CCIE vs CCDE What's the difference?

CCIE vs CCDE is probably one of the most frequently asked questions by networking experts.

To get more information on CCDE contents and syllabus, you can check my Instructor Led CCDE or Self Paced CCDE course webpages.


How many times have you asked yourself or discussed this topic with your friends? Many times, right? CCIE vs CCDE

I have CCIE routing switching and/or service provider, should I continue to design certificates such as CCDE or should I study for another expert-level certification, perhaps virtualization certification?

To illustrate my answer, let me give you an example.

Consider that you would build a Greenfield network. (Usually, it is the same for Brownfield as well).

First, you need to understand the business, how many locations it has, where it is located, where is HQ or HQs, Datacenter, POP locations, and so on.

After that, you try to understand how the business can assist its consumers.

It can be retail, airport, stadium, or service provider network.

All these businesses have similar and different requirements,

For example, stadium architecture requires you to have ticketing systems, access control systems, and streaming of the game, all of which are connected to the network. So, you need to understand the business requirements, how they want their revenue to appear, and how their systems interact with one another. Then, you will provide the business with an architecture to support its requirements.

You may need to enable QoS or Multicast for that application, as an example.

Architecture refers to the process of gathering, analyzing, and clarifying business requirements. 

Without Architecture, a Design Is Just a Guess

The designer needs to understand the business objectives and high-level functional specifications.

In the retail store example, store sales information may be updated with some central locations such as Datacenter for the purpose of analyzing data only, and high availability requirements of the store may not have much priority.

Now, let me give an example that shows that it is pertinent that you understand why a design is important and why it requires different strategies.

A Business has 1000 sites connected to two data centers. (Technically, we call it Hub and Spoke).

It plans to open 1000 additional sites within 2 years.

The business wants to operate its WAN network. While its data is highly classified, the business carries a small amount of data between remote sites and data centers.

The business can tolerate up to half an hour of downtime. Since the enterprise has many remote sites, it wants to reduce the cost of devices in remote offices.

Ideally, the enterprise wants to operate those sites using small resources on its devices. And since there are many sites, it wants the most cost-effective WAN solution.

As you must have observed, I did not mention anything technical so far.

All these requirements can be received from the business leader, perhaps the CIO or CTO of the company.

Let me translate these business requirements and the structure of the technical terms.

The company has many sites, and it needs a scalable design.

The available requirements are not tight.

The business’s network physically fits Hub and Spoke (Star) topology.

So far, the MPLS L3 VPN service from the provider seems suitable for its requirements. Let’s continue.

The business wants to operate its WAN network.

Now, we have eliminated the MPLS L3VPN option. If you get l3 VPN from the provider, you can have the multi-point-to multi-point capability; however, you may lose your control. This is because you are transferring SLA and risks to the service provider even though you depend on their performance and control.

After understanding the architecture and business requirements, translating those requirements to the technical solutions is the design.

You can come up with many valid design alternatives.

But you should always proffer the simplest solution.

The business believes that its data is highly confidential, so we need to encrypt its data.

Based on the business requirements, IPSEC over DMVPN would be a valid design.

DMVPN can be set up over leased lines, virtual leased lines, Internet, and so on.

Since its availability requirement is not tight and the business wants the most cost-effective design, IPSEC over DMVPN over the Internet is suitable.

The equipment choice is important, but not necessarily, from the design point of view. The CCDE task is generally a CCDA engineer’s job.

If you are lucky, you can tell your boss that it is not your job

Which routing protocol would you choose? More importantly, do not forget that they have two data centers.

Architecture understood the applications and the systems, all of which the business needs. The business also needs the interactions those systems have with each other at the conceptual level. The designer will translate those requirements to technical requirements. After that, the designer will find the best technologies for these requirements.


CCIE as an operational task will translate these technical requirements and technologies to low-level configuration state.

The designer doesn’t configure NHRP, IPSEC Crypto, Routing Protocols, Redistribution, Area Assignment, and so on. 

