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Transitioning from Aruba Mobility to Campus Access Certification: What You Need to Know

Aruba Mobility

Aruba, a leading networking and mobility solutions provider, has recently announced a significant change to its certification program. The evolution of network landscapes, along with the demand for diverse skill sets, has prompted significant changes in the certification programs offered by Aruba. In today’s network environment, professionals must possess a comprehensive skill set encompassing various aspects such as mobility, security, the Internet of Things (IoT), and switching. Aruba recognizes this shift and aims to address these evolving requirements by introducing a unified solution that covers the entire network. 

Traditionally, Aruba’s certification programs primarily focused on mobility-related technologies, which was the main area of emphasis when the company began. However, as Aruba expanded its offerings to include security solutions like ClearPass and switching, corresponding certification paths were introduced to cover these areas. With the advent of SD-WAN, Aruba further augmented its certification program to incorporate this technology. As networks continuously evolve, Aruba recognizes the need to adapt its certification program accordingly. Consequently, the Aruba Certified Mobility Associate and Professional certifications, which focused on the earlier mobility-centric approach, will be phased out. In their place, Aruba will introduce the Aruba Certified Campus Access Associate and Professional certifications, aligning with the changing landscape of network technology and the growing demand for comprehensive skills in modern campus access.

The figure below shows the current and coming changes at a high level. Some of these changes have been effective since May 1, 2023 (ACMA and ACMP are phased out already), and others will still happen in the future (ACMX is not phased out yet). The main changes are listed below at a high level:

1- Aruba Certified Mobility Associate (ACMA) is phased out and replaced with Aruba Certified Associate-Campus Access (ACA-Campus Access)

2- Aruba Certified Mobility Professional (ACMP) is phased out and replaced with Aruba Certified Professional-Campus Access (ACP-Campus Access)

3- Aruba Certified Mobility Expert (ACMX) has yet to be phased out, but following the same plan, it will be replaced eventually with Aruba Certified Expert-Campus Access (ACX-Campus Access). There has yet to be a date from Aruba for this transition.

Aruba Certificate Learning path

Figure 1 source https://www.arubanetworks.com/en-ca/support-services/training-services/ with modifications

More details are in the article below.

Key Considerations for Transitioning

  1. Assessing Your Current Infrastructure: Evaluating your existing network infrastructure is essential before transitioning. This assessment will help identify potential compatibility issues or hardware/software upgrades required during the migration.
  2. Planning and Strategy: Developing a well-thought-out migration plan minimises disruptions and ensures a smooth transition. Consider downtime, resource allocation, and employee training to create an effective strategy.
  3. Engaging with Experts: It is highly recommended to consult with network infrastructure experts or Aruba-certified professionals. Their expertise will be invaluable in understanding the intricacies of the transition process and providing guidance tailored to your organization’s specific needs.
  4. Testing and Validation: Thorough testing and validation are vital to ensure the new Campus Access Certification functions seamlessly within your network environment. This step helps identify any potential issues before fully implementing the solution.
  5. Employee Training and Support: Transitioning to a new network infrastructure requires adequate employee training. Comprehensive training and ongoing support will empower your team to adapt to the changes effectively.

What is Aruba Mobility Associate Certificate?

The Aruba Certified Mobility Associate (ACMA) certificate is an entry-level/Associate certification offered by Aruba. It is designed for professionals beginning their journey in wireless networking and seeking to establish a strong foundation in Aruba’s wireless technologies. This certification has been inactive since May 1, 2023, and is replaced with Aruba Certified Associate-Campus Access (ACP-Campus Access or ACP-CA)

The ACMA certification validates the fundamental knowledge and skills required to deploy, configure, and troubleshoot Aruba wireless networks. It covers a range of topics, including:

1- Aruba WLAN fundamentals: ACMA-certified professionals understand the basic principles and concepts of wireless LANs (WLANs), including the role of access points (APs), controllers, and wireless standards.

2- Aruba access point configuration: ACMA-certified professionals can perform basic configuration tasks on Aruba access points, such as setting up wireless SSIDs (Service Set Identifiers), security parameters, and basic RF (Radio Frequency) settings.

3- Client connectivity: ACMA-certified professionals know client connectivity mechanisms, including authentication and encryption protocols, and can troubleshoot common client connectivity issues.

4- WLAN security: ACMA-certified professionals know WLAN security features and best practices, including encryption methods, authentication mechanisms, and access control policies.

5- Basic troubleshooting: ACMA-certified professionals possess the skills to identify and resolve common WLAN connectivity issues, such as interference problems, configuration errors, and coverage limitations.

The recommended course from Aruba for this certificate was “Aruba Mobility Fundamentals”, three days with labs to build and configure secure and guest WLAN for the enterprise environment.  

What is The Current State of Aruba Mobility Associate Certification?

