HP vs Cisco Certifications
Being that I am a dual certification holder (HP and Cisco) I am going to weigh in on the Value of the certifications.
HP AIS vs Cisco CCNA
While the CCNA still tests on some older stuff and it seems to harp on classful networking more often than it should. I do also believe that it leaves out some vital things like teaching the use of an ip helper-address and inter-vlan routing with a layer 3 switch but it is a somewhat good base to build on. I do appreciate how they delve into OSPF into somewhat decent detail and also into their protocol EIGRP. Like all other certifications it is biased towards its product line.
The HP AIS is considered equivalent and I never took the test. However, I took the delta exam based upon their product line and passed rather easily. However, I find their coverage of the 3com A series left to be desired. I won’t go much further into the AIS; however, if you’re going to get this test I would recommend reading up on the CCNA first and then study the fast track for HP AIS and take the Delta after your CCNA.
Now, the HP ASE and the CCNP are the two tests I find myself taking now. From the materials I can honestly say that the HP ASE is NO WHERE near the CCNP in terms of complexity or detail. In fact, the HP ASE will allow you to take a “delta” exam if you already have a CCNP; however, Cisco doesn’t care about their certification and you have to take the entire certification to get the CCNP and I can understand why.
The CCNP goes into much greater detail in terms of routing protocols, Spanning-tree, route filters, multicast, various switching concepts and has an entire test on just trouble shooting techniques! If you want a best bang-for-buck certification route I would recommend your Cisco and Juniper certifications and then if you need or want the HP ASE you can just register to take the Delta exams and quickly get your HP certifications. The only recommendation I have is to get your hands on some used 3com equipment and test because their syntax is rather, weird.