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Lab Exam Overview

Available for testing beginning on July 25, 2016


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. Knowledge of configuration and troubleshooting are important skills and candidates are expected to configure and troubleshoot issues as part of the CCIE Data Center Lab exam.


CCIE Data Center v2.0 unifies written and lab exam topics documents into a unique curriculum, while explicitly disclosing which domains pertain to which exam, and the relative weight of each domain.


Exam Topics

CCIE Data Center Lab Exam Topics


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) written

Candidates are provided various pieces of information similar to information that is provided to a Data Center support engineer that is assisting a customer finding the root cause of an issue, and similar to information that is provided by someone who is stuck troubleshooting an issue. No device access is in this module.


The module includes multiple-choice, drag-and-drop style items, and point-and-click style items. The Diagnostic module (called troubleshoot tickets) contain a set of documents that the candidate consults in order to be able to understand and identify the root cause of the issue presented. Candidates analyze and correlate information in order to diagnose among the pre-defined options provided.


Part 2: Configuration & Troubleshooting module (seven hours) hands on

The Configuration and Troubleshooting module tests hands-on practical capabilities. It consists of various scenarios based on one topology. At the beginning of the module, the candidate has a full overview of the entire module; and can make a choice of working on items in sequence or not. Candidates are not allowed to go back and forth between modules during the exam.



The Lab Exam cost does not including travel and lodging expenses. Costs may vary due to exchange rates and local taxes (VAT, GST). You are responsible for any fees your financial institution charges to complete the payment transaction. Price not confirmed and is subject to change until full payment is made.


Lab Environment

Cisco documentation is available on-line during the exam, however knowledge of the more common protocols and technologies is assumed. The documentation can only be navigated using the index, as the search function has been disabled. No outside reference materials are permitted in the lab room. You must report any suspected equipment issues to the proctor during the exam; adjustments cannot be made once the exam is over.


Lab Exam Grading

Each question on the lab has specific criterion. The labs are graded by proctors who ensure all the criterion are met and points are awarded accordingly. The proctors use automatic tools to gather information from the routers to perform some preliminary evaluations, but the final determination of a correct or incorrect configuration is done by a trained proctor.


In order to pass the Lab exam, the candidate must meet the both following conditions:

  • The minimum cut-score of the each individual module must be achieved.
  • The total score of both modules together must be higher as the minimum  value of the combined cut-score.


The reason of these criteria is to prevent a candidate from passing the Lab exam while failing or even bypassing one of the two modules.


The point value(s) of each item in both modules is known to the candidate. Note points are only granted when all requirements and sometimes restrictions of the item are met. There is no partial scoring for any items.





Candidates can review your lab exam results online (login required), usually within 48 hours. Results are Pass/Fail and failing score reports indicate major topic areas where additional study and preparation may be useful.


Reevaluation of Lab Results

A Reread involves having a second proctor load your configurations into a rack to re-create the test and re-score the entire exam.  Rereads are available for the Routing and Switching, and Service Provider technology tracks.


A Review involves having a second proctor verify your answers and any applicable system-generated debug data saved from your exam. Reviews are available for all other tracks.


Payment Terms

Candidates to make your request within 14 days following the exam date by using the "Request for Reread" link next to the lab record. A Reread costs ,000 USD and a Review costs 0 USD. Payment is made online via credit card and the Reread or Review will be initiated upon successful payment. You may not cancel the appeal request once the process has been initiated. Refunds are given only when results change from fail to pass.


Lab Locations

CCIE Service Provider lab exams are offered at the Cisco locations noted below. In addition, Cisco has introduced Mobile CCIE Lab to provide access to the lab exam in regions without a Cisco CCIE lab location.


Additional information on the Lab Exam, can be found on the Take Your Lab Exam.