As Cisco, with an increased emphasis on Software Defined Networks (SDNs) as well as their components within those certifications, is now being prepared to release their completely refurbished Certifications for 2020, a lot of folks would have been asking that whether the SDNs would be withdrawing the value of the CCIE or CCNP.
Let me make one thing very clear for the aspiring candidates. A CCIE certification exam is considered a very valuable certification now, as well as for years to come, for Network Engineers. Even if one were to believe that knowledge of the Cisco IOS CLI is going to become irrelevant, due to the increased importance of SDN Controllers, which would be nothing but a faulty assumption. What you are going to learn about various features as well as protocols while studying for your CCIE would be still priceless.
Even if every piece of network hardware would be zero-touch, out-of-the-box, as well as completely controlled by an SDN Controller, which is now not the case and probably won’t be for a very long time, one would still need to know networking concepts that are only taught at the CCIE-level. So, you might have to gain the CCIE Certification. If you wish to have it in a single attempt, you should check out the courses offered at the SPOTO.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, one could disagree that knowledge of the IOS Command-Line is still becoming obsolete. And certainly, knowledge of IOS commands is a huge part of the Cisco CCIE, so doesn’t THAT render the exam irrelevant? Sure, it’s important to know the operational characteristics of protocols-and-features, but the SDN Controller’s GUI makes knowledge of the CLI irrelevant, doesn’t it?
No. It wouldn’t be considered irrelevant
Knowledge of Cisco’s IOS CLI (whether is be IOS-XE, XR, etc) is still valuable for Network Engineers to have and will continue to be valuable long into the future, for several reasons.
First, the best way to learn any feature or protocol is to practice it. Imagine that you have two students, A and B, and you tell them both to learn to drive a car. Student A is given all the manuals, videos, and books to learn about how to drive a car. Student B is given those same materials but also has access to an actual automobile and racetrack to practice on. Which student do you think will have best learned to drive after a predefined time period has elapsed?
Know the Cost
Lastly, SDN networks and their associated controllers are considered to be very much expensive to implement. Only a subset of Cisco’s Routers and Switches are supported by their own SDN Controller Appliances, like DNA Center. The Controller alone is tens of thousands of dollars. If someone is managing or building a Small-to-Medium sized network, there’s a good chance they will never need a Controller for it, nor will they want to spend money on even much more expensive devices that would be working with a Controller.
Consider that most large Service provider or Enterprise networks aren’t homogenous. They would be a mixture of devices from Cisco, HP, Juniper, and other vendors. At present, there would be no single SDN solution that would be configuring, monitoring, and controlling a mixed-vendor environment like this. In this situation, if the Cisco presence within that network were large enough, a case could be made to implement a Software-Defined solution, be that a DNA Center or whatever is next on the horizon. However, knowledge of the Cisco IOS CLI will be necessary for the vast majority of Network Engineers for many years to come. Thus, you should have known now, that the SDNs aren’t diminishing the value of Cisco CCIE or CCNP, and if you wish to have it, you should check out the courses, which are being offered at the SPOTO Club. They have a team of experts with the experience of about 16 years, which helps the candidates to achieve their IT certification in a single attempt, so do check them out.