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CCIE Collaboration Lab

CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam Overview

CCIE Collaboration Quick Reference
CCIE Collaboration
Quick Reference
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. At the beginning of the session, you are given a lab manual, which describes the tasks you must complete and the point value assigned to each task.  It is ultimately up to the candidate to determine how to complete the tasks within the time allowed.  Knowledge of troubleshooting is an important skill and candidates are expected to diagnose and solve issues as part of the CCIE Collaboration lab exam.

The Cisco documentation CD is available in the lab room, but the exam assumes knowledge of the more common protocols and technologies. The documentation can only be navigated using the index; the search function has been disabled. A common approach is to use this index as a launching point or home page during the months or years of preparation required before the lab is attempted.  This will help to acclimate the student to the material that is available and increase their overall speed.

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.

CCIE Collaboration Lab Grading

Each task within the lab manual is given very specific criterion that must be met to be considered "correct". The labs are graded by proctors who ensure the criterion is 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.

While there may be multiple methods to complete a given task, if there is some question about how the required criterion for a given task should be interpreted, you may ask the proctor during the lab.  However, they will be very careful to not disclose any information about the method required to complete the task specifically.  Generally speaking, the lab manuals are written in a way to minimize any confusion.

CCIE Collaboration Lab Results

You 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.  If you feel strongly that your score is not correct or should be re-graded, there is a process available to request a "review" from a second proctor.  Other CCIE labs also have a "reread" option, which can be confusing.

A Review involves having a second proctor verify your answers and any applicable system-generated debug data saved from your exam.  At this time "rereads" are not available for the CCIE Collaboration Lab - this would involve loading your configurations on all systems for a 2nd proctor to analyze.  However, you can request a "review" of your CCIE Collab lab.  You should be warned that there is a very low chance that your score will change from a fail to a pass.

Make your request within 14 days following your exam date by using the "Request for Reread" link next to your lab record. A Reread costs $600.00 USD and a Review costs $400.00 USD. Payment is made online via credit card and your 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.

CCIE Examination Retake Policies

The following retake policies go into effect August 2nd, 2014 and will be enforced by Cisco at that time. 

Retake Policy
Candidates that fail any CCIE/CCDE written exam must wait (15) calendar days beginning the day after your attempt before re-attempting the exam.
Attempt 2: (30) Days
Attempt 3-5: (90) Days
Attempt 6+: (180) Days
Maximum Retakes
Any CCIE/CCDE written exam may only be attempted (4) times within a single calendar year, regardless of passing or failing the exam.
Driven by retake policy.

Full Details


CCIE Collaboration Lab Topology

As per this post on the Cisco Learning Network, the lab topology is described by the image below.  The distribution of this image has been approved by Cisco and is used as the baseline for the lab environments used by multiple training entities.

CCIE Collaboration Lab Topology

CCIE Collaboration Lab Equipment & Software

Lab Equipment

  • Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) C460 Rack Server
  • Cisco 3925 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
  • Cisco 2921 Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2)
  • ISR G2 Modules and Interface Cards
    • 1-Port 3rd Gen Multiflex Trunk Voice/WAN Int. Cards - T1/E1
    • Cisco High-Density Packet Voice Digital Signal Processor Modules (PVDM3)
    • Cisco Service Ready Module 710 Service Module with Cisco Unity Express
    • 4-port Cisco Gigabit EtherSwitch 10/100/1000BASE-TX autosensing EHWIC with POE
  • Cisco Catalyst 3750-X Series Switch
  • Cisco Unified IP Phones 7965 and 9971
  • Cisco Jabber for Windows
  • Cisco Jabber Video for Cisco Telepresence [In backbone]

Equipment Removed From CCIE Voice v3 Lab Exam

  • Cisco MCS 7845 Servers
  • Cisco ISR Routers (3825 and 2821)
  • VWIC2-1MFT-T1/E1
  • Cisco PVDM2
  • NME-CUE Module
  • Cisco 3750 Switch

Equipment Added to CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam

  • Cisco UCS C-Series 460 Servers
  • Cisco ISR2 Routers (3925 and 2921)
  • VWIC3-1MFT-T1/E1
  • Cisco PVDM3
  • SM-SRE-710-K9
  • Cisco 3750X Switch
  • Cisco IP Phone 9971
  • Soft client: Cisco Jabber for Windows

Software Versions

Any major software release which has been generally available for six months is eligible for
testing in the CCIE Voice Lab Exam.

  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager 9.1
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express 9.1
  • Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 9.0
  • Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM and Presence 9.1
  • Cisco Unity Connection 9.1
  • Cisco Unity Express 8.6
  • All routers use IOS version 15.2(4) M Train
  • Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches uses 15.0(2) Main Train
  • Network Interfaces:
    • Fast Ethernet
    • Frame Relay
  • Telephony Interfaces:
    • T1/E1


CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam Topics (Blueprint)

CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam Topics (must be logged in to access this content)

Topics Removed from CCIE Voice Lab v3 Exam

  • T1/E1 CAS
  • H.323 RAS

New Topics in the CCIE Collaboration Lab Exam

  • ILS/URI Dialing
  • Cisco Jabber

CCIE Collaboration Training

There are several options available if you're interested in obtaining CCIE Collaboration training.  The list below contains the best options available (in my opinion).
  1. INE: Instructor - Mark Snow: CCIE Collaboration Blog Update
  2. iPexpert & Proctor Labs: Instructor - Andy Vassar : CCIE Collaboration Blended Learning Solution
  3. CollabCert: Instructor - Vik Malhi : New San Jose, CA company; CCIE Collab products coming soon!


CCIE Collaboration Mock Study Lab

This section will grow over time, for now, here are some useful links as you begin to build your own lab:
  1. VMware ESXi with evaluation key
  2. UC OVA Files
  3. GNS3
  4. Vik Malhi's Tips on building a study lab

1 comment:

  1. CCIE collaboration lab will refine and consolidate your technical knowledge into an organized and effective strategy for passing your CCIE lab exam. In addition to helping you pass your exam will give you real-world practical knowledge to carry you past the CCIE lab and into everyday applications that you’ll use as a CCIE in the field.