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Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933 Profile and Articles

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1). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification: OSPF E2 vs. E1 Routes
OSPF is a major topic on both the CCNA and CCNP exams, and it's also the topic that requires the most attention to detail. Where dynamic routing protocols such as RIP and IGRP have only one router type, a look at a Cisco routing table shows several different OSPF route types.
R1#show ip route
Codes: C - connected, S - static, I - IGRP, R - RIP, M -.

2). How To Become A Cisco VPN Specialist
There's quite an emphasis on security in today's networks, and that's reflected in Cisco's certification tracks. Cisco offers a CCIE Security track and the Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP) intermediate-level certification, but there is no real equivalent to the CCNA on the security side. Instead, Cisco offers several different Security Associate certifications.

3). Passing The CCNA and CCNP: Three Myths About Cisco Exams
One of the drawbacks to the Internet is that it allows myths and "friend of a friend" stories to spread quickly, and usually the story becomes more exaggerated as it's passed along. Cisco exams are no exception. Here are three often-repeated myths and exaggerations regarding the CCNA and CCNP exams.

1. The survey you fill out before the exam determines the questions you'll get.

4). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Home Lab Setup: How To Configure Reverse Telnet
Occasionally, during your CCNA and CCNP studies, you'll run into a term that just doesn't quite make sense to you. (Okay, more than occasionally!) One such term is "reverse telnet". As a Cisco certification candidate, you know that telnet is simply a protocol that allows you to remotely connect to a networking device such as a router or switch. But.

5). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Home Lab Tutorial: A Guide To Cable Types
When you're putting your CCNA and/or CCNP home lab together, you're not just buying routers and switches you're creating a blueprint for success. There is no better way to learn about how real Cisco routers and switches work than to work with the real thing!

Of course, it's not enough to just get the routers and switches you've got to have the right cables and other devices to allow them to communicate.

6). Cisco CCNA Exam Tutorial: Route Summarization
Preparing to pass the CCNA exam and earn this important Cisco certification? Route summarization is just one of the many skills you'll have to master in order to earn your CCNA. Whether it's RIP version 2, OSPF, or EIGRP, the CCNA exam will demand that you can flawlessly configure route summarization.

Route summarization isn't just important for the CCNA exam.

7). Cisco CCNA Exam Tutorial: Loopback Interfaces
As a CCNA candidate, you most likely have some background in PC hardware and workstation support. If so, you're already familiar with loopback interfaces, particularly, the loopback address assigned to a PC.

When you're learning all about the different physical interfaces for your CCNA exam - serial, ethernet, and BRI, among others - there's one logical interface you need to know about, and that is - you guessed it! - the loopback interface.

8). Cisco Routing: "ip default-network" vs. Default Static Routes
One point of confusion for some CCNA and CCNP candidates is the difference between configuring a static default route and using the Cisco routing command ip default-network.

At first glance, they appear to do the same thing. Both configure a destination to which packets should be routed if there is no more specific route in the routing table.


9). Cisco Certification: In What Order Should You Take Your CCNP Exams ?
When you choose to pursue your Cisco Certified Network Professional certification, you've got some decisions to make right at the beginning. Cisco offers a three-exam path and a four-exam path, and you select the order in which you'll take and pass the exams.

While every CCNP candidate has to make their own decision, I'd like to share some thoughts based on my personal experience and the experiences of CCNPs worldwide.

10). Cisco CCNA Certification Exam Tutorial: DNS And The IP Name-Server Command
DNS behaviors of a Cisco router are important topics for both the CCNA exam and real-world production networks, and you probably didn't know there were so many DNS details before you began studying for the exam! In this tutorial, we'll look at the ip name-server command and its proper usage.

When a command is mistyped on a Cisco router, the default behavior of the router is to attempt to resolve it via DNS.