Aruba announced recently that the ACMA exam will not be offered after April 30, 2023, and will become inactive. Inactive means that new applicants can not take this exam anymore, but certified people will keep their certification status until it expires as per their last exam (typically, Aruba certificates are available for three years). 

The course for ACMA, “Aruba Mobility Fundamentals”, will be offered under a different name, “Configuring Aruba Mobility Level 1”, and will not be linked to any certification. The new course will be considered product training on AOS8 architecture and offered to customers and partners who still run this architecture and looking for specialized training on AOS8 architecture.

What is The Replacement for ACMA Certification?

Aruba announced a new exam, Aruba Certified Associate-Campus Access (ACA-Campus Access or ACA-CA). This will likely be the naming convention for Aruba’s new certification. Each certificate name includes two parts. The first part is exam level, and there are three levels:

  • – ACA (Aruba Certified Associate)
  • – ACP (Aruba Certified Professional)
  • – ACX (Aruba Certified Expert)

The second part is the technology; the new naming convention has been applied to “Campus Access” and security until now. 

ACA-Campus Access has been available since December 2022, and its code is HPE6-A85. More details about the new exam can be found at this link https://certification-learning.hpe.com/tr/datacard/Exam/HPE6-A85 

What is new in ACA-Campus Access Exam?

The new ACA-Campus Access exam introduced a new topic to this certification level. The topics covered by this exam are provided in the figure below:

As seen in this table, the exam is not only about WLAN. There are other networking topics introduced in this exam. Below is a list of some issues presented:

  • – Network Fundamentals (OSI model and network protocols)
  • – Switching Fundamentals
  • – Basic IP Networking
  • – Network Redundancy
  • – Network Resiliency
  • – Routing
  • – UXI
  • – Central
  • – QoS

These topics are mainly to ensure students consider the campus network as a unified technology and not separate silos, which align with Aruba’s strategy and network trends.

How to prepare for ACA-Campus Access Exam?

Preparing for the new ACA-Campus Access exam required more skill and knowledge than the previous ACMA exam. To pass the new exam, studying switching and routing in addition to WLAN is required. 

There are two sources available from Aruba for the material of this exam:

1- Aruba introduced and new course, “Aruba Campus Access Fundamentals”

The course is a 5-day course, two days longer than the previous course required for ACMA “Aruba Mobility Fundamentals “. The system can be offered in different formats, including e-learning format, and covers the following topics:

  1. Networking Fundamentals
  2. Switching Fundamentals
  3. Basic IP Setup
  4. Network Redundancy
  5. Introduction to Aruba Solutions
  6. Central for Device Management
  7. Device Profiling and AP onboarding
  8. WLAN Fundamentals
  9. Implementing Secure WLANs
  10. Guest Access
  11. WLAN Security
  12. Monitoring and Maintenance
  13. Troubleshooting

A full description of this course is available at https://certification-learning.hpe.com/TR/datacard/Course/0001199937.

2- HPE press offers an Official Certification Study Guide for Aruba Certified Associate – Campus Access (HPE6-A85).

The book’s authors are Richard Deal, Peter Debruyne and Jakub Stelmaszczyk. The book is available as a hardcover and eBook and can be purchased from this link https://hpepress.hpe.com/product/Aruba+Certified+Associate+-+Campus+Access+Official+Certification+Study+Guide+HPE6-A85-Hardcover-19776 

ACA-Campus Access Exam Details

The ACA-Campus Access certification is an important milestone for network professionals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge in Aruba’s campus access solutions. This certification validates your expertise in implementing and managing wired and wireless network infrastructure, access control, security, and troubleshooting. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the ACA-Campus Access exam, including its format, topics covered, and tips for successful preparation.

Below is a summary of this exam.

ACA-Campus Access Exam Details

More details are available here https://certification-learning.hpe.com/tr/datacard/Exam/HPE6-A85

What is Aruba Mobility Professional Certificate?

The Aruba Certified Mobility Professional (ACMP) certification is an advanced-level/Professional certification offered by Aruba. It is designed for professionals who specialize in deploying, managing, and troubleshooting complex Aruba wireless networks. This certification has been inactive since May 1, 2023, and is replaced with Aruba Certified Professional-Campus Access (ACP-Campus Access or ACP-CA)

The ACMP certification builds upon the foundation laid by the Aruba Certified Mobility Associate (ACMA) certification. While the ACMA certification focuses on the fundamental concepts of Aruba’s wireless networking technologies, the ACMP certification delves deeper into advanced topics and practical skills required to design, implement, and maintain Aruba wireless networks in enterprise environments.

The ACMP certification validates the expertise of professionals in various areas, including:

1- WLAN design principles: ACMP-certified professionals have a thorough understanding of wireless LAN design best practices, including site surveys, RF planning, coverage optimization, and capacity planning. They possess the knowledge to create efficient and reliable wireless network architectures.

