Lab equipment for CCIE Routing & Switching

Certification: Cisco CCIE Routing and Switching - Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Routing and Switching

Lab examination is the most difficult requirement to achieve CCIE certification. The format and equipments required of routing and switching track of the lab is totally different from other tracks lab examination and generally the time allocated for the lab test is eight hours. CCIE lab examination (Routing and Switching) demands candidate to configure and troubleshoot sequence of complex network and solve the complexity of spanning trees, and vast areas of local and wide area networks. The CCIE routing and switching lab examination format was revised from version 3 to version 4 on October 18, 2009. Generally the lab examination’s results are out within 48 hours of the lab examination. Some helpful materials for lab examination are:

  • Mobile CCIE Routing and Switching lab overview
  • CCIE routing and switching seminars

Besides all those online materials, simulation lab works and handbooks, lab equipments are the major tools for conducting lab operations and activities.

Basic lab equipment requirements

  1. A good network topology is most for the purpose of setting up all the lab equipments. Lab should not be used for demonstration purpose.
  2. Procedures and guidelines of using the lab equipments should be well known to the user of the equipment at the time of audit.
  3. Cisco direct or any authorized Cisco source should source the lab equipments.
  4. Verification for remote access of the lab should be verified before the time of audit
  5. Lab equipments are to be used for post-sales supporting and trining programs regarding routing and switching.

To fulfill the overall need of a proper CCIE Routing and Switching lab, various products or equipments are required, which even makes the options flexible. Required equipments are often found in sort of packages for effectiveness.

  1. Cisco Unified Communication Express
  2. Cisco Unity Express
  3. Cisco Internet Protocol phones
  4. Voice Gateway
  5. Switches

Description of the Requirements

  1. Cisco Unified Communication Express: This package ensures the availability of integrated IP telephone, voicemail and attendant functions which should be automatic. These equipments enable the deploying process of one device to every other business communication needs essential for any business. The equipments used here assures:
    • Simplified management of routing and switching
    • Proper maintenance of Routers and Switches
    • Smooth routing and switching operation
    • Ensures fewer expenses on total incurrence of ownership expenses.
  2. Cisco Unity Express: This package of Routers and Switches offers automated attending capabilities for Internet Protocol phone users plus the service of voicemails embedded. This package assures users and the network that all the routing and switching facilities and capabilities is as a whole  embedded with the Cisco router with the use of advanced network module used for integration. Major advantages of this equipment package can be:
    • Acceleration of collaboration of unified messaging system and network.
    • Easy access to Voicemail anywhere and anytime as per the requirement.
    • Reduction of total cost of ownership.
    • Intelligent notifications delivered using Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
    • Virtual routing and switching is also possible to be installed on Cisco Unified Computing System.
  3. Cisco Internet Protocol phones: Here, at least two Cisco Unified IP (Internet Protocols) phone are essential. IP phones which can be used for routing and switching practice in the lab are, 793, 794, 796 or 797 versions. These IP phones provide and support other activities like:
    • Huge collection of end-point applications.
    • Every model of Mark-up Language-based applications.
    • Widgets unified with Cisco.
    • Private Video Mentoring
  4. Voice Gateway: This package includes routers with Cisco services embedded in it.  It enables the cutting of routing and switching cost by preparing and arranging a single system which assures fast, safe and secret delivery of data and packets. Major types of voice gateways used as equipments in lab are 18XX, 22 xx, 38 xx or other routers with higher abilities and strength. Its use has following benefits:
    • It helps in robust of the voice quality.
    • It ensures the investment protection as other machines can also be used during the use of IP telephones.
    • It provides lower cost alternatives for low end analog devices.
  5. Switches: The major equipment used here is switches with high voltage power. Lab experts highly recommend proper installation of high voltage power. Proper installation and proper use of switching equipment like switches has advantages like: 
    • Reduction in number of Broadcast domains
    • More hardware oriented which enables less CPU intense operations.
    • Helps in logical segmentation of physical ports which in turn helps in routing phenomenon.

Besides the above mentioned equipments and packages of integrated equipments, general lab test can be conducted with eight routers loaded with software powered by Cisco and one switch 3500, with Cisco empowered software. Candidates having problems or any issues with the equipments are requested to spend ten more minutes on troubleshooting the problems on WANs and LANs befor accessing the lab equipments again.

Verification of lab equipment

After the completion of the lab work and use of all the lab equipments, the lab equipment list must be checked by any of the three methods that are listed below:

1)  Validation by Cisco System Engineer (Online)

2)  Upload lab list consisting corresponding bills of all lab equipments and applications, and lastly

3)  Upload next lab list which shows equipments’ serial number.

Lab examination requires 80% of total marks for securing pass marks. Practitioners and examinees cannot get the certificate of CIEE, i.e. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert without completing the lab examination and lab examination is not possible without lab equipments. Proper use of lab resources and equipments lead user and candidates towards successful practice and simulation for the final Certification test.

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