11). Cisco CCNA Certification Exam Tutorial: Variance And Unequal Cost Load Balancing
To pass the CCNA exam, you've got to know how to work with IGRP and EIGRP unequal-cost load balancing. You may not see much IGRP in production networks anymore, but you'll see a lot of EIGRP, and part of fine-tuning your EIGRP network is making sure that all paths are in use while allowing for varying bandwidth rates.

Using the variance command is the easy part - it's getting the metric that's the hard part with IGRP.

12). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Tutorial: Home Lab Assembly Case Study
Part of your CCNA / CCNP education is deciding what network topology to use when you're putting together your home lab. Some of you are starting with one or two routers or switches, while others are starting with more. A customer recently sent me a list of his Cisco routers and switches that he has available for a home lab and asked for my help in coming up with the best way to use them.

13). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: OSPF Route Redistribution Review
OSPF route redistribution is an important topic on the BSCI exam, and it's a topic full of details and defaults that you need to know for the exam room and the job. To help you pass the BSCI exam, here's a quick review of some of the OSPF route redistribution basics.

To see if a router is an ABR or ASBR, run show ip ospf. This also displays any routes being redistributed into OSPF on this router.

14). Cisco CCNA Certification: Defining Broadcast Domains
When you're studying to pass the CCNA exam and earn your certification, you're introduced to a great many terms that are either totally new to you or seem familiar, but you're not quite sure what they are. The term "broadcast domain" falls into the latter category for many CCNA candidates.

A broadcast domain is simply the group of end hosts that will receive a broadcast sent out by a given host.

15). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: The Passive Interface Command And OSPF
To pass the BSCI exam and become a CCNP, you have to be aware of the proper use of passive interfaces. You learned about passive interfaces in your CCNA studies, but here we’ll review the basic concept and clear up one misconception regarding passive interfaces and OSPF.

Configuring an interface as passive will still allow the interface to receive routing updates, but the interface will no longer transmit them.

16). Cisco CCNA Exam Tutorial: Configuring Standard Access Lists
Access Control Lists (ACLs) allow a router to permit or deny packets based on a variety of criteria. The ACL is configured in global mode, but is applied at the interface level. An ACL does not take effect until it is expressly applied to an interface with the ip access-group command. Packets can be filtered as they enter or exit an interface.

If a packet enters or exits an interface with an ACL applied, the packet is compared against the criteria of the ACL.

17). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Home Lab Tutorial: Configuring An Access Server
As your CCNA / CCNP home lab expands, an access server such as the Cisco 2509 or 2511 is one of the best investments you can make. In this article, we'll look at the basic configuration for an access server and discuss how to connect to the other routers and switches in your pod through the AS.

Here's part of a configuration from one of my access servers:

ip host FRS 2006 100.

18). Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Changing Root Bridge Election Results
Your BCMSN and CCNP studies will include mastering the details of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). While you learned some of these details in your CCNA studies, quite a bit of it may be new to you. Before going on to the intermediate and advanced STP features, let's review the root bridge election process and learn how to change these results.

Each switch will have a Bridge ID Priority value, more commonly referred to as a BID.

19). Passing Your CCNA and CCNP: Configuring And Troubleshooting Router-On-A-Stick
For CCNA and CCNP candidates, it's hard not to laugh the first time you hear the phrase "router on a stick". Let's face it, that's a pretty silly term. But as those who have passed the CCNA and CCNP exams know, this is a vital exam topic that you must know how to configure and troubleshoot.

Basic Cisco theory states that for hosts in different VLANs to communicate, a Layer 3 device must be involved to handle the routing between the VLANs.

20). Cisco CCNA Exam Tutorial: IGRP And Equal Cost Load Balancing
To pass the CCNA exam, you've got to know the role of the bandwidth command with IGRP and EIGRP and when to use it. In this tutorial, we'll configure IGRP over a frame relay hub-and-spoke network using the following networks:

R1 (the hub), R2, and R3 are running IGRP over the /24 network. This is a T1 line.

R1 and R3 are also connected on a different subnet, 172.

