CCIE Routing & Switching ...
14 June 19

CCIE Routing & Switching Updates for 2020

Posted byBrian McGahan

At Cisco Live US 2019, Learning@Cisco announced several major changes to all certification tracks, from CCNA to CCIE. How does this affect candidates currently studying for CCIE R&S? We're going to answer that question and give you a clear path to follow for your studies.What's In a NameFirst and foremost, our favorite CCIE track is getting rebranded, from CCIE Routing & Switching to CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure. This is only a name change and does not affect anything, outside of our logos. This change will occur on February 24, 2020. To the TestThe next change Cisco is implementing will be in regards to the exams. There will no longer be a distinction between the CCIE R&S Qualification (R&S Written Exam) and the CCNP 'Core' exams. Specifically, 300-401 ENCOR 'Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies' now qualifies you to do one of three things:

  • Take a CCNP Concentration exam to become CCNP Enterprise
  • Take the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Lab Exam and become CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure
  • Take the CCIE Enterprise Wireless Lab Exam and become CCIE Enterprise Wireless

Although Wireless is included within these changes, we'll be focusing on Wireless developments in a separate blog post. Keep an eye out.

Lab Exams

Concerning the CCIE Lab Exam, beyond the topic changes (which we will discuss), there is a major format change for the new lab. The Lab Exam is now broken down into 2 modules, rather than the previous 3 for R&S.

In the first module, which is 3 hours long, candidates are expected to create, analyze, validate, and optimize network designs. They must also translate customer requirements into solutions, as well as assess the network readiness to support those proposed solutions.

In the second module, which is 5 hours long, candidates will build the network according to the design requirements, customer requirements, and restrictions (among other expectations), using a combination of virtual devices, physical devices, and web based items.

In terms of technologies, there are significant additions to the CCIE Routing & Switching Lab Exam (again, soon-to-be called the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Exam), such as:

2. Software Defined Infrastructure (25%)

  • 2.1 Cisco SD Access
  • 2.1.a Design a Cisco SD Access Solution
  • 2.1.a I Underlay Network (ISIS, manual/PnP)
  • 2.1.a ii Overlay Fabric Design (LISP, VXLAN, Cisco TrustSec)
  • 2.1.a iii Fabric Domains (single-site and multi-site)
  • 2.1.b Cisco SD Access Deployment
  • 2.1.b i Cisco DNA Center Device Discovery and Device Management
  • 2.1.b ii Add Edge Node Devices to an Existing Fabric
  • 2.1.b iii Host On-boarding (wired endpoints only)
  • 2.1.b iv Fabric Border Handoff
  • 2.1.c Segmentation
  • 2.1.c i Macro-level Segmentation using VNs
  • 2.1.c ii Micro-level Segmentation using SGTs (using Cisco ISE)
  • 2.1.d Assurance
  • 2.1.d i Network and Client Health (360)
  • 2.1.d ii Monitoring and Troubleshooting

More information on SD-Access can be found here.

  • 2.2 Cisco SD-WAN
  • 2.2.a Design a Cisco SD-WAN Solution
  • 2.2.a i Orchestration Plane (vBond, NAT)
  • 2.2.a ii Management Plane (vManage)
  • 2.2.a iii Control Plane (vSmart, OMP)
  • 2.2.a iv Data Plane (vEdge/cEdge)
  • 2.2.b WAN Edge Deployment
  • 2.2.b i On-boarding New Edge Routers
  • 2.2.b ii Orchestration with Zero-touch Provisioning/Plug-And-Play
  • 2.2.b iii OMP
  • 2.2.b iv TLOC
  • 2.2.c Configuration Templates
  • 2.2.d Localized Policies (only QoS)
  • 2.2.e Centralized Policies
  • 2.2.e i Application Aware Routing
  • 2.2.e ii Topologies

More information on SD-WAN can be found here.

5. Infrastructure Automation and Programmability (15%)

  • 5.1 Data Encoding Formats
  • 5.1.a JSON
  • 5.1.b XML
  • 5.2 Automation and Scripting
  • 5.2.a EEM Applets
  • 5.2.b Guest Shell
  • 5.2.b i Linux Environment
  • 5.2.b ii CLI Python Module
  • 5.2.b iii EEM Python Module
  • 5.3 Programmability
  • 5.3.a Interaction with vManage API
  • 5.3.a i Python Requests Library or Postman
  • 5.3.a ii Monitoring Endpoints
  • 5.3.a iii Configuration Endpoints
  • 5.3.b Interaction with Cisco DNA Center API
  • 5.3.b i HTTP Request (GET, PUT, POST) via Python Requests Library or Postman
  • 5.3.c Interaction with Cisco IOS XE API
  • 5.3.c i Via NETCONF/YANG using Python ncclient Library
  • 5.3.c ii Via RESTCONF/YANG using Python Requests Library or Postman
  • 5.3.d Deploy and Verify Model-driven Telemetry
  • 5.3.d i Configure On-change Subscription using gRPC

Staying Ahead of the Game

We'll be updating our blog frequently to share more information about these and other changes announced at Cisco Live. Leave any questions you may have in the Comments section below and/or let us know what specific changes you're interested in knowing even more about. We're already busy putting together content to guide you through Cisco's new requirements and updates. We'll be releasing our game-plan as soon as it's complete.

About Brian McGahan, CCIE #8593, CCDE #2013::13

At the age of 20, Brian McGahan earned his first CCIE in Routing & Switching, and became known as the “youngest engineer in the world.” He continued on to earn CCIE certifications in Security, Service Provider, and Data Center. Brian has developed and taught for INE since 2002, setting the bar for CCIE training and helping thousands of engineers obtain their own certifications--we’re proud to have such an accomplished and driven instructor on the INE team. When he is not developing new products for INE, he consults with large ISPs and enterprise customers. You may contact Brian McGahan at or find him helping others in INE’s IEOC Community Forum.

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