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HPE6-A45 to HPE6-A73: Key Updates and Changes Explained

HPE6-A45 to HPE6-A73 - Key Updates and Changes Explained

The Aruba Certified Switching Professional (ACSP) certification is a highly regarded credential that validates an individual’s ability to implement and manage enterprise-level Aruba campus switching solutions. This certification covers multiple topics, including securing access, redundancy technologies, link aggregation, switch virtualization, dynamic routing, IP multicast routing, and network optimization with Quality of Service (QoS) priorities.

The difference in Aruba campus core and data center swicthes

Staying updated with the latest exam versions is important in the IT industry. This certification provides professionals with the latest knowledge and skills, which increase their career opportunities and value to employers.

This article covers the key updates and changes from the HPE6-A45 exam to the HPE6-A73 exam. By understanding these updates and changes, candidates can better prepare for the HPE6-A73 exam and learn the necessary skills for their roles as Aruba Certified Switching Professionals.

Overview of HPE6-A45 and HPE6-A73

Aruba CX Switching

HPE6-A45: Aruba Certified Switching Professional Exam (Retired)

The HPE6-A45 exam, titled “Implementing Aruba Campus Switching Solutions,” was designed to validate the skills and knowledge required to implement and manage basic Aruba campus switching solutions. This exam covered essential topics such as Layer 2 Ethernet, VLANs, Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), link aggregation, and basic security measures. It was aimed at network professionals with foundational knowledge in Aruba switching solutions.

HPE6-A73: Aruba Certified Switching Professional Exam (Updated)

The HPE6-A73 exam, known as the “Aruba Certified Switching Professional Exam,” focuses on more advanced topics and the latest technologies in Aruba switching solutions. This exam includes advanced switching concepts, ArubaOS-CX, dynamic segmentation, advanced security protocols, and network management with Aruba AirWave. It is intended for experienced network professionals who seek to deepen their expertise in Aruba’s advanced switching technologies.

Related: Become Aruba Certified Switching Expert (ACSX) in 2024

Key Updates in Exam Content

The transition from HPE6-A45 to HPE6-A73 involves several significant updates in exam content, reflecting the latest advancements in Aruba technologies.

Advanced Topics in HPE6-A73

Introduction of ArubaOS-CX

ArubaOS-CX is a modern, modular operating system designed for high availability, scalability, and automation. It offers advanced features like a built-in Network Analytics Engine (NAE) for real-time monitoring and troubleshooting and a fully programmable architecture that supports REST APIs and Python scripting.

Dynamic Segmentation

Dynamic segmentation allows for the automatic assignment of network policies based on user roles, devices, and applications. This feature simplifies network management and improves security by automatically placing users and devices into the correct network segments.

Advanced Security Protocols

The HPE6-A73 exam includes updated security protocols, such as MACsec for encryption at the data link layer, and enhancements to existing protocols, like 802.1X for network access control. These updates make sure that candidates have skills in implementing robust security measures in modern network environments.

Network Management with Aruba AirWave

Aruba AirWave is a powerful network management tool that provides comprehensive visibility and control over wired and wireless networks. The HPE6-A73 exam covers new features in AirWave, such as better reporting, improved user interface, and integration with Aruba Central for cloud-based management.

Removed or De-emphasized Topics

  • Basic Concepts that are Now Assumed Knowledge: The HPE6-A73 exam shows that candidates already have a foundational knowledge of basic switching concepts, which were extensively covered in the HPE6-A45 exam. This allows the exam to focus on more advanced topics and technologies.
  • Simplified or Removed Legacy Protocols and Outdated Technologies: Legacy protocols and outdated technologies no longer widely used have been simplified or removed from the HPE6-A73 exam content. This keeps the exam relevant and aligned with current industry standards and practices.

Exam Format and Structure Changes

The format and structure of the HPE6-A45 and HPE6-A73 exams have some similarities. But there are also notable differences that reflect the updated content and focus areas.


  • Number of Questions: 40-45 multiple-choice and short-answer questions.
  • Duration: 125 minutes.
  • Question Types: Multiple-choice, several solutions, and quick-answer questions.


  • Number of Questions: 60 questions.
  • Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Question Types: Multiple-choice, drag-and-drop, and simulations.
  • Focus on Real-World Scenarios and Problem-Solving: The HPE6-A73 exam focuses on real-world scenarios and problem-solving skills. This approach helps candidates to understand theoretical concepts and apply their skills in real-world situations.

These updates and changes in the exam format and content keep the HPE6-A73 certification relevant and valuable for network professionals looking to advance their careers in Aruba networking solutions.

Detailed Comparison of Key Topics

Switching Technologies

The HPE6-A45 exam focused on fundamental switching technologies essential for implementing Aruba campus switching solutions. It covered basic VLAN configurations, which are crucial for segmenting network traffic and improving security and performance. The exam also covered Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to prevent network loops and offer redundancy, as well as basic link aggregation techniques to increase bandwidth and provide link redundancy.

