Troy’s checklist for preparing for the CCNA: Objective 2

June 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Cisco, Study hints | 2 Comments
Tags: ,

Welcome to the second installment of my personal checklist to preparing for the CCNA exam.  In my previous post here, I took a broad look at the objectives. In this post, I covered Objective 1.

The CCNA objectives are posted on the Cisco website here: I will use them as a framework to discuss the topics where you should focus your attention. Do not attempt the test without knowing the following items. (Needless to say, NO actual live exam items were revealed in the making of this list.)

Objective 2: Configure, verify, and troubleshoot a switch with VLANs and interswitch communications

Cable questions should be easy. You should know the three cable types and when each type is called for:

  • Crossover cables
  • Rolled (console) cables
  • Straight-through cables

Do you know what cable type is required to connect two switches? (Answer: Crossover.) The general rule is use a crossover to connect like devices (router to router) and straight-through to connect unlike devices. Rollover or console cables are used to connect to the serial or console port on the router or switch to manage the router or switch.

You should know that CSMA/CD is the contention method used in Ethernet, and you should understand how it works.

You should be able to examine a network diagram and state the number of collision and broadcast domains present in the network by recognizaing the types of devices present. Remember, each router interface is a broadcast domain and each switch port is a collision domain. Hubs are one collision domain, regardless of the number of ports.

You should how switches forward frames. Specifically you should know:

  • How switches populate the MAC address table
  • Where a frame will be forwarded based on the current state of its MAC table
  • That switches forward frames based on MAC addresses, not IP addresses (Layer2, remember?)

You should know how to configure a switch. Specifically you should know how to:

  • Log in to the switch
  • Name the switch
  • Create VLANs and assign switch ports to the VLANs
  • Create trunk ports
  • Assign an address to the switch for management purposes
  • Telnet into the switch remotely
  • Save the configuration

You should know how to use the following commands for troubleshooting and be able to recognize the command output of each: ping, traceroute, telnet, SSH, arp, ipconfig

You should know the theory and basic operation of the major routing protocols (OSPF, RIPv1 and v2, IGRP, EIGRP, etc).

You should know how VTP and RSTP work, including:

  • The purposes of these two protocols
  • The definition of a root bridge, and how to determine the root bridge by examining a diagram that shows the addresses of the interfaces, the priorities, and the cabling setup
  • The effect on a network with an existing configuration when a new bridge is introduced to the network, and what information is determined by examining the configuration version numbers of the switches already present
  • The differences between a switch in server mode, one in client mode, and one in transparent mode

You should know how VLANs work. Specifically, you should know:

  • Their purpose
  • How to configure them on a switch
  • What is required to get traffic from one VLAN to another (a router)
  • What a trunk link is and its purpose
  • How to create a trunk to the router and to other switches

You should be able to examine a diagram and determine why routing between VLANs is not working. You should know to check:

  • That the computers in each VLAN are in the same subnet with the interface of the router dedicated to each VLAN
  • That each computer is set to use the router interface dedicated to its  VLAN as its default gateway
  • That the subnet masks of the computers and the gateway are the same

You should be able to recognize and interpret the output of common show and debug commands such as:

  • show mac-address-table
  • show interfaces
  • show controllers
  • show running-config
  • show spanning-tree

For example, do you recognize the command that yielded this output?

Address 000c.00d3.5124
Cost 19
Port 2 (FastEthernet0/2)
Hello Time 2 sec Max Age 20 sec Forward Delay 15 sec
Bridge ID Priority 32769 (priority 32768 sys-id-ext 1)
Address 000c.14f5.b5c0
Hello Time 2 sec Max Age 20 sec Forward Delay 15 sec
Aging Time 300
Interface   Role  Sts  Cost Prio.Nbr  Type
———-  —-  —  —- ——–  ———
Fa0/1       Desg  FWD   19   128.1     P2p
Fa0/2       Root  FWD   19   128.2     P2p
Fa0/10      Desg  FWD   19   128.10    P2p
Switch# show cdp neighbors
Capability Codes: R – Router, T – Trans Bridge, B – Source Route Bridge
S – Switch, H – Host, I – IGMP, r – Repeater
Device ID   Local Intrfce  Holdtme Capability Platform Port ID
SwitchB         Fa0/1         113       S      2560    Fa0/5
SwitchC         Fa0/2         142       S      3570    Fa0/24
SwitchD         Fa0/10        122       S      2560    Fa0/22

Know basic concepts such as traffic management, switching, switch operation, switching technologies, switch security, and troubleshooting.

You should know how to secure the ports on a switch and why you would do so. Know the specific use of these commands: switchport port-security and switchport port-security mac-address sticky. Know what “sticky” means when you use that argument.

Don’t forget that our Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator is one of the only tools for the home user that lets you play with a fully functional simulated network AND run exercises tailored to studying for the CCNA.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. I love this site

    • Thanks! Its nice to know someone is listening.Ill be doing this every week for 5 more weeks so stayed tuned. And as I always say:

      For those about test, I mean rock, we Salute you!
      Rock on dude!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: