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Month: June 2022 Page 2 of 4

Cert News: Microsoft Updates Azure Certifications

Microsoft has made significant improvements to its certification program in recent years. In particular, it introduced role-based certifications in 2019. Role-based certifications are intended to help learners prepare for their careers by shifting the focus away from technology to the skills required for specific job roles.
Microsoft also announced last week that it is making changes to several Azure role-based exams to better align them with specific job positions and eliminate overlap between exams. The exam names will not be changing, but the associated exam numbers.
What’s Changing?
Here is a list of all the impacted exams we know about so far. Microsoft claims that there may be more changes.
Current exam: Exam AZ-103: Microsoft Azure AdministratorNew exam number: AZ-104 (Outline)New exam launch date: March 2020
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Start trainingCurrent exam AZ-203: Developing Solutions to Microsoft AzureNew exam number AZ-204New exam tentatively launched date: February 2020
Current exam: Exam AZ-300: Microsoft Azure Architect TechnologiesNew exam number: AZ-303New exam tentative launch date: March 2020
Current exam: Exam AZ-301: Microsoft Azure Architect DesignNew exam number: AZ-304New exam tentative launch date: March 2020
Current exam: Exam AI-100: Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer AssociateNew exam number: AI-102New exam tentative launch date: March 2020
What Now?
Don’t worry if you’re currently studying to earn one of these Microsoft Azure certifications. Microsoft will keep the exams online for 90 days after new versions are released. Let’s take, for example, the AZ-103: Mircosoft Azure administrator certification. You have 90 days to earn your AZ103 certification if the new AZ104 exam goes live on March 10. You will need to take the AZ104 exams after that.
You might want to wait until the new exams are available before you start studying for the current exams. Microsoft offers many incentives to those who wait. Beta exams for the new exams will be available at a discounted rate of 80%. Your certification badge will reflect the updated skills you have if you pass the beta test.
If you have one of the listed exams and pass a beta exam, your certification will automatically be updated by two years.
Stay tuned to the SPOTO blog for more Microsoft certification-related news.
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Cert News: Microsoft Retires its AZ-100 & 101 Exams

Microsoft announced last week that it is changing the requirements to earn one of its new role-based certifications.
Microsoft will retire AZ-101 and AZ-102 on May 1, 2019, and replace these exams with AZ103: Microsoft Azure Administrator.
This means that learners will only need to pass the AZ103 exam to earn Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification. The AZ103 exam will cover the same content and skills as the AZ100 and AZ101 exams.
Register for the AZ103 on May 1, 2019
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Start trainingThe AZ102 exam will still be retired on June 1, 2019. Microsoft replaced the MCSA: Cloud Platform certification with the Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate certification in December 2018. The AZ-102 exam is a transition exam for learners who have already passed Exam 533, Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions.
Microsoft Released the AZ100 and AZ101 Exams?
Yes. They were launched earlier in the year, if I recall correctly. Microsoft listened to customer feedback and decided to simplify the requirements for Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification.
These retirements are a topic that many people have questions about. Here are some answers.
Q: What if the AZ-100 exam was passed?
A: On May 1, 2019, you will automatically receive the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certificate.

Q: What if the AZ-101 exam was passed?
A: An exam voucher will be sent to you that can be used to purchase any Microsoft exam through Pearson Vue. You will still receive an exam voucher even if you don’t pass the AZ-101 exam.

Q: What if my exam for AZ100 or AZ101 is after May 1, 2019,?
A: Your exam will not be held and you will need to schedule the AZ103 after May 1, 2019.

Q: What if I have registered to take the AZ100 exam between now & May 1, 2019, but it is not yet available?
A: You’ll automatically be awarded the Microsoft Certified Administrator Associate certification if you pass the exam.

Q: What if I have registered to take the AZ101 exam between now & May 1, 2019, but it is not yet available?
A: You will earn the AZ101 exam badge if you take the exam and pass it.

Q: What if I have been studying for the AZ100 or AZ101 exams?
A: Take a look at the AZ-103 exam objectives to see how they match the AZ 101 and AZ 100 exam objectives. They are easy to compare thanks to Microsoft.