CCIE does not necessarily need to know if EIGRP or OSPF would be a better option for the business. However, CCIE needs to know how links can be assigned to the OSPF Areas, how EIGRP Stub is configured, and so on.  

You can watch my youtube video on the CCIE vs CCDE discussion below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel to follow my all updates.   [embed]https://youtu.be/6ZMIjM0EVQU[/embed]    

What would be your design for the above business requirements?

To have a great understanding of SP Networks, you can check my newly published “Service Provider Networks Design and Perspective” Book.

Created by
Orhan Ergun

Orhan Ergun, CCIE/CCDE Trainer, Author of Many Networking Books, Network Design Advisor, and Cisco Champion 2019/2020/2021

He created OrhanErgun.Net 10 years ago and has been serving the IT industry with his renowned and awarded training.

Wrote many books, mostly on Network Design, joined many IETF RFCs, gave Public talks at many Forums, and mentored thousands of his students.  

Today, with his carefully selected instructors, OrhanErgun.Net is providing IT courses to tens of thousands of IT engineers. 

View profile

Daniel Lardeux
Daniel Lardeux Senior Network Consultant at Post Telecom

I passed the CCDE Practical exam and Orhan’s CCDE course was very important contributor to my success. I attended the CCDE course of Orhan Ergun in July and it was exactly what I needed, Orhan is taking the pain to break down the different technologies.

Roy Lexmond
Roy Lexmond Senior Network Designer at Routz CCDE #20150017 & CCIE R&S; #26557

After I attended Orhan Ergun’s CCDE course I passed the CCDE practical exam.I really enjoyed the course a lot ...

Nicholas Russo
Nicholas Russo Network Consulting Engineer (CCDE/CCIEx2), Cisc

I signed up for Orhan’s CCDE training. This training is very technically detailed and the use-cases, quizzes, scenarios, and mind maps are all great resources in the overall training program. Orhan teaches his students to think like a network designer ...

Slide Heading
Slide Heading Network Systems Engineer at Conscia A/S CCIE #42544 (SP) & CCDE #20160015

Orhan is forcing you to take off the implementation hat that most of us have been wearing for many years, instead he is providing a new fancy design hat, which makes you see and deal with the issues presented ...

Kim Pedersen
Kim Pedersen CCIE in RS and SP (#29189) CCDE#20170021

I’ve used Orhan’s self-paced CCDE training material. If you are interested in knowing how all the technologies go together in a coherent design i can highly recommend it.I also enjoyed the Quizzes which helped pick out my weak spots in selecting ...

Laurent Metzger
Laurent Metzger 3xCCIE/CCDE Senior Network Architect

Hi Orhan. I passed the CCDE exam on February 22. I read everything that you put on your Self Paced CCDE Training course and it was very helpful in my success. Thank you very much.

Martin J. Duggan
Martin J. Duggan Network Architect at AT&T;, Ciscopress Author CCDE #20160006 & CCIE#7942

I attended Orhan’s April 201610 days CCDE Bootcamp. I am CCDE now !

You can tell Orhan has a great deal of experience, it really comes through when he presents his design case studies and the CCDE Practical scenarios.

Muhammad Abubakar
Muhammad Abubakar Lead Network Architect – CCDE #20160016 2xCCIE #26693 2xJNCIE VCIX

Your excellent CCDE materials and amazing Bootcamp helped me tremendously through my learning journey.Also thank you very much for being available whenever I have a design question or a complex design topics. I can’t compare your design skills ...

Jennifer Pai
Jennifer Pai Network/Security Engineer at KNET Technology

Thanks Orhan very much for this course. It helped strengthen my “Network design mind”.

Ruslan Silyayev
Ruslan Silyayev Solution Architect at R.I.S.K Company

Training by Orhan is not a CCDE preperation training only. It will be useful for engineers which are dealing with design. You want to pass CCDE exam or learn network design, then don’t look at anywhere else!

Sameer Meher
Sameer Meher Solutions Architect at 23 Wards/Japan

Orhan Ergun’s CCDE course was really very good. CCDE Level Intelligence was delivered very well and with very useful case studies and the scenarios, I am thankful to Orhan for all his help!

