The CCNP R/S Refresh is here – Migration Tool, exam life times during migration explained in detail, and a peek at the monster ENCOR blueprint!


Correction: 2/23/20 is the last day to take 300-101, 300-115, and 300-135 specifically!

(Updates / timelines of exam expirations at bottom of post!)

It turns out the new exams are also 300-XXX, and I’m too lazy to re-write that graphic πŸ™‚

As mentioned in the above graphic / title, 2/23/2020 will be the last day to take the ROUTE / SWITCH / TSHOOT exams before it changes to refresh exams, current holders of the CCNP R/S will have it turn into the “CCNP Enterprise” certification, and gain two additional “Special Certifications” list below along with the skill matrix:

Passing ROUTE and SWITCH will earn “Cisco Certified Specialist – Enteprise Core” certifcation

Addtionally passing TSHOOT will earn “Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Advanced Infrastructure Implementation

You do not want to take the Enterprise Core exam if you have already tackled your ROUTE or SWITCH, now is no time to half ass it, look below at the training Matrix and you will notice if you missing either ROUTE or SWITCH you must take the 300-401 ENCOR exam which is comparable to surviving an avalanche of knowledge burying you 300 feet.

I was considering waiting for a new exam to replace TSHOOT just to get some specialty training in automation / programming / SD-WAN as I’d like to go that route next, however training material is probably so far off (good well rounded training material) that I will probably just pass the TSHOOT and recertify using this matrix as any of those speciality certs should also re-certify the CCNP exams on down like passing ROUTE would re-up the 3 year lifespan of all CCNP’s and below held.


Not that this isn’t all good and well to learn, but if you’ve already suffered through studying and passing one Cisco CCNP exam with a life, you know how hard it can be.

This will make you retake both domains of ROUTE and SWITCH in one composite exam, that will also add some cutting edge Cisco features that may be very hard to get your hands on to lab and fully understand unless you work with it daily.

Here is the full syllabus:

1.0 Architecture


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1.1 Explain the different design principles used in an enterprise network

  • 1.1.a Enterprise network design such as Tier 2, Tier 3, and Fabric Capacity planning
  • 1.1.b High availability techniques such as redundancy, FHRP, and SSO

1.2 Analyze design principles of a WLAN deployment

  • 1.2.a Wireless deployment models (centralized, distributed, controller-less, controller based, cloud, remote branch)
  • 1.2.b Location services in a WLAN design

1.3 Differentiate between on-premises and cloud infrastructure deployments

1.4 Explain the working principles of the Cisco SD-WAN solution

  • 1.4.a SD-WAN control and data planes elements
  • 1.4.b Traditional WAN and SD-WAN solutions

1.5 Explain the working principles of the Cisco SD-Access solution

  • 1.5.a SD-Access control and data planes elements
  • 1.5.b Traditional campus interoperating with SD-Access

1.6 Describe concepts of wired and wireless QoS

  • 1.6.a QoS components
  • 1.6.b QoS policy

1.7 Differentiate hardware and software switching mechanisms

  • 1.7.a Process and CEF
  • 1.7.b MAC address table and TCAM
  • 1.7.c FIB vs. RIB

2.0 Virtualization


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2.1 Describe device virtualization technologies

  • 2.1.a Hypervisor type 1 and 2
  • 2.1.b Virtual machine
  • 2.1.c Virtual switching

2.2 Configure and verify data path virtualization technologies

  • 2.2.a VRF
  • 2.2.b GRE and IPsec tunneling

2.3 Describe network virtualization concepts

  • 2.3.a LISP
  • 2.3.b VXLAN

3.0 Infrastructure


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3.1 Layer 2

  • 3.1.a Troubleshoot static and dynamic 802.1q trunking protocols
  • 3.1.b Troubleshoot static and dynamic EtherChannels
  • 3.1.c Configure and verify common Spanning Tree Protocols (RSTP and MST)

3.2 Layer 3

  • 3.2.a Compare routing concepts of EIGRP and OSPF (advanced distance vector vs. linked state, load balancing, path selection, path operations, metrics)
  • 3.2.b Configure and verify simple OSPF environments, including multiple normal areas, summarization, and filtering (neighbor adjacency, point-to-point and broadcast network types, and passive interface)
  • 3.2.c Configure and verify eBGP between directly connected neighbors (best path selection algorithm and neighbor relationships)

