What To Expect in the Cisco ENC9K Course

by Bill Heller
ENC9K Course

The three-day ENC9K v2.0 (Implementing Cisco Catalyst 9000 Switches) course is centered on the Catalyst 9000 series of switches and the product known as DNA Center as well. This course introduces the Catalyst 9000 switches as a product and discusses some of the features and capabilities of this product line. There is also significant discussion and use of the DNA Center platform and a small amount of necessary programming of the Cisco ISE (Identity Services Engine) platform.

The Catalyst 9000 switch product line, in conjunction with the Cisco DNA Center product is considered the premier switch product used in the Cisco Software Defined Local Area Network (SD-LAN) conceptual architecture. This is designed to enable the implementation of intent-based networking at the LAN level.

This course will discuss each of the Catalyst 9000 series switches in turn, and then will go on to explain the expected or designed placement of each of these platforms in a corporate architecture. To that end, the hierarchical design model and the spine and leaf design model will both be discussed.

Part of the discussion about the Catalyst 9000 platform discusses the Cisco Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) v3.0 chip.  This specialized chip has three predecessors, the UADP 1.0, 1.1 and the UADP 2.0.  As one would expect, the latest chip is much more powerful and capable than the previous versions. Expect to be shown statistics to illustrate the differences.

The Cisco Unified Access Data Plane technology allows modifications which should allow the lifetime of the platform to be extended beyond the days of simply needing to upgrade to new hardware when a new feature became available. In addition to that is the ability to actually install containers running “Apps” ON the chip, i.e., allowing the switch to run apps which have been heretofore been considered solely the responsibility of servers.

Other features highlighted include automated device provisioning, using Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and Preboot Execution Environment (PXE), API-driven configuration, and seamless software upgrades and, importantly, patching.

As well as the physical aspects of the Catalyst 9000 product line, licensing, software and API usability with the platform are discussed. Cisco Smart Accounts, Cisco Smart Licensing and Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM) are discussed as capabilities and features which this product line enables.

DNA Center Course Labs

Two of the course’s six labs focus directly on the Catalyst 9000. The remaining four labs focus on DNA Center. This course could almost be thought of as a DNA Center course. The labs which use DNA Center are long and intense. They are an excellent exposure to the navigation within DNA Center and even have the student synchronize DNA Center with Cisco ISE in the very first lab.

This course has been refreshed to include new Catalyst 9000 platforms and now also includes exposure to H-VPLS (with MPLS Access), Routed Pseudowire IRB for IPV4 Unicast, VRF Aware NAT, Loop Detection Guard and VLAN Load Balancing for FlexLink. The majority of the time in this course, whether in the classroom or at home, will/should be spent in labs.

To learn more about ENC9K training, visit https://go.skyline-ats.com/enc9k

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