The focus is on data center virtualization, automation, and ACI management and monitoring, as well as on data center security and data center storage connectivity.

The Cisco CCNP Data Center certification program provides knowledge and skills needed to design, implement, and manage a complex, modern data center infrastructure. The revisited CCNP Data Center certification curriculum covers data center networking, unified computing, virtualization, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), and data center automation and orchestration. There is significant emphasis on data center virtualization, automation, and ACI management and monitoring, with a new course and exam focused on these topics, as well as on data center security and data center storage connectivity.

There are now five courses instead of the previous six, all containing significant share of hands-on learning:

Three courses and corresponding exams focus on implementation (DCUCI, DCII, DCVAI), one on design (DCID), and one on troubleshooting (DCIT). To obtain the CCNP Data Center certifications, you must pass all three implementation exams and either one design or troubleshooting exam, depending on your career focus.

The new CCNP Data Center courses and exams have been available since January 17, 2017. Through July 3, 2017, you may choose to take either the version 5 exams, or the version 6 exams or a combination of both. After that date, the version 6 exams are the only required exams you must pass to achieve the CCNP Data Center title.The following image shows the relationships between the old and new exams.

CCNP DC Comparision

You can also use the CCNP Data Center Exam Migration Tool to compare different exam path options for achieving the CCNP Data Center certification.

 

Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Computing (DCUCI) v6.0 overview

The 642-999 DCUCI exam is being replaced by the 300-175 DCUCI exam. The key topic changes that have been made to the exam and training curriculum are as follows:

  • Key topics removed (or moved):
    • Product-specific knowledge for B-Series and C-Series UCS Servers
    • Implement UCS Server Virtualization Features replaced by task Implement Integration of Centralized Management
  • Key topics added or changed:
    • Automation added, including Implementing integration of centralized management and scripting tools
    • Increased emphasis on data center security
    • Increased emphasis on data center storage, including FCoE
Domain comparison

642-999 DCUCI Exam

300-175 DCUCI exam

1.0 Implement C-Series Standalone

9%

1.0 Implement Unified Computing

28%

2.0 Configure Cisco UCS B-Series Connectivity

35%

2.0 Unified Computing Maintenance and Operations

20%

3.0 Manage Cisco UCS B-Series

18%

3.0 Automation

12%

4.0 Provision Cisco UCS Compute Resources

12%

4.0 Unified Computing Security

13%

5.0 Implement Cisco UCS Server Virtualization Features

26%

5.0 Unified Computing Storage

27%

 See the Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Computing (DCUCI) v6.0 course page for detailed description, available dates, and pricing.

 

Implementing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCII) v6.0 overview

The 642-997 DCUFI exam is being replaced by the 300-165 DCII exam. The key topics that have been removed or added to the exam and training curriculum are as follows:

  • Key topics removed:
    • Product-specific knowledge for Cisco Nexus switches and Cisco NX-OS Software
    • Network virtualization focus reduced (removed Cisco VM-FEX, Nexus integration with vCenter Manager, Cisco Adapter FEX)
  • Key topics added or significantly increased:
    • Product-specific knowledge for Cisco Nexus switches and Cisco NX-OS Software
    • Network virtualization focus reduced (removed Cisco VM-FEX, Nexus integration with vCenter Manager, Cisco Adapter FEX)
    • Coverage of new technology, VXLAN, added in Implement Data Center Protocols
    • Increased emphasis on routing, including OSPFv2, OSPFv3, and ISIS protocols
    • Broader topic coverage on data center infrastructure security, including ACLs, CoPP, fabric binding, and port security.
Domain comparison

642-997 DCUFI Exam

300-165 DCII Exam

1.0 Describe the Cisco Unified Fabric Products in a Cisco Data Center Network Architecture

14%

1.0 Implement Data Center Protocols

29%

2.0 Implement Security on Cisco Unified Fabric Products in a Cisco Data Center

20%

2.0 Implement Routing and Switching Protocols

22%

3.0 Managing the Unified Fabric in a Cisco Data Center Architecture

8%

3.0 Data Center Infrastructure Maintenance, Management, and Operations

14%

4.0 Implement High Availability Features on Cisco Unified Fabric Products in a Cisco Data Center Architecture

12%

4.0 Data Center Infrastructure Security

12%

5.0 Implement Cisco Unified Fabric Network Features and Functionality in a Cisco Data Center Environment

6%

5.0 Infrastructure Storage

23%

6.0 Implementing Network Virtualization in a Cisco Data Center Environment

20%

   

7.0 Implement Storage Features in a Cisco Data Center Environment

20%

   

 See the Implementing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCII) v6.0 course page for detailed description, available dates, and pricing.

 

Implementing Cisco Data Center Virtualization and Automation (DCVAI) overview

300-170 DCVAI exam and corresponding DCVAI training are new.

DCVAI domain overview

300-170 DCVAI exam

1.0 Implement Infrastructure Virtualization

19%

2.0 Implement Infrastructure Automation

16%

3.0 Implementing Application Centric Infrastructure

27%

4.0 Implementing Application Centric Infrastructure Network Resources

25%

5.0 Implementing Application Centric Infrastructure Management and Monitoring

13%

The topics on Adapter FEX, VM-FEX, and Nexus vCenter Manager integration, which are part of DCUFI v5.0, are not covered in the DCVAI.

