500-490 study help - Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks Updated: 2023
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Exam Code: 500-490 Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks study help November 2023 by Killexams.com team|
500-490 Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks
After taking this course, you should be able to:
Design Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP) internal routing for the enterprise network
Design Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) internal routing for the enterprise network
Design Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS) internal routing for the enterprise network
Design a network based on customer requirements
Design Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing for the enterprise network
Describe the different types and uses of Multiprotocol BGP (MP-BGP) address families
Describe BGP load sharing
Design a BGP network based on customer requirements
Decide where the L2/L3 boundary will be in your Campus network and make design decisions
Describe Layer 2 design considerations for Enterprise Campus networks
Design a LAN network based on customer requirements
Describe Layer 3 design considerations in an Enterprise Campus network
Examine Cisco SD-Access fundamental concepts
Describe Cisco SD-Access Fabric Design
Design an Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) Campus Fabric based on customer requirements
Design service provider-managed VPNs
Design enterprise-managed VPNs
Design a resilient WAN
Design a resilient WAN network based on customer requirements
Examine the Cisco SD-WAN architecture
Describe Cisco SD-WAN deployment options
Design Cisco SD-WAN redundancy
Explain the basic principles of QoS
Design Quality of Service (QoS) for the WAN
Design QoS for enterprise network based on customer requirements
Explain the basic principles of multicast
Designing rendezvous point distribution solutions
Describe high-level considerations when doing IP addressing design
Create an IPv6 addressing plan
Plan an IPv6 deployment in an existing enterprise IPv4 network
Describe the challenges that you might encounter when transitioning to IPv6
Design an IPv6 addressing plan based on customer requirements
Describe Network APIs and protocols
Describe Yet Another Next Generation (YANG), Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF), and Representational State Transfer Configuration Protocol (RESTCONF)
Before taking this course, you should have earned CCNA® certification or be familiar with:
Basic network fundamentals and building simple LANs
Basic IP addressing and subnets
Routing and switching fundamentals
Basic wireless networking concepts and terminology
Designing EIGRP Routing
Designing OSPF Routing
Designing IS-IS Routing
Designing BGP Routing and Redundancy
Understanding BGP Address Families
Designing the Enterprise Campus LAN
Designing the Layer 2 Campus
Designing the Layer 3 Campus
Discovering the Cisco SD-Access Architecture
Exploring Cisco SD-Access Fabric Design
Designing Service Provider-Managed VPNs
Designing Enterprise-Managed VPNs
Designing WAN Resiliency
Examining Cisco SD-WAN Architectures
Cisco SD-WAN Deployment Design Considerations
Designing Cisco SD-WAN Routing and High Availability
Designing LAN and WAN QoS
Exploring Multicast with Protocol-Independent Multicast-Sparse Mode
Designing Rendezvous Point Distribution Solutions
Designing an IPv4 Address Plan
Introducing Network APIs and Protocols
Exploring YANG, NETCONF, RESTCONF, and Model-Driven Telemetry
Designing Enterprise Connectivity
Designing an Enterprise Network with BGP Internet Connectivity
Designing an Enterprise Campus LAN
Designing Resilient Enterprise WAN
Designing QoS in an Enterprise Network
Designing an Enterprise IPv6 Network
Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks (ENSLD 500-490) is a 90-minute exam
associated with the CCNP Enterprise Certification. This exam certifies a candidate's knowledge of
enterprise design including advanced addressing and routing solutions, advanced enterprise campus
networks, WAN, security services, network services, and SDA. The course, Designing Cisco Enterprise
Networks, helps candidates to prepare for this exam.
The following syllabus are general guidelines for the content likely to be included on the exam. However,
other related syllabus may also appear on any specific delivery of the exam. To better reflect the contents
of the exam and for clarity purposes, the guidelines below may change at any time without notice.