21). Passing The CCNA And CCNP: Cisco Home Lab FAQ
There is a real revolution today among CCNA and CCNP candidates. More and more of you are turning your back on "router simulators" and putting your own CCNA and/or CCNP Home Lab together, which is the best way to totally prepare to pass these tough Cisco exams.

I get hundreds of emails every month from CCNA and CCNP candidate who are putting together their first lab or adding to their existing one.

22). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Home Lab: Why You Need An ISDN Simulator
ISDN is a vital topic for today's CCNA and CCNP candidates, especially for the ICND and Intro exams - you've got to know ISDN inside and out to pass those exams. Naturally you want to include it in your home lab. What many candidates don't realize is that you can't connect two Cisco routers directly via their Basic Rate Interface (BRI) interfaces you've got to have another device between them called an ISDN simulator.

23). Passing Cisco's CCNA And CCNP Exams: Ping And Extended Ping
Passing Cisco's CCNA And CCNP Exams: Ping And Extended Ping

24). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Home Labs: Developing Troubleshooting Skills
CCNA / CCNP candidates are going to be drilled by Cisco when it comes to troubleshooting questions. You're going to have to be able to analyze configurations to see what the problem is (and if there is a problem in the first place), determine the meaning of different debug outputs, and show the ability not just to configure a router or switch, but troubleshoot one.

25). Cisco CCNA Exam Tutorial And Case Study: VLANs and IP Connectivity
In this CCNA case study, we'll take some basic switching and trunking theory and put it into action. We have two routers (R2 and R3) along with two switches (SW1 and SW2). R2 is connected to SW1 at fast 0/2, and R3 is connected to SW2 at fast 0/3. Both routers have IP addresses on the /24 network.

For these routers to be able to ping each other, the switches must be able to communicate.

26). Tips On Buying A Cisco CCNA / CCNP Home Lab Kit
Buying a CCNA / CCNP home lab is the best way to be totally prepared for your Cisco exams. Most home labs are put together one router or switch at a time, but many CCNA / CCNP candidates prefer to buy kits where you get multiple routers and switches, along with all the cables and other connection devices you'll need.

While this is a good idea, keep a few things in mind when purchasing Cisco home lab kits.

27). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Certification: The Local Preference BGP Attribute
When studying for your BSCI exam for the CCNP, you get your first taste of BGP. One of the major differences between BGP and the other protocols you've studied to date is that BGP uses attributes to describe paths, and to influence the selection of one path over the other.

In this free tutorial, we're going to take a look at the Local Preference attribute and compare it to the Cisco-proprietary BGP attribute "weight".

28). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: EIGRP Route Summarization
Summarizing routes is a vital skill to learn to pass the BSCI exam and get one step closer to earning your CCNP. The actual binary conversions are only part of the test, though! You've got to know how to correctly apply the summary routes, and that differs from one protocol to the next. In the last few CCNP / BSCI tutorials, we've looked at using the "area range" and "summary-address" commands to perform OSPF route summarization.

29). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: Using The OSPF Command “Area Range”
Your BSCI and CCNP exam success depends on knowing the details, and one such detail is knowing the proper way to summarize routes in OSPF. Route summarization is not just a test of your binary conversion abilities, but knowing where and when to summarize routes. It will not surprise any CCNA or CCNP certification candidate that OSPF gives us the most options for route summarization, and therefore more details to know!

OSPF offers us two options for route summarization configurations.

30). Cisco CCNA Certification: How And Why Switches Trunk
Your CCNA studies are going to include quite a bit of information about switches, and for good reason. if you don't understand basic switching theory, you can't configure and troubleshoot Cisco switches, either on the CCNA exam or in the real world. That goes double for trunking!

Trunking is simply enabling two or more switches to communicate and send frames to each other for transmission to remote hosts.

31). Cisco CCNA Certification Exam Tutorial: Configuring Dialer Profiles
The most common method of configuring ISDN is with dialer maps, but dial information can also be configured on a logical interface. To pass the CCNA exam, you must know how to configure and troubleshoot both dialer maps and dialer profiles.

