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March 13, 2013

Get re-certified as Cisco exams are retired

By expired

Technology is ever changing. This couldn’t be any more true in information technology where things are expected to change, evolve and improve quickly and without any let up.

The reason why certifications are constantly being updated is so that the content is still relevant to what IT professionals are seeing in the real world even after years have gone by.

However, there are times when the changes are so drastic that a mere update is not possible. Technologies sometimes become obsolete. Sometimes vendor products are discontinued, hence the certification for these products are no longer needed. Other times, the updates are so numerous that it would make better sense if the certification was retired and replaced with a new one.

Networking equipment giant, Cisco, is not immune to all of these. Over the years, Cisco’s line of certifications has seen a lot of updates, and the company has retired dozens of certifications as the technology they validate becomes obsolete. Let’s take a look at some selected Cisco certification exams that have been retired.

Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional

CCIP was released more than a decade ago. In that time, Cisco has come out with several products, including the Cisco IOS XR operating system. It also had a lot of improvements in terms of technology. In short, CCIP’s content has become obsolete and in need of a whole lot of updating in order to stay current. Instead of updating CCIP, Cisco retired it and replaced it with the CCNP Service Provider certification exam.

The CCNP Service Provider certification is much more current and is in tune with what is seen in the service provider marker and is more relevant to current Cisco products as well as the company’s new operating system.

CCIP certified professionals had until October 29, 2012 to recertify and that certification will be valid for three years. There will be no CCIP certifications to be given out after that date.

IT professionals who have completed certain exams for their CCIP certification may be able to apply these exams towards the new CCNP Service Provider certification, but keep in mind that not everything you have completed for CCIP will be applied to CCNP Service Provider. You can actually still find out which CCIP examinations are still valid for CCNP Service Provider. What this means is that you will not be required to go back and retake certain parts of the CCNA Service Provider to get certified.

Cisco Certified Security Professional

The CCSP was retired on November 17, 2011. After this date, IT professionals seeking professional level certification for security would need to get the CISCO CCNP Security certification.

The following CCSP exams are credited towards a CCNP Security certification.

  • 642-617 FIREWALL v1.0
  • 642-627 IPS 7.0
  • 642-637 SECURE v1.0
  • 642-647 VPN v1.0

However, these will not be given credit:

  • 642-545 MARS
  • 642-591 CANAC

Other retired Cisco certifications include:

  • CCDP SNA/IP Integration
  • CCNP Network Management
  • Content Networking Specialist
  • Converged Business Solution Integration
  • Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professional
  • Network Management Specialist
  • Open Programmable Switching Engineer
  • Optical Specialist
  • Products Solutions Essentials
  • Remote Dial Access: Voice and Data
  • Security Solutions
  • SNA/IP for Systems Engineers
  • Unity Engineer Specialization
  • Voice Solutions for System Engineers
  • Wireless LAN Support Specialist


There are also current exams that are up for retirement. An example is the Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert Storage Networking.

The Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert Storage Networking certification is due to be retired during the second half of 2013. As a result, IT professionals would no longer have the chance to take written exams for CCIE Storage Networking starting on May 1, 2013.  Similarly, Cisco will also cease offering lab exams starting on July 1, 2013.

Those who are intent on pursuing the CCIE Storage Networking certification are encouraged to pursue a CCIE Data Center certification instead. The CCIE Data Center has a broader scope than CCIE Storage Networking. As such, it would test for a broader range of knowledge, technology and solutions used in the data center.

While the CCIE Storage Networking is focused narrowly on IT networking, the CCIE Data Center will validate your skills and expertise in planning, preparing, operating, tracking and troubleshooting data center networks.

What happens when your certification gets retired?

In the case of Cisco, your certification will still be valid for three years, granted you get certified before the examination was retired. This means that your certification will still be recognized until such a time that you need to recertify.

After the certification exam is retired, however, nobody will be able to earn that certification and would be encouraged to pursue their replacement exams.

The good news is that if you are working towards a soon-to-be retired certification, you can probably get credits for the requisite exams you have already passed should you decide to pursue the replacement certificate.

However, there are special cases. For example, you can become a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert by pursuing several tracks. Current tracks include security, voice, security provide, storage networking, wireless, data center, service provider operations, etc.  Once you have finished the required exams and you have been certified, you will be given a CCIE number and a CCIE specialization title. For example, CCIE Security for those who pursued the security track in obtaining their CCIE certification, or CCIE Data Center for those who pursued the Data Center track.

Different exams, different titles

Over the years, however, Cisco has introduced and then subsequently retired several tracks. Examples of these retired tracks include:

  • Wan Switching
  • ISP Dial
  • SNA/IP Integration
  • Design

So what happened to IT professionals who became CCIE by pursuing these tracks? They are still called CCIE, however, there is no specialization that goes with it. Instead of holding the title CCIE Design, for example, they are simply known as CCIE.

As an IT professional, it’s important that you certify the skills that you have. Certification takes some time. For some it takes months and even years to get certified. The good thing, at least as far as Cisco certifications are concerned, is that your efforts waren’t wasted even after a certification exam is retired.

Still, it is a good idea to find out which certifications are going to be retired, so that you would be able to pursue the replacement exam instead. This will ensure that you can get an added benefit from your certification efforts: learning the new technologies that are going to stay in demand longer.

Watch Cisco Training Videos to keep up with your exams, and sign up for a free 3-day trial to access TrainSignal’s entire training library.

About the Author

Michael Gabriel Sumastre is a skilled technical blogger and writer with more than seven years of professional experience in Web content creation, SEO and research paper writing. He has written more than a thousand articles related to tech and gadgets, cloud computing, IT management, SEO, SEM and software solutions. He ghostwrites books / e-books and has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science. Michael is also an expert in webmastering and loves to ride his sportsbike. He maintains his portfolio and personal blog at

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