Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching Certification is a Professional Level Certification for network Engineers. CCNP Routing and Switching stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional Routing and Switching. CCNP is a certification program that validates the design and implementation of networks. A CCNP certified engineer is expected to have a good grip over the planning and design of a network. Since CCNA is a prerequisite to CCNP it is understood that the candidate has a hold over the installation, configuration and troubleshooting of Cisco routers and switches in a network. CCNP mainly focuses on network planning (this includes the planning of data routing), design strategies, implementation criticalities, security gates and verification of the network requirements. CCNP is updated as per the latest technology used in Cisco routers and switches, but since it is more planning and design oriented the core curriculum is hardly affected by the technical evolution. CCNP equips a candidate with installation, configuration and troubleshooting of a network ranging from 100 to 500 nodes. Size of network handling separates CCNP from CCNA. As the size of network increases so changes the concerns of the administrator and users. The priorities of large networks are rearranged as; network security, network convergance, quality of service, virtual private networks and broadband technologies both for local and wide are networks.
Anyone looking for a career as a Support Engineer, Network Engineer, network administrator or a Network Specialist who has happened to be CCNA certified.
CCNP has three main domains Route, Switch and Troubleshoot. For this puropose Cisco provide its certification candidates with three different exams as well as one comprehensive exam. Below mentioned are the three exams related to CCNP.
This exam covers the knowledge about Cisco Routers. The technology Cisco is using, their advantages and more importantly when to use which Router. This exam also covers the installation and configuration of highly advance Cisco Routers.
This particular exam focuses on Cisco Switches. There placement in a network and there advantages. The exam encoparates the installation and configuration of sophisticated Cisco Switches.
This exam covers all the troubleshooting scenarios regarding the Cisco Routers and Switches. This exam tests a candidate knowledge against the most challenging and advance security and network challenges.
CCNP exam validates a candidate’s knowledge against the below mentioned domains
- Design of Network infrastructure, mainly routing and switching in a large network (100-500 nodes)
- Local and Wireless Access security mechanism
- Quality of service per network resource
- Network convergance and congestion control mechanism
- Virtual Switch Service
- Dynamic Virtual Private Networks (DVPN)
- VoIP (Voice over IP), Video streaming
- Backup strategy
- Installation, configuration and troubleshooting a network.
The dynamics of networks drastically changes with the number of nodes and so is the behavior of the networks. The tools working well on small networks may not work properly on larger networks or may degrade the performance. So design of network structure is as important as the network itself. The test challenges an individuals knowledge of impact of security mechanisms on performance and Quality of service in a network. It includes the details knowledge of convergance and congestion control and the implementation of their solutions in a network. Test challenges the concepts of virtual switch and dynamic VPN to through depths. Besides concepts the exam’s objective is to check the practical implementation of these services.
A candidate’s CCNP certification is valid for 3 years only. Before the time of expiry if the candidate gets certified for the below mentioned certifications than the validity date of the CCNP certification can be extended.
Any 642-XXX or any 300-XXX Professional-level exam
CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)
CCDE (Cisco Certified Design Expert)
CCAr (Cisco Certified Architect)
After getting the second certification during the tenure of the first certification the overall validity of the both certifications lasts till the validity date of the later one. For example a candidate did CCNP in February 2002. The certification is expected to expire in February 2005. If the candidate appears and clears a CCIE exam in 2004 which expires in 2007 then both CCNP and CCIE remains valid till 2007.
In order to qualify for CCNP Routing and switching a candidate must be a Certified Cisco Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certified.
Skills and Benefits
A CCNP certified person is validated for planning and implementing a network using Cisco routers and switches. Troubleshooting of network routers and switches is considered to be a specialty of a CCNP certified person. Having a CCNP certified person in an organization helps the connection of new advanced systems to the already existing ones to meet the scalability needs of today’s enterprise organizations.
CCIE Routing and Switching is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert. This is an expert level certification offered by Cisco. It is the highest level of certification provided by Cisco.