| by Chris Lilley | No comments

Completed Studies – CCNP SWITCH

My goal with this series of posts is to share the experiences I have from studying for the various certifications I have, as well as to share the training materials I have used and which ones I recommend.

Training Materials:
Chris Bryant’s CCNP Switch Study Guide
CBT Nuggets CCNP Switch Course
Boson ExSim

Here are my some takeaways and thinking points from studying for the Switch portion of the CCNP certification.

1. Cisco really cares about its VTP protocol and the differences between all of its versions. They really pressed the differences between version 1,2 and 3 and how to setup VTP pruning. Based on what I have seen from the networking community this is a protocol that isn’t used in many environments due to the ability of it being able to take down a whole network. It will be interesting if Cisco continues to continue pushing this protocol with newer versions of the exam and with device configuration automation being so prevalent.

2. HSRP and VRRP are great protocols for redundancy but should only be used in certain situations. HSRP and VRRP are great on a Data/Voice network with a Layer 3 switch or router set as the default gateway. It’s ideal in this case as devices can’t easily change its default gateway without a configuration change or a release of its DHCP lease, so with a Virtual IP using HSRP/VRRP the address remains the same even if one or many devices go offline. You can’t rely on convergence with and IGP such as OSPF in this scenario since the new best path would have a different address.

It’s interesting to me that although not all protocols are perfect, they all have their rhyme and reason and a time when they should best be used to solve a solution.

3. If you have attained or studied for the CCNA Security you will find there are a good amount of overlap in topics. Such as, Private VLANs, DHCP Snooping, IP Source Guard, Dynamic ARP inspection, Port security and AAA. Since I had already learned about 25% of the material this exam was the quickest to complete.

In an upcoming post I’ll go over what I took away from the ROUTE portion of the exam prep.

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