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Nov 4 2015   2:01PM GMT

Cisco’s new CCNA course is moving your networking skills to the cloud

FirebrandInstructors Profile: FirebrandInstructors

Cloud networking
Network Administrator
Network Engineer

As businesses continue to deploy cloud infrastructure and operating models within their organizations,  we are entering an era of change for the role that networking plays. New infrastructure, applications, access and traffic are changing what is happening on the network. The fundamentals of what you need to do with data on a network hasn’t changed. However the different combinations of cloud service and deployment models require changes in network architecture, services and resources.

Networking has to change, and with it so to does the role of the network engineer. To take advantage of the changes in technology you must evolve to develop skills and knowledge of cloud networking. With World Bank studies estimating the need for 220,000 new network engineers every year from 2015 to 2022, now is the perfect time.

Networking giant, Cisco, have launched the new CCNA Cloud certification, specifically designed to develop the requisite skills and knowledge for companies and individuals looking to embrace the cloud.

What is the CCNA Cloud?

Cloud and IoT / IndustrialThe Cisco Certified Network Associate credential (CCNA) has long been the critical first step to a successful career in networking. The first and most popular CCNA course in routing and switching has since been joined by specializations including security, wireless, data center and collaboration. Cloud is the latest in this growing list of CCNA specializations.

The CCNA Cloud is a job-role based career certification aimed at cloud engineers, cloud architects, network engineers and network administrators. It was developed to build and demonstrate critical skills in cloud. You will learn to build private and hybrid cloud IaaS, allowing IT to facilitate and manage enterprise-wide cloud deployments.

Attaining the CCNA Cloud certification will prove you have the skills and knowledge required to design, install, and maintain Cisco Cloud solutions in SMB, enterprise cloud and data center environments.

What will I learn on the course?

In order to achieve the CCNA Cloud certification you will need to pass two exams, 210-451 CLDFND and 210-455 CLDADM. Aligned to these exams are two courses that I will briefly outline below:

Understanding Cisco Cloud Fundamentals (CLDFND)

Focusing the foundation tasks and knowledge linked to cloud computing, this course covers topics including different cloud deployment and service models, network architecture and server virtualization. You’ll cover the following modules:

  • Module 1: Cloud Characteristics and Models
  • Module 2: Cloud Deployment
  • Module 3: Basic Knowledge of Cloud Compute
  • Module 4: Basic Knowledge of Cloud Networking
  • Module 5: Basic Knowledge of Cloud Storage

Introducing Cisco Cloud Administration (CLDADM)

This course looks at the features and operation of Cisco UCS Director (UCSD) and Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (CIAC) products. You’ll learn about cloud provision and management including the following modules:

  • Module 1: Cloud Infrastructure Administration and Reporting
  • Module 2: Chargeback and Billing Reports
  • Module 3: Cloud Provisioning
  • Module 4: Cloud Systems Management and Monitoring
  • Module 5: Cloud Remediation

What are the prerequisites?

Unlike some of the other specializations, the CCNA Cloud course requires no prerequisite certifications. However, it’s recommended that you have an understanding of network, compute and storage fundamentals. Doing so will avoid some steep learning curves.

Is recertification required ?

Yes, like all other CCNA associate certifications, the CCNA Cloud requires recertification after three years. You can achieve this when passing one of the following before the expiration date:

  • Pass any current Associate-level exam except for the ICND1 exam or
  • Pass any current 642-XXX Professional-level or any 300-XXX Professional-level exam, or
  • Pass any current 642-XXX Cisco Specialist exam (excluding Sales Specialist exams or MeetingPlace Specialist exams, Implementing Cisco TelePresence Installations (ITI) exams, Cisco Leading Virtual Classroom Instruction exams, or any 650 online exams), or
  • Pass any current CCIE Written Exam, or
  • Pass the current CCDE Written Exam OR current CCDE Practical Exam, or
  • Pass the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) interview AND the CCAr board review to extend lower certifications

What should I do after CCNA Cloud?

The natural follow on certification is the CCNP Cloud. Building on the cloud networking knowledge and skills fostered in the CCNA, the CCNP Cloud will take your career to the next level. You’ll dive into advanced topics which involve:

  • Implementing and Troubleshooting the Cisco Cloud Infrastructure
  • Designing the Cisco Cloud
  • Automating the Cisco Enterprise Cloud
  • Building the Cisco Cloud with Application Centric Infrastructure

Resources to prepare for certification success

If you’re committed to becoming CCNA Cloud certified, there are a series of resources to prepare you for certification success. They are as follows:

As well as the following resources you can also take an official course. Firebrand offers official Cisco courses with an accelerated 6 day CCNA Cloud course across our training centers in Europe and the Middle East.

About the Author


Edward works for Firebrand Training as a Technical Writer within the Marketing department. His works are widely published, featuring in high-end publications including TechNet, Entrepreneur and TechRadar. At the beginning of 2015 Edward was named in Microsoft’s IT Pro New Year’s Honours List.



4  Comments on this Post

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  • Firimbiz
    This is something i would like to follow up on.i will be getting my network+ certification soon. Very good article. Do they have in training centres in u.s.a?
    20 pointsBadges:
  • FirebrandInstructors
    Hi Firimbiz. I'm afraid we don't have a training center in America. It might be worth checking out Training Camp, they also offer accelerated Cisco training. 
    190 pointsBadges:
  • Firimbiz
    I will check it out.Do you think having a my certification in network and security + is a good foundation?
    20 pointsBadges:
  • FirebrandInstructors
    Both great qualifications to achieve to give you a grounding in networking and security. As for what to do next, really that depends on where you want to take your career and how much experience you have. 

    If you want to be a network engineer/admin, certifying in Cisco technologies is a solid investment. Typically i'd recommend the CCNA routing and switching certification as this is the bread and butter of a networking role. Here's the guidance we typically give out before attending a course.

    " It is recommended you should have a minimum of six months' experience of working with networks. You should be familiar with the TCP/IP suite of protocols, and be able to configure networking on a PC within a workgroup environment.

    You will find it useful if you understand the concepts of routing and switching, and subnetting. These topics will be covered on the course but prior knowledge will be beneficial."
    190 pointsBadges:

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