Packet Tracer 7.3 - Tips for CCNA Exam preparation

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On February 24, 2020, Cisco will release a new, consolidated CCNA exam.
Last CCNA Routing & Switching exam date is February 23, 2020

What's new in CCNA v7 (available on February 24, 2020) ?

Cisco is refreshing it's certification program and rebalancing exam topics to better align with employer needs, include room for new topics and end-to end
networking awareness as digital transformation of businesses is driving new networking technologies :

  • Software defined architectures
  • Automation and virtualization accross all network domains
  • Network device management moving from CLI to API
  • Programming skills which are now essentials to network admins
  • Wireless technologies now prevalent in access networks
  • Expanding security threats requiring analytics skills

Cisco CCNA v7 focus areas

 

Cisco CCNA v6  (last test date: February 23, 2020)

CCNA Routing & Switching certification is a second-level Cisco Career certification. This certification level validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size switched and routed networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN environment. Upon completion, CCNA candidates should be able to successfully carry out any number of essential networking maintenance and troubleshooting duties such as operating LAN, WAN and dial access services for small networks, as well as having good working knowledge of protocols such as IP, IGRP, Serial, Frame Relay, IP RIP, VLAN’s, Ethernet and Access Lists.

Candidates have the option of two path to get CCNA Routing & Switching certified. Either take and pass two individual exams or alternatively, one larger, combined exam. The exam options are:

Combined exam: 200-125  CCNA - 90 minutes, 60 to 70

OR

Individual exams:

  • 100-105 ICND1 (90 minutes 45-55 questions) - CCENT certification
  • 200-105 ICND2 (90 minutes 55-65 questions)

It is higly recommended to students passing CCNA for the first time to use the "individual exams" path (INCD1 first, then ICND2) as it allows candidates to focus on one subject area at a time and take the relevant exam when they feel ready. Additionally, the two-exam approach gives the candidate the opportunity to ease into the certification by taking the 100-105 ICND1 exam first.

All the three exams include labs and simlets questions to test student's ability to configure and troubleshoot network devices. It is highly recommended to practice networking simulation using Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2 before taking any of the exams. Labs for CCNA traiing available in our labs sections.

CCNA Routing and Switching PTMO (Packet Tracer Media Objects) can now be run inside Packet Tracer 7.2.2 without installing the JAVA runtime environment to practice drag and drop, fill in the blank, multiple choices exam questions.

 

ICND1 exam topics

Access our CCENT exam page

 

ICND2 exam topics

Exam topics may change at any time without notice. Find complete information about ICND2 exam topics on Cisco website : https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccna/icnd2/exam-topics

1.0 LAN Switching Technologies

  • 1.1 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot VLANs (normal/extended range) spanning multiple switches
  • 1.2 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot interswitch connectivity
  • 1.3 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot STP protocols
  • 1.4 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot STP-related optional features
  • 1.5 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot (Layer 2/Layer 3) EtherChannel
  • 1.6 Describe the benefits of switch stacking and chassis aggregation
  • 1.7 Describe common access layer threat mitigation techniques

 

2.0 Routing Technologies

  • 2.1 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot Inter-VLAN routing
  • 2.2 Compare and contrast distance vector and link-state routing protocols
  • 2.3 Compare and contrast interior and exterior routing protocols
  • 2.4 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot single area and multiarea OSPFv2 for IPv4 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub, virtual-link, and LSAs)
  • 2.5 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot single area and multiarea OSPFv3 for IPv6 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub, virtual-link, and LSAs)
  • 2.6 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot EIGRP for IPv4 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub)
  • 2.7 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot EIGRP for IPv6 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub)

 

3.0 WAN Technologies

  • 3.1 Configure and verify PPP and MLPPP on WAN interfaces using local authentication
  • 3.2 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot PPPoE client-side interfaces using local authentication
  • 3.3 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot GRE tunnel connectivity
  • 3.4 Describe WAN topology options
  • 3.5 Describe WAN access connectivity options
  • 3.6 Configure and verify single-homed branch connectivity using eBGP IPv4 (limited to peering and route advertisement using Network command only)

4.0 Infrastructure Services

  • 4.1 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic HSRP
  • 4.2 Describe the effects of cloud resources on enterprise network architecture
  • 4.3 Describe basic QoS concepts
  • 4.4 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot IPv4 and IPv6 access list for traffic filtering
  • 4.5 Verify ACLs using the APIC-EM Path Trace ACL analysis tool

 

