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  1. Senior Member
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    #26
    Quote Originally Posted by notgoing2fail View Post
    Some thoughts about the SWITCH track as I've been reading.

    I've heard that the SWITCH exam tends to be a little easier after doing the CCNA Security exam because some topics overlap. And that seems to be very well the case. Also, not only CCNA Security but CCNA in general with inter-VLAN routing and ACL's. So far, other than a couple of new topics such as campus LAN designs, IP CEF I haven't yet hit any topics that have been overwhelming.

    Not to say that I won't. There are many more topics left and I am reading the chapters out of order. Just wanted to get my thoughts out....
    Seems similar to the BCMSN, I'm going through it now, about 10/11 chapters into the book, and I think only 2 or 3 chapters I've had to re-read parts to understand them. In the BSCI? Pretty much every chapter there was something brand new.
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  3. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by stuh84 View Post
    Seems similar to the BCMSN, I'm going through it now, about 10/11 chapters into the book, and I think only 2 or 3 chapters I've had to re-read parts to understand them. In the BSCI? Pretty much every chapter there was something brand new.
    I had suspected this. Glad I went with SWITCH first.
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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by notgoing2fail View Post
    I had suspected this. Glad I went with SWITCH first.
    I'm glad I didn't personally, that way it gets the hardest bit out the way first, then everything after seems like childs play compared. I prefer to tackle than put off the hard stuff.
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  5. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by notgoing2fail View Post
    Well I think it is time that I look at the beast in the eyes (the CCNP) and take it on head first. I suppose the real beast is the CCIE, but for now, for me, the CCNP is that beast.

    Will I know enough to pass this course? Well that is a catch 22, I do not know what I don't know? Does that make sense? I must read the books, gather as many resources as possible and see what this NEW track is all about.

    I will try my best to update this thread as much as possible for anyone looking for a good roadmap or at least spy on me and see how I'm doing.

    So here we go, today, I declare, my road to CCNP!!!!


    What do I have so far? Not much in reading materials. The exam I've decided to start off with first is the SWITCH (642-813) exam.

    I bought the CCNP library set that you see here:

    CCNP Routing and Switching Official Certification Library (Exams 642-902, 642-813, 642-832)

    Amazon.com: CCNP Routing and Switching Official Certification Library (Exams…

    Cost about $150 give or take.

    As I purchase and find more materials, I will update this thread with pricing/materials. As well as reviews on these materials....


    Here we go!!
    Good luck. Switching was the first exam I studied for the CCNP v 2.0 back in Autumn 2000. Spending time on that subject first was a good launch pad for the other exams and I learned a great deal. I think it's important that Cisco students dont get hung up on routing at the expense of truly spending really significant time trying to understand switching much better. On many platforms the operational demands of switching on IT professionals are higher than they are for router and routing changes. A library of good switching books both old and new will serve you well in your career.
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  6. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #30
    Chapter 13 Layer 3 High Availability is now finished.

    This chapter focuses on the one-hop redundancy protocols. HSRP, VRRP and GLBP. Other than some minor differences between these protocols, they are just about the same. VRRP is the only non-proprietary protocol out of the bunch and GLBP seems to build off of HSRP.

    Unfortunately GLBP is not supported on all routers.

    The chapter also discusses redundancy with supervisor engines and the different types of configurations you can have. Although the chapter does provide the commands on how to configure this, I'm not sure what Cisco expects you to know for the exam other then just the general idea of how you can configure supervisor engines. Not everyone has access to 4509R and 6500 modular chassis.
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  7. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by stuh84 View Post
    I'm glad I didn't personally, that way it gets the hardest bit out the way first, then everything after seems like childs play compared. I prefer to tackle than put off the hard stuff.

    I like the easy stuff first to build up my self confidence.



    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    Good luck. Switching was the first exam I studied for the CCNP v 2.0 back in Autumn 2000. Spending time on that subject first was a good launch pad for the other exams and I learned a great deal. I think it's important that Cisco students dont get hung up on routing at the expense of truly spending really significant time trying to understand switching much better. On many platforms the operational demands of switching on IT professionals are higher than they are for router and routing changes. A library of good switching books both old and new will serve you well in your career.


    Thank you. I already know that routing is my weakness. Other than reading theories on it, I am not exposed to it on a daily basis enough for it to feel second nature to me.

    Switching feels a bit easier because it's a bit more "flat" if that makes any sense...

