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How to prepare for CCNP?

Discussion in 'Routing & Switching' started by vhb, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. vhb

    vhb Bit Poster

    Hey Guys,

    I started studying for the CCNP-Switch exam therefore I need decide how to approach this task, so far I have startedreading Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks (SWITCH) Foundation Learning Guide: Foundation learning for SWITCH 642-813 and I also have cbt nuggets, but I cant decide what to do for the labs, if buying equipment is the better option than going the simulator route. Will I have to buy this CCNP SWITCH Lab Manual to have an idea which lab to build?

    if anyone has any advice that can help I would appreciate it


    Certifications: CCNA, MCP,ITIL v3
    WIP: CCNP, VMware
  2. Cunningfox

    Cunningfox Byte Poster

    Hi I'm doing CCNP at the moment as are 1 or 2 of the others. I've done and passed Route and working on Switch at the moment (exam next week actually).

    Honestly the best advice I can give is to get yourself real equipment and practice, practice and then practice some more. Simulator's will cover most things there but nothing beats the real equipment with the real issues backing up the theory. Moreover, some things will not work correctly on simulators for example you can't simulate switches in GNS and BGP is flakey at best.

    The switch lab manual I've found is weak, the first few labs are laughable and cover mainly CCNA topics though it does get better further in. The route lab manual on the other hand is great and goes through a lot of stuff and even the first chapter is new stuff. I've not looked for other Switch labs out there as I tend to get bored with the books anyway and go off on a tangent with a 'what happens if I do this....' I found some interesting things about MST this way.

    I've found CCNP to be a great and interesting course so far, enjoy it :).
    Certifications: CCNP, CCNA, MCP
    WIP: ??
  3. vhb

    vhb Bit Poster

    Thanks for the tips buddy. I will try to obtain some switches and mount a physical lab at work and see how that goes, I will look into maybe renting some or maybe even buying it. Has anyone tried the Boson Netsim 8 ? it looks really good.


    Certifications: CCNA, MCP,ITIL v3
    WIP: CCNP, VMware
  4. Simonvm

    Simonvm Kilobyte Poster

    There's also a Cisco IOS Emulator out there which could emulate most of your routers for the Routing topics.
    Unfortunately, the name in itself should never ever be uttered on this forums as some interpret is a direct violation of Cisco's terms...

    So, you could either google for it, or spend 1 minute on the Cisco Learning Forums to find it.
    Certifications: MCITP: EST, MCDST, MCTS, A+, N+, CCNP, CCNA Wireless
    danielno8 likes this.
  5. certnerd

    certnerd Bit Poster

    Could be more cost effective to spend the money on a course that includes plenty of lab time. That way you get tuition, resources, lab time and to meet others and pool your efforts. I used the Cisco Network Academy Program though a local College to do CCNA and CCNP. That was in Leeds but I'm guessing there will be loads in London. Much cheaper than the cisco partner training.
  6. NetworkVeteran

    NetworkVeteran New Member

    I bought the CCNA/CCNP Netsim package. I'm enjoying it. I have over a decade of experience on real routers and switches, have used GNS and similar tools that preceded it, and various simulators by Cisco, Boson, etc. The simulators of today are amazing compared to yesteryear. They have the right look and feel, and as long as you stick to the labs they propose you should see extremely few mistakes.

    When setting up your own real equipment, you often find yourself solving and debugging real-world issues... totally unrelated to your exam. In my estimation, you learn many "interesting" things that won't help you master the exam content and ace the exam. GNS or virtual racks are similar. (For the CCIE exam, this is all well and good, because almost *anything* can be on that exam.)

    Classroom training and virtual racks pre-configured for your purposes are great (if they happen to fit your budget).
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012

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