Cisco Live: Forecast is (Google) cloudy with race cars

August 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Cisco, Conferences | Leave a comment

Attendees of this year’s Cisco Live conference in Orlando Florida left with a big takeaway: Cisco and Google Cloud now work together.

The importance of this initiative to Cisco was obvious because of the time spent on the subject by Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins as he delivered the keynote address, and by the unmistakable signage everywhere at the conference announcing the new joint venture.


During the keynote, Robbins discussed how Cisco aims to change some network paradigms by making faster business decisions based on real time data.

What does this mean? Cisco customers can choose from either Google Cloud, Cisco cloud offerings, or a hybrid of the two. The new architecture uses open source solutions as part of the structure. This new partnership will assist organizations to become both more robust and flexible. The cloud enhancement will not only improve scalability, but will also help to enable an advanced level of security for enterprise systems.

Another unscientific observation made by this reporter is that tech companies really, really dig car racing. The World of Solutions exhibits featured many companies displaying the race cars that they sponsor. Below Troy McMillan poses with the #43 Bubba Wallace Nascar entry sponsored by World Wide Technologies:

troy cisco live

Until next time,

Troy McMillan


Introducing the new CCNA: ICNDv3 exams, 100-105 and 200-105

October 12, 2016 at 8:27 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Cisco | Leave a comment
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Cisco has officially retired the old CCNA exams (100-101 and 200-101, or the combined 220-120), so the opportunity to take the ICNDv2 has come and gone. The new path to Cisco’s flagship certification is the ICNDv3 path. As of October 2016, you need to pass one of these combinations to earn the CCNA Routing and Switching certification:

  • Exam 100-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 1 (ICND1)
  • Exam 200-105: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2)


  • Exam 200-125: CCNA Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX)

Passing the 100-105 exam alone will also earn you the Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) certification.

How much change should I expect for the ICND1?

For the first exam, Cisco has rearranged the material and condensed the objectives from seven to five. Here’s a comparison of the old and new objectives:

OLD: 100-101 ICND1 v2.0
1.0 Operation of IP Data Networks
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 IP Addressing
4.0 IP Routing Technologies
5.0 IP Services
6.0 Network Device Security
7.0 Troubleshooting

NEW: 100-105 ICND1 v3.0
1.0 Network Fundamentals
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 Routing Technologies
4.0 Infrastructure Services
5.0 Infrastructure Management

While at first glance it might appear that the CCENT removed troubleshooting questions entirely, the new exam simply integrates troubleshooting into each objective. For example,  Objective 2.0: LAN Switching Technologies will have you troubleshoot interface and cable issues (collisions, errors, duplex, speed), while in Objective 1.0: Network Fundamentals, you’ll have to troubleshoot IPv4 and IPv6, as well as “apply troubleshooting methodologies to resolve problems:”

  • 1.7.a Perform fault isolation and document
  • 1.7.b Resolve or escalate
  • 1.7.c Verify and monitor resolution

The changes in the objectives typically just mean reorganization of the old material, but there have been a few additions and deletions of topics for this exam, which I’ll explain.

Key Topics Removed from ICND1 or Moved to ICND2 Exam:

OSPF (single area) and other OSPF topics were moved into ICND2. Instead, RIP is used to introduce CCENT candidates to IP routing protocols.

Dual Stack was removed from ICND1, since there are many different IPv4 to IPv6 transition technologies being used.

Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) has been removed.

Key Topics Added:
  • High level knowledge of the impact and interactions of infrastructure components in an Enterprise network, specifically:
    • Firewalls
    • Access Points
    • Wireless Controllers
  • Awareness of the Collapsed Core architecture compared to traditional three-tier architectures. This option collapses the Distribution and Core into a single tier, with the Access as the second tier.
  • Configuring and verifying IPv6 Stateless Address Auto Configuration (SLAAC).
  • Coverage of anycast IPv6 addressing.
  • Knowledge of Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP). An L2 discovery protocol is used in addition to Cisco Discovery Protocol.
  • Knowledge of RIPv2 for IPv4 as the primary focus for understanding of how routing protocols work.
  • DNS and DHCP related connectivity issues.
  • Syslog message logging for device monitoring.
  • Skills and knowledge of device management related to backup and restoring device configurations, IOS feature licensing, and configuring time zones.

