‘Out with the old CCNP Routing and Switching, in with the new’ probably thought Cisco of 2015 and decided to update this coveted certification this January. The decision, certainly was made earlier and announced last summer, with the certification being fully updated on January 29, 2015. On this date, the current Cisco CCNP Routing and Switching certification exams (642-902 ROUTE, 642-813 SWITCH, and 642-832 TSHOOT) will retire on January 29, 2015. Beginning January 30, 2015, you will be able to register only for the CCNP Routing and Switching v2.0 certification exams (300-101 ROUTE, 300-115 SWITCH, and 300-135 TSHOOT. For the past 6 months, the candidates have been able to mix and match the old and the new versions of the three exams (and still have 3 weeks to do it).
So what’s in the new CCNP Routing and Switching v2.0?
The new CCNP Routing and Switching targets to provide candidates with more current topics and forward-looking approaches. For example, it pays close attention to how IPv6 addresses workforce mobility and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices. The refreshed exams also include network scale support and accommodating the continued growth of IoT (Internet of Things, see below).
The refreshed CCNP R&S validates that you have the skills to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot complex network solutions The new CCNP Routing and Switching exams are:
- Implementing Cisco IP Routing (300-101)
- Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (300-115)
- Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks (300-135)
Overall, Cisco is stepping up the level of CCNP Routing and Switching credential, bringing it closer to the expert level, as well as other CCNP certifications. CCNP R&S updates have been long overdue, so now CCNP Routing and Switching has been brought up to the same level with other CCNP-level credentials, such as Data Center, Security and Voice.
The new CCNP Routing and Switching 2.0 curriculum emphasizes IPv6, including running dual-stack IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Cisco believes that since the IPv6 demand will keep growing, needs to be matched accordingly. There is also a strengthening emphasis on the Internet of things (IoT) that exists in the form of manufacturing sensors, household gadgets, and other devices that require network connection.
In the new version of CCNP Routing and Switching, Cisco requires candidates to be proficient in StackWise and Virtual Switching Service (VSS) technologies. Both are used to make multiple physical switches behave like a single switch, but there are a number of design considerations and implementation details that impact their behavior in production networks.
Another thing to keep in mind while looking at the new version of CCNP Routing and Switching certification is DMVPN (Dynamic multipoint virtual private network). This technology creates an overlay of secure tunnels across public or leased networks, and it has also been added to the CCNP Routing & Switching track.
So if you’re toying with the idea of adding the CCNP Routing and Switching credential to your professional profile, you should definitely focus on the Version 2.0. for all (ROUTE, SWITCH, TSHOOT) exams. The blueprints are available here. You may also want to check out our IT certification community to see whether anyone from your fellow Cisco professionals have already taken these new exams. Good luck!