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Old 03-17-11, 06:38 PM Thread Starter   #1
juliendogg
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CCNA


Who's got one? I just got a promotion to Network Administrator where I work. I'm in healthcare I.T. I have been pretty much running the Help Desk there for the last few years, as well as wearing the hats of:

Technical admin for radiology (Carestream PACS administration)
Technical admin for Surgery (PICIS Healthcare Suite)
Enterprise AV admin
Sophos WS1000 internet security appliance
WSUS admin
Barracuda BSF400 admin
Barracuda BSW460 admin

A few other odds and ends, but that's neither here nor there. The barracudas and the web filtering appliances will come along to network side with me, as will the AV server. Anyway, I'm stoked about the promotion. This is where I have always wanted to go. I have virtually no Cisco networking experience, but have impressed my superiors over the past few years, and they have given me the opportunity. Really pretty cool

Anyhoo, on to the reason for the new thread..

So I'm not around here that much any more, haven't been for a while. Re-married, couple kids, house to maintain, working in healthcare I.T, and just overall rediculously busy. I visit and lurk a lot, but rarely ever post. I wanted to jump on here and see who is around that is in the field, and to see what advice they might have to offer. My manager has requested that I acheive my CCNA within 90 days of starting the new position, and to do it with only self-study. This means no Cisco boot camp, or real lab work, nothing. The current netork admin, who I will be working under, is not sure it's possible. I have a few books and have started studying. I have always been pretty proficient with microsoft client side networking, but not so much with anything Cisco. If there are CCNA's or CCNP's or maybe even a CCIE lurking around here, feel free to post up any helpful tools you may know of that would be helpful while preparing for the CCNA exams. I have brought home an 1800 series router, and a 3560 switch, so I can set this stuff up downstairs to mess around with. I've also installed GNS3 on both work and home PC's and gotten a few IOS images and generic config files from the other network admin. So this is enough to get started I think, but time is short, I need to be efficient!

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Helpful CCNA resources:

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Old 03-17-11, 10:30 PM   #2
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Welcome back, juliendogg!

I have my CCENT (half of CCNA) and am planning on taking my CCNA this April. I can read text all day until the cows come home, but the CBT Nuggets CCNA videos have really been my leg up on thoroughly understanding the material instead of just knowing enough to pass the exam. 90 days is a bit of a stretch, imo. I take my time to study and learn but that's because I make hundreds of flash cards to study, but to each their own.

The Cisco IOS is really awesome and their business class products are of great quality and use. Any Cisco certification is a great one to have, even if you boss isn't forcing you to get it

Hope this helps,
Brian

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Old 03-18-11, 01:02 AM   #3
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Honestly, 90 days of preparation, even if you had some Cisco experience is pretty unrealistic. If you go the two part (ICND1/CCENT then ICND2), getting the ICND1 in 90 days may be somewhat realistic, depending on your study habits/personal life (lack of)/time.

I took and passed my ICND2 about 90 days after I took the ICND1. The ICND1 is basically a Ciscoized Network+ exam; pretty easy to pass. ICND2 is pretty tough and you'll definitely want to study your ass off for it.

As for study materials, I highly recommend the TrainSignal CCNA training series. Get your company to buy it for you. You should also use practice exams from places like examcollection.com. Also too, try to find a copy of Packet Tracer. It's a very nice simulator and it will really help you understand things in a lab environment very similar to real life. http://www.9tut.com/ is also another good resource for CCNA study guides/materials.

I used all those and passed it fairly easily. I've also have 4 years of on and off experience with Cisco equipment, but if you're determined, the resources I mentioned should be more than enough.
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Old 03-18-11, 07:25 AM Thread Starter   #4
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Thanks guys!

I am indeed looking at trying to pass the ICND1 for CCENT, and then move on to the ICND2 and CCNA. I think if I can get the CCENT within 90 days my boss will be happy, and I can then move on to CCNA.