2- Advanced WLAN configuration: ACMP-certified professionals are proficient in configuring complex WLAN features, such as advanced security mechanisms, Quality of Service (QoS) settings, seamless roaming, and integration with other network components.

3- Network troubleshooting: ACMP-certified professionals possess the skills to identify and troubleshoot wireless network issues effectively. They can utilize various diagnostic tools and techniques to resolve connectivity problems, interference issues, and performance bottlenecks.

4- WLAN security: ACMP-certified professionals have in-depth knowledge of WLAN security protocols, authentication mechanisms, encryption standards, and intrusion detection/prevention systems. They can implement robust security measures to protect wireless networks from unauthorized access and data breaches.

5-Integration with network infrastructure: ACMP-certified professionals understand the integration of wireless networks with other network infrastructure components, such as switches, routers, and authentication servers. They can ensure seamless connectivity and efficient data transfer between wired and wireless networks.

As the topics above show, this certification focuses on WLAN and mobility. At the same time, the trend in Aruba and networking, in general, is the look at the campus as a unified technology that covers WLAN, wired and security. 

What is The Current State of Aruba Mobility Professional Certification?

As for ACMA, Aruba announced recently that the ACMP exam will be offered on April 30, 2023, and will become inactive. Inactive means that new applicants can not take this exam anymore, but certified people will keep their certification status until it expires as per their last exam (typically, Aruba certificates are available for three years). 

The course for ACMP, “Implementing Aruba Mobility”, will be offered under a different name, “Configuring Aruba Mobility Level 2”, and will not be linked to any certification. The new course will be considered product training on AOS8 architecture and offered to customers and partners who still run this architecture and looking for specialized training on AOS8 architecture.

What is The Replacement for ACMP Certification?

Like ACMA, Aruba announced a new exam, Aruba Certified Professional-Campus Access (ACP-Campus Access or ACP-CA). ACP-Campus Access is available since December 2022, and its code is HPE7-A01. More details about the new exam can be found at this link https://certification-learning.hpe.com/tr/datacard/certification/ACP-CamAcss 

What is new in ACP-Campus Access Exam?

The new ACP-Campus Access exam introduced a new topic to this certification level. The topics covered by this exam are provided in the table below:

What is new in ACP-Campus Access Exam?

The exam covers new topics like switching, routing, UXI and APIs

ACP-Campus Access Exam Details

More details are available here https://certification-learning.hpe.com/tr/datacard/Exam/HPE7-A01  

How to prepare for ACP-Campus Access Exam?

Preparing for the new ACP-Campus Access exam required more skill and knowledge than the previous ACMP exam. Studying switching, routing, VXLAN, and advanced WLAN subjects like IOT and Gateways is necessary to pass the new exam. 

There are two sources available from Aruba for the material of this exam:

1- Aruba introduced and new course, “Implementing Aruba Campus Access”.

The course is a 5-day course. The system can be offered in different formats, including e-learning format, and covers the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Aruba Solutions
  2. Building the Wired infrastructure
  3. Building the Wireless infrastructure with Aruba Gateways
  4. Introducing the Aruba Tunneled WLAN Architecture
  5. Wireless Authentication using 802.1X
  6. Guest or Captive Portal
  7. Wireless Authentication for IOT PSK SSID
  8. Gateway Forwarding Modes
  9. Gateway Cluster Deployments
  10. Authentication on the Wired access layer
  11. Building a VXLAN tunnel and using GBP
  12. Security / Availability features
  13. Traffic optimization and QOS
  14. Monitoring
  15. Troubleshooting (to be integrated with other lab activities)

A full description of this course is available at https://certification-learning.hpe.com/tr/datacard/Course/0001199936.  

2- HPE press offers an Official Certification Study Guide for Aruba Certified Professional – Campus Access (HPE7-A01)

The book’s authors are Richard Deal, Peter Debruyne and Jakub Stelmaszczyk. The book is available as a hardcover and eBook and can be purchased from this link  https://hpepress.hpe.com/product/Aruba+Certified+Professional+-+Campus+Access+ACP-Campus+Access+Official+Certification+Study+Guide+HPE7-A01-Hardcover-19786 

You also can Check our Expert guide

ACP-Campus Access Exam Details

Below is a summary of this exam.

More details are available here https://certification-learning.hpe.com/tr/datacard/Exam/HPE7-A01.  

Aruba Mobility–To–Campus Access Transition Timeline

Aruba issued a transition guide from Mobility Technical Training and Certification to Campus Access Technical Training and Certification. The focus is available at this link https://www.arubanetworks.com/assets/services/Guide_Aruba-Certification-Mobility-to-Campus-Access-Transition.pdf.  

The timeline is shown in the figure below.

Mobility–To–Campus Access Transition Timeline

The Transition from ACMX to ACX-Campus Access

There are no dates or announced plans for ACMX’s transition to ACX-Campus Access. ACMX exam is still active, and no public information from Aruba about ACX-Campus Access. This exam is currently out of Aruba.

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