Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies DCCOR 350-601: Everything You Need to Know to Prepare and Pass the Exam
- August 4, 2020
- Posted by: Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
- Category: CCIE Data Center CCNP Data Center Implementing Cisco Data Center Core Technologies (DCCOR 350-601)
In this article, I am going to cover every bit of detail that you need to get started, to prepare and pass the Cisco Data Center Core Technologies or the DCCOR 350-601 exam. If you are already up to speed on what this exam is all about, you can go ahead and download my 88-hour learning plan by submitting the form shown below.
The Implementing and Operating Cisco Data Center Core Technologies or the DCCOR 350-601 exam is one of the many new exams that Cisco announced in June 2019 as part of their most sweeping career certification program update since inception (all the way back to 1993!). Not only did Cisco announce newer exams, they also revised rules for recertification as well as introduced the brand new Cisco DevNet certification. All exam and rule changes went into effect on February 24 2020.
The Cisco DC Core Technologies or DCCOR 350-601 is both a CCIE and a CCNP level exam, this is the exam that you need to pass if you are planning to sit for the Cisco DC Lab or gearing up for your CCNP Data Center certification. For CCNP, it is one of the two exams that you need to pass, the other exam can be one of the five data center concentration exams. Last but not least, there is no CCNA Data Center exam in the newer exam format, i.e. specializations now start at the CCNP level.
Cisco DCCOR 350-601 exam (along with the 300 series concentration) replaces the following older CCNP DC exams.
Older CCNP Exams
- Unified Computing (DCUCI)
- DC Infrastructure (DCII)
- Virtualization and Automation (DCVAI)
Older CCIE Exam
Cisco DCCOR 350-601 exam replaces the following CCIE exam. You can consider the DCCOR as the new data center “written exam”.
- Data Center Written 400-151 Exam
DCCOR Exam Topics or Objectives
The Cisco DCCOR 350-601 exam topics include five sections. Based on my analysis, 27% of the exam topics covered within the official exam blueprint contain theoretical topics whereas 73% of the topics necessitate some level of hands-on activity.
- Storage Network
Let’s now cover each of the exam sections as defined in the official Cisco DCCOR exam blueprint.
This section includes topics such as the routing and switching protocols, overlay protocols, ACI concepts, packet flow, software updates, configuration management, infrastructure monitoring, and network assurance. 40% of the content in this section is about theory, and about 60% that require hands-on.
This section comprises of topics such as the UCS rack and blade servers, hyperflex infrastructure, firmware/software updates, compute configuration management and infrastructure monitoring. About 33% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 66% requires hands-on.
This section consists of storage network related topics such as fibre channel, FCOE, NFS/NAS, software updates and infrastructure monitoring . About 40% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 60% requires hands-on.
This section comprises of topics such as the automation and orchestration tools. 100% of the content in this section requires hands-on.
This section is about network, compute and storage security including topics such as AAA, RBAC, CoPP, etc. 100% of the content in this section requires hands-on.
If you compare the DCCOR exam with the older now obsolete data center written exam, you’ll notice that it maps nicely section to section with the exception of evolving technologies.
CCNP DC Concentration Exams
In the newer exam format, to get CCNP Data Center certified, you need to pass DCCOR as well as one of the following five DC concentration exams. All concentration exams carry 300 series, i.e. DCAUTO exam is numbered as the 300-635.
- Automation (DCAUTO)
DCCOR Exam and Job Task Analysis (JTA)
JTA is about the exam alignment with the actual role that you’re required to perform as a security engineer. So, what are the actual roles that are out there that you can work in cyber security space.
- Cloud security
- IT/Systems security (legacy)
- Security Operations
- Automation/AI (emerging)
Now, based on those five roles, we can easily see that the DCCOR exam maps nicely to the first four DC expert roles.
DCCOR and Concentration Exam Costs or Fees
Each attempt at DCCOR exam costs $400, like it does for all 350 series exams. Likewise, fee for each attempt at the concentration exams happens to be $300, again like it is for all 300 (and 200) series exams.
CCNP and CCIE Data Center Certification and Recertification Costs or Fees
Given that you need to pass DCCOR and one 300 series concentration exams, CCNP data center certification would cost you $700. For CCIE, it obviously goes up as you need to pass both the DCCOR theory (or written) exam as well as the Data Center Lab or the hands-on exam, so we’re talking about $400 + $1600 or $2000 total.
For recertification, things get more interesting, since you’ve multiple options. For CCNP Data Center recertification, you’ve got the following four options.
- Pass DCCOR exam again ($400)
- Pass any 2x concentration exams ($600)
- Pass any CCIE Lab exam ($1600)
- Use Cisco Learning Credits >=80
For the CCIE Data Center recertification, you’ve got the following four options.
- Pass DCCOR exam and 1x Concentration exam again ($700)
- Pass any 3x concentration exams ($900)
- Pass any CCIE Lab exam ($1600)
- Use Cisco Learning Credits >=120
DCCOR Exam Preparation
It is a tough exam, and your background matters a lot.
So, if you are coming from a CCNA DC background, you will only find about 42% of the exam content familiar to you! On the other hand, if you are coming from CCNP DC or CCIE DC background, you will find as much as 76% and 84% of the exam topics familiar to you, respectively.
DCCOR 88-Hour Learning and Study Plan
Now, to help you get started, I have put together a comprehensive 88-hour learning plan that you can follow to guide your DCCOR exam prep. Watch the video below where I cover the DCCOR learning plan in detail.
DCCOR Practice Tests
DCAUTO Exam (Concentration)
DCCOR Exam Prep Bundle
Cisco Data Center Sandboxes
Currently Cisco offers Cisco Intersight, ACI Kubernetes, UCS management, and ACI simulator. You can get started by checking out the Cisco’s data center sandboxes.
Author:Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
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