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Feb 8 2013   3:17PM GMT

CCIE Storage Networking to Be Retired; Data Center to Pick Up Where It Left Off…

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

In an announcement released last Tuesday (“CCIE Storage Networking Certification Retirement” 2/5/2013), Cisco provides scheduled retirement dates for the two exam for the CCIE Storage Networking credential:

  • Final availability date for the written exam (350-040 CCIE Storage Networking exam) is April 30, 2013. As of May 1, 2013, that exam will no longer be offered.
  • Final availability date for the lab exam (CCIE Storage Networking lab exam) is June 30, 2013. As of July 1, 2013, that exam will no longer be offered, either.
As of 7/1/2013, no more CCIE Storage Networking certs will be issued.

As of 7/1/2013, no more CCIE Storage Networking certs will be issued.

Here’s what the announcement says about the reasons for this planned retirement:

The CCIE Storage Networking certification is being retired because of its increasingly narrow focus within IT networking and the broader scope now available with the Data Center training and certification programs. While the job roles of professionals working in the storage networking area remain important for a company’s success, Cisco is concentrating its focus on the broader solutions that exist for the data center as a whole.

For more information on the suggested replacement credential visit the CCIE Data Center page in the Cisco Learning Network. To me, it’s interesting that Cisco would do away with a CCIE that was originally announced in October 2004, and that went public in March 2005 with the release of the first written exam for that credential. Given the amount of time, expense, and effort required to define a senior credential like this one, and the concomitant costs involved in walking away from such a substantial investment, this speaks strongly about the pace of change and upheaval in the networking biz.

Brian McGahan, himself a CCIE and a long-time developer of CCIE training courses and materials, has this to say about what’s up with the topics and technologies covered on the CCIE Storage Networking credential:

While many of the SAN switching topics overlap between CCIE Storage Networking and CCIE Data Center, such as VSANs, Basic & Enhanced Zoning, SAN Trunking & Port Channeling, iSCSI, and San [Sic: SAN] Extension with FCIP, many features covered in CCIE SAN are not being carried over to CCIE DC, such as FICON, Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), Storage Media Encryption (SME), and Data Mobility Manager (DMM). Instead, the SAN section of CCIE Data Center focuses more on storage features of the modern data center such as Unified I/O, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), N-Port Virtualization (NPV), and N Port Identifier Virtualization (NPIV).

The large-scale changeover in tools and technologies (what’s going out, and what’s coming in to replace that content as it relates to SAN) provides some interesting details to back up my contention that ample technology ferment and change is responsible for the retirement of the CCIE SAN, and the refocusing on Data Center. And now, at long last, we also know why Cisco didn’t push down the storage certs into CCNA and CCNP flavors, as they’ve already done with Data Center, but also with Security, Wireless,  service provider stuff, Voice, and Wireless.

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