We have good news for those who are interested in Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification. SPOTO trainer Knox Hutchinson is already working on new training that maps directly to the AZ103 exam. Keep an eye out for his training drop.
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CERT NEWS CompTIA Security+ Sy0-501 is Coming CompTIA Security+ Sy0-501 is coming soon. SPOTO is ready to help you pass this exam. SPOTO trainer Keith Barker, the creator of the CompTIA Security+ SY0-401 course, is already working to create a new course for the SY0-501 exam. This will help you prepare for success on the test. CompTIA announced that the SY0-401 exam will be retired in July 2018. This leaves you with eight months to get your SY0-401 certificate. The question is: Should you upgrade to the SY0-401 exam? Or, you can train for the SY0-501 certificate once it is available in October 2017. Learn how to become a security expert with SPOTO Start Training Are you ready to take the Security+ exam? If you feel confident in your future success and could learn all the information, then it might be worth taking the SY0-401 exam. CompTIA certifications are valid for three year from the date that you pass the exam. This applies regardless of whether that date is one day before or at the beginning of the exam’s existence. No matter what, you’ll still be certified for three more years. Because the SY0-401 exam has been around for some time, you should consider that you already have all the study materials that you need. SPOTO may have the SY0-501 exam covered, but if your preferred method of studying is flashcards or study guides, the SY0-501 resources won’t be available for quite some time. The SY0-501 may be worth the wait if you are just starting to learn about CompTIA’s security approach. Employers love the latest certification. The new exam covers a lot of new technology that will give you an edge. These include: Risk Management; Expanding roles of cybersecurity jobs (and the required skill sets); Replacement and upgrade of legacy technologies; A greater understanding of malware, ransomware, and attack identification; and more PKI knowledge within cryptography. SPOTO is here to help you, no matter which exam you choose. Download

CERT NEWS: Citrix Recertification Program

Citrix now offers a recertification option that allows learners to maintain their certifications. The new program requires that learners renew their certifications before they expire.
Citrix offers two options for recertifying your certification:
Participate in an instructor-led training program
Pass the certification exam.
You don’t have to retake your certification exam if you take the instructor-led course.
For anyone with an expired Citrix certificate, here’s the good news: You have only four months to take advantage the instructor-led course and skip the exam to recertify. You have until December 31, 2017 to complete a training course.
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The following certifications and exams are affected:
Citrix Certified Associate – Virtualization (CCA-V)
Citrix Certified Advanced Administrator Citrix XenApp 6, (CCAA).
Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)
Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE)
Citrix Certified Expert – Virtualization (CCE-V)
Citrix Certified Integration Architects (CCIA).
Citrix Certified Associate-Networking (CCA-N).
Citrix Certified Professional-Networking (CCP-N).
Citrix Certified Professional – Mobility – Citrix Certified Professional – Mobility – (CCP-M).

Learn more about the recertification requirements for Citrix Virtualization certifications.
Citrix certifications, whether renewed or recertified by Citrix, are valid for three year from the date of certification. Learn more about Citrix certification policies.
Don’t wait! Register now for an instructor-led classroom experience and keep your Citrix certifications valid and current!
Learn more about the
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CCNP Labs: What’s the Best Setup?

The CCNP is your next big hurdle in achieving Cisco certification and networking knowledge nirvana. Your CCNA was a great achievement and should not be overlooked. However, the professional-level certification tier represents a significant leap in domain knowledge and experience about Cisco kit, IOS and general networking architecture.
It will be difficult to navigate the network configurations and new details. It is not enough to have a good grasp of the basics. You can only truly prepare if you have access to Cisco gear.
This is the only way…or it? Software emulators allow you to test and build networking using real Cisco firmware. As with most things, the answer may be a firm. Although it’s not necessary to give you an excuse to build physical labs, software labs have some advantages over hardware.
Let’s talk about it anyway. We’ll look at the different CCNP lab options, their uses, and which ones work best in different situations to determine the best lab setup.
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Start trainingCCNP Lab #1 – How to Build a Hardware Lab
Let’s begin at the top. A rack to store them all, as well as a router and switches, is better than a pile on your desk. You might need a firewall, an access point or security device, wireless access points, patch cables, and a UPS to provide continuous power. Make sure you have enough space to store everything you need to be able to get to your study area.
This is not an easy or inexpensive task. You will find used Cisco gear on eBay for a fraction of the retail price. It is also possible to find companies that buy, refurbish, or resell network hardware. However, they will charge more for their services. If you’re really lucky, GovDeals is another place where you can find bargains. There are lots of great listings for bulk computer equipment in the section. They are usually only available for local pickup, so you will have to be really lucky to find a deal near you.
Three Best Switches to Use in a CCNP Enterprise Home Lab
The real question is: What models? There is no need to buy the most advanced 48-port PoE Cisco Nexus switches equipped with fiber uplinks. You can use simple Catalyst switches. They are easy to find and have most of the features you will need to practice for the CCNP. Here are some models that you might be interested in:
Catalyst 2950 Basic Layer-2 Switch, this should cover most of your test objectives and they are dirt cheap ($20-30 on eBay).
Catalyst 3550 is a step up from the 2950. This Layer-3 switch adds support to routing protocols that will be tested.
Catalyst 3550: The 3750 is a step up, and the 3750 adds support QoS, private VLANs, and the last topics you’ll need for all test objectives.

