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Thinking about going for CCNA, some advice needed

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  • Thinking about going for CCNA, some advice needed

    Having decided to leave my current job, and thinking I'd probably prefer contract work at least for a while, it seems that in Scotland there are far more jobs n networking than infrastructure so I've been thinking about getting a CCNA to add to my MCSA.

    My preference is get a good book and some equipment so I can learn at my own pace. I have plenty of experience with some parts and actually did the old ICND course back in 2005 so know some of what to expect. I'm not a fan of video training TBH, particularly for networking as the American pronunciation of router really grates on me.

    Anyway, after my long-winded intro, I'm looking at getting Wendell Odom's book the official 200-120 prep guide and building a home lab consisting of 2 x 2621xm routers with WIC interfaces and a serial cable, plus a couple of 2950 switches.

    Any thoughts, recommendations etc are appreciated. The only other option I can see is Cisco's Packet Tracer software but I don't see any way to get it if you aren't registered with a training provider.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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    Cruachan's Blog

  • #2
    Re: Thinking about going for CCNA, some advice needed

    I've read several books by the author you mentioned and found them to be very good.

    I've previously purchased Cisco "training" kits that consisted of one or more routers and one or more switches. I find working on real equipment to be a great benefit to understanding and retaining the information you get from the books.

    I have Cisco Packet Tracer but don't know if it's appropriate to offer you a copy of it. If no members object I'd be more than happy to post a Dropbox link for you to download it from.

    GNS3 is a popular alternative to Cisco Packet Tracer, but you have to provide your own IOS images.

    http://www.gns3.net/

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    • #3
      Re: Thinking about going for CCNA, some advice needed

      I've used both the official Cisco books by Wendell Odom and several incarnations of the Sybex book by Todd Lammle.

      In my opinion, the books by Odom are so much better than the Lammle book it's not even funny. Sure, if you know most of the stuff already and just need to fill in the blanks, the Sybex book may do the trick, but I really think Lammle is a terrible teacher, despite his considerable enthusiasm.

      The only problem with the Odom books it that they tend to drag on a bit. The chapters on subnetting could easily have been condensed down to half the number of pages they're currently filling.

      Packet Tracer is insanely good, but you need a Cisco Academy account to get access to it.

      GNS3 is a bit of a pain to set up and you'd have to violate Cisco copyrights to obtain IOS images. Not recommended.

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      • #4
        Re: Thinking about going for CCNA, some advice needed

        Thanks guys, seems like the Odom book is the way to go. Buying the gear is probably what I'll do too, seeing as I can resell it if required or add more to it should I need to add more certs.

        Thanks for the offer joeqwerty, but according to http://www.packettracernetwork.com/ self-learners are not allowed Packet Tracer.
        BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
        sigpic
        Cruachan's Blog

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        • #5
          They say practice makes perfect and it's no different for a Cisco engineer. On average, I have found that a mix of 40% reading and 60% of your time practicing lab scenarios to be a good combination to prepare for Cisco certifications. Get familiar with commands.

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