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揭密CCIE R&S V5考试更新 Demystifying the Changes to CCIE R&S v5

创建于: 2014-07-14 16:13:42          

揭密CCIE R&S V5考试更新 

为什么要发布有关CCIE 路由和交换的博客

 

过去四年在每一个Cisco Live session上我都会被要求在我的博客上写下讲稿。我不清楚这是否跟我非母语的英语口音难以被大家理解有关,或者只是因为不同考生的学习风格和偏好不同,当然,也有可能是因为这两种情况都有。不论是甚么原因,我认为把一些有意义的想法写在博客上跟大家分享是值得的。

 

现在CCIE路由与交换V5.0(CCIE R&S)考试已经正式推出了,我会跟大家分享一些常被讨论到的要点,希望可以在你准备CCIE R&S认证考试的时候帮助你。

 

在哪里可以找到官方学习文档? 

 

如果你正在阅读这篇博客,希望你不要太惊讶,因为CCIE R&S认证考试正在经历着重大的项目改版。

2014年6月4日,如今4岁的CCIE R&S v4.0已经全面退役,并由CCIE R&S v5.0取代。新版本中,不论在考试内容和考试形式方面都有些重要的修订,而这均是考生在准备考试时想知道的。

 

下面是一些已发布到思科网络学习空间网站上的官方CCIE R&S文件、专题视频和会话记录等的链接:

 

除了以上的总结外,我还会发表一些个人的意见:

为什么要更新考试?更相关!更高效! 

 

众所周知,生活中,改变是常数。尤其是在IT行业,技术的变化的速度逐日增加。由于CCIE认证是验证和帮助甄别专家级网络工程师,CCIE认证必须紧贴现今科技发展以确保认证仍然与市场相关及保持在业界受尊敬的IT认证地位。

 

让我们更着重于讨论CCIE R&S,它帮助验证专家级的工程师。专家级工程师的工作涉及到网络基础建设,包括第2、3层和VPN技术。虽然网络架构技术相对于四年前的最后一次修订,并没有明显转变,但有大部分的技术或多或少变得有些相关或有些不相关,因此需要在课程上进行少许修订以确保认证技术紧贴目前的工作岗位的需求。

 

最终,你、你现在或未来的雇主不是都希望这份认证能够证明的是你每天工作所用上的技能是有用的技能而不是些过时的技能吗?

 

正如General Eric Shinseki曾经提到:「如果你不喜欢变化,你会跟不上潮流甚至更差。」

 

简而言之,新版考试哪里发生了变化?虚拟化!诊断模块

 

为了提高认证考试的相关性,我们对考试的内容和实验室考试形式都进行了调整。你一定会仔细查看官方文档并查看完整的考题变化列表,但你会发现大部分考点的变化都在笔试上。实验考试增加了两个大考点(DMVPN和IPsec),删除了一些如Frame Relay、PFR和ZBF等的考点。幸好,一部分考生(MQC)在短时间内已开始或至少有能力学习这两个新的实验考点。我认为新的实验考试形式的变化实际上比增加这两个新考点更有重大意义。事实上,新的实验考试已全面虚拟化、有新的计时及计分规则,最重要的是,新增加一个全新考试模块 “诊断模块”。

 

 

什么是新版诊断模块?为什么要新增该模块 

 

随着CCIE R&S V4.0改版新增的Diagnostic (DIAG) 新模块,将实验考试模块从两个到增加三个。

DIAG模块主要目的是要评估考生在解决一个网络问题时的思考过程。该模块将更深度地评估考生的解难技巧,以便甄别出专家级MQC或非MQC。

就像一个医生、技术人员和专业人士需要在解决问题前先要找出出原因一样。网络工程师必须在施行可能的解决方案前先分析问题出错的根源。

 在排错(TS)模块,只要在不违反任何要求或限制下能够有效实施的解决方案都是可以得分的。在TS模式下,解决方案合理并能够解决故障症状才是关键,无论考试如何识别故障根源。

 

另外,DIAG着眼于故障排除工作或工作流程的前几个步骤。比如,哪个设备、接口或功能造成了报告中的症状?故障处理流程中是否有数据欠缺?何种操作流程造成了报告中的故障?为了在保持网络安全的状况下隔离故障问题,需要如何操作?

