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In 1993, Cisco came out with the amazing 4000 router and then created
the even more amazing 7000, 2000, and 3000 series routers. These are still
around and evolving (almost daily, it seems).
Cisco Systems has since become an unrivaled worldwide leader in net-
working for the Internet. Its networking solutions can easily connect users
who work from diverse devices on disparate networks. Cisco products make
it simple for people to access and transfer information without regard to dif-
ferences in time, place, or platform.
Cisco Systems' big picture is that it provides end-to-end networking solu-
tions that customers can use to build an efficient, unified information infra-
structure of their own or to connect to someone else's. This is an important
piece in the Internet/networking-industry puzzle because a common archi-
tecture that delivers consistent network services to all users is now a func-
tional imperative. Because Cisco Systems offers such a broad range of
networking and Internet services and capabilities, users needing regular
access to their local network or the Internet can do so unhindered, making
Cisco's wares indispensable.
Cisco answers this need with a wide range of hardware products that are
used to form information networks using the Cisco Internetworking Oper-
ating System (IOS) software. This software provides network services, pav-
ing the way for networked technical support and professional services to
maintain and optimize all network operations.
Along with the Cisco IOS, one of the services Cisco created to help sup-
port the vast amount of hardware it has engineered is the Cisco Certified
Internetworking Expert (CCIE) program, which was designed specifically to
equip people to effectively manage the vast quantity of installed Cisco net-
works. The business plan is simple: If you want to sell more Cisco equipment
and have more Cisco networks installed, ensure that the networks you
installed run properly.
However, having a fabulous product line isn't all it takes to guarantee the
huge success that Cisco enjoys--lots of companies with great products are
now defunct. If you have complicated products designed to solve compli-
cated problems, you need knowledgeable people who are fully capable of
installing, managing, and troubleshooting them. That part isn't easy, so
Cisco began the CCIE program to equip people to support these complicated
networks. This program, known colloquially as the Doctorate of Network-
ing, has also been very successful, primarily due to its extreme difficulty.
Cisco continuously monitors the program, changing it as it sees fit, to make
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