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New Course: Cisco CCDP 642-874 ARCH

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Jeremy Cioara just completed his Cisco “CCDP 642-874 ARCH” training course! The comprehensive, 8-hour course is for IT pros or students who have strong familiarity with networking, and covers advanced topics such as High Availability design, BGP design principals, using bandwidth, VPN variations, and much more. This training also prepares Learners to take the 642-874 ARCH exam, which is required to earn CCDP certification.

We caught up with Jeremy for his thoughts on his new course, and how YOU can get the most out of the training!

Q: Why should companies train their IT professionals in this technology? What value does it bring?
There is a big difference between network design (CCDA/CCDP) and implementation/configuration/troubleshooting. Implementing a proper network design will teach IT professionals to set up the network right from the start (SAVING plenty of potential downtime). In addition, the ARCH course does a fantastic job about covering a massive amount of technology solutions. This eliminates the “I don’t know what I don’t know” effect that often causes IT professionals to continue to implement and support subpar or out-of-date systems.

Q: From a student-perspective, what did you keep in mind when creating this course?
The official pre-requisites for the ARCH course is a CCNP certification; however, knowing that many students may not have this in place, I put a brief “intro” to each technology covered, which will deliver value to students at any level. In addition, this course has a very “real world” flair. Even though it is built around the Cisco ARCH exam objectives, achieving the exam is a very small piece of being a network architect. By the time a student completes this course, they will have an excellent perspective on designing real world, viable networks.

Q: Any out-of-the-box tips for students to get the most out of your course?
Yes; once the student has completed the course, I would suggest heading over to the CCNA Labs (Cisco for the Real World series) and creating a network design for the scenarios included in the “documentation pack” (download the support files) to put their skills to the test.

Q: What’s one real-world application someone can expect to use, thanks to this course?
The ARCH course is one of the longer courses offered at CBT Nuggets, and there is not a single bit of configuration included. It’s 100 percent focused on technology concepts and proper network design. Students taking this course will have a GOOD sense around them knowing they’re implementing a network the RIGHT way.

 Q: What was your favorite Nugget to create?
It may sound funny, but it was likely the first Nugget (Welcome to ARCH). About halfway through the Nugget, I flip over to “global design principles” where I bring up the “human element” of good network design. Also, I really enjoyed putting together the Data Center design portion of the series. It was very reminiscent of an install I just performed.

Q: What’s the ONE thing you hope learners take away from this training?
Network design is crucial. If you don’t take the time to properly create a full design and plan before you implement and configure the devices, you’ve likely got a long and bumpy road ahead.

Note: Cisco plans to revise the CCDP 642-874 ARCH exam. The last day to test for the current exam is Dec. 14, 2015. We asked Jeremy for some quick thoughts on the new exam:

Q: What are the main differences between the current exam and the new one?
The new ARCH exam is primarily a “refresh” of network technology to reflect adjustments in the industry. Fading are the “telecommuters requiring direct VPN connections, e-commerce design, and fibre channel architectures” and increasing are the “QoS, SDN, and IPv6 strategies.” The new exam leans network designs in these new directions; however, the vast majority of the technology stays the same.

Q: Should Learners take the current exam or wait to take the new one?
Since the old exam expires on 12/14/15, it depends on when you read this! There is no harm in studying for and attempting the old exam since virtually all of the technology discussed will also be tested on the new exam.

Q: What are your thoughts on the exam being updated?
I think the exam update is good. While most of the topics are left untouched, there’s a few of them that just felt “dated” when building the ARCH series around the old exam. This update remedies those issues.

Ready, set, go! Start watching this course today.

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