Requirements for Certification
There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification. Other professional certifications or training courses are not required. Instead, candidates must first pass a written qualification exam and then the corresponding hands-on lab exam. You are expected to have an in-depth understanding of the topics in the exam blueprints and strongly encouraged to have three to five years of job experience before attempting certification. You can review the exam preparation materials included on this page for more information.
The CCIE Wireless written beta exam will be open for registration October 7, 2008
Each written exam version is offered first in beta form at a discounted cost of US$50. Beta exams are scheduled as you would other written exams and are available at all worldwide testing locations. A passing grade on the beta qualifies a candidate to schedule the lab exam. Results, however, are typically not available until six to eight weeks after the close of the beta. A candidate may attempt the beta exam only once during the beta period.
Written Beta Blueprint
Plan WLAN installations
Define standards-based wireless LAN (WLAN) (802.11x standards) Define WLAN organizations and regulations Identify customer requirements for the WLAN Translate customer requirements into services and design recommendations Determine WLAN security policies and constraints Identify ambiguities and information gaps Evaluate environmental characteristics Define the tasks and goals for a preliminary site survey Modify proposed solutions based on the applicable regulations Evaluate the existing Layer 2 and Layer 3 network infrastructure Conduct the site survey Design WLAN installations
Determine access point (AP) quantity and placement based on the site survey and customer requirements, including the AP type and antenna type Recommend an autonomous or unified deployment model and design Identify the wireless features to be implemented in the design, including AP groups, Layer 2 and 3 roaming, Hybrid Remote-Edge Access Point (H-REAP), Voice over WLAN (VoWLAN), AAA override, etc. Design the wireless topology, including VLANs, DHCP, Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs), IP addressing, mobility groups, etc. Draft an RF operational model that includes the following:
Radio Resource Management (Auto-RF, manual, hybrid, Transmit Power Control [TPC] and Dynamic Channel Assignment [DCA]) Channel use (radar, other non-Wi-Fi interference) Power level, overlap Draft WLAN security policies:
Traffic restrictions for Layer 2 filters (802.11 association filters), Layer 3 and 4 filters (ACLs) Per user, per interface, per SSID; management access restrictions; peer-to-peer blocking Layer 2 and 3 security Microsoft Wireless Provisioning Services (WPS), Management Frame Protection (MFP), Network Access Control (NAC) Specify the server infrastructure needed to provide the required services Determine the feasibility of carrying Lightweight Access Control Protocol (LWAPP) over the WAN Determine hardware and software provisioning requirements for the supporting network infrastructure Determine client provisioning, given the client hardware and software requirements Use wireless network design tools Draft a design that includes deliverables such as a detailed or high-level annotated topology diagram, internal estimates for each site, bills of materials (BOMs) for a wireless LAN
Implement WLAN installations
Implement the WLAN in stages, including priming and system-testing APs Set appropriate configuration parameters Configure the existing infrastructure applications to support the WLAN, including authentication services (RADIUS, TACACS+, certificate authority [CA]), NTP, DHCP, DNS (LWAPP controller), clients Configure the existing network infrastructure to support the WLAN, including VLANs, multicast, QoS, routing, switch port configurations, port access through firewalls (guest access, anchor controllers), etc. For an autonomous wireless architecture, deploy APs and antennas, Wireless Distribution Systems (WDS), bridges (point-to-point, point-to-multipoint), workgroup bridges For a unified wireless architecture, deploy APs and antennas, Wireless LAN controllers (WLCs) with or without Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS), AP and WLC configurations (autoprovisioning), location (location server, Cisco WCS maps, location calibration) Implement WLAN security policies, including the following:
