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Starting out in CISCO!!

Discussion in 'Routing & Switching' started by Gareth, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. Gareth

    Gareth New Member

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    Hey guy's,
    I'm new to this forum and have a question I hope you won't mind answering. My goal at present is to try and obtain the CCNA cert in order to find better more challenging career other then Desktop support which I currently do and seem to be stuck in a rut!!!. I have no experience with CISCO and am starting from scratch. What I would like to know is how best to go about it?! I know that day to day, real world experience is the best way, but I don't have that option. The options I have seem to be a boot camp where you do self study with Sims and then go on a weeks course and then sit the exam. I could also in conjunction with this set-up a home lab with a router or 2 to get the 'hands-on' experience, but at what cost would this be, and which kit is best suited to studying for the CCNA???


    Any help and advice would be much appreciated


    Cheers
    Gareth :)
     
  2. punkboy101
    Honorary Member

    punkboy101 Back from the wilderness

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    Hi Gareth

    My personal opinion is, if posible, get yourself enrolled into a Cisco academy. Most colleges have one, and I think it's a better way to learn than the boot camps.

    With a boot camp, you only have 5 days to do the course, and there is alot of ground to cover, so I don't think you really get the depth of understanding that you would get at an academy. The downside to an academy is that you really need at least one day or evening a week available to go to college. It takes a year, but the way the course is laid out, you build your knowledge from the ground up, and therefore learn alot more, and there are exams at the end of every semester to test your knowledge.

    The self study way I find isn't for me, but some people find that the best way. If you go this route, get a few decent cisco books and a couple of routers and switches.

    I would recommend a cisco academy, but as mentioned, you need the time, aswell as one close by.

    Hope this helped


    Punkboy
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: Nada
  3. Gareth

    Gareth New Member

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    Thanks Punk boy,
    I've looked into the Cisco Academy's but their quite some distance from where I work and wouldn't be able to make the start time.
    What kinds of equipment should I look into to getting e.g Model of routers, switches???...............Oh and books, any suggestions?!?

    Thanks again for your help



    Gareth
     
  4. punkboy101
    Honorary Member

    punkboy101 Back from the wilderness

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    Hi Gareth

    I would recommend a couple of Cisco 2500 Series for the routers, but it all depends on how you your willing/can afford to spend. The 2500 series is what I learnt on, and you might be able to pick a couple of cheap one's up on Ebay.

    I can't really help with the switch type, as I can't remember what we used, but the cisco IOS (software) is the same on all switches as far as I know, just different versions, which can be upgraded fairly easily (also good practice). I use Cisco 2900 series at work, which are 24 port, so you probably don't need anything that big.

    As far as books are concerned, before I started the course, I bought a book called Cisco for Beginners, which was good, but not that indepth. I would say go to cisco.com and see what they recommend.

    Also some of the other members are much more clued up on this sort of thing thing than me, so it might be a good idea to ask them aswell. I'm sure some of them have gone the self study way.

    Hope this helps

    Punkboy
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: Nada
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

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    Hi

    Whilest I am just about to resit the CCNA 607 exam next month and don't know much about the 807 exam I have been using the Sysbex Router sim with anger. It has been great and a lot cheaper than a router / switch. However, EVERYBODY says get experance on the real stuff.
     
  6. punkboy101
    Honorary Member

    punkboy101 Back from the wilderness

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    Good luck Sandy, like me, I'm sure you'll nail it this time!
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: Nada
  7. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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    Hi Gareth,

    One option you could consider, instead of buying a lot of Cisco kit you could use RouterSim. They have some great software that will simulate a Cisco network, you can log into and configure routers and switches exactly as you would with the real kit. Obviously there's no substitute for real world experience but thats even harder to come by on Cisco equipment than Microsoft. RouterSim would certainly get you throught he CCNA. There are also some websites out there that offer a Cisco test environment for you to play with.

    I was talking over this with a colleague and he came up with the great idea of VMware for cisco, vmware simulates the hardware, you drop an ios on it and build a virtual network. I don't know how feasible it would be or even if somebody is already doing it but it would be great for training.

    Not been to the RouterSim website for a while and noticed they now do Microsoft enterprise network simulators as well, could be interesting.
     
    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
    WIP: 2003 Upgrade, CCNA Upgrade
  8. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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    Arghh, sorry Sandy, I took so long to write my post I ended up more or less duplicating yours. Note to self, must type faster :)
     
    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
    WIP: 2003 Upgrade, CCNA Upgrade
  9. Gareth

    Gareth New Member

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    Guy's,
    Thanks for all your advice. I'm thinking of getting the Cisco press books INTRO\ICND and the sybex 607-801 book by Todd Lamel. Then maybe purchasing the sybex router Sims Platinum Edtion. I'll let you know how I get on.

    I have 2 more questions. To all those who have studied and passed the exams, what kind of time scale should I be looking at to be prepared to sit the exam, I'm planning on diving in head first and studying as much as possible...... :eek: Any advice on learning subnetting would be great
    Many thanks for all your help


    Cheers
    Gareth :D
     
  10. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    All I can really say has already been said. If you've got the money, invest in three 2500 routers and a couple of 1900 switches (plus cables, of course). I hear there are some pretty good deals on eBay these days. The cisco press texts and lab manuals for semesters 1 - 4 of the net academy will show how to configure them. For the CCNA there is no substitute for experience.

    BTW, just having the CCNA is no guarentee of a quick hire. It's still considered an entry-level cert. Since you do desktop support, obviously you are familiar with IT in general. I don't know if you've had much chance to talk to the network gurus where you work and spend much time in the data closet, but I'd recommend both.

    I went the netacademy route myself. The first two semesters were incorporated into my university coursework and the last two I paid through the nose to get. It was worth it though. As you progress, pleased feel free to ask any questions that you like. I think I still remember enough of my coursework to help :lol: and Sandy is studying for his CCNA now so he's up to his neck in information that I'm sure would be helpful. Good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  11. Gareth

    Gareth New Member

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    Understood on the "Guaranteed Hire" front!!
    I just don't want to move from one desktop job to the next and not progress. If I can get the CCNA, it gives me a chance to move on hopefully!!!

    Cheers
     
  12. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    My CCNA plus my A+ has gotten my a lot of short time contract work. That, plus my prior experience, got me a three month gig for a city IS Dept. I'm the roaming troubleshooter while the regular person is out on maternity leave. No one's letting me configure routers and switches but I do get to play with one of the servers periodically. Just routine maintanence stuff, of course. Mainly, I do hardware and software installs, upgrades and troubleshoot all kinds of stuff. It's a great way to learn to pump up your CV.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  13. The Bad Guy

    The Bad Guy New Member

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    Actually punkboy, any chance you could recommend a Cisco Academy in London?

    cheers fella
     
  14. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Oldest thread ever?? :blink
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  15. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    I think so Sparks. It is good to see people using the search facility!

    boyce
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  16. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    The system works! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  17. landmine67

    landmine67 New Member

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    I normally do not promote other websites. But I used this website to study for my CCNA. His studyguides and lab manual are awesome. You can rent rack time from him at really fair prices.

    http://www.thebryantadvantage.com/

    Good luck in your studies!

    Thanks,

    Robert
     
    Certifications: Netwrok+, A+, HDA
    WIP: CCNA, Security+, MCSE
  18. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Thanks for the link Rob - good stuff :thumbleft.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT

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