Cisco Ccnp Preparation Library: Clsc Exam Certification Guide, Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting, Building Cisco Remote Access Networks, Acrc Exam Certification Guide

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9781578702077: Cisco Ccnp Preparation Library: Clsc Exam Certification Guide, Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting, Building Cisco Remote Access Networks, Acrc Exam Certification Guide

Cisco Systems has established levels of certifications to recognize different levels of expertise in the careers of networking professionals. Supporting Cisco's long-standing Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification are the various Cisco Career Certifications. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification is the professional-level Cisco Career Certification for network support, following the associate-level Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. CCNA has been a tremendously popular certification since its inception in May 1998, and many networking professionals who have attained CCNA certification plan to attempt CCNP certification.

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Review:

Fine for the experienced professional (or an intermediate who's willing to do his or her homework), this densely written, sometimes obtuse set delivers the goods when it comes to technical specs.

But first, dear reader, note that the name of this book set: it is the Cisco CCNP Preparation Library, not the Cisco CCNP Certification Library (which is a separate set). If you're looking for something that will help you pass the exam easily, this isn't the place for you: the text in these books requires intense study, and it isn't always forgiving when it comes to learning tough concepts. If, however, you're looking to gain a solid understanding of how to build, maintain, and troubleshoot networks the Cisco way, this is an excellent place to start. And, when you're done, you'll have the nice bonus of being within a hair's breadth of passing anyway.

You'll start off with Cisco Internetwork Troubleshooting, which teaches you the fundamentals: basic maintenance and problem-solving methodologies. Along the way, it also goes into some good ground-level detail on how the Cisco technologies work. This book is extremely good and probably the best written of the bunch, although technically speaking it's also the weakest: there are a couple of glaring technical errors, some occasional illustration glitches, and the section on switching is slightly confusing. But the topics all mesh nicely, it's packed with examples that will come in handy in the real world--and most importantly, it provides you with a skill set of troubleshooting skills that will come in handy when you're reading all of the other books.

Building Scalable Cisco Networks delves into detail on routing and switching, and makes up for some of the lingering confusion that you may still have after Internetwork Troubleshooting. Routing concepts are always a headache, requiring both visual and intellectual skills to properly process, but this book does a workman's job of walking you through the various routing protocols in easily digestible detail.

Building Cisco Remote Access Networks is technically accurate, but it's definitely the hardest slog in the entire set in that it's dense and oddly structured, and it lacks the solid flow that Internetwork Troubleshooting has. The information's all there, of course, but you'll have to ferret it out yourself, and if you're a beginner to dialups you may well find yourself wandering in the woods.

Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks is almost as good as the Internetworking Troubleshooting guide: it's thorough, thoughtful, and well written. The concepts are fairly heavyweight, of course, but upon diligent study you'll find them all coming clear.

Of course, this is a problem with all of the books. Most people will be buying them to pass an exam, but they're not written as exam-prep guides--even if some of them are official coursework. These books ladle out information in great heaping spoonfuls, but none of them tell you, for example, which of these topics are heavily tested and which are usually ignored. It could be easy to lose the signal among all of this noise--and it doesn't help that all of the end-of-chapter test questions are open-ended, essay-style quizzes as opposed to the multiple-choice monstrosities you'll find on the actual exams. This turns the nature of this set into an all-in-one exercise: either you slurp down enough information that you can successfully pass, or you don't get anything.

Some might say that's the very problem with certification exams, anyway: students cram to learn a simple set of answers and then forget everything when they're in the real world. That's not possible here, since the text lacks any sort of friendly chat--every sentence means something, and the lack of waster verbiage means that if you skim a paragraph you may miss something vital. You've got to read everything in the book.

But once you get through this sometimes-grueling set, you'll be well prepared for the real world and probably set up nicely to pass the exam too. Much like real tech work, this isn't always easy--but it does come with some nice rewards. Recommended. --William Steinmetz

From the Publisher:

Fully updated to cover the CCNP 2.0 exams released in the summer of 2000, the second edition of the Cisco CCNP Preparation Library provides you with a comprehensive foundation for the concepts addressed on each of the four current CCNP exams (Routing, Switching, Remote Access, and Support). Each book in this four volume set is derived from the officially recommended, instructor-led training classes for CCNP preparation, including BSCN, BCMSN, BCRAN, and CIT. A great starting point for your study, these books cover all you need to know to succeed on the four CCNP 2.0 exams. Developed by CCIE's and CCSI's who teach the courses on a regular basis, each title brings a wealth of consulting and classroom experience to light, helping you master complex routing, switching, remote access, and troubleshooting concepts.

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Laura Chappell; Clare Gough
Published by Cisco Systems (1999)
ISBN 10: 1578702070 ISBN 13: 9781578702077
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