Three switches are required to configure the switches in a variety ways. For example, you could have them all connected in a triangle configuration to use spanning tree protocol. A single 3560 and two 2950 are the best options to get fully equipped while on a tight budget. This should be enough to cover most of the setups you’ll need. You should choose the models that have the fewest ports possible (most models come with 24 or 48 ports); more ports will not help your studies.
A Few Options for CCNP Lab Routers
You can choose from a Cisco 1841 or 2801 router. All of these routers will work with IOS 15, so you can get the features you need from the software. For more deals, check out eBay.
Things get a little more complicated if you are specifically targeting CCNP Security. This section will show you the hardware options that correspond to the two tests you took to fulfill the certi

CCNP Enterprise: What is YANG, NETCONF & RESCONF?

Cisco restructured their entire certification program on February 24, 2020. This included the CCNP. Modern networks demand that the new certification paths be updated. One of the major changes was a greater emphasis on network automation, programmability. This means that network engineers will face new challenges and technologies.
We’ll be taking a closer look at CCNP and protocols related network programmability such as YANG, NETCONF and RESTCONF.
The New CCNP, Automation and Network Programmability
With the new Cisco certification paths, you’ll need to pass two exams to become CCNP Enterprise-certified. You will need to pass the 350-401 ENCOR core exam and an additional concentration exam.
Before we examine the concentrations, it is clear that Cisco is focusing its efforts on programming and validating automation skills. According to the topic list, automation is represented at 15% of the ENCOR exam. Different subtopics include Python, YANG and RESTCONF.NETCONF. JSON. As well as tools like Ansible, Chef, and NETCONF. To pass the CCNP exams, you will need to have a solid understanding of Python and automation.
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Start trainingIf automation and programmability are your interests, there is a CCNP concentration. The 300-435 ENAUTO concentration focuses on enterprise-automated solution like Python programming, APIs and automation tools. Network device programming is the only topic that makes up 20% of the 300-435 ENAUTO exam topics.
The new CCNP Enterprise is a large part of automation and programmability.
Are you interested in studying for CCNP Enterprise Core certification? Take a look at our Cisco CCNP Enterprise Core (350–401 ENCOR).
Data structures: YANG, YAML, JSON, and XML
Automating and programming networks is all about getting computers to do our jobs. Data must be provided in a format that computers are able to read. This is where YANG and YAML, JSON and XML enter the network programmability picture. Let’s take a look at each one before we move onto the configuration protocols.
XML
XML, or Extensible Markup language, is a common way to format data. It was designed, as the name suggests, to be extensible and universal enough to be used with a wide range of applications. XML uses custom tags for defining elements. An example of an XML file might look like this:
012345678 movie movieID=”1’’> Joe Actor Learning Comedy. An aspiring sysadmin’s journey to certification. Simply by looking at the format, it is clear why it is so easy for humans and machines to understand. The > characters allow you to open a section or close it. Plaintext that is human-readable helps us humans. XML is a common way of encoding data for APIs. IT pros who are interested in mastering automation can use it to their advantage.
JSON
JavaScript Object Notation (or JSON) is another popular method to encode API data. Many times, the JSON format will be used to return the response from a RESTful API via HTTP(S). JSON can be used with many languages and applications today, even though JavaScript is the name of the API. The formatting is different than XML, but it is still easily readable by humans, as you can see in the example below.
012345678910 “movies”: “movie”: “Lead” :”Joe Actor”, title:”Learning to Learn”, “genre:”Comedy”, and “desc” :”An aspiring sysadmins journey towards certhood”, “_filmID:”1’’
YAML
YAML was once an acronym for Yet Another Markup Language.