 

这里是一些在DIAG模块中会出现的用来分析网络问题根本的提问风格。在某程度上说,会与非常早期的CCIE考试的风格相似,当时的实验考试持续两天、考官会口头上问考生,让其解释出网络问题的根本原理。然而,这些考生口头的解释部分并没有正式授予考试分数,而且该部分的评估大都会受考官的主观思想所影响。

 

据网上资科所显示及解释的,新DIAG模式已设计成每道题目只有一个答案,从而消除所有主观因素并确保得分。

 

另一个DIAG模式的重要方向我想提及的是,我认为作为一个经验丰富的工程师能在无法直接接触远程设备的控制台依然能够解决网络问题是司空见惯的。这些问题的展现方式就像就像向一位客户、一位一线的支持者或一位同事向你提供了一系列文文件然后要求我们的考生解决故障问题一样。这是一位MQC将经常会遇到的情况。

 

走向虚拟化让考题更逼真! 

 

各国政府、学术界和其他行业都广泛使用仿真器进行训练及测试,明显优势体现在比使用真实装置、真实环境或情况下,成本相对低和风险相对小。试想航空公司考虑使用飞行仿真器、军队练习军事战争游戏、F1赛车手在仿真赛道赛道上进行训练和医生在模拟环境下进行临床练习等。

 

在CCIE R&S V4.0,TS排错模块已使用虚拟路由器和交换机。但配置模式还是依靠在一套五个固定的路由器硬件和四台交换机硬件。因此,实验情况并不是很合理和现实的。有多少网络只有五台路由器?如有,利用这些有限的节点可以测试多少技术?使用虚拟路由器可以完全排除这些限制。如今,我们可以很容易模拟出带有更多结合现实技术的真实企业网络。这大力改善实验室考试场景与现实工作中的相关程度,换言之,虚拟化使考题更逼真!

 

关于考试的其他问题?  

 

关于实验考试的改变,除了上面简要的说明了和官方文档详细提到了,如新的计分和计时规则(这些都需要你在考试前了解)。还有一些其他的重要转变,我将会在未来的博客中分享,我还会提供一些关于如何面对考试的建议并提供一些有效的解题策略。现在,我会以「所有改变都是为了保护你的精力,时间,金钱和资源,而这些都能帮助你获得职业认证、使你的职业生涯更顺利!」的想法来总结这篇文章。这些转变帮助我及整个认证团队晚上会睡很甜,因为知道通过或不通过都是有效的、可靠的、公平的、简单的,而且实至名归的。

 

欢迎大家留下你的意见,我会尽快回复。

查看下一篇博客:专家思维—第一部分

 

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中英对照:

 

Demystifying the Changes to CCIE R&S V5 

Why a blog about CCIE Routing and Switching?

 

At almost every Cisco Live session where I’ve presented during the past four years, I get asked to write down the speech in a blog. I don’t know if it’s due to my non-native English accent, which might be difficult to understand at times, or if it’s simply the diversity of learning styles and preferences – or both. In any case, I too have felt that it could be valuable to put some thoughts down in a blog and share them with a broader audience.

 

So, now that CCIE Routing and Switching v5.0 (CCIE R&S) is out, I'll be sharing some recurrent discussion points, hoping that they might help some of you as you prepare for your CCIE R&S certification.

 

Where can I find the official documentation?

 

If you are reading this article, it is, hopefully, not a surprise that the CCIE R&S certification has just undergone a major program revision. As of June 4, 2014, the four-year-old CCIE R&S v4.0 has been retired worldwide and replaced by CCIE R&S v5.0. With this new version, there are a number of important changes to the program – both in terms of content and exam format – that candidates will want to be aware of when preparing for the exam.

 

There are a number of official CCIE R&S documents, supporting videos, and session recordings that have been published on the Cisco Learning Network and other sites. Here are some useful links:

 

Rather than review the content in the links above, I will instead give my personal opinion regarding the changes.

 

Wait, why change the exam? Relevancy! Validity!

 

As you know, the only constant in life is change. This is especially true in the IT industry, where the pace of change is rapidly increasing. And since CCIE certifications are validating and endorsing the Expert-level skills of network engineers, these certifications have to stay aligned with the current technologies that are widely used in the field. This alignment ensures that the certifications remain relevant in the market and maintain their established reputation as being some of the most respected IT certifications.

 

Let’s focus more specifically on CCIE R&S. It validates the Expert-level skills of engineers, whose job tasks are related to the network infrastructure, including Layer 2, Layer 3, and VPN technologies. Though the infrastructure technologies have not dramatically changed from four years ago when CCIE R&S was last revised, there are a number of technologies that have become either more or less relevant, and therefore some adjustments to the curriculum were required in order to keep the certification aligned with current job roles.

 

At the end of the day, don’t you or your current or future employer want this certification to validate the skills that you use every day, and not obsolete ones?

