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Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies (DCCOR)

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CCIE Data Center Certification Facts

The CCIE Data Center certificate is designed for the professionals looking to distinguish themselves as leaders in the domain of data center technologies. This certification proves their skills in multifaceted data center solutions. To get certified, the applicants are required to ace two exams. First of all, they need to sit for 350-601 DCCOR, which covers the core data center technologies. After that, the individuals may move to the practical lab test (CCIE Data Center v3.0) that focuses on data center networks all through the network lifecycle, starting from the design stage to deployment, operation, and optimization. This expert-level certificate is valid for three years after which you will need to recertify to maintain your certification status.


CCIE Data Center doesn’t have any official requirements. However, Cisco recommends that the applicants have between five and seven years of practical experience with designing, optimizing, operating, and deploying data center technologies as well as solutions. It is also important that the specialists develop their competence in the domains of the exams before trying to pass them. The target audience for this expert-level certification includes Data Center Engineers, Network Designers, Systems Engineers, Technical Solutions Architects, and Server Administrators, among others.

Exam Overview

As mentioned earlier, the professionals need to nail two exams to earn this certificate. Cisco 350-601 DCCOR is a written test. It lasts 120 minutes and costs $400. CCIE Data Center v3.0 is a lab exam that has the duration of 8 hours. The registration fee is $1600. The following are the highlights of the topics of each test.

Cisco 350-601 DCCOR

The 350-601: Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies (DCCOR) exam evaluates the candidates’ skills in the implementation of the core technologies of data center. These include compute, network, storage network, automation, and security.

Network: The first subject area measures the expertise of the specialists in:

  • Applying routing and switching protocols
  • Applying the concepts of ACI and overlay protocols
  • Evaluating packet flow (it includes broadcast, multicast, and unicast)
  • Examining the Cloud service and deployment models
  • Implementing the management of network configuration
  • Implementing infrastructure monitoring (it includes NetFlow and SPAN)

Compute: This module assesses the proficiency of the individuals in:

  • Implementing both Cisco Unified Compute System Rack Servers and Cisco Unified Compute System Blade Chassis
  • Implementing the management of compute configuration such as Backup & restore
  • Implementing infrastructure monitoring, including Intersight and SPAN

Storage Network: This part evaluates the competence of the test takers in:

  • Implementing Fibre Channel (it includes switch fabric initialization, FCID, FCNS, Port channels, zoning, VSAN, NPV & NPIV, and Device alias)
  • Implementing FCoE Unified Fabric
  • Implementing infrastructure monitoring

Automation: Within this section, the professionals need to show their skills in:

  • Implementing tools for automation and scripting, such as Scheduler, EEM, REST API, Bash Shell & Guest Shell for NX-OS
  • Measuring orchestration and automation technologies (these include Ansible, PowerShell, POAP, UCSD, DCNM, Puppet, and Python)

Security: The last domain checks the proficiency of the applicants in:

  • Applying network security (it includes first-hop security features and ACI contracts & micro-segmentation, among others)
  • Applying computing security, including keychain authentication and AAA & RBAC
  • Applying storage security (it includes port security, AAA & RBAC, and fabric binding)

CCIE Data Center v3.0

The practical lab test measures the competence of the individuals in planning, designing, deploying, optimizing, and operating multifaceted Data Center networks.

Data Center Layer 2/Layer 3 Connectivity: The first topic concentrates on:

  • L-2 Technologies (these include tagging/trunking, spanning tree protocol, link aggregation, and static path binding)
  • Routing Protocols & features, including OSPF, IS-IS, BFD, and BGP
  • Multicast Protocols, including PIM, and IGMP

Data Center Fabric Infrastructure: In this module, the students should demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • Components of physical fabric, including fabric discovery, switches, and controllers/network managers
  • Fabric policies, covering monitoring policies, multi-tenancy, and access policies
  • Tenant policies (these cover security, networking, and application profiles & EPGs)
  • Fabric monitoring, including faults, health indicators, events, and audit logs
  • Virtual networking

Data Center Fabric Connectivity: This subject area is centered on:

  • Layer3Out, covering Authentication, Route Redistribution, Adjacencies, and Network types & Area Types
  • BGP, including AS manipulation, Router reflectors, Route Redistribution, and Internal & External Peering
  • Inter Fabric connectivity, including remote Leaf, virtual POD, multi-site and multi-Pod
  • Overlays, including VXLAN EVPN

Data Center Compute: This section gives attention to:

  • Compute Resources (these include Hyperflex and UCSM Policies, Templates, and Profiles)
  • Compute Connectivity, covering Port Modes, Rack server integration, and SAN/LAN uplinks

Data Center Storage Protocols & Features: The next domain takes a look at:

  • FC & FCoE, covering zoning, load balancing, port-channel, trunking, and NPV/NPIV
  • iSCSI, covering multipathing and authentication
  • RoCE v2 over IP Networks

Data Center Security & Network Services: As for this part, the specialists need to show their comprehension of:

  • Security features, covering contracts, port security, private VLANs, and first-hop security
  • RBAC, covering AAA, LDAP, TACACS+, and Radius
  • Network Service Insertion & Redirection, including policy-based routing, policy-based redirection, route targets, prefix lists, and Inter VRF communication
  • Services, including DHCP, SNMP, NTP/PTP, Syslog, and SPAN
  • Traffic management, including classification/marking, CoPP, Queueing, scheduling, and policing

Data Center Automation & Orchestration: The last area is built around:

  • Using scripts to perform Data center tasks
  • Using tools for Data Center Automation & Orchestration
  • CloudCenter Suite, including Action Orchest, Deployment, and Applications
  • Intersight

Preparation Options

The applicants have various options for exam preparation. The professionals can consider the resources available on the official webpage. For instance, it may be the exam blueprint. It comes with an overview of the subject areas that are entailed in the test. The next tool the individuals may explore is the official training course. The course for the 350-601 DCCOR exam covers implementing data center compute, LAN and SAN infrastructure. Furthermore, it focuses on the essentials of automation and security in data centers. Besides that, it gives attention to deploying, securing, operating, and maintaining Cisco data center infrastructure. To find more preparation materials, the learners may check various 3rd-party platforms.

Career Opportunities

Cisco CCIE Data Center is an expert-level certification that can come in handy for various job roles. Some of the positions that are available for the certified professionals include a Data Center Engineer, a System Engineer, a Network Engineer, a Network Administrator, a Server Administrator, a Field Engineer, a Network Manager, and a Consulting Systems Engineer, among others. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary outlook for the certificate holders is $84,000 per year.

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