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Pass the 300-415 ENSDWI Exam: A Complete Guide for 2024

Pass the 300-415 ENSDWI Exam - A Complete Guide for 2024

The Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (ENSDWI) exam is a key certification for network professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in deploying, configuring, and managing Cisco’s SD-WAN solution. As businesses increasingly rely on digital networks that require flexible, scalable solutions, understanding SD-WAN is becoming essential. SD-WAN has become a key part of modern networking. It provides better flexibility, boosts app performance, and increases bandwidth efficiency.

This article will guide you through everything you need to know about the Cisco 300-415 ENSDWI exam, from the exam layout and important topics to helpful study strategies and the career benefits of mastering SD-WAN.

Understanding the ENSDWI

What is ENSDWI (300-415)?

The ENSDWI (300-415) “Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions” is a 90-minute certification exam that is part of the CCNP Enterprise Certification. It tests a candidate’s knowledge and skills in designing, deploying, configuring, and managing Cisco’s SD-WAN solutions. The exam covers various topics, including SD-WAN architecture, controller deployment, WAN edge router deployment, policies, security, quality of service, multicast, and management and operations. Successfully passing this exam validates a professional’s ability to implement Cisco SD-WAN solutions in large-scale networks.

The ENSDWI exam is for:

  • System installers
  • System integrators
  • System administrators
  • Network administrators
  • Solutions designers

ENSDWI’s Role in the CCNP Enterprise Certification

The ENSDWI exam is one of the concentration exams required for the CCNP Enterprise certification. To earn the CCNP Enterprise certification, candidates must pass two exams:

  • The core exam: 350-401 ENCOR (Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies).
  • One concentration exam of their choice, with ENSDWI being one of the options.

Passing the ENSDWI exam also grants the Cisco Certified Specialist – Enterprise SD-WAN Implementation certification.

ENSDWI Exam Details

  • Exam format and Duration: The ENSDWI (300-415) exam is a 90-minute test with multiple-choice and simulation-based questions. There are approximately 60 questions in total.
  • Exam cost and registration process: The exam costs $300 USD, plus applicable taxes. Candidates can register for it through Pearson VUE, Cisco’s authorized testing partner. Cisco Learning Credits can also be used to pay for it.
  • Languages: The ENSDWI exam is available in English and Japanese.
  • Passing score: The passing score of the ENSDWI is 825.
  • Certification validity: The ENSDWI certification is generally valid for three years, after which recertification is required to maintain the credential.

Prerequisites for the ENSDWI certification

Candidates should have a complete understanding of enterprise WAN design and routing protocol operation and be familiar with Transport Layer Security (TLS) and IP Security (IPSec). Completion of the Cisco SD-WAN Operation and Deployment (ENSDW) course or equivalent experience is recommended.

Key Topics Covered in ENSDWI


The Cisco SD-WAN architecture is designed to provide a scalable, secure, and efficient network solution. It separates the control plane and data plane, allowing for centralized management and policy enforcement. It also enables flexible deployment options across data centers, branches, and cloud environments. The architecture includes key components such as

  • vManage (network management)
  • vSmart (control plane)
  • vBond (orchestration)
  • WAN Edge routers (data plane)

Controller Deployment

Controller deployment involves setting up and configuring the SD-WAN controllers:

  • vManage
  • vSmart
  • vBond

These controllers can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, providing high availability and redundancy. The vManage controller offers a single-pane-of-glass interface for network management, while vSmart handles control plane policies, and vBond orchestrates the initial device authentication and connectivity.

Router Deployment

Router deployment focuses on onboarding WAN Edge devices using Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) and Plug and Play (PnP). This process includes configuring device templates, establishing secure connections with the controllers, and ensuring seamless integration into the SD-WAN fabric. Cisco SD-WAN supports both physical and virtual WAN Edge routers.


Policy configuration is a critical aspect of Cisco SD-WAN, enabling granular control over network traffic. Policies can be defined for traffic engineering, application-aware routing, and security enforcement. Advanced control and data policies allow administrators to optimize network performance, prioritize critical applications, and provide compliance with security requirements.