 

Like General Eric Shinseki once said, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

 

In a nutshell, what has changed? Virtual! Diagnostic!

 

In order to improve the exam’s relevancy, adjustments were made to both the content and the lab exam format. You will definitely want to carefully review the official documentation and get a comprehensive list of the changes. What you will discover is that most of the topic changes apply to the written exam. The lab exam has essentially added two substantial topics (DMVPN and IPsec) and removed some other large topics like Frame Relay, PfR, and ZBF. Hopefully, a minimally qualified candidate (MQC) is already working with, or at least able to learn, these two new lab topics in a relatively short period of time. I think that the new lab exam format is actually more significant than the addition of these two topics. Indeed, the new lab exam is now fully virtual, has new timing and scoring rules, and, last but not least, has a whole new exam module called “diagnostic.”

 

 

What is the new diagnostic module and why has it been added?

 

The addition of the new diagnostic (DIAG) module increases the modular approach of the lab exam, introduced with CCIE R&S v4.0, from two to three modules.

 

The main objective of DIAG is to evaluate the candidate’s thought process when troubleshooting a networking issue. This deepens the assessment of the candidate’s troubleshooting skill, which is the key differentiator between an MQC and a non-MQC at the Expert level.

 

Just like a medical doctor or a mechanic, professionals need to identify what the problem is before fixing it. Similarly, a network engineer must analyze what the root cause of an issue is before effectively applying a possible solution.

 

In the troubleshooting (TS) module, points are granted when any possible solution that does not violate any guidelines or constraints is effectively implemented. All that matters in TS is that the symptom is resolved and that the solution is appropriate, regardless of how the candidate came to identify the root cause.

 

On the other hand, DIAG focuses exactly on the first few steps of the troubleshooting activities or workflow. Which device, interface, or feature is or is not causing the reported symptoms? What information is missing in order to progress in the troubleshooting workflow? What is the order of operations that produced the reported symptoms? What changes should or should not be performed in order to isolate the issue without causing more harm to the network?

 

These are some examples of question styles that DIAG will use in order to assess the root cause analysis of a networking issue. In some ways, this kind of assessment was present in the very early days of the CCIE exam, when the lab exam spanned two days and the proctor verbally asked the candidate to explain the rationale that led to identifying the root causes. However, there were no formal points granted for these explanations, and in many cases, the reliability of the assessment could be biased by the proctor’s subjectivity.

 

As explained and demonstrated in the online resources, the format of the new DIAG module has been designed so that there is only one possible answer to the question being asked, thus removing all subjectivity and ensuring a deterministic scoring.

 

Another important aspect of DIAG that I’d like to mention is that, in my opinion, it should be familiar to experienced engineers, who are used to troubleshooting networking issues while not having direct access to the console of remote devices. The questions are presented like support tickets for which somebody – a customer, a first-line support person, or a colleague – is providing a set of documents and asking the candidate to help resolve an issue. This is hopefully a very common situation for an MQC.

 

Going virtual makes it more realistic!

 

Governments, academia, and other industries extensively use simulators for training and testing purposes because of obvious advantages, including minimizing cost and risk compared to using real gear, environments, or situations. Think about airline companies using flight simulators, the military using war games, Formula 1 drivers training on racing simulators, medical doctors practicing in simulated clinical environments, etc.

 

With CCIE R&S v4.0, the troubleshooting module was already using virtual routers and switches, but the configuration module was still based on a fixed set of five hardware routers and four switches. So, the lab scenarios were not very plausible or realistic. How many networks have only five routers? If any, how many technologies could be tested using this very limited number of nodes? Using virtual routers completely eliminates this huge limitation. Now we can easily build network topologies that mimic real-world enterprise networks, featuring a more realistic combination of technologies. This in turn, dramatically improves the relevancy of the lab scenarios. In other words, going virtual makes it more realistic!

 

What else?

 

There are other important changes to the lab exam, briefly mentioned above and detailed in the official documentation – like new scoring and timing rules – that you will want to understand before taking a shot at the exam. I’ll share my thoughts about these changes in upcoming blog posts. I’ll also give some recommendations about how to approach the exam and build an efficient strategy to tackle it. But for now, I’ll conclude this post with this thought: All of these changes to the program were done to protect YOUR investment of energy, time, money, and resources that are required when legitimately pursuing your career certification, and ultimately advancing your career! On a side note, these changes help me – and the whole certification team – sleep well at night, knowing that any pass/fail decision made on any exam attempt was valid, reliable, fair, and, quite simply, deserved.

 

Please share your feedback in the comments below, and I'll do my best to respond in a timely manner

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