About Cisco CCNP Enterprise Certification
Obtaining the CCNP Enterprise certification validates the candidates’ skills in Cisco enterprise networking solutions. Software and networking are becoming closely interconnected and technology development is facilitating the connection between the business and new applications. This means that the organizations can explore the benefits of automation to secure and scale their networking infrastructure. This professional-level certificate is designed to help the professionals prove their skills in the evolving technology landscape of the enterprise network.
Important facts about target audience and prerequisites
The candidates for this certificate are those IT specialists who are looking to validate their knowledge of enterprise infrastructure. They are the professionals with proven skills in dual-stack architecture, infrastructure, virtualization, network assurance, automation, and security.
The Cisco CCNP Enterprise certification does not have any official requirement other than passing two prerequisite exams. However, the applicants are advised to have at least three to five years of work experience in implementing a range of enterprise networking solutions. They should also have good knowledge of the topics before taking their tests.
Qualifying exams for Cisco CCNP Enterprise certification
Those individuals who are planning to pursue this path must pass two tests. There is the core exam (350 401 ENCOR), which focuses on their knowledge of enterprise infrastructure. It covers IPv4 and IPv6 architecture, network assurance, automation, security, virtualization, and infrastructure. It is also a qualifying test for the CCIE Enterprise Wireless and CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure certificates. This is a 120-minute exam with a varying number of questions, which can be about 100. Their types include multiple choice, active screen, build list, testlets, and simlets.
The second step is to pass a concentration test. There are six of them in total and they focus on various industry-specific topics, which include network design, wireless, automation, and SD WAN. Each of them is 90 minutes long and has about 60 questions of various formats. The list of the exam options includes the following:
- Cisco 300-435;
- Cisco 300-430;
- Cisco 300-425;
- Cisco 300-420;
- Cisco 300-415;
- Cisco 300-410.
Topics outline of Cisco 350-401 ENCOR exam
As for the exam topics, the learners must understand the whole content of any certification test before taking it. The Cisco 350-401 exam is designed to evaluate one’s knowledge and skills in implementing core enterprise network technologies. The candidates are required to develop competencies in the subject areas before taking this test. The detailed content of these domains are as follows:
Architecture: This makes up 15% of the content and requires that you demonstrate competencies in specific areas. To achieve success in the certification exam, you must understand and be able to answer the questions in the following domains:
- Design principles utilized in enterprise networks;
- Design principles of WLAN deployment;
- Cloud and on-premises infrastructure deployments;
- Working principles of Cisco SD-WAN solutions;
- Working principles of Cisco SD-Access solutions;
- Concepts of wireless and wired QoS;
- Software and hardware switching mechanisms.
Virtualization: This makes up 10% of the total domains. It is designed to measure the ability of the test takers to perform specific technical tasks. Therefore, you must be ready to demonstrate competence in the following:
- Device virtualization technologies, including Hypervisor type 1 and 2, virtual machine, and virtual switching;
- Data path virtualization technologies, such as VRF, GRE, and IPsec tunneling;
- Network virtualization concepts such as LISP and VXLAN.
Infrastructure: This area covers about 30% of the exam content. It evaluates one’s skills in troubleshooting and configuring some technical concepts. These include:
- Layer 2 (static and dynamic 802.1q trunking protocols, Spanning Tree Protocols, EtherChannels);
- Layer 3 (EIGPR, OSPF, eBGP);
- Wireless (Layer 1 concepts, antenna types & AP modes, access point discovery & join process, WLAN configuration, wireless client connectivity, Layer 2 and 3 roaming use cases);
- IP Services (Network Time Protocol, NAT/PAT, First hop redundancy protocols, multicast protocols).
Network Assurance: The applicants can expect their exam to contain about 10% of the questions from this objective. The areas that they should focus on while preparing for the test include the following:
- Diagnosing network issues using different tools, including debugs, trace route, SNMP, ping, Syslog, and conditional debugs;
- Configuring and authenticating device monitoring with Syslog for remote logging;
- Configuring and authenticating NetFlow and Flexible NetFlow;
- Configuring and authenticating SPAN/ERSPAN/RSPAN;
- Configuring and authenticating IPSLA;
- Configuring and authenticating NETCONF and RESTCONF;
- Explaining Cisco DNA Center workflows to the application of network management, configuration, and monitoring.
Security: This domain accounts for 20% of the whole content and evaluates the students’ skills in performing specific technical tasks. Therefore, you should develop competence in configuring and verifying the following:
- Device access control, including authorization and authentication utilizing AAA, password, and line protection;
- Infrastructure security features, such as CoPP and ACLs;
- Wireless security features, including WebAuth, PSK, and EAP;
- Explain REST API security;
- Explain the elements of network security designs, which include threat defense, endpoint security, next-generation firewall, network access control with WebAuth, MAB, and 802.1X, TrustSec, and MACsec.
Automation: This is the last subject in the Cisco 350-401 certification exam. It measures your capacity to perform certain technical tasks, which are:
- Interpreting basic scripts and components of Python;
- Constructing valid encoded file for JSON;
- Explaining high-level benefits and principles of data modeling languages such as YANG;
- Explaining API for Cisco DNA Center as well as the vManage;
- Interpreting REST API response codes with the results in payload utilizing RESTCONF as well as Cisco DNA Center;
- Constructing an EEM applet for automating data collection, configuration, and troubleshooting;
- Comparing agents and agent-less orchestration tools, which include Puppet, SaltStack, Chef, and Ansible.
Intended job roles and salaries
The candidates with the Cisco CCNP Enterprise certificate can explore different career opportunities in the field of IT with attractive salaries. Some of the job roles and average salary potential that the certified professionals can earn include:
- Cisco Wireless Specialist: $89,000;
- Network Specialist: $92,000;
- Security Engineer: $103,000.