See the Implementing Cisco Data Center Virtualization and Automation (DCVAI) v6.0 course page for detailed description, available dates, and pricing.

 

Designing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCID) overview

The 642-998 DCUCD and 642-996 DCUFD exams are being replaced by the 300-160 DCID exam. The DCID exam and corresponding training focus on theoretical data center design with Cisco components and technologies: network designs with virtualization, Layer 2 and Layer 3 technologies and routing protocols, and data center interconnect design options; device virtualization technologies, such as virtual data centers and network function virtualization with virtual appliances; storage and SAN design including fiber channel networks and Cisco Unified Fabric; design practices for the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) solution; and network management technologies such as UCS Manager, Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager, and Cisco UCS Director.

The main changes in the DCID curriculum compared with the DCUCD and DCUFD are:

  • Design methodology and data center structure and modularity were removed because basic design knowledge is assumed for CCNP Data Center candidates
  • Troubleshooting topics were removed (now covered in 300-180 DCIT)
  • Security design is not covered (data center security implementation is included in the DCII curriculum, and troubleshooting is part of DCIT curriculum)
  • Data center unified fabric and unified computing design topics are combined into one exam, thereby reflecting the combined skills that are expected of a data center IT professional.
Domain comparison

642-998 DCUCD Exam

300-160 DCID Exam

642-996 DCUFD Exam

1.0  Describe the Design Methodology

13%

1.0  Data Center Network Connectivity Design

24%

1.0  Describe the Design Methodology

6%

2.0  Describe Data Center Structure and  Modularity

17%

2.0  Data Center Infrastructure Design

21%

2.0  Describe Data Center Structure and  Modularity

7%

3.0  Describe the Technologies Used within  the Data Center

17%

3.0  Data Center Storage Network Design

21%

3.0  Troubleshooting Storage Area Network in  a Cisco Data Center

13%

4.0  Design the Access Layer of a Data Center

17%

4.0  Data Center Compute Connectivity Design

19%

4.0  Design the Core Layer of a Data Center

10%

5.0  Design Virtualization Solutions Using  Cisco UCS

13%

5.0  Data Center Compute Resource Parameters  Design

15%

5.0  Design the Aggregation Layer of a Data  Center

11%

6.0  Design Network Management Considerations  into a Data Center

23%

   

6.0  Design the Access Layer of a Data Center

22%

       

7.0  Design Storage and SAN Solution

15%

       

8.0  Design Security Considerations into a  Data Center

8%

       

9.0  Design Network Management Considerations  into a Data Center

8%

See the Designing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCID) v6.0 course page for detailed description, available dates, and pricing.

 

Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCIT) overview

The 642-998 DCUCD exam and 642-996 DCUFD exam are being replaced by the 300-180 DCIT exam and corresponding training. The key topics that have been removed or added to the DCIT curriculum are as follows:

  • Key Topics Removed (or Moved):
    • Removed product-specific coverage of Cisco UCS B-Series and C-Series servers; for example, Troubleshooting Data Center Compute Platforms now concentrated into one domain by removing product-specific topics
  • Key Topics Added or Changed:
    • Combined the Data Center Unified Fabric and Unified Computing troubleshooting topics into one exam, reflecting the combined skills that are expected of a data center IT professional
    • Troubleshooting routing protocols added
    • Troubleshooting virtual switching technologies added
    • Application Centric Infrastructure added
    • Troubleshooting data center LAN and SAN security and computer security added.
Domain comparison

642-035 DCUCT Exam

300-180 DCIT Exam

642-980 DCUFT Exam

1.0 Troubleshooting UCS Architecture and System Internals

24%

1.0 Troubleshooting Data Network Protocols

26%

1.0 Troubleshooting Layer 2 Connectivity Issues in a Cisco Data Center  Network

20%

2.0 Troubleshooting UCS Installation, Configuration, and Startup

17%

2.0 Troubleshooting Network Virtualization and Automation

13%

2.0 Troubleshooting FCoE Issues in a Cisco Data Center Network

6%

3.0 Troubleshooting UCS SAN/LAN/VLAN Connectivity

12%

3.0 Troubleshooting Application Centric Infrastructure

13%

3.0 Troubleshooting Storage Area Network Issues in a Cisco Data Center

26%

4.0 UCS Compute Troubleshooting

13%

4.0 Troubleshooting Data Center Storage

17%

4.0 Troubleshooting DCI Issues in a Cisco Data Center Network

19%

5.0 UCS C-Series Standalone Troubleshooting

34%

5.0 Troubleshooting Data Center Compute Platforms

21%

5.0 Troubleshooting Platform-Specific Issues in a Cisco Data Center  Network

26%

   

6.0 Troubleshooting Data Center Management and Operations

10%

   

 See the Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Infrastructure (DCIT) v6.0 course page for detailed description, available dates, and pricing.

 

More information

Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about the new CCNP Data Center certifications or if you need help with exam preparations.

Additional information is also available from the following sources:

 

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