Security and Quality of Service

Cisco SD-WAN integrates robust security features, including application-aware enterprise firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), URL filtering, and Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP). Quality of Service (QoS) policies offer optimal application performance by prioritizing traffic based on predefined criteria. The solution also supports end-to-end encryption and segmentation to protect data integrity and confidentiality.

Management and Operations

The vManage controller simplifies Cisco SD-WAN management and operations, providing centralized configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting capabilities. The platform offers rich analytics and visibility into network performance, enabling proactive management and rapid issue resolution. Automation features further simplify network operations, reducing the complexity and operational overhead associated with traditional WAN deployments.

Core Components of Cisco SD-WAN

Cisco SD-WAN

vEdge Cloud routers

vEdge Cloud is a software router platform and it supports the full range of capabilities available on physical vEdge router platforms. It can be used as a virtual machine in various private, public, and hybrid cloud computing environments. vEdge Cloud routers use Intel DPDK infrastructure for optimal performance on x86 platforms and can leverage AES-NI encryption offload technology for improved IPSec performance.

SD-WAN controllers

Cisco SD-WAN includes three main controller components:

  • vManage: The centralized network management system that provides a GUI interface for monitoring, configuring, and maintaining all Cisco SD-WAN devices and their connected links.
  • vSmart: The centralized control plane component responsible for distributing routes and policy information via the Overlay Management Protocol (OMP).
  • vBond: The orchestration component that performs initial authentication of devices and orchestrates connectivity between controllers and WAN Edge routers.

WAN Edge devices

These are physical or virtual routers that sit at the network edge and provide secure data plane connectivity among sites over one or more WAN transports. They handle traffic forwarding, security, encryption, quality of service (QoS), and routing protocols.

Cisco SD-WAN 20.3 code overview

Cisco SD-WAN Release 20.3.x introduced several new features and enhancements, including:

  • Improved security features such as application-aware enterprise firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), and URL filtering
  • Enhanced cloud connectivity options
  • Upgrades to the management interface and analytics capabilities
  • Support for new hardware platforms and virtual deployments

The 20.3.x release also includes bug fixes and performance improvements that improve the SD-WAN solution’s functionality and reliability.

Advanced SD-WAN Features and Configurations

Cisco cloud - Enterprise challenges, SD-WAN features, and benefits of migrating

Routing protocols in data center and branch

  • SD-WAN supports integration with various routing protocols like OSPF, BGP, and EIGRP in both data centers and branch locations.
  • OMP (Overlay Management Protocol) is used to exchange routing information between SD-WAN devices.
  • Route redistribution between OMP and other routing protocols can be configured to ensure seamless connectivity.

Implementing control, data, and application-aware policies

  • Control policies: Used to influence OMP route advertisements and selections.
  • Data policies: Applied to data traffic to control packet forwarding and service chaining.
  • Application-aware routing: Allows traffic steering based on application performance requirements.
  • Policies can be centrally configured and pushed to all SD-WAN devices.

Direct Internet Access (DIA) breakout configuration

  • Enables local internet breakout at branch locations for improved performance.
  • Can be configured using NAT on transport interfaces and either static routes or centralized data policies.
  • Allows for secure local internet access without backhauling traffic to data centers.

High availability and scalability considerations

  • Cisco SD-WAN Validator redundancy: Multiple SD-WAN Validators provide high availability for device authentication and orchestration.
  • SD-WAN Manager clustering: Recommended minimum of 3 nodes for high availability.
  • Controller redundancy: Multiple vSmart controllers can be deployed for load balancing and failover.
  • WAN Edge router redundancy: Dual router designs at critical sites for hardware redundancy.
  • Scalability: SD-WAN architecture supports large-scale deployments with thousands of sites.