Layer 2 filters (802.11 association filters) Layer 3 and 4 filters (ACLs): Per user, per interface, per SSID Management access restrictions Peer-to-peer blocking Layer 2 and 3 security WPS, MFP Implement support for VoWLAN deployments, both for unified and autonomous Verify WLAN operation, client, location, voice, roaming, postdeployment site survey, network high availability, Auto-RF, etc. Operate WLAN installations
Determine key performance indicators (KPIs) and baseline WLAN operational characteristics Collect baseline WLAN operational characteristics using network analysis tools Establish fault management policy and procedures for indicators that should be routinely monitored, including alert profiles, noise, channel utilization, interference, load, etc. Monitor for faults
Actively monitor changes based on thresholds (proactive); SNMP polling Receive alarms and wait until notification (reactive); SNMP traps, syslog messages, Cisco WCS notifications Monitor performance trends, including capacity planning; error rates, number of clients associated with an AP, AP loading, thresholds (1 percent packet loss for voice), reference 802.11 t, end-to-end traffic flows, etc. Monitor WLAN security policies:
Layer 2 filters (802.11 association filters) Layer3 and 4 filters (ACLs): Per user, per interface, per SSID Management access Peer-to-peer blocking Layer 2 and 3 security WPS Monitor RF environments using Cisco Spectrum Expert, AP infrastructures Correlate events, alarms, and alerts Troubleshoot
Demonstrate a sound understanding of troubleshooting methodologies to solve complex wireless issues Check, validate, and analyze the following:
Interpret and analyze client-side logs Validate client connectivity and troubleshoot clients via Cisco WCS Interpret and analyze wireless traces client wireless drivers and supplicant software Network infrastructure.
Check and validate current channel and power settings Validate security events with Cisco WCS Validate location information in Cisco WCS Validate trap generation, notifications in Cisco WCS Collect appropriate logs for analysis to isolate problems Interpret and analyze sniffer traces Analyze the information collected on the RF environment, using client-side information and AP-side information (through the WLC or Cisco WCS), spectrum analyzer (Cisco Spectrum Expert) and output of other available wireless tools Audit VoWLAN deployment Verify baseline functionality after resolving a problem Reference Materials
Design and Solution Guides
Enterprise Mobility 4.1 Design Guide (October 31, 2007) Wi-Fi Location-Based Services 4.1 Design Guide (May 20, 2008) Voice over Wireless LAN 4.1 Design Guide (May 6, 2008) Configuration and Configuration Example Guides
Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Configuration Guide, Release 4.2 Cisco Location Appliance Configuration Guide, Release 3.1 WLAN Controller Configuration Examples and TechNotes Cisco IOS Software Configuration Guide for Cisco Aironet Access Points Cisco IOS Releases 12.4(10b)JA and 12.3(8)JEC Cisco Wireless Control System Configuration Guide, Release 4.2 Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phone 7921G Deployment Guide Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN Client Adapters (CB21AG and PI21AG) Installation and Configuration Guide, Release 4.0 Books
802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition, by Matthew Gast, April 25, 2005, O’Reilly Media Inc.
ISBN 10: 0596100523 | ISBN 13: 978-0596100520 802.11 Wireless Network Site Surveying and Installation, First Edition, by Bruce Alexander, November 19, 2004, Cisco Press.
ISBN-10: 1-587051648; ISBN-13: 978-1587051647 802.11 Wireless LAN Fundamentals, First Edition, by Pejman Roshan, Jonathan Leary, December 23, 2003, Cisco Press.
ISBN-10: 1587050773; ISBN-13: 978-1587050770 Deploying Voice over Wireless LANs, First Edition, by Jim Geier, March 24, 2007, Cisco Press.
ISBN-10: 1587052318; ISBN-13: 978-1587052316 Cisco Wireless LAN Security, by Krishna Sankar, Sri Sundaralingam, Darrin Miller, and Andrew Balinsky, November 15, 2004, Cisco Press.
ISBN-10: 1587051540; ISBN-13: 978-1587051548 Deploying and Troubleshooting Cisco Wireless LAN Controllers: A Practical Guide to Working with the Cisco Unified Wireless Solution
ISBN-10: 1587058146 (available January 2009)
Cisco Spectrum Expert Users Guide
IEEE 802.11 Handbook: A Designer's Companion, Second Edition
IEEE 802.11 specification: