Cisco Certified Network Associate

Wenura Mendis


The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is a globally recognized entry-level credential designed for IT professionals pursuing a career in network administration, support, or engineering. Offered by Cisco Systems, a leading provider of networking solutions, CCNA validates a candidate's proficiency in the fundamental skills required to design, implement, manage, and troubleshoot small to medium-sized enterprise networks.

Key Aspects of CCNA Certification:

Broad Network Knowledge:
   - CCNA covers a comprehensive range of networking topics, ensuring candidates have a well-rounded understanding of network fundamentals, protocols, services, and security.

 Hands-On Experience:
   - Emphasizing practical skills, CCNA encourages candidates to gain hands-on experience with real-world networking scenarios. This hands-on approach prepares individuals to effectively address challenges in actual networking environments.

Examining Network Technologies:
   - CCNA explores critical network technologies, including routing and switching, IP addressing, VLANs, network security, wireless networking, and network automation. This knowledge is crucial for designing and maintaining resilient and secure networks.

Adaptability and Evolving Technologies:
   - CCNA aligns with the rapidly evolving landscape of networking technologies. The curriculum includes topics related to automation and programmability, ensuring candidates are well-versed in emerging trends such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

Certification Pathways:
   - CCNA serves as a foundational step for individuals seeking advanced Cisco certifications, such as Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). It acts as a gateway for professionals to specialize in specific areas of networking.

Global Recognition:
   - With a global reputation, CCNA certification is recognized by employers worldwide. Holding CCNA demonstrates a candidate's commitment to continuous learning and professional development in the field of networking.

Career Opportunities:
   - CCNA opens doors to various career opportunities, including roles like network administrator, network engineer, technical support specialist, and system analyst. The certification enhances job prospects and empowers individuals to contribute effectively to their organization's network infrastructure.

  Exam Format
 - CCNA candidates typically undergo a rigorous exam process that assesses their theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The exam covers a diverse set of topics, challenging candidates to apply their understanding to real-world scenarios.

In conclusion, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification is an essential credential for individuals aspiring to build a successful career in the field of networking. Its comprehensive curriculum, hands-on approach, and global recognition make CCNA a valuable investment for those seeking to establish themselves as proficient and skilled network professionals.

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Network Access

  • Areas We Cover
  • Describe physical infrastructure connections of WLAN components (AP, WLC, access/trunk ports, and LAG)
  • Describe AP and WLC management access connections (Telnet, SSH, HTTP, HTTPS, console, and TACACS+/RADIUS)
  • Configure and verify Layer 2 discovery protocols (Cisco Discovery Protocol and LLDP)
  • Configure and verify (Layer 2/Layer 3) EtherChannel (LACP)
  • Configure the components of a wireless LAN access for client connectivity using GUI only such as WLAN creation, security settings, QoS profiles, and advanced WLAN settings
  • Compare Cisco Wireless Architectures and AP modes
  • Configure and verify VLANs (normal range) spanning multiple switches
  • Configure and verify interswitch connectivity
  • Describe the need for and basic operations of Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree Protocol and identify basic operations

IP Connectivity

  • Areas We Cover
  • Describe the purpose of first hop redundancy protocol
  • Configure and verify IPv4 and IPv6 static routing
  • Determine how a router makes a forwarding decision by default
  • Configure and verify single area OSPFv2
  • Interpret the components of routing table

IP Services

  • Areas We Cover
  • Describe the use of syslog features including facilities and levels
  • Explain the role of DHCP and DNS within the network
  • Explain the function of SNMP in network operations
  • Configure and verify NTP operating in a client and server mode
  • Configure network devices for remote access using SSH
  • Configure and verify DHCP client and relay
  • Configure and verify inside source NAT using static and pools
  • Explain the forwarding per-hop behavior (PHB) for QoS such as classification, marking, queuing, congestion, policing, shaping

Security Fundamentals

  • Areas We Cover
  • Describe remote access and site-to-site VPNs
  • Describe security program elements (user awareness, training, and physical access control)
  • Describe security password policies elements, such as management, complexity, and password alternatives (multifactor authentication, certificates, and biometrics)
  • Differentiate authentication, authorization, and accounting concepts
  • Define key security concepts (threats, vulnerabilities, exploits, and mitigation techniques)
  • Describe wireless security protocols (WPA, WPA2, and WPA3)
  • Configure device access control using local passwords
  • Configure and verify access control lists
  • Configure Layer 2 security features (DHCP snooping, dynamic ARP inspection, and port security)
  • Configure WLAN using WPA2 PSK using the GUI

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What is CCNA?

CCNA stands for Cisco Certified Network Associate. It is an entry-level certification offered by Cisco for network professionals. CCNA validates your ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot small to medium-sized networks.

Is it necessary to have hands-on experience for CCNA certification?

While not mandatory, hands-on experience is highly recommended. Practical experience helps reinforce theoretical knowledge and prepares you for real-world scenarios. Consider using simulation tools and working on real networking equipment if possible.

Can I take the CCNA exam online?

Yes, Cisco offers online proctored exams for the CCNA certification. This allows you to take the exam from the comfort of your home or office.

How do I prepare for the CCNA exam?

To prepare for the CCNA exam, consider taking Cisco-approved training courses, practice with hands-on labs, use official Cisco study materials, and explore online resources. Additionally, practice exams can help you assess your readiness.

How long is the CCNA certification valid?

CCNA certification is valid for three years. To maintain your certification, you can either retake the CCNA exam or pursue higher-level Cisco certifications

What topics are covered in the CCNA exam?

The CCNA exam covers a range of networking topics, including network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability.

How can CCNA certification benefit my career?

CCNA certification can enhance your career by validating your networking skills and knowledge. It opens up opportunities for roles like network administrator, network engineer, or support technician.