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I read lots of comments on the blogs and forums about CCDE exam changes. People think that CCDE Practical exam is going to change by July 2016.

Guys, be relax. CCDE Practical/Lab exam is not going to change , Cisco will not add any vendor specific SDN technologies into the CCDE Practical exam.

But in July 2016, Datacenter, Automation, SDN topics (Cisco call them emerging technologies) will be added to the exam.

And of course some of the questions will be about Cisco ACI as well. But of course not configuration parameters or low level details of the solution.

I expect more conceptual things which look after why things are done rather than how they are done.

  • Why ACI should be used ?
  • Which environment ACI makes more sense more ?
  • How it can be deployed with the legacy datacenter architecture together ?
  • Why companies would like to have private Cloud and the Private or Public datacenters ?

  • The differences between the private, public, hybrid clouds ?
  • Integration between the Cisco ACI and the 3rd party products such as Firewall and Load Balancers
  • Different SDN (Software Defined Network) deployment models
  • Why orchestration is needed in SDN environment ?
  • MPLS and SDN
  • BGP , MPLS and SDN interaction
  • Why OTV instead of VPLS for datacenter interconnect ?
  • Comparison of many other datacenter interconnect and VPN technologies such as VXLAN, NVGRE and nowadays very popular one VXLAN EVPN.


These are the things which could come in the CCDE written exam. Of course this is not a complete list, but can give you an idea about the CCDE Written exam changes.

I don’t expect to see Cisco ACI questions in the CCDE practical exam definitely. It would be very bad idea. It shouldn’t have been in the written exam as well. Because ACI is yet another SDN product which brings centralized policy and management.

No need to mention any specific product in conceptual network design. Products and  their configuration or automation are the operational tasks, they are not a network design concern.

Products fit into a network design, not the vice versa ! Orhan Ergun.

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