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Cisco Certified Network Associate brief intro

Posted by imateski on February 4, 2010

There was an advertisement in a computer magazine a few years ago that stated “What is the latest great Cisco invention you used today? The Internet.” This bold claim is not far from the truth, as the Internet is based mostly on Cisco hardware and software solutions. Cisco is a relatively young company, formed in 1984, but has grown so fast that in March 2000 it overshadowed Microsoft and became the most valuable company in the world.

Cisco has a wide variety of certifications covering IT expertise from the entry level all the way to the top level of qualification. The Cisco Certified Network Associate CCNA focuses on the mid range qualification, and is therefore the most popular and sought after certification. The Cisco Certified Network Associate can be earned in two ways. The first way is by taking the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v1.0 and the Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2) v1.0 exams. The second way is by taking one composite exam, also known as the Cisco Certified Network Associate 640-802 exam. Both ways cover the same material, the bottom line being, there is no shortcut to success. We suggest the second route simply because it is more time effective to study for one exam and take one exam instead of studying and taking two separate exams. You take one exam and that is it, you have earned your CCNA certificate. Cisco does not have a specific list of topics required for the exam, nor does it have a set percentage per topic. This is so that you should know everything from network types and media all the way to troubleshooting Cisco devices and security settings.

In general, the Cisco Certified Network Associate 640-802 certification exam covers the topics listed below. This list is taken from Cisco’s official site for the Cisco Certified Network Associate 640-802 exam Note however, this is not a definitive list and it is prone to change, so make sure you regularly check for updates.

Cisco Certified Network Associate 640-802 general exam guidelines

1. Describe how a network works

1.1. Describe the purpose and functions of various network devices

1.2. Select the components required to meet a network specification

1.3. Use the OSI and TCP/IP models and their associated protocols to explain how data flows in a network

1.4. Describe common networked applications including web applications

1.5. Describe the purpose and basic operation of the protocols in the OSI and TCP models

1.6. Describe the impact of applications (Voice Over IP and Video Over IP) on a network

1.7. Interpret network diagrams

1.8. Determine the path between two hosts across a network

1.9. Describe the components required for network and Internet communications

1.10. Identify and correct common network problems at layers 1, 2, 3 and 7 using a layered model approach

1.11. Differentiate between LAN/WAN operation and features

2. Configure, verify and troubleshoot a switch with VLANs and interswitch communications

2.1. Select the appropriate media, cables, ports, and connectors to connect switches to other network devices and hosts

2.2. Explain the technology and media access control method for Ethernet networks

2.3. Explain network segmentation and basic traffic management concepts

2.4. Explain basic switching concepts and the operation of Cisco switches

2.5. Perform and verify initial switch configuration tasks including remote access management

2.6. Verify network status and switch operation using basic utilities (including: ping, traceroute, telnet, SSH, arp, ipconfig), SHOW & DEBUG commands

2.7. Identify, prescribe, and resolve common switched network media issues, configuration issues, auto negotiation, and switch hardware failures

2.8. Describe enhanced switching technologies (including: VTP, RSTP, VLAN, PVSTP, 802.1q)

2.9. Describe how VLANs create logically separate networks and the need for routing between them

2.10. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot VLANs

2.11. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot trunking on Cisco switches

2.12. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot interVLAN routing

2.13. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot VTP

2.14. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot RSTP operation

2.15. Interpret the output of various show and debug commands to verify the operational status of a Cisco switched network.

2.16. Implement basic switch security (including: port security, trunk access, management vlan other than vlan1, etc.)

3. Implement an IP addressing scheme and IP Services to meet network requirements in a medium-sizeEnterprise branch office network

3.1. Describe the operation and benefits of using private and public IP addressing

3.2. Explain the operation and benefits of using DHCP and DNS

3.3. Configure, verify and troubleshoot DHCP and DNS operation on a router.(including: CLI/SDM)

3.4. Implement static and dynamic addressing services for hosts in a LAN environment

3.5. Calculate and apply an addressing scheme including VLSM IP addressing design to a network

3.6. Determine the appropriate classless addressing scheme using VLSM and summarization to satisfy addressing requirements in a LAN/WAN environment

3.7. Describe the technological requirements for running IPv6 in conjunction with IPv4 (including: protocols, dual stack, tunneling, etc).

3.8. Describe IPv6 addresses

3.9. Identify and correct common problems associated with IP addressing and host configurations

4. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic router operation and routing on Cisco devices

4.1. Describe basic routing concepts (including: packet forwarding, router lookup process)

4.2. Describe the operation of Cisco routers (including: router bootup process, POST, router components)

4.3. Select the appropriate media, cables, ports, and connectors to connect routers to other network devices and hosts

4.4. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot RIPv2

4.5. Access and utilize the router to set basic parameters.(including: CLI/SDM)

4.6. Connect, configure, and verify operation status of a device interface

4.7. Verify device configuration and network connectivity using ping, traceroute, telnet, SSH or other utilities

4.8. Perform and verify routing configuration tasks for a static or default route given specific routing requirements

4.9. Manage IOS configuration files. (including: save, edit, upgrade, restore)

4.10. Manage Cisco IOS.

4.11. Compare and contrast methods of routing and routing protocols

4.12. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot OSPF

4.13. Configure, verify, and troubleshoot EIGRP

4.14. Verify network connectivity (including: using ping, traceroute, and telnet or SSH)

4.15. Troubleshoot routing issues

4.16. Verify router hardware and software operation using SHOW & DEBUG commands.

4.17. Implement basic router security

5. Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a WLAN

5.1. Describe standards associated with wireless media (including: IEEE WI-FI Alliance, ITU/FCC)

5.2. Identify and describe the purpose of the components in a small wireless network. (Including: SSID, BSS, ESS)

5.3. Identify the basic parameters to configure on a wireless network to ensure that devices connect to the correct access point

5.4. Compare and contrast wireless security features and capabilities of WPA security (including: open, WEP, WPA-1/2)

5.5. Identify common issues with implementing wireless networks. (Including: Interface, missconfiguration)

6. Identify security threats to a network and describe general methods to mitigate those threats

6.1. Describe today’s increasing network security threats and explain the need to implement a comprehensive security policy to mitigate the threats

6.2. Explain general methods to mitigate common security threats to network devices, hosts, and applications

6.3. Describe the functions of common security appliances and applications

6.4. Describe security recommended practices including initial steps to secure network devices

7. Implement, verify, and troubleshoot NAT and ACLs in a medium-size Enterprise branch office network

7.1. Describe the purpose and types of ACLs

7.2. Configure and apply ACLs based on network filtering requirements.(including: CLI/SDM)

7.3. Configure and apply an ACLs to limit telnet and SSH access to the router using (including: SDM/CLI)

7.4. Verify and monitor ACLs in a network environment

7.5. Troubleshoot ACL issues

7.6. Explain the basic operation of NAT

7.7. Configure NAT for given network requirements using (including: CLI/SDM)

7.8. Troubleshoot NAT issues

8. Implement and verify WAN links

8.1. Describe different methods for connecting to a WAN

8.2. Configure and verify a basic WAN serial connection

8.3. Configure and verify Frame Relay on Cisco routers

8.4. Troubleshoot WAN implementation issues

8.5. Describe VPN technology (including: importance, benefits, role, impact, components)

8.6. Configure and verify a PPP connection between Cisco routers

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