CCIE Data Center is the perfect certificate for those individuals who want to distinguish themselves as a leader in data center technologies. This certification shows that you have the needed level of expertise working with complex data center solutions. Just like all other expert-level certificates of Cisco, this one comes with two prerequisite exams, including one written test that covers core data center technologies and one hands-on lab exam that evaluates your practical skills working with data center networks.
To earn the CCIE Data Center certification, the interested candidates need to have a solid understanding of the concepts covered in its qualification exams. It is also recommended that they have more than 5 years of experience with data center technologies and solutions. This means that you should know how to design, operate, optimize, and deploy them. Besides that, there is no need to meet any other specific requirements or pass any other tests.
Cisco 350-601 is a written exam that covers the details of the implementation of Cisco data center core technologies and their operation. This is a 120-minute qualification test that you need to deal with to complete the first step of the certification process. The exam contains about 100 multiple-choice questions presented in English, and you should clear as many of them as you can to get the passing score. The 350-601 test comes with the following subject areas:
- Network – This section covers the details of routing protocols, overlay protocols, as well as switching protocols. Therefore, you should have knowledge of RSTP+, FHRP, VXLAN EVPN, OSPFv2/v3, and so on. Having the skills in implementing infrastructure monitoring, applying the ACI concepts, and analyzing deployment models, Cloud service, and packet flow is very important;
- Compute – To answer the questions from this topic, you need to know about infrastructure management, server management, storage management, network management, compute configuration management, and infrastructure monitoring. Knowing about the HyperFlex Infrastructure Concepts and benefits is also vital;
- Storage Network – The next area is all about Fibre Channel and its implementation, NFS & NAS concepts, software updates and their impacts, as well as infrastructure monitoring. The potential candidates should also have knowledge of port channels, FCoE Unified Fabric, and switch fabric initialization;
- Automation – If talking about this domain, it measures your skills in evaluating the automation and orchestration technologies, including POAP, Ansible, Puppet, PowerShell, Python, and so on. Being familiar with the implementation of automation and scripting tools is what will help you succeed;
- Security – The last part includes the details of RBAC and AAA, CoPP, port security, keychain authentication, and fabric binding. Thus, you have to know how to apply network security, compute security, and storage security.
To become eligible for this expert-level certification, you need to proceed with the practical test after dealing with the written one. It lasts for 8 hours and covers the end-to-end lifecycle of various complex data center networks. The exam covers the topics that are different from the first test, so you need to prepare for the following:
- L2/L3 Connectivity;
- Fabric Infrastructure;
- Fabric Connectivity;
- Storage Protocols & Features;
- Security & Network Services;
- Automation & Orchestration.
Further Career Path
After completing both tests of the certification path, you will be given the expert-level certificate that can help you greatly enhance your career. With Cisco CCIE Data Center, you can demonstrate all the needed skills and even expect to get a higher salary or better position in any company. To have even more options in the future, you will need to remember to recertify before the end of your 3-year certification validation period. Keeping your certificate and your level of expertise relevant to the current industry technologies and features is what will lead you to success.
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