25% 1.0 Advanced Addressing and Routing Solutions
1.1 Create structured addressing plans for IPv4 and IPv6
1.2 Create stable, secure, and scalable routing designs for IS-IS
1.3 Create stable, secure, and scalable routing designs for EIGRP
1.4 Create stable, secure, and scalable routing designs for OSPF
1.5 Create stable, secure, and scalable routing designs for BGP
1.5.a Address families
1.5.b Basic route filtering
1.5.c Attributes for path preference
1.5.d Route reflectors
1.5.e Load sharing
1.6 Determine IPv6 migration strategies
1.6.a Overlay (tunneling)
1.6.b Native (dual-stacking)
1.6.c Boundaries (IPv4/IPv6 translations)
25% 2.0 Advanced Enterprise Campus Networks
2.1 Design campus networks for high availability
2.1.a First Hop Redundancy Protocols
2.1.b Platform abstraction techniques
2.1.c Graceful restart
2.2 Design campus Layer 2 infrastructures
2.2.a STP scalability
2.2.b Fast convergence
2.2.c Loop-free technologies
2.2.d PoE and WoL
2.3 Design multicampus Layer 3 infrastructures
2.3.b Load sharing
2.3.c Route summarization
2.3.d Route filtering
2.3.f Optimal topologies
2.4 Describe SD-Access Architecture (underlay, overlay, control and data plane, automation, wireless, and security)
2.5 Describe SD-Access fabric design considerations for wired and wireless access (overlay, fabric design, control plan design, border design, segmentation, virtual networks, scalability, over the top and fabric for wireless, multicast)
20% 3.0 WAN for Enterprise Networks
3.1 Compare WAN connectivity options
3.1.a Layer 2 VPN
3.1.b MPLS Layer 3 VPN
3.1.c Metro Ethernet
3.1.f SD-WAN customer edge
3.2 Design site-to-site VPN
3.2.a Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN)
3.2.b Layer 2 VPN
3.2.c MPLS Layer 3 VPN
3.2.e Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)
3.2.f Group Encrypted Transport VPN (GET VPN)
3.3 Design high availability for enterprise WAN
3.3.c Backup connectivity
3.4 Describe Cisco SD-WAN Architecture (orchestration plane, management plane, control plane, data plane, on-boarding and provisioning, security)
3.5 Describe Cisco SD-WAN design considerations (control plane design, overlay design, LAN design, high availability, redundancy, scalability, security design, QoS and multicast over SD-WAN fabric)
20% 4.0 Network Services
4.1 Select appropriate QoS strategies to meet customer requirements (DiffServ, IntServ)
4.2 Design end-to-end QoS policies
4.2.a Classification and marking
4.3 Design network management techniques
4.3.a In-band vs. out-of-band
4.3.b Segmented management networks
4.3.c Prioritizing network management traffic
4.4 Describe multicast routing concepts (source trees, shared trees, RPF, rendezvous points)
4.5 Design multicast services (SSM, PIM bidirectional, MSDP)
10% 5.0 Automation
5.1 Choose the correct YANG data model set based on requirements
5.2 Differentiate between IETF, Openconfig, and Cisco native YANG models
5.3 Differentiate between NETCONF and RESTCONF
5.4 Describe the impact of model-driven telemetry on the network
5.4.a Periodic publication
5.4.b On-change publication
5.5 Compare dial-in and dial-out approaches to model-driven telemetry
|Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks|
Cisco Enterprise study help
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Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks
Which component of the SD Access fabric is responsible for communicating with
networks that are external to the fabric?
A. edge nodes
B. control plane nodes
C. intermediate nodes
What are the three foundational elements required for the new operational paradigm'?
C. application QoS
D. multiple technologies at multiple OSI layers
E. policy based automated provisioning of network of
Answer: B, C, E
Which is a benefit of a cloud-based SD-WAN deployment?
A. might be required for compliance with industry standards
B. Controller availability never an issue
C. security never an issue
D. agility of change dependent only on your own internal IT processes
E. Instant scale
Which two statements are true regarding Cisco ISE? (Choose two.)
A. In distributed deployments, failover from primary to secondary Policy Administration
Nodes happens automatically.
B. The number of logs that ISE can retain is determined by your disk space
C. ISE supports IPv6 downloadable ACLs
D. ISE can detected endpoints whose addresses have been translated via NAT.
E. ISE supports up to 100 Policy Services Nodes
F. In two-node standalone ISE deployments failover must be done manually
Answer: A, B
Cisco has a variety of new partnerships and programs aimed at helping enterprises build AI-ready infrastructure.
Cisco is taking a collaborative approach to helping enterprise customers build AI infrastructures.
At its accurate partner summit, Cisco talked up a variety of new programs and partnerships aimed at helping enterprises get their core infrastructure ready for AI workloads and applications.
"While AI is driving a lot of changes in technology, we believe that it should not require a wholesale rethink of customer data center operations," said Todd Brannon, senior director, cloud infrastructure marketing, with Cisco's cloud infrastructure and software group.
As AI projects move from science projects in an organization's backroom to mission-critical applications, enterprise infrastructure and operations teams are being challenged because they are dealing with new workloads running on familiar infrastructure but with new requirements, Brannon said.
"The idea is that we want to help our customers deploy and manage AI workloads efficiently, find that right mix of acceleration, and not over provision or leave stranded resources or create new islands of operations," added Sean McGee, cloud & data center technology strategist with Cisco.
One of the ways Cisco intends to help customers is by offering a suite of validated designs that can easily be deployed as enterprise AI needs evolve.
The company recently announced four new Cisco Validated Designs for AI blueprints from Red Hat, Nvidia, OpenAI, and Cloudera to focus on virtualized and containerized environments as well as converged and hyperconverged infrastructure options. Cisco already had validated AI models on its menu from AMD, Intel, Nutanix, Flashstack and Flexpod.