HPE6-A73: Advanced VLANs, MSTP, LACP, and VSX

In contrast, the HPE6-A73 exam delves into more advanced switching technologies. It covers advanced VLAN configurations, including dynamic VLAN assignments and VLAN pooling. The exam also includes Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP) for more efficient and scalable loop prevention. Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) is a key component for dynamic link aggregation, and Virtual Switching Extension (VSX) is introduced for high availability and simplified network management by allowing two physical switches to operate as a single logical switch.

Security Features

HPE6-A45: Basic Port Security and ACLs

The HPE6-A45 exam included basic security features such as port security, which restricts access to the network based on MAC addresses, and Access Control Lists (ACLs) to control traffic flow and increase security by defining which packets are allowed or denied.

HPE6-A73: Dynamic Segmentation, Advanced ACLs, and Great Security Protocols

The HPE6-A73 exam expands on these concepts with more sophisticated security features. Dynamic segmentation is a key topic. It allows for automatic assignment of network policies based on user roles, devices, and applications, thereby simplifying network management and increasing security. The exam also covers advanced ACLs with more granular control and great security protocols like MACsec for encryption at the data link layer and 802.1X for network access control.

Network Management

HPE6-A45: Basic Network Management Tools

The HPE6-A45 exam included basic network management tools. It focuses on fundamental tasks such as managing software and setup files on ArubaOS switches and handling ArubaOS switches and access points (APs) with Aruba AirWave.

HPE6-A73: Advanced Network Management with Aruba AirWave and NetEdit

The HPE6-A73 exam introduces advanced network management tools. Aruba AirWave is covered in greater depth, highlighting its new functionalities and improvements for comprehensive visibility and control over wired and wireless networks. Moreover, the exam includes Aruba NetEdit, a powerful tool for automating and orchestrating network configurations, providing consistency and reducing human error.

Routing Protocols

HPE6-A45: Basic Routing Concepts

The HPE6-A45 exam covered basic routing concepts, including static routing and an introduction to dynamic routing protocols like OSPF. It also included interpreting IP routing tables and understanding default routes and static routes.

HPE6-A73: Advanced Routing Protocols Including OSPF, BGP, and IP Multicast

The HPE6-A73 exam covers advanced routing protocols. It includes detailed configurations and implementations of OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) and BGP (Border Gateway Protocol), which are essential for large-scale and complex networks. The exam also covers IP multicast routing, which is crucial for efficiently delivering data to multiple destinations simultaneously.

This detailed comparison highlights the progression from basic to advanced topics. It reflects the changing requirements and complexities of modern network environments. The HPE6-A73 exam makes sure that candidates are ready to handle sophisticated Aruba switching solutions and advanced network management tasks.

Preparation Strategies for HPE6-A73

Study Materials

To prepare for the HPE6-A73 exam, use high-quality study materials. One of the most recommended resources is the “Aruba Certified Switching Professional Official Certification Study Guide (HPE6-A73)”. It is available on platforms like Amazon and HPE Press. This guide covers all the necessary topics, including ArubaOS-CX routing and switching technologies, dynamic segmentation, MSTP, LACP, VSX, and advanced routing protocols like OSPF and BGP.

Plus, online resources such as 591Lab offer extensive study guides and practice questions that are regularly updated to reflect the latest exam content. These platforms provide free and premium options, allowing candidates to access a variety of practice questions and detailed explanations.

Practice Exams and Dumps

Practice exams and dumps are invaluable tools for exam preparation. 591Lab offers practice exams that simulate the real exam environment. They help candidates build confidence and improve their test-taking skills. These practice exams include multiple-choice questions, drag-and-drop scenarios, and simulations that mirror the actual HPE6-A73 exam format. Using this trustworthy and reliable resource can help you better understand the exam content. Plus, it also increases your chances of passing on the first attempt.

Hands-on Experience

Importance of Practical Experience with ArubaOS-CX

Practical experience is important for mastering the concepts covered in the HPE6-A73 exam. ArubaOS-CX is a modern, programmable network operating system that requires hands-on practice to fully understand its features and functionalities. Engaging with real-world scenarios and configurations will help solidify your knowledge and prepare you for the practical aspects of the exam.

Lab Setups and Simulation Tools

Setting up a lab environment is one of the best ways to gain practical experience. The AOS-CX Switch Simulator is an excellent tool for this purpose. It allows you to create virtual networking environments, configure various features and protocols, and experiment with different topologies. This simulator provides a safe and cost-effective way to practice and refine your skills without the need for physical hardware.

Additionally, using tools like Aruba AirWave and NetEdit can help you understand advanced network management techniques. These tools offer functionalities for monitoring, troubleshooting, and automating network operations, which are essential skills for the HPE6-A73 exam.

