• United States

Cisco announces CCIE prep tool

Feb 20, 20063 mins
Cisco SystemsNetworking

Cisco has announced an automated tool to help network engineers prepare for its Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert lab exam.

Cisco recently announced an automated tool to help network engineers prepare for its Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) lab exam.

The CCIE Assessor Lab for Routing and Switching is a practice lab available online. Users go to a Web site and get remote access to live equipment that they can use to solve problems similar to those on the CCIE lab exam.

The evaluation tool provides users with a detailed assessment of their performance on the practice questions, including command lines and suggestions for further study.

“It’s an evaluation tool; it’s supposed to answer the question of whether you are ready to take the CCIE lab exam,” explains Kathe Saccenti, product manager for CCIE programs at Cisco. “The lab book is written by the CCIE team. We use the same rigor in our practice lab.”

Saccenti says the best part about the CCIE Assessor Lab is the feedback it provides to users.

How much the CCIE costs

Taking the Cisco exam isn’t cheap.

Preparation books:$300
Rack of Cisco gear for practice:$9,000
Boot-camp course:$3,500
Written exam fee:$300 (one time)
Lab exam fee:$3,750 (three times)
Travel/hotel fees:$3,150 (boot camp and exam)

“It has a component that goes in and takes a look at their configuration and tells them how well they did,” she says. “It offers insight into what the author of the question was looking for. It’s a good way of providing a CCIE candidate with an experience of what the CCIE lab is like, so we can eliminate some of the shock that gets in the way of somebody who has the skill set but doesn’t have experience in the [lab] environment.”

The CCIE Assessor Lab is available in four-hour time slots that cost $279. Saccenti says this fee is much less expensive than buying a rack of Cisco equipment for practice purposes.

“When we were studying the market, we found that folks were sending upwards of $10,000 a year on CCIE preparation. A good portion of that was the purchase of equipment. Therefore, we felt that if we could give them access to real equipment vs. a simulator, it would help save them money,” Saccenti explains.

According to network engineers who have bought their own racks and passed the exam, the cost ranges from $8,000 to $12,000.

Cisco plans to introduce other CCIE preparation tools.

“We are looking at this whole area of CCIE training,” says Mike Reid, senior manager of CCIE programs at Cisco. “There are a bunch of boot camps out there that have no connection with us. Some are very good. Some are not good. They all have the problem that they are not tied into our program. It’s easy for candidates to get left high and dry.”

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