CCNA Routing and Switching essentials

Certification: Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching - Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching


The Cisco certifications are provided by the Cisco Systems related to their products. The CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is an associate level Cisco certification. Any person who wishes to add something extra to their resume and impress their employer as well as stay in par with the current networking technology should consider taking this certification exam. With the CCNA Routing and Switching certification, the candidate can test their knowledge and skills in terms of installing, configuring, troubleshooting and monitoring of network infrastructure products that are designed by Cisco Systems. There are a lot of grounds that the candidates have to cover in order to prepare for the certification exam. The topics that they have to study for the CCNA Routing and Switching certification exam are as follows.

Introduction to networking

The introduction to networking is a must for any kind of networking certification. The candidate has to know at least the basic concept of the networking if they want to sit for this certification. No matter in which position the candidate is, he has to go through this introduction portion because there are many things people tend to forget after starting to work in the field. So, this will be like a revision for them. In this portion the candidates will have to focus on understanding and learning the basic concept regarding IP addressing, network protocols, OSI model, TCP and UDP, configuring routers and switches, Ethernet, building simple LANs and so on. Here is a list of things that needs to be covered in this portion.

  • Devices that are used in networking
  • Ethernet concepts, operations and media
  • Various types of network protocols and their uses.
  • Basic configuration of Cisco routers and switches
  • Building a simple Ethernet by using Cisco routers and switches
  • IP addressing in IPv4 and IPv6
  • Designing and applying subnet masking

Routing and Switching

Since the certification is about Routing and Switching, the candidates will obviously have to study about routing and switching. They will have to cover the architecture, operation and components of routers and switches. Besides that it is a must that they learn how to perform at least the basic configuration of routers and switches. So, in this portion, the candidates will have to focus on performing basic configuration and solving issues that arise in the routers and switches. Here is a list of things that needs to be covered in this portion.

  • Basic concepts of routing and switching
  • Configuration and troubleshooting of OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) network, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), default routing, static routing, ACL (Access Control List) and NAT (Network Address Translation) operations
  • Route lookup process and routing tables
  • How VLAN is used to create separate networks logically
  • Description of link-state routing, distance vector routing and dynamic routing protocols

Scaling networks

Only studying about basic configuration of routers and switches is not enough. The candidates need to study about advanced configuration of routers and switches. They should also study about how to solve some of the issues related to STP, EIGRP and OSPF in the IPv4 as well as IPv6 networks. They also need to develop skills as well as knowledge related to implementation of WAN in the network. Here is a list of things that needs to be covered in this portion.

  • Configuration and troubleshoot of redundancy protocols in switched network
  • Configuring and troubleshooting of network devices in IPv4 and IPv6 network as well as wireless routers and clients.
  • Concept, configuration and troubleshooting of STP, VLAN and so on.
  • Concept of EIGRP, OSFP and so on.
  • About Cisco IOS

Connecting networks

The candidates will also have to prepare for questions regarding WAN technologies. They should understand how to configure and implement them. They should understand what WAN is and how it works. They should be able to use the right WAN technologies as per the requirement of the network. Besides that they should also cover topics related to Point to point protocol, frame relay, cable technology, Ethernet, Dial-up, satellite and cellular wireless and other WAN technologies, and Virtual Private Network (VPN). Here is a list of things that needs to be covered in this portion.

  • Different types of WAN technologies those are available in the market as well as their uses.
  • Concept, configuration and troubleshooting broadband connections, tunneling operations, serial connections and NAT operations.
  • Concepts regarding Virtual Private Network (VPN), the way it is used and its benefits.
  • Information about troubleshooting and monitoring the network
  • Concept of networking architecture
  • Virtualization and data centers
  • Borderless networks
  • Collaboration strategy and technology

So whilst preparing of the CCNA Routing and Switching certification exam the candidates should try to cover a lot of grounds in terms of routing and switching. The first step is to follow the introduction to networking part and revise everything they had learned in their college time. This will provide them with basic concept of all the networking terms like IP addressing, routing, switching, Ethernet, IPc4, IPv6 and so on. Then the next step is to try to learn the basic concepts of routing and switching. After that the candidates can divulge into more advanced part of the routing and switching. Finally the end portion is where they learn more about networking architecture and network connections.

The routing and switching world is very vast. So, while preparing for the certification exam candidates might actually start to get confused about what to read and what not to read. If that is the case then they can join the recommended training that is given for the CCNA Routing and Switching certification exam. These trainings will guide them to the right path.


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