CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure topic review - 2.0 Software Defined Infrastructure — Part 1

Ammett W
Ammett W
Mar 30, 2020 · 4 min read

Ok this isn’t a cloud based exam prep sheet or anything like that. I dropped a few contributions on the cloud area earlier this year but now it’s time for a new CCIE topic review. I’ll be looking at the 5 areas on the CCIE EI topic list over the next 7/8 months:

1.0 Network Infrastructure 30%
2.0 Software Defined Infrastructure 25%
3.0 Transport technology and Solutions 15%
4.0 Infrastructure Security and Services 15%
5.0 Infrastructure Automation and Programmability 15%

I’m starting off with area 2.0 Software Defined Infrastructure because it’s brand new to me.

I spent March being confused about covid-19 and watching my migration plan and oversea jobs prospects go up in smoke. I’m still not in a position to re-book my flights etc but that didn’t stop me, I continued looking at area 2.0 on the topic list during this challenging period.

In my personal opinion there isn’t anything solid enough on the market yet to give you the depth you need to prepare. I’ve done a CCIE and failed a few times so I know for sure if this area makes up 25% of the scoring, depth is very important. That being said the official Cisco books on SD-WAN and SD-Access are still being put together. Those books should help fill in the gaps for this heavily weighted section, therefore I will have to publish a part two with proper analysis when the books are both out.

Considering my personal impressions I won’t keep this too long, so what I’ve decided to do is give you my recommended starting points based on the material that currently exist now to get you started. There are a few free and paid resources.

Resource list I used for this first review were:

CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core ENCOR 350–401 Official Cert Guide (purchase)
SD-WAN youtube playlist (free)
DevNet (free)
INE (subscription)

Firstly start with the book read chapters, 16, 25 then 23 in that order. (If you haven’t read it already, they are relevant to the topic)

Secondly watch the SDWAN series to the end.

Thirdly sign up in DevNet and watch the SD WAN videos again and do the labs in DevNet. There are a few thing you will have to figure out to get things working but it shouldn’t be too hard.

Fourth — Look at the INE learning path CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure v1.0 section three. They haven’t completed the SD access area yet but the SD WAN is complete so use those. Review the video at least twice, they also point you to Cisco validated designs and links with more information on the topic.

At this stage you should have a good preview of this area and a solid start. Please note at CCIE level you will be required to know the ins and outs, how to configure and troubleshoot, so based on that I have determined the materials to date are sorely lacking at the moment. It will get better in the future as labs and finished content come out.

The other source to add depth would be the Cisco validated designs and white papers so you can do your own deep dives after you follow the above flow. I have put the links below to additional Cisco resources.


As with most CCIE’s material takes a while to come out an also labs because it’s not exactly inexpensive to setup for these new area. Please use what you can for now.

Upcoming Books: From Jason Gooley and team

Cisco Software-Defined Wide Area Networks: Designing, Deploying and Securing Your Next Generation WAN with Cisco SD-WAN (Networking Technology) 1st edition

Software Defined Access (Networking Technology)

Additional Insights:

I suggest learning python if you are going down this road because you will need it eventually for 5.0 Infrastructure Automation and Programmability 15%. What I began to see while doing this review is the importance for an enterprise to have properly designed network to support the transition to the cloud if that is part of the strategic vision. You can see the problems SD WAN is supposed to solve and some of the thinking behind it. Whether it’s something everyone needs to do I would say “no” but it’s something that exist that can be considered.

I will publish part two of this review as a deep dive with pdf (I already have the cover in shot below) but that would be at the end of the 7/8 th month giving enough time for more material to come out.

I’ll be in touch

Ammett W

Written by

Ammett W

Founder of Start Cloud Now | CCIE#43659, AWS *6, GCP*5, | Inspiring people as I go along my journey.


Check around, it may have something to help you with a certification, a quick refresher and even an interview.

Ammett W

Written by

Ammett W

Founder of Start Cloud Now | CCIE#43659, AWS *6, GCP*5, | Inspiring people as I go along my journey.


Check around, it may have something to help you with a certification, a quick refresher and even an interview.

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