3.3 Wireless

  • 3.3.a Describe Layer 1 concepts, such as RF power, RSSI, SNR, interference noise, band and channels, and wireless client devices capabilities
  • 3.3.b Describe AP modes and antenna types
  • 3.3.c Describe access point discovery and join process (discovery algorithms, WLC selection process)
  • 3.3.d Describe the main principles and use cases for Layer 2 and Layer 3 roaming
  • 3.3.e Troubleshoot WLAN configuration and wireless client connectivity issues

3.4 IP Services

  • 3.4.a Describe Network Time Protocol (NTP)
  • 3.4.b Configure and verify NAT/PAT
  • 3.4.c Configure first hop redundancy protocols, such as HSRP and VRRP
  • 3.4.d Describe multicast protocols, such as PIM and IGMP v2/v3

4.0 Network Assurance


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4.1 Diagnose network problems using tools such as debugs, conditional debugs, trace route, ping, SNMP, and syslog

4.2 Configure and verify device monitoring using syslog for remote logging

4.3 Configure and verify NetFlow and Flexible NetFlow

4.4 Configure and verify SPAN/RSPAN/ERSPAN

4.5 Configure and verify IPSLA

4.6 Describe Cisco DNA Center workflows to apply network configuration, monitoring, and management

4.7 Configure and verify NETCONF and RESTCONF

5.0 Security


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5.1 Configure and verify device access control

  • 5.1.a Lines and password protection
  • 5.1.b Authentication and authorization using AAA

5.2 Configure and verify infrastructure security features

  • 5.2.a ACLs
  • 5.2.b CoPP

5.3 Describe REST API security

5.4 Configure and verify wireless security features

  • 5.4.a EAP
  • 5.4.b WebAuth
  • 5.4.c PSK

5.5 Describe the components of network security design

  • 5.5.a Threat defense
  • 5.5.b Endpoint security
  • 5.5.c Next-generation firewall
  • 5.5.d TrustSec, MACsec
  • 5.5.e Network access control with 802.1X, MAB, and WebAuth

6.0 Automation


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6.1 Interpret basic Python components and scripts

6.2 Construct valid JSON encoded file

6.3 Describe the high-level principles and benefits of a data modeling language, such as YANG

6.4 Describe APIs for Cisco DNA Center and vManage

6.5 Interpret REST API response codes and results in payload using Cisco DNA Center and RESTCONF

6.6 Construct EEM applet to automate configuration, troubleshooting, or data collection

6.7 Compare agent vs. agentless orchestration tools, such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and SaltStack

So that is a monster exam, if learning all of that for one brutal exam interests you, the best of luck to you – And you will actually be one small step away from the CCIE Lab.

In fact after obtaining the CCNP Enterprise, you can go right to the CCIE Enterprise, which will include all the same topics covered above so it might be for you!

Wireless, Security, Virtualization, Automation. All fun to learn, not something I would want crammed into one $300 exam attempt personally!

Timelines of how long exams are accredited towards the new track:

Its not very well known but a candidate has 3 years to pass all exams within a CCNP Track to complete it, if the first exam passed surpasses 3 years in age, it is no longer considered valid and will need to be retaken.

With the new track its quite different, being that the LAST exam you passed has a 3 year life span to complete that CCNP Track with equivalent new Specialist exams to complete the Certification, but this only really applies to people who pass ROUTE and SWITCH from what I’ve seen in the conversion tool linked above.

So for example I passed ROUTE 6/18, and SWITCH 6/19, so if I did not pass TSHOOT before the migration I have 3 years from my last passed exam (SWITCH) to pass a specialist certification valid to complete the CCNP Enterprise.

If you only have a ROUTE, or SWITCH, you will still need to take the ENCOR. If you manage to pass TSHOOT, you will ONLY have to pass ENCOR with no other specialist certs needed.

So really crunch time to get both ROUTE and SWITCH passed before Feb 2020!!!

Good luck my fellow grinders, I shall see you on the other side! πŸ™‚

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