The 640-864 DESGN is an exam for network designing career that assess the foundational knowledge and skills of a candidate for converged networks of Cisco based on borderless network architecture. The candidates passing the exam can develop effective network environments as they also have the fundamental understanding of network design. With the knowledge of foundation of network design a candidate can either work as a trainee for an experienced network design professional or enter a specialization in the network design field. The exam covers a various aspects of network design such as designing switched and routed network infrastructures and services including Wide Area Network (WAN), broadband access, wireless and Local Area Network (LAN) for organizations.
Why is this exam required?
The objective of the 640-864 DESGN exam is to test the knowledge and understanding of a candidate relating to network design methodologies, structuring and modularizing network design, implications of designs of voice transport through network and wireless networking. The exam also aims to assess the skills of a candidate to design various modules such as Enterprise Campus, Enterprise Data Center, and Remote Connectivity and evaluating the security aspects of a network. Candidates clearing the exam can take up various job roles including:
- Network design engineers
- Support Engineers
The associated certification for the 640-864 DESGN exam is Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA). The certification validates the capability of a professional in designing basic campus, wireless networks, security, data center, and voice.
The prerequisite for this certification exam is being certified as a Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification. For candidates to have proper understanding of the 640-864 DESGN exam, the candidates must have the CCNA level knowledge, CCNP level knowledge on Cisco switches and working experience of installing and operating networks developed with IOS software and network devices of Cisco.
The 640-554 exam is divided into 9 domains that are equally important and critical to be understood. Each domain has different weight age in the exam however it is important to fully cover each subject of every domain. Following are the nine domains with their percentage in the exam:
- Methodology for network Design (10%)
The exam requires the candidates to know the various methodologies used to design networks along with the knowledge of the developing trends in the network design business, networking requirements for organizational operations, process and tools used in existing networks, top down approach of network designing, and features and protocols relating to network management.
- Network Structure and Modularity (13%)
The candidates also need to have information on network structure and modularization including understanding of network hierarchy, designing networks with modular approach, and network architecture in enterprises.
- Basic Enterprise Campus Networks (27%)
This domain covers a significant portion of the exam content and requires the candidate to have in-depth knowledge on designing basic enterprise campus networks. The candidates also must know the considerations for campus design, enterprise data center, enterprise network virtualization tolls and enterprise campus network under this domain.
- Enterprise Edge and Remote Network Modules (10%)
With information of design characteristics of teleworker, enterprise edge and branch, logical and physical WAN connections, solutions for remote worker for accessing network, and considerations for designing a Remote Data Center, this domain also requires the candidates to know the skills for designing WAN solutions for branch office and supporting specific redundancy methods.
- IP Addressing and Routing Protocols (21%)
This domain covering information relating to designing routing protocols and IP addressing also is an important topic from exam point of view. The candidates are also required to know the explanations of IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, identifying considerations for routing protocols in the network of an enterprise, and designing the deployment of routing protocol.
- Network Services (19%)
Designing network services is also of great importance for clearing the 640-864 exam. The candidates need to have information on the security lifecycle, video and voice architectures of high level, features and architecture of Cisco Unified Wireless Network, identification of technologies to reduce security related weaknesses, considerations for designing video and voice services, and selection of the right security solutions of Cisco.
The growth in the network designing field offers enormous opportunities for the CCDA certified professionals. A creatively designed network architecture being an essential aspect for every enterprise, professionals with CCDA certification will be benefitted with a flourishing career growth, good compensations and a platform to pursue higher network design certifications such as Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) and Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE).