CCNA Service Provider


CCNA Service Provider certification is offered by the Cisco system, to aim at specialized set of skills for the network associate level. It’s designed to be a validation that demonstrates the skills of professionals who can implement and troubleshoot a carrier-grade IP next-generation network, and deliver networks services such as voice, video, and data. Main goal of this certification is to meet the current market skills demands.

It’s aimed at technical professionals who want to learn how to implement Cisco service provider infrastructures, technologies, and products, especially networking engineers employed by service provider companies and by enterprises that needs personnel with competency that included supports of business functions, and networks. Example service providers engineers, infrastructure engineers, access engineers, field engineers, and technical support technicians. The curriculum tests knowledge of the candidates on topics as:

  • IP networks;
  • IP services;
  • IPv4 and IPv6 addressing;
  • Switched network technologies ( such as bridging, switching, Spanning Tree Protocol, Port Aggregation Protocol (PAgP), and Flex Links, Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP), Multiple Spanning Tree (MST), Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVSTP), VLAN);
  • Routed networks technologies (such as Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) versus Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP));
  • Cisco Operating Systems and Platforms (such as Cisco IOS, IOS XE, IOS XR CLI, and IOS XR software packages);
  • Transport technologies (such as SONET/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH), Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM)/IPoDWDM, Passive Optical Network (PON), Metro Ethernet);
  • Security in the Network;
  • Network Management;
  • IP Next-Generation Network Architecture;

Taking a CCNA Service Provider certification

CCNA Service Provider certification aims to attest the competencies of associates level professionals in the network engineering setting, for skills as configuration, implementation, verification testing and troubleshooting of service provider IP next-generation networks, and is a valuable validation for those who want their professional value recognized by the IT industry.

The certification has a validity of three years, before it’s required to take the exam again for renewal, or to progress to a CCNP service provider certification. Exams can be scheduled, like any Cisco certification exam, at the VUE testing center, and requirements for signing up are to be 18 years old, or, for minors older than 13 years old, their parents consent.

It is strongly recommended for candidates to already have a couple of years, or more, of experience in the field, before trying to obtain this certification. Topics are divided in two exams, 640-875 Building Cisco Service Provider Next-Generation Networks Part I, and 640-878 Building Cisco Service Provider Next-Generation Networks Part II. They lasts 90 minutes each, and both feature 65-75 questions. Questions formats are multiple choice (single or multiple answer), drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blank, router simulation, simlet and testlet questions. Score for these two exams isn’t published by Cisco.