Ethan Banks On productivity.

Burst: CCIE Routing & Switching v5


pyramid_expertThe Cisco Learning Network has posted information about version 5 of the CCIE Routing & Switching program.

Key Points

  1. If you’re in the version 4 program, 3-June-2014 is your last day to attempt the lab.
  2. IPv6 needs to be a part of your life now. As I looked over the blueprints, IPv6 is deeply enmeshed across all topics and not really a separate area of study.
  3. Layer 2 WAN technologies reflect the services typically offered by carriers to enterprises these days. I don’t see frame relay anymore. I do see HDLC and PPP. Yep. That seems about right. I was transitioning my last frame relay network to the carrier’s MPLS cloud back in 2010, because the carrier was shutting their FR service down. Most of the new circuits I’ve been ordering in recent years have been Ethernet handoffs, but those that haven’t been have been consistently PPP, MLPPP, or HDLC delivered over T1 or E1.
  4. The equipment list has moved into IOS 15.3T on the 2900 ISR router platform and includes Cisco 3560X switches. That will make practicing for certain aspects of the lab impossible without rack rentals, I suspect. That’s an educated guess based on my experience with that hardware. That doesn’t mean GNS3, etc. won’t be helpful in mastering certain technical concepts and configuration techniques. But it does mean that platform-specific topics will be impossible to practice without working on the actual equipment.
  5. This program still represents a huge amount of technology for candidates to master. You won’t make it if you aren’t seriously committed and going after the CCIE with a real plan in mind.

Should You Invest In Climbing Gear?

Back in 2008, I wrote a CCIE R&S Syllabus series in three parts using a Q&A format. The intent was to help those who are considering the CCIE program understand what’s really involved. Those posts are over 5 years old; some of the links are broken or refer to training materials that are no longer relevant. But there’s still a lot of information I think is useful if you are seriously considering a climb up the CCIE mountain.

A “burst” is a quick post to raise awareness of a topic I found interesting.


  • Hi Ethan,

    Thanks for the information! I noticed you mention that GNS3 probably won’t be useful in studying for the CCIE v5 but yesterday Stephen (GNS3) released the following statement – “With the new version of GNS3, you will be able to train nearly 100% of CCIE using it.”.

    Curious if you’ve heard anything additional?


    • I’ve heard that GNS3 is going to include support for Cisco’s L2IOU image. I suspect that’s the magic that allows for the “nearly 100%” claim.

By Ethan Banks
Ethan Banks On productivity.

You probably know Ethan Banks because he writes & podcasts about IT. For example, he co-authored "Computer Networks Problems & Solutions" with Russ White.

This site is Ethan on productivity--not tech so much.

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