Just about an hour ago, Cisco made the CCIE Data Center written exam available to be both scheduled and tested. So stop reading this and go schedule your written exam!
Assuming you are now back from scheduling your written, purchase and begin watching our CCIE Data Center Nexus Switching course to prepare for your lab exam, as those videos are now available for streaming and download (the page still notes they are coming, and we will get that updated today, but be sure they are indeed ready for your viewing pleasure). All Access Pass (AAP) customers can view the videos direct via this URL or via the link in their members account. To prepare for the written, get busy reading everything on the CCIE Data Center Recommended Reading List. Also don't forget that the CCIE Data Center Storage class kicks off next week!


We have completed a full, second practice exam for the Version 4 written. This means the CCIE R&S Written Bootcamp class comes with well over 200 practice exam questions now to assist you with this first certification step, or your recertification. Enjoy the new exam, and as always, enjoy your studies!


RFC, or Request for Comments, are documents published that describe various items surrounding computer networking. Generally, these are memorandums published by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

RFCs can be a great resource. For some unknown reason, most candidates preparing for the CCIE don't take the time to review these documents, which can be very helpful in assisting with understanding the how and why of various networking components. Perhaps the language is a bit dry, or they prefer books with shiny covers.

There are a variety of status classifications. These include, but are not limited to: standards, informational, best current practices. Some are very serious discussions of the deep inner workings, where others are just there for entertainment, such as RFC 1149 and 2549.

If you aren't sure whether a RFC is intended to be serious or entertainment, check the date. If it was one from 1 April of any year, most likely it falls into the category of entertainment.

Language is included to define how an item is intended to behave. RFC 2119 lists some of these requirements. Requirements are shown capitalized, and include the following: MUST, MUST NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, MAY, RECOMMENDED, NOT RECOMMENDED, OPTIONAL.

RFCs are not a "magic bullet" for lab preparation. Most students that are familiar with RFCs tend to be more comfortable with the technologies discussed.

RFCs can be viewed online at a number of sites, including the following:

Most search engines will also give you results for RFCs by number or topic.

Quick quiz.

Four questions on RFCs that most people are generally familiar with. Questions are True or False, and the answers can be found fairly quickly, if you know where to look.

T or F
RFC 3330, which describes Special Use IPv4 Addresses, is obsolete.

T or F
RFC 1812, which discusses requirements for IPv4 Routers, states that subnet bits MUST be contiguous.

T or F
RFC 2827 discusses ingress filtering mechanisms, including the effects of multihoming.

T or F
RFC 1918 does not address security issues.

How did you do? Two of these are true and two are false. If you got all four correct, congratulations. If you've never heard of these RFCs, perhaps it is time to do some additional reading.

Bonus Question:

True or False:
Neither Cisco nor Juniper devices are compliant with RFC 5841.


Cisco has been doing a much better job introducing new topics into the CCIE R&S Written exam.

Be sure to run through Practice Exam 2 again soon as we have updated this exam with some new questions centered around optimizing the network.

Here is a sample for all blog readers to enjoy:

The IP SLA Responder feature uses what additional measurement in order to more accurately measure round trip delay?
ICMP Echoes
ICMP Replies
CPU Interrupts
Question : The IP SLA Responder feature uses what additional measurement in order to more accurately measure round trip delay?
a: ICMP Echoes
b: Timestamps
c: ICMP Replies
d: CPU Interrupts

Hello everyone!

I am updating Practice Exam 2 (In Progress) for the CCIE Written Exam Bootcamp in your Members's Site. I will be adding questions over the next couple of weeks. Currently, you will find some new Multicast Addressing/IGMP/MLD questions in there for your entertainment.

I am focusing on Practice Exam 2 right now for two main reasons. 1) It is allowing me to address some deficiencies with Practice Exam 1 and the lectures, and 2) More and more students are using this bootcamp as a prep tool for the dreaded Core Knowledge section.

Let us examine one of the new questions and walk through my solution logic.

Q. How does a router respond after receiving an IGMP Leave Group message?

a. The router does nothing

b. The router responds with a Membership Report

c. The router responds with a Group Specific Query

d. The router responds with a General Query

Hmmm, OK, I do not remember this right off, but let me see if I can reason through the answer. The IGMP Leave Group message, yes...this excellent IGMP Version 2 invention was designed to help with "Leave Latency" in Multicast. This is the issue where a receiver silently goes away and the poor router does not know this and keeps sending multicast frames out an interface for no reason whatsoever.

So, let me see what makes the best sense here. Would the router do nothing (option a)? No, that does not seem like a good use of technology.

Does the router respond with a Membership Report? Hmmm, I think it is the hosts that use Membership Reports to signal their participation in the multicast group.

