for the SP bootcamps which should help with the demand. Also we'll be adding more Voice CCIE bootcamps as the next two are also sold out.
For those who maybe unfamiliar with the SP CCIE the track is really one of the best tracks out there and it a logical step after the Routing & Switching CCIE. Most Routing & Switching CCIE's that continue onto the SP CCIE after a short break seem to be able to obtain it within 5 or 6 months. Excluding the IOS XR routers, the hardware is cheap and nearly 80% can be done either in GNS3, IOU or on the new CSR1000v (preferred option). The best part of the Service Provider CCIE is that it doesn't focus on peripheral topics like QoS, Security, System Management, IP Services, etc. A couple SP CCIE workbooks on the market include these topics that aren't cover in the SP lab exam as the material appears to be repackaged R&S lab material so just ignore those topics when preparing for the SP.
Lastly the topics that are covered in the lab are not just for service providers but for most large enterprise networks today. This is another reason for the increased demand as enterprise networks today are run more like service provider networks (VRFs, Dot1q tunnels, MPLS VPNs, L2TPv3, etc). 70% of the students in the bootcamps are from large enterprise networks and not service providers.