Exam Tips

Time Management During the Exam

Effective time management is critical during the HPE6-A73 exam. Given 60 questions to answer in 90 minutes, it is important to pace yourself and allocate time wisely. Start by answering the questions you are most confident about, and then return to the more challenging ones. This strategy lets you maximize your score by securing the easier points first.

Understanding the Question Format and Types

Familiarizing yourself with the question formats and types is essential for success. The HPE6-A73 exam includes multiple-choice questions, drag-and-drop scenarios, and simulations. Practice exams and dumps help prepare you for these formats. They allow you to approach each question type with confidence. Pay attention to the wording of the questions and the specific requirements, as this can often provide clues to the correct answers.

By combining high-quality study materials, hands-on experience, and effective exam strategies, you can increase your chances of passing the HPE6-A73 exam and achieving the Aruba Certified Switching Professional certification.

How to Transition HPE6-A45 Certification to HPE6-A73

There are a few paths you can take to transition from the older HPE6-A45 certification to the newer HPE6-A73 certification:

  • Take the HPE6-A73 Exam: The primary way to obtain the Aruba Certified Switching Professional (ACSP) certification is to pass the HPE6-A73 exam. This exam tests your skills in implementing and operating enterprise-level Aruba campus switching solutions. It covers topics like ArubaOS-Switch configuration, network redundancy, security, routing protocols, and network optimization.
  • Recertification Path: If you currently hold the ACSP certification from passing the HPE6-A45 exam, you can recertify by taking the HPE6-A73 exam. This will renew your ACSP certification with the updated HPE6-A73 credential.
  • Upgrade Path for Cisco Certification Holders: If you hold certain Cisco certifications like CCNP, CCDP, or CCIE, you may be eligible for an upgrade path to the ACSP certification. In this case, you only need to pass the HPE6-A73 exam without having to take the prerequisite ACSA (HPE6-A72) exam first.

It’s important to note that the HPE6-A45 exam has been retired and is no longer available as of November 1, 2020. Therefore, taking the HPE6-A73 exam is the recommended path for transitioning to the latest Aruba campus switching certification.

What Are the Benefits of Taking the HPE6-A73 Exam Over the HPE6-A45

There are several key benefits of taking the newer HPE6-A73 exam over the older HPE6-A45 exam:

  • Broader and More Advanced Exam Coverage: The HPE6-A73 exam covers multiple topics and advanced concepts related to Aruba campus switching solutions compared to the HPE6-A45. It tests candidates’ skills in implementing and operating enterprise-level switching solutions, including switch virtualization, dynamic routing, IP multicast, and network optimization with QoS.
  • Validates Expertise in Newer Technologies: The HPE6-A73 exam focuses on the latest Aruba switching technologies, such as the ArubaOS-CX operating system and the Virtual Switching Framework (VSF). This certification verifies that professionals maintain current knowledge and skills in deploying and managing modern Aruba switching solutions.
  • Higher Certification Level: The HPE6-A73 leads to the Aruba Certified Switching Professional (ACSP) certification. It is a higher-level certification than the Aruba Certified Switching Associate (ACSA) that the HPE6-A45 was associated with. This demonstrates a more advanced level of expertise and can potentially open up better career opportunities.
  • Ongoing Exam Updates and Support: The HPE6-A45 exam has been retired and no longer receives updates from Aruba. In contrast, the HPE6-A73 exam is actively maintained and updated to reflect the latest Aruba switching technologies and best practices, providing certified professionals access to the most current information.
  • Industry Recognition and Career Advancement: The HPE6-A73 certification is widely recognized in the industry as a validation of expertise in implementing and managing enterprise-grade Aruba campus switching solutions. This can lead to better career opportunities, increased earning potential, and opportunities for professional growth.

The HPE6-A45 exam was suitable for professionals seeking a foundational understanding of Aruba switching solutions. However, the HPE6-A73 exam is recommended if you want to demonstrate skills and expertise in deploying and managing complex Aruba switching environments.

Wrapping Up

The transition from HPE6-A45 to HPE6-A73 in the Aruba Certified Switching Professional certification reflects significant updates. These include advanced topics like ArubaOS-CX, dynamic segmentation, strong security protocols, and sophisticated network management tools such as Aruba AirWave and NetEdit. These changes make sure that professionals have the latest skills for managing modern networks.

Pursuing the HPE6-A73 certification is beneficial for career growth. It increases credibility and marketability in the IT industry and opens doors to new job opportunities and potential salary increases.

Use high-quality study materials, gain hands-on experience, and apply effective exam strategies for successful exam preparation. Recommended resources include the official study guide, online practice exams, and simulation tools like the AOS-CX Switch Simulator. Practical experience with ArubaOS-CX and network management tools is crucial. Manage your time effectively during the exam and familiarize yourself with the question formats to boost confidence and performance.

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