Unanswered Question
Jun 25th, 2008

I just finished all of 5 CCVP exams plus IPCCX within 10 months (all with 945+ scores). Achieved CCNP years ago (only 2 exams with 900+ score, pass routing at 2nd try).


Personally, I think CCVP is far easier than CCNP. CCNP should get more value than CCVP in longer run.

CCNP focus more on fundamental and turely be networking so needs to be very detail-oriented. Easier to step into networking field, but to be well skilled need much longer time and more self-learing and excercise.

For instance, regarding OSPF, I have deployed/designed three different rollout before and still need to read documents to cover my latest design to bridge two dis-continued backbone via virtual-link. For spanning-tree, I saw two many cases in real world people don't even realize its existence in LAN, not to mention how to tune and stablize it.

CCVP is more on application level. It may be slightly difficult to get started (or understood) but be more easy to climb up since it is application level and similar to MS stuffs.

My thoughts above - to judge my thought here is myself: IT guy with experince - 14yrs+ networking, 3.5 yrs voice and 12yrs+ Unix.

Any more thoughts, Gang?

I have this problem too.
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jim_berlow Thu, 06/26/2008 - 10:21

Thanks for your post. I've just completed the CCNP and am looking to start on the CCVP (its worth nearly the same as a CCIE these days and costs a lot less to obtain). Plus, I have nearly the same level of experience you have (if I manage the CCVP in the same time - I'll be almost identical to your experience).

Thanks again for your post. Do you recommend any particular order? I thought of doing the QoS test first only because it follows nicely from the CCNP.



jamesfang98 Thu, 06/26/2008 - 12:27


The order is still fresh in my mind:

cvoice -> CIPT4.x -> GWGK -> QoS -> TUC

I think I pickup the porper order for myself based on my experience.

Cvoice is sort of simple and pass it can give me motivation for next ones.

CIPT is core compenent worth to drill it out and it does help me alot for work.

For GWGK, it is sort of challenge for me since I don't have Gatekeeper deployment in my real environment. And the exam do test the impl. commands.

For QoS, it covers far more deep detail than ONT/ISCW in CCNP but it is not too hard like I thought before.

TUC in general has 80% duplicate content as other 4 exams. This exam topics/contenets can be covered by other 4. Personally, I think Cisco just try to reap more juice from certificate exams.

Hope the above can help.

Good luck to you for journey to CCVP!


jim_berlow Thu, 06/26/2008 - 13:04

Thanks for your great information and advice, James. I think I make this stuff tougher than it is sometimes.

Good luck with your next endeavor!


rahmanya17 Thu, 06/26/2008 - 14:43

Hey! James,

I enjoyed reading this post of yours!

I am wondering if you can give me a little bit of advice here! I've just obtained my CCNA (after my third attempt!!! Please don't laugh at me lol! -the new CCNA was really tough!)My aim is toward CCVP, how ever my initial intention was (and probably will still be) to follow the track towards CCNP i.e Routing,Switching,ISCW and ONT. But with this new cisco CCNA concentration certs! i. e CCNA Voice ,security and Wireless! I am really kind of more confused! so what would be your advice then!



jamesfang98 Fri, 06/27/2008 - 05:42


Thanks for interest.

Personally, I am not in favour of the rollout of CCNA variant by Cisco. General CCNA already give a good and challenge step to approach next ones - I remember CCNA covers r/s, wireless, and sort of qos. So why CCNA, CCNA voice, security, wireless??

Cisco is Cisco. Somehow, I like its strategy to expand its skill domains like stepping to VOIP and rollout great products, also I love its knowledge materia. So I will still stick to its certs for now.

Regarding new cisco CCNA concentration certs, personally, if I need to start the whole process for CCxx, I will take CCNA, then CCNA voice. This can give me ideas which path is more feasible for me. Then depending on job requirement and/or known knowledge, to pass either CCNP or CCVP.

As I pointed out CCNP is bit more difficult comparing to application-type CCVP.

If you are exposed to Callmanager/Gateway/Switches, then I would suggest CCVP will be first target since it is still hot in market.

If you don't have VOIP stuffs on hand, then I bet R/S is more common in work place and you can get more hands-on there then CCNP will be your judge.