The validated designs allow customers to use these models and fine tune what they want to do for their business, McGee said.
Cisco is building Ansible-based automation playbooks on top of these models that customers can use with Cisco's Intersight cloud-based management and orchestration system to automatically inject their own data into the models and build out repositories that can be used in their infrastructure, including at the edge of the network and in the data center, McGee said.
Cisco's Intersight package manages a variety of systems from Kubernetes containers to applications, servers, and hyperconverged environments from a single location.
"Utilizing Intersight and our systems stack, customers can deploy and manage AI-validated workloads," Brannon said. "The message is that we don’t want our customers and partners having to completely rethink the operation side, even though they’re having to rethink some things on the GPU provisioning side for AI, for example," Brannon said.
In addition, as Cisco gets feedback from its customers on AI-specific features or additional validated designs, it will augment Intersight with new features, Brannon said.
Also, over time these models will evolve as more data is used to tune them, and customers can easily adjust them to fit the needs of their enterprise infrastructure, McGee said. "Our partners, too, can utilize these models to significantly expand their services. [They can] really give them a head start and relieve a lot of the engineering expense and time that they need to put these services together for customers."
Cisco recently unveiled Data Center Networking Blueprint for AI/ML Applications that defines how organizations can use existing data center Ethernet networks to support AI workloads now.
A core component of the data center AI blueprint is Cisco's Nexus 9000 data center switches, which support up to 25.6Tbps of bandwidth per ASIC and "have the hardware and software capabilities available today to provide the right latency, congestion management mechanisms, and telemetry to meet the requirements of AI/ML applications," Cisco stated. "Coupled with tools such as Cisco Nexus Dashboard Insights for visibility and Nexus Dashboard Fabric Controller for automation, Cisco Nexus 9000 switches become ideal platforms to build a high-performance AI/ML network fabric."
Cisco has also published scripts so customers can automate specific settings across the network to set up this network fabric and simplify configurations, Cisco stated.
Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. fell more than 11% in extended trading today as the company warned it will likely miss analysts’ expectations in its fiscal second quarter by a wide margin.
The company expects this to have a knock-on effect, and its forecast for the current fiscal year also came in low.
The disappointing guidance came in the wake of a solid earnings beat. The company reported first quarter earnings before certain costs such as stock compensation of $1.11 per share, with revenue up 8% from a year earlier to $14.67 billion. The results were better-than-expected, with analysts looking for earnings of just $1.03 per share on sales of $14.61 billion.
All told, Cisco reported a net income of $3.64 billion for the quarter, up from $2.67 billion a year earlier.
Cisco said its problem is that it has experienced a notable slowdown in new product orders during the quarter. This is because many of its clients are currently busy installing and implementing products that were delivered recently, over the prior three quarters, Cisco Chief Executive Chuck Robbins (pictured) said in a conference call with analysts.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company had been stuck with a backlog of unfulfilled orders caused by component shortages. But its supply chain constraints eased rapidly about a year ago as China exited its lockdown strategy, leading to a glut of product deliveries over the last four quarters. Now, customers have their hands full implementing all of those products.
“Our customers and our sales organizations have been very clear with us over the last 90 days that this is the issue,” Robbins said, though he also admitted that sales cycles are still longer than is usually the case.
According to Robbins, “customers are now taking time to onboard and deploy these heightened product deliveries,” hence the slowdown in new orders. He said it’s mainly larger enterprises, service providers and cloud customers that are facing these challenges, adding that the issue was “most pronounced in October.” On average, Cisco’s biggest customers are waiting to implement one to two quarters’ worth of shipped products, he added.
Cisco had a good quarter, but is now suffering from its post pandemic high, when it was finally able to deliver pandemic orders it could not fulfill due to supply chain challenges. Now that it has fulfilled those orders, the demand has weakened as enterprises are implementing and the channel reducing inventories. The good news is all product lines are growing, which has not been too often the case, and Cisco delivered approximately 1B more in profit on roughly 1B more in revenue, which means Chuck Robbins and team have kept costs constant and EPS per share are up a quarter. Let’s see if this trends continues.
Because of these customer issues, Cisco could only offer a much lower forecast than Wall Street analysts had been anticipating. Officials said they’re looking for earnings of between 82 and 84 cents in the second quarter, with revenue of $12.6 billion to $12.8 billion, implying a 7% decline from one year earlier. That compares very badly with the Street’s forecast of 99 cents pre share in earnings and $14.19 billion in sales.
For the full year, Cisco is reducing its revenue forecast while bumping up its view on earnings. The company now sees full-year earnings of between $3.87 and $3.93 on revenue of $53.8 billion to $55 billion. Previously, it had forecast a range of $3.19 to $3.32 in earnings and $57.0 billion to $58.2 billion in revenue. In any case, the new forecast is not great, as Wall Street is hoping for earnings of $4.05 per share on sales of $57.7 billion.
