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Thread: CCNA to CCDA?

  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default CCNA to CCDA?

    How realisitic is it that the materials for the CCNA prepare you enough for the CCDA?

    Or is the CCDA much different? It seems much of the content is similar.
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    #2
    I've read in other forums that the CCDA is a different kettle of fish, and one shouldn't assume that the CCNA knowledge you have will blow you through the CCDA. As a matter of fact, members have even indicated that CCDA seems to require some CCNP level knowledge (BCMSN, I think that's the one)...

    So, I advise you to take a jump over to the CCDA forum and have a snoop around, or even ask the same question there...but I understand CCDA is harder than CCNA!!

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  4. Johan Hiemstra Forum Admin Webmaster's Avatar
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    #3
    Not very realistic and quite different (I used to have them both). CCNA covers a lot of 'configuring' which is not the case for the CCDA. Although they are both at the same level and cover similar topics/technologies/concepts, the CCDA is more theoretic and covers them from a different angle. There is overlap but preparing for one won't be enough to pass the exam of the other. The CCDA exam consist of case-studies, in which you get information and demands from various people in the organization and based on that you need to select proper solutions. As you can see in the CCDA exam objectives, they all start with 'Describe', 'Identify' or 'Select'. Very simply put: CCNA is doing it, CCDA is talking about it.
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    #4
    I agree with both comments. You will be totally blown away especially with the new 640-863 CCDA exam if all you rely upon is CCNA knowledge. It is a doable exam but it is a bit of a bear.

    Go read the Cisco blueprint and pick up the new Cisco Press book for the 640-863 so you can see for yourself.
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    #5
    Webmaster,

    Quote Originally Posted by Webmaster
    Not very realistic and quite different (I used to have them both). CCNA covers a lot of 'configuring' which is not the case for the CCDA.
    Quote Originally Posted by Webmaster
    Although they are both at the same level and cover similar topics/technologies/concepts, the CCDA is more theoretic and covers them from a different angle.
    I have to respectfully disagree with you. That may have been the case with the 640-441 DCN exam for CCDA certification but it is NOT the case with the 640-861 DESGN exam and by extrapolation probably applies to the 640-863 DESGN exam. Effective the 640-861 DESGN exam, the material covered is to know and understand the technologies but not the configuring of the material contained in the following exams: BSCI, BCMSN, SND, CVOICE. The CCDA is expected to design the WHOLE network to include Routing&Switching, Wireless, Security, and Voice. Some designs may involve only one of those four factors but be prepared to design multiple factors.

    According to Cisco, "The Cisco CCNA network associate certification validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN." Also according to Cisco, "The CCDA certification (Cisco Certified Design Associate) indicates a foundation or apprentice knowledge of network design for the Cisco converged network. CCDA certified professionals can design routed and switched network infrastructures and services involving LAN, WAN, and broadband access for businesses and organizations." As you can see, the relative scope for the CCNA is smaller than the scope for the CCDA. The scope for the CCDA is so wide that "CCDA Preerequisites - CCNA level knowledge and BCMSN level knowledge is needed to prepare for the CCDA certification exam." Based on my experience, the reason why the CCDA is not a Professional level certification is because it doesn't include the configuration and troubleshooting. But make no mistake, the CCDA expects you to understand the technologies to the professional level because of the "BCMSN level knowledge" prerequisite.

    Here's the core (pun intended) reason why the CCDA certificate is so broad in material content. The CCDA certificate is required for the Systems Engineer role for the following Cisco Partner specializations: 1) Express Foundation 2) Express Unified Communications 3) Advanced Routing & Switching 4) Advanced Wireless LAN 5) Advanced Security 6) Advanced Unified Communications. So since a CCDA certified individual may be assigned to the System Engineer role in any of those 6 specializations, that is why the required knowledge base for the CCDA is so broad to encompass Routing&Switching, Wireless LAN(in BCMSN), Security(in SND), and Voice(in CVOICE).

    Quote Originally Posted by Webmaster
    There is overlap but preparing for one won't be enough to pass the exam of the other. The CCDA exam consist of case-studies, in which you get information and demands from various people in the organization and based on that you need to select proper solutions. As you can see in the CCDA exam objectives, they all start with 'Describe', 'Identify' or 'Select'. Very simply put: CCNA is doing it, CCDA is talking about it.
    Your simplification is out of order within the framework of Cisco Designing of PDIOO. The CCDA designs the network but it's the CCNA/CCNP/CCSP/CCVP/CCIE that implements and troubleshoots the design implementation.

    However, I agree with you, r_durant, and ITDude that at least from my experiences that the 640-861 DESGN exam was definitely harder than the 640-801 CCNA exam.

    Source:
    1. CCNA-Career Certifications & Paths - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le...type_home.html
    2. CCDA-Career Certifications & Paths - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le...type_home.html
    3. Express Foundation - Role Requirements-Partner Central - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr...uirements.html
    4. Role Requirements[for Express Unified Communications]-Partner Central - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr...uirements.html
    5. Role Requirements[for Advanced Routing & Switching]-Partner Central - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr...uirements.html
    6. Role Requirements[for Advanced Wireless LAN]-Partner Central - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr...uirements.html
    7. Requirements[for Advanced Security]-Specialized Partner - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr...uirements.html
    8. Role Requirements[for Advanced Unified Communications]-Partner Central - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr...uirements.html
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  7. Cisco Addict ITdude's Avatar
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    #6
    I agree with Tech-Airman, the CCDA with the 640-861 and 640-863 is essentially a quasi professional certification based upon what was needed to be covered as a knowledge base.

    It seems like Cisco is really trying to raise the bar. All of the topics mentioned by Tech-Airmen create a very verastile but broad certification.
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