What You Need To Know About Cisco’s CCNP ENCOR Course

by Bill Heller

The Cisco Systems certified ENCOR Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies 1.0 course is a serious course. Cisco ENCOR training is designed to prepare students for the 350-401 exam, which is on the CCNP Enterprise track and prepares you for the CCNP Enterprise, CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure, CCIE Enterprise Wireless, Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise Core certifications.

The ENCOR course consists of 33 lessons. While only 24 of these lessons are intended by Cisco to be taught during the 5-day ENCOR 1.0 course, the remaining nine lessons are designed to be learned by the student via self-study.

Skyline ATS introduced its Athena continuous-learning program so that students can receive training on those additional 9 modules by Skyline ATS’ Cisco Certified professional instructors. The ENCOR 1.0 course is a serious step up from the CCNA 1.0 (Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions) course. There are some topics which were not included at all in the CCNA 1.0 course while many topics that were in that course are gone into in much greater detail in the ENCOR class.

There are six lessons having to do with Network Automation, DNA Center and Network Programmability. This is part of the push by Cisco towards automation technologies including DNA Center, vManage, ACI, SD-WAN and SD-Access.

There are two entire lessons on OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) routing protocol and additional lessons on EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, an advanced distance-vector routing protocol, and EBGP (External Border Gateway Protocol), a Border Gateway Protocol extension that is used for communication between distinct autonomous systems.

There are six lessons on wireless technologies within the ENCOR course as well. As the next step after CCNA, other things are dealt with in the ENCOR course like NAT, Multicast, QoS, security, tools, VPNs, virtualization, Spanning-Tree, Port-Channel, and architecture.

This course also consists of 31 lab experiments and access to a virtual laboratory environment provided by Cisco. This environment is available to the student for 60 days or 60 hours of use, whichever comes first. Many of these labs consist of multiple experiments. The experiments are instructive in nature, which is to say they walk the student through and give the student specific instructions on how to configure the various technologies referred to in the course.

This course makes very heavy use of and familiarizes the student in configuring Cisco routers and switches via the proprietary CLI (Command Line Interface).

Putting the Professional in CCNP

A student who takes the ENCOR 1.0 course should finish with a greater understanding of how the involved technologies work and are implemented than at the CCNA level. They should be able to use the CLI of Cisco routers and switches both to configure and observe and hence understand much of the configuration of those devices and technologies. They should understand how traffic moves and is moved through a network.

Please remember CCNA stands for “Certified Cisco Network Associate.”  CCNP stands for “Certified Cisco Network Professional.”  The goal is to train individuals at a higher level of understanding and capability in terms of implementing and troubleshooting these network technologies.

In addition, working with these technologies at a greater depth will help the student understand them to the point that technologies which build upon these technologies will be easier to understand. The CCNP Enterprise has an evolving view of what “common sense” means. New information will be “common sense” or “obvious” to a CCNP and this course is instrumental in bringing about that evolution in the CCNP candidate.

Check out these Training Resources:

ENCOR (Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies)
CCNA v1.0 (Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions)
Athena Continuous Learning Program


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