So far we covered Cisco Foundation certifications, Design and Security certifications, and Unified Communications and Wireless certifications. Last week we looked at Routing & Switching and Storage, so now we’ll go over Service Provider Certifications.
Service Provider Certification
Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP) validates advanced knowledge and skills required to manage service provider infrastructures. With a CCIP certification, a network professional working in a service provider organization demonstrates competencies in infrastructure IP networking solutions.
Prerequisite: Valid CCNA certification, or any CCIE certification.
Required Cisco Exams:
CCIE Service Provider
Achieving CCIE Service Provider certification declares your expert-level ability to perform large-scale maintenance, troubleshoot implementation, and manage support of applications. It demonstrates that you have the skills to build extensible service provider infrastructures that deliver managed services.
Prerequisite: While there are no formal prerequisites for CCIE Service Provider certification, you are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam blueprints and are strongly encouraged to have three to five years of job experience before attempting certification.
Required Cisco Exams:
Step One: CCIE Service Provider Written Exam
You must pass the two-hour written exam that tests your knowledge of implementing, troubleshooting, and optimizing features and technologies, such as Packet over SONET, IP over DWDM, GE/10GE, BGP, IGP Routing, LDP, MPLS and MPLS TE, Multicast, HA, QoS, and Layer 2 and 3 VPNs, before scheduling the lab exam.
Step Two: CCIE Service Provider Lab Exam
The CCIE Service Provider lab exam is an eight-hour, hands-on exam which requires you to configure a series of networks to given specifications.
It is similar to the CCIE Routing and Switching lab, with more emphasis on BGP, OSPF, ISIS, multicast, and Quality of Service. Knowledge of troubleshooting is an important skill, and you are expected to diagnose and solve issues during the lab exam. You must make an initial attempt of the CCIE Service Provider lab exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE Service Provider written exam.
CCNA Service Provider Operations
Cisco’s Certified Network Associate in Service Provider Operations (CCNA SP Operations) certification validates basic knowledge and skills in a prescriptive troubleshooting environment within carrier class IP NGN core network infrastructure.
These skills are comparable to those of a Tier I support engineer, and include incident (event), fault, configuration, change, and performance management procedures, along with NMS tools and protocols.
Prerequisite: Valid CCENT, CCNA, or any CCIE certification.
Required Cisco Exam: 640-760 SSPO
CCNP Service Provider Operations
The Cisco Certified Network Professional in Service Provider Operations (CCNP SP Operations) program validates knowledge and skills required to troubleshoot and maintain service provider IP NGN core (PE-PE and PE-CE) network infrastructures.
With a CCNP SP Operations certification, you have proven that you have the skills required to isolate network performance problems, implement proactive fault measures using operations management processes, frameworks, and network management systems.
Covering topics that should be familiar to any Tier II or Tier III support engineer, the curriculum includes maintaining carrier class routing protocol environments, MPLS VPN and TE deployments, and QoS mechanisms using Cisco IOS and IOS XR.
Prerequisite: Valid CCNA SP Operations certification, or any CCIE certification.
Required Cisco Exams:
CCIE Service Provider Operations
Certifies expert-level and skills of an expert-level (Tier III or Tier IV support) operations engineer to troubleshoot and maintain complex service provider IP NGN core (PE-PE and PE-CE) network infrastructures in both IOS and IOS XR operating environments, plus validate broad theoretical knowledge of operations management processes, frameworks, and network management systems.
Exam topics generally cover SP technologies, Operations Process Management, and NMS tools. There are also questions guided by ITIL v3 Core Service Lifecycle Framework, and other related topic areas may also appear.
Prerequisite: CCNP SP Operations is strongly recommended, as is 3-5 years of related job experience.
Required Cisco Exams
Step One: CCIE Service Provider Operations Written Exam
You must pass the two-hour written exam covering concepts and equipment commands related to packet-based networking infrastructure before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam.
Step Two: CCIE Service Provider Operations Lab Exam
The eight-hour practical exam tests your ability to configure actual equipment and get a service provider network running in a timed test situation.