How much change should I expect for the ICND2?

While the number of objective domains has remained 5 in the update of the 200-101 (ICND2)  to the 200-105 exam , those domain topics have changed and also the content. The comparison of the domain changes are as follows:

OLD 200-101 ICND2 v2.0:

1.0 LAN Switching Technologies
2.0 IP Routing Technologies
3.0 IP Services
4.0 Troubleshooting
5.0 WAN Technologies

NEW 200-105 ICND2 v3.0:

1.0 LAN Switching Technologies
2.0 Routing Technologies
3.0 WAN Technologies
4.0 Infrastructure Services
5.0 Infrastructure Maintenance

Topics have been both moved and deleted.

Key Topics Removed from ICND2:

Frame-Relay and Serial WAN technologies are no longer covered.

VRRP and GLBP have been removed from First Hop Redundancy Protocols. Only HSRP remains, since it is most commonly deployed.

Key Topics Added to ICND2:
  • Knowledge of dual-homed vs single-homed Intelligent WAN topology options.
  • Basic knowledge of external BGP (eBGP) used to connect Enterprise branches.
  • Expanded VPN topics to include DMVPN, Site-to-Site VPN, and Client VPN technologies commonly used by Enterprises.
  • Understanding of how Cloud resources are being used in Enterprise network architectures, including:
    • How cloud services will affect traffic paths and flows
    • Common virtualized services and how these coexist with a legacy infrastructure
    • Basics of virtual network infrastructure (Network Function Virtualization)
  • Awareness of Programmable Network (SDN) architectures including:
    • Separation of the control plane and data plane
    • How a controller functions and communicates northbound to network applications and southbound to the R&S infrastructure using APIs.
  • How to use the Path Trace application for ACLs which is a key new network application enabled by the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller – Enterprise Module (APIC-EM). This tool automates the troubleshooting and resolution of complex ACL deployments.
  • Understanding of QoS concepts related to marking, shaping, and policing mechanisms used to manage congestion of various types of traffic. The need for QoS and how it is used for prioritizing voice, video and data traffic. Plus an understanding of the automation

How much change should I expect for the combined exam?

The 200-125 exam, like its predecessor the 200-120, covers all topics from the 100-105 and 200-105. The content is organized in the following domains:

1.0 Network Fundamentals
2.0 LAN Switching Technologies
3.0 Routing Technologies
4.0 WAN Technologies
5.0 Infrastructure Services
6.0 Infrastructure Security
7.0 Infrastructure Management

Everything that has been written about the prior two exams applies to the 200-120.

What if I passed some of the old exams, but need the new certification – or to recertify?

Cisco has developed a handy tool, called the Associate-Level Certifications Exam Logic Tool, that lets you plug in your exact combination of exams to predict which ones you’ll require:

CCNA Routing and Switching is a three-year certification. When three years have passed, you must recertify. This page has the information you need to help you plan your recertification path.

And, finally, here are the links to the CCENT and CCNA Transcender practice exams. Keep your eyes peeled for special holiday exam pricing, and be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you aren’t receiving deal notifications!

Transcender Practice Exam for 100-105 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v3.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-105NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2) v3.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-125 Composite Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam

Until next time,

–Troy McMillan

Cisco Live 2015: Meet the New Boss

August 18, 2015 at 8:29 am | Posted in Cisco | Comments Off on Cisco Live 2015: Meet the New Boss

The big news at Cisco Live 2015 this year in San Diego is the change in leadership at the company’s top level. After transforming Cisco from a company with revenue of US $70M to over $40B, John Chambers (at right, below) is turning over leadership to Chuck Robbins (speaking at left). It will be kind of strange to NOT hear a keynote from John next year after all these years.


One of the things I find interesting about this topic is some of the talk I heard over the week from attendees about John. I’m always fascinated by the metrics that people to use to judge leadership. One comment that really struck me was this one from one attendee: “I always love John’s keynote. Did you notice he walks the crowd when he speaks? That means he REALLY knows what he has to say.”

