CTS 176: Cisco Wireless Certifications, Revamped

Things are evolving again at Cisco. This time with the certifications. Cisco is further driving the Intent-based networking model into certifications. There’s the need to drive multi-domain policy, introduce APIs and programmability. It could change the way we do things every day. Infrastructure engineers are becoming software developers? Maybe not completely but there are those who may want to do both.

New Cisco & DevNet Certs with Mandy Whaley

Organizations want more speed, more agility, and more simplicity but what happens underneath that simplification is not that simple. Chuck Robbins, during his keynote, mentioned the certifications have not evolved in 26 years. And that’s when he introduces the Cisco Certified DevNet certifications. Bringing software skills to networking and networking skills to software.

Cisco wants you to build applications and capabilities. Which will bring value on top of the platforms Cisco is building.

The DevNet Associate certification covers 80% software skills and 20% networking skills. The CCNA covers 80% networking skills and 20% software skills. The two are complimentary if you were to pursue NetDevOps.

Cisco then took those CCNA specializations and turned them into technology concentrations.

CCNP certifications are now available in enterprise, service provider, data center, security, and collaboration, which you need to pass the core exam and a concentration exam.

DevNet Professional is earned by passing core exam and DevNet Specialist

What does that mean for wireless?

  • The CCNA Wireless won’t be available anymore
  • There will be a Cisco Concentration certification in Wireless
  • Concentration exams exist under the Enterprise Track
    • 300-425 ENWLSD Enterprise Wireless Design
      • Focuses on site surveys
      • Collecting requirements and constraints
      • Predictive and post-deployment surveys
      • Determining infrastructure requirements such as 
        • PoE
        • RRM
        • RF Profiles
        • RxSOP
      • Designing per requirements
      • High density
      • Mesh
      • Mobility
      • High availability
    • 300-430 ENWLSI Enterprise Wireless Implementation 
      • Focuses on actual configuration
      • FlexConnect
      • QoS
      • Multicast
      • Location Services
        • MSE
        • CMX
      • Security
        • ISE
        • Portals (not security really)
        • 802.1X
        • AAA
      • Monitoring
        • DNAC
        • PI
      • Device Hardening
  • CCNP Enterprise contains two wireless concentration exams
    • 300-425 ENWLSD Designing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks
    • 300-430 ENWLSI Implementing Cisco Enterprise Wireless Networks
  • At the CCNP level, the R&S and Wireless track have merged. So it will be the same core exam covering both tracks and it will be called CCNP Enterprise. It will test you on:
    • Dual Stack (IPv4 IPv6) architecture
    • Virtualization
    • Infrastructure
    • Network assurance
    • Security
    • Automation
  • CCIE Wireless becomes CCIE Enterprise Wireless
    • There is no more CCIE written, the CCNP ENCOR exam qualifies you to sit the CCIE Enterprise Wireless Lab
    • The policy to sit the lab 18 months after the written exam is gone. Now you have 3 years after you passed your ENCOR to sit in the lab.
    • The CCIE Enterprise Wireless Exam will cover (link):
      • Radio Frequency and Standards
      • Enterprise Wired Campus
      • Enterprise Wireless Network
      • Wireless Security and Identity Management
      • Wireless business applications and services
      • Automation, Analytics and Assurance

New exams go live on February 24, 2020. Training for these new certifications will start this year (probably more towards the end of the year.)

All certifications will now be valid for 3 years. And the Continuous learning program can now be used at all levels, including CCNA and CCNP.

  • 30 credits are required to recertify a CCNA
  • 80 credits are required to recertify a CCNP
  • 120 credits are required to recertify a CCIE

Credits can be earned by:

  • Attending Cisco training
  • Taking Cisco exams
  • Attending Cisco Live
  • Authoring content

What are the migration steps?

  • New CCNA replaces current CCNA certs 
    • Cloud
    • Collaboration
    • Cyber Ops
    • Data Center
    • CCDA
    • Industrial
    • R&S
    • Security
    • SP
    • Wireless
  • If you complete any current CCNA/CCDA before Feb 24, 2020 you will receive new CCNA and a training badge in the corresponding technology area
  • CCNP Wireless
    • If you pass any of the CCNP Wireless exams prior to Feb 24, 2020 then you will become a Cisco Certified Specialist
    • CCNP WIDESIGN and/or WIDEPLOY give you Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Wireless Design
    • CCNP WITSHOOT and/or WISECURE give you Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Wireless Implementation
    • If you have all four, you will get the new CCNP Enterprise certification and the specialist certifications, Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Wireless Design and Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Wireless Implementation
    • If you have partial CCNP Wireless (2 or 3 out of the 4) you will need to take 300-401 ENCOR (enterprise core) to get the new CCNP certification
    • You don’t need to be CCNA certified to become a CCNP. You can jump in directly at the CCNP level
    • Passing the core exam will qualify you to sit the CCIE Wireless lab.
  • What if you have a CCNA and a specialization? 
    • New CCNA is consolidated. 
    • You keep your CCNA
    • If you have a specialization you will receive a training badge for that technology area, for example, CCNA Wireless.

Cisco Networking Academy will expand to train students for DevNet Associate and Professional level certifications.

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About the Author
Rowell, CWNE #210, is a network engineer in Higher-Ed. He enjoys working with wireless networking technologies and loves to share and engage with the community. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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