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February 17, 2010

CCNP Curriculum Update: ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT Exams

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On January 25th Cisco introduced a major revision in their CCNP curriculum and with their certification path.

Instead of a four test requirement which has existed since its inception, the newer CCNP requires you to pass only three exams: the ROUTE, SWITCH and TSHOOT. These exams have been refocused in order to better highlight the newer technologies which are used on today’s networks.

Both the Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks (ONT) and Implementing Secure Converged Wide Area Networks (ISCW) exams will be retired on July 31, 2010. It is important to note that neither of these exams can be used towards CCNP certification past their July 31, 2010 retirement.

The Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks (BSCI), Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks (BCMSN) and the comprehensive exam which combines both BCSI and BCMSN will all be accepted for three years after their pass date.

Another difference with the new exams is that the time allotted to take them has increased to 120 minutes from 90 minutes. According to currently known information each test will cost $200 and have the same retake rules as the previous exams.

The New CCNP Curriculum

Cisco CCNP ChangesMuch of the information which is currently covered on the ISCW and ONT exams will not be covered in this iteration of the CCNP.

The CCNP troubleshooting exam is making a comeback as it was taken out a couple of years ago and existed in the original CCNP.

The ROUTE and SWITCH exams cover much of the same information with a few additional topics and greater depth of content. The TSHOOT exam takes a more in depth look at how to efficiently troubleshoot the various problems that can come up when dealing with various technologies.

The following is an outline of these new exams and how they have changed with this revision from the old.

CCNP ROUTE Exam (642-902)

Follow this color guide to find out which exam topics were carried over from the BSCI and ISCW exams and which have been added to the curriculum:

Existed in BSCI curriculum
Added to the curriculum
Added from ISCW curriculum

Implement an EIGRP based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing EIGRP on a network
  • Create an EIGRP implementation plan
  • Create an EIGRP verification plan
  • Configure EIGRP routing
  • Verify EIGRP solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of EIGRP implementation and verification

Implement a multi-area OSPF Network, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing OSPF on a network
  • Create an OSPF implementation plan
  • Create an OSPF verification plan
  • Configure OSPF routing
  • Verify OSPF solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of OSPF implementation and verification plan

Implement an eBGP based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing eBGP on a network
  • Create an eBGP implementation plan
  • Create an eBGP verification plan
  • Configure eBGP routing
  • Verify eBGP solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of eBGP implementation and verification plan

Implement an IPv6 based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing IPv6 on a network
  • Create an IPv6 implementation plan
  • Create an IPv6 verification plan
  • Configure IPv6 routing
  • Configure IPv6 interoperation with IPv4
  • Verify IPv6 solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of IPv6 implementation and verification plan

Implement an IPv4 or IPv6 based redistribution solution, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Create a redistribution implementation plan based upon the results of the redistribution analysis
  • Create a redistribution verification plan
  • Configure a redistribution solution
  • Verify that a redistribution was implemented
  • Document results of a redistribution implementation and verification plan
  • Identify the differences between implementing an IPv4 and IPv6 redistribution solution

Implement Layer 3 Path Control Solution:

  • Create a Layer 3 path control implementation plan based upon the results of the redistribution analysis
  • Create a Layer 3 path control verification plan
  • Configure Layer 3 path control
  • Verify that a Layer 3 path control was implemented
  • Document results of a Layer 3 path control implementation and verification plan
  • Implement basic teleworker and branch services
  • Describe broadband technologies
  • Configure basic broadband connections
  • Describe basic VPN technologies
  • Configure GRE
  • Describe branch access technologies

CCNP SWITCH Exam (642-813)

Follow this color guide to find out which exam topics were carried over from the BCMSN and ONT exams and which have been added to the curriculum:

Existed in BCMSN curriculum
Added to the curriculum
Added from ONT curriculum

Implement VLAN based solution, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing a VLAN based solution on a network
  • Create a VLAN based implementation plan
  • Create a VLAN based verification plan
  • Configure switch-to-switch connectivity for the VLAN based solution
  • Configure loop prevention for the VLAN based solution
  • Configure Access Ports for the VLAN based solution
  • Verify the VLAN based solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of VLAN implementation and verification

Implement a Security Extension of a Layer 2 solution, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing a Security solution
  • Create a implementation plan for the Security solution
  • Create a verification plan for the Security solution
  • Configure port security features
  • Configure general switch security features
  • Configure private VLANs Configure VACL and PACL
  • Verify the Security based solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of Security implementation and verification

