Cisco has now introduced another associate level exam, the CCNA Data Center exam. Like the name suggests this exam focuses on the Data Center and if passed you can continue up the stack by also taking the CCNP Data Center exam which was also recently introduced as well. Still want more a little more, if you are up for the challenge you can also tackle the CCIE Data Center which is an exam that was introduced in March of 2012.
Looking at the CCNA DC certification requirements, there is no need to get certificated in the regular CCNA Routing and Switching as it is not required but looking at the renewal options for this certification you have to either get a CCNA concentration exam like CCNA Wireless, Security, Voice, SP, SP Ops or a higher certification like CCNP and above.
An interesting thing I noticed when looking at Cisco’s Career Certifications is that if you passed your CCNA Data Center exam and then later you passed the regular CCNA exam the CCNA Data Center certification would not renew. Unlike if you recived your CCNP Data Center certification and then took the CCNP exam it would renew you CCNP Data Center certification.
What makes this exam so different from the rest of Cisco’s certifications? Well to what I can tell this exam focuses on a specific area, meaning you don’t need to have any certifications to back you up before you take the CCNA Data Center exam, and you can continue with CCNP Data Center exam without the need to have any other certifications beside CCNA DC.
To pass the CCNA Data Center and receive your certification, you will need to pass two exams. The first exam (640-911 DCICN) looks at how a Data Center network works, along with configuring, verifying and troubleshooting data center switches. This exam also looks at implementing data center IP address schemes and configuring, along with verifying and troubleshooting routing on Nexus switches.
The second exam (640-916 DCICT) looks at Cisco’s Unified Computing System, and virtualization by talking about the fundamentals. Along with focusing on the data center storage switching and the unified fabric between them. Finally this exam looks at the Data Center Network Services, like such as Cisco ACS and load balancing between servers and management options.
Excited? You can find more information by going to CCNA Data Center – Career Certifications and check out the The Cisco Learning Network and the section CCNA Data Center. Because of this recent announcement there are limited if any Cisco Press books out there, (Let me know if you find one 😉 ) but I’m sure that will change within a couple months. Check back to this post to see any updates on reading material as I will be actively looking.
UPDATE: There is a book available from Todd Lammle – CCNA Data Center – Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking Study Guide This title looks like it only covers the 640-911 exam.
UPDATE 2: Since Cisco has now re-amped the ICND1 (ICND1 100-101) and ICND2 (ICND2 200-101) you can now get the CCNA Data Center cert renewed by passing the any current Associate-level exam except for the ICND1. 🙂
- Next Generations Data Centers Need Next Generation Skills (blogs.cisco.com)
- Cisco Overhauls Data Center Certifications (thevarguy.com)
- VMware Certification for Cisco People (networkingnerd.net)