About Cisco CCIE Enterprise Certification
Those IT specialists who obtain the Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certification are able to achieve success in their career by showing their expert-level skills and proficient level of expertise. Offered by Cisco, this certificate helps you distinguish yourself as a leader in Enterprise Infrastructure technologies from other candidates. It proves that you have all the skills required to successfully deal with complex enterprise infrastructure solutions.
There are no strict requirements that you need to meet before going for this path. However, you should understand that this is the expert-level certification, which means that your thorough understanding of the exam content is strongly recommended. The certification is associated with two tests, one of which is written (350-401 ENCOR) and another is practical (CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0). Therefore, it is also recommended to have about 5-7 years of hands-on expertise in the design, deployment, operating, and optimization of enterprise networking solutions and technologies to be able to clear these exams with flying colors.
Written Exam: Comprehensive Overview
There are two exams that you need to take and that is why it is important to be ready for both of them as well as know their details, structure, and topics. Thus, first of all, it is essential to prepare for the written test, which is known as 350-401 ENCOR. This core exam is associated with the professional- and expert-level certificates of the main track of the Cisco certification program. With its help, you are able to earn the following qualifications: CCNP Enterprise, CCIE Enterprise Wireless, and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure.
As for the structure, this written exam has about 100 questions that you need to clear within 2 hours. The questions are presented in various types, including testlets, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and others. You can check the full list of options along with the tutorial videos on the official webpage. The test is available in the English and Japanese languages and costs $400. To register for it, you will need to have an account on the Person VUE platform.
To be able to cover all the topics and prepare with great deliberation, Cisco offers the training course, which is known as Implementing & Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies v1.1. This option provides you with the knowledge and expertise required for the configuration, troubleshooting, and management of enterprise wired & wireless networks. You will also learn how to implement automation & programmability as well as security principles within an enterprise network. The successful candidates will gain the skills in overlaying the network design with the use of SD-Access & SD-WAN solutions.
The Cisco 350-401 test covers 6 key topics, which you need to learn in order to successfully clear its questions. Thus, you should know the following details of the exam content:
- Architecture: This area covers about 15% of the entire content and contains the information about the difference between on-premises & Cloud infrastructure deployments as well as between software & hardware switching mechanisms. As a potential candidate, you need to have an understanding of the concepts of wireless & wired QoS and working principles of Cisco SD-WAN & Cisco SD-Access solutions. Besides that, you have to be able to explain different design principles, which are used in an enterprise network;
- Virtualization: This topic covers only 10% of the content and comes with the details of the network virtualization concepts and device virtualization technologies. It is also important to have the skills in configuring and verifying data path virtualization technologies;
- Infrastructure: This is the largest domain of the overall content that covers about 30% of all the questions. It is all about IP Services, Layer 2 and 3, as well as Wireless. The area is very wide, which means that you need to be ready to have the skills in various spheres. Thus, a learner needs to have knowledge of how to troubleshoot dynamic and static EtherChannels & 802.1q trunking protocols. Also, you are required to possess the skills in configuring and verifying simple OSPF environments and eBGP, as well as know about the configuration of NAT/PAT and first hop redundancy protocols along with the wireless client and WLAN configuration;
- Network Assurance: This section will represent only 10% of the whole content, but it is also important to prepare for it nonetheless. It is all about the configuration and verification of SPAN/RSPAN/ERSPAN, Flexible NetFlow, IPSLA, and NetFlow. The applicants should also be able to diagnose various network problems with the help of different tools, including conditional debugs & debugs, ping, trace route, syslog, and SNMP;
- Security: About 20% of the exam questions will be covered by this part, so the individuals need to have the relevant skills in configuring and verifying the infrastructure security features, wireless security features, as well as device access control. The interested students should have knowledge related to REST API security as well as components of network security design;
- Automation: The remaining 15% of the exam content will be about the construction of the EEM applet to automate troubleshooting, data collection, or configuration. Besides that, it is essential to know about the JSON encoded files, APIs for Cisco DNA Center & vManage, as well as the basic Python scripts & components. As for the practical skills, you need to be able to compare the agentless vs. agent orchestration tools, which include Puppet, Chef, SaltStack, and Ansible.
Hands-on Lab Exam: Detailed Overview
As for the practical test, it is required to go for it after dealing with the written exam. Thus, it will be much easier for you to understand how to complete not only the lab test but also the real tasks in the future. Cisco CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure (v1.0) is 8 hours long and you will need to be able to perform the planning, design, deployment, and optimization processes required for dual-stack solutions (IPv4/IPv6).
To be able to clear this lab test, you need to have a solid understanding of its topics. Therefore, please cover the following details meticulously:
- Network Infrastructure: This is the largest area out of all the topics that overlays 30% of the content. It is all about Multicast, BGP, OSPF (v2 & v3), routing concepts, switched campus, and EIGRP;
- Software-Defined Infrastructure: If you want to deal with the questions from this section, you will need to be ready that it will cover 25% of the overall content. It evaluates your knowledge of Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco SD Access;
- Transport Solutions & Technologies: In this topic, you will need to know about the DMVPN & MPLS and the required processes. You will face with about 15% of the questions from this part;
- Infrastructure Services & Security: Here, you will find 15% as well, and it is all about the details of Network Services & Security, QoS, Device Security on Cisco IOS XE, System Management, as well as Network operations & optimization;
- Infrastructure Programmability & Automation: The last objective will measure your knowledge of programmability, scripting, data encoding formats, and automation.
Possible Career Paths
After verifying both your theoretical knowledge and practical skills, you will obtain the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certification, which will open new doors for you. It doesn’t matter if you decide to follow this path for the expert-level skills and this sought-after certificate or just this certification, you will still benefit from it. Thus, a certified individual will be able to work as an Enterprise IT Infrastructure Architect, a Sr. Infrastructure Lead, an Enterprise Network Architect, a Collaboration Architect, a Sr. Solutions Architect, or a WebEx Network Consulting Engineer. The average salary for the certificate holders is about $125,000 per year.