The third and last installment of the “SDN’s Hottest Topics – A Panel Discussion” was a great success thanks to you! In this SDN Training Webinar Q&A, the panelists answer post event questions dealing with: the importance, the role, the need for SDN training & certification and more. As you explore the below answers, here are the top resources for the OSCA exam/OCSE exam shared with us by the presenters:
The online OCSA certification exam is available now and is a prerequisite from the OCSE exam. The OCSE exam will be released in April. Materials are being authored and posted, if you look at the landing page at opennetworkingfoundation.org under certifications, you will see some good books that are already geared to the OCSA exam
Please contact your local training provider in your market, or contact ITpreneurs.
Self Study & Training
What training materials are available to prepare for the exam?
ONF: We have an ONF certified http://sdnessentials.com/introduction-to-sdn/ that prepares people for the OCSA exam.
ONF: Cisco’s vision of SDN revolves around its products, and they have a lock-in strategy–their own brand of SDN, as it were–that may not always reflect the needs of companies. We encourage both vendor-specific certs like the CCIE–a very good cert–as well as a truly vendor-neutral approach. And we DEFINITELY are vendor neutral!
ONF: The prerequisite for the OCSA exam is to have basic networking knowledge, essentially routing and switching basics.
Cisco has a great “Certification Study Guide” for each exam that lets you study at your own pace and anywhere. Are there plans to create equivalent textbooks (preferably on printed paper)?
ONF: We see a broad ecosystem of training providers, book publishers, and online developers who will work with self-study. ONF sees this as a key need and we encourage a broad set of providers filling in the need right now. If you need a few suggestions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a major difference between content of Associate and Engineer?
ONF: Associate is concept level, Engineer is someone with networking experience, access to a test LAN, etc., please look at the ONF website for more on that distinction, and please ping me at email@example.com if you have a question.
All About Location
You said that we have training with online proctor and then end of the day we make the exam. My question is the value also includes the online training?
ONF: The two options are: purchase the exam as a standalone product. This implies that you have obtained the necessary knowledge to pass the exam by yourself. The other option is to attend an ONF certified class (which can be delivered online) and have the instructor proctor the students at the end of the class.
Also if I have to go a test center to exam how can i select this test center place? For example Ankara-Turkey? If not can i take the exam from my home and my working desk?
ONF: The goal of the ONF is to facilitate the taking of the exam as much as possible. There is no need to go to a testing center as the exam can be taken online from any location that is comfortable for the exam taker and as long as the computer that is used has a webcam and speakers for the proctor to assist. Optionally, when obtaining an ONF certified training class, the instructor can proctor the students after the class.
What is the cost of the classroom training? Where is it located? Is there a NY location?
ONF: The ONF does not set pricing, and we want a very open market. Go to our website, and then see if a provider is offering training near you. If you can’t find a place to train, please ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe I can help you with some options. We are offering training at major SDN events in the near future-in New Hampshire in May, in San Jose in April, etc., so that might be workable for you.
What training providers do you recommend?
ONF: Please visit the https://www.opennetworking.org/skills-associate for recommended training providers.
Prerequisites & Certification Longevity
Is OCSA a prerequisite for OCSE? How long the cert is valid and how does renewal process look like?
ONF: It’s not a hard prerequisite, but if you are only at the concept level, the OCSA is a good place to start. It will be a three year validation period.
Why is the validity period this short (three years) We thought three years would keep things current; what do you suggest?
ONF: Sometimes you have people with a Cisco cert that is 10 years old, and they are really not on top of their game. Sometimes, for the US federal government, they mandate a three-year period for renewal.
Are these certification going to available at partner’s exam centers like Prometeric etc?
ONF: At this time there are no plans to have the exams available through more traditional testing centers. Being able to do remote proctoring greatly facilitates the taking of the exam.
Get Your Certificate
Will ONF providing a hard copy of certificate?
ONF: Yes – there will be a hardcopy certificate shipped to you
Can I get my certificate at the end of the online webcam proctored exam or I have to wait some time for example 1-2 day or 1 week after exam? Will I know my exam score instantly?
ONF: The certificate will be mailed to you. You will know immediately though if you passed
What is the cost /price for OCSA and OCSE??
ONF: The OCSA exam costs $149US for non-ONF members and $134US for ONF members (plus $25 for online proctoring and plus any ticketing fees).
ONF: The OCSE exam will cost $239US for non-ONF members and $179 for ONF members (plus $25 for online proctoring and plus any ticketing fees).
ONF: Plans are being made to offer other certifications besides the OCSA and OCSE. Please visit the ONF webpage for current information. Any new certifications will also be advertised to the public when they become available.
Since OCSA and related certifications were just released, how aware is the industry of the qualification and impact of a person having such a certification?
ONF: It is still early to gauge how the certification is affecting perception but from the amount of interest and people taking the exam thus far, we would say that it will be widely accepted.
Is this exam recognized by the industry? It’s a new cert, but we are getting good feedback. Is there sample tests to check if we are ready to take real test?
ONF: We are going to be publishing a sample exam for the Associate exam in the next few weeks.
The problem is that SDN isn’t easily defined, because there’s no industry standard.
Why should money be spent now on training and certification, before we reach that point?
ONF: As an open community organization, the ONF brings together many vendors, providers, large and small institutions and the general public, to create the industry standard. Although each vendor will push their solution and define it “SDN”, the fact is that SDN is more than just one way of doing things. It is a paradigm shift that inevitably provides the end user with the freedom of choice for their particular use case. The time is now to get people trained and certified, and get the mindsets aligned with the paradigm shift.