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CCIE Data Center

IT practitioners who are Cisco CCIE certified are uniquely qualified for key roles in advanced data center environments, with expertise in the broad range of technologies and industry-best practices sought after in technical leadership roles.

Overview

Cisco CCIE Data Center certification validates the expert-level skills required for the planning, design, implementation and management of complex modern IT data center infrastructure.

Advanced skills are focused on Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity, fabric infrastructure, storage networking and compute, network services, and automation and orchestration. Knowledge of evolving technologies, and their impact on the architectural framework, deployment models, implementation, and operations–are included in CCIE certification.

The CCIE Data Center practitioner is uniquely qualified to play a leadership role in harnessing evolving technologies and deep domain expertise to meet business requirements that depend on an agile IT infrastructure. Professionals who achieve CCIE Data Center certification have demonstrated their technical skills at the highest level, using industry best practices.

Prerequisites

While there are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification, you are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the exam topics and are strongly encouraged to have eight years of job experience before attempting certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, candidates must first pass the CCIE Data Center Written Exam, and then the corresponding CCIE Data Center Lab Exam.

Step One: CCIE Data Center Written Exam

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

Step Two: CCIE Data Center Lab Exam

CCIE Data Center Lab is a two-part eight-hour timed exam that tests the candidate's skills in diagnosing, configuring and troubleshooting a complex data center topology. The candidate must make an initial attempt of the CCIE Lab Exam within 18-months of passing the CCIE written exam. Candidates who do not pass must reattempt the lab exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their written exam to remain valid. Candidate must pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, otherwise the written exam needs to be retaken prior to retaking the lab exam.

The two parts to the eight-hour lab exam are to be taken in sequence during the day of the exam starting with Part 1, followed by Part 2 are:

  • Part 1: Diagnostic module (one hour)
  • Part 2: Configuration & Troubleshooting module (seven hours)

Take exam

To earn this Cisco certification, you must pass the following exam(s):

CCIE Data Center Written Exam (400-151 CCIE DC)

The CCIE Data Center Written exam certifies expert-level skills to plan, design, implement, operate, and troubleshoot complex Data Center infrastructure. It accesses the ability to understand the requirements of Data Centers, how different components in the Data Center interoperate, and ability to translate it into the device configurations.

CCIE Data Center Lab Exam

The Lab exam is an eight-hour, hands-on exam which requires you to configure and troubleshoot a series of complex networks to given specifications. Knowledge of troubleshooting is an important skill and candidates are expected to diagnose and solve issues as part of the CCIE Data Center Lab exam.

Recertification

CCIEs are required to recertify every two years.

Active CCIE status shows your commitment to maintaining expert-level knowledge in an industry critical to the success of virtually every organization. CCIEs are encouraged to continually expand their technical knowledge and are required to pass a recertification exam every two years. If you do not complete your recertification before the deadlines, your CCIE certification will be suspended and you and your employer will lose the benefits associated with your expert status. You have one year to reinstate your CCIE status before you become inactive and must begin the certification process all over again.

Recertification Deadline

  • Your recertification deadline can be viewed online anytime (with login) at Certification Status.
  • Subsequent recertification deadlines are always based on your original certification date, not on when you took your last recertification exam.
  • Candidates must make an initial attempt of the CCIE lab exam within 18 months of passing the CCIE written exam. Candidates who do not pass must reattempt the lab exam within 12 months of their last scored attempt in order for their written exam to remain valid. If a candidate does not pass the lab exam within three years of passing the written exam, he or she must retake the written exam before being allowed to attempt the lab exam again.

Recertification Details

  • To maintain active status, every 24-months CCIEs have the flexibility and option to recertify using one of the options below before the certification expiration date:
    • Earn the required credits through the Cisco Continuing Education Program, or
    • Pass any current CCIE Written Exam OR CCIE Lab Exam, or
    • Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
    • Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications.
  • CCIE certification automatically extends other Cisco Certifications, such as CCNP or CCNA.
  • Candidates can only apply one passed written exam or the earned required credits using Cisco Continuing Education Program towards recertification for every 24 month recertification period.
  • Candidates must wait 15 calendar days between attempts at the written exam.
  • Certification candidates are responsible for keeping track of their certification expiration dates. Please plan your recertification accordingly. If your CCIE recertification requirements are not completed on or before the certification's expiration date, your CCIE certification will be suspended for one year. Candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam. If a candidate does not recertify prior to the one year deadline and your employer will be notified. Suspended candidates have one year to recertify their CCIE certification by passing the required written exam or practical lab before their expert level certification becomes permanently inactive. Inactive CCIE professionals lose all benefits and must pass both the CCIE written and lab exams again.
  • Achieving or recertifying CCIE automatically extends your active Entry, Associate, Professional or other Expert level certification(s), or Specialist certifications up to the expiration date of the latest CCIE, CCDE or CCAr certification achieved.
  • Be sure to use the same ID number you were assigned for your original qualification exam to ensure your profile is updated accurately. If you have any questions about which ID number to use, contact CCIE support.

Continuing Education

Cisco announces a flexible and alternative method of recertification for expert-level certification holders. In addition to the existing option of passing relevant exams, candidates can choose to recertify by earning credits through the Continuing Education Program.

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