Anchoring your Cloud Experience with CCNA
As organizations increasingly move to the cloud, new training and certification programs are being developed to define the skills needed to work with cloud technologies. Cisco's Certified Networking Associate Cloud (CCNA Cloud) is one such certification, designed for IT professionals who specialize in cloud solutions.
The CCNA Cloud certification aims to develop the IT pro's cloud skillset and enable them to navigate inevitable changes in cloud technologies. As Cisco becomes increasingly cloud-focused along with the industry at large, CCNA Cloud can help you succeed in the growing number of organizations that use Cisco technologies.
CCNA Cloud Certification: the Why and How
Technical certifications are numerous, so it's important to understand not just what a certification designates, but how it can benefit you. Cisco itself has over a dozen certifications are divided into five levels: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert and Architect.
The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Cloud certification sits in the Associate category as part of a Cloud track (including both CCNA Cloud as well as CCNP), and it's designed for those who want to master the skills necessary to support Cisco cloud solutions.
According to Cisco, the CCNA Cloud certification "prepares you for work in an SMB cloud environment, and to support a senior cloud engineer in an enterprise environment." The topics covered include fundamentals such as cloud deployments, networking, provisioning, remediation, and end-user support, among others.
The CCNA Cloud is a great certification for entry-level IT pros seeking roles as cloud engineers, cloud administrators, and network engineers. Those already in those roles may see value in the CCNA Cloud as a way to validate their existing skills, because it's a relatively new certification.
To achieve the CCNA Cloud certification, you need to pass two exams: 210-451 CLDFND and 210-455 CLDADM. The exams focus on cloud infrastructure concepts and cloud administration/management, respectively.
Preparing for CCNA Cloud Certification
There's a wealth of resources available around the CCNA Cloud certification, from online forums to training videos, and you may not know where to start. First, understand that there's no prerequisite for taking the exams, but at minimum you'll want to be comfortable with the basics of networking and data center technologies. Start by making sure you understand basic cloud computing definitions put forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Depending on your level of expertise, you should dedicate some time to exam preparation. Develop your own plan depending on which objectives you need to master. For more details about the exams, and a simple breakdown of what you need to know about the CCNA Cloud cert, check out our Roadmap to Success: CCNA Cloud post. Additionally, Cisco itself provides many resources for preparing to take the exams, including the study materials here and here.
The move to the cloud is here. If not in your shop, then it's just around the corner. IT pros must adapt and adopt new skills and practices alongside the changing technology of today's businesses. Cisco's CCNA Cloud certification is a valuable tool for keeping up with the pace of change. The CCNA certification signals to current and future employers that you are an agent of that change, specializing in modern, innovative, cost-saving technology.
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