Circle Opinion

Free NetDevOps training to learn network automation with Cisco U

Alex Ankers

Cisco have recently complemented their various Training and Learning Platforms (including Cisco Digital Learning, Cisco Learning Network and Cisco Live) with a new user-friendly offering: Cisco U. While some of the content is pricy, we’ve found some completely free-of-charge network automation courses that we think you should know about. 

What are the Cisco U pricing plans?

Unlike other Cisco training platforms, no special user account is required– just use the same Cisco Connection Online (CCO) account you currently use as a NetEng to login to the main Cisco Portal for activities such as Cisco Certification Tracker, Cisco Software Downloads and Cisco TAC Case Manager. 

Cisco U currently has three Pricing Plans: 

  1. Cisco U Free – £0 per year 
  2. Cisco U Essentials – ~£1,200 per year (or 15 Cisco Learning Credits) 
  3. Cisco U All Access – ~£3,800 per year (or 48 Cisco Learning Credits) 

Generally, the difference between the subscription levels is around the specialism of content available. For more interactive and live tutorial content, higher subscription levels are required. As a summary of the differences: 

Note: Cisco Learning Credits (CLC) are prepaid vouchers that you may already have an allowance of if you act as a Cisco VAR (value-added reseller) or have a large enough Cisco contract. 

What free content is available

Although some of those prices may seem a little steep for individuals, there is a great deal of free content available within the network automation realm, especially for those looking to learn about topics such as: 

  • Practices: NetDevOps, pipelines, pull requests, version control, CI/CD 
  • Data Structures: YANG, YAML, JSON, XML 
  • Coding: Python, PIP, PyPI, Netmiko, pyATS, Genie, EXPRESSO, Bash 
  • Tooling: Ansible, Terraform, Cisco NSO, Vim, Linux, API 

Here’s a curated summary of some of our favourite and completely free of charge courses: 

What does t
he future of Cisco Learning look like? 

This looks like a promising step in consolidating all the disparate Cisco Learning platforms, systems and content into one centralised, easily-searchable and visually-appealing place. Sure, the pricing may seem steep at present – and as an individual general network engineering learner, you’d get better bang for your buck going via CBT Nuggets, INE, Pluralsight or Udemy – but for free network automation-specific content, Cisco U is a surefire winner for anyone wanting to break into the world of NetDevOps. 

How CACI can supplement your network automation efforts

In the midst of a network automation initiative and struggling to get the right NetDevOps-qualified professionals to help drive your latest automation, dashboard or observability project forward? Let us help and see how your business can fully utilise our talented NetDevOps NRE, SRE, developer, automation and coding experts to cut through your engineering backlogs. 

Contact us now
Alex Ankers