On 14 October 2020, I took and passed the Automating Cisco Service Provider Solutions (SPAUTO) exam on my first attempt. This is the fifth DevNet exam I’ve passed and was a topic area in which I was already strong. Many people know me for my CCIE Service Provider Comprehensive Guide where I cover advanced SP technology. Others know me for my Pluralsight Ansible and Python network automation courses that implement an “infrastructure as code” solution to manage MPLS L3VPN route-targets. Suffice it to say that I’ve been doing SP stuff for a while.

Compared to the other concentration exams I’ve passed (ENAUTO and SAUTO), SPAUTO was about the same level of difficulty. The exam has a fair amount of carryover from DEVASC, DEVCOR, and ENAUTO, given the similarities of their blueprints, but is still quite heavy on SP products. Fortunately, there are only a few key products listed on the blueprint, making it narrower than SAUTO (which tested about 15 different APIs). Like ENAUTO, strong Python and network automation skills are important for this exam, and I’d strongly recommend having real-life SP design, implementation, and operations experience before attempting it.

Unlike DEVASC, DEVCOR, ENAUTO, and SAUTO, I did not create a comprehensive study plan for SPAUTO. I’ve linked each of those training plans in the previous sentence, and I’d suggest DEVASC at a minimum. You can optionally watch the DEVCOR and ENAUTO content as some of it overlaps with SPAUTO. Due to relatively low demand, I was unable to secure a deal through Pluralsight and so will not be developing any training. However, I want to provide some useful and free resources I think will be especially helpful for SPAUTO.

Cisco DevNet Learning Labs

NSO Basics 101

NSO Basics 102

NSO Basics 103

NSO Basics 104

Learn NSO the Easy Way

NSO Python API

Postman Collections



Packet Captures



Segment Routing

Miscellaneous Technologies

YouTube – Jeremy Schulman Tutorial on xpath

YouTube – Introduction to gRPC

gRPC Tutorial

In addition to these resources, you should invest a fair amount of personal time (probably 200-300 total hours) writing code as it relates to other sizable blueprint topics: gRPC, gNMI, Netmiko, Ansible, and YDK. The Cisco SPAUI course does a good job of covering these technologies at a basic/introductory level. I’d recommend starting there if these technologies are new to you. As always, feel free to ping me on twitter @nickrusso42518. I’m happy to help!

UPDATE: 22 Jan 2024 – Because so many people asked me to create it, I’ve published an 8-week comprehensive study plan for the SPAUTO exam. You can watch the YouTube video to learn about it or download the plan directly. Enjoy!

My Journey Towards the Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist – Service Provider by Nick Russo
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3 thoughts on “My Journey Towards the Cisco Certified DevNet Specialist – Service Provider by Nick Russo

  • October 20, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    Thank you for your feedback

  • January 15, 2021 at 4:53 am

    Thanks, Nick for this amazing post this is helping me a lot. Quite sad that you did not add a Pluralsight training for this also. Hopefully, somewhere in the future, there will be something on Pluralsight for this.

    • March 5, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Filipe, the SPAUTO exam is not very popular and there is not much interest in creating commercial training content for it. However, my evolving technologies book, Postman collections, and free DevNet labs will be very helpful to you in your studies.


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