Resources for the Cisco SD-WAN exam


Hello all,

Recently, I have attempted and passed the Cisco CCNP Enterprise Infrastructure SD-WAN concentration exam (300-415 ENSDWI). Given the popularity of the post, I have decided to put together a list of recommended resources. Please note that what worked for me, might or might not work for you, its only my personal journey. Therefore, I don’t claim to know all the resources out there or even have consumed all of them.

First things first: there is no way that you will only read, memorize and pass the exam, it requires understanding of the solution and hand-on experience. Also, as a purely politeness-driven approach, please refrain from asking people for dumps over LinkedIn (or any other platform).

Define your scope: Always check and compare the topics you are studying with the blueprint of the specific exam you will be tested on. It should be your only source of truth. The blueprint for this exam can be found here.

Down to business: I have consumed several resources, a good part of them being completely free. The following list enumerates all of them:

  1. Cisco’s Black Belt Training for SD-WAN – SalesConnect for partners
  2. Cisco Platinum Learning Library
  3. Lab Minutes
  4. Cisco Live – On-Demand Library
    • A Brief Introduction to SD-WAN – SOLRST-2006
    • Delivering Cisco Next Generation SD-WAN with Viptela – BRKCRS-2110
    • Introduction to Next-Gen SD-WAN (Viptela) Architecture – BRKRST-2092
    • Building and Using Policies with Cisco SD-WAN – BRKRST-2791
    • 3 Steps to Deploy Cisco SD-WAN On-Prem – BRKRST-2559
    • SD-WAN Security – BRKRST-2377
    • SD-WAN Design & Positioning – TCRRST-2800
    • SD-WAN in Service Provider networks – BRKSPG-2017
    • SD-WAN, deployment strategies, managing and monitoring – BRKRST-2519
    • Serviceability for Next Generation SD-WAN – BRKCRS-2112
    • Cisco SD-WAN as a Managed Service – BRKRST-2558
    • Next-Gen SD-WAN Serviceability – BRKRST-2670
    • Cisco SD-WAN Technical Deep-dive – TECCRS-2014
    • SDWAN Design and Deployment – BRKCRS-2117
  5. Cisco SD-WAN Design Guide (CVD)
  6. Cisco SD-WAN End-to-End Deployment Guide
  7. Tim McConnaughy’s blog and Youtube channel
  8. Many discussions with my friends Tim McConnaughy, Dustin Schuemann and Daniel Dib

On top of that, I have been working with Cisco SD-WAN since I joined Verizon (September 2018). I learned from several of my colleagues at Verizon, and they were patient enough to not send me to hell when I was blasting them with questions about everything and nothing at the same time (thanks, Roman and Denis).

The exam will not only require you to understand the fundamentals of the technology itself, but also, to troubleshoot it (that’s the moment where you need hands-on experience).

Troubleshooting is an exercise that requires practice, for this you will need a lab. The good news is that you can build your own Cisco SD-WAN lab, Brad and Jed wrote some blog posts for that matter that you might find helpful:

Closing remarks:

For any technology we want to understand it is important to consider the following questions:

  • Why was it created?
  • Which problem is it solving?
  • Which benefit(s) are we getting from it?
  • Which are the drawbacks?
  • How does it work?

Always strive to make those your core questions, so you can make it your second nature (I have learned this valuable lesson from my friend and mentor Peter Paluch). Whenever their functional parts become natural to you, you have understood exactly what it does. Try to explain it to a friend, come up with examples. Don’t memorize, rinse and repeat terms, learn from where they come from. We study to learn and grow, passing the exam is a natural consequence and a test to our development, not just obtaining a paper.

Hope the list of resources is useful to you!


20 comments on “Resources for the Cisco SD-WAN exam”

  1. Hi David, there are labs and simulation in the exam or just questions, drag and drop and troubleshooting? how is the structure?


  2. David, already got a ccnp R&S and Want to. Get this one… In terms of comparing one of those exams with this one… I believe this one is harder… But… Its way more harder? How much time you think is enoght to do all the study you did?


    1. Alvaro, we all study and learn in different ways and pace. I’m afraid I’m not able to provide you a time-line. The exam on its own is not extremely difficult, but neither it is a piece of cake. Learning about the technology (through use of any media) is not a problem, playing with it and trying different scenarios and outcomes, however, can be daunting for many. The abstraction hidden by the overlay can play tricks on you and anybody troubleshooting it.

      In general, understanding the underlay and overlay routing requires a decent level of routing knowledge (CCNP R&S level should be enough). That being said, policies will require practice. Take your time to absorb the knowledge, Alvaro.

      Good luck on your endeavors!


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