The Cisco CCNP Service Provider certification is designed for candidates to validate their skills with server provider solutions. The process of obtaining this designation consists of two steps, passing one core exam (350-501) and one concentration exam from the pool of the offered tests. Before gaining this Cisco certification you should have at least 3 years of hands-on experience in using service provider solutions.
Exam 350-501 checks how knowledgeable you are about service provider infrastructure. It means that you possess solid knowledge in dealing with core service provider network technologies, such as core architecture, networking, automation, services, security, quality of services, and network assurance. All the exam questions based on these topics you need to complete in the timeframe of 2 hours and pay for the exam $400. You should also consider the fact that the 350-501 exam is also associated with the Cisco Certified Specialist-Service Provider Core certification, which you receive after passing this evaluation. In addition, it serves as a qualifying exam for taking the lab exam that leads to the CCIE Service Provider designation.
Concerning the exam content, the topics covered in the 350-501 exam are divided into 5 parts.
The first section focuses on the skills you possess in the architecture domain. That’s why you should be ready to demonstrate your competence in describing service provider architectures, such as core architectures, transport technologies, and mobility, Cisco network software architecture, service provider virtualization, and QoS architecture. Your ability to prove control plane security, integrate data plane security, and offer management plane security will also be assessed.
The second domain refers to networking. Within this topic, your skills to implement IS-IS, OSPF, BGP, and HA will be verified. In addition, you should be able to describe the path selection algorithm that relates to BGP, describe IPv6 transition, and troubleshoot routing protocols.
The third topic checks how good you are at MPLS and Segment Routing. For that purpose, you should be able to use MPLS and describe traffic engineering along with segment routing. This includes the ability to implement LDP sync, LDP neighbors, MPLS OAM, describe RSVP functionality, ODPF and ISIS extensions, describe segment types, PCE-PCC architecture, and IGP control plane.
The fourth topic is about services and it aims to prove your skills in describing VPN services, configuring L3VPN, L2VPN, and Carrier Ethernet. Besides, you should be able to apply multicast services and apply QoS services. It means that you should be proficient in working with EVPN, CSC, mVPN, Ethernet OAM. VLAN tag manipulation, Intra-AS VPN, PIM, classification and marking.
The fifth topic is dedicated to automation and assurance. This topic will measure your skills to deal with programmable APIs used in network automation, explain an external script to configure a Cisco device, describe data analytics and the role of Network Service Orchestration. In addition, you should be able to explain the high-level principles of a data modeling language, configure NetFlow, IPFIX, NETCONF, RESTCONF, and SMNP.
The next exam you are to take is the concentration exam, which you are to choose from three of them available on the vendor’s website. Each of them is focused on an industry-specific topic, such as advanced routing (300-510), VPN services (300-515), and automation of Service Provider solutions (300-535). To complete any evaluation, you will be given 90 minutes. And before sitting for the specialist level exam, you will have to pay $300. To add more, after passing any exam you will obtain a specialist-level certification. Thus, 300-510 will bring you the Cisco Certified Specialist - Service Provider Advanced Routing Implementation designation, 300-515 - Cisco Certified Specialist - Service Provider VPN Services Implementation, and 300-535 Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist - Service Provider Automation and Programmability accreditation.
According to the Indeed website, being Cisco CCNP Service Provider certified, you can earn annually about $110,000 per year.