About 300-515 Exam
The Implementing Cisco Service Provider SPVI (300-515) is a professional level exam which tests IT professionals’ skills in managing end-customer’s Virtual Private Network environments. It assesses candidate’s ability at deploying Service Provider VPN services, namely layer 2, 3 and IPv6. This 300-515 exam targets network administrators, network supervisors, network engineers, network managers, channel partners, network architects, network designers, and Network Operations Center Personnel. This exam is for you if you’re an IT professional in the VPN tech space and you want to advance your professional career.
The Associated Certification
Test 300-515 is a double-faced exam as it gives you access to two certifications. The first is Cisco Certified Specialist- Service Provider VPN Services Implementation for which you are immediately qualified once you’ve passed the 300-515 exam. The second is the CCNP Service Provider awarded after passing the core exam (350-501 SPCOR). It is worth stating that passing the core exam also comes with a specialist certification - Cisco Certified Specialist - Service Provider Core. This implies that in the process of qualifying for the CCNP Service Provider certification, the candidate would have amassed three certifications in total; one for each written exam and then the CCNP certification itself.
Also, the test 300-515 is only one of the three concentration exams you can combine with the core 350-501 exam to earn your CCNP Service Provider certificate. The other concentration exams under this certification include 300-510 SPRI and 300-535 SPAUTO. Remember that they both also come with specialist certifications for their technology area. 300-510 is for routing solutions technologies, while 300-535 is for automation technologies.
It’s worth noting that these Cisco certifications earned by candidates are valid for three years.
According to Cisco, anyone has a chance to write this exam because there are no cast-in-stone requirements. All that is needed is professional-level knowledge of the relevant topics. If you already know some of them and need to brush up on the others, you can take the official preparation course by Cisco. That said, Cisco looked through their data and found that the typical test taker of 300-515 has about three to five years of experience in the field. Do keep this in mind before registering for the exam.
General Exam Format
The duration of 300-515 SPVI is 90 minutes, and the questions are in multiple-choice format. The passing score is not public knowledge as it is set according to statistical data and is subject to change by Cisco. However, when results are ready, you will receive your score report, broken down by exam domain.
Taking this professional exam is now more accessible because it is delivered online at your convenience and in favor of your health and Covid-19 directives. To register for this exam, you will need to visit the Pearson VUE website and search for your exam code in the proctored exam section and register. The exam registration fee is $300.
To pass SPVI 300-515, you will need to brush up and demonstrate your knowledge in the four domains state below. Aside from these, other SPVI related topics may be present during your exam. Cisco may change them slightly without notice, so these are just general guidelines for the exam questions. Visit the official exam page for an in-depth and up-to-date version to enable you to study effectively.
1. VPN Architecture
In this section, you will be engaged in the comparison of VPN architecture types, underlay troubleshooting and your understanding of service architectures for Layer 2. Knowledge of the L3VPN control plane and data plane operations is also essential. You should build your comprehension of Layer 2 VPNs, Layer 3 VPNs, Inter-AS and Intra-AS and understand how they compare against each other. This section gets even more thorough by presenting questions about VRF forwarding instance, underlay label, provider edge and customer edge (PE-CE) route advertisement, VRF routing instance, VPN label, route target, VPNv4 address, route distinguished, IOS XE Ethernet Virtual Circuits (EVCs)and Flowpoints (EFPs), MP-BGP, LSP, and core IGP.
2. Layer 2 VPN
To scale through this section about Layer 2 VPNs, candidates should have the required knowledge about troubleshooting L2VPN Services such as E-LAN, E-line and E-Tree. In addition, you should have profound knowledge about EVPN concepts such as suppression and multihoming mechanisms, traffic forwarding operation, control plane and data plane operation. Your ability to implement administration, maintenance (E-OAM), and Ethernet operations will come up in the test as well. If you can differentiate between Ethernet virtual private network (EVPN) native, EVPN integrated routing bridging (IRB), and EVPN virtual private wire service (VWPS), it would increase your score. L2VPN questions will cover 30% of the Cisco 300-515 exam.
3. Layer 3 VPN
Much of the questions in this exam will come from Layer 3 VPNs as it covers 35% of the exam topics. This domain will test your understanding of routing requirements, extranet/shared services, Intra-AS and Inter-AS L3VPNs, multicast VPN, and CSC concepts. The questions will go in-depth by testing your knowledge in export and import route targets and route policies in L3VPNs as well as option A, option AB, option B, and option C Inter-Autonomous System Level 3 VPNs. Other subjects under this section include Multicast Label Distributed Protocol (MLDP), extranet MVPN, intranet MVPN, provider edge to customer edge (PE-CE), provider edge to provider edge (PE-PE), PE-RR, PE-CE routing protocols, and multiprotocol extensions for border gateway protocol (MP-BGP).
4. IPv6 VPN
This is the final section of the exam and it has the lowest share of the exam questions at 10% coverage. It focuses on the routing requirements and troubleshooting for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Virtual Private Network (VPN). You'll encounter questions about the description of MP-BGP, and PE-CE. Questions on MP-BGP and provider edge to customer edge routing protocol requirements may also come up. You will also need to prove your skills in troubleshooting the IPv6 VPN provider edge while demonstrating your knowledge of the more secure IPv6
The career opportunities abound with CCNP Service Provider certification. You’ll have a 99% chance of getting hired and a 78% chance of succeeding at your job role. As you already know, after passing 300-515 exam, you gain this professional-level certificate along with the Cisco Certified Specialist - Service Provider VPN Services Implementation certificate. To deepen your skills and boosting your career you can opt for the CCIE Service Provider certification, and note, that after taking the core 350-501 exam you are qualified for this higher level designation. Attaining these Cisco certifications, you can move on to more rewarding roles such as Information Technology Director in companies and even earn an average salary of $98,000, according to data on PayScale. You can also change to become a Solutions Architect making $117k, a Systems Engineer (Computer Networking / IT) earning $81k or a Senior Systems Engineer who earns $110K.