The after-hours stock decline masks the fact that Cisco delivered strong quarterly results, thanks to it finally being able to deliver pandemic-era orders that could not be fulfilled earlier, said Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. “But now those orders have been shipped, it is faced with weakening demand as enterprise implement those products and the channel reduces inventories,” he explained.
Charles King of Pund-IT Inc. said Cisco has been caught on one of those “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations”, because it did a great job in recovering from the pandemic-related supply chain chaos and has gotten back its manufacturing mojo. However, he said many of its customers have been slower off the mark. “Many are still struggling to deploy and configure the new kit they ordered months ago, so you can’t really blame them for slowing or stopping orders to deal with the backlog,” King said. “But investors appear to be blaming Cisco anyway, for failing to live up to analysts’ consensus. That may be short-sighted, but no one ever said that life, let alone the markets, are fair.”
In the longer term, Cisco’s prospects do look better. During the quarter, it announced that it intends to buy the data analytics and cybersecurity software giant Splunk Inc. in a bumper $28 billion deal, which would be its largest-ever acquisition. The move catapults Cisco, which is best known for its networking gear as well as other data center equipment, to the leading ranks of cybersecurity providers.
Robbins said at the time the deal was announced that the combination of Cisco’s and Splunk’s data would have real value for enterprises, allowing them to “move from threat detection and response to threat prediction and prevention.” He said it will enable Cisco to become one of the world’s largest software companies.
Besides its cybersecurity ambitions, Cisco has a lot of hope for artificial intelligence in the longer term. During the conference call, Robbins told analysts that his company believes it can win more than $1 billion worth of orders in fiscal 2025 for AI infrastructure from cloud providers alone. He said cloud providers are looking to move to “more of a standard, broad-based technology like Ethernet, where they can have multiple sources” to support AI networking workloads.
Mueller said it’s also notable that Cisco is running a tight ship in terms of its business expenditures. “Investors can be pleased that all of Cisco’s product lines grew during the previous quarter, which has not been the case too often,” he added. “That allowed Cisco to deliver approximately $1 billion in profit on almost $15 billion in revenue. That shows Cisco has kept its cost base constant, resulting in increased earnings per share. Cisco needs to continue this trend.”
The after-hours stock decline means that Cisco’s shares are now up just 12% in the year-to-date, trailing the wider S&P 500 index, which is up 17% for the year.
Photo: Fortune GLOBAL FORUM/Flickr
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Networking giant Cisco has announced seven new modules on its Observability Platform, looking to help customers fulfil their specific observability needs and utilise additional value from observable telemetry.
First announced in February 2023 and launched for general availability in June 2023, Cisco Full-Stack Observability is designed to allow teams to bring together telemetry data from their own context and drive correlated insights across the entire IT estate, whether they are DevOps engineers, site reliability engineers, cloud ops, ITOps, line of business or members of C-suite management.
As IT and application environments become ever more complex, observability – the ability to see and get ahead of network-based issues and everything in the tech stack that could affect customer experience – has become a board-level imperative.
Cisco said the background to the launch in February was the battle among consumer brands to gain market share by focusing on the experience customers have in accessing their products and services. This is quickly reaching into the enterprise arena, whereby hybrid workers expect the capability of their IT services to be identical wherever they are. As these expectations increase, Cisco said it was aiming to allow firms to deliver the required digital experiences by staff, customers and partners alike.
The company now says that modern businesses are digitally led, with customer and user experiences achieved with and through applications. It believes the speed and complexity of how these applications are built demands that IT teams, security teams and business leaders observe all aspects of application performance and experience in real time. Yet the company cited a accurate IDC report showing 60% of IT professionals are thinking that most observability tools serve narrow requirements, failing to give IT teams a complete view into current and trending operating conditions. Further, 65% stated the need for a programmable and extensible observability solution that could be used for use cases specific to their own business.
As a solution, the new open, extensible and API-driven stack was built by Cisco’s development partners and created to expand its full-stack observability ecosystem. The new modules are focused on five critical areas: business insights, SAP visibility, networking, MLOps and service-level objectives (SLO), and sustainability.
Business insights functions aim to correlate telemetry data with business performance across multiple domains, providing customers with full visibility and insights on how business interacts with IT. The new platform can now help customers achieve holistic observability across often changeable, expanding and complex SAP landscapes and ecosystems and use Cisco’s networking expertise to correlate key network telemetry with business metrics and application stacks.
With the growing use of generative AI and the mainstreaming of modern applications, the Cisco Observability Platform is also designed to allow customers to monitor these applications, their SLO and bring the monitoring of large language models (LLMs), and MLOps models together with application observability. Cisco also sees the upgrade as being able to help assist customers achieve their sustainability goals by providing data around the carbon footprint across multiple IT domains and help optimise around energy consumption.
