Cisco announces new CCNA Cloud, CCNP Cloud credentials

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Cisco is adding cloud computing to its certification portfolio.Just as the automobile irrevocably changed the “horse-and-buggy” industry, so too is the Internet of Everything (IoE) changing the face of global commerce. As the IoE expands, more industries are digitizing and connecting in new ways, enabling them to increase profits and productivity while meeting customer needs quicker and more completely.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) spreads to every corner of the planet, the pace of business delivery for industries continues to accelerate, especially as operational and informational technologies converge into a “united industrial infrastructure.” To keep up, more industries are using Software as a Service (SaaS) and turning to the Cloud as a way to lower costs and improve profits. According to a white paper from the Cloud Global Cloud Index, 78 percent of workloads will be processed in the Cloud within the next three years.

It is conservatively estimated that within the next five years we will have more than 50 billion things connected to the internet. All of these connections will require network professionals to develop new knowledge and skill-sets to successfully manage these expanded networks in their daily job roles.

To meet the needs of these legions of network professionals Cisco today announced several new IoT and Cloud-focused career certifications. The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certifications are available globally and expand Learning@Cisco’s industry leading portfolio, to help customers develop the critical skill sets needed for today’s technologies.

Cisco CCNA Cloud is a job-role-based career certification targeted to network and cloud engineers and administrators and is designed to give them the skills to deliver entry-level provisioning and support of Cisco cloud solutions.  To earn the CCNA Cloud certification candidates must pass both the 210-451 CLDFND and 210-455 CLDADM exams.

CCNP level Cloud certification is targeted to network engineers, and Cloud engineers, administrators, designers and architects to enable them to design, implement, provision and troubleshoot Cisco cloud solutions. The prerequisite for CCNP Cloud is CCNA Cloud. Required exams include the 300-5-4 CLDINF, 300-505 CLDDES, 300-506 CLDAUT, and the 300-507 CLDACI. Both certifications are valid for three years.

In a statement to media, Cisco strategy and marketing executive Tejas Vashi spoke of the need for individuals and businesses to adapt to meet the wave of change upon the world. “The technological changes we are seeing are unprecedented, both in terms of the opportunities they afford and the pace of change. Innovation is hampered when infrastructure lags, and new challenges arise as the world becomes more connected. The new certifications we are introducing enable IT personnel to handle current and future challenges with job role based training that drives business value for their employers.”

IoT disruption is creating opportunities for companies to connect in a more relevant manner with their customers, suppliers and employees. They are better able to cut costs and maximizing profits while meeting customer demands. It is also requiring network professionals to develop new knowledge and skill sets to function in their daily job roles.

Nowhere is this more pertinent than on the manufacturing floor as operational technologies (OT) rapidly converge with IT to create a united industrial infrastructure. This convergence has caused a skills gap to arise — the demand for network professionals able to understand and communicate interactions between IT, networking and traditional control systems is industry-wide. Career opportunities are plentiful; the World Bank estimates that between 2014 and 2022, the industry will require more than 200,000 new engineers each year.

Rockwell Automation training manager Glenn Goldney said in a statement to media, “More than ever, our customers are experiencing the convergence of OT and IT on the plant floor, requiring the two organizations to work together to future-proof the development and maintenance of these new and complex network infrastructures. Cisco and Rockwell Automation are addressing this challenge with training and certifications to help OT and IT professionals gain the skillset needed to build, manage and operate converged network architectures throughout The Connected Enterprise.”

Disruptive lightbulbCisco CCNA Industrial certification is designed to bridge the skills-gap. As the newest addition to the CCNA Industrial Education curriculum, it is a “lab-based training and certification offering” targeted at plant administrators, control engineers and IT/network engineers working with manufacturing plants. CCNA Industrial is designed to provide candidates the skills and knowledge needed to build, manage, and operate converged manufacturing plant networks. Pre-requisites are certification in either IMINS, CCENT or CCNA Routing and Switching.  Candidates must pass the 200-601 exam. This certification is also valid for three years.

IoE and IoT will continue to change our lives in ways we cannot even imagine. Just as Amazon killed off bookstores, Uber is thrashing the taxi Industry and Airbnb is giving the hotel industry fits. Wise companies will adapt positively or suffer the consequences.

“IT is all about disruption,” said Vashi. “You have to be willing to disrupt yourself, or you risk being disrupted.

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Calvin Harper


Calvin Harper is an associate editor of Certification Magazine.

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