As you maybe are aware of, Cisco announced on May 17th an interesting change in its Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching certifications. As always happens with this announcements, there are changes on the exam numbers and their blueprint. I will let you know in a quick synthesis a couple of things here and we can make a deep dive in a next post 🙂
First of all: exam numbers!
ICND1 v2.0 – 100-101
ICND2 v2.0 – 200-101
CCNA v2.0 – 200-120
Remembering a little about them: CCNA can be taken in two ways. You can take Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices 1 (ICND1), which will certify you as a CCENT, and Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices 2 (ICND2), which will certify you as a CCNA (after passing ICND1, of course). The other way is to take the CCNA composite exam, which complies both ICNDs in one very interesting and challenging exam. Yes, choose wisely, young engineer. You can decide if taking the red pill of the blue pill, its up to you (feels like Matrix, huh?).
The cool part about this announcement, is that Cisco did not change the exam structure, requirements, or simply eliminated any certification (which they can, its their certification program anyway xD). Its a very simple change, easy to understand. Now, the funny part lies in the contents. Some of them removed (thank God), some new added (oh yeah!) and another ones moved (maybe now i have your attention).
Now, the new exam numbers are the following:
ICND1 v3.0 – 100-105
ICND2 v3.0 – 200-105
CCNA v3.0 – 200-125
Regarding new contents and what party they organized to distribute them, CCNA/ICND1/ICND2 will have an holistic view of networking nowadays. We will see RIP again in ICND1 (this is not the “nowadays” i was talking about), which is curious because they removed it in 2013. A little bit from design’s perspective, new devices (yes!) like: Access Points (APs), Wireless Lan Controllers (WLC) and Firewalls (isn’t that exciting?). Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP, something like Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) but free, and with some cool stuff!), A LOT of IPv6, which is excellent, SYSLOG, more about DNS and DHCP (should i write them completely?). DHCP Snooping, eBGP (that was a surprise), L3 Etherchannel, Generic Encapsulation Protocol (GRE) tunnels (yay!) and VTP returns! But, this time, you can TURN IT OFF! Even IPv6 ACLs, Software Defined Networking (SDN), Cloud technologies and WAN architecture, Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN) and a little of QoS.
At least for me, this new curriculum sounds AWESOME! Some topics are actually tested in CCNP exams, so, this is getting interesting! Dear CCNAers, you have a lot to learn. This new blueprint of the CCNA certification is more challenging and modern. As i see it, CCNAs are going out with better knowledge and an holistic view of the network. This sounds so exciting that i am wishing to make the whole CCNA again!
NOW, before you start running in circles because of the new exam numbers, WAIT! Cisco established a deadline to take those exams! 😀 You can breathe now!
The last days to take those exams are the following:
ICND1 100-101: August 20, 2016
ICND2 200-101: September 24, 2016
CCNA 200-120: August 20, 2016
This is a comparison published by Cisco in this link: Comparison
So, you have a couple of options here: Take the previous exam, which is still doable. Start learning NOW the new contents from the new exam series, or… you can just wait and see how desperation possesses nervous people as the deadline comes towards them (just kidding).
As far as i know, the Official Certification Guide (OCG) for ICND1 is out! and ICND2 Official Certification Guide (OCG) should be out in early July (based on information from Mr. Wendel Odom (he is like a Networking Jedi Master)).
We can talk in details about this in a next post.
For now, i hope you have enjoyed this post and found it useful.
See you around! 🙂