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300-610 Exam Facts

The Cisco 300-610 exam is designed to evaluate the applicants’ knowledge and skills in data center infrastructure design. This test measures their specific skills in the network, automation, compute, and storage network. Those candidates who achieve the required passing score in the exam will fulfill a part of the requirements for earning the CCNP Data Center certification. This qualifying test also leads to the Specialist certificate, which shows your skills in this area and helps you get the benefits even if you are not pursuing the professional-level option. Those individuals who are planning to take the 300-610 exam must get conversant with its topics and gain competence in the areas that will be measured in it.

Requirements

This Cisco exam and the associated certificates do not have any formal requirements, but the candidates should understand the topics covered in the content before attempting the test. Ideally, the individuals should have at least three to five years of practical experience in implementing data center solutions. It is also recommended to have a good understanding of data center storage, data center virtualization, and Cisco Unified Computing System. They also need knowledge of the data center network and storage area networks as well as products available within the domains of Multi-layer Director Switch and Cisco Data Center Nexus.

The target audience for the 300-610 certification exam includes network managers, server administrators, systems engineers, network designers, network engineers, technical solutions architects, data center engineers, and consulting systems engineers, among others.

Exam Overview

The Cisco 300-610 exam is an English-only test covering about 60 questions. The candidates will be given 90 minutes to complete all these questions, which will be presented in various formats, including testlets, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank. The registration and scheduling processes for the exam cost $300, and this can only be used for a single attempt. If you do not attain the passing score, you have to pay a new fee to try again.

The topics that should be studied for this exam during the preparation phase are highlighted below:

  • Network Design: 35%

    The interested candidates should develop the competence in evaluating different alternatives for Layer 2 connectivity, including services insertion, convergence, endpoint mobility, and high availability/redundancy. It also covers their skills in evaluating the alternatives for Layer 3 connectivity, covering IP mobility, service insertion, convergence, and high availability/redundancy. Also, you will need the expertise in measuring data center technologies, including vPC+ and vPC, as well as measuring the alternatives for interconnecting data centers, which include OTV and VLAN EVPN. This topic also covers the skills in measuring the out-of-band and in-band alternatives for management and redundancy alternatives, including disaster recovery and active/active sites.

  • Compute Design: 25%

    This subject area focuses on the skills required for measuring the alternatives for Ethernet connectivity, which includes fabric interconnect operation mode, bandwidth, and redundancy. It requires the ability to measure the alternatives for storage connectivity. This includes fabric interconnect operation modes such as end-host mode and switch-mode. Also, it includes bandwidth (oversubscription and port channels) and direct-attached storage (FCoE PORTS, FC storage, and appliance). You are also required to demonstrate the capability to measure the alternatives for network device virtualization within a data center. This covers vCon placement, Fibre Channel adapter, and Ethernet adaptor policies, among others. The individuals should also have the ability to measure the alternatives for hyper-converge infrastructure, including desktop virtualization, HX for a virtual server, and cluster mode.

  • Storage Network Design: 20%

    Here, the students need to demonstrate their ability to plan for the deployment of iSCSI within a data center, including addressing and multipathing schemes. It also covers the skills in measuring the QoS prerequisites within the data center, including FCoE, iSCSI, FCIP, and FCoE. This part also requires the skills in establishing Fibre Channel Interface and FCoE, including ISL, port types, Oversubscription, and shared and dedicated mode. The ability to measure the options of the SAN topology will also be evaluated.

  • Automation Design: 20%

    This section focuses on the learners’ skills required to measure the alternatives for network automation and orchestration. This requires an understanding of the concepts of Python, Ansible, NX-API, Puppet, Intersight, DCNM, and Model-driven programmability. The test takers also need to demonstrate their skills in measuring the alternatives for compute automation and orchestration, including vHBA templates, vNIC, service profile templates, and local policies versus global policies.

Preparation Options

The recommended preparation resource for the Cisco 300-610 exam is the Designing Cisco Data Center Infrastructure course. This training option equips the test takers with the ability to master the design and deployment alternatives focused on Cisco data center technologies and solutions across compute, network, storage area networks, virtualization, security, and automation. The interested candidates can also learn the process of designing practices for Cisco Unified Computing Systems solutions based on Cisco Unified Fabric, Cisco UCS Manager, and Cisco UCS C-Series and B-Series servers. The students will also gain competence and hands-on experience with network management technologies, which include Cisco UCS Director, Cisco Data Center Network Manager, and Cisco UCS Manager, among others. This course is available in various delivery methods, including private group training, Cisco Digital Learning, classroom-style, and e-learning. Suffice to mention that this training is an instructor-led course covering five days of intensive learning experience with the design-oriented case studies.

The potential candidates for the certification exam are also advised to take ample practice tests before the exam date. This is to prepare them for what to expect in the real test. You will also be able to develop your test-taking skills for the optimal performance in Cisco 300-610.

Career Opportunities

It is a well-known fact that having an IT certification improves your career potentials. They give you a competitive edge in the marketplace, so you can confidently explore various opportunities in your career paths. Thus, those professionals who earn the CCNP Data Center certificate have many job roles that they can consider. Some of these include a Data Center Technician, a Data Center Lead, a Network Engineer, a Server Infrastructure Engineer, a Network Architect, a Senior Network Support Engineer, and an Offline Technician, among others. The average income for these titles is $105,768 per annum.

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