Commenting on the launch of the new modules and what they could deliver, Will Townsend, vice president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy said: “Full-stack observability is unlocking a host of use cases that are providing enterprises with deeper levels of cross-domain visibility for improved application performance, network insights, security postures and assurance. The resulting benefits of reducing risk and improving the resilience of IT infrastructure are immeasurable. [The Cisco Observability Platform] ecosystem has the potential to provide a diverse set of solutions that can help customers reduce tool sprawl and more proactively manage business operations through partner-led observability practices.”
New modules available immediately covering these capabilities are: CloudFabrix - SAP Observability; CloudFabrix - Campus Analytics; Evolutio – Claims; Evolutio – eCommerce; DataRobot – MLOps by Evolutio; Climatiq - Cloud Carbon Insights; Nobl9 – Service Level Objectives (SLO).
The vendors are combining Cisco 8000 series routers, Aviz Networks’ SONiC management software, and 24-7 support to accelerate SONiC deployments in private and edge clouds.
Cisco is teaming with Aviz Networks to offer an enterprise-grade SONiC offering for large customers interested in deploying the open-source network operating system.
Under the partnership, Cisco’s 8000 series routers will be available with Aviz Networks’ SONiC management software and 24/7 support. The support aspect of the agreement may be the most significant portion of the partnership, as both companies attempt to assuage customers’ anxiety about supporting an open-source NOS.
While SONiC (Software for Open Networking in the Cloud) is starting to attract the attention of some large enterprises, deployments today are still mainly seen in the largest hyperscalers. With this announcement, Cisco and Aviz are making SONiC more viable for smaller cloud providers, service providers, and those very large enterprises that own and operate their own data centers, said Kevin Wollenweber, senior vice president and general manager with Cisco networking, data center and provider connectivity.
“One of the biggest challenges when deploying an open operating system is knowing who to go to when things aren’t working exactly as they should. Meaning, for anyone without an army of engineers to troubleshoot, this approach may be too risky,” said Wollenweber.
“This agreement is innovative in that it cuts out the finger-pointing that is typically associated with the integration of different solutions and focuses on issue resolution. As enterprises and service providers more broadly consider SONiC for their networks, end-to-end support is a critical aspect for adoption,” Wollenweber said.
Aviz Networks’ SONiC suite
On the software side, Aviz offers Open Networking Enterprise Suite (ONES), a suite of software to manage SONiC networks. From its SONiC-based controller, ONES supports zero-touch provisioning and configuration validation. It includes SONiC configuration templates for data-center leaf/spine configurations and supports standard networking technologies such as EVPN, VxLAN, and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).
ONES compiles a network’s hardware and software inventory by gathering telemetry from switches in the network. It supports multi-vendor NOSes such as Nvidia Cumulus Linux, Arista EOS, and Cisco NX-OS, as well as switches that utilize standard OpenConfig telemetry, according to Aviz.
“Under the agreement, Aviz will provide the front-end support with Cisco customers. Support is delivered via Aviz ONES – which is a support product and helps cut down the cost of support and turnaround time,” said CEO Vishal Shukla of Aviz.
“ONES collects the support data, and Aviz experts will help triage and fix bugs in the SONiC layer as necessary, and also manage the SONiC release with Cisco as required,” Shukla said. “The issues stemming from the BSP [Broad Support Layer] and ASIC layer will be fixed by Cisco, and Aviz will work directly with the Cisco Engineering team for those fixes. The agreement specifies processes regarding how Aviz and Cisco’s engineering team will interact for release management, bug fixes review, etc.,” Shukla said.
“Making SONiC a mainline and widely adopted NOS occurs when a mainline switch company, as large and global as Cisco, publicly supports the ecosystem,” Shukla said. “The agreement also signals how companies are aligned with the way the open-source consumption model works. In short, the SONiC market has taken shape to go mainstream.”
The Aviz-Cisco partnership is not just about SONiC, Shukla said; it’s an acknowledgement that “open source” and “multi-vendor” are today’s reality.
“The agreement demonstrates that disaggregated support and multi-vendor automation tools provide a way into the future for customers. SONiC is no longer relegated to a ‘white box game’ – we are providing customers with higher confidence and flexibility to support their networks on their terms,” Shukla said.
With this coordinated support offering from Cisco and Aviz, Aviz will initially triage issues and determine whether the issues relate to SONiC, Cisco infrastructure software, and/or Cisco hardware. Aviz will address issues related to SONiC. Issues that are related to Cisco software and/or hardware will be addressed with a Cisco support case, Wollenweber said.
Although the partnership is the first between the two vendors, Cisco 8000 series routers are already part of Aviz’s Open Networking Experience (ONE) Center for SONiC. The ONE Center is a lab Aviz built to provide online and in-person testing facilities at no cost so that customers can try out the capabilities of SONiC across a wide range of hardware. The ONE Center lab is supported by collaboration with the Linux Foundation, The Open Compute Project, Celestica, Cisco, Edgecore, Nvidia, Ragile, Supermicro, Wistron, and Keysight.
