What Is the Difference Between the New CCIE EI and the Old CCIE RS?

The new Cisco CCIE EI (Enterprise Infrastructure) certification has been released, and CCIE RS (Routing and Switching) certification has officially withdrawn from the historical stage. Whether the new CCIE EI certification is the same as RS has become the concern of network workers.

CCIE RS (Routing and Switching) certification has been popular all over the world for more than 20 years, and it is the most well-known direction of CCIE certification among people.  Network workers around the world are paying attention to CCIE EI, a new certification in Cisco certification system. We analyze their differences from the content of the knowledge system.

The content of CCIE RS course mainly focuses on the routing switching of traditional enterprise network architecture, with routing accounting for 50%, switching accounting for 30% and other feature points accounting for 20%. The focus is mainly on the routing part. EIGRP, OSPF and BGP are required in CCIE RS certification exam, and the two-tier foundation and three-tier redundancy of the switching part are also required. In addition, some technologies, such as security, VPN, QOS and multicast, account for about 20% of the content as features.

The content of EI course also focuses on the enterprise network architecture. The difference is that it is a new enterprise network architecture, which adds SDN-Software Defined Network technology accounting for 25% of the knowledge points in the exam. In the changes of routing part, EIGRP is not the focus of learning and students are only required to learn this routing protocol by “understanding EIGRP”. In addition, OSPF and BGP are still compulsory content. The standard teaching requirements of EI show that the CCNP course in the RS theory learning stage, which we originally focused on, is now completed in only five full days. It can also be seen that Cisco believes that after 20 years of RS technology promotion, CCNP has been popularized well. It is no longer necessary to spend too much time studying it. More time should be spent on the study of new SDN technologies.

In the detailed comparison between the cancelled and newly added directions, it can be seen that about 50% of the original RS knowledge system is retained in the existing EI knowledge system, and 25% of the new contents are about SDN technology, 15% about security and features, and 10% about programming and other technologies.

Through the analysis of the basic knowledge system of CCIE EI, it is not difficult to see that EI architecture is the beginning of the digital transformation of enterprise network, and that automation and intelligence are finally the development direction of CCIE EI assessment. In the Software Defined Network, the requirements for the basic network architecture are becoming simpler and simpler. However, this does not mean that network workers need to turn to programming. Even with the strategy formulation of Software Defined Network, architecture design should be supported by very strong network technology. Therefore, what we should recognize is the future of EI, which also indicates that we should be well prepared in the transformation stage of enterprise network architecture design.

At present, IE-LAB has developed a reasonable and complete curriculum system based on Cisco standards. EI courses are still designed to be from shallow to deep, covering the knowledge system of the original RS and the added learning content of EI new technology. The enterprise network architecture is transforming from traditional to digital, and the learning mode is also undergoing a transformation stage. The teaching centered concept of IE-LAB will provide new development opportunities for all learners who take part in CCIE certification training.