The Cisco Systems certified CCNA 1.0 course (Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions) course is a 5-day course designed to give students the prerequisite knowledge needed to take and pass the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) 201-301 exam. But this test and certification are not the goal. The goal is to give network technicians the requisite knowledge of networking basics.
The CCNA v1.0 course teaches networking fundamentals so as to indoctrinate a non-networking individual into the basic terminology, logic and technology which are an everyday part of the mindset of a network professional. These technologies provide the building blocks upon which much more advanced technologies are built. If one wishes to understand these more advanced technologies, like vPC, OTV, GLBP (Gateway Load Balancing Protocol) and tunneling, one must first understand the subjects taught in this course.
Some of the many technologies taught in this course include Spanning Tree, IPv4 Subnetting, Access Lists, routing theory, OSPF (Open Shortest Path First), Layer 2 switching logic and switch behavior, Layer 3 Routing logic and routing behavior, frame and packet propagation basics, Port-channel, VLAN, network automation, network device security basics and IPV6 basics.
The CCNA v1.0 course consists of 33 modules. Cisco designed the course so that 25 modules are taught by a qualified instructor during a 5-day class and eight of the modules are intended to be learned via self-study on the part of the student. At the end of every module there is a self-test to which answers are provided.
Skyline ATS, an authorized Cisco learning partner, created the Athena continuous learning program in which those additional eight modules are taught via recordings by one of Skyline’s Cisco Certified professional instructors.
What About the Labs?
The CCNA v1.0 course also consists of over 30 lab experiments and access to a virtual laboratory environment provided by Cisco. This environment is available to the student for 60 days or 60 hours, whichever comes first. Some of the experiments are instructive in nature, which is to say they walk the student through the lab and give the student specific instructions on how to configure the various technologies referred to in the course. Other experiments seek to test the students by telling them what they want accomplished and leaving the student to use what they have learned to accomplish it. Those experiments are referred to as “FastLabs” and these do provide the answers in case the student cannot recall the specific commands the first few times they attempt the experiment.
The way the FastLabs are to be used is for the CCNA test candidate to repeat those experiments until they can do them perfectly without peeking at the answers. The thought is that these tasks, or tasks very similar to them will be exactly the type of laboratory experiments asked of them on the actual CCNA test.
The course also makes heavy use of and familiarizes the student in configuring Cisco Systems Routers and Switches via the proprietary Command Line Interface or “CLI”.
A student who takes the CCNA v1.0 course should finish with a complete understanding of how networking works at its most fundamental levels. They should be able to use the CLI on Cisco Systems Routers and Switches both to configure and observe and hence understand much of the configuration of those devices. They should also understand how traffic moves and is moved through a network.
Remember that this course covers the basics, the fundamentals, but is not an advanced course. Many of the subjects covered in this course have much greater depth and nuance but this course does not delve into things further than a certain point. Those further nuances are covered in more advanced courses like ENCOR and ENARSI. The CCNA v1.0 course is designed, at least in part, to prepare a candidate for the CCNA certification. Understanding these subjects in greater depth and nuance is part of the training required for the more advanced CCNP certification.
CCNA 1.0 Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions
ENCOR Implementing and Operating Cisco Enterprise Network Core Technologies
ENARSI Implementing Cisco Enterprise Advanced Routing and Services