5.0 Infrastructure Maintenance

  • 5.1 Configure and verify device-monitoring protocols
  • 5.2 Troubleshoot network connectivity issues using ICMP echo-based IP SLA
  • 5.3 Use local SPAN to troubleshoot and resolve problems
  • 5.4 Describe device management using AAA with TACACS+ and RADIUS
  • 5.5 Describe network programmability in enterprise network architecture
  • 5.6 Troubleshoot basic Layer 3 end-to-end connectivity issues

  

Recommended books for exam preparation (self-study)

CCNA Official Exam Certification Library, Third Edition, is the newest edition of the all-time best-selling CCNA self-study preparation package. The two books contained in this package, CCENT/CCNA ICND1 Official Exam Certification Guide, Second Edition, and CCNA ICND2 Official Exam Certification Guide, Second Edition, present complete reviews and a more challenging and realistic preparation experience. The books are updated to cover all the new 640-802 exam objectives, such as security, wireless, IPv6, and troubleshooting.

The companion CD-ROMs contain a powerful testing engine with over 400 questions that allow you to focus on individual topic areas or take complete, timed exams. The test engine also includes simulation and testlet questions, and all questions are available in study mode and test mode.

 

Validity

CCNA certifications are valid for three years. To recertify, you have to pass either the ICND2 or the CCNA exam, or pass any professional or specialization certification exam (CCNP, ...).

 

Test Scheduling

Pearson VUE delivers tests for associate, professional, and expert level certifications for Cisco Systems. Select your test center and schedule your CCNA exam on Pearson VUE website.

 

Packet Tracer 7.2 features for ICND2 exam preparation

1.0 LAN Switching Technologies

1.1 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot VLANs (normal/extended range) spanning multiple switches

Normal and extended range vlans are fully supported on Packet Tracer 7.2 emulated catalyst switches :

  • Normal VLAN ID : 1 to 1001 (1002 - 1005 reserved)
  • Extended VLAN ID : 106 to 4094 (4095 reserved)
Switch(config)#vlan ?
  <1-4094>  ISL VLAN IDs 1-1005

 

1.2 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot interswitch connectivity

  • Trunk ports : Supported (switchport mode trunk)
  • Add and remove VLANs on a trunk : Supported (switchport trunk allowed vlan add/remove/except/all/none)
  • DTP - Dynamic Trunking Protocol : Supported (switchport nonegotiate to disable it)
  • VTP (v1&v2) - VLAN Trunking Protocol : Both VTP v1&v2 are supported (vtp version <1-2>, vtp domain, vtp mode)
Switch(config)#vtp ?
  domain    Set the name of the VTP administrative domain.
  mode      Configure VTP device mode
  password  Set the password for the VTP administrative domain
  version   Set the adminstrative domain to VTP version

Switch(config)#vtp version ?
  <1-2>  Set the adminstrative domain VTP version number

Switch(config)#vtp mode ?
  client       Set the device to client mode.
  server       Set the device to server mode.
  transparent  Set the device to transparent mode.
  • 802.1Q : Supported by default on emulated Catalyst switches.
  • Native VLAN: Supported (switchport trunk native vlan)
Switch(config-if)#switchport trunk native ?
  vlan  Set native VLAN when interface is in trunking mode

 

1.3 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot STP protocols

Packet Tracer emulates PVST+ and Rapid-PVST+ Cisco proprietary protocols. Multiple spanning-tree (MST) is not supported.

Switch(config)#spanning-tree mode ?
  pvst        Per-Vlan spanning tree mode
  rapid-pvst  Per-Vlan rapid spanning tree mode

Spanning-tree root bridge can be configured using either :

  • Manually configured priority (lowest priority is root) using spanning-tree vlan 1 priority command
  • Automatically using the spanning-tree vlan 1 root primary command which automatically sets the priority value as the lowest value in the network.

Switch(config)#spanning-tree vlan 1 priority 
% Bridge Priority must be in increments of 4096.
% Allowed values are:
  0     4096  8192  12288 16384 20480 24576 28672
  32768 36864 40960 45056 49152 53248 57344 61440

Switch(config)#spanning-tree vlan 100 root primary 

1.4 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot STP-related optional features

Packet Tracer supports the spanning-trevPortFast configuration on catalyst switches which allows imediate network interface transition into the forwarding state upon linkup. he network interface still participates in the spanning-tree This feature is used on host ports an is usually required to make PXE boot or DHCP clients work smoothly.


The STP PortFast BPDU guard enhancement allows network designers to enforce the STP domain borders and keep the network topology predictable by dening devices behind the ports that have STP PortFast enabled to influence the STP topology. At the reception of BPDUs on a portfast enabled interface, the BPDU guard operation disables the port (errdisable state) that has PortFast configured.