Dialer Profiles allow different dialing information to be configured onto logical interfaces. The logical interfaces may have different dialing destinations, different remote router names, etc.

32). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: Configuring And Troubleshooting OSPF Virtual Links
Knowing when and how to create an OSPF virtual link is an essential skill for BSCI and CCNP exam success, not to mention how important it can be on your job! As a CCNA and CCNP candidate, you know the theory of virtual links, so let's take a look at how to configure a virtual link, as well as some real-world tips that many CCNA and CCNP study guides leave out!

In this configuration, no router with an interface in Area 4 has a physical interface in Area 0.

33). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Tutorial: The Role Of The OSPF ASBR
To pass the BSCI exam and earn your CCNP certification, you've got to master the (many) details of OSPF. You might have thought there were quite a few OSPF details in your CCNA studies, but you'll now build on that foundation on the way to earning your CCNP.

One such detail is the role of the Autonomous System Border Router (ASBR) in OSPF. The name.

34). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification: How And Why To Build An Etherchannel
CCNA and CCNP candidates are well-versed in Spanning-Tree Protocol, and one of the great things about STP is that it works well with little or no additional configuration. There is one situation where STP works against us just a bit while it prevents switching loops, and that is the situation where two switches have multiple physical connections.

You would think that if you have two separate physical connections between two switches, twice as much data could be sent from one switch to the other than if there was only one connection.

35). CCNA / CCNP Home Lab Tutorial: Assembling Your Cisco Home Lab
A CCNA or CCNP candidate who wants to be totally prepared for their exams is going to put together a home lab to practice on. With used Cisco routers and switches more affordable and plentiful then ever before, there's really no excuse to not have one!

With the many different models available, there is some understandable confusion among future CCNAs and CCNPs about which routers to buy and which ones to avoid.

36). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: BGP Adjacency States
To pass the BSCI exam, earn your CCNP certification, and become an outstanding networker, you've got to master the many details of BGP - and trust me, there are a lot of details to master! Before you get into the more advanced features of BGP, you should have the fundamentals down cold, and one of those fundamentals is knowing the BGP adjacency states.

37). Cisco CCNA Certification: The Importance Of The OSI Model
There's nothing I enjoy more than teaching Cisco technologies, especially CCNA candidates. Whether it's in-person or online, everyone's excited to be there. There's a sense of anticipation in the air, and everyone is ready to work hard, get their hands on the racks of Cisco routers and switches I
have available...

... and then I break out the OSI model chart.

38). Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Dynamic VLANs and VMPS
Knowledge of Dynamic VLANs and VMPS is important in your efforts to pass the BCMSN exam and earn your CCNP, and it's also a great skill to have for your networking career.

As a CCNA and CCNP candidate, you know how and why to configure static VLANs. Static VLANs can be a powerful tool for reducing unnecessary broadcast and multicast traffic, but if hosts are moved from one switch port to another, you've got to make those changes manually on the switch.

39). Cisco CCNA Certification Exam Tutorial: Configuring And Troubleshooting VTP
Not only is your CCNA exam going to have questions on VLAN trunking protocol, almost any network that has more than one VLAN is going to have VTP running. Whether you're planning on passing the CCNA exam or just brushing up on your networking skills, this VTP tutorial will help you learn the basics of this important protocol.

VTP allows switches to advertise VLAN information between other members of the same VTP domain.

40). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Exam Tutorial: Using OSPF's "Summary-Address" Command
BSCI exam success, not to mention earning your CCNP, can come down to your OSPF route summarization skills. There are a few different commands and situations you need to be ready for, and one of these situations is the proper use of the "summary-address" command.

The summary-address command should be used on an ASBR in order to summarize routes that are being injected into the OSPF domain via redistribution.

41). Cisco CCNA / CCNP Certification Exam: Creating A Study Plan
Whether you're just starting to think about passing the CCNA or CCNP exams, or you've been on the certification track for a while, you've got to have a plan for success. If you wanted to drive your car from Florida to California, you'd create a plan to get there. You'd get a map and decide how far you wanted to drive per day, and maybe even make some hotel reservations in advance.

