The expert-level certification is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). It is the highest level of professional certification that Cisco provides. There are 5 active CCIE tracks. Cisco began its CCIE program in 1993 originally with a two day lab, later changing it to the one day format used today. Less than 3% of Cisco certified individuals attain CCIE certification, and on average will spend thousands of dollars and 18 months studying before passing. The latest addition to the CCIE certification tracks is the CCIE Storage Networking track. Storage area networks require in-depth experience to manage, deploy, and interconnect multiple types of data storage devices and data servers that enterprise users rely on today. CCIE Storage Networking professionals have expert knowledge in the implementation and troubleshooting of storage area networks including LANs, MANs and WANs over Fiber Channel, iSCSI (Internet SCSI), FCIP (Fiber Channel over IP), Intra VSAN Routing and FICON (Fiber Connectivity).
There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. As this is an expert-level certification, the knowledge required completing the prequalification exam and the lab exam is vast and extensive. You will be expected to know just about everything and, as this is the storage networking specialization, especially everything in relation to Cisco’s devices related storage networking. It is very easy to take CCIE storage networking exam as it doesn’t want any pre qualification but it does want some three to five years experience of job in network storage providing field such as working as an network storage head or administrator in school or college lab where all the users share mostly one common storage device connected with the help of networking cables.
There are two types of exams. One is a written exam and the other is a practical laboratory test. There is a must pass the two-hour, written qualification exam covering concepts and equipment commands related to packet-based networking infrastructure. After passing this exam you become eligible for the laboratory test which is an eight hour practical hand on test. It should be passed within the three years of passing the written test otherwise you will have to pas the written exam again as it expires after every three years of passing the test.
The written exam is required to take the lab exam, and has a cost of $300 USD per attempt. The CCIE Lab is currently $1,250 USD per attempt and are offered only at ten Cisco lab exam locations worldwide. In addition, according to a survey by Cisco the average cost to prepare for CCIE certification is $9,050 as of April 2008, spent mostly on practice equipment and self study material.
It gives you expert level knowledge and experience in designing storage networking fields. Cisco CCIE Storage Networking certifies expert-level knowledge of intelligent storage solutions using multiple transport options over long distances.