The CCIE Service Provider lab exam is an eight-hour hands-on exam, which requires a candidate to configure, optimize, diagnose, and troubleshoot a series of complex network scenarios for a given specification based on dual stack solutions (IPv4 and IPv6). Knowledge of troubleshooting is an important skill and candidates are expected to diagnose and solve issues as part of the CCIE lab exam. Candidate will not configure all end-user system, however the candidate is responsible for all devices residing in the network.
The eight-hour lab format consists of three modules and need to be taken in the following sequence during the day of the exam:
Module 1: Troubleshooting module (two hours)
The Troubleshooting module delivers incidents that are independent of each other, which means that the resolution of one incident does not depend on the resolution of another. The topology that is used in the Troubleshooting module is different than the topology used in the Configuration module.
The Troubleshooting module is 2 hours. If desired, candidates can extent the Troubleshooting module’s time by borrowing up to 30 min from the Configuration module. Note, the total Configuration's module time will be reduced by the extra time spend in the Troubleshooting module (if any, up to 30 min). If candidates finish the Troubleshooting module early, the unused Troubleshooting module’s time will be added to the Configuration module’s time, ensuring a total lab exam time of 8 hours. The Diagnostic module is fixed in duration (60 minutes).
Module 2: Diagnostic module (one hour)
The Diagnostic module focuses on the skills required to properly diagnose network issues, without having device access. Candidates will be provided with a set of documentation that represents a snapshot of a realistic situation: at a point in time in an investigation process that a network engineer might be facing. The main objective of the Diagnostic module is to assess the skills required to properly diagnose network issues. These skills include:
These activities are naturally part of the overall troubleshooting skills. They are designed as a separated lab module because the format of the items is significantly different.
In the Troubleshooting module, the candidate needs to be able to troubleshoot and resolve network issues.
In the Diagnostic module, the candidate need to make choices between pre-defined options to either indicate:
Module 3: Configuration module (five hours)
The Configuration module provides a setup very close to an actual production network At the beginning of the module, the candidate has full visibility of the entire module. A candidate can choose to work in the sequence in which the items are presented or can resolve items in whatever order seems preferable and logical.
To maintain the total exam time to eight hours, the optional 30- minutes the candidate decided to use in the Troubleshooting module is deducted automatically from the time originally allocated for the Configuration module.
For the CCIE Service Provider Lab, both the troubleshooting and the configuration module run in a 100% virtualized environment. The web-based delivery infrastructure supports this virtual environment, using the VIRL/CML. The diagnostic module however, can be based on real equipment (such as the Cisco ASR9000 Series and the Cisco Metro Ethernet ME 3600x Series). Please refer to the equipment and software list on the Cisco Learning Network. Topologies used within all three modules represent realistic service provider backbone scenarios and between modules. The main focus of the lab exam is to test and validate troubleshooting, diagnosing, and configurations skills, rather than evaluating specific platform and/or software knowledge.
To pass the lab exam, the candidate must meet these two conditions:
The reason for these criteria is to prevent the candidate from passing the lab exam while failing or even bypassing a module, for example, the Diagnostic module.
The point value of each item in each lab module is shown on the candidate guide, which is provided at the lab exam. The points are granted only when all the criteria of the item are met. No partial score is granted on any item.
Candidates can review lab exam results online (login required), usually within 48 hours. Results are Pass/Fail and failing score reports indicate major topic areas where additional study and preparation may be useful.
Reevaluation of Lab Results
A Reread involves having a second proctor load your configurations into a rack to re-create the test and re-score the entire exam. Rereads are available for the CCIE Routing and CCIE Switching and Service Provider tracks.
A Review involves having a second proctor verify your answers and any applicable system-generated debug data saved from your exam. Reviews are available for all other tracks.
The Lab Exam cost does not including travel and lodging expenses. Costs may vary due to exchange rates and local taxes (VAT, GST). You are responsible for any fees your financial institution charges to complete the payment transaction. Price not confirmed and is subject to change until full payment is made.
Cisco documentation is available on-line during the exam, however knowledge of the more common protocols and technologies is assumed. The documentation can only be navigated using the index, as the search function has been disabled. No outside reference materials are permitted in the lab room. You must report any suspected equipment issues to the proctor during the exam; adjustments cannot be made once the exam is over.
Candidates to make your request within 14 days following the exam date by using the "Request for Reread" link next to the lab record. A Reread costs $1,000 USD and a Review costs $400 USD. Payment is made online via credit card and the Reread or Review will be initiated upon successful payment. You may not cancel the appeal request once the process has been initiated. Refunds are given only when results change from fail to pass.
Candidates can register for the Lab exam only after passing the Written exam. Learn more on how to register for the Lab exam.
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