After a long wait, Cisco has finally opened the doors to learn Cloud infrastructural technologies with the certification-based learning programs, primarily for associate and professional levels. Yes, Cisco has officially announced a newly added certification track simply named Cloud. Two certification programs – CCNA Cloud and CCNP Cloud – aim to fulfill the demand of present business and technology advancements in the field of Cloud services.

In recent years, Cloud technology has evolved in a dramatic manner and a huge demand for Cloud engineers has been seen in the field of Cloud infrastructure services. One of the main reasons behind the introduction of the all new Cisco Cloud Certifications is to reduce the gap of current demand and supply ratio of Cloud professionals.

The newly Cloud track follows the same traditional approach of job role-oriented certification programs for network or data-center engineers that help them to gain meaningful and latest industry specific knowledge in the field of Cloud infrastructural services.

Key benefits of Cloud certification include:

  • Enterprise-level functionalities with limited investment, which means more revenue: small or medium-level companies are having very limited funds to fulfil their technological needs, such as installation and maintenance of high end storage devices. Migrating to Cloud can save more with purchasing, maintaining and upgrading communication infrastructure.
    • More Flexibility: Most common problems for an IT infrastructure are “Need more disk space, RAM and CPU”; the solution is Cloud services where your servers will get the ability to spin up and tear down within minutes, per requirements.
    • Better Resource Management: Freedom to virtualize one physical server into multiples, resulting in an efficiency of rack space, power consumption and ease of management.

Along with these benefits, Cloud services also offer mobility (access from anywhere), better security assurance with on-demand IT support, and more business adaptability with minimum complexities.

Key Benefits of learning Cisco Cloud Certifications

  • Enables you to design, implement and support Cloud deployments
  • Makes you more functional to operate Clouds using Cisco’s software/hardware platforms
  • Meet the requirements of the most demanding and in-demand Cloud jobs
  • Quality assurance of the industry’s best Cisco Certifications
  • Set yourself above your fellow job applicants

Who can learn or apply for this certification program?

Individuals who are looking to gain or enhance their Cloud computing knowledge and skills can benefit from these certification programs. Those in the business of implementing and maintaining small-medium scale to enterprise level Cloud infrastructures will surely vouch for the fact that every deployment can make or break their careers. This may explain why the majority of network or Cloud engineers intend to play ‘safe’ with their industry’s standard certification programs, updated skill sets etc.

Useful information for CCNA Cloud Certification:

Prerequisites for CCNA Cloud

There is not a single prerequisite to obtain CCNA Cloud certification, but one should have the basic understanding of network fundamentals with data center technologies. It would be considered an added advantage towards achieving CCNA Cloud certification.

Required Exams and Recommended Training modules to achieve CCNA Cloud Certification

After completion of the CCNA Cloud curriculum, a candidate will have to pass the following two exams to obtain CCNA Cloud certification,

Let’s have a brief overview of learning objectives with CCNA Cloud: CCNA Cloud certification program is designed with following two modules;

  • Understanding Cisco Cloud Fundamentals (CLDFND) This module is designed to provide fundamental conceptual knowledge of Cloud infrastructure. With this module, you will be able to examine Cloud services and deployment models with their common characteristics and key features.
  • Introducing Cisco Cloud Administration (CLDADM) This module is designed to provide the essential skills of Cloud administration and operations. This module focuses more on the understanding of Cloud infrastructure administration, management, monitoring, and remediation.

Useful information on CCNP Cloud Certification:

Prerequisites for CCNP Cloud

A valid CCNA Cloud certification is mandatory to take CCNP Cloud exams. Candidates with a valid CCIE certification are also eligible to take CCNP Cloud exams.

