Cisco has recently made significant changes to the new CCNP certification. You will have to pass two exams to become certified. There is a core exam (350-401) and a concentration exam. CCNP Enterprise Core (Encor) also serves as the qualifying written test for the CCIE lab.
Interestingly, CCNA certification is no longer a prerequisite to take your CCNP certification. Cisco CCNA is recommended however, unless you have significant experience. It is important to note that Cisco has removed all lab simulations from CCNP. Instead you will analyze output from show commands and topology drawings to answer some questions.
New CCNP Enterprise Topics!
CCNP Enterprise Core (350-401) new exam includes a significant amount of virtualization, automation and management topics. That is attributed to the popularity of mobile devices, cloud computing and SDN architecture. Cisco is aligning the new CCNP certification with a shift to automation and Cisco DNA Center.
The management and troubleshooting of network infrastructure has been radically changed with open source architecture. Cisco network devices are programmable and network services are virtualized as well for both private and internet cloud connections.
There is a significant amount of theory on CCNP 350-401 exam with words such as describe and explain often used. Cisco has included configuration of routing protocols, STP, security and network assurance as well.
CCNP 350-401 Knowledge Domains
- Architecture (15%)
- Virtualization (10%)
- Infrastructure (30%)
- Network Assurance (10%)
- Security (20%)
- Automation (15%)