SONiC gaining interest
SONiC is a Linux-based NOS that decouples network software from the underlying hardware and lets it run on hundreds of switches and ASICs from multiple vendors while supporting a full suite of network features such as BGP, remote direct memory access (RDMA), QoS, and ethernet/IP. Some of the driving ideas behind SONiC-based systems are to simplify, scale and bring flexibility to cloud and edge networking environments.
Microsoft developed and then open-sourced SONiC. And in 2022, Microsoft turned the project over to the Linux Foundation and its large community of developers. The vendor community supporting SONiC has been growing and includes Dell, Arista, Nokia, Alibaba, Comcast, Cisco, Broadcom, Juniper Apstra, Edgecore, Innovium, Nvidia, Celetica, and VMware. It has also been integrated with other open-source projects, including Kubernetes and Ansible, and is being used by Verizon, AWS, Netflix and others to develop cloud-based services.
“Adding support for SONiC environments is a big part of this agreement for enterprise customers, but I think multi-cloud and the ability to move and shift workloads between clouds and on-prem is more mainstream, and SONiC helps solve that,” said Alan Weckel, a technology analyst with the 650 Group, which predicts that worldwide SONiC revenue will exceed $8 billion in the data center switching arena by 2027. “SONiC continues to expand in both the T2 Cloud and the enterprise market. There is a lot of interest out there in SONiC from a NOS perspective, but also in developing an ecosystem on top of that for additional services.”
Aviz has made a lot of progress on gaining additional customers and adding new features, Weckel said. “What is really interesting is the additional interest enterprises have in SONiC and the potential to add more on top of SONiC. I think this will play out in a bigger way as the observability and networking market continues to come together,” Weckel said.
“The agreement also shows that Cisco’s customers are getting more vocal about asking for SONiC, and that Cisco sees the Aviz partnership as an advantage for the 8000 Series,” Weckel said. It also shows Cisco is clearly seeing SONiC demand beyond one or two hyperscalers.”
The wireless networking space has exploded in accurate years and wireless technologies have become a connectivity game-changer. The advent of fourth-generation (4G) wireless wide-area networking technologies and the emergence of LTE (Long Term Evolution) and 5G technology further underscore wireless networking’s critical role in business today.
The demand for professionals with wireless networking knowledge and expertise is at an all-time high. As wireless professionals map their career paths, adding respected wireless networking certifications to their resumes can show hiring managers they have the cutting-edge, in-demand career skills to take their organizations to the next level.
We’ll highlight the best wireless networking certifications IT professionals can obtain to demonstrate their skills to current and prospective employers.
Earning the best IT certifications, including wireless networking certifications, is an excellent career advancement asset that validates your skills and knowledge.
Best wireless networking certifications
According to Salary.com data, wireless engineers earn about $98,99 to $125,000 annually. However, bonuses, commissions, location, seniority and many more factors can affect earnings and boost pay much higher. The right certifications can increase your value and salary.
Here are our picks for the top wireless networking certifications.
1. CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification
The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Certification is one of many Cisco certifications. It’s considered to be one of the most reliable certifications for professionals navigating the ever-changing IT industry. The exam is comprehensive and covers the following topics:
Cisco doesn’t insist on stringent prerequisites for this certification. However, there are age requirements: No one younger than 13 can take the exam, and those aged 13 to 17 must have parental consent to proceed. Additionally, Cisco recommends that applicants have at least one year of experience using and implementing Cisco products and solutions, a basic knowledge of IP addressing, and an understanding of network fundamentals.
Passing the CCNA certification exam will provide opportunities for wireless professionals in the following job roles:
After you pass the certification test, your status is valid for three years. After three years, you must apply for recertification via one of two options: passing a qualifying exam or earning 30 continuing education credits.
CCNA fact sheet
2. CCNP Enterprise: Cisco Certified Network Professional Enterprise
If you’re seeking a job maintaining and troubleshooting global enterprise networks, the Cisco Certified Network Professional Enterprise (CCNP Enterprise) certification is a significant credential upgrade. The CCNP Enterprise certification will test your mastery in the following areas:
The CCNP Enterprise certification is more complex than the CCNA. You’ll need to complete the following examinations.
When you pass the two required exams, your certification will be valid for three years. You’ll have expanded opportunities for the following job roles:
CCNP Enterprise fact sheet
The CCNP Enterprise certification is among the best mobility certifications and certifications to advance your networking career.