SD-WAN Security Implementation

Cisco SD-WAN security

Application-aware enterprise firewall

  • Integrated into Cisco SD-WAN edge routers
  • Uses a flexible zone-based model for traffic inspection
  • Provides stateful inspection of TCP, UDP, and ICMP flows between zones
  • Can match IP prefixes, ports, protocols, and over 1400 applications
  • Allows for granular control and visibility of application traffic
  • Actions include inspect (stateful), pass (stateless), and drop

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

  • Leverages Snort open-source IPS engine
  • Deployed in a Linux container (LxC) within the IOS-XE app hosting space
  • Can operate in IDS (detection) or IPS (prevention) mode
  • Uses Cisco Talos signatures, updated automatically
  • Monitors network traffic against defined rule sets
  • Can detect, log, and prevent network attacks in real-time

URL filtering and Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)

  • URL filtering: Blocks or allows web traffic based on 80+ categories and reputation scores
  • Advanced Malware Protection (AMP): Continuously analyzes file activity across the network

SSL/TLS proxy

  • Allows inspection of encrypted traffic.
  • Can be set up on-premises or in the cloud.
  • Helps prevent threats hidden in encrypted traffic.
  • Supports unlimited scale for either cloud or on-premises security.

Cisco Umbrella Secure Internet Gateway (SIG)

  • Cloud-delivered security service
  • Provides first line of defense against cyber threats
  • Integrates with SD-WAN to enable cloud security for branch offices and roaming users
  • Features include: DNS-layer security
  • Allows for secure direct internet access and cloud access from SD-WAN fabric

Hands-On Labs for ENSDWI

Lab Environment

The hands-on lab environment for the ENSDWI course is built using Cisco vEdge Cloud routers and the Cisco SD-WAN 20.3 code. This setup provides a realistic and practical environment for learners to gain experience with Cisco SD-WAN solutions. The lab environment is designed to improve theoretical knowledge through practical exercises. It allows participants to apply what they have learned in a controlled setting.

591cert offers a complete hands-on lab environment for the ENSDWI course, providing learners with a realistic and practical setting to gain hands-on experience with Cisco SD-WAN solutions. With 8 years of industry expertise, 591cert has carefully created the lab environment to complement the theoretical knowledge gained during the course. Participants can apply their learning in a controlled setting, improve their understanding, and prepare them for real-world implementation challenges. The lab environment, built using Cisco vEdge Cloud routers and Cisco SD-WAN 20.3 code, mirrors the setup used in the official ENSDWI course. This preparation helps learners do well on the exam and succeed in their careers as Cisco SD-WAN professionals.

Lab Exercises

  • Deploy Cisco SD-WAN Controllers: This exercise involves setting up the core components of the SD-WAN architecture, including vManage, vSmart, and vBond controllers. Participants will learn how to configure these controllers to manage and orchestrate the SD-WAN network.
  • Add a WAN Edge Router Using ZTP: Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) simplifies the deployment of WAN Edge routers. In this lab, participants will add a WAN Edge router to the SD-WAN fabric using ZTP, ensuring secure and efficient onboarding.
  • Deploy Cisco SD-WAN Devices Using Configuration Templates: Configuration templates simplify the deployment process by providing standardized settings for SD-WAN devices. This exercise covers creating and applying templates to deploy multiple devices consistently.
  • Configure Service-Side and Transport-Side Routing: Participants will configure routing protocols and policies for both service-side (internal) and transport-side (external) traffic. This includes setting up OSPF, BGP, and other routing protocols to ensure optimal traffic flow and connectivity.
  • Implement Control and Data Policies: This lab focuses on creating and applying control and data policies to manage traffic behavior within the SD-WAN network. Participants will learn how to define policies for traffic engineering, application-aware routing, and security enforcement.
  • Perform Cisco SD-WAN Software Upgrades: Keeping the SD-WAN infrastructure up-to-date is crucial for security and performance. This exercise guides participants through upgrading the software on SD-WAN devices. It provides minimal disruption and keeps the network stable.

Preparation Resources for ENSDWI

Official Cisco Training Courses

Cisco offers a comprehensive training course titled “Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (ENSDWI)” to help candidates prepare for the 300-415 ENSDWI exam.
This course is available in multiple formats, including:

  • Instructor-Led Training (ILT): A 5-day classroom-based course with hands-on lab practice.
  • Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT): A 5-day web-based course that includes interactive sessions and lab exercises.
  • E-Learning: Self-paced online training that covers the same content as the ILT and VILT courses, allowing candidates to study at their own pace.