CCNA v3.0: The Complete Story

Update: SPOTO now offers online training for both CCENT/CCNA ICDN1100-105 and ICDN2200-105. Good luck and happy training!
Cisco’s CCNA Routing and Switching v2.0 certification will expire on September 24, marking a significant milestone in the evolution and evolution of the CCNA. The original CCNA was released in 2007. It was not updated much until 2013, when Cisco introduced the CCNA v2.0.
Why is there such a sudden shift?
The new CCNA edition retains approximately 95% of the material from v2.0. Many are left wondering: What’s the deal? Cisco’s decision not to update the CCNA was clearly influenced in part by the need for current CCNA material, much to the advantage of CCNA-certified job hunters in a competitive marketplace.
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Start trainingThe new material reflects the way that the networking landscape adapts to emerging trends like Software Defined Networking and Cloud solutions. Topics on obsolete technology (e.g. The olde hubs have been gracefully retired.
How do I get my CCNA?
Two exams are required to earn the CCNA credential: the ICND1 (105-05) and ICND2 (202-05). A composite exam is also available that combines both ICND exams into one meta CCNA test, identified by the code 200-125.
The composite exam 200-125 is a single exam that combines both the ICND curriculum. You will also be awarded the CCNA. It is not recommended for beginners as it is more difficult than the separate exams. This exam is intended for people who want to renew their CCNA.
The ICND exams do not require prerequisites. If you have some networking experience, but no certifications, you can begin studying for your CCNA exam right away.
What is ICND?
ICND stands to Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices. Passing the ICND1 exam will grant you the CCENT certification (Cisco Certified Entity Networking Technician). To earn the noble title of CCNA, you will need to pass the ICND2 exam once you have become a CCENT.
CCENT holders are encouraged to apply for the CCNA. You will have already passed the ICND1 exam. The CCNA is a prerequisite for advanced certifications such as the Cisco Certified Networking Professional (Routing and Switching) CCNP. The CCNA R&S certification can be used as a prerequisite for other Associate-level certifications, such as the CCNA Industrial and CCNA Security.
What’s new in ICND1 & ICND2
While the ICND1 exam is the same as the old version, the ICND2 exam has undergone the most significant changes.
Here is a summary of the key revisions Cisco made to the CCNA v.2.0. These are the most notable changes and not all of them.
Highlights of CCNA v3.0 Update
ICND1 v3.0
Along with OSPFv2 & OSPFv3, OSPFv3 has been moved to ICND2. RIPv2 (Routing Information Protocol for IPv4) replaces OSPF in this exam to provide a better introduction to IP routing protocols for CCENTs.
This exam covers DNS, DHCP and Firewalls, Access Points, Access Points and Wireless Controllers to give an overview of the components that make up enterprise networks.
Obsolescence has caused the removal of sections on bridges and hubs from the new exam.
The new exam has eliminated Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF), and IPv6 Dual Stack material.
The static route networking with IPv4/IPv6 remains largely the same, but the exam will place a greater emphasis on IPv6 as well as related features such Anycast.
The exam now includes new material on IP Services, including how to configure NTP or NAT.

You can find more information about the exam in the full list of ICND1 v3.0 Exam Subjects [PDF].
ICND2 v3.0
To make room for more current topics such as Broadban, Frame Relay and Serial WAN Technologies are now almost obsolete.

CCNA v3.0: Everything you Need to Know

Update: SPOTO now offers online training for both CCENT/CCNA ICDN1100-105 and ICDN2200-105. Good luck and happy training!
You have one choice: Take the new CCNAv3 exam, as the CCNAv2 exam is ending this week.
Jeremy Cioara, SPOTO Cisco expert, discusses the structure and topics of the new CCNAv3 examination, as well as the skills required to succeed.
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Start trainingHe also answered questions like:
What hardware would your recommendation be for the CCNAv3 laboratory? (31:20)
Will MPLS be included on the exam? (31:39)
Can QoS be explained easily (32:18)
How do I build a CCNA Home Lab? Watch Jeremy’s last webinar Building a CCNA Home Lab.
GNS3 is more efficient and cheaper than hardware. (33:33)
When will Jeremy’s CCENT training end? Answer: Sept. 30, 2016. Get started today!
Will IPv6 be on the exam? (35:40)
You can also check out our other blog posts this week including Understanding Cisco Certifications (another video featuring Jeremy Cioara), CCNAv3 The Full Story and a look into why and how IT certifications evolve.
Get started training today for the CCENT/CCNA ICDN1 100–105 or ICDN2 200–105 exams!
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SPOTO offers everything you need to improve your IT skills and advance in your career: unlimited video training and Practice exams, Virtual Labs and validated learning with in–video Quizzes, Accountability coaching, and access to our exclusive IT professionals community.

