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  1. Member
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    #1

    Default *edit* OK, what book? CCSP or CCNP, and a 2811 question

    *edit* OK, so I've chosen to go the CCNP route. How about reading material? Should I just go with the newly released 5th edition of the CCNP Official Exam Certification Library by Brent Stewart et al? It includes all 4 exams at a nice big discount over at Amazon.

    My basic question starts with how do I decide whether to pursue the SP or NP certs. CCNA is a prerequisite for both, though CCNP seems to be the preferred path after CCNA. I'm not sure exactly what the reasons are beyond a generally more in-depth approach to the same topics on CCNA (OSPF from what I've read). Would CCNP give me a better foundation to move on to CCIE, or would CCSP do that better? And on a related note, would CCNP or CCSP make a better foundation for CISSP; though this is partially irrelevant for me since I don't have the 4 years of experience yet, but I'm interested nonetheless.

    Also, as far as the 2811 router is concerned, I wondering if this would be a good investment as a CCNP/SP/IE lab. I've already got two 2950s (and one more soon perhaps) and three 2500 routers plus a 2620. I ask this because I've noticed that the new 640-802 CCNA has a lot of new security info with regards to VPN, SDM, and SDM with ACL, and Lammle's 6th edition CCNA spends a lot of time with the 2811. I'm thinking that if I study for the 802 CCNA I'll be better prepared for the CCSP. How much, I don't know.
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    #2
    In fact, perhaps a better question would be should I pursue a CCDA as a foundation before moving onto a CCNP or CCSP? FYI, generally speaking, I'd like to break into security whom ever I decide to work for in networking.
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  4. Senior Member LOkrasa's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Lieb
    In fact, perhaps a better question would be should I pursue a CCDA as a foundation before moving onto a CCNP or CCSP? FYI, generally speaking, I'd like to break into security whom ever I decide to work for in networking.
    I dont know what the CCDA exam entails so I wont be able to advise you on this one. I do know that the only way to get ready for the CCIE is exp and depending on which one you want to accomplish. If you would like to do the CCIE Routing/Switching then CCNP is your best bet. If you want to do CCIE Security then CCSP... VOIP/CCVP etc. The exam, from what I have read, is very difficult and exp seems to be the only and best way to prepare for it (lab exp as well). So I guess the path is up to you... they all have a impact on what YOU want to accomplish.

    I think the CCSP would be your best bet to in terms or preparation for the CISSP. However, I have not done the CCNP,CCSP or even looked at the CISSP. I am just assuming since CISSP is security and thats what CCSP deals with, that it would be your best chance.
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    #4
    ^ Thanks for the reply.

    Anyone else? Come on, somebody has to care about me.
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  6. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #5
    I thought LOkrasa pretty much nailed the answer

    Lets see.... what can I add....

    The 2811 would be nice to have if you get into voice someday..... but you could get 3-4 really nice 3640s for what one 2811 would cost (or a nice generic quad core dual monitor system for Dynamips).

    With the change to the CCNP, it's now a good introduction to Security. Before they just tacked VPNs into one of the exams. Now one of the new CCNP exams could easily be a Security exam (and has some serious overlap with 2 CCSP exams).

    I'd say the old logic for getting the CCSP after the CCNP was that to really secure a network, you had to know how to build it first. That's still true, but the message now is that if you build a network, you better secure it too.

    I had planned on the CCDA after the CCNA and before the CCNP -- but after reading the book (while studying for the CCNA exam) I changed my mind. I had already been a member of a Network Architecture team I was annoyed by the "CCDA Philosophy" of "go ask a CCNP" or "get a CCNP to do this part" -- how could you design a network if you had no idea how to build it?

    The updated CCDA now requires BCMSN level knowledge so they seem to have addressed part of my "CCDA annoyance". If they added BSCI level knowledge as a prequsite I'd even be happier.
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    #6

    Default Re: CCSP or CCNP, and a 2811 question

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Lieb
    My basic question starts with how do I decide whether to pursue the SP or NP certs. CCNA is a prerequisite for both, though CCNP seems to be the preferred path after CCNA. I'm not sure exactly what the reasons are beyond a generally more in-depth approach to the same topics on CCNA (OSPF from what I've read). Would CCNP give me a better foundation to move on to CCIE, or would CCSP do that better? And on a related note, would CCNP or CCSP make a better foundation for CISSP; though this is partially irrelevant for me since I don't have the 4 years of experience yet, but I'm interested nonetheless.

