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Network+ 2009 certification


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They probably already have or well by the time you get to your 7th exam :( And its really 7k? A single exams 1k?

$7000 is just the course, not the exam. The cert exams are seperate.

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That sounds pretty tough to obtain a MS certification compared to CCNA.

I'm actually interested in the CCNA, but I don't have access to a Cisco router for testing. Do you guys know which router I should pick up on ebay? I've seen ones that are close to $1k, which I probably don't really need.

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before you go checking out the routers, go check out the simulations. Search for Packet Tracer. It is by Cisco, and it wont get you really far but it will definitely help you in the beginning, and it can be useful at times when you want to see how something would react but you dont want to mess with a mess of routers and switches.

Also most of the ccna style labs can be done on Packet Tracer.

Alternatively, you may want to check out GNS3 which is not a router simulator but an Emulator. Keep in mind though you will have to obtain a version of IOS to use it and it's pretty cpu hungry to run, but it's the closest and cheapest way you are going to even be able to think about owning a decent cisco router.

Also if you want some tips on where to go for routers, I would recommend either a really good reseller on e-bay, or ciscokits.com The ciscokits site is naturally more expensive but not by all that much and you get a warranty AND tech-support.

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Hexskrew's suggestions as always are informative and useful and I concur with hitting up the simulators he suggested.

However simulators are only good for getting to know the IOS command line, it wont teach you how to recover a lost login, how to connect via console port or where you place a MTRJ connector among a wide range of other things.

Now don't get me wrong simulators are awesome but I view it like this, do you go to the local video store spend $5 to rent a porno and simulale the experiance or do you pay the extra $300 and get the job done properly.

Anyways back to the subject, if you want to run the most current IOS (12.4) you will be needing a cisco 3640 with 128 ram and 32 flash, you will also need to purchase the needed wic and nm slots, NM-1E2W Ethernet and WIC-1T Serial Module. (these retail around $250-300 on ebay for router and both modules)

You can go for slightly older gear such as the 2600 series of routers but these do NOT have the current IOS and commands are a little differnt. For example I know the 2500 series use int eth 0/1 XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX to set an interface as where a more current IOS versions uses int fe 0/1 XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX.

Hex put me on to a good website Cisco Kits so you can purchase from there directly if you live in America or you can use it as a guidline to build your own lab, be sure to do your reading on models prior to purchase (the have x2 3640's with slots and cables for $400+).

When building a lab for CCNA you want a min of 2 routers and 2 switches (ideally 3 of each would be nice). As far as switches go, the cisco 2950t or above is what I would be looking at seeing as they use those on the cisco practicle exame and use the extended IOS software (i purchased x2 of these for $300 of ebay). If you have the funds and are in the market for a layer 3 switch that will last you through all of your training grab yourself a 3550.

Have fun selecting your hardware, be warned its a bit of a pain in the ass finding the documentation/selecting hardware. Especially if you want it flexable and useful for other cisco certs such as CCNP and CCIE.

Useful links

Cisco Learning Center

Network world (good blog for selecting hardware on a budget)

Boson (nice tuturials and sim's)

CBT Nuggets




I am still in the process of purchasing a router for my own home lab, I was looking at a 3640 but I have had a slight change of mind and am looking at the 1841 series.

P.S Oh thanks again Hexskrew for the linkage on those MCSE books, I ended up purchasing both of them for future reading (I don't plan on doing MCSE or CCNA anytime soon though).

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You can go for slightly older gear such as the 2600 series of routers but these do NOT have the current IOS and commands are a little differnt. For example I know the 2500 series use int eth 0/1 XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX to set an interface as where a more current IOS versions uses int fe 0/1 XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX.

The difference you quoted is because one is a FAstethernet port and the other is an ETHernet port. Fastethernet means 10/100 and does trunking. You'll find 10baseT ethernet ports in the 2600 series also, these concepts are not dependent on the series, but rather the time the router came out. You'll find both those kind of ports on 3600s. The only time the syntax really changed is the jump from 11.x to 12.x, it's very different.

Upon writing this, the 2600's latest IOS you can get is 12.3.26 and the latest IOS you can get on a 2611XM (and 3600) is 12.4.23. There's not that much of a difference here. There is definitely NO difference you'll encounter while studying for the CCNA. The 2600 line is more than capable at providing everything you need for a CCNA. The 3600 line is even older, but still viable. The big problem with the 3600 line is that you have to buy EVERYTHING extra. None of them have ethernet ports or anything, they all require an extra NM card.

I got my CCNA about 2 years ago and yes it expires every 3 years. Here's the nice secret. If you pass a test that is higher than a CCNA, you automatically get your CCNA renewed for another 3 years. So, when I got my SNPA certification last year, my CCNA got renewed automatically. So here's what you should do... Pass the CCNA and then start on the next track, for example the CCNP. There's maybe 4 tests for that (I think) and if you passed one of those tests every 2 years, it would be 11 years before your CCNA expired. After that time, you should know if you need to keep it current or not. I myself am on the CCSP track, so next year I'll take another test and keep it going.

My opinion from what I've seen in the field is the "+" exams aren't worth the money. Get a CCNA instead of a Network+. Get a Microsoft cert instead of A+ and so on.

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my bad and thanks for the correction Deception and that explenation of the IOS versions I found it useful. XD

I have found that some on the syntax is differnt on some of the older models, for example I was applying a VLAN on an older 2924 switch last week.

#vlan 100

#int eth 0/1

#vlan-membership static 100

As where on a 2960 switch it was

#vlan 100

#int fe 0/1

#switchport mode access

#switchport access vlan 20

I also found that the 2500 series of routers don't support the use of null0. But thats more than likely due to what you mentioned about version's in the above statement.

Ah shit I was under the impression that the 3600 series is newer than the 2600, I always assumed the rule of thumb was the higher the model number the newer the shit.

Thats a nice little tip on the CCNA exp date I was completely unaware of that, I knew that you had to renew it and all.

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