CCNP ENCOR 350-401 Exam Cram Notes

I. Architecture

3. Explain the working principles of the Cisco SD-WAN solution

3.1 SD-WAN control and data planes elements

vManage Network Management System (NMS): The vManage NMS provides unified access via network management system (NMS) GUI. NMS GUI is used to configure and manage the full SD-WAN solution. It enables centralized provisioning and simplifies network changes.

The Cisco SD-WAN solution has four main components and an optional analytics service:

vManage Network Management System (NMS): This is a single pane of glass (GUI) for managing the SD-WAN solution. vSmart controller: This is the brains of the solution.

SD-WAN routers: SD-WAN involves both vEdge and cEdge routers.

vBond orchestrator: This authenticates and orchestrates connectivity between SD-WAN routers and vSmart controllers.

vAnalytics: This is an optional analytics and assurance service.

3.2 Traditional WAN and SD-WAN solutions

1. Traditional WAN : Traditional network is based on completely hardware network devices which mostly rely on Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) for resilient and efficient network traffic flow. Number of hardware devices are installed along with proprietary circuits to route IP services to their intended clients. IT teams gives a lot great effort to manage the network as it involves layers of underlying hardware installed.

Scaling of traditional network is difficult as it needs a proper advanced planning along with required network infrastructure to set up and run. A Traditional connects many Local Area Networks (LANs) and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and it is limited to enterprise, branch, and data center. It allows to prioritize your data, voice, and video traffic on network. Security issues and management difficulties are the major problems in traditional WAN now a days.

2. Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD WAN) : SD WAN stands for Software Defined Wide Area Network which is a software defined approach to manage Wide Area Network. In SD WAN software controls everything starting from connectivity to management and providing service. It is a virtual network approach which combines traditional WAN technologies, such as MPLS, LTE and broadband connections.

SD WAN is good for global enterprises as it provides a better and secure application performance as well as optimized cloud connectivity and simplified management. Means in the cloud centric world SD WAN are more preferable than traditional WAN. Software Defined Network (SDN) is utilized which helps in determining the optimal way of routing.

4. Explain the working principles of the Cisco SD-Access solution

4.1 SD-Access control and data planes elements

The Cisco SD-Access fabric is one of the main components of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA). Cisco DNA is the solution for the future of intent-based networking in Cisco enterprise networks. SD-Access provides policy-based network segmentation, host mobility for wired and wireless hosts, and enhanced security as well as other benefits in a fully automated fashion. Cisco SD-Access was designed for enterprise campus and branch network environments and not for other types of network environments, such as data center, service provider, and WAN environments.

There are three basic planes of operation in the SD-Access fabric:

Control plane, based on Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)

Data plane, based on Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN)

Policy plane, based on Cisco TrustSec

Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA), a software-driven platform that helps to create an intuitive and automated network. This allows network administrators to use software to execute policy and configuration changes they want to be made throughout the network. Many other operational tasks are streamlined through drag-and-drop provisioning, proactive troubleshooting, immediate remediation guidance and fast network segmentation.

The architecture uses Cisco's Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) feature, which provides policy-based automation from the edge to the cloud through a virtual overlay network. Automating day-to-day tasks such as configuration, provisioning and troubleshooting, SD-Access is done using SD Access.

With SDA, the underlay exists to provide connectivity between the nodes in the SDA environment for the purpose of supporting VXLAN tunnels in the overlay network. VXLAN, short for Virtual Extensible LAN is a flexible encapsulation protocol used for creating tunnels (overlays)

Cisco DNA Center includes northbound REST API along with a series of southbound APIs. For most of network engineers, the northbound API matters most, because as the user of SDA networks, you interact with SDA using Cisco DNA Center's northbound REST API or the GUI interface.

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