The CCDP certifications from Cisco covers advanced topics about the best practices with design and implementation of Cisco networks.
It is an unique IT certification that concentrates only on design topics. Huawei and Juniper at this moment don’t provide similar certifications, but we should see something about design from these both companies in the near future.
The best way to become a CCDP certified is to pass first the CCNP exams, but if you want you can start from 0. Let’s look what we should do to achieve a professional level in the Cisco design world.
What Exams You Must Pass to Become a CCDP
You must pass three exams: ROUTE (642-902), SWITCH (642-813) and ARCH 642-874.
You must also have two other IT certifications:
The ROUTE and SWITCH exams are required for the CCNP Routing and Switching certification. Just read this post to find all information about these two exams. In this article I concentrate only on the ARCH exam.
Format of the CCDP Exam
All the exams are normal, computer-based test. On the ARCH exam you have 75 minutes to answer 60 multiple-choice questions.
Where You Can Pass the CCDP Exam
You can pass all the exams in one of the Pearson VUE centers. If you are preparing for CCDP, this isn’t your first test, so you should know how to register to the exam.
How Much Does the CCDP Exam Cost
The ARCH exam costs $200. ROUTE and SWITCH also cost $200 each.
How To Renew your CCDP Certification
The CCDP certification is valid for 3 years.
Before the date of expiration you must pass one of these exams:
- 642-XXX level exam – like 642-973
- any CCIE written exam eg. CCIE Storage Networking
- the CCDE Written Exam of the CCDE Practical Exam
- … source – the Cisco website
Scope of the CCDP Exam
- Design advanced enterprise campus networks
- Design advanced IP addressing and routing solutions for enterprise networks
- Design WAN services for enterprise networks
- Design an enterprise data center
- Design security services
- More in this official document (you need a free login to Cisco Learning Network)
How To Prepare to the CCDP Exam
- Books that helps you with your preparation process:
- Designing Cisco Network Service Architectures (ARCH) Foundation Learning Guide: (CCDP ARCH 642-874) for $52 Recommended
- CCDA 640-864 Official Cert Guide for $47
- I always recommend trainings and materials from other companies, but with the ARCH exam you need only one of these books. The exam is based on theory and the best practices by Cisco. If you need more information about the best practices by Cisco I suggest you to start with Cisco Design Zone
If you interested with sharing your success story with CCDP please contact me.
Examples of Job Opportunities
Questions and Answers
Q: Do I need the CCDP certification for the CCDE (expert) certification?
A: No. Similar to CCIE. You do not need to have an associate certification or any professional certification to pass and achieve the CCDE certification.
Q: Why you do not recommend any trainings? I’ve heard that Cisco PEC (Partner Education Connection) has a great video training.
A: If you have an access to PEC, of course you can use it (you must work for a Cisco’s partner). The actual version of the PEC ARCH materials are valid for the last version of the CCDP exam. The best way to prepare is to use an actual book that covers are topics.