UPDATE 4/12/13 – this is now official – see https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-22703. Once I’ve had a chance to digest the changes, I’ll post some thoughts.
An update to the CCIE Routing and Switching blueprint has been strongly rumoured over the last year, but with no official confirmation. The Cisco Live Milan program schedule has been published, and it includes this session on January 28, 2014: “CCIE Routing & Switching version 5“, presented by Bruno van de Werve, the CCIE R&S Exam Product Manager. This session:
…introduces the new curriculum of the CCIE Routing and Switching Program and highlights the changes to both the training and the exams (written and lab). The main objective of this session is to provide candidates with clear expectations of what to expect with the new training and exams.
So now we know that it’s coming, and soon. We don’t know the exact date, and we don’t know exactly what will be included, but INE seems to think they’ve got a pretty good idea. Key points from their post:
100% Virtual Environment, so no reliance on specific hardware
…Frame-Relay Removed….so the lesser used features like Zone-Based Firewall, WCCP, IPv6 multicast, and PfR could be removed….
A few of the topics we should see added are IPSec, DMVPN and Embedded Packet Capture
Other features they think will be removed are L2 features not supported in virtual environments, such as QinQ, ISL trunks, DHCP Snooping, Private VLANs, SPAN/RSPAN/ERSPAN.
Others like Marko Milivojevic, an instructor at IPExpert, are more cautious, reminding us to wait for the official announcement:
Just for the record. CCIE v5 is *not* out. It has not been announced. Don’t listen to the rumor-mill and sales pitches. Wait and see.
— Marko Milivojevic (@icemarkom) October 31, 2013
I’m inclined to agree with Marko here. If you are near the end of your studies, then by all means book a lab. But if you’re early on in your studies, don’t get too stressed. Keep working hard at the core subjects that you know will still be in the blueprint, and wait for the official announcement. When it comes, review the changes and identify any specific areas you need extra attention on. Don’t worry about which version you pass on – Cisco will be aiming for a similar pass rate, so it should be a similar difficulty level. The only people who need to worry are the cheaters, and that’s a good thing. There will be some new technologies to learn, but there will also be some you don’t have to learn any more. Swings and roundabouts. Plus hey – there’s never any trouble booking lab seats for the new version!