42). Cisco CCNP Exam Tutorial: Defining Collision Domains
CCNA exam success depends on mastering the fundamentals, and two important fundamentals are knowing exactly what the terms "collision domain" and "broadcast domain" mean. In this free Cisco tutorial, we'll take a look at the term "collision domain" and how a collision domain is defined.

A collision domain is an area in which a collision can occur. Fair enough, but what "collision" are we talking about here? We're talking about collisions that occur on CSMA/CD segments, or Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection.

43). Cisco CCNP / BSCI Certification: Route Redistribution And The Seed Metric
In the first part of this free CCNP / BSCI tutorial, we looked at how leaving one simple word out of our route redistribution configuration - "subnets" - resulted in an incomplete routing table when redistributing routes from RIP to OSPF. (If you missed that part of the tutorial, visit my website's "Free Tutorials" section.) Today, we'll look at redistributing OSPF routes into RIP and identify another common redistribution error.

44). Cisco CCNP Certification / BSCI Exam Tutorial: Comparing IRDP And HSRP
To pass the BSCI exam, you need to know the difference between IRDP and HSRP. While they have the same basic function, the operation and configuration of each are totally different.

The aim of both is to allow hosts to quickly discover a standby router when the primary router fails. IRDP is commonly used by Windows DHCP clients and several Unix variations, but you do see it in Cisco routers as well.

45). Cisco CCNA Certification Exam Tutorial: The OSI Model’s Physical Layer
To pass your CCNA exam and earn this coveted certification, you've got to master the seven layers of the OSI model and what each layer does. For those of you taking the two-exam path, you can expect quite a few OSI model questions on the Intro exam. In this seven-part series, we'll spend some time taking a look at each of the OSI model layers, starting with the Physical layer.

46). Cisco CCNP Certification: The BGP Weight Attribute
When you're studying for the CCNP certification, especially the BSCI exam, you must gain a solid understanding of BGP. BGP isn't just one of the biggest topics on the BSCI exam, it's one of the largest. BGP has a great many details that must be mastered for BSCI success, and those of you with one eye on the CCIE must learn the fundamentals of BGP now in order to build on those fundamentals at a later time.

47). Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Dynamic Trunking Protocol (DTP)
When you're studying to pass the BCMSN exam on the way to earning your CCNP certification, you're going to add to your CCNA knowledgebase every step of the way. Nowhere is that more than configuring a trunk between two switches.

You know that IEEE 802.1Q ("dot1q") and ISL are your two choices of trunking protocols, and you know the main differences between the two.

48). Cisco Certification: The "Secret" Key To Getting Your CCNA And CCNP
Whether you're working on your CCNA or CCNP, Cisco certification exams are the most demanding computer certification exams in the IT field. Cisco exams are not a test of memorization, they're a test of your analytical skills. You'll need to look at configurations and console output and analyze them to identify problems and answer detailed questions.

49). Cisco CCNP / BCMSN Exam Tutorial: Configuring PortFast And BPDU Guard
In your CCNA studies, you learned about PortFast and the trouble it can cause if configured on the wrong port! Suitable only for switch ports connected directly to a single host, PortFast allows a port running STP to go directly from blocking to forwarding mode.

A Cisco router will give you a warning when you configure PortFast:

SW1(config)#int fast 0/5

SW1(config-if)#spanning-tree portfast

%Warning: portfast should only be enabled on ports connected to a
single host.

50). Passing Cisco’s CCNA and CCNP Exams: Traceroute
In preparation for your CCNA and CCNP exam success, you've got to learn to troubleshoot Cisco routers. And while ping is a great basic IP connectivity tool, it doesn't give you all the information you need to diagnose network connectivity issues.

Let's say you have six routers between CityA and CityB. You send a ping from A to B, and get this return:

R1#ping 172.

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