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  1. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Going after CCDA..

    Well, I'm going to tackle the 640-863 before Cisco retires it..

    I already own both 640-863 books and I've ready read both of them over the last year or two..

    Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions (DESGN) (Authorized CCDA Self-Study Guide) (Exam 640-863), 2nd Edition
    CCDA Official Exam Certification Guide (Exam 640-863), 3rd Edition

    Plus this fits in at the perfect time since I am in the process of redesigning the network of a few of my branch offices.. So this feels more like a refresher course more then anything.. (not too much of this is feeling new)

    Does anyone know where I can get some good CCDA practice tests? I see Boson has some for CCDA has anyone used them?

    (I've used their CCNP ExSim tests so I know their questions are of good quality but didn't know if their were others out there besides Boson)
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    #2
    If you want a "practice test" use the Design methodology (PPDIOO) on your own network and create an assessment on the findings. Create a remediation plan based on the best practices and practice delivering the end solution as if you were doing it for a client. Since you have already stated that you are in the process of redesigning the branch networks, this is the perfect place to test your skills. Use the top down approach and feel free to post your information here, with sensitive data scrubbed of course.

    The self study by Teare is more than enough to pass the CCDA IMO and its one of the books I've kept for reference material down the line.

    Good luck!
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    #3
    I think I'm going to try to get at it too. If I feel that I'm not ready then I'll just take the next version of it. I honestly do think it's good stuff to know and that it'll help me better understand networking. Along with sort of introduce me to new things.
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    #4
    How "cisco"ish is the CCDA? Do the concepts apply to networking as a whole?
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    #5
    Yes they do. The biggest take away from the CCDA is learning the top down approach to design (focusing on requirements definition, not technology selection) and modularizing the network into logical segmentations for scalability and efficiency.

    Of course, there is the mandatory cisco marketing that goes into all of the exams but for the most part you can yawn through those sections.
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    #6
    Agree fully....This material really gives you a better perspective on the entire network infrastructure vesus just focusing in on different segments.

    However because it does have a theoretical slant and there is marketing hype, it can tend to be a bit dry to read.....

    Still, pretty neat stuff!
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    #7
    Awesome. Hopefully the Top Down Network Design and switch guide will be enough.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Top Down Network Design is a great book, but if you don't have the necessary experience in all area's covered on the exam syllabus I would actually go with the Self Study guide as a primary reference.

    CCNP level switching is helpful, but not required as long as you can grasp some of the advanced topics. Now for the CCDP exam, I would definitely recommend SWITCH and ROUTE as pre-reqs (BGP reflection anyone?).
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by down77 View Post
    Top Down Network Design is a great book, but if you don't have the necessary experience in all area's covered on the exam syllabus I would actually go with the Self Study guide as a primary reference.

    CCNP level switching is helpful, but not required as long as you can grasp some of the advanced topics. Now for the CCDP exam, I would definitely recommend SWITCH and ROUTE as pre-reqs (BGP reflection anyone?).
    Do you think TOP down+Self Study (2nd edition)+Switch would be enough for the new CCDA? Oh and I have no CCDP plans any time soon. Maybe after I do my first PRO level.
    Last edited by Bl8ckr0uter; 03-14-2011 at 02:10 AM.
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    #10
    The Self Study and Top Down Network books should provide for adequate coverage. Just make sure to supplement the following from the v2.1 blueprint:

    Describe enterprise network virtualization tools
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by down77 View Post
    The Self Study and Top Down Network books should provide for adequate coverage. Just make sure to supplement the following from the v2.1 blueprint:

    Describe enterprise network virtualization tools

    Hmmm how delightfully vague lol. I have some time before I want to sit it so hopefully I can use the aforementioned books, cbts and the design zone on cisco's site and it should be enough. I wish there was a vendor neutral cert on network design.
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  13. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #12
    Well, I had my wisdom teeth yanked out on Friday (all 4 woohoo), so I've used it as a perfect excuse to sit back and cram through the CCDA books again. (Well, maybe not a perfect excuse but hey I won't be too picky)

    After applying some of these theories to my own job and redesigns I'm feeling pretty comfortable with this material.. So I think I'll shoot to take this exam in a week or two. (after I take the exam I'll some thoughts for you Bl8ckr0uter, after reading both CCDA books I can see why they want SWITCH knowledge since they covers topics like EtherChannel, L3 redundancy, some WLAN design, and so forth.)

    I've been through the Cisco Design Zone plenty of times, lots of good info there for best practice type things.

    I really hate to say this but the CBT Nuggets CCDA stuff is pretty dry lol.
    Last edited by SteveO86; 03-14-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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  14. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #13
    Alright sitting in on this at 10.

    I'm feeling confident... Just kind of killing time relaxing around the house before the time comes.

    And if all doesn't go well I've got enough for another shot before it's retired.
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    #14
    Good luck and let us know how you do on the test
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  16. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #15
    Passed!

    Score in the 900's.. I found it to be a little long winded test. Took me an hour. Voice was my weakest subject (I've got no exposure to voice at all in my current environment). Like the CCNA it covers a broad array of subjects (Wireless, Security, Route Summarization, etc.. That's probably why I found so long winded)

    I found the Diane Teare book to be the better of the two books.
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  17. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveO86 View Post
    Passed!
    Congratulations!!
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    #17
    Hmm, I thought that the exam was retired back on the 8th of November

    Wow, amazing, just checked and it is indeed still available!

    Congrats on passing! It definitely pays to have some knowledge about design. Many of my old coworkers were of the opinion that design is just 'common sense' however I do not agree with that...

    Cheers,
    Fin
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  19. Senior Member SteveO86's Avatar
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    #18
    Thanks guys!


    That's honestly how I thought about, but after going over the material and seeing some of the 'best practice' stuff I am happy I took the time to learn the material, I found a lot of usefulness in the material itself.
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