Since I failed the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) (lol), I have decided to get smart on Cisco again. I have been out of it a long time doing mostly DoD Certification & Accreditation work. I used to be a network engineer with a CCNA, until I found a career that pays better with less competition. So now, I am just doing Cisco stuff for fun.
After failing the CCENT, I talk to my resident networking GURU’s (a CCNA Security, a CCNP and a CCIE). I wanted to know what was the best approach on attacking the CCNA again. They told me what they did.. set up a Cisco lab in the house was he most common answer.
The book they recommended to start with was CCNA-CCNENT ICND1. Its really not the most fun book in the world to read, but if your starting out or starting over with this stuff it should be like your networking bible. Among technical Cisco books, its a solid first start.. which is much more than I can say about any of the first start Cisco’s 5500 ASA books– there is just now such thing. You will be expected to have a solid understanding of networking, the OSI model and TCP/IP. If you have a Comptia Network+, the CCENT might be the logical next step. If you do networking pretty regularly, have been doing it for about a year and are familiar to Cisco equipment, you might be better off going straight to the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). If you’re going for the fully blown CCNA, the book to get is the CCNA ICND2. I have been warned that you need to very, very good at subneting!! The CCNA is much harder than it was when I took it in 2001. I would even say that the CCENT is harder than the CCNA used to be.
In addition to getting the right books to read, the Cisco Gurus told me to set up a lab.