ONF-Certified SDN Associate (OCSA)
 /  ONF-Certified SDN Associate (OCSA)

The first certification is the ONF-Certified SDN Associate certification (OCSA). The aim of this certification is to validate knowledge of foundational concepts in SDN. When released later this year, the test can be taken online, and will be helpful in validating the skills and knowledge of individuals working in the SDN professional ecosystem who are not involved in actual development and management of SDN (think product marketing professionals, sales and support professionals, entry-level engineers, etc.). The exam is in development and all SDN professionals are asked to validate the preliminary draft of the knowledge domains of this certification.

DOMAIN 1: NETWORKING CONCEPTS Identify and compare the layers of OSI and TCP/IP models and functionality of various fundamental elements of networking.

  • Ethernet networks
  • Collision domains and broadcast domains
  • Function of routers and switches
  • Routing Protocols (RIP, OSPF, ISIS, BGP)
  • Optical network fundamentals – SONET/SDH, OTN
  • IP Network Services ( DHCP, DNS, ARP, NAT, ICMP)
  • Layer 2 addressing, including address resolution
  • IPv4 and IPv6 fundamentals
  • Layer 3 / IP addressing, including subnet masks
  • Longest match routing
  • Connection-oriented vs. connectionless protocols
  • Packet Filtering with Match/Action Pairs

DOMAIN 2: SDN CONCEPTS Describe the fundamental characteristics of SDN, definitions, use cases, and history.

  • History of SDN (Clean Slate, Ethane, OpenFlow®, donation to ONF)
  • What is SDN? (control and forwarding)
  • SDN Value Proposition
  • SDN Use Cases in the Data Center
  • SDN Use Cases in Campus Networks
  • SDN Use Cases in Service Providers
  • SDN Use Cases in the Enterprise
  • SDN Use Cases in Mobile Networks
  • The six characteristics of an SDN Network (Plane Separation, Simplified Forwarding Element, Centralized Control, Network Automation, Virtualization, and Openness)
  • SDN Devices (Controllers, Switches, Orchestration, API’s)
  • Overlay Networking Abstractions (NFV, VxLAN, etc.)

DOMAIN 3: OPENFLOW® Identify at a concept/definition level the OpenFlow® Protocol operations and list the packet types and contents.

  • TCP level secure channel/communication/session establishment between controller/switch
  • Message Types
  • Basic Operation/Packet Matching
  • Differences between OpenFlow® versions
  • Proactive vs Reactive Flows
  • Statistics/Counters
  • Setting up a flow
  • Policy Enforcement
  • OpenFlow® Management and Configuration Protocol (OF-Config, OAM, OFDPA, OVSDB, etc.)
  • Flow Table Entry Format
  • Flow Timers
  • Pipeline Processing
  • Match Types
  • Match Actions

DOMAIN 4: SDN ARCHITECTURE AND ECOSYSTEM Understand and Identify SDN architectural components, standards bodies, controller design, API’s and applications.

  • SDN Layers
  • SDN Architecture compared to Traditional Network Architectures
  • Northbound API’s
  • Southbound API’s
  • East/West API’s
  • Security and Availability
  • Packet and Optical Integration methods
  • Migration Strategies
  • Hybrid Mode Switches
  • Organization in the SDN Ecosystem
    • Standards Bodies and Industry alliances
    • Network Operators and Enterprises
    • Network Equipment Manufacturers
    • Software vendors
    • Academic and Industry research institutions and labs
    • Open Source Initiatives
  • Who is the ONF and what do they do?
    • Purpose
    • Structure
    • Technical Working Groups
    • Open Source Software Development
    • Activities and Initiatives
  • Controller Placement and Redundancy
  • SDN Applications (service chaining, virtualized network functions, analytics)

DOMAIN 5: OPEN SOURCE SDN Identify key open source projects in the SDN Ecosystem.