I am working on getting the company to purchase the cisco all access package from the training consortium, which we currently have microsoft all access with. The microsoft classes they offer online were a great resource for A+ and Net+. I had the trainsignal NET+ and thought TTC was a bit better. I'm pretty sure the network admin I will be working under is pressing management to just send me to Cisco boot camp with Global Knowledge. That would be the way I prefer to go.

Thanks again for the links and info, I will start downloading.

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Old 03-18-11, 09:08 AM   #5
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If you need a copy of Packet Tracer let me know. It's available to anyone whom has been enrolled in the Cisco Networking Acadamy.

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Old 03-21-11, 10:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamerBrian View Post
If you need a copy of Packet Tracer let me know. It's available to anyone whom has been enrolled in the Cisco Networking Acadamy.
i havent touched many IOS programs lately, but how is packet tracer compared to GNS3 ?

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Old 03-21-11, 12:03 PM   #7
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I never knew about GNS3 until you mentioned it. At first glance it looks to me like it may be a little more advanced than Packet Tracer because you can use it to study for the CCIE. I have used Packet Tracer a bunch in the past and it seems to me that it does not support all of the protocols that you would need to use to study for your exams higher than CCNA. It also semi-supports some protocol options as some commands in my text are not supported by Packet Tracer.

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Old 03-21-11, 01:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamerBrian View Post
I never knew about GNS3 until you mentioned it. At first glance it looks to me like it may be a little more advanced than Packet Tracer because you can use it to study for the CCIE. I have used Packet Tracer a bunch in the past and it seems to me that it does not support all of the protocols that you would need to use to study for your exams higher than CCNA. It also semi-supports some protocol options as some commands in my text are not supported by Packet Tracer.
the only downside of GNS3 is you need to download the IOS, some people do not have the advantage of this.

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Old 03-21-11, 01:21 PM   #9
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Give this a try: http://www.freeccnaworkbook.com/

I'm a CCNA here, but it took me a boot camp and two tried to get it thou.
If you need help with something let me know.

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Old 03-21-11, 02:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gangaskan View Post
i havent touched many IOS programs lately, but how is packet tracer compared to GNS3 ?
Packet Tracer is a little easier to install, set up, and use than GNS3, however GNS3 is closer to the actual equipment since it uses the actual IOS.

Packet Tracer is sufficient for ICND1/2/CCNA, but it lacks support for the more advanced routing protocols like BGP, and many other things Cisco equipment is capable of. The things you cannot do in Packet Tracer are not tested on the CCNA, but if you want a sim for the CCNP and higher, you'll need to go with GNS3 or something else.
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Old 03-21-11, 02:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TempliNocturnus View Post
Packet Tracer is a little easier to install, set up, and use than GNS3, however GNS3 is closer to the actual equipment since it uses the actual IOS.

Packet Tracer is sufficient for ICND1/2/CCNA, but it lacks support for the more advanced routing protocols like BGP, and many other things Cisco equipment is capable of. The things you cannot do in Packet Tracer are not tested on the CCNA, but if you want a sim for the CCNP and higher, you'll need to go with GNS3 or something else.
i dont even think you do any BGP/ISIS or OSPF in ICND / CCNA do you? "maybe" touch on OSPF becouse it really is a IGP. but not in detail, i know in my advanced routing we did route redistribution from BGP / isis / ospf / eigrp alot.

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Old 03-21-11, 02:37 PM   #12
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The current CCNA curricula covers everything required to configure a full multi-area OSPF-routed network. It also covers the same scope of EIGRP. I'm assuming that CCNP will cover all of the optional features used to increase efficiency for OSPF and EIGRP.

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Old 03-21-11, 03:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gangaskan View Post
i dont even think you do any BGP/ISIS or OSPF in ICND / CCNA do you? "maybe" touch on OSPF becouse it really is a IGP. but not in detail, i know in my advanced routing we did route redistribution from BGP / isis / ospf / eigrp alot.
I do not remember anything regarding the deployment or configuration of BGP in my CCNA studies. The only thing BGP related was in regards to where it is used, not how.

