Automating and Programming Cisco Service Provider Solutions SPAUTO 300-535: 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 Service Provider Solutions (SPAUTO 300-535) 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 Service Provider Solutions or the SPAUTO 300-535 exam. You can take the SPAUTO exam and the DEVCOR 350-901 exam to earn your DevNet Professional certification. Likewise, Automating and Programming Cisco SP Solutions Exam is one of the many concentration exams that you can take along with the SPCOR 350-501 core exam to earn your 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 SPAUTO learning plan by submitting the form shown below.
The Automating and Programming Cisco SP Solutions or the SPAUTO 300-535 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 Service Provider Solutions or SPAUTO 300-535 is one of the DevNet Professional concentration exams. As we discussed, to become a DevNet Professional, you need to pass the Cisco DEVCOR 350-901 exam and one of the eight DevNet Professional concentration exams.
SPAUTO Exam Topics or Objectives
The Cisco SPAUTO 300-535 exam topics includes four sections. Based on my analysis of the official SPAUTO exam blueprint, 45% of the exam topics covered within the official SPAUTO exam blueprint contain theoretical topics and the other 55% of the topics necessitate some level of hands-on activity.
- Network Programmability Foundation
- Automation APIs and Protocols
- Network Device Programmability
- Automation and Orchestration Platforms
Let’s now cover each of the exam sections as defined in the official Cisco SPAUTO exam blueprint.
Network Programmability Foundation
This section includes topics such as the git operations, API styles, synchronous and asynchronous APIs, Python scripting 101, and configuration management tools such as the Ansible and Puppet. About 33% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 66% requires hands-on.
Automation APIs and Protocols
This section comprises of topics such as the YANG data models, HTTP authentication mechanisms, data types, YANG model with JSON and XML, pyang, and RESTCONF and NETCONF protocols. About 33% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 66% requires hands-on.
Network Device Programmability
This section consists of network core related topics such as the ncclient, NETCONF with YDK, NetMiko, Ansible playbooks. About 13% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas the other 87% requires hands-on.
Automation and Orchestration Platforms
This section comprises of topics such as the ETSI NFV, NSO benefits and architecture, NSO RESTCONF APIs, Cisco ESC, XR traffic controller, Cisco WAE, service template using NSO, and deploying a service package using NSO. About 33% of the content in this section is about theory, whereas 66% 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. SPAUTO exam is numbered as the 300-535.
SPAUTO 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 and data center automation engineer. So, what are the actual roles that are out there that you can work in network or DC 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 SPAUTO exam maps nicely to the Enterprise/SP 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 Cisco DC infrastructure and solutions using the respective platform APIs.
SPAUTO and Concentration Exam Costs or Fees
Each attempt at SPAUTO 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 SPAUTO 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.
SPAUTO Exam Preparation
It is a tough exam, and your background matters a lot.
So, if you are a Cisco DevNet Associate, you will find some of 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 59%. 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)
- Automating Service Provider solutions (SPAUTO 300-535)
SPAUTO 50-Hour Learning and Study Plan
Now, to help you get started, I have put together a comprehensive 50-hour learning plan that you can follow to guide your SPAUTO exam prep. Watch the video below where I cover the SPAUTO learning plan in detail.
SPAUTO Practice Test
Cisco Service Provider Sandboxes
Currently Cisco offers Cisco IOS XE, IOS-XR, and BGP related learning labs. You can get started by checking out the Cisco’s SP sandboxes.
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Author:Muhammad Afaq Khan, CCIE #9070
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