Switch(config)#interface fastEthernet 0/1
Switch(config-if)#spanning-tree portfast ?
  disable  Disable portfast for this interface
  trunk    Enable portfast on the interface even in trunk mode
  <cr>

Switch(config-if)#spanning-tree portfast 
%Warning: portfast should only be enabled on ports connected to a single
host. Connecting hubs, concentrators, switches, bridges, etc... to this
interface  when portfast is enabled, can cause temporary bridging loops.
Use with CAUTION

%Portfast has been configured on FastEthernet0/1 but will only
have effect when the interface is in a non-trunking mode.

Switch(config-if)#spanning-tree bpduguard enable 

Spanning-tree portfast can also be configured by default on all the switch network interfaces :

Switch(config)#spanning-tree portfast ?
  default  Enable portfast by default on all access ports

Switch(config)#spanning-tree portfast default 

 

1.5 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot (Layer 2/Layer 3) EtherChannel

Static, LACP, and PAGP etherchannel confguration are supported in Packet Tracer 7.2.2 on catalyst switches layer 2 and layer 3 interfaces

Switch(config-if)#channel-group 1 mode ?
  active     Enable LACP unconditionally
  auto       Enable PAgP only if a PAgP device is detected
  desirable  Enable PAgP unconditionally
  on         Enable Etherchannel only
  passive    Enable LACP only if a LACP device is detected

Use the channel-protocol interface configuration command to restrict the etherchannel protocol used on a port to manage channeling.

Switch(config-if)#channel-protocol ?
  lacp  Prepare interface for LACP protocol
  pagp  Prepare interface for PAgP protocol

 

1.6 Describe the benefits of switch stacking and chassis aggregation

Switch stacking is not supported in Packet Tracer.

 

1.7 Describe common access layer threat mitigation techniques

1.7.a 802.1x
1.7.b DHCP snooping
1.7.c Nondefault native VLAN

 

4.0 Infrastructure Services

4.1 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic HSRP

HSRP priority, preemption, and version (v1 vs v2) are covered in this section.

Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2.2 supports HSRP v1 and v2 on ISR routers and Layer 3 switches. The standby IOS command is available to configure HSRP groups and settings.

HSRP priorities and preemption are fully functionnal in Packet Tracer 7.2.2

Router(config-if)#standby ?
  <0-4095>  group number
  ip        Enable HSRP and set the virtual IP address
  ipv6      Enable HSRP IPv6
  preempt   Overthrow lower priority Active routers
  priority  Priority level
  timers    Hello and hold timers
  track     Priority Tracking
  version   HSRP version

  

4.2 Describe the effects of cloud resources on enterprise network architecture

Cloud resources are not available in Packet Tracer.

  

4.3 Describe basic QoS concepts

Marking

Device trust

Prioritization (Voice, Video, Data)

Shaping

Policing

Congestion management

 

4.4 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot IPv4 and IPv6 access list for traffic filtering

Packet Tracer 7.2 features standard, extended, and named access-lists on emulated ISR routers and layer 3 switches. Access-lists can be applied to physical network interfaces, vlan interfaces, or virtual terminal lines.

Access-lists configuration tutorial describes access-list configuration on a Cisco 2911 ISR router.

Switch(config)#access-list ?
  <1-99>     IP standard access list
  <100-199>  IP extended access list

Switch(config)#access-list 100 ?
  deny    Specify packets to reject
  permit  Specify packets to forward
  remark  Access list entry comment

Switch(config)#access-list 100 permit ?
  ahp    Authentication Header Protocol
  eigrp  Cisco's EIGRP routing protocol
  esp    Encapsulation Security Payload
  gre    Cisco's GRE tunneling
  icmp   Internet Control Message Protocol
  ip     Any Internet Protocol
  ospf   OSPF routing protocol
  tcp    Transmission Control Protocol
  udp    User Datagram Protocol

 

4.5 Verify ACLs using the APIC-EM Path Trace ACL analysis tool

APIC-EM is not supported in Cisco Packet Tracer 7.2 . However, APIC-EM can be tested on https://sandboxapicem.cisco.com/ (Username: devnetuser - Password: Cisco123!)

 

5.0 Infrastructure Maintenance

5.1 Configure and verify device-monitoring protocols

Read-only and read-write SNMPv2 communities are supported in Packet Tracer 7.2.2

Switch(config)#snmp-server community public ?
  ro  Read-only access with this community string
  rw  Read-write access with this community string
  <cr>

 

SNMP traps and SNMP v3 are not supported.

 

5.2 Troubleshoot network connectivity issues using ICMP echo-based IP SLA

5.3 Use local SPAN to troubleshoot and resolve problems

5.4 Describe device management using AAA with TACACS+ and RADIUS

5.5 Describe network programmability in enterprise network architecture

5.6 Troubleshoot basic Layer 3 end-to-end connectivity issues