Implement Switch based Layer 3 services, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing a Switch based Layer 3 solution
  • Create an implementation plan for the Switch based Layer 3 solution
  • Create a verification plan for the Switch based Layer 3 solution
  • Configure routing interfaces Configure Layer 3 Security
  • Verify the Switch based Layer 3 solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of Switch based Layer 3 implementation and verification

Prepare infrastructure to support advanced services:

  • Implement a Wireless Extension of a Layer 2 solution
  • Implement a VoIP support solution
  • Implement video support solution

Implement High Availability, given a network design and a set of requirements:

  • Determine network resources needed for implementing High Availability on a network
  • Create a High Availability implementation plan
  • Create a High Availability verification plan
  • Implement first hop redundancy protocols
  • Implement switch supervisor redundancy
  • Verify High Availability solution was implemented properly using show and debug commands
  • Document results of High Availability implementation and verification

CCNP TSHOOT Exam (642-832)

Follow this color guide to find out which exam topics were carried over from previous CCNP curricula and which are brand new additions:

Existed in previous course curricula
Added to the curriculum

Maintain and monitor network performance:

  • Develop a plan to monitor and manage a network
  • Perform network monitoring using IOS tools
  • Perform routine IOS device maintenance
  • Isolate sub-optimal internetwork operation at the correctly defined OSI Model layer

Troubleshoot Multi Protocol system networks:

  • Troubleshoot EIGRP
  • Troubleshoot OSPF
  • Troubleshoot eBGP
  • Troubleshoot routing redistribution solution
  • Troubleshoot a DHCP client and server solution
  • Troubleshoot NAT
  • Troubleshoot first hop redundancy protocols
  • Troubleshoot IPv6 routing
  • Troubleshoot IPv6 and IPv4 interoperability
  • Troubleshoot switch-to-switch connectivity for the VLAN based solution
  • Troubleshoot loop prevention for the VLAN based solution
  • Troubleshoot Access Ports for the VLAN based solution
  • Troubleshoot private VLANS
  • Troubleshoot port security
  • Troubleshoot general switch security
  • Troubleshoot VACL and PACL
  • Troubleshoot switch virtual interfaces (SVIs)
  • Troubleshoot switch supervisor redundancy
  • Troubleshoot switch support of advanced services (i.e., Wireless, VOIP and Video)
  • Troubleshoot a VoIP support solution
  • Troubleshoot a video support solution
  • Troubleshoot Layer 3 Security
  • Troubleshoot issues related to ACLs used to secure access to Cisco routers
  • Troubleshoot configuration issues related to accessing the AAA server for authentication purposes
  • Troubleshoot security issues related to IOS services (i.e.,finger, NTP, HTTP, FTP, RCP etc.)

What The CCNP Changes Mean For You

Bottom line of it is that the CCNP is changing more significantly in this update then in the last and this should be considered when choosing which path to take. But again keep in mind that if the older CCNP is taken with either the ONT or ISCW exams the certification must be complete by the end of July or you lose the ability to use these for the CCNP.

The advantage of going for the newer CCNP track is that some of the material is more in line with the true day-to-day troubleshooting duties of a networking engineer.

Cisco CCNP Webinar

Cisco is hosting two CCNP webinars on Tuesday, February 23rd — one at 8:00 am and the other at 7:00 pm PST.

Please note that registration is required. Here are the details on each of the events:

CCNP Webinar 8:00 am PST:

Topic: CCNP Webinar
Date and Time: February 23, 2010 8:00 am, Pacific Standard Time
Event number: 201 520 736
Event password: ccnp
Register here: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?d=201520736&t=a

CCNP Webinar 7:00 pm PST:

Topic: CCNP Webinar
Date and Time: February 23, 2010 7:00 pm, Pacific Standard Time
Event number: 205 935 616
Event password: ccnp
Register here: https://ciscosales.webex.com/ciscosales/onstage/g.php?d=205935616&t=a

About the Author

is an accomplished networking consultant for SR-W Consulting (http://www.sr-wconsulting.com) and writer/editor for infoDispersion (http://www.idisperse.info). Sean has been in the IT field for over 15 years, working with companies like Cisco, Lucent, Verizon and AT&T as well as several other private companies. Sean holds certifications with Cisco (CCNP/CCDP), Microsoft (MCSE) and CompTIA (A+ and Network+). His educational accomplishments include: a Master’s of Science in Information Technology with a focus in Network Architecture and Design, a Master’s of Science in Organizational Management, a Master’s Certificate in Network Security, a Bachelors of Science in Computer Networking, and an Associates of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems.

Author's Website: http://www.sr-wconsulting.com


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