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300-615 Exam Facts

Cisco 300-615 is a professional-level certification exam that measures the knowledge and skills of the candidates interested in troubleshooting data center infrastructures. This test is designed to evaluate their understanding of operations and management, automation, storage network, compute platforms, and network. It is one of the concentration exams that lead to the award of the CCNP Data Center certification if you deal with the core test first. If your goal is to pass this exam only, you will obtain the Specialist certificate to have proof of your skills in this specialized area. Therefore, in any case, you need to know what to expect from Cisco 300-615 and how to clear it with flying colours.

Requirements

The Cisco 300-615 certification exam does not have any formal requirements. However, the vendor recommends that you have at least three to five years of practical experience in implementing data center solutions. The potential candidates should have the skills in configuring, maintaining, and securing SAN and LAN based on MDS switches and Cisco NEXUS as well as Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco ACI. There are different courses that the students can take to gain this expertise.

The target audience for this exam includes Network Managers, Systems Engineers, Network Designers, Technical Solutions Architects, and Network Engineers. If you are a Server Administrator, a Network Administrator, a Consulting Systems Engineer, or a Data Center Engineer, you can pursue this path to enhance your skills.

Exam Overview

Cisco 300-615 is a 90-minute exam, which contains about 60 questions and can only be taken in English. The question formats that may be administered in the test include multiple choice, multiple response, drag and drop, testlet, and fill-in-the-blank. During the registration process, you will be asked to pay the fee, which is $300. If you have to retake the exam, you will be required to pay another fee.

The details of the topics that the individuals should study in preparation for the test are described below:

  • Network: 25%

    This section requires that you have the skills in troubleshooting routing protocols, which include FHRP, PIM, MP-BGP, and OSPFv2 & OSPFv3. It also entails developing the exprtise in troubleshooting switching protocols and overlay protocols, which include RSTP+, OTV, vPC, LACP, and VXLAN EVPN. It also evaluates your competence in troubleshooting application centric infrastructure, including external connectivity, packet flow (multicast, broadcast, and unicast), VMM domain integration, fabric discovery, and tenant policies.

  • Compute Platforms: 25%

    The next area requires that the potential candidates develop their skills in troubleshooting Cisco Unified Computing Systems rack servers and blade chassis. It covers the details of infrastructure (Power, IOM, and Chassis), storage (FC zoning, SAN connectivity, VSANs, templates, policies, and pools), as well as boot policies & server pools. The individuals should also demonstrate their expertise in troubleshooting hardware inter-operability, including firmware, fabric interconnects, port expanders/converged network adapters, and I/O modules/FEX. Additionally, they need the competence in troubleshooting firmware upgrades, inter-operability, and packages.

  • Storage Network: 15%

    The test takers should have the skills in troubleshooting FCoE Cisco Unified Fabric such as DCB and FIP. This domain also focuses on their competence in troubleshooting Fiber Channel, including VSAN, device alias, FCID, NPV & NPIV, Zoning, Cisco Fabric Services, Fiber Channel buffer credit starvation, and switched fabric initialization.

  • Automation: 15%

    This objective checks the individuals’ skills in troubleshooting scripting tools and automation, including scheduler and EEM. It also requires their proficiency in troubleshooting programmability, which includes Bash shell & guest shell for NX-OS, REST API, and JSON & XML encoding.

  • Operations and Management: 20%

    The candidates interested in this certification exam should demonstrate their competence in troubleshooting firmware upgrades, inter-operability, and packages as well as troubleshooting the integration of the centralized management. It also covers their skills in troubleshooting network security, which entails troubleshooting CoPP, AAA & RBAC, Fabric binding & port security, and first-hop security, including DHCP snooping, port security, and dynamic ARP. This module also requires their expertise in troubleshooting the ACI role mapping and security domains as well as troubleshooting data center and compute security. It assesses your skills in troubleshooting key management and troubleshooting AAA & RBAC. Additionally, the students should possess the skills in troubleshooting storage security, covering fabric binding, port security, and AAA & RBAC.

Preparation Options

The Internet is loaded with numerous preparation resources for those professionals who are sitting for one certification exam or another. As for Cisco 300-615, the candidates can find various materials that support their learning preferences. However, it is recommended that they use the official preparation options designed for this test. Some of the available tools are the following:

  • Instructor-led training course

    To prepare wisely for this exam, Cisco recommends that you take the instructor-led training course, which is known as Troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Infrastructure. It exposes the potential candidates to the steps involved in troubleshooting Cisco Data Center Unified Fabric, Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure, Cisco Unified Computing System, SAN, and LAN. The students will also learn different tools and methodologies for identifying problems that may arise within the data center network architecture. They will get access to the comprehensive practical experience in troubleshooting installation, interconnectivity, and configuration issues within Cisco Fabric Extenders, Cisco Multi-layer Director Switch switches, Cisco ACI, Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus switches, and others. It should also be noted that those individuals who participate in this training course will earn 50 CE credits, which count towards the recertification process.

  • Practice tests

    You will need to work through practice tests to evaluate your skills while looking out for the possible knowledge gaps. The training course has some elements of mock exams that the candidates should complete. However, to get the opportunity to take more of the full-length practice tests, it is recommended that they explore other reputable IT platforms.

Career Prospects

Those professionals who hold the CCNP Data Center certificate have an edge over their non-certified colleagues. This certification distinguishes the individuals and positions them for more career opportunities. Thus, some of the job roles that these applicants can consider include a Data Center Technician, a Senior Data Center Technician, a Network Engineer, a Senior Network Support Engineer, a Network Engineer, an Offline Technician, a Network Support Engineer, and a Network Analyst, among others. The average salary that the certificate holders can earn is $110,475 per annum.

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