The CCIE Wireless lab exam, currently v1.0, will change to CCIE Wireless lab v2.0 on November 18th this year (2011)…
The main changes between v1.0 and v2.0 are as follows:
- Controller code is updated from 4.2 to 7.0 MR1 (which is the current code), which brings new features (CleanAir, VideoStream, IPv6 bridging, Office Extend, band select, passive clients, VLAN pooling, mesh, to name only the main ones)
- Location Appliance is replaced with Cisco Mobility Service Engine (MSE), running code 7.0, allowing both Context Aware Services (CAS) and Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WiPS)
- ADU/ CSSC client is replaced with AnyConnect v3.0
- Open Ended Questions are removed, and replaced with troubleshooting exercises. This is not a separate lab section, like for CCIE R&S, but is part of the lab itself: you will need to solve some issues to make the lab work. For those who have taken the initial lab v1.0, this is nothing new!
- ACS is migrated from 4.2 to 5.2, and brings along NAC
These changes represent about 30% of the lab content, which means that 70% of the core knowledge remains the same. So should you rush to take your lab now, or should you pace yourself and take the new version?
If you are at the very beginning of your lab journey, there is probably no reason to rush. The lab is hard, and rushing without being ready is paying to fail. But if you have already travelled a while on your journey toward CCIE, you may want to push harder and get your number before the change, for several reasons:
- MSE 7.0 and NAC are different animals from the Location Appliance…. not to mention ACS 5.2. You can do more things, and setting traps on them is easier (and with 2 years of CCIEW v1.0, I am sure that the lab designers collected along the way, thanks to all those candidates, plenty of ideas about things that can go wrong).
- This is an expert level lab, and you will be tested on features that will probably new to you, and that will be poorly documented (how many times have you run IPV6 multicast on a controller over the last few months?)
- New labs means testing, which means that the lab may be difficult to pass on the first days. Regardless of how carefully the lab designers tested the new lab sets, unexpected surprises will probably arise on such complex scenarios, rendering some lab sets difficult or impossible to pass without fine tuning. This tuning may happen during the alpha and beta tests, but some live tuning may be necessary for the first candidates. The lab designers may also realise that some scenarios are more difficult (or longer) than they thought. As an exam writer, I know that we can be surprised to see candidate get stuck on items that we thought would be no brainer… so it may be a few weeks before the first candidate succeeds int he new version of the lab.
For those reasons, you probably want to take the lab now, while it runs on the good old (and more limited) 4.2. Invest in summer longer days to work a bit later, get the training you need on items that make you fail the lab or feel uncomfortable, and get your CCIE now, instead of waiting and having to postpone until early 2012…
I will be delivering 2 more CCIE Wireless Lab Boot Camps just in time for you to schedule for a v1.0 Exam. See our CCIE Wireless Lab schedule page for more info.
Good Luck, and Study Hard!