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[Hidden Content] Finally the day has come when Cisco has announced the retirement of traditional CCNP, which is now going to be replaced by CCNP Routing and Switching, thus aligning with the current job market and the latest Cisco technology. Yes, it’s the official confirmation from Cisco that the last day to test traditional CCNP ROUTE (642-902), SWITCH (642-813), and TSHOOT (642-832) will be January 30, 2015; after that, you will have to face new CCNP Routing and Switching exam ROUTE (300-101), SWITCH (300-115), and TSHOOT (300-135). Cisco is revising the CCNP training curriculum because of increasing business demands and technology advancements, and introducing new v2.0 exams for ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT. The new CCNP Routing and Switching is a more job role-focused certification program for network engineers that help them to gain the latest meaningful industry knowledge in networking. Individuals who are looking to gain or enhance their networking knowledge and skills can benefit from this certification program designed by Cisco, the industry leader in IP networking. In addition, the new CCNP Routing and Switching certification is loaded with advance knowledge and skills to configure, manage and troubleshoot LAN, WAN with Expand on IPv6, and Cisco StackWise, VSS, and DMVPN technologies. Benefits of New CCNP Routing and Switching Certification CCNP Routing and Switching certification offers professional job-ready training and skills that will help you to get a job as network administrator, network engineer, or network analyst. The new curriculum includes Cisco switches, routers, basic mitigation of security threats, and introduction to newly added technologies, DMVPN, StackWise, VSS, and IPv6 expansion and performance-based skills. The curriculum also covers the use of the following protocols: IP, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Serial Line Interface Protocol, VLANs, VTP, STP, PVST, MST, Ethernet channels, and network security technologies. The curriculum also includes extensive troubleshooting on described technologies. Let’s have a brief overview of newly added technologies in CCNP Routing and Switching: Cisco StackWise Cisco StackWise is Cisco proprietary technology that allows you to use up to nine Catalyst switch 3750 series switches to operate as though they were one switch. One switch from the stack will act as the master switch, allowing you to configure and monitor the whole stack as though it was one switch, via a single console. If the master switch fails, the next switch in the stack will automatically take over as master. This feature provides greater redundancy, as one switch’s failure will not bring about a failure of the entire stack. Virtual Switch Services (VSS) A VSS combines a pair of switches into a single network element. This virtualization of the two physical chassis into a single logical switch fundamentally manages redundancy and load balancing on the port channel and enables a loop-free Layer 2 network topology. In addition, VSS also incorporates many other Cisco innovations, such as stateful switch over (SSO) and multi-chassis EtherChannel (MEC) that enable non-stop communication with increased bandwidth to substantially enhance application response time. Dynamic Multipoint Virtual Private Network (DMVPN) VPNs traditionally connect each remote site to the headquarters; the DMVPN essentially creates a mesh VPN topology. This means that each site (spoke) can connect directly with all other sites, the spoke will contact the hub, obtain the necessary information of the other end, and create a dynamic IPsec VPN tunnel directly between them. DMVPN eliminates the need of multiple IPSEC configurations and uses a combination of the following technologies: Multipoint GRE (mGRE) Next-hop resolution protocol (NHRP) Dynamic routing protocol (EIGRP, RIP, OSPF, BGP) Dynamic IPsec encryption IPv6 Enhancements IPv6 transition mechanisms are technologies that facilitate the transitioning of the internet from its initial (and current) IPv4 infrastructure to the successor addressing and routing system of Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). As IPv4 and IPv6 networks are not directly interoperable, these technologies are designed to permit hosts on either network to participate in networking with the other network. Prerequisites for CCNP Routing and Switching Certification A Valid Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification or Cisco CCIE certification can act as a prerequisite for CCNP Routing and Switching certification. After January 29th 2015 you can only register and take new CCNP v.2 exams. However: Yes, u can mix old with new exams (within 3 years of passing 1st one). Each Cisco exam and most certifications are valid for 3 years (exception ccie). CCNP cert is still CCNP, Passing any new Route/Switch/Tshoot exam will renew current CCNP (and other Pro and lower certs).