Required Exams and Recommended Training modules for CCNP Cloud

After the successful completion of the following four CCNP Cloud modules training, a candidate must pass following exams to obtain CCNP Cloud certification:

Here is a quick overview on CCNP Cloud learning objectives:

  1. Implementing and Troubleshooting the Cisco Cloud Infrastructure (CLDINF): This module is designed to meet the required benchmark knowledge for establishing and implementing cloud infrastructure services and also to sharpen your skills towards troubleshooting Cisco Cloud infrastructure.
  2. Designing the Cisco Cloud (CLDDES): I’m personally very thankful to Cisco for introducing a dedicated track for cloud designing, and I am sure this particular module will be more important in that aspect of learning and examining cloud infrastructural designing to meet the industry’s standards.
  3. Automating the Cisco Enterprise Cloud (CLDAUT): This specific module enables you to break the barriers of learning enterprise cloud automation with the best of Cisco’s technologies.
  4. Building the Cisco Cloud with Application Centric Infrastructure (CLDACI): As the name of this module indicates, here you will be able to learn the functional approach to set up Cisco Cloud with application-centric infrastructure.

FAQs for CCNA/CCNP Cloud:

Q: What are the major benefits to learning Cisco Cloud programs?

A: CCNA Cloud is a newly added associate level Cisco certification program. This track is specially designed to develop advanced understanding of cloud engineering technologies and infrastructure services to fulfil cloud administration, implementation job roles in a small to medium level enterprises. Cisco Learning Labs give you the experience of dealing with real-world Cloud services with the quality assurance. Cisco Cloud certification programs enable you to operate on the Cloud with Cisco’s software/hardware platforms. This can help you to fulfil current business demands and technology advancements within Cloud infrastructure services.

Q. Who should achieve Cisco Cloud certifications?

A: Network engineers with a desire to gain or enhance their Cloud computing knowledge and skills and individuals in the business of implementing and maintaining small-medium scale to enterprise-level cloud infrastructures can get the benefit from these certification programs (CCNA Cloud & CCNP Cloud).

Q: Is there any prerequisite for CCNA Cloud certification?

A: There is no prerequisite for giving CCNA Cloud exam, but having the basic knowledge of networking fundamentals with common data center technologies would be an added advantage towards achieving CCNA Cloud certification.

Q: How do I achieve CCNA Cloud certification?

A: To achieve CCNA Cloud certification, a candidate will have to pass following two exams

  1. Understanding Cisco Cloud Fundamentals (CLDFND) – Exam Code 210-451
  2. Introducing Cisco Cloud Administration (CLDAMD) – Exam Code 210-455

Q: Is the CCNA Cloud certification also valid for 3 years?

A: Yes, CCNA Cloud certification follows the same tradition of 3 years expiration period.

Q: Is there any prerequisite for taking CCNP Cloud certification exams?

A: Yes, a valid CCNA Cloud certification is mandatory to take the CCNP Cloud certification exam; candidates with a valid CCIE certification are also eligible to take CCNP Cloud certification exams.

Q: How many exams are required to achieve CCNP Cloud certification?

A: To achieve CCNP Cloud certification, a candidate will have to pass the following four exams:

  • Implementing and Troubleshooting the Cisco Cloud Infrastructure (CLDINF) – Exam Code 300-504
  • Designing the Cisco Cloud (CLDDES) – Exam Code 300-505
  • Automating the Cisco Enterprise Cloud (CLDAUT) – Exam Code 300-506
  • Building the Cisco Cloud with Application Centric Infrastructure (CLDACI) – Exam Code 300-507

Q: What would be the validity for CCNP Cloud Certification?

A: CCNP Cloud certification also follows the same schedule and will be valid for 3 years.

Q: If I want to start Cisco Cloud program, where should I start?

A: If you want to start Cisco Cloud certification programs, first you will have to enroll for the CCNA Cloud training program from any reputed Cisco authorised learning academy. After completing your training, you will have to pass 210-451 & 210-455 exams to obtain a valid CCNA Cloud certification, after which you can progress to CCNP Cloud at your convenience.

Q: Which books are useful to learn CCNA/CCNP Cloud programs?

A: Cisco has just made the announcement towards the starting of CCNA/CCNP Cloud certification and it would be very early to suggest books to study CCNA/CCNP Cloud. Soon, you will get some best of study resources from Cisco Press.

The last technological update was seen with CCNP/CCIE Routing & Switching and with the collaboration track (previously known as voice track), but this time Cisco has revealed a certification track which is very industry-specific and aligns with the current job market in Cloud domains. Regular updates in training programs can make more productive candidates; that’s why I am always in favour of learning new and updated technologies to be in competition. Thanks to Cisco for this great news.

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