Service Provider Operations

CCIE Service Provider Operations

Learn more about the CCIE Service Provider Operations certification.


The CCIE Service Provider Operations Certification is being retired. The last day to test for the CCIE Service Provider Operations certification will be January 31, 2015. No new certifications will be issued beginning Feb 1, 2015.
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The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Service Provider Operations (CCIE SP Operations) certification assesses and validates core IP NGN service provider operations expertise. Candidates who pass the CCIE SP Operations certification exams demonstrate the skills required of an expert-level operations engineer (tier III or tier IV support) to troubleshoot and maintain complex (PE-PE and PE-CE) IP NGN core network infrastructures in both IOS and IOS XR operating environments. In addition, they demonstrate broad theoretical knowledge of operations management processes and network management systems, and can apply relevant aspects of the ITIL v3 framework for service operations and transitions, and to a lesser extent, service design and service improvements.


There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding hands-on lab exam. You are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam blueprints and strongly encouraged to have three to five years of job experience before attempting certification.

Step One: CCIE SP Operations Written Exam

You must pass the two-hour, written qualification exam covering concepts and equipment commands related to packet-based networking infrastructure, before you are eligible to schedule the lab exam.

Step Two: CCIE SP Operations Practical 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. You must make an initial attempt of the CCIE practical exam within 18-months of passing the CCIE written exam. If you do not pass the practical exam within three years of passing the written exam, you must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the practical exam again.