The Cisco ENCOR Exam in Detail: Architecture

2021-07-21 10:21:54 SPOTO Club CCNP 87

This is the first of a six-part series on Cisco's ENCOR certification exam 350-401, which leads to the CCNP Enterprise, CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, CCIE Enterprise Wireless, and Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Core certifications.

The new Cisco ENCOR exam 350-401, or Enterprise Core Networking, is a monster for the CCNP/CCIE Enterprise! In this over the 100-question exam, there are six key topic areas. You'll have 120 minutes to get through all of the questions.

Architecture is the first section, and it accounts for 15% of the entire exam. The following are some of the topics covered in the Architecture field:

1.1 Describe the various design principles that are employed in a corporate network.

  • 1.1.a Tier 2, Tier 3, and Fabric Capacity Planning are examples of enterprise network design.
  • 1.1.b Techniques for ensuring high availability, such as redundancy, FHRP, and SSO

1.2 Examine WLAN deployment design principles.

  • 1.2.a Models for wireless deployment  (centralized, distributed, controller-less, controller-based, cloud, remote branch)
  • 1.2.b In a WLAN design, location services

1.3 Understand the differences between on-premises and cloud infrastructure implementations.

1.4 Describe the Cisco SD-WAN solution's functioning principles.

  • 1.4.a Control and data plane aspects of SD-WAN
  • 1.4.b Wide-area network (WAN) and software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) solutions

1.5 Describe the Cisco SD-Access solution's working principles.

  • 1.5.a SD-Access control and data planes elements 
  • 1.5.b Interoperating with SD-Access on a traditional campus

1.6 Explain the concepts of wired and wireless quality of service.

  • 1.6.a Components of Quality of Service
  • 1.6.b Quality of Service (QoS) policy

1.7 Distinguish between hardware and software-based switching mechanisms.

  • 1.7.a CEF and Process
  • 1.7.b TCAM and MAC address table
  • 1.7.c FIB vs. RIB

So, what exactly does all of this imply? I'm here to assist you in deciphering the plan so you may concentrate on your studies.

Some design elements are included in the ENCOR test. The 3-tier classical network design, which contains the core, distribution, and access layers, and the 2-tier design, often known as the collapsed core, are included. The core and distribution layers are compacted into a single layer in the collapsed core. On the ENCOR, you don't have to worry about spines or leaves. Because this is a standard data center design, it is only covered on the Data Center Core test.

If you're coming from the old 200-125 test days, you'll remember the FHRP, or First Hop Redundancy Protocol, a portion of the CCNP Enterprise. These protocols are in place to safeguard a LAN's default gateway in general. All of the big ones, including Cisco's GLBP and HSRP, as well as the more open VRRP, are on the table.

Wireless is the subject of the next exam segment. Many diverse components of wireless technology, such as frequency assignments, channels, different antennas, and their accompanying radiation patterns, should be familiarized here. You'll also need to know about common sources of 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless signal interference.

With the cloud playing such a large role in today's business, it's critical for CCNP/CCIE certification candidates to comprehend its significance, as well as the benefits and cons of cloud infrastructure. While the cloud can quickly scale, it is often a one-size-fits-all solution. On-premises may be preferable for more specialized workloads. On-premises connectivity to the environment can provide lower latency.


The next component, SD-WAN, or software-defined wide-area networking, has to be one of my personal favorites. You must have a thorough understanding of Cisco's SD-WAN product from Viptela to pass the ENCOR exam. The ENCOR test does not include Cisco Meraki, even though it is an SD-WAN Cisco solution. You should be aware of the many components of the Cisco SD-WAN system and its critical responsibilities.


With all of the collaborative technologies in use today, QoS, or Quality of Service, is more critical than ever in many workplace networks. It is possible to have a fantastic meeting experience by ensuring that latency-sensitive traffic, such as Cisco Webex and IP Telephone, is prioritized on the network. You will be successful here if you understand QoS themes and technologies available at both the L2 and L3 levels.

The Architecture section of the ENCOR test demands you to know about CEF, or Cisco Express Forwarding, the MAC Address Table, TCAM, and its applications, as well as the relationship and distinctions between the RIB and the FIB. Prepare for the ENCOR Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies class by familiarizing yourself with all the subjects covered.

Hopefully, this Architecture explanation and breakdown for the CCNP/CCIE Enterprise Networking Core test will assist you in being more prepared! Also, if you want to pass CCNP 350-401 ENCOR exam fast, you should try SPOTO 350-401 exam dumps with real 350-401 exam questions and answers to help you 100% pass the 350-401 exam in the first try! or you can join our Cisco study group to get more latest exam news!