ONF Certified SDN Associate (OCSA) – Part 1

The concept of SDN is constantly evolving. There are countless adaptations, projects, solutions, and products in this market, and we’ve just begun to see the impact. Developed network engineers will want to stay informed in this age of great change. This is why the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) put together a certification program for SDN.

There are two certification tracks at the time of this writing: OCSA and OCSE.

OCSA stands for ONF Certified SDN Associate. This certification tests your understanding of components in an SDN framework, your ability to articulate the fundamental workings of networking and the OpenFlow protocol, as well as your knowledge of vendors, solutions and projects available in the SDN landscape.


OCSE stands for ONF Certified SDN Engineer. This certification is for those with advanced knowledge and understanding of SDN and in particular, OpenFlow.


This is the first post in a series that will look at the blueprint for the OCSA exam and provide descriptions and resources to help you achieve the certification. The posts are broken down by the sections detailed in the OCSA blueprint.

Let’s get started!

Domain 1: Networking Concepts – 15%

From the Blueprint:

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

My thoughts

You should have a strong understanding of networking fundamentals before taking the OCSA exam. I recommend that you have a CCNA and can answer questions on the topics listed in the blueprint. You should know the functionality of protocols like ARP, DHCP, and NAT, or the order of routing protocol Administrative Distance for best path selection.


Continue on to Part 2 of this series which covers Domain 2 of the blueprint.

David Varnum


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2 Responses

  1. REJE VAS says:

    I attempted the exam sometime ago and passed with 90% marks. I would say, if you read through this blog onetime, you can easily pass the exam.

  2. Akuavi says:

    which book did you use to study for the exam ?
    thank you

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