CCIEV updates from INE

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‘Cisco Live! 2011′ – Future of CCIE Voice, Data Center and Overall CCIE Program | CCIE Blog

CCIE Voice

There was a very interesting breakout session this year entitled “CCIE Voice: Cryptography in Cisco Unified Communications”, which inevitably led to the question by participants: “If this class is prefaced by the title ‘CCIE Voice’, does this mean that Cryptography/Security is going to begin being tested in the lab exam?”. The answer to this when asked by the attendee and then later in a bit more detail by me was answered with the basic answer of (and I’ll paraphrase): “This has been tested in the written exam for some time now, however there is absolutely nothing stopping us from testing this in the lab today with version 7 of the various UC platform servers, and obviously no problem testing it moving forward to UC version 8 (or 9, etc), as even more security has been added to the new version of UC platforms”.

Of course, in the main CCIE Voice 8-hour Technical Seminar, the question was asked by some participants (as well as by me in more detail later in private) when we might anticipate the Voice lab being updated to UC platform version 8.x (or beyond, if FCS’d for better than 6 months by time of announcement), to which Ben gave no real guidance publicly, yet in private alluded to (reverting back to our previous mention in this blog post) the desire to virtualize the hardware phones and deliver the exam with the new virtual Lab Delivery System, so that they could support the mobile labs.

Now of course 8.x has been in production for well over a year now in many networks around the globe, but 9.x doesn’t FCS (First Customer Ship) until April ’12, meaning that they could possibly update the lab to UC platform version 8 anytime (with a standard 6-month pre-announcement of course), but to update to version 9 would mean that they couldn’t even announce a new lab based on that version until Oct ’12, with it going live around Apr ’13 at the earliest. I have no idea at all which they will end up doing, and from talking with Ben, he made it seem like they hadn’t reached an internal decision yet either. In fact it probably will largely depend on how quickly they get that virtualized hardware-like phone put into production in all reality.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter. INE has you covered. The major new things in CUCM ver 8.x that can be tested are the following:

Call Control Discovery over the new Services Advertisement Framework (CCD / SAF) with RSVP SIP Preconditions
Extension Mobility Cross Cluster (EMCC)
SIP Normalization using the Lua scripting language
They can’t really test the Intercompany Media Engine (IME) – it’s just not technically possible. EMCC is easy, and within the day of them announcing this being tested I’ll have a minimum 2-hour video ready. I already have over 4 hours recorded on every aspect of CCD over SAF and another half hour of the RSVP with SIP Preconditions in our new CCNP Voice product (which should be posted to our CDN in about a week). SIP Normalization with Lua — eewww — let’s hope they don’t test you on it – but either way, we’ll have a video for you the week they announce it.

There are way too many small new features in UC 9.x to list here, — I’ll do a post covering those in the not-too-distant future, but needless to say, it won’t be hard to add content to what we have to cover it. The best news is that everything you are studying today, is 100% completely relevant to any new version of the lab that could be announced, whenever they decide to do so — so don’t loose an moment of sleep over a possible upgrade — you’ll be 98% ready anyhow.

As for the possible testing of Cryptography/Security, I will be adding labs to our Volume II Workbook here in the upcoming month, with at least one of which will specifically address this topic. Our racks will allow you to test those features related to security to coincide with the release of that lab.
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CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
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