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CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure

Revalidating the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure: What Has Changed?

Sep 20, 20206 mins readAmit Masih
Revalidating the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure: What Has Changed?

If you are planning to upgrade your networking skills and want to get Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certified, you must know Cisco's changes to its expert-level certification before making a decision.

Cisco is revamping its certifications options to make them relevant to current programming and networking trends.

The changes took place on 24 February 2020. 

The Old CCIE Certification 

Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is the most prestigious expert-level Cisco certification. If you hold this credential, you are considered an expert in the networking domain. It is a recognition badge that portrays your mastery of the Cisco networking domain.

  • CCIE Certifications
  • CCIE Routing & Switching
  • CCIE Wireless
  • CCIE Service Provider
  • CCIE Security
  • CCIE Data Center
  • CCIE Collaboration
  • CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert)


There were no prerequisites to take the written exam. Once you passed it, you became eligible to appear for the lab exam. You had 18 months to take the lab exam, and if you failed in the first attempt, you could retake it in the next 12 months.

During this duration, your written exam remained valid. However, beyond this, you have to reappear for the written exam. The CCIE lab exam is very advanced, and hence it would be best if you had a work experience of at least 3 to 5 years.

The Changed CCIE Certification

CCIE certification also underwent several changes like CCNP.

New Certifications

  • CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure
  • CCIE Enterprise Wireless
  • CCIE Data Center
  • CCIE Security
  • CCIE Service Provider
  • CCIE Collaboration

There are a few differences in the CCIE options before and after 2020. The major one is the removal of the CCIE Routing & Switching certification.

Prerequisites  Like the previous exam pattern, there are no formal prerequisites to take the exam. However, it is recommended that you have an in-depth understanding of the exam topics and have at least 3 to 5 years of practical experience designing, implementing, maintaining, and troubleshooting enterprise networking technologies before you consider taking this exam.

Certification Procedure To get certified now, also you have to follow a two-step procedure. First, you have to pass the written exam followed by the lab exam. The lab exam is quite hard to pass. It is of 8-hour duration and validates your skills in the ability to build, maintain, and troubleshoot networks. Having real-world job experience is recommended, and also do not make a mistake attempting this exam without preparation.

**Certification Validity ** Your CCIE certificate remains valid for three years from passing the exam. You can recertify it by earning continuing education points, retaking the same exam, taking a higher-level exam, or taking a combination of exam and continuing education points.

CCIE Practice Labs

You can explore a fully functional and hands-on lab environment with the new CCIE labs. You can take a four-hour session for $50 per session. And the best part is you can buy as many sessions as you want.

You need to provide valid proof of your registered written exam ID to register for these practice sessions. Once you register for the written exam, you can book your CCIE lab practice session.

These practice lab sessions let you to:

  • Have access to lab equipment at an affordable price
  • Work on real-life scenarios focusing on exam topics
  • Experience a real lab exam like environment
  • Schedule as many four-hour slots as you like
  • Experiment with your personalized case studies
  • Understand the lab system before a real lab exam

CCIE Bring Your Own device (BYOD) Mobile Lab

CCIE BYOD labs allow candidates eligible for expert-level exams to take the lab at expanded locations and dates using their devices like monitor, laptop, keyboard, and mouse. To maintain exam security, a bootable USB with a secure OS is provided by Cisco on the exam day.

You can schedule your CCIE lab exam by selecting any of the three options: 

  • Permanent physical locations
  • Mobile lab locations with Cisco kit (Cisco provides devices)
  • Mobile lab locations with BYOD (you bring your own devices)

BYOD Mobile Event Locations and Registration Read BYOD details thoroughly before registration and also ensure to have compatible hardware. You need to test its compatibility before the exam.  You can visit the mobile lab schedule to check locations and dates and register for either BYOD or Cisco kit mobile events.

BYOD Mobile Event Details You are required to bring your own devices. You will get a USB having a secure Linux image for locking your laptops on the event day. It is recommended to register for BYOD only if you pass the hardware compatibility test.

BYOD permitted devices:

  • 1 laptop with power cable (subject to compatibility test mentioned below)
  • 1 keyboard (wired-only)
  • 1 mouse (wired-only)
  • 1 external monitor with a power cable and one video cable for connecting to the laptop (up to 24 inches, wired-only)
  • 1 USB hub (wired-only, only if there are not enough USB ports on your laptop)

If your device does not satisfy the criteria set by Cisco or the proctor has valid reasons that your device has been tampered with, your exam access can be denied. Also, no spare devices are provided by Cisco. So make sure you carry all the required fully functional devices with you.

BYOD Mobile Lab Exam Fee The fee for each attempt is USD 1600, and it does not include travel and accommodation expenses. Also, the transaction fee is not included in this. You might have to pay extra to the payment platform as a fee to complete the payment process.

Hardware Compatibility To test hardware compatibility, you have to create an Ubuntu Linux Live Bootable USB to run a few basic tests to test the working condition of your devices. After booting the Ubuntu Linux environment, you must perform this task without modifying the system configurations or settings.

Testing the Device's Compatibility

  • Download the Ubuntu ISO.
  • Follow the instructions to create and boot the bootable USB provided by Cisco
  • Authenticate your device's functionality (keyboard, mouse, external monitor, WiFi, ethernet, speaker, and microphone). 
  • Review hardware compatibility details by referring to the official Ubuntu documentation.

The bootable USB image does not allow modifying system settings on exam day. Hence during boot-up, all the hardware peripherals and devices must be identified by default. Also, in case of any data loss, damage, or trouble caused by bootable USB, Cisco cannot be held accountable for that.

The Final Words

All the latest CCIE exam structure has been highlighted in this article. The old CCIE certification model was replaced by the new one on 24 February 2020.  It is the most sought-after certification to showcase your expertise in handling networking infrastructure.

However, as CCIE is an expert-level exam, ensure you have the required expertise, experience, and time to prepare for it. 

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