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Certification: CCIE Service Provider Operations
Certification Full Name: Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Service Provider Operations
Certification Provider: Cisco

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Certification Notation

You also need to pass CCIE SP Operations Practical Exam to get CCIE Service Provider Operations Certification.

CCIE Service Provider Operations Certification Info

Exam information

The Cisco Certified Internetwork expert is undeniably the most prestigious and challenging of all networking certifications. It is the ultimate test of your networking that takes you to the expert level in cisco networking. It is one of the most difficult certifications to earn in the IT industry. You can easily command a higher pay and advancement in your career by achieving a CCIE certification

The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Service Provider Operations (CCIE SP Operations) certification tests expert level knowledge of core IP NGN service provider operations. CCIE SP Operations certification allows you to display the skills required of an expert-level operations engineer (tier III or tier IV support) to troubleshoot and maintain complex (PE-PE and PE-CE) IP NGN core network infrastructures in both IOS and IOS XR operating environments. In addition, they demonstrate broad theoretical knowledge of operations management processes and network management systems, and can apply relevant aspects of the ITIL v3 framework for service operations and transitions, and to a lesser extent, service design and service improvements. In simpler words, this exam validates your knowledge of operation. It is for those who design and implement and then hand over the network to operations.

This certification track requires you to pass a written and a lab exam. There are no formal prerequisites for this exam however, it is strongly recommended to pass CCNA and CCNP service provider operations certifications to gain a solid understanding of service provider network operations.

Written Exam

350-060 - Cisco CCIE Service Provider Operations written exam v1.0 is a 2-hour test with 80-110 questions that validates your expertise in the areas of service provider technologies, operations process management, and NMS tools. The written exam also includes questions related to ITIL v3 core service lifecycle framework.

As with other CCIE tracks, this is a closed book exam and no reference material is allowed inside the exam hall.

This exam covers the following major topics:

  1. Manage the Network Fault Management System
  2. Manage Performance and Capacity
  3. Manage Operations Processes
  4. Troubleshoot and Fix Reachability and Transport Problems Within the Network
  5. Identify Problems in Implementation Plans
  6. Troubleshoot and Fix Network Performance Problems

Lab Exam

Practical Exam Environment

You can consult a Cisco documentation CD in the lab room. However, you should have knowledge of common protocols and technologies. You cannot rely on the documentation CD alone. The documentation can be navigated using the index because search function is disabled. No outside reference materials are allowed in the lab room. You must also report any suspected equipment issues and problems to the proctor during the exam. No adjustments can be made once the exam is over. Therefore, you must check the equipment and report any or all problems to the proctor immediately.

Practical Exam Grading

Every question in the troubleshooting section of the practical exam has a certain criterion. Trained proctors grade the exam and award points ensuring the criterion are met accordingly. They use automatic tools to extract information from the routers and other devices to perform evaluations based on the criterion. A trained proctor will determine the final score based on the determination of correct or incorrect configuration. Predetermined scoring rules are used for each scenario-based question.

Practical Exam Format

Scenario Section: The practical exam begins with a scenario section, which is a three-hour exam. The scenario-based questions are based on topics that cover network management, operations processes, some aspects of ITIL v3 framework that cover service operations and transitions along with some elements of service design and continual improvements. After completing the scenario section, you can move on to the troubleshooting section. Once you start troubleshooting section, you cannot move back to the scenario section.

Troubleshooting Section: The second part of the practical exam is five-hour long. In this section, you will be asked to diagnose and resolve a series of trouble tickets for a preconfigured network comprised of Cisco IOS-XR and IOS based network devices.

There will be no network management system tools to get help from, instead you will be using command line interface to troubleshoot issues. To get a credit, the network must be up and running and the faults should be resolved accordingly.


Results are announced online. You need to login to your account to review lab exam results within 48 hours. Results are marked pass/fail and the failing reports show major topic areas where additional study or preparation is recommended. In other words, the report will show you the topics where you lacked the required knowledge and skills.

CCIE must recertify every two years. Your CCIE certification will expire after two years. You have to go through the written and lab exam to recertify yourself.

Alternatively, pass any of the following exams before the exam expiration date to recertify yourself:

  • Pass any current CCIE Written Exam OR CCIE Lab Exam or
  • Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
  • Pass the CCAr Board Review to become CCAr certified and automatically recertify all lower level certifications.

A CCIE SP operations certification is as prestigious as any other CCIE track. You will be able to implement and troubleshoot networks before handing them over to operations. The salaries are $100k plus a year and being a CCIE command a lot of respect and appreciation.

Expert review

At first, I thought CCIE SP operations was the easier CCIE track. Boy, was I wrong! It is very difficult and once you manage to pass it, you will easily going to get a job in service providers industry. The perks and benefits a CCIE gets is simply amazing.

Martin W. Rodriguez - Senior Network Engineer - Borland Cement Ltd.


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