Blueprint Differences: CCIE EI v1 & v1.1

Blueprint Differences: CCIE EI v1 & v1.1


The world of network engineering is in constant motion, continuously evolving and adapting to meet the modern requirements of the industry. Cisco Systems, as the industry leader and standard setter, is consistently evolving its approach related to CCIE education. Recently, an update was made to the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Enterprise Infrastructure (EI) blueprint.

Considering the significance and difficulty of the CCIE EI exam, I have taken the time to analyze the changes in version 1.1 of the Blueprint and unpack them for the KBITS.LIVE community.

At a higher level, the Blueprint changes reflect Cisco's ongoing focus on enhancing the prominence of Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies, specifically SD Access and SD-WAN. As I have previously mentioned, Cisco has recognized SDN as a pivotal technology and I anticipate their emphasis on it will only grow in the next 3-5 years. For students who have been preparing for the CCIE EI exam based on the v1.0 Blueprint, I suggest deepening their understanding of SDN technologies.

Now, let's delve into the changes section by section compared to the previous Blueprint.

Section 1: Routing and Switching

The new addition of Multi-chassis Ethernet use-case scenarios implies a more advanced understanding of Ethernet deployment in complex, distributed network environments. This showcases the growing importance of scalability and reliability in modern enterprise networks, which are often characterized by their vastness and multi-location features.

Route leaking between VRFs is another inclusion that signifies the need for greater interoperability and communication within large-scale networks. Route leaking is a powerful tool that enables communication between different VRFs, providing enhanced flexibility and connectivity in managing separate routing instances.

The increased focus on OSPFv3 Address Family configuration highlights the significance of IPv6 in contemporary networking. OSPFv3 is crucial for routing IPv6 prefixes and this skill will undeniably become even more valuable as the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 continues to gain momentum globally.

As for the removal of topics such as VTP, EIGRP Load Balancing, and LFA, these changes suggest a shift in focus towards newer and more relevant technologies and practices in the field of routing and switching.

Section 2: SDN Technologies

The emphasis on SDN Technologies has been amplified in the CCIE EI v1.1 Blueprint. This is in line with the industry's transition towards a more software-defined, programmable network infrastructure.

In the SDA (Software-Defined Access) section, students need to understand and implement SDA Transit, L2 Handoff, and Fabric-In-A-Box applications. SDA Transit represents the next-level requirement of integrating SDA with traditional routed networks. L2 Handoff and Fabric-In-A-Box applications are unique, scalable solutions that ensure more efficient network deployments.

The SD-W AN subsection would require more focus on Centralized Policies with App Aware Routing and Traffic Engineering. This highlights the importance of creating a more manageable, efficient, and intelligent network traffic flow in a WAN environment. The inclusion of these topics underlines the need for network engineers to understand and manipulate the behaviour of network traffic using advanced SD-WAN capabilities, crucial for modern enterprise networks.

Section 3: Security

In this section, no additional topics have been introduced. However, it is worth noting that Flex VPN has been removed from the syllabus

Sections 4 & 5: Automation and Programmability & Network Architecture

These parts have stayed pretty consistent, with no major alterations to their content.


Cisco's emphasis on SDN technologies in the CCIE EI v1.1 blueprint continues to grow. This highlights the increasing importance of Software Defined Networking (SDN) architectures in the field of network engineering. These skills have become crucial for professionals in the industry today and are expected to remain vital over the next 3-5 years and beyond.

Now, what does this mean for individuals who have been preparing for the CCIE EI exam based on the v1.0 Blueprint? In my perspective, the change is not significant. It simply requires a deeper understanding of SDA and SD-WAN technologies. It's crucial to remember that the CCIE EI certification represents more than just technical expertise. It signifies a commitment to ongoing learning, adaptability, and a comprehensive understanding of networking at a large scale. Embrace the change, explore these topics further, and let's continue to evolve and learn together.