Let me preface this post by saying that this post is not Cisco official nor sponsored.  This post should be taken as speculation and I am presenting what I have been able to put together.  Until Cisco has announced something official, take everything I have here with a grain of salt and do not assume it as fact.  If something changes I will update the post as appropriate.

Jump to updates  – SJC too?
11/12 – New Cisco Learning thread on this topic

Adding the latest updates to the top.

In a series of tweets today from @LearningatCisco they have confirmed today (14-Nov-2018) that RTP and SJC are transitioning to mobile test sites and the new home of the lab is Richardson, TX. The last on-sites dates for CCIE testing in SJC is 28-Nov-2018 and for RTP is 07-Dec-2018.

Effective immediately, the last on-site testing date before San Jose, CA CCIE lab is transitioned to a mobile test site is November 28, 2018. For RTP, NC the last on-site testing date is December 7, 2018.
— LearningatCisco (@LearningatCisco) November 14, 2018

Cisco is adding a new, permanent #CCIE lab in Richardson, TX. RTP, NC and San Jose, CA will now become mobile test sites, adding to the 40+ locations we offer globally for convenient access to lab testing, https://t.co/mzGeE7DqBE. Scroll to News section.

While the CCIE Lab in Richardson, TX, is not on the lab locations page it is an on-site testing facility as of now. Any available seats can be seen on the schedule, please check current availability by logging in to the CCIE Online Lab Scheduler.
— LearningatCisco (@LearningatCisco) November 14, 2018

Tweets from @LearningatCisco

— END OF UPDATE ABOVE, now back to regular post.

Last night I saw a post on my Facebook social media feed about that CCIE lab in RTP that caught my attention.  The post was about the CCIE lab in RTP moving at the end of December 2018 to Richardson, TX! 

Facebook post on 05-Nov-2018 approx.  15:45 Eastern
David’s LinkedIn Profile

I had a hard time believing this, so I did some quick research that actually leads me to some job postings for a CCIE Proctor in Richardson, TX.  Both of these posting are no longer live, so I have included links to their cached copies.

Original Listing (Cached)
Original posting (cached)

More potential supporting information can be found over on the Cisco Learning Network where Daniel and others have mentioned that there are no dates available for RTP in January or February at this time.  Normally there are dates available, but right now it is being reported there are not any.

While one might think that no dates are an error, there is a response from Rigo (Cisco) in that thread that states that the Lab Scheduler is correct. Based on my personal experience, I am unable to recall a time when there have been no seats at a CCIE testing center.  The one exception that I am aware of is when there is a CCIE lab change announcement and people are booking the test before the new one is released.

I checked the CCIE Expert Certifications website but was unable to find any official Cisco announcement about a change.   Typically all CCIE lab changes are announced with 6 months of notice, yet here they are not changing the lab – just the lab testing location.  As of 12:41 AM UTC 06-Nov-2018 there are two announcements posted on from April of 2018:

April 2018 – Minor updates to CCIE Data Center written and lab exams
CCIE Data Center v2.1 latest updates reflects new software releases and improved specificity of exam topics within each domain.

April 2018 – Evolving Technologies exam topics revisions
Minor updates to Evolving Technologies domain across all expert-level written exams.

So from all the evidence, it sure does give the impression that the lab may be moving to Richardson, TX from Raleigh, NC. That or they are adding a new testing location in Richardson, TX.

Somthing that has been mentioned to me is that the hotels in RTP have been great for shuttling candidates to/from the lab and to/from the airport.  Looking at a Google map of the Cisco Richardson, TX area, there are plenty of hotels in the area, hope they are as accommodating as the hotel in Raleigh have been.

Now the location that you take the test in has little to do with the test and how you do on the test, that is all up to you.  Thinking about it, Richardson, TX makes some sense as it is near the middle of the country and has major airports nearby (DFW, DAL). 

Really though I am heartbroken with the thought that after 20+ years the lab may be moving from where many of us have taken it to a new location.  I do wonder what would become of the Wall of Pain in RTP – there is alot of history, blood, sweat, and tears on that piece of paper.  If you are not familiar with The Wall of Pain, it is a wall in RTP for those who have passed the lab in RTP.  Some original pictures of the wall by Eman Conde are below – click the LINK to full-size images.

If there are any updates I will be sure to update this post with new information.

Update 1 – 09-Nov-2018

Looks like others are starting to report similar information and they are indicating that the SJC testing center will close too.  Be sure to check out Vik Malhi’s post below as he has pulled the scheduler information that shows no dates for either RTP or SJC, only Richardson, TX.

Update 2 – 12 Nov 2018

There is a new post over on the Cisco Learning Network on this topic that may be worth keeping an eye on.  Rigo (Community Moderator) has responded, not confirmed, by stating that “Richardson, TX is a centralized core technology hub.”  

Link to thread