    Also, as far as the 2811 router is concerned, I wondering if this would be a good investment as a CCNP/SP/IE lab. I've already got two 2950s (and one more soon perhaps) and three 2500 routers plus a 2620. I ask this because I've noticed that the new 640-802 CCNA has a lot of new security info with regards to VPN, SDM, and SDM with ACL, and Lammle's 6th edition CCNA spends a lot of time with the 2811. I'm thinking that if I study for the 802 CCNA I'll be better prepared for the CCSP. How much, I don't know.
    Evan Lieb,

    As you may or may not know, there are six certification tracks:
    1. Routing & Switching
    2. Network Security
    3. Voice
    4. Storage Networking
    5. Service Provider
    6. Design

    Each track has a progression of their own as follows:[list=1][*]Routing & Switching
    1. CCNA
    2. CCNP
    3. CCIE - Routing & Switching
    [*]Network Security
    1. CCNA
    2. CCSP
    3. CCIE - Security
    [*]Voice
    1. CCNA
    2. CCVP
    3. CCIE - Voice
    [*]Storage Networking
    1. CCNA
    2. CCIE - Storage Networking
    [*]Service Provider
    1. CCNA
    2. CCIP
    3. CCIE - Service Provider
    [*]Design
    1. CCNA
    2. CCDA
    3. CCDP
    [/list:9c544167e1]

    Now, to answer your question if you should pursue the CCNP or CCSP depends on your current situation and the goal you'd like to reach. The CCNP is part of the Routing & Switching track which means you'll be dealing with the overall basic connectivity infrastructure. The CCSP is part of the Network Security track which means you'll be dealing with the defense and accountability within that infrastructure. To extend mikej412's comment of "I'd say the old logic for getting the CCSP after the CCNP was that to really secure a network, you had to know how to build it first." reminds me of the following joke...
    Quote Originally Posted by some joke
    The police was called to a building because of a potential robbery in progress. So the senior police officer at the building ordered the rest of the police officers to secure the exits. Welp, somehow the robber got away. When the senior police officer asked the police officers "How do do you think the robber got away?" A police officer said "You told use to cover the exits, so the robber must have gotten away out of an entrance." *boom ting*
    Now, with that in mind, one advice that doesn't seem to be widely suggested is to get study materials for the BSCI and BCMSN exams in the CCNP track, study and practice the skills so you're skilled enough to pass the exam BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THE EXAMS. That way, you'll be as skilled as a CCNP but not undergone the expense of taking the BSCI and BCMSN exams because you can conserve those funds towards taking the CCSP exams. So by going that route (pun intended) you'll have comparable knowledge and skill as a CCNP but become a more knowledgeable CCSP.

    As far as reaching the CISSP it seems like the 4 years of experience may be the hardest qualifier. You may be stuck in the catch 22 situation of "can't get experience without experience." I heard that the CompTIA Security+ certificate may be equivalent to approximately 2 years of experience.

    As far as which track will lead to the CCIE, well, if you look above, 5 of the 6 tracks leads to the CCIE within their respective tracks. Now, keep in mind that the Professional level certification is NOT a pre-requisite for the CCIE but it may help smooth the learning curve from CCNA to CCIE.

    As far as doing the CCDA before any Professional certification seems practical because passing any 642- prefix exam will automatically renew any and all Associate level certification. However, don't underestimate the CCDA because the CCDA, at least from my experience of the 640-861 DESGN exam, is as broad as the entire Professional level of certifications from a knowledge perspective. The relationship between the CCDA and Professional certifications is CCDA = CCNP + CCSP + CCVP - implementing and troubleshooting skills of CCNP/CCSP/CCVP.

    I hope this helps.


    Source:
    1. IT Certification - Cisco - Cisco Systems - http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/le...aths_home.html
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    #7
    mikej412, yeah, I see where you're coming from there. The CCNA added more security too, so that seems to be the general theme with the updated Cisco tests these days. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

    tech-airman, I like that anecdote. Never thought of just mastering part of the CCNP material and then just skipping the NP tests for CCSP. You're right that that would save me some money. I certainly will consider it. CCDA is something I've contemplated too but I have to finish school in any event.
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    #8
    Correct me if i'm wrong but if you do the CCNP don't you only need 1 additional Test to complet your CCDP?
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by kafifi13
    Correct me if i'm wrong but if you do the CCNP don't you only need 1 additional Test to complet your CCDP?
    kafifi13,

    If you followed the "pure CCNP" track of CCNA -> BSCI -> BCMSN -> ISCW -> ONT -> CCNP, you'd still need to take the CCDA exam as well as the ARCH exam so that's two exams not just one for CCNP -> CCDP.
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  11. srg
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by kafifi13
    Correct me if i'm wrong but if you do the CCNP don't you only need 1 additional Test to complet your CCDP?
    Correct. You have to be CCDA first though.
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    #11
    Thanks for the responses guys, you've all been a big help.

