Recently I passed the Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies (ENCOR) exam.  Wow what a mouthful!

With the current generation of Cisco certs, the ENCOR exam is the first step in the CCNP certification path.  Having gone through the old regimen of CCNP certs I found many differences in this material compared to the old.  Here are my thoughts:

  1. This test was easier!
    1. Several ACL questions.  Isn’t that CCNA level stuff?
    2. No configuration required – the old CCNP Troubleshooting exam is my all time favorite exam because it tested if you could do the job.  The ENCOR exam was all multiple choice or drag and drop.
    3. Shallower questions for routing protocols (BGP, OSPF, EIGRP) and layer 2 (spanning-tree).  I suppose this is related to point number 2 — since all was multiple choice, the scenarios presented couldn’t be very elaborate.  Not a single question about route redistribution!
  2. New material
    1. SD-Access
    2. SD-WAN
    3. LISP – This was my favorite new topic. In the old material, LISP was only mentioned in passing.  Now it’s covered fully because Cisco’s software defined networking products rely on LISP under the hood.
    4. Coding
  3. Not present
    1. It’s 2021 and IPv6 still hasn’t taken over yet!  🙂
    2. DMVPN is gone
    3. MPLS nowhere to be found
    4. ISIS gone

The “times are a changing” and with that comes a new line of exam material.  The SD-Access and SD-WAN material was less interesting for me since we don’t specifically use those products in our current network stack, but it was interesting to better understand how Cisco tackles those solutions.  I have been thinking about where and how we might use LISP but haven’t some up with a reasonable usage case.  If you know of a good area where LISP would shine in an enterprise network please share in the comments below!