  • OpenFlow® Agents
    • Indigo
    • Linc
    • OVS
    • CPqD/ONF Driver (aka “libFluid”)
  • OpenFlow® Controllers
    • NOX
    • POX
    • ONOS
    • ODL
    • Floodlight
    • RYU
  • Utilities and Tools
    • FlowSim
    • Mininet
    • Of DPA
    • OF Test
    • Wireshark
    • Avior
  • Open Source SDN Distributions (OSSDN Atrium, etc.)
  • Open vSwitch
  • Orchestration Systems
  • Open Source Initiatives (OPNFV, OCP, ODCA, Open Config)

Intended Exam Audience

 Job Position Primary Job Responsibilities
SDN Sales Engineer Create BOM’s High Level Architecture and Design Product Comparisons/Capabilties RFP’s/RFI’s Product Line Updates
Business Development Manager Value of Solution Identify Business Trends Develop Statements of Work
Product Manager Future Features/Roadmap Develop Go to Market Strategy Define Customer Requirements/Use Cases
Product Marketing/TME Product Positioning and Differentiation Compare/Contrast Products (Both Internal and External Products) Sales Enablement Creation/Editing of Technical Documentation/White Papers/Collateral
Manager/Director for a Network/IT Group Setting Strategy and Vision Career Development for Staff Assignment of responsibilities Articulating needs of staff to higher technical and management leadership
Network Technician (Entry Level) Installation/Migration (entry level, with supervision) Monitoring (entry level, with supervision) Trouble tickets and documenting/communicating issues via wiki etc. (entry level, with supervision)
IT Analyst (Entry Level) Recommend IT Architectures/Products/Systems Test Plans (product certifications for ONF) Performance & Monitoring (see above in Network Technician) Business ROI Comparisons Education if there is public material (or could use high level examples of ROI savings)
System Administrator (Entry Level) Manage IT Systems Operations Process Deploy Server/Storage Infrastructure (non-network) Hypervisors/Overlays/Virtual Switches
Consultant/Professional Services Engineer Design/Implement Network Services ROI/CapEx/OpEx Analysis Business Proposals Recommendations for Network Architecture/Integration
Student/Researcher/EDU Validate course level knowledge for online course in SDN foundations at a concept level Writing Research Projects (remove) Learning more advanced networking technologies Tech Evangelizing/White Papers/Speaking Looking for Future Job/Career Fundamental Understanding from Academic/Theory Perspective
Sales Representatives Sell SDN Products (assumes product knowledge about specific networking hardware/software) Price/Quote Product/Solutions Identify Opportunities and Sales Insertion Points Can carry on an intelligent and informed conversation with every individual in a sales cycle process
Project Manager (Assumes knowledge, skills, abilities in program management domain) Sets/Tracks Schedules Assign Resources Focus on Deliverables (SoW) Project Plans Communicate with Stakeholders
Program Manager (Assumes knowledge, skills, abilities in program management domain) Manage Budget/Resources (financials) Business Case Development Procurement & Contract Management & Product Certification via Testing and Interoperability via ONF recommendations Governance/Control/Alignment of Operations
Help Desk/NOC Engineer Trouble Tickets First Level Triage/Support Escalations (with experience) Bug Submission


Exam Title: ONF-Certified SDN Associate (OCSA-110) Exam Details: 40 questions in 60 minutes and a pass score of 70%. Full credit given for each correct answer, no partial credit, as all questions return a binary response (correct/incorrect). Exam Delivery: Delivered electronically via secure login, with attestation and affirmation of academic integrity by the candidate. Exam to be available in English and Simplified Chinese by Q4 2015. Credential Awarded: ONF Certified SDN Associate (OCSA) upon successful completion of the exam. Exam Purpose: This certification exam attests and formally certifies that the successful candidate has vendor-neutral conceptual knowledge of the major domains of networking practices that support the theory and practice of Software Defined Networking (SDN). It presupposes foundational knowledge in computer networking practices, and will validate conceptual knowledge in how those computer networking foundations are affected in an SDN environment. It is an entry-level certification examination for technical professionals asserting concept-level mastery of the domain of SDN.


In order to pass the ONF OCSA Exam, a foundational knowledge of computer networking is assumed, with specific familiarity with various conceptual models of networking (OSI, Internet, etc.) and technologies also required. No job experience is mandated, but your familiarity with all the knowledge domains of this certification is essential to succeed. Resources that would be helpful include publications on networking, as well as foundational certifications in networking from Cisco, Citrix, CompTIA, Juniper, or Microsoft, and materials freely available from Open Networking Foundation. Other materials and resources may be referenced onhttps://www.opennetworking.org/sdn-learning-resources.

No schedule at the moment

call us @ 6635 5590 or enquiry@bridgingminds.net for more information

Book Now


Book Online

  • Duration 1 Day
  • Course Fee Contact for more information
Certification Body
Need more information?

Related Courses