3. CompTIA: Network+
The CompTIA Network+ is a wireless networking and cybersecurity certification that assesses a wireless professional’s technical skills in establishing, troubleshooting and maintaining networks for any business on any platform. Additionally, the Network+ certification serves as a prerequisite for other CompTIA certifications, including those listed below:
The CompTIA Network+ exam examines a candidate’s IT professional capacity and skills in designing and implementing functional networks, configuring and maintaining essential network devices, and implementing network security standards and protocols. Here are some of the syllabus covered:
When you pass this certification exam, your certification will be valid for three years. You’ll benefit from expanded opportunities in the following job roles:
CompTIA: Network+ fact sheet
CompTIA Network+ certification is a prerequisite for the CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI certification, which is considered one of the best Linux certifications for an IT career.
4. CWNA: Certified Wireless Network Administrator
The CWNA (Certified Wireless Network Administrator) certification was developed by the Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) organization. It’s a long-standing certification for IT professionals, particularly those who want to specialize in installing and maintaining wireless networks. The exam covers the following topics:
The CWNA certification is considered a foundational wireless LAN certification under the CWNP program. Candidates must achieve a score of at least 70 percent to be deemed certified.
When you pass this certification exam, your certification will be valid for three years, after which you can apply for recertification. While your credential is still valid, you’ll need to take and pass a professional-level exam — CWSP, CWDP, or CWAP — to renew your certification. You can also recertify by retaking the CWNA exam.
CWNA fact sheet
5. CWSP: Certified Wireless Security Professional
The Certified Wireless Security Professional certification is a step toward achieving a Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE) certification. It’s a professional-level wireless LAN and cybersecurity certification for which you must first achieve CWNA certification.
The exam covers the following topics:
To pass the CWSP exam, professionals must score at least 70 percent, and instructors must score at least 80 percent. When you pass this certification exam, your certification will be valid for three years, after which you can apply for recertification. Recertification is possible only if you hold a valid CWNA credential and pass the current CWSP exam. If you meet these requirements, the certification will be renewed for another three years.
CWSP fact sheet
Information security professionals should also consider the best infosec and cybersecurity certifications as more business owners seek to protect their companies by hiring qualified cybersecurity experts.
Other worthwhile wireless certifications
While the five featured certification exams are among the most well-regarded in the industry, other certifications can benefit IT professionals seeking to augment their skills and credentials. Here are two more to consider.
How IT professionals can enhance their careers with certifications
Achieving respected, rigorous wireless networking certifications can help IT professionals expand their credentials and land more profitable job opportunities. Additionally, they’ll demonstrate their willingness to learn to hiring managers.
While certifications take time and money, the rewards of career growth and higher compensation more than justify the investment.
Ed Tittel and Mary Kyle contribute to the reporting and writing in this article.
Cisco has revealed new features, enhancements and tools for partners as it embarks on the biggest change to its incentive program.
The networking giant has initiated a significant evolution of its flagship incentives to reward partners for selling Cisco hardware, software, and as-a-service solutions. It is also adding six new solution specialisations within the next nine months.
The Cisco Partner Incentive will combine elements from several incentives such as VIP 42; CSPP and Lifecycle Incentives into one integrated view.
It will focus on rewarding partners with rebates to drive predictable and profitable growth and will specifically support new logo acquisition, up-sell, and cross-sell opportunities.
“The Cisco Partner Incentive is the biggest change we’ve made to partner incentives in more than a decade and is the capstone on the Cisco Partner Program evolution started in 2020,” Cisco vice president of partner strategy and programs Marc Surplus said.
“Our partners will make money in year one, they will also make money in year two and year three…. and that is what is driving their growth in their practices and more recurring revenue."
Specifically, the new incentive will cover three tracks - non-recurring offers; recurring offers and customer value.
Partners will earn rebates based on the total contract value of a closed sale, completion of activities to drive customer adoption of the solution, and incremental annual contract value as they increase subscriptions.
Additionally, partners will have the opportunity to earn bonus rewards-based investments in their Cisco practice or selling solutions.
The new model will also complement changes made to Cisco seller compensation and will be implemented in a phased approach and is expected to begin in the second half of 2024.
With a strong focus on partner profitability, Cisco launched a new Lifecycle Pay with Trade-In incentive where customers can receive up to 10 per cent off the monthly payment when they trade-in legacy Cisco or third-party equipment.
For Partners who are Environmental Sustainability Specialised, they can combine this customer incentive with other benefits such as the Takeback Incentive.
Cisco Enterprise Agreement (EA) Pay has been further optimised by integrating EA financing directly into Cisco's quoting and ordering systems for rapid approvals.
Cisco Capital also expanded credit capacity by 21 per cent for partners taking part in the Channel Extended Terms Financing program.
The partner relationship management platform, PXP has been augmented with AI/ML-powered predictive insights and a revamped dashboard to provide a holistic view of funds activities and investments, removing the need for third-party tools.