    Besides like you said, work from the bottom up, switching fundamentals is extremely important before you decide to look into layer 3.....
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    #32

    Default Seems like you will have a study buddy sooner I thought

    So yea I decided to go for the NP over the SP just because of ROI reasons (and I think I can get the NP done before the SP). So I will probably start with the router exam so hopefully by the time you pass switch, we can start on route together. You will probably get you NP before me though lol.


    How are the studies coming btw..
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  9. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by notgoing2fail View Post
    I like the easy stuff first to build up my self confidence.







    Thank you. I already know that routing is my weakness. Other than reading theories on it, I am not exposed to it on a daily basis enough for it to feel second nature to me.

    Switching feels a bit easier because it's a bit more "flat" if that makes any sense...

    Besides like you said, work from the bottom up, switching fundamentals is extremely important before you decide to look into layer 3.....
    No problem. Learn switching inside and out and your career will go far. Avoid the layer 3 mentality. Many brilliant careers are based on knowing layer 2 and 4 well. The cloud takes care of layer 3.
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    #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    No problem. Learn switching inside and out and your career will go far. Avoid the layer 3 mentality. Many brilliant careers are based on knowing layer 2 and 4 well. The cloud takes care of layer 3.
    Unless like myself, you are working in the cloud

    I guess it depends what you want to do career wise, I work somewhere that is practically an ISP in all but name, and my aim is to eventually be working for a true ISP, so Layer 3 to me is quite important. However, thats not to stress that switching is unimportant, but depending on your career direction, you could end up doing scarcely any switching, and lots of layer 3, or never touching anything at anything above Layer 2.

    Plus, layer 3 tends to be a lot more interesting in my opinion, hence why layer 2 gets a bit of a bad deal sometimes. Being well versed in all is best is what I'm getting at I guess.
    Last edited by stuh84; 05-23-2010 at 10:44 PM.
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  11. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #35
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    So yea I decided to go for the NP over the SP just because of ROI reasons (and I think I can get the NP done before the SP). So I will probably start with the router exam so hopefully by the time you pass switch, we can start on route together. You will probably get you NP before me though lol.


    How are the studies coming btw..

    They are going along very well actually. Pretty smoothly. I'm not sure I would get my CCNP before you. I really only just recently started studying.

    When do you plan on starting? My switch foundation book comes in June. Between this cert guide book and the old BCMSN, I may not really need the foundation book so much....we shall see...

    I've been getting certified about once a month. I got my first cert in April, then another in May. I hope if I can get SWITCH in June, then I'd be on a decent roll.....

    Just need to avoid burn out....


    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    No problem. Learn switching inside and out and your career will go far. Avoid the layer 3 mentality. Many brilliant careers are based on knowing layer 2 and 4 well. The cloud takes care of layer 3.

    I assume you are exposed to real equipment on a daily basis? What are your strong points? Do you prefer switching as well?
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    #36
    Quote Originally Posted by notgoing2fail View Post
    They are going along very well actually. Pretty smoothly. I'm not sure I would get my CCNP before you. I really only just recently started studying.

    When do you plan on starting? My switch foundation book comes in June. Between this cert guide book and the old BCMSN, I may not really need the foundation book so much....we shall see...

    I've been getting certified about once a month. I got my first cert in April, then another in May. I hope if I can get SWITCH in June, then I'd be on a decent roll.....
    Well I have the routing TCP/IP Vol 1 book already so I will probably pick up the Route authorized Self Study guides/Cert guides in a few weeks (after I knock out LPIC-1 and Security+) and the CCDA guide. Maybe sometime in August but in the mean time I do want to go through the routing guide.
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  13. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by stuh84 View Post
    Unless like myself, you are working in the cloud
    Yes that's certainly true for the SP's where enterprise L3 hassles are being increasingly handed off to clouds. MPLS in and leased lines out. But L2 tunneling is a growing requirement there also. I have worked with SP's a lot over the years and they often bemoan the lack of switching exposure as they historically have provide L3 transit as opposed to hosting.

    But in this dynamic world distinctions become blurred quickly. Learn both!
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  14. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #38
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  15. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #39
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Well I have the routing TCP/IP Vol 1 book already so I will probably pick up the Route authorized Self Study guides/Cert guides in a few weeks (after I knock out LPIC-1 and Security+) and the CCDA guide. Maybe sometime in August but in the mean time I do want to go through the routing guide.

