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CCIE Labs Take a Huge Step Ahead as BYOD Expands Cell Lab Footprint

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The CCIE certification is likely one of the most prestigious marks of feat in IT, evolving through the years to deal with the wants of each the IT panorama and CCIE candidates. On the forefront of each change is our unwavering dedication to ship lab exams on the identical normal and rigor for which the CCIE is thought. And as we face new challenges which have led us to a brand new regular, our CCIE program has developed and emerged, extra accessible and handy than ever earlier than.

CCIE and me

I began my certification journey again within the late nineties, round ’97 or ’98. I bear in mind making ready in these days — the occasions had been so totally different. There have been no assets, no research supplies. There weren’t even any instructions or tips on the market. Past only a few Cisco Press books about know-how, you had been principally by yourself. That’s modified dramatically through the years, with varied programs, bootcamps, and even digital CCIE sensible lab leases. We realized that offering higher supplies doesn’t trivialize the examination; it enhances the training expertise and improves outcomes.

The important thing to making ready for and sustaining a CCIE is the understanding that incomes the certification isn’t the tip of the street. You don’t end up after 5 days of coaching and name it quits. As a substitute, once you earn your CCIE, it’s an expertise validation. It’s the fruits of years of data and experience constructing and the initiative to keep your certification.

The power to vary is crucial. We stay in a digital world now. After I took my lab examination within the 90s, it took two days. We spent the primary day connecting the wires and cables ourselves; we did all of this {hardware} stuff. It was robust. It was rigorous. However within the early 2000s, we made a change and moved to sooner or later of testing. Individuals didn’t perceive at first. They thought it appeared like a downgrade of what we had been doing. A part of the job meant explaining that, no, this was a recognition of the altering panorama of superior applied sciences and their rising complexities. We eliminated the trivial stuff to make room for extra superior subjects related to the sphere. It was our job to acknowledge these modifications and account for them. That’s nonetheless our job at present.

Your examination, your manner

The brand new method to CCIE is much less a couple of basic shift in networking, however extra concerning the basic change in our mid-pandemic world. Coincidentally, I used to be in China in November 2019, when the specter of COVID first started rising. It took a couple of months, however by March, the escalation of the pandemic had impacted work around the globe, and applications just like the CCIE certification program floor to a halt. Till this level, we may solely ship the CCIE certification in a single particular manner, in very particular places. Clearly, that couldn’t proceed. This system slowed as we tried to determine find out how to shield the well being of our clients, companions, and workers — whereas additionally defending the integrity of the examination.

Six months handed with no single CCIE earned, and the stress was escalating. Candidates had been nonetheless hungry to earn their certifications, however they wanted the exams to certify.

Why can’t you supply them [CCIE labs] remotely? Why can’t we take a look at from residence?

We thought-about distant testing, nevertheless it launched extreme points. The examination lasts eight hours, is intense, and wishes to stay safe. In order that was out.

This considering introduced us to a brand new query: how can we provide an examination that’s versatile and accessible whereas remaining safe? That’s the place the Cell Labs got here in. The unique model of those labs consisted of a shippable end-user atmosphere supplied by Cisco. We strived to create a cellular setup that may enable us to deploy exams in additional locations and get extra individuals scheduled (with an extended lead time), whereas nonetheless sustaining a managed atmosphere for the security and the integrity of the lab.

In fact, offering the end-user atmosphere is an costly enterprise. Organising the labs in varied places means transport substantial quantities of substances, which then raises the examination worth.

So, what if we didn’t must ship all the things to the lab location? That thought led to creating the Convey Your Personal System (BYOD) program. As a substitute of Cisco offering all of this costly-to-move gear, we labored to develop a manner for CCIE candidates to carry their personal gear. It allowed us to chop down on the prices for everybody. It additionally enabled us to run extra examination periods in a broader variety of venues.

Price financial savings aren’t the one good thing about the BYOD mannequin. With regards to such a rigorous 8-hour lab examination, confidence and luxury are key. Candidates profit when the instruments they’re utilizing to check are the identical instruments they’ve used to organize. They don’t must go in and attempt to make themselves comfy on gear that isn’t arrange the best way they like.

In fact, that is all along with reopening our present brick-and-mortar everlasting places. We’re not throwing away the profitable issues we’ve already created. We’re simply opening up extra doorways.

CCIE subsequent steps

In the event you select the BYOD cellular lab choice, you’ll carry your individual equipment. Which means you’ll have the chance to carry your individual laptop computer, keyboard, mouse, exterior monitor—all the things. You’ll arrive the morning of your examination at which period you’ll have the ability to arrange your workspace the best way you prefer it. We’ll present a bootable flash drive, a safe working system you may boot from for the examination. That’s how we’re in a position to scale the cellular supply of our Knowledgeable-level labs.

The place are we now?

As we proceed to navigate the reopening of our lab places, the well being and security of our clients, companions, and workers proceed to be our prime concern. Openings might be on a case-by-case foundation, primarily based on native situations, laws, Cisco Company, and medical steering.

We’re increasing our cellular lab footprint and capability, offering you with an alternate take a look at supply technique to take your Knowledgeable-level Cisco lab exams in your proximity. CCIE Cell lab places assist all Knowledgeable-level Cisco certification tracks.

Thanks for taking a second to study concerning the evolution of the CCIE and the official introduction to the Convey Your Personal Units (BYOD) Cell Lab program. Go to the Cisco Studying Community for the newest on our new BYOD Cell Labs testing choice and how one can take your lab examination your manner — utilizing your very personal gadgets. Please be at liberty to remark along with your ideas and share how your certification journey goes under.

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