Regardless of what metrics you use, there’s no doubt that John has been a success. I think many are wondering what will change when he’s gone. From all indications, Chuck will do just fine; but there was a slight undercurrent of uncertainty until he spoke. After that,  everyone seemed to be more at ease.

The attendance of the event continues to grow while other tech conferences shrink. Take MS TechEd, which folded into MS Ignite–a sure sign of struggle with defining, or attracting, their audience. While the Cisco Live event had over 25,000 attendees (an increase of about 1,000 from last year), the exhibit hall looked much bigger than last year’s. I think one of the reasons it came back to San Diego after being in San Francisco last year is that there simply isn’t room there anymore.  I think this conference is destined for only the largest convention facilities in the future–maybe even Las Vegas next year.

Until next time,

Troy McMillan

Hurry, hurry — don’t miss the deadline to take your 642 series CCNP exams!

January 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Cisco | Comments Off on Hurry, hurry — don’t miss the deadline to take your 642 series CCNP exams!
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If you’ve been working to earn your CCNP Routing and Switching certification and you began the process by taking a required exam that began with the prefix 642-, you are about to run out of time to take the old versions of the exams.

The last day to test via the first-generation CCNP exams ROUTE (642-902), SWITCH (642-813), and TSHOOT (642-832) will be January 29, 2015. After that date, you will have to face the new series of CCNP Routing and Switching exams (the v2.0 refresh): ROUTE (300-101), SWITCH (300-115), and TSHOOT (300-135).

According to this chart on the Cisco Certification website, you should be able to mix the 642- version exams with the 300- version exams and still earn the CCNP. In other words, if you started your exam series with 642-813, you should be able to take 300-101 and 300-135 and earn the same credential if you pass:

ccnp v2

However, you may want to rush to beat that January 29 deadline if you invested in study materials that are targeted to the old exams. Although there are no major changes, the subjects being tested are slightly different on the new exams.

If you still need study materials for the old exams, they will still be available on our site until the last day.

Good luck with your testing!

–Troy McMillan

Say goodbye to the OLD CCNA exams, and hello to the ICND series!

December 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Cisco | Leave a comment
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Say goodbye to the old CCNA exams and Version 1 of the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

It’s official; the deadline for achieving your CCNA by taking the exams 640-816 and 640-822 (or alternately the 640-802) has come and gone, and these exams are retired.  The new path to achieving Cisco’s flagship certification is  to take both exams 100-101 (ICND 1) and 200-101 (ICND 2), or to pass the composite exam 200-120 (CCNAX). Passing the 100-101 ICND1 earns you the next-generation CCENT certification; passing both ICND1 and ICND2 (or the single CCNAX) earns the CCNA: Routing and Switching certification.

A further change worth noting: as of October 2013, the CCENT is a prerequisite for the Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) certification.

How much change should I expect?

When Cisco changes the numbering on an exam (as from 640 to 100), it typically indicates a change in the exam’s topic coverage. In some cases the changes are significant, and in others they are minor. In the case of the CCNA exams, the changes are not major overall; this is largely the same set of exam topics. However, some topics have been dropped completely, while others have shifted from the 200-101 exam to the 100-101, and other topics have been shifted from the CCNP-level exams to the 200-101.

The end result is a small increase in the level of difficulty for all three new exams as compared to their older counterparts. People who had been studying with version 1 materials may want to review version 2 before committing to take the exam.

Changes to topic coverage in ICND1 v2

With respect to the 100-101 ICND1 (formerly 640-822), the following topics have been eliminated from the exam:

  • RIP
  • WLAN
  • SDM

The following topics are new to this certification exam:

  • IPv6
  • OSPF
  • Static routing

The following topics used to be covered in ICND2, but are now included in ICND1 (100-101), which changes these topics from the CCNA level to the CCENT level:

  • VLSM and summarization
  • Port security
  • NAT
Changes to topic coverage in ICND2 v2

The following topics used to be covered in ICND1 (640-822) but are now included in the new ICND2 exam, 200-101:

  • Router hardware
  • IOS loading
  • WAN configuration

The following topics have been moved from the higher-level CCNP exams, and are new to ICND2:

  • First Hop Redundancy protocols (VRRP, HSRP etc.)
  • Syslog
  • Netflow

Here is a complete list of the exam topics:

What if I passed some of the old exams, but need the new certification – or to recertify?