Also, need to consider timing to achieve the goal. For myself, ccnp take about 2yrs, ccvp take 10 months.

Anyhow, no pain no gain.

Focus on your target, you will get there.


rahmanya17 Fri, 06/27/2008 - 13:44

Hi James!

Thanks for the post! I truly agree with you! I was on course to start preparing for my CCNP starting with BSCI, but then this new development! But I can see where cisco is heading, there is High demand for Voice experts and voice application is creeping into our traditional IP network at an alarming rate hence cisco is looking to develop more application to support the new trend and yet scalable! So some how I think for me it's a blessing in disguise! one of my mentor once told me to pursue voice as my path! so I guess now that im just on my journey It's much easier to flex my cert muscles towards this path! I must say thanks for your advice! it was helpful.



MARK HOLLOWAY Fri, 06/27/2008 - 21:47

I'm on the CCVP path as well. I work for a Service Provider and have already completed my Acme Packet and Broadsoft certifications. The CCVP exams are very "CPE" and "SMALL/MED/ENTERPRISE" oriented which is OK (and expected), but not as important in my day to day function as a VoIP Engineer. I wish Cisco would enforce more SIP into UCM/CME and drop the majority of H.323 and MGCP. The other certifications definitely augment my knowledge and thinking process when working with core softswitch and SBC infrastructure. As for how hard the exams are, I think the BSCI and BCMSN exams are definitely a bit harder than the CCVP exams (at least the ones I've taken) but ONT and ISCW are not any more difficult than the CCVP.

I'm taking the CCVP exams for two reasons. First, it's good knowledge to have because I work in the Telecom industry. Second, Telecom is shifting to SIP Trunking and there is a ton of UCM and CME deployed in customer networks who want to use SIP Trunks, so having a firm grasp on how the "Enterprise" and "Small/Med" business IP PBX's function helps. I have no desire to "certify" in any other vendors IP PBX though, just Cisco.

If Cisco had a certification track for BTS and PGW, I'd be ALL OVER IT! I call it CCVP Service Provider. IMHO, that's where the "elite" Cisco Voice track is at! ;)

jamesfang98 Fri, 08/07/2009 - 07:06

I still remember this stread since I passed CCVP one yr ago. Forgive me if I post it again here.

After one year, in June 2009, I passed CCIE Voice LAB in USA and been certified as CCIE-V.

So CCVP vs. CCNP, I still have same thoughts as I have one yr ago even though I passed CCIE-V.

Personally, I take CCNP as the foundation for my CCIE-V goal. I found during my CCIE-V lab practise, I have to fixed tons of problems which most of them are network related. BTW, I used online rack and bootcamp rack. And such skills are critical in my lab as well.

At this moment, for me, CCIE-V journey is tough and time-consuming, and of course costly - cost me 11 ounces gold already.

For last 8 months, in average I may spend 4 hours everyday for this journey -if considering my day job (voip also), I spent 10 hrs everyday - i mean everyday, weekend even busier.

LAB exam is really tricky and painful - one tiny mistake or error or mis-understanding will fail the whole lab. This is the lesson I learned during my 1st fail attempt.

Fully understand technology in/out and have thousands hours on lab equipment for all different scenarios/mistakes and have solid/quick troubleshooting skills are the key to pass - learned from 2nd success attempt.

Wish u all good on career advance and knowledge mountain climbing.

Wilson Samuel Mon, 08/10/2009 - 04:00

Hi James,

Yours is a true role model story. I truely believe that CCNP should always get more emphasis, and anyone just going for CCVP even after CCNA, would be missing a lot in the long run, as the CCNP deals with a lot of fundamentls which comes handy all through our Networking career.

Secondly, may I know what all online rack rentals you have used. and also if you ever had a home lab? if yes, what was the config?

I'm on my voyage of CCIE-V, after just coming out from CCVP, also planning to take Unity Support Splst. soon.


Wilson Samuel

jamesfang98 Mon, 08/10/2009 - 12:18

Wilson, I used IPexpert online rack and voicebootcamp on-site lab ( its online is not convenient). Yes, I do have home-lab or more specific office-lab - 2 * CCM, 1 Unity, 1*IPCC, 2 br rtrs, 1 gk with PSTN switch function, lots of ip phones.

Good luck with your journey - painful but should be worthy I think....


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