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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default Just Started Studying for 200-310 CCDA

    I've gotten to the point of my studies where certification is not a requirement for anything I'm doing professionally or academically. I was going to study for a Microsoft SCCM 2012 certification for my new job, but I've been told that we are not migrating from SCCM 2007 R3 or Windows 10 any time in the near future.

    That being said, I thought to myself "What am I going to do NOW to get what I want in the FUTURE?" Aside from working on my MBA in IT Management, I decided to forego any Microsoft studies until it's absolutely required for employment. My ultimate dream is to be at least CCIE R&S, then branch off from there. I decided to work on the CCDA by purchasing the OCG from Cisco Press (got a fairly decent discount), and I have a Skillsoft account from my school. I figure that will keep me busy for a while. I recently passed the 210-260 CCNA Security exam, so I have a bit of time to renew my Cisco certs by September of '19.

    Once I am done with the CCDA, I will move on to the CCNP R&S, then take the last test that will complete CCDP (unless Cisco's requirements change in the future). From there, I will probably kill myself studying for the CCIE. Along that path, I would also like to someday work for a Cisco Partner and achieve either the CCAI or CCSI training certifications, as I love to teach. I have not been fortunate enough in my professional path to have a network administration or engineering position, where I was responsible for maintaining the Cisco networking devices. My previous positions have focused on the desktop and server side of things (aside from teaching).

    Even my current position does not include maintaining the network infrastructure, but I am trying to align my skills to get a chance later on, as I know that practical work experience trumps education and certification almost every time.

    Wish me luck!
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    I've read a couple chapters of the OCG, but I'm trying to get through the Skillport videos first. I now understand why Cisco recommends going through CCNP R&S first, as there are quite a few topics covered in CCDA that I never had to learn in the version of CCNA I studied. I could just jump into the CCNP curriculum, but I'm up for a challenge and spending a bit more time studying. I still plan on working through CCNP once I'm done with this exam.

    I'm watching the video section that talks about designing a WAN infrastructure with L2 and L3 VPN technologies, and my brain is starting to hurt. I plan on reading some textbooks that cover each technology separately to understand how the protocols work in more detail. CCNA Security focuses on basic IPsec and SSL VPNs, but this exam covers all the VPN technologies that are currently in use. Granted it's high-level, but still a challenge.

    Overall, I'm still having a lot of fun learning the concepts of this exam, during my breaks working on my MBA assignments.
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  4. Senior Member JustFred's Avatar
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    #3
    Thanks for the update, looking forward to hear more about how far you are with your studies.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    Good luck with studying. How is Skillsoft? Is that paid for by your employer?
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MitM View Post
    Good luck with studying. How is Skillsoft? Is that paid for by your employer?
    I have a Skillsoft account through WGU. I'm not sure if I will continue to have access once I graduate, but I like it a lot. It's a lot better than some of the other resources I've used.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    Spent the day learning about routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, EIGRP, IS-IS, BGP), traffic path selection, and topology design. Also covered static routes, redistribution and route summarization. My brain is killing me. At least I can go over this material multiple times. It's going to take me a while before I can afford an exam voucher.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    Most of today was covering WLAN implementations, and the difference between autonomous APs and WLCs. I honestly had NO IDEA that APs create a CAPWAP tunnel through the infrastructure to communicate with the Wireless LAN Controllers. It makes sense, but with the added overhead, it really gets me thinking "There HAS to be a better way!" LOL

    Like the other subjects, it was a lot to digest. This exam has a lot of in-depth objectives, but it doesn't seem like it's too overwhelming. I'll probably save around $50 every paycheck to eventually get a voucher. I don't want to take the exam unless I know 150% that I will pass. Don't really feel like throwing $250 away. Even though these subjects are complicated, and a lot of it I didn't have to know in the version of CCNA that I took a few years ago, I am having a good time learning everything. I'm glad I chose the Design track instead of jumping into CCNP first.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Nice updates, I'm working through the CCDP now and learning a lot as well. I took the older version of CCDA so not many tips I can provide, but I assume it's still very theory based. There's not much in way of CLI configuration based knowledge to remember. Which is especially good for me since I'm in Juniper land at the moment.