PXP will also include a Sustainability Estimator, exclusively available to Environmental
Sustainability Specialised partners. Launching on 20 November, it will provide insight into the estimated energy savings, emissions reduction, cost reduction and environmental impact.
The tool is also supported by a new Sustainability Partner Journey with resources and collateral to help partners build their sustainability practices.
Capitalising on the MSP space
According to Cisco, managed services represent a total addressable market of US$161 billion for Cisco products as it anticipates 46 per cent of its sales will be sold as a managed service by 2027.
In order to enable MSPs to deliver a premium support experience, the networking vendor launched Partner Advanced Support for MSPs with guided access to API integrations that build on existing services.
It enables MSPs to offer faster, multi-product support, predictive insights, and issues resolution to scale an outcomes-based service model.
Furthermore, Cisco has also integrated its Lifecycle Advantage (LCA) into Cisco PX Cloud, streamlining the number of tools partners need to have a comprehensive view of their customer lifecycle data.
Cisco’s Small Business Specialisation has been refreshed and renamed the Small and Medium Business (SMB) Specialisation and showcases Cisco’s commitment to SMB customers
through end-to-end solutions from four primary experiences: Smart SMB, Hybrid SMB, Secure SMB, and Remote SMB.
Plans are also underway to launch two new Internet of Things (IOT) Solution Specialisations in the first half of 2024.
Julia Talevski attended Cisco Partner Summit 2023 as a guest of Cisco.
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There's no question that GenAI applications are starting to make a big impact on enterprise applications. Until recently, most of the attention given to GenAI in the business context was focused on text-based Large Language Models (LLMs) and chatbot-style applications that leverage them. However, at their accurate Webex One conference, Cisco highlighted how foundational models and other GenAI tools can also profoundly enhance communications and collaboration.
Cisco announced several enhancements related to AI integration across its Webex suite. Many of these involve adding an extra layer of intelligence to Webex, while others focus on audio and video quality improvements. Moreover, Cisco continued its history of collaborating with Apple by introducing enhanced support for Apple devices, including the Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Like its competitors, Cisco initially introduced AI-powered features in Webex, such as automatic transcription and meeting summarization, but the new capabilities they announced demonstrate a new level of sophistication. These updates offer insights into how GenAI-based tools are expected to evolve.
Undoubtedly, the most intriguing development is the introduction of a new type of model that Cisco is calling the Real-Time Media Models (RMMs). These are based on audio and video data. Cisco claims that RMMs can furnish supplemental data about a meeting derived from visual cues, gestures, body language, message tone, and more.
While text-based meeting transcriptions and summaries are valuable, they often miss the subtle yet crucial nuances in how things are said and how participants respond. These nuances can significantly influence how certain ideas or messages are interpreted and conveyed. Cisco believes it can enrich its existing AI-powered meeting notes by integrating RMM data with its current LLM-based text content.
In theory, these sound impressive, but it will take some real-world usage to see how effective they are in capturing and integrating this information into meeting summaries. Regardless, it's an interesting example of how Webex continues to innovate while trying to stay a step ahead of its competition – not an easy task in a market that moves as quickly as video collaboration.
One of the other benefits of leveraging RMMs, according to Cisco, is the ability to create meeting summarization in video form. This allows people to get a movie preview style summary of a meeting, allowing people to easily watch what happened instead of simply reading about it. Again, the proof will be in the pudding, but it's unquestionably a great concept.
RMMs also enhance the Webex AI Assistant. Similar to other digital assistant features, the Webex version is geared to furnish intelligent responses to user queries inputted into a chat-style interface. For instance, users can prompt the Webex AI Assistant to summarize meetings they missed or underscore remarks from specific attendees, like whatever your boss said. The integration of RMM data differentiates this feature by providing deeper context. By analyzing the video feed, future Webex AI Assistant iterations could potentially auto-generate summaries of segments a participant missed, ensuring continuity.
The Webex AI Assistant can also suggest responses for customer service agents, helping them Strengthen their responses, and can even make suggestions in the tone of how things are (or should be) said. Additionally, Cisco mentioned their intent to support multiple LLMs alongside their RMMs within the Webex AI Assistant. Essentially, they could interchange the GenAI engine, optimizing it per customer or employee type.
The final piece of the new Webex AI strategy is an enhanced set of AI audio and video codecs. These tools can dramatically minimize data requirements and, through GenAI, can even recover lost packets, ensuring uninterrupted audio. On the video front, employing super-resolution techniques, akin to those used in AI-image enhancement, allows Webex to upgrade video quality and resolution over subpar connections. The end product should be a smoother, glitch-free meeting experience.
The evolution of meeting and collaboration tools like Webex and its competitors continues at a breakneck pace. It won't be long before rivals like Microsoft, Zoom and Google start to catch up. Still, it's great to see how Cisco is pushing forward the integration of GenAI into Webex and providing an intriguing view into how these technologies continue to evolve.
Bob O'Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech
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