Those of you studying for the CCIE lab exam have some great resources at your disposal. In particular, there are some excellent lab workbooks with “hands on” exercises to work through to help prepare you for that $1500 lunch with Cisco.
One thing that really annoyed me as I was working towards the CCNP certification was the lack of similar resources for the lower-level certifications. Recently, after seeing similar complaints from others on IRC and Twitter, I decided to do something about it.
I firmly believe that one needs “hands on” time with the command-line interface before even beginning to think about taking the CCNA exams. The best way to learn, in my opinion, is by doing. When I was teaching, I attempt to devote as much time as I could to “hands on” work. Reading about the concepts and theory is great, but seeing it in action really helps to solidify that knowledge.
About Free CCNA Labs
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been creating content for Free CCNA Labs, a web site which I’m hopeful will become a useful resource for those preparing for the Cisco CCNA certification. Free CCNA Labs isn’t intended to replace any existing web sites, books, other resources aimed at those working towards the CCNA. Instead, it should be viewed as an additional resource to make use of on the way to Cisco certification.
I’m not starting out at the very “beginning” (I haven’t covered subnetting, for example), but there is much content aimed at those just starting out in the world of Cisco networking. There’s general information about the CCNA exam and its costs, Cisco Academy, lab equipment, and much more.
The site is obviously far from complete but, on the technical side, I’ve already written a number of introductory-level articles and a few “do it yourself” type lab exercises. There will also be several video demonstrations and, indeed, I’ve already posted a few of them.
During a quick brainstorming session, I came up with a list of over 40 more articles to write, so you can be sure that much more quality content will be coming. VLANs, Spanning Tree Protocol, OSPF, EIGRP, and all the other topics you might find on the CCNA exam will be covered.
Although I might be slightly biased, I firmly believe that Free CCNA Labs will be (and am completely committed to ensuring that it does become) a valuable resource for those studying for the CCNA.
Yeah, Yeah, What About the Giveaway?
In an attempt to help a few people out and, of course, promote Free CCNA Labs, I’m running a giveaway for the next several days. The CCNA Giveaway page has all the details, but here’s what I’ll be giving away to the lucky winners:
- One copy of uCertify’s Cisco CCNA Prep Kit
- The winner’s choice of one of two CCNA study guides
- A total of five (IPexpert) eight-hour vRack sessions (routing & switching)
While the first two, obviously, will mainly be useful to those studying for the CCNA, the vRack sessions (which sell for $35 each) are valuable even for those working towards the CCIE. Altogether, there’s about $350 worth of “stuff” I’m giving away.
The CCNA Giveaway page tells all about the three simple ways you can enter to win any of the above. Check it out and get yourself some free stuff!
UPDATE: The contest has ended and the winners have been drawn!