About 350-501 Exam
The Cisco 350-501 SPCOR exam is a professional-level test that verifies candidates on their use of core network technologies such as network assurance, security, quality of service (QoS) automation, networking, services, and core architecture.
Therefore, the suitable audience for the Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies exam is network service professionals who aim to advance their IT careers and hold the job roles such as network designers, project managers, system engineers, network managers, network engineers, and network administrators.
The Associated Certifications
The Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies exam with code 350-501 SPCOR is associated with three certifications. They are Cisco Certified Specialist - Service Provider Core, CCNP Service Provider, and CCIE Service Provider.
Candidates who aim for the Cisco Certified Specialist Service Provider Core certification must only pass exam 350-501. It is one of the numerous specialist certifications awarded to candidates as they pass each exam to motivate them along their accreditation journey.
For CCNP Service Provider, test-takers have to pass the core 350-501 SPCOR exam as well as one concentration test. The concentration exams for this designation are 300-510 SPRI, 300-515 SPVI, and 300-535 SPAUTO.
The path to earning the third associated qualification, the CCIE Service Provider certification, is quite different from the others. The requirements for gaining it are passing the qualifying 300-501 test and passing the lab exam titled CCIE Service Provide V5.0.
Note that these certifications are valid for only three years and that you are required to recertify before their expiration dates.
According to Cisco, there are no set-in-stone rules screening candidates who wish to take the exam, but a thorough understanding of the topics is generally advised. Anyway, candidates with experience in the ideal roles will excel better at this test. Thus, applicants aiming for the CCIE certification are recommended to have between five to seven years of experience. If your aim is the CCNP Service Provider qualification, then three to five years of experience is recommended for you. Taking these recommendations into account, you’ll be better off waiting to acquire some experience before taking the exam. To learn what it takes to pass the 350-501, Cisco official course titled Implementing and Operating Cisco Service Provider Network Core Technologies (SPCOR) v1.0 is a good start for preparing for the exam.
General Exam Format
Exam 350-501 costs $400 to register, and candidates are provided with 120 minutes in duration to complete the test set in multiple-choice format. Furthermore, exam 350-501 supports remote testing. This means that it can be taken online from the test-taker’s home, office, or any quiet and distraction-free environment.
Exam Doman’s Details
The exam domains listed below are regarded as guidelines for preparation. Related topics may arise in the 350-501 test as the questions are determined by statistical data. For an up-to-date list, visit the exam official webpage.
Architecture: This section will test your knowledge of how network services and devices are designed according to the connectivity needs of your client’s devices, such as smartphones, servers, and end-user devices. The questions in this part check your knowledge and skills that refer to the service provider architectures, implementation of data plane security, management plane security, and the configuration and verification of control plane security. Other questions tested in 350-501 exam deal with the description of Quality of Service architecture, description of service provider virtualization, and Cisco network software architecture. As a result, this test part covers 15% of the exam.
Networking: The next domain will scrutinize the candidate’s grasp of how end-user devices connect, communicate and share data. Therefore, possible the 350-501 exam objectives from this domain may include high availability implementation, the usage of Intermediate System to Intermediate System, Open Shortest Path First, execution and path selection algorithm of Border Gateway Protocol, performing routing policy language as well as route maps, troubleshooting routing protocol troubleshooting, and description of IPv6 transition. Anyway, this area includes 30% of all exam questions.
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and Segment Routing: This test part will prove your knowledge of MPLS via segment routing. Possible topics from this domain are implementing MPLS, description of traffic engineering, and segment routing. In more detail, these questions can go in-depth by examining your knowledge of PCE-PCC architectures, TI-LFA, segment routing traffic engineering, IGP control plane, segment types.
Besides, the questions under this category deal with FR Routing (FRR), RSVP functionality, OSPF and ISIS extensions, MPLS OAM (Operations, Administration, and Maintenance), Unified MPLS, LDP sync, session protection, and neighbors which ultimately make up 20% of exam 350-501.
Services: This part puts to question your understanding of VPN services such as Ethernet VPN, mVPN, CSC, and Inter-AS VPN. After that, the exam will test your understanding of how LV2VPN, L3VPN, and Carrier Ethernet, are configured. The implementation of QoS services and multicast services may also be checked in the test. Other sub-topics include shared services, Intra-AS VPN, MLD, IGMP v1/v2/v3, Protocol-Independent Multicast (PIM), marking and classification, traffic policing and shaping, congestion avoidance. This part includes 20% of all exam questions.
Automation and Assurance: The last part represents 15% of 350-501. Here, candidates will get tested on their abilities in the configuration and verification of NetFlow and Internet Protocol Flow Information Export, RESTCONF, NETCONF, and SNMP (v2c/v3). Furthermore, you will have to describe model-driven telemetry and data analytics in the service provider. Other subtopics of interest include the role of Network Service Orchestration, the benefits and principles of YANG and other data modeling languages, and the programmable APIs utilized in the inclusion of Cisco devices in network automation. Another part of this domain is all about comparing the management tools of agent and agentless configuration.
As you can see, passing the 350-501 SPCOR exam is a massive leap for professionals working in the enterprise and service provider networking space. So, you can claim for three Cisco accreditations, namely Cisco Certified Specialist - Service Provider Core, CCNP Service Provider, and CCIE Service Provider.
Moreover, upon getting Cisco certified, you will have a much higher chance of getting the top-level jobs you apply for and a great chance of seeing a salary increase because your employers see Cisco qualifications as a principal success-determining factor. For example, with a CCIE certification, you could even earn as high as $128,113 yearly according to PayScale, and that’s an average pay. Well, it's all in your hands!