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300-420 Exam Facts

The 300-420: Designing Cisco Enterprise Networks (ENSLD) exam evaluates the skills of the applicants in enterprise design. This test measures the following areas: WAN, SDA, network services, security services, advanced enterprise campus network, and advanced addressing & routing solutions. This is a concentration exam that the professionals can take to complete the requirements for earning the CCNP Enterprise certification (in fact, to obtain this certificate, they have to ace the core test, which is 350-401 ENCOR). In addition, those learners who pass the Cisco 300-420 exam will get another sought-after certification, and namely Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Design.

Requirements

The Cisco 300-420 test is aimed at Network Design Engineers, System Administrators, and Network Engineers. This exam does not have formal prerequisites. However, the professionals should have a good knowledge of the content covered in the test. Additionally, it is recommended that they have between three and five years of practical experience in implementing enterprise networking solutions. It is also recommended that the applicants earn the CCNA certificate before attempting this exam. Besides that, you should have a great understanding of network fundamentals and possess the competence in implementing LANs and LAN connectivity.

Exam Overview

Cisco 300-420 is a 90-minute test, which can be taken in Japanese or English. It includes more than 60 questions in various formats (testlets, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, etc.). To register for the exam, it is required that the individuals pay the fee of $300. Those who do not attain the passing score will need to retake the test.

Another important point that the applicants should know is the exam topics. It will help them make an informed decision about taking this test. The highlights of the subject areas of Cisco 300-420 are enumerated below:

  • Advanced Addressing & Routing Solutions

    In the first section, the test takers should demonstrate their expertise in creating structured addressing strategies for IPv4 & IPv6. Furthermore, they need to possess the skills in creating stable, scalable, and secure routing designs for a range of concepts, including IS-IS, OSPF, and EIGTP. This domain also covers developing stable, scalable, and secure routing designs for BGP, including route reflectors, attributes for path preference, load sharing, basic route filtering, and address families. In addition, the professionals should have the competence in determining strategies for IPv6 migration, involving overlay, boundaries, and native.

  • Advanced Enterprise Campus Networks

    This module focuses on designing campus networks for high availability, including graceful restart, platform abstraction methods, first-hop redundancy protocols, and BFD. It also requires that the applicants demonstrate their proficiency in designing infrastructures for Layer 2, including PoE & WoL, Loop-free technologies, STP scalability, and fast convergence. Furthermore, this part checks one’s experience in designing multi-campus infrastructures for Layer 3. These include convergence, route filtering, load sharing, redistribution, optimal topologies, VRFs, and route summarization. Moreover, the individuals should have knowledge of SD-Access Architecture, including control & data plane, security, wireless, automation, overlay, and underlay. In addition, this topic assesses the examinees’ comprehension of SD-Access fabric design considerations for wired and wireless access, including multicast, over-the-top & fabric for wireless, virtual networks, segmentation, scalability, control plan design, fabric design, border design, and overlay.

  • WAN for Enterprise Networks

    As for the next area, the students should demonstrate their competence in comparing the connectivity options for WAN, such as Metro Ethernet, SD-WAN customer edge, DWDM, MPLS L3 VPN, L2 VPN, and 4G/5G. In addition, it evaluates their expertise in designing site-to-site VPN, which covers IPsec, MPLS L3 VPN, GRE, GET VPN, and DMVPN. Furthermore, this part covers designing high-availability for enterprise WAN (Failover, Multi-homed, Single-homed, and backup connectivity). The test takers should also possess knowledge of Cisco SD-WAN architecture as well as design considerations for Cisco SD-WAN.

  • Network Services

    This domain requires the skills of the professionals in choosing the relevant Quality of Service strategies to fulfill the customer prerequisites as well as designing end-to-end Quality of Service policies, including policing, shaping, queuing, and classification & marking. The applicants need to have experience in designing network management methods (network management traffic prioritization, management networks segmentation, and out-of-band versus in-band). Additionally, they should possess an understanding of multicast services and multicast routing concepts.

  • Automation

    This last subject area measures the proficiency of the learners in selecting the right YANG data mode set according to the prerequisites. Furthermore, they should have the relevant skills in differentiating between Cisco native YANG models, Openconfig, and IETF, as well as RESTCONF and NETCONF. Besides that, the individuals need to possess knowledge of the impact of model-driven telemetry on the network, including on-change and periodic publications. In addition, they should have the competence in comparing dial-out and dial-in approaches to model-driven telemetry.

Preparation Options

Cisco recommends two major study tools for the 300-420 certification exam. Here are the details of these two preparation resources:

  • Training Course

    The vendor proposes the official training course. It covers the skills and knowledge required to design enterprise networks. Moreover, it focuses on designing networks based on the customer requirements, designing SD-Access Campus Fabric based on the customer requirements, and designing resilient Wide Area Networks. In addition, it includes designing service provider-managed Virtual Private Networks and designing enterprise-managed Virtual Private Networks. This course has 3 types of delivery, such as instructor-led training, virtual instructor-led training, and e-learning. The applicants can choose an option that suits their preferences.

  • Guidebook

    The specialists can also opt to use the official cert guidebook to prepare for Cisco 300-420. Authored by Anthony Bruno and Steve Jordan, this book covers the comprehensive explanations of the exam topics and also includes four full practice tests. Furthermore, it comes with the online interactive Flash Cards app, various quizzes, and practice exercises.

Career Benefits

The professionals who nail Cisco 300-420 along with the core exam will get the CCNP Enterprise certificate. With this certification, they can take up various job roles, including a Network Architect, a Network Engineer, a Network Administrator, an Information Technology Director, and a Senior Network Engineer, among others. The average remuneration for these positions is $96,574 per annum.

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