CCIE SP without R&S???

Unanswered Question
Jun 14th, 2008


Can any CCIEs present here in the forum advice me on the track to go ahead with?

I av completed my CCIP certification and am pretty confidant with MPLS, QoS. My aim is to achieve CCIE in SP as these are the technologies that I really like. So is it ok to pursue SP directly? I have seen many people first pursuing R&S and the SP as second certification. Is R&S an unsaid pre-requisite for the SP track?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.



I have this problem too.
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Harold Ritter Sat, 06/14/2008 - 03:44


I'm not speaking from personal experience as I have done R&S before I took the SP exam but I have many collegues and customers who were working with MPLS on a daily basis and decided to go directly to the SP.

It largely depends on what is your experience. In some cases going to the SP exam first might make more sense and can even be easier, for someone working in an SP environment, as this exam is really focused towards SP technologies.


n.nandrekar Sat, 06/14/2008 - 03:58

Hello Harold!

Thanks for the reply. I have configured most of the mpls scenarios in lab environment and am very comfortable with it. So MPLS/QoS/Bgp is not much of a problem for me. But I donot have any SP experience atall. I have ben involved in testing and am currently testing WAN features for the C6500 team (ISBU) which involves mpls/qos/atm features for SIP200/400.

So assuming that I dont have SP exposure, but pretty good testing/configuration for MPLS etc. what would you advice?

Thanks in advance.



Richard Burts Sat, 06/14/2008 - 10:42


I would think that it would depend on what your aspirations are. If you aspire to be a double CCIE with both R&S and SP then I believe that it makes sense to do R&S first. But if you believe that 1 would be enough then I think you should go directly for SP.



Harold Ritter Mon, 06/16/2008 - 08:06


Given that you have done a lot of testing with it and that you understand the SP technologies, it looks like you alrady have a good start for the SP lab.


nnandrek Mon, 06/16/2008 - 19:09

Thanks a lot Harold for your suggestions!



devang_etcom Tue, 06/17/2008 - 17:06

Hi Niranjan,

I am doing my CCIE SP with out doing CCIE R&S... and I am comfortable with it... so yes you can go for it...


Devang Patel

svermill Sat, 06/14/2008 - 10:38

I would look to the future vs. the past in order to determine the best path. I chose to do R&S before taking SP on because routing and switching are "core" topics that apply pretty much anywhere. And as an independent consultant, "anywhere" is typically where I wind up.

SP has a lot of overlap with R&S. Main difference seems to be a fairly heavy emphasis on switching in the R&S track and obviously the SP is more WAN-centric.

But again, consider looking at where you want to go in deciding your cert path. In the eyes of most people, a CCIE is a CCIE is a CCIE. You have proven you can spin up and learn the technologies. You have proven your mettle in the lab. Exact track seems to be most important for voice and security positions. R&S and SP are more generic, IMHO. Putting on a hiring manager hat, I'd be equally as likely to consider an SP CCIE for a "routing and switching" position as I would an R&S CCIE. Obviously, all things being equal, I'd go with the R&S CCIE for an enterprise role and an SP CCIE for a service provider environment, but I certainly wouldn't lose sleep one way or the other...


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