Is Cisco CCDE Exam vendor neutral?.Recently one of my CCDE Bootcamp students asked me this question. He heard that DMVPN might come in the exam. In the beginning of my each CCDE class, I introduce the topics which will most likely asked in the CCDE Practical exam. Cisco claims that CCDE Practical exam is vendor neutral network design exam. And I totally agree.
Actually not only DMVPN, but also HSRP, GLBP, EIGRP, GETVPN might come in the exam and you should know the details of these technologies from the design point of view. All these technologies are Cisco specific, why then it is vendor neutral ? Reason is simple but not maybe obvious for those who don’t know the details of the exam. These are very commonly deployed technologies in the networks.
Almost everyone learned HSRP when they studied first hop redundancy protocols, I believe, right ? Or, can be any decent network engineer who don’t know EIGRP ? If you think that you know routing protocols, or you think that you are familiar with them, you have to know it. But it is not about that they are commonly used technologies. They are actually derived from the very well known standard based protocols.
Let’s take a look at DMVPN. DMVPN (Dynamic Multipoint VPN) uses two commonly known standard protocols; mGRE and NHRP. DMVPN is an architecture which come together by combining well known standard (RFC Based) technologies. GETVPN is not different. GETVPN uses well known technologies and design mindset.
Multipoint to multipoint shared encryption. Both, DMVPN and GETVPN are used by many other networking vendors with a different names. Do I need to say that EIGRP is an RFC already ? Now you know why Cisco CCDE Practical exam is vendor neutral and let’s be fair, it is the best network design exam in the industry.