What is CCIE Service Provider?
The CCIE Service Provider track of the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) certification deals with the design and setup of extensible infrastructures for Service Providers and to deliver composite managed services. The knowledge domains covered by this certification include networking on Layer 2, IP protocols, MPLS, VPN, Quality of service (QoS) and technologies providing continuous up time for network.
The Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) certification establishes the highest standards for career certifications of the IT industry. The CCIE and its various specialized areas, including CCIE Service Provider, are considered the top most networking certification of the industry.
CCIE Service Provider Requirements
There are no formal preliminary requirements of other certifications or trainings, set forth by Cisco for the CCIE Service Provider certification. But Cisco does recommend that the candidate should have 3 to 5 years of relevant experience related to service provider operations with the ability to efficiently handle service provider network issues. It is required of interested candidates to follow and fully understand the topics specified in the CCIE Service Provider exam blueprint released by Cisco.
The CCIE Service Provider certification consists of a written exam and practical lab testing generally called the “CCIE LAB” exam. It is compulsory to clear the written exam before planning for the CCIE lab.
The CCIE Service Provider written exam is denoted by the exam code 350-029 and contains about 90 to 110 multiple-choice questions. These have to be cleared in a 120 minutes deadline. The cost of the written exam is around $350. CCIE Service Provider written exam is based on the following exam topics:
- Service Provider Network General
- Layer 2 technology
- Quality of Service
- High Availability
- High End Product
The CCIE Service Provider lab exam like all other variations of the CCIE, is a rigorous, 8 hours duration, practical exam with the objective of initiating and putting into operating order the infrastructure of a service provider. The CCIE Service Provider lab currently costs $1400 per attempt. The CCIE lab exam must be taken within 18 months after clearing the written CCIE exam. In case of an unsuccessful first attempt the candidate is given a 3 years’ time period from the date of passing the written exam, to reattempt the Lab. There is a one month waiting period between every attempt at the Lab exam. The lab exam contains the following topics:
- Bridging and Switching
- IGP Routing
- EGP Routing
- SP Multicast
- L3/L2 VPN
- SP QoS and Security
- High Availability
A CCIE must retake and pass the CCIE written tests after every 2 years, in order to retain active CCIE status. The test must be reattempted within three years to keep the CCIE status from getting revoked, otherwise the whole CCIE examination procedure must be repeated.
Benefits of CCIE Service Provider Certification
The CCIE Service Provider Certification is the one of the most widely used credential in the industry which ensures the superior level of expertise of network engineers. CCIE Service Provider certified professionals are skilled at keeping service provider infrastructures up and running as well as its trouble shooting and providing quality for managed services.