Career / Career Progression

CCNP R&S Cert Revision Explained

by Raju Woodward
CCNP R&S Cert Revision Explained picture: A
Published on August 25, 2014

Due to evolving technology and market landscapes, Cisco recently announced major revisions to its popular CCNP Routing and Switching certification. The changes aim to help network engineers adjust to changing enterprise needs and job roles.

CBT Nuggets will be updating our current CCNP R&S certification training to align with Cisco's revisions. The last day to take the old CCNP R&S exams is Jan. 29, 2015. After that, students will have to the take the new exams (which are listed at the end of this post).

We reached out to two of our Cisco experts, Keith Barker and Jeremy Cioara, for their thoughts on the revisions. Not surprisingly, both are excited about the new blueprint.

"The 'feel' of this recent CCNP update is real-world and relevant," Jeremy said. "The CCNA/CCNP certifications have always been fantastic in terms of teaching networking technology, however, there were previously plenty of areas that related to the technology at hand but were actually used very little in a real-world setting."

Keith said that he's happy to see the addition of IPv6, saying "It's about time that IPv6 gets a bigger piece of the pie." He also said that he was pleasantly surprised about the emphasis on Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network (DMVPN).

"DMVPN is a fun cryptography protocol Cisco added to CCNP R/S, along with some virtual switch services (VSS) and StackWise technology (where multiple switches can work together and be managed as one)," he said.

So what do the revisions mean for students? Well, it depends where you are in the CCNP R&S certification process. Keith advised that if you're in the midst of studying for the exam, you should finish the existing track. If you are just starting out, or plan to, wait for updated training.

Both Keith and Jeremy stressed that students studying for the revised certification will benefit from setting up lab environments,  due to the hands-on nature of the exams.

And the big question: Is it going to be more challenging? Keith said he views it as a matter not being harder, just different.

"The IPv6 and DMVPN are probably the two biggest new topics that learners have a small learning curve with," Keith said.

Jeremy said that he doesn't think the revisions are substantial enough that students will notice any drastic differences in the exams. So he offered this parting advice:

"I believe you will always excel at whatever technology you are passionate about, and the ingredients of being passionate about the technology is knowledge, understanding, and drive!" he said. "Or in a far cheesier way, I'd quote Galaxy Quest… 'Never give up, never surrender!'"

Be sure to keep your eyes open for announcements from CBT Nuggets about our updated CCNP R&S certification training. You also can sign up for email alerts here.

Old Exam               New Exam

642-902 ROUTE     300-101 ROUTE

642-813 SWITCH   300-115 SWITCH 642-832 TSHOOT  300-123 TSHOOT

New topics in the CCNP R&S exams include Network Principles Domain, EIGRP (IPv6) Domain, Configure and Verify Switch Administration Domain, Troubleshoot Trunking Domain, and more. For a complete list of additions and more information, click here.


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