Ever since it was founded CISCO has been one of the front running companies in all that revolves around networking. From routers to data centers, CISCO has provided the IT world with both hardware and professional training and certifications. As such, CISCO certifications are among the most recognized and renowned in the whole world. Being CISCO certified is as much of an achievement as it is a privilege.
The CISCO CCIE certifications are the highest level of certification available to IT professionals, except for the Cisco Certified System Architect. These certifications validate expert-level knowledge and skills required for work within that networking domain, be it Routing and Switching, Voice, Security, Service Provider, etc. CCIE certified professionals receive the highest renown and recognition available in the industry, along with the highest possible salaries.
Why is this exam required?
The 350-029 CCIE SP exam is the written part of the CCIE Service Provider certification and is needed to enter the lab portion of the exam. As such it is a must for any professional working in the Service Provider domain wishing to receive expert-level recognition. The exam is needed as a prerequisite to the lab exam of the certification, and is used to certify that the candidate has the theoretical knowledge needed in order to pass the exam. With a CCIE, you are recognized everywhere as an expert in your domain. Being a Service Provider certification, professionals attempting the certification are usually already working as a:
- Network implementation Engineer;
- Network OPS engineer;
- Data Systems Technician;
- Network Support System Engineer;
- IP Architect;
- Network Voip engineer;
And are usually looking forward to a nice boost in the salary, as well as well-deserved addition of a Senior prefix to their job title.
As mentioned above, the 350-029 exam is associated to the CCIE Service Provider certification. Beside this written exam, candidates wishing to hold the CCIE Service Provider certification must pass a performance-based lab exam. This exam is needed as a prerequisite for that lab exam. Also, a first attempt at the lab exam must be made within 18 months of passing the written one, and the lab exam must be passed within 3 years, otherwise the written one must be retaken.
No formal prerequisites are in existence, but candidates without a prior job experience of at least 5 years in a medium-level position have little chance to take the certification. Although not required, it is advisable to first take the CCNA and CCNP Service Provider certifications, as they are lower-level and will assure that you are able to take the CCIE, especially if you do not have enough job experience.
Objectives of the exam
The exam has 7 main topics, each with its own sub-topics. There is one overwhelming topic at 46% of the total exam value, and the others are valued between 3% and 24% of the final score. The topic names are usually self-explanatory. The topics required are:
Describe, Implement, Optimize and Troubleshoot Core IP Technologies (46%)
Towering at over 45% of the total exam score, this topic involves the describing, implementing, optimization and troubleshooting of Packets over SONET; IP over DWDM; GE/10GE in the core; IGP routing; MPLS and LDP; BGP; Multicast; SP QoS; and core security.
Describe, Implement, Optimize and Troubleshoot Access/Edge Connection Technologies (10%)
Including FE/GE and Ethernet Trunk connections; PPP connections;SONET/SDH connections; Frame-relay and ATM connections; As well as T1/T3 and E1/E3 services.
Describe, Implement, Optimize and Troubleshoot Remote Access Technologies (3%)
Describe, Implement, Optimize and Troubleshoot L3VPN Technologies (24%)
Requires understanding of all L3VPN components and technologies.
Describe, Implement, Optimize and Troubleshoot L2VPN Technologies (10%)
Describe, Implement, Optimize and Troubleshoot Managed Services Traversing the Core (3%)
Describe Service Provider Network implementing principle (4%)
Taking the 350-029 exam will open the way to the lab exam required for the CISCO Certified Internetwork Engineer, the expert-level certification from CISCO in Service Providing. As such you will be able to expect the addition of the "senior" prefix to your job title, an increase in salary, as well as improved recognition and credibility to both you and your firm. As such, many employers ask their employees to take the exam, shouldering a part of the exam costs.
Nowadays nobody will believe you can do anything without a certification, but the CCIE is far from just a simple old certification, it is more like a gem to any professional. This certification will grant you immediate respect between any IT specialists, as well as a heavier word within meeting and project conception.