    I believe most controller based AP's use some type of tunneling method back to their controller. I'm working with Aruba's and they use GRE or IPSec for tunneling to their controller.
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    Thanks for the info. I don't really have a problem with the exam being mostly theory. I love learning facts, even though I love the configuration and troubleshooting part as well. I'm very anxious to start working on the CCNP after I'm done with CCDA. Let me know how it goes with the CCDP, and best of luck!
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    So today's lessons were all about designing the network for Voice and Video (Collaboration) technologies. Additionally, how to properly create IPv4 and IPv6 networks with addressing, and summarization techniques. It was nice to see a different perspective on summarization techniques, without taking the octet and looking at the binary representation. I know that I used a quick math technique previously, but I haven't dealt with summarization in so long, that I almost forgot how to do it fairly quickly.

    This exam is a conglomeration of all the different Cisco tracks, but at a high level. You have to know HOW the technologies work, and how to design a network appropriately, but having expertise in different tracks are definitely going to help for this exam. Getting a preview is making me very excited to jump into the CCNP and the other tracks as well. I would like to have a well-rounded background with as many technologies as possible.
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    #11
    nice updates. I'm thinking about adding this to my 2017 goals, maybe even start soon.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    I have completed the Skillsoft videos, and now I am starting to go through the Official Course Guide. I have a practice exam through Pearson that was included with the OCG, but I plan on getting Boson in a month or two when I can afford it. Probably going to read a couple chapters per day at most, and make notes of which objectives I want to study in greater detail from another track (CCNP R&S, CCNA Sec, etc...). Since this exam covers the "basics" of just about each track, I want to understand more so I'm better prepared for the exam.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    Actually read the first 3 chapters of the CCDA OCG:

    Chapter 1 - Network Design Methodology
    Chapter 2 - Network Design Models
    Chapter 3 - Enterprise LAN Design

    These chapters provided the high-level overview on the basis behind designing different types of networks, based on their sizes. There were a lot of minute details that I'll need to memorize, which is pretty standard for any technical exam.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Over the past couple days, covered the following chapters:

    Chapter 4 - Data Center Design
    Chapter 5 - Wireless LAN Design
    Chapter 6 - WAN Technologies and the Enterprise Edge

    These chapters dealt with the strategic placement of equipment based on the needs of the business. A lot more technical details, especially with power and cooling requirements when building out a Data Center. I definitely see myself reading this book a few times in order to get everything straight.
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Today's reading was:

    Chapter 7 - WAN Design
    Chapter 8 - Internet Protocol Version 4 Design

    WAN Design is pretty complicated, as it was my lowest skillset when I took the ICND2 years ago. However, back then I had to know Frame Relay, which was the bane of my existence. Now I'm studying WAN technologies that I never had to learn before, such as Layer 2 and 3 MPLS VPNs, and BGP. Additionally, there is a section on IS-IS, which I haven't studied in like a decade or more. IPv4 addressing is my strongest subject, as I've gotten 100% on every Cisco exam in that objective. I also love teaching IP addressing and subnetting.
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  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    Read the following chapters today:

    Chapter 9 - Internet Protocol Version 6 Design
    Chapter 10 - Routing Protocol Characteristics, RIP, EIGRP, and IS-IS
    Chapter 11 - OSPF, BGP, Route Manipulation, and IP Multicast

    Aside from the videos I watched previously, there were a LOT of new concepts for me. I'm fairly versed in IPv6 addressing, so the only new information for me was the structure of the packets. RIPv1 was mentioned just as a basis for RIPv2. EIGRP was a review, but EIGRP for IPv6 was new. Only some minor changes there for IPv6. I can't call IS-IS a review, because it's been so long since I studied it before, I literally didn't remember any of it. OSPFv2 was a review, but OSPFv3 was new, similarly to my experience with EIGRP for IPv6. I never had to study BGP before. Route manipulation, such as Policy-Based-Routing (PBR) is entirely new for me. Multicasting is something I've never worked with before.

