Core Knowledge Questions Removed for CCIE R&S and Voice Lab Exams

Cisco removed the Core Knowledge Questions section from the CCIE R&S and Voice Lab exams.

This sections STILL exist on CCIE Service Provider, CCIE Security, CCIE Storage Networking and  CCIE Wireless Lab.

Please find below the official announcement and the reasons regarding this section removal from R&S and Voice lab exams:

With more than six months of exam results now available, Cisco is able to report that the troubleshooting components of the CCIE R&S v4.0 and CCIE Voice v3.0 lab exams are performing well in validating expert level networking skills.  Considering these results, Cisco has decided to eliminate the Core Knowledge questions from the current CCIE R&S v4.0 and CCIE Voice v3.0 Lab Exams.  Beginning on May 10, 2010, CCIE R&S and CCIE Voice Lab Exams, in all global locations, will no longer include the four open-ended Core Knowledge questions.  The total lab time will remain eight hours.  For the CCIE R&S Lab Exam, this means candidates will begin with the two-hour Troubleshooting section, followed by a six-hour Configuration section.  For CCIE Voice, candidates will have the full eight hours to complete the integrated exam.  At this time, only the R&S and Voice tracks will be eliminating the Core Knowledge questions.
You can read more here:

New Service Provider Operations Track Training and Exams

The Cisco CCNA Service Provider (SP) Operations certification and the written exam for the CCIE Service Provider (SP) Operations certification are now available.
The Cisco CCNA SP Operations certification targets entry-level students with a foundation of network operations skills in SP IP NGN environments required of associate-level operations personnel. Both the Supporting Cisco Service Provider IP NGN Operations (SSPO) course and required # 640-760 exam are now available. Interested students should access the CCNA SP Operations home page for more information.

The Cisco CCIE® SP Operations certification assesses and validates core IP NGN service provider network operations expertise and broad theoretical knowledge of operations management processes, frameworks and network management systems. Registration for the for CCIE SP Operations written exam is now available. In addition, students may download the blueprint for the CCIE SP Operations practical exam from the CCIE SP Operations practical exam overview page. The practical exam for the CCIE SP Operations certification is scheduled to be made available in the third quarter of 2010.

For more info:

Core Knowledge Questions for All CCIE Labs

Important change in all CCIE labs exams. Finally the attendees for CCIE RS Lab will now feel discriminated by the Core Knowledge Questions, as starting with next year, this will become mandatory for all CCIE Lab exams.

Interesting is that they say for all CCIE Labs exam, but below the Security and Voice exams are not specified…

See below the official announcement:

Effective January 4, 2010, the Cisco CCIE® Service Provider, Storage, and Wireless lab exams will add a new type of question format in a section called Core Knowledge. In this new section, candidates will be asked a series of four open-ended questions that require a short written response to be entered into the computer, typically several words. The questions will be randomly drawn from a pool of questions on topics eligible for testing. Candidates can review the topics by visiting the CCIE track information on or the Cisco Learning Network. No new topics are being added as a result of this change.

Candidates will have up to 30 minutes to complete the Core Knowledge section and may not return to it once they have moved on. A passing score on the Core Knowledge section is required to achieve certification. Core Knowledge questions were implemented on Routing and Switching labs in February 2009 and Security labs in June 2009, and allow Cisco to maintain strong exam security and ensure that only qualified candidates are awarded CCIE certification. Candidates with exam dates on January 4, 2010 or later should expect to see the new question format on their lab exam.

Cisco: How to configure simple IP SLA monitor

Before we begin let’s see what is this SLA term, for those of us who are not very familiar with the Service Provider terms. IP Service Level Agreements (SLAs) enable customers to assure new business-critical IP applications, as well as IP services that utilize data, voice, and video, in an IP network. With Cisco IOS IP SLAs, users can verify service guarantees, increase network reliability by validating network performance, pro actively identify network issues assure an easy way to deploy new IP services. Cisco IOS IP SLAs use active monitoring, enabling the measurement of network performance and health.

For the following how-to please have a quick look into the topology. As you can see I have a basic routing topology, imported from another tutorial from FirstDigest, and let’s assume that we want to monitor the line between R1 and TEST-RT. For this we will configure a very simple IP SLA monitor, based on icmp echo packets, which will measure our RTT (Round Trip Time) or latency and provide us with valuable informations. For example in case of VoIP problems we can check the latency and in case of a value bigger than 200 ms (220 ms maximum accepted for the voice service to function properly) we will know from where are the problems generated.  Of course IP SLA can have more complex configuration under Cisco IOS (e.g. http or ftp transfer to check if the service provider assure us the bandwidth specified in the contract).

One personal advice from my experience. Even if all the data and information provided by IOS IP SLA monitor can be checked with “show…” commands, I would advice you to get a third party software that can interpret this data for you and draw nice graphs or store them in an archive for you. This kind of software are MRTG, Weathermap, Nagios, RRDtool and others (I put here only the free ones).

Please check the how-to by clicking the image below:

IP SLA monitor