Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions SAUTO 300-735: Everything You Need to Know to Prepare and Pass the Exam
- August 24, 2020
- Posted by: Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE
- Category: Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions (SAUTO 300-735) Cisco DevNet Professional
In this article, I am going to cover every bit of detail that you need to get started, to prepare and pass the Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions or the SAUTO 300-735 exam. You can take SAUTO exam and the DEVCOR 350-901 exam to earn your DevNet Professional certification. Likewise, Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions Exam is one of many concentration exams that you can take along with the SCOR 350-701 core exam to earn the CCNP Enterprise certification. If you are already up to speed on what this exam is all about, you can go ahead and download my 50-hour SAUTO learning plan by submitting the form shown below.
The Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions or the SAUTO 300-735 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 Automating and Programming Cisco Security Solutions or SAUTO 300-735 is one of the DevNet Professional concentration exams. As we discussed, for the DevNet Professional, you need to pass Cisco DEVCOR 350-901 exam and one of the eight DevNet Professional concentration exams.
SAUTO Exam Topics or Objectives
The Cisco SAUTO 300-735 exam topics includes four sections. Based on my analysis of the official SAUTO exam blueprint, 40% of the exam topics covered within the official SAUTO exam blueprint contain theoretical topics and the other 60% of the topics necessitate some level of hands-on activity.
- Network Programmability Foundation
- Network Security
- Advanced Threat and Endpoint Security
- Cloud, Web, and Email Security
Let’s now cover each of the exam sections as defined in the official Cisco SAUTO exam blueprint.
Network Programmability Foundation
This section includes topics such as the common git operations, API styles, synchronous and asynchronous APIs, Python 101, Python virtual environments, and configuration management platforms such as the Ansible and Puppet. About 66% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 33% requires hands-on.
This section comprises of topics such as the FMC eStreamer APIs, implementing firewall objects using the FMC and FTD APIs, Stealthwatch APIs, and retrieving information from pxGrid using a Python script. About 33% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 66% requires hands-on.
Advanced Threat and Endpoint Security
This section consists of network core related topics such as the Cisco Umbrella (formerly OpenDNS), ThreatGRID, and AMP APIs. About 25% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas the other 75% requires hands-on.
Cloud, Web, and Email Security
This section comprises of topics such as the Cisco Umbrella enforcement and reporting APIs, Stealthwatch cloud APIs, and CSM APIs. About 25% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 75% requires hands-on.
Cisco DevNet Professional Concentration Exams
To become Cisco DevNet Professional certified, you need to pass DEVCOR 350-901 as well as one of the following eight DevNet concentration exams. All concentration exams carry 300 series, i.e. SAUTO exam is numbered as the 300-735.
SAUTO Exam and Job Task Analysis (JTA)
JTA is about the exam alignment with the actual role that you’re required to perform as a network automation engineer. So, what are the actual roles that are out there that you can work in network or security automation space today.
- Network Automation Engineer
- Enterprise/SP focused
- DC focused
- Security focused
- Network DevOps
- Network Reliability Engineering (NRE)
Now, based on those three roles, we can easily see that the SAUTO exam maps nicely to the Security focused automation engineer expert role, but not so much with to the NetDevOps and NRE. It obviously only scratches the surface for each of those roles and mastery requires not just passing more of the concentration exams but actually coding, configuring and troubleshooting the security infrastructure and solutions using the platform APIs.
SAUTO and Concentration Exam Costs or Fees
Each attempt at SAUTO exam costs $300, like it is for all 300 series CCNP and DevNet Professional concentration exams.
Cisco DevNet Certification and Recertification Costs or Fees
Given that you need to pass SAUTO and the DEVCOR 350-901 exam, DevNet Professional certification would cost you $700.
For recertification, things get more interesting, since you’ve multiple options.
Cisco DevNet Professional
- Pass the DEVCOR exam again ($400)
- Pass any 2x professional concentration exams ($600)
- Pass the Cisco DevNet lab exam (not available today)
- Use Cisco Learning Credits >=80
It is worth noting that in the newer Cisco certification program format, all certification cycles last three years.
SAUTO Exam Preparation
It is a tough exam, and your background matters a lot.
So, if you are a Cisco DevNet Associate, you will find the topics familiar but at a higher difficulty level. During my analysis, I found out that the amount of exam topics overlap with the Associate and DEVCOR exams is about 29% and 36% respectively. What does that mean for you? Well, it makes sense to complete your DevNet Professional certification by passing the exam in the following order.
- DevNet Associate (DEVASC 200-901)
- DevNet Core (DEVCOR 350-901)
- DevNet Automating Security solutions (SAUTO 300-735)
SAUTO 50-Hour Learning and Study Plan
Now, to help you get started, I have put together a comprehensive 99-hour learning plan that you can follow to guide your SAUTO exam prep. Watch the video below where I cover the SAUTO learning plan in detail.
SAUTO Practice Test
Cisco Security Sandboxes
Currently Cisco offers Cisco Cisco FMC, FTD, Stealthwatch, ISE and pxGrid related learning labs. You can get started by checking out the Cisco’s Security sandboxes.
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Author:Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
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