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

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The CCIE certification is without doubt 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 commonplace and rigor for which the CCIE is understood. 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 keep in mind getting ready in these days — the occasions had been so totally different. There have been no sources, 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 mainly 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 getting 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, whenever you earn your CCIE, it’s an expertise validation. It’s the end result of years of information and experience constructing and the initiative to keep your certification.

The power to alter is important. We dwell in a digital world now. Once 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 powerful. It was rigorous. However within the early 2000s, we made a change and moved to in the future 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 sector. It was our job to acknowledge these adjustments and account for them. That’s nonetheless our job at this time.

Your examination, your means

The brand new strategy to CCIE is much less a few basic shift in networking, however extra in regards to 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 number of months, however by March, the escalation of the pandemic had impacted work all over the world, and packages just like the CCIE certification program floor to a halt. Till this level, we may solely ship the CCIE certification in a single particular means, in very particular areas. Clearly, that couldn’t proceed. This system slowed as we tried to determine tips on how to shield the well being of our prospects, companions, and workers — whereas additionally defending the integrity of the examination.

Six months handed with out a 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 house?

We thought of distant testing, nevertheless it launched extreme points. The examination lasts eight hours, is intense, and desires 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 Cellular Labs got here in. The unique model of those labs consisted of a shippable end-user atmosphere offered by Cisco. We strived to create a cell setup that will enable us to deploy exams in additional locations and get extra folks scheduled (with an extended lead time), whereas nonetheless sustaining a managed atmosphere for the protection and the integrity of the lab.

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

So, what if we didn’t need to ship every thing to the lab location? That thought led to creating the Carry Your Personal Machine (BYOD) program. As a substitute of Cisco offering all of this costly-to-move tools, we labored to develop a means for CCIE candidates to deliver their personal tools. It allowed us to chop down on the prices for everybody. It additionally enabled us to run extra examination classes in a broader variety of venues.

Price financial savings aren’t the one advantage of the BYOD mannequin. Relating 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 arrange. They don’t need to go in and attempt to make themselves comfy on tools that isn’t arrange the way in which they like.

After all, that is all along with reopening our present brick-and-mortar everlasting areas. 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 cell lab choice, you’ll deliver your individual package. Which means you’ll have the chance to deliver your individual laptop computer, keyboard, mouse, exterior monitor—every thing. You’ll arrive the morning of your examination at which era you’ll have the ability to arrange your workspace the way in which you prefer it. We’ll present a bootable flash drive, a safe working system you possibly can boot from for the examination. That’s how we’re in a position to scale the cell supply of our Knowledgeable-level labs.

The place are we now?

As we proceed to navigate the reopening of our lab areas, the well being and security of our prospects, companions, and workers proceed to be our prime concern. Openings can be on a case-by-case foundation, primarily based on native situations, rules, Cisco Company, and medical steerage.

We’re increasing our cell lab footprint and capability, offering you with another take a look at supply technique to take your Knowledgeable-level Cisco lab exams in your proximity. CCIE Cellular lab areas assist all Knowledgeable-level Cisco certification tracks.

Thanks for taking a second to be taught in regards to the evolution of the CCIE and the official introduction to the Carry Your Personal Units (BYOD) Cellular Lab program. Go to the Cisco Studying Community for the newest on our new BYOD Cellular Labs testing choice and how one can take your lab examination your means — utilizing your very personal units. Please be happy to remark along with your ideas and share how your certification journey goes under.

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