CBT Nuggets

CBT Nuggets offers a training course specifically designed for the 300-415 ENSDWI exam. The course, led by experienced instructors like Keith Barker, Knox Hutchinson, and Jeff Kish, includes 240 video lessons covering all exam objectives.

Study Materials for ENSDWI

Official Study Guides and Practice Tests

Cisco Press offers an official study guide titled “Cisco Software-Defined Wide Area Networks: Designing, Deploying, and Securing Your Next Generation WAN with Cisco SD-WAN.” This guide provides detailed coverage of the exam topics. It includes practice questions, chapter-ending review questions, and access to Pearson Test Prep practice exams.

Cisco Learning Network Resources

The Cisco Learning Network is a very helpful resource for self-study. It offers multiple materials to help candidates prepare for the ENSDWI exam. Resources include:

  • Articles and Documentation: Detailed articles and official documentation on Cisco SD-WAN solutions.
  • Videos and Webinars: Educational videos and recorded webinars covering various aspects of SD-WAN.
  • Discussion Forums: Community forums where candidates can ask any type of questions, share their experiences, and get advice from other professionals.
  • Study Groups: Opportunities to join or form study groups with peers preparing for the same exam.

Additional Self-Study Resources

300-415 ENSDWI real dumps question figure 1
300-415 ENSDWI real dumps question figure 2

For candidates looking for supplementary study materials, 591cert offers an online practice exam designed for 300-415 ENSDWI. These resources can provide additional practice opportunities to improve learning and test exam preparation.

591cert also has a YouTube channel that has educational content related to Cisco SD-WAN and the ENSDWI certification. The channel includes video tutorials, exam tips, and explanations of the main concepts covered in the exam.

Benefits of ENSDWI Certification

Career Advancement

The ENSDWI certification positions you as a recognized expert in Cisco SD-WAN solutions. This recognition can lead to improved job prospects, higher salary potential, and increased opportunities for career growth. As organizations increasingly adopt SD-WAN technologies, certified professionals are in high demand. The certification can open doors to specialized roles in network design, implementation, and management, potentially leading to senior positions or consultancy opportunities in enterprise networking.

Skill Validation

The ENSDWI certification validates your expertise in designing, deploying, and managing Cisco SD-WAN solutions. It proves your skills in key areas such as SD-WAN architecture, controller deployment, policy configuration, and security implementation. This validation is valuable to potential employers and clients and establishes your credibility in software-defined networking. The certification confirms your ability to work with the latest technologies. It makes you a valuable asset to any organization using SD-WAN technologies.

Final Thoughts on ENSDWI

The ENSDWI certification is a valuable achievement that validates your expertise in Cisco SD-WAN solutions, offering significant career advancement and skill validation. By mastering SD-WAN architecture, deployment, and management, you position yourself as a skilled professional. The ENSDWI certification can open doors to new job opportunities and higher earning potential. As SD-WAN technology advances, staying certified keeps you ahead in networking innovations. This prepares you to solve future challenges and adopt new trends in software-defined networking.

What is Cisco 300-415?

The Cisco 300-415 exam, also known as Implementing Cisco SD-WAN Solutions (ENSDWI), is a 90-minute exam that tests a candidate’s knowledge of Cisco’s SD-WAN solution, including architecture, controller deployment, edge router deployment, policies, security, and management operations. It is part of the CCNP Enterprise certification.

What is Cisco SD-WAN?

Cisco SD-WAN is a method that uses software to manage wide-area networks (WANs). It allows for centralized control over network traffic, improves resource usage, reduces costs, and enhances application performance. 

Which VPN is used to carry control traffic to and from WAN Edge devices?

VPN 0 is used to carry control traffic to and from WAN Edge devices in Cisco SD-WAN. This transport VPN handles all control plane traffic and carries over OMP (Overlay Management Protocol) sessions in the overlay network.

How to implement SD-WAN?

To implement SD-WAN, follow these steps:
Collect requirements.
Identify site profiles.
Select proof-of-concept sites.
Assess products.
Plan the implementation schedule.
Test the proof of concept.
Determine the SD-WAN model.

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