    So, needless to say, I'll be revisiting these chapters later, and going through the new ICND1 and ICND2 materials. I may even create labs with packet captures to understand more about the underlying technologies. I'm still having a good time learning everything, even though a lot of it is hard to remember (OSPF LSA types!!!!)
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Just finished the book with these last chapters:

    Chapter 12 - Managing Security
    Chapter 13 - Security Solutions
    Chapter 14 - Voice and Video Design
    Chapter 15 - Network Management Protocols

    The two Security chapters were mainly review from what I studied in the current CCNA Security exam. The Network Management Protocols chapters was fairly short compared to the rest. Most of it was review for me, also previously covered in the CCNA Security studies. Voice and Video Design... good Lord! That chapter was huge, and had a TON of concepts that I either haven't studied in years (used to be covered in the early CCNA studies over a decade ago), or were VERY detailed in nature and hard to remember (codecs, delay values, QoS techniques, etc.). I am most definitely going to review this book multiple times before I even dream of an exam attempt. First, I am going to review the newest ICND1 and ICND2 material to cover the technologies I haven't learned before, such as MPLS, BGP, and IS-IS. I'm still glad I chose this track, because it gives me more of an understanding of ALL network technologies in order to design a more efficient and effective network.
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    I am now going through the ICND1 Skillport videos from scratch based on the v3.0 exams. Of course all the beginning videos are review, but I like to go through EVERYTHING (I'm pretty obsessive-compulsive). These videos are very long, so they'll keep me busy for a while. It also helps to hammer the basics that I haven't studied in a couple years. It's nice to be refreshed on those subjects.
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  20. Senior Member Danielh22185's Avatar
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    #19
    How are the studies going? I am considering going after DA / DP before I throw my life away to CCIE.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
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  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    I had to take a small hiatus from Cisco to do mandatory Windows 10 training. I am back at it though, at the same time working on my MBA studies. I'm finishing up the review with ICND1, and have 3 more modules to go on the SkillPort videos. Thanks for checking back!
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  22. Senior Member
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    #21
    Quick update:

    Not too thrilled with my current progress, as I have completed all the required training modules for my employer. I haven't finished the ICND1 videos yet, due to my move from Lodi/Stockton area to Monterey area a couple weeks ago.

    I am happy to report that my MBA studies are going well. I submitted my last Task for the Project Management course right before the midnight deadline, and it passed on the first submission over this past weekend. I'm hoping to catch up on some studying there so I can continue the CCDA studies. I would like to pass the CCDA before the year is out.
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    #22
    Hey now,
    this thread has piqued my interest.

    i had kinda thought about exploring the ccda (older version), but not enough to buy the book.

    Add to that: i never could find any compelling video material.

    cbtnuggets is only 5 hours in duration (lame).

    What/how is this skillsoft? i've never heard of them.
    i did some searching;
    https://www.skillsoft.com/catalog/de...&Display=False

    is this the course?
    it says it's 30 hours long. If so... that sounds worthwhile.

    Any insight is appreciated :]
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  24. Senior Member
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    #23
    I just checked my Skillport portal that I access through school (WGU), and that isn't the course. That is for the previous version of the CCDA, which is also known as DESGN 2.0. The current version is 3.0.

    I did like the CCDA content through Skillsoft, but I still haven't gone through any practice exams yet. I also have the OCG, which I thought was good in content. Still haven't progressed as quickly as I would like, but my MBA studies are running behind as well. Need to progress more with that before I do alternate studies.
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  25. Senior Member
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    #24
    Gracias!

    Do you recall how many hours the 3.0 version is (in total)?
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  26. Senior Member
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    #25
    It's 13 modules, for a total of 22.5 hours.
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