    Ok, well hopefully when you are ready for the CCNP my thread will help. I haven't really been posting anything all that useful yet other than just some chapter thoughts....

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    #40
    Quote Originally Posted by notgoing2fail View Post
    Ok, well hopefully when you are ready for the CCNP my thread will help. I haven't really been posting anything all that useful yet other than just some chapter thoughts....

    Mos Def. I am still quite a noob so I will post what I can. Hopefully we will be getting towards route exam around the same time.
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  17. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #41
    Quick update:

    As I continue to read chapters in this book, it is pretty clear that this book in no way can be used to pass this exam. The chapters are pretty thin, not much meat or details.

    Just quick over-view of the topics. Again, that is the "point" of this book.

    The foundation books coming out soon are suppose to really fill in the gaps.

    I'm currently reading my BCMSN book to fill in the gaps as I don't have patience right now to wait for the foundation book. Which I pre-ordered.

    I hope to take the exam pretty soon, I'm thinking about 2-3 weeks from now.

    I'm not entirely sure I would recommend the "Officical Study Guide" right now, maybe I will change my tune later, but right now, it seems kind of disappointing...


    I'm also looking at other resources such as cisco.com for online docs....
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  18. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #42
    Holy cow, some of what I'm reading in BCMSN book is identical to the "Official SWITCH 642-813 Guide".

    HMMM.....
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  19. Certified Beer Judge Cyanic's Avatar
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    #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Turgon View Post
    No problem. Learn switching inside and out and your career will go far. Avoid the layer 3 mentality. Many brilliant careers are based on knowing layer 2 and 4 well. The cloud takes care of layer 3.

    I am heavy layer 4 at my current position. Most of the time I can tell you if performance problems are network, server or client just by examining layer 4 of a flow.
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    #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanic View Post
    I am heavy layer 4 at my current position. Most of the time I can tell you if performance problems are network, server or client just by examining layer 4 of a flow.
    I must know how you are doing this. I have messed with a lot of monitoring tools and not been too satisfied with any. They include Solar Winds, Nagios, MRTG, and NTOP.
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  21. The Bringer of Light DevilWAH's Avatar
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    #45
    Ponder the Network (and other things) you might like that link. all the stuff he missed in the switch cert guide he going to post there.
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  22. The Bringer of Light DevilWAH's Avatar
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    #46
    https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/do...#comment-11912 for the threadon cisco discussing some of the problems with the new track and some responces from ciscopress
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  23. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #47
    Good stuff Devilwah, I'm going to check out those links...
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  24. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyanic View Post
    I am heavy layer 4 at my current position. Most of the time I can tell you if performance problems are network, server or client just by examining layer 4 of a flow.
    It certaily helps. Layer 4 is most important. I would encourage engineers to study layer 2 and layer 4 very well indeed. Cisco gloss over it far too much IMHO. With so many devices keeping state these days (firewalls are just one example, Load balancers, ACE are others, there are many) understanding layer 4 mechanics is essential. In shared environments connection drops or latency are issues and changes can impact many customers. Often times though the network is only doing its job when the TCP tail drop is happening or packets not being fragmented due to DF or QoS is kicking in. Please check what that server or application hosted on it is actually configured to do and what the contract says should be provided
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    #49
    lol and heres me struggling to get more experince in layer 3 and move away from layer 2. sadly so many jobs seem to assume that if you are not experinced at layer 3 no matter how much layer 2 + 4 you have that you don't know networking. personal i love layer 2. and for pinpointing issues and trouble shooting. layer 4 is outstanding. its lovley when the server guys accuse your network of being slow. and 5 min later you can politly explain that not only is it not you net work. butt it is there server x with the issues and what service on that server causing the sow down. at that point 90% of the works done and because you can tell them exactly what and where the problem is its a quick fix... but do they ever thnk you???
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    #50
    Quote Originally Posted by burbankmarc View Post
    I must know how you are doing this. I have messed with a lot of monitoring tools and not been too satisfied with any. They include Solar Winds, Nagios, MRTG, and NTOP.
    For most troubleshooting, my best friend is Wireshark. You can do some amazing things with it. It really depends on what you are troubleshooting as any tool used for the wrong task makes it useless. However, if you can become proficient at packet capture analysis then you can troubleshoot just about anything that flies across the network.


    Sorry for the hijack ng2f.
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