    So, when I start my CCNP journey, I assume the best place to start is the newly released 5th edition of the CCNP Official Exam Certification Library by Brent Stewart et al?
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Lieb
    Thanks for the responses guys, you've all been a big help.

    So, when I start my CCNP journey, I assume the best place to start is the newly released 5th edition of the CCNP Official Exam Certification Library by Brent Stewart et al?
    Evan Lieb,

    Try the following books depending on which exam's material you want to study first:
    1. Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI) (Authorized Self-Study Guide), 3rd Edition - http://www.ciscopress.com/bookstore/...sbn=1587052237
    2. Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN) (Authorized Self-Study Guide), 4th Edition - http://www.ciscopress.com/bookstore/...sbn=1587052733
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  14. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #13
    The Exam Certification Guides are great if you already have the knowledge and experience and just want to brush up on the topics before the exam.

    If you're seeing and learning the material for the first time, you'd definitely want to start with the Authorized Self Study guides.

    If the Authorized Self Study guides aren't published yet (or available) then you'd probably be spending some additional time searching the online Cisco Docs for the exam blueprint topics to supplement the Exam Certification Guide information.

    CCNP Self-Study Resources from Cisco Press
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    #14
    For me personally i just go with the Exam Certification guides. I didn't have much experiance...actually very little when studying for my CCNA. I did the Exam Cert guides by Odem and they were great. They went over everything as if you learning it for the first time. I'd say check out both books at a book store and see what you like. I'm using the exam cert guides for the CCNP right now. So far so good.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by kafifi13
    For me personally i just go with the Exam Certification guides. I didn't have much experiance...actually very little when studying for my CCNA. I did the Exam Cert guides by Odem and they were great. They went over everything as if you learning it for the first time. I'd say check out both books at a book store and see what you like. I'm using the exam cert guides for the CCNP right now. So far so good.
    kafifi13,

    I personally have Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN) (Authorized Self-Study Guide), 4th Edition - http://www.ciscopress.com/bookstore/...sbn=1587052733 and they have hands-on exercises in it. The Exam Certification guide is geared towards taking the exam with the assumption that you have the knowledge and skills developed through experience or by going through the "Authorized Self-Study Guide." Evan Lieb's goal is the CCSP but wants CCNP level knowledge and skills to support his future CCSP.
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  17. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by kafifi13
    I did the Exam Cert guides by Odem and they were great.
    The Odem book is the exception to the rule.

    Same with Todd's book -- after the CCNA you're better off sticking to the Cisco Press Books.
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    #17
    Hey tech-airman, yes, I was considering just getting BSCI and BCMSN Cisco Press books instead of the whole deal, and using that extra money to by a BSCI and BCMSN Portable Command Guide. I think I'll probably go that route, and maybe a self-study guide as mike suggested. I'm not that inexperienced but I'm not CCNP-level knowledgeable by virtue of experience. I'll see how advanced the Cisco Press books are before putting down the money.
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  19. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #18
    I have to agree, the CCNP exam cert guides leave a little to be desired on some topics if you are not already knowledgable on them. I just used the exam cert guides for the CCNA, but when I did the BCMSN I got both and I'm glad I did.
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    #19
    For BSCI I read the self study guide and it is a brilliant book. For BCMSN I read the self study and the exam certification guide. The exam cert guides will help you pass the exam for sure but they do not teach you much else besides. Both the self study guides have practical exercies in them that are really useful. I agree with networker that the cert guides leave out a lot of information. I tried to configure MPLS with what I learnt from the ISCW guide and believe me it leaves out more than half the detail all it teaches you is the MPLS interface commands. It mentions a bit about Route Targets, Route Distinguishers and Virtual Router Forwarding but no where near enough to set it up. To learn to do that I managed to ahem acquire some one's CNAP ISCW lab's and they are really good.

    Bottom line as Mike said if you are learning about it for the first time get the self study guides
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  21. Senior Member LOkrasa's Avatar
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    #20
    I know I will be reading both the study, and the exam cert guides, and I know I will be reading them more then once.
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  22. Cisco Addict ITdude's Avatar
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    #21
    I agree...If you just want to pass the exams and have some pretty good experience then the cert guides might be okay. However, if you want to pass the exams and really learn the material too, go with the study guides and then the cert guides.

    How good the study guide or exam guides are tend to vary from exam to exam and author to author but still good reads!
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