Does the router respond with a Group Specific Query? Now that seems to make a lot of sense. Query the segment's specific multicast group to see if there is anyone left in the segment that wants the multicast feed. I really like this response, but let me check the final option....

Does the router respond with a General Query? Well, this might work, but it seems like option C makes a lot more sense for the whole IGMP process.

I am going with Option C as my final answer! Too bad I cannot phone a friend (Petr Lapukhov)...

Enjoy the new questions everyone!


Hello everyone - I posted the second part of our PfR lesson in the  CCIE Written Bootcamp tonight. Enjoy!


One of the major new topics tested in the CCIE R&S Written Exam is Cisco's IP SLA feature. In response, I have updated your Written course with an IP SLA lesson. As you know, another reason you should master this technology is that it is a key ingredient in OER/PfR. This new lesson includes the following:

  • All of the Tier 1 foundational knowledge required for success in the written and lab exams
  • Several new Core Knowledge questions
  • Multiple choice practice exam questions
  • An interactive, hands-on exercise in which you configure an IP SLA operation, including an IP SLA Responder

Enjoy the new material, and subscribe to the blog to ensure you are aware of the many future updates as they happen.


Some of our R&S Written Bootcamp fans have requested another full Practice Exam. Well, now with the new topic additions, it is the perfect time to start this new resource. You will notice the In Progress version has been posted in all Member's Accounts. It will grow as each new topic is added. Enjoy!

Also, some of you have been emailing me about Investment Protection on this course. Yes - as you are seeing it is indeed covered. What does this mean for students? Well, it is amazingly powerful. It means we are helping to protect your CCIE certification for life! All I can say is - wow!


Number of Questions: 77

Required Passing Score: 790

Time Allotted: 2 hours

Question Types: Single Response-Multiple Choice, Multiple Response-Multiple Choice, Drag and Drop, Scenario (Flash Based)

Overall Level of Difficulty: Easy

Exam Sections:

  • Evaluate proposed changes to a network
  • Implement Layer 2 technologies
  • Implement Layer 3 Technologies
  • Implement IP Multicast
  • Implement Advanced Services
  • Troubleshoot a Network
  • Optimize the Network


Compared to the previous versions of this exam, Cisco has solved one of the major issues with it - time. The previous version featured 105 questions that were to be solved in 2 hours. This was quite difficult. Knowing the material as well as I do, I had about 4 minutes to spare in one of my visits to the old exam.

Notice the new exam allows students to breathe a bit as they are sitting the exam. I did not find time to be nearly as much of a pressure with this exam. I completed all questions in 1 hour and 10 minutes. I believe that most students will have no problems finishing the exam in 1 hour and a half.

In addition to the shorter length, I found there were many more questions of CCNA-level and CCNP-level in this exam compared to past exams. Now of course, there are still a fair share of really tough CCIE-level questions, so you actually feel a bit off-balance taking the exam. When you click next, you just never know what you are going to get. :-)

Also, as advertised, there is no longer a BACK button. Be real sure of your answer before you click NEXT. Twice I realized I answered something wrong once it was too late. Remember, time should not be an issue now, so avoid the typical response of rushing. Incidentally, one reason Cisco is not allowing the BACK button any longer is that it would make the exam MUCH easier. Several times I learned of a correct response from a later question but I was prohibited from going back and changing my initial reponse.

What I Loved:

  • Shorter exam
  • Troubleshooting questions

What I Disliked:

  • Exhibits that were completely illegible
  • Only one new Scenario style question in my exam
  • Over-emphasis in certain areas, with no coverage, or limited coverage, of other areas

Topic Domains Most Emphasized (In My Question Pool):

  • OSPF and EIGRP for IPv6
  • IP SLA
  • Layer 2 Troubleshooting
  • Layer 3 Troubleshooting
  • QoS
  • PIM Sparse Mode
  • MPLS
  • Services

As you know, updates have begun to our top-rated CCIE Written R&S Bootcamp product. I am creating the new lessons in an order that reflects exam emphasis. I am also adding a second Practice Exam to the course. It will be available (In Progress) tomorrow, so you do not need to wait to try your skills on new questions immediately.


Everyone has been so excited for the Version 4.X updates within the CCIE R&S Written Bootcamp CoD. I think one of the reasons for this is that, finally, the CCIE R&S Written aligns perfectly with the Lab Exam Blueprint. Every topic you need to know for the written, you also need to know for the lab exam. This is a real benefit to students as they prepare for each exam.

I have listened to your feedback as I create these new lessons. As such, they include:

  • Much more detail for each new topic.
  • More Core Knowledge questions based on each topic (these Core Knowledge questions are unique - they appear in no other INE products).
  • More simulated exam questions.

I have started the updates with a new QoS topic for the exam - Auto QoS. Enjoy. You will find the new lesson is automatically added to your Member's area for the course. Just scroll down to the new section called Version 4.X Updates.

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