OSPF and EIGRP are big in the ICND2 so you'll really need to study that stuff. ACL's and NAT are another big question topic. Also don't forget to know the basics of Frame Relay.
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Old 03-21-11, 04:02 PM   #14
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I got my CCNA about a year and a half ago, and I used both Packet Tracer and the Dynamips/Dynagen (underlying emulator for GNS 3) to study for it. I found the Packet Tracer didn't properly do OSPF or EIGRP authentication, as well as spanning tree/VTP modes. The last is more of a CCNP-Switch topic, but it bothered me.

Long story short, if you have access to the IOS images, use GNS3 or Dynamips (same difference really) rather than Packet Tracer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamerBrian View Post
I'm assuming that CCNP will cover all of the optional features used to increase efficiency for OSPF and EIGRP.
The new CCNP-Route exam covers OSPF Multi-area and EIGRP, but I didn't see much mention of the efficiency myself. I'll find out whenever I get around to ordering the books.
-Drew

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Old 03-22-11, 07:40 AM Thread Starter   #15
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I do indeed have access to IOS images from Cisco, and have loaded them in my GNS3 installs on my work pc, home pc, and laptop, lol.

I am making progress, albeit slowly. The level 3 network admin I will be working under talked this over with my manager, and they are totally cool with me going for CCENT within 90 days, and continuing on with CCNA after that. This is very good! As a bonus, I will get a 2.5% pay increase for CCENT, and then another 2.5% increase when I finish CCNA. This is on top of the raise I already got when I accepted the position. I'm signing the paperwork today for transition to the Network Admin role. Score!!

I am going to continue working on my microsoft certs as well. I have been working towards MCSE for a while now. The company I work for is really good about providing training, and pay increases for any related certifications. I've been here for a while now, and finally starting to feel like I'm going somewhere.

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Old 03-22-11, 07:52 AM   #16
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How are you guys finding the exam? Been working with cisco routers, switches, pix, asa, ace, igx as well as some juniper and vanguard now for over 5 years. Thinking it's time to take the plunge and perhaps get my CCNA. I work with everything from EIGRP, OSPF, RIP, and GRE in my day to day.

Thoughts?

J

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Old 03-22-11, 10:00 AM   #17
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SpeeDj,

As long as you check out the base requirements for the exam and brush up on some concept specifics then you will do just fine. The hardest part about taking the exam when you have experience is understanding that the exam doesn't want to know the most widely used practices in the field, but rather the practices that Cisco mandates as correct.

Brian

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Old 03-22-11, 11:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
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SpeeDj,

As long as you check out the base requirements for the exam and brush up on some concept specifics then you will do just fine. The hardest part about taking the exam when you have experience is understanding that the exam doesn't want to know the most widely used practices in the field, but rather the practices that Cisco mandates as correct.

Brian
Sounds good to me, thanks for the feedback. It's on my list of things I'd like to get done this year, I think it's time to move on from my current employer and find some happiness.

J

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Old 03-22-11, 03:07 PM   #19
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I do not remember anything regarding the deployment or configuration of BGP in my CCNA studies. The only thing BGP related was in regards to where it is used, not how.

OSPF and EIGRP are big in the ICND2 so you'll really need to study that stuff. ACL's and NAT are another big question topic. Also don't forget to know the basics of Frame Relay.
not to stray away from topic, but its been forever since i've done any entry ccna classes when i was in ccna4 which was basic routing i believe? we did alot of ISDN and frame relay stuff from what i remember.


but yeah, nat isnt that big of a issue as is ACL's and being able to subnet on the fly

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Old 03-22-11, 03:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
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SpeeDj,
The hardest part about taking the exam when you have experience is understanding that the exam doesn't want to know the most widely used practices in the field, but rather the practices that Cisco mandates as correct.

Brian
This is good to know whether you're taking Cisco, Microsoft or CompTIA exams. Microsoft especially is known for this.

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