Cisco has developed a handy tool, called the Associate-Level Certifications Exam Logic Tool, that lets you plug in your exact combination of exams to predict which ones you’ll require:

CCNA Routing and Switching is a three-year certification. When three years have passed, you must recertify. This page has the information you need to help you plan your recertification path.

And, finally, here are the links to the CCENT and CCNA Transcender practice exams. Keep your eyes peeled for special holiday exam pricing, and be sure to sign up for our mailing list if you aren’t receiving deal notifications!

Transcender Practice Exam for 100-101 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v2.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-101 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices Part 2 (ICND2) v2.0

Transcender Practice Exam for 200-120 Composite Cisco Certified Network Associate Exam

Transcender’s Cisco CCNA Simulator for 100-101 NetCert: Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices Part 1 (ICND1) v2.0

–Troy McMillan

Hey! Who moved my CCNA simulations?

February 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Cisco | Leave a comment
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At Transcender, we sometimes get customer emails with a subject line that resembles the title of this blog post.  These emails come from longtime customers who want to know what happened to the simulation items that “used to be” in our CCNA practice tests. Those items haven’t appeared in our products for some time, and we’ve blogged about this topic before, but since we’ve just released updates to our CCNA products, I thought this was the perfect time to revisit the topic.

First, you need to know that there are simulation items in Cisco’s CCNA exam(s). Let me say that again a little louder:

There are simulation items in the Cisco CCNA exams!

You will definitely have to know how to use the command line to get configuration information from a device and configure devices.  But before I discuss the kinds of simulation items we include in our Transcender practice test, let’s define what is and is NOT a simulation item, and discuss how they show up on the live exam. Here’s a complete rundown of the item types you are told you may see in the CCNA exams (as per the CCNA web site): Continue Reading Hey! Who moved my CCNA simulations?…

New from Sybex: Cisco Networking Essentials by Troy McMillan

November 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Posted in Cisco, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Hot off the presses!

Sybex, the computer reference imprint of Wiley and Sons Publishing, has just released a new Cisco reference written by Troy McMillan, our primary Cisco practice test developer here at Transcender.

Although this guide could certainly be used by someone working toward their CCENT, CCNA, or even their Network+ certification,  Cisco Networking Essentials is not your typical “exam cram” book. In 400 pages, Troy presents a thorough overview of networking concepts in general, and their implementation with Cisco hardware in particular.  It’s designed to prepare the reader for certification-level classes and books. The target audience is career changers, self-study students, and students who need more in-depth explanations than are provided by boot camps and exam-cram courses.

 Because boot camps and short courses must present a huge amount of material in a short period of time, students may not have time to absorb fundamental concepts in depth. This book fills in those gaps and is an invaluable reference for people currently working the field or trying to change over into networking.

Doing it for the LULZ?

June 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Cisco, CompTIA, Technical Tips | 2 Comments
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Recently, Citibank announced that hackers stole personal information from about 200,000 credit card customers. Over the past year, a number of high profile companies have been attacked, including Sony being hacked for the sixth time. As cyberattacks are reportedly on the rise, the FBI, Commerce Department, and Attorney General are calling for increased cyber-security actions in the U.S.

This frenetic response may seem overwhelming to some outside observers, but to security experts in the IT industry who have decried “lax security policies at high-profile organizations,” this situation comes as no surprise. The sheer frustration that many in the security community have felt for years seems to be  finding its outlet at last.