CCNA Study Tips Revisited

It is difficult to prepare for the CCNA certification. Failure on an exam can lead to financial ruin. Study efficiently to avoid this. Success is only possible with determination, motivation, and preparation. Cisco guru Jeremy Cioara shares some tips to help you achieve this.
Keep your motivation high. Motivation is key to achieving your CCNA. Motivation is a key component to your success in achieving your CCNA. Jeremy Cioara, a trainer, shared great advice during his latest webinar. “Pretend you have to teach the material that you are studying to a class within the next month. You will find your motivation.”

Teach it. You can teach it if you can. Spend some time explaining the concepts in the exam objectives to someone. If the concepts you are explaining make sense to the person you are teaching, you are ready to take the CCNA exam.

Exam objectives. This is a checklist that will help you ensure you have covered all the bases. You should review any areas you are not confident in.

Relax. Overstudying is a real thing. Take a break! Relax and keep your eyes open. You can often do better in many cases if you take a day off between studying and resting.

Learn from blogs. It can be very helpful to find additional resources to help you study. Google is your friend! You can find blogs that provide relevant material and resources to help you set yourself up for success.

For more tips on certification, check out our blog posts and Jeremy’s latest webinar:
How to Get Your CCNA Webinar with Jeremy Cioara
Top 10 Ways to Recover from Failing an Exam
Tips for Cert Success
Top 10 Ways To Up Your Study Game
Top IT Cert Study Books
Top 10 Ways to Make More Time to Train
The Coach’s Playbook

Make sure you sign up for Jeremy’s next webinar, “Building a CCNA Home Lab.”
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Get started with training
Are you not a SPOTO subscriber yet? Start your week-long free trial now.
SPOTO offers everything you need to improve your IT skills and advance in your career: unlimited video training and Practice exams, Virtual Labs and validated learning with in–video Quizzes, Accountability coaching, and access to our exclusive IT professionals community.

CCNA Home Labs Revisited

Update: SPOTO now offers online training for both CCENT/CCNA ICDN1100-105 and ICDN2200-105. Good luck and happy training!
It can be difficult to build a CCNA home laboratory. What gear is best? Is GNS3 and VIRL worth it? My CCNA lab will be useful for CCNP preparation. Jeremy Cioara, Cisco trainer and guru, recently shared some of his tried-and true solutions in his latest webinar “Building a CCNA Home Lab.”
Below are Jeremy’s suggestions and answers to your questions.
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Start trainingDo you need GNS3? Although it’s a great tool for learning, you must see networking in action. This is the purpose of setting up a lab at home.
What do I need? Get a cheap router These routers can be used to convert your home network into a Cisco-based network and gain valuable experience.
All of the routers below are affordable and can help with the material.
Cisco 2611(xm) / 2621(xm) ($10-$50)
Cisco 1721 w/WIC-1ENET ($10-$50)
Cisco 871(w) ($10-$50)

Which switch do you need? These are all 100-megabit switches. Layer 3 switches such as the Cisco 3550 and 3750 are available for a few dollars more. These switches will be helpful for your CCNP and CCIE certification journey.
Cisco 2950 ($10-20)
Cisco 3550 ($20-$50)
Cisco 3750 ($50-$150)

What is the ideal CCNA lab setup Three routers, three switches and two laptops are the ideal CCNA lab setup. Cisco only requires three routers, three switches, and two laptops to set up a network in order to pass the CCNA. You can use the same equipment for both the CCNP or CCIE and you only need to add one or two routers. This topology will not work for certain things, such as private VLANS or IPv6.
Any other information I might need? A mission! A plan and steps are essential to reach your goals. Establish a home network. This is a great place to begin, all you need are a router and a switch. Another great goal is watching SPOTO training and completing the labs exactly like in the videos.
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