Ken Young
Ken Young Senior Technical Architect Province of Nova Scotia, 2xCCIE #41597 | CCDE #20170047

If anyone wants to understand network design and architecture, also pass CCDE exam , I recommend you to attend Orhan’s online courses! I am a CCDE now but learning is a journey, we will be together in your other courses too Orhan!

Matt Cross
Matt Cross Technical Architect at Heartland – CCDE #2019::7

Orhan did an excellent job of filling in the gaps of knowledge that I had that took me to the finish line of the practical exam CCDE. The community of people that Orhan facilitates are both engaging and supportive of the journey to CCDE. Orhan ...

Shiling Ding
Shiling Ding Sentinel Technologies – CCDE #2019::12

Just passed the CCDE Practical exam! I attended Orhan Ergun’s CCDE training program , used Orhan’s Instructor Led and Self-Paced CCDE training and Online CCDE Practical Scenarios during my CCDE journey. Orhan’s CCDE In Depth book is an excellent summary ...

Abelardo Basurto
Abelardo Basurto Solutions Architect at Cisco Systems – CCDE 2018::6

Hi everyone, I’ve just passed the CCDE Exam. My Number is CCDE 2018::6 I attended to Online CCDE Bootcamp of Orhan. I want to thank Orhan not only for the great book and bootcamp, but also for his commitment, availability and willingness to assist the ...

Hady Mohamed Abdellah
Hady Mohamed Abdellah Network Architect Hamad International Airport Qatar – CCDE 2018::1

Hi guys, I’m so happy that I passed the exam. I’ve already got my number CCDE 2018::1. Thanks to Orhan for being the best CCDE instructor in the world. I highly recomend Orhan’s CCDE Training and In-Depth-CCDE ...

Bryan Bartik
Bryan Bartik Sr. Systems Engineer at CompuNet – CCDE 20170059

Hi Orhan I passed CCDE Practical exam on November 2017 ! I really enjoyed your materials and quizzes and use cases. They were definitely helpful in my preparation. Thanks a lot !

Giedrius Trapkauskas
Giedrius Trapkauskas Network Solutions Architect at Liberty Global – CCDE 20180004

I attended Orhan’s CCDE Training in Istanbul and it was very helpful in my preparation. I passed the exam recently and I want to say Thank you Orhan! For those who want to pass the CCDE exam, definitely start with ...

Alaa Issa
Alaa Issa Sr.Solutions Architect – CCDE#20180033 3xCCIE ( Collab|DC|Security )#27146

I registered to Orhan’s training in Feb 2017. From that time, I attended Orhan’s training several times. The depth of knowledge which Orhan has is amazing, and how to present such consistent knowledge to the ...

Mazin Ahsan Design Lead Engineer | Solutions Engineer | CCDE License # 20160030 | CCIE Licence # 23892

I passed the CCDE Practical Lab exam on November 17,2016 from supplications of elders and dedication from my Sensei Mr. Orhan Ergun I took different CCDE bootcamps in the past. Orhan has the most depth and expertise ...

Jeff Patterson CCDE# 2018::11

Hi Orhan I wanted to pass along my appreciation for the outstanding training material. I used the online CCDE training provided by Orhan as well as the In-Depth-CCDE book and passed the exam in February 2018. Thank you Orhan!

Mehdi Sfar
Mehdi Sfar Network and Security Architect / CCDE #20210003 | CCIE R&S; #51583

I signed up for Orhan’s CCDE Self paced Course. This course, along with the CCDE In Depth book, helped me for my CCDE Practical as well as Written exams. It pushed me to ask the "WHY" questions and allowed ...

Related courses

Cisco CCDE v3 Training

71:39:34 Hours
225 Lectures
Expert

$1246

CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure Training

117:12:56 Hours
287 Lectures
Expert

$1246

Cisco CCIE Service Provider Training

108:43:00 Hours
258 Lectures
Expert

$1246