Case in point: LulzSec – the now-infamous hacker group responsible for breaching Sony, Nintendo, PBS, Fox, and the FBI. They targeted Fox because they didn’t like them, PBS because of a FRONTLINE story, the FBI because of their attitude on hacking, and Nintendo and Sony just for fun. When a small security firm out of Nebraska posted a hacking contest for $10,000, LulzSec altered the home page and added this text:


Continue Reading Doing it for the LULZ?…

Our Cisco CCNA Simulator is Now in the Cloud

October 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Cisco, Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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Our friends at Gambit Communications have released a cloud version of the MIMIC Virtual Lab. That means that you can now take advantage of the Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator – previously offered as a download product – at any time, from anywhere!

While our original CCNA Simulator product was successful in helping many of you prepare for the CCNA certification exam(s), the difficulties and limitations of the installation process and hardware requirements did not go unnoticed. So we’ve once again partnered with Gambit Communications to bring you an online CCNA lab. As before, our version of this product is unique in that it is paired with our own exam-focused set of scnenarios to provide the best real-world practice for preparing to take a CCNA exam.

The new CCNA Lab in Cloud product addresses all the previous Simulator product’s limitations regarding operating systems, single-machine install, license & activation issues – you know, like those times when you re-build your machine and weren’t allowed to re-install the Simulator. Unfortunately, these were issues beyond our control that were inherent in the original Gambit product offering, but with the new CCNA Lab in Cloud offering, all of these issues have been addressed and solved!

So whether you’re preparing for the 640-802, 640-816, or 640-822 exam, be sure to check out the CCNA Virtual Lab in Cloud product to help you in your study efforts.

What We’re Working On – Fall Edition

September 29, 2010 at 9:59 am | Posted in Cisco, Kaplan IT Training news, Microsoft | 10 Comments

I’ve been taught that honesty is the best policy, so allow me to be honest with you here. I honestly enjoy sharing news on what we’re doing and planning to do every month. I honestly enjoy receiving and replying to your questions & comments. But, in all honesty, there is no way I’ll have the opportunity to coherently describe the projects we’ll be working on over the next three months, knowing all that’s involved in closing out 2010. I hate to admit it, but since we’re being honest and all…

To that end, I’ve decided to lay it all out for you here & now, as this may be the last good block of time (and sanity) I have before I lose all touch with reality as we make our race to the 2010 finish line.

Let’s start with the easy stuff. Here’s what hit the shelves in August:

Now for NEW news. Several people have asked,

“What happened to those SharePoint 2010 products George was working on in August?”

Great question! George was well on his way to meeting, if not beating, his deadlines for the 70-667 practice test product when we heard about R2 updates to the Server 2008 exams. Review and revisions of the 70-640, 70-642 & 70-643 have now taken priority, forcing us to postpone the release of SharePoint products. George’s primary focus for the next few weeks is comparing our current Windows Server 2008 products against the most updated Skills lists and ensuring that our practice test product continues to offer the information you need to pass your exams! The 70-640 updates should release in the next 2 weeks, but as this and the others hit the shelves, we’ll be sure to notify you via Twitter and on our Web site.

The second most popular question since our August post is,

“Where are those new Visual Studio products Josh is working on?”

Another great question! Josh delivered his last bit of content for the 70-511 practice test product to our Editor, and that project should be in the production phase by next week, meaning we should release by early October. Meanwhile, Josh is a few questions into the 70-515. Either he has found this subject matter easier or he’s just exhausted, but he hasn’t been mumbling to himself half as much since he started this project. In any case, the 70-515 practice test should release in early November.

I should also mention that we’re just days away from releasing the Cisco CCNP 642-813, SWITCH practice test. I’m really excited about both the ROUTE and SWITCH practice products. Troy’s goal was to make the CCNP line as solid as the CCNA products and so far it looks like he’s spot on. Troy & team have since moved on to focus the development efforts on the TSHOOT product. If you’re familiar with the exam or even seen the Cisco training, you’ll understand the monumental undertaking this is. We’ll keep you guys updated on the progress for this one and when we have a better handle on a release date, we’ll be sure to share that with you.

Last, but certainly not least, we appreciate you sticking with us as the weather turns from toasty to frosty. So while you make plans to buckle up this season and finally take that certification exam you’ve put off all year, we’d like to save you a few bucks. Check out our 2-Day Transcender sale!

~Happy Testing!

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