CCIE SP is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert Service Provider track examination. This determines a certain individual s competency regarding networking within the service provider s industry.

Just like all of other CCIE track exams, the CCIE SP is composed of two general parts written and lab exams. A person who wishes to be a CCIE SP certified must pass these two general parts. Written and lab exams are different in nature and difficulty. But they just include the same topics like optical networks, Wide Area Network switching, DSL or digital subscriber line, VoIP or Voice over Internet protocol, content networking, Metro Ethernet, and broadband cable.

A candidate, before taking the CCIE SP exam, is strongly advised to practice this field for at least three years. But anyone without actual CCIE SP experience can still pursue the exam since this is not a requirement.

CCIE SP written exam is for two hours and covers concepts, as well as, equipment commands connected to packet-based networking infrastructure. One should pass the written CCIE SP before taking the lab exam. If the candidate unfortunately fails the written exam, he can still get one but he must pay about $300 per take. If he passed the written exam, he can now schedule his CCIE SP lab exam.

The CCIE SP lab exam, on the other hand, lasts for a maximum of eight hours. While the written tests the theoretical skills of the candidate, the lab exam challenges his practical skills on CCIE SP. The lab exam will determine ones ability to change actual equipment and obtain a service provider network available in the time of lab examination. The candidate is given three years to pass the lab exam if in case he failed the first attempt. 

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