In recent years, Cisco has announced several updates to its certifications programs, such as the newly introduced CCNA/CCNP Cloud track, CCNA Security (IINS v3.0), etc. It all started with the announcement of CCIE Collaboration, followed by CCIE R&S v5, CCNP R&S v2.0, CCIE SP v4.0, and so on.

This time, the official confirmation has been announced from Cisco regarding an update of the entry-level certification program, CCNA Routing & Switching. This updated curriculum will be very helpful for network engineers to develop the advanced technical skill-sets to perform entry-level network administration. We already know that there are two ways to obtain CCNA Routing & Switching certification: either you have to pass the CCNA R&S exam (current exam code is 200-120) or you can go with an ICND track in which the syllabus is divided into two parts – ICND1 (current exam code 100-101) and ICND2 (current exam code 200-101), but you have to pass both exams to obtain the CCNA Routing & Switching certification. To achieve newly introduced CCNA Routing & Switching (v3.0) certification, you must pass the following exam/exams: either CCNA Routing & Switching (200-125) or ICND1 v3.0 (100-105) and ICND2 v3.0 (200-105)

The last date to take the current CCNA Routing & Switching exam (200-120) will be August 20, 2016. If you are currently preparing for the ICND exams to achieve CCNA R&S, the last date for ICND1 v2.0 (100-101) will be August 20, 2016 and you can take the ICND2 v2.0 (200-101) on or before September 24, 2016. After that, you will have to face the new CCNA Routing & Switching exam (200-125) or ICND1 v3.0 (100-105) and ICND2 v3.0 (200-105).

Benefits of upgrading to the new CCNA Routing and Switching Certification program

The CCNA Routing and Switching (v3.0) certification offers more job role-focused training as compared to previous versions; now network engineers will gain meaningful and updated networking knowledge with advance skills to configure, manage and troubleshoot LAN and WAN in a routing/switching domain.

Some newly-added technologies include:

  • EIGRP implementation for IPv6 networks
  • Multi-area OSPF (both OSPFv2 and OSPFv3)
  • Introduction to IPv6 Access Control Lists (ACLs)
  • Configuration and verification of PPP Multilink and LLDP (Link Layer Discover Protocol)
  • Introduction to basic Cloud services and resources
  • Basic IP SLA implementation to troubleshoot connectivity (icmp-echo) and introduction to SPAN

Along with the above-listed technologies, Cisco has also introduced some highly advanced technologies to the CCNA R&S v3.0 (I am very much surprised and grateful to Cisco for introducing advanced technologies such as BGP, QoS and VPN in an entry-level certification program). Now, CCNA R&S v3.0 candidates will also be able to get an introduction to the following advanced technologies:

  • Introduction to VPN technologies such as site-to-site VPN, Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN), and client VPN
  • Basic implementation of BGP peering and route advertisement
  • Introduction to Quality of Service (QoS) concepts.

Cisco not only added new technologies to CCNA R&S v3.0, they have also said goodbye to some technologies. For now, technologies like VRRP, GLBP, Troubleshooting Frame Relay and layer 1 issues, etc. will not be a part of CCNA R&S, so if you are starting the preparation for CCNA R&S v3.0, you can skip the above listed technologies.

 

Topic breakdown for ICND1 v3.0 and ICND2 v3.0

CCNA1

A detailed description of topics can be checked at following links:

For CCNA R&S v3.0 (200-125)

https://learningcontent.cisco.com/cln_storage/text/cln/marketing/exam-topics/200-125-ccna-v2.pdf

For ICND v3.0 (ICND1 100-105 and ICND2 200-105)

https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccna/icnd1/exam-topics

https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccna/icnd2/exam-topics

Required Exams and Recommended Training for CCNA Routing and Switching v3.0

If you want to start your career in Network Engineering, the CCNA R&S will be the very first step. A candidates must pass either the single CCNA exam or two ICND exams to achieve CCNA Routing & Switching certification. The following table shows you the old as well as the new exam/exams.

CCNA2

FAQs for CCNA Routing and Switching v3.0:

Q: What are the major changes in the new CCNA Routing and Switching v3.0 (or ICNDv3.0) certification?
A: The CCNA R&S v3.0 (or ICNDv3.0) covers a variety of advanced network communication technologies, such as IPv6 EIGRP, Multi-area OSPFv2 & OSPFv3, LLDP, PPP Multilink, introduction to Cloud services, DHCP Snooping, and IP SLA. The most important parts of this revision, however, are the introduction of VPN technologies (site-to-site VPN, Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN), and client VPN), implementation of BGP peering and route advertisement, introduction to Quality of Service (QoS) concepts, etc. Cisco has also removed some topics from CCNA R&S v3.0, including VRRP, GLBP, Troubleshoot Frame Relay and layer 1 issues, etc.

Q: What exam/exams do I need to pass for achieving CCNA R&S v3.0 certification?
A: To achieve CCNA Routing & Switching v3.0 certification, a candidate will have to pass either single CCNA exam (200-125) or two ICDN v3.0 exams ICND1 v3.0 (100-105) and ICND2 v3.0 (200-105).

Q: What are the benefits to the candidates with a CCNA Routing and Switching v3.0 or ICNDv3.0 program?
A: The new CCNA Routing & Switching v3.0 enables you to perform more job roles to fulfil current business demands and technology advancements in the Routing and Switching domain. This updated curriculum helps you to understand & implement IPv6 EIGRP, Multi-Area OSPF (v2 & v3) and IPv6 Access Control List so that you can easily perform in an IPv6 infrastructure. With CCNA R&S v3.0 (ICND v3.0), you will be able get the understating of Inter-Domain routing with BGP as well as knowledge of QoS concepts. While technologies like BGP, Cloud, or QoS are not discussed in depth here, the coverage will be more than enough for an entry-level engineer.

Obtaining CCNA R&S v3.0 certification ensures that a candidate’s knowledge is more aligned with current business technologies, and this updated curriculum is designed by Cisco experts to provide intensive hands-on practical labs and real world deployments experience for an entry-level network professional.

Q: What will be the last date to give v2.0 exams?
A: Exams codes are changing as described below:

  • Exam 200-120 (CCNAv2.0) is being replaced by 200-125 (CCNAv3.0); CCNAv2.0 will expire on August 20, 2016.
  • Exam 100-101 (ICND1 v2.0) is being replaced by 100-105 (ICND1 v3.0); ICND1 v2.0 will expire on August 20, 2016.
  • Exam 200-101 (ICND2 v2.0) is being replaced by 200-105 (ICND1 v3.0); ICND2 v2.0 will expire on September 24, 2016.

What this means: If you want to obtain current CCNA v2.0 (200-120) or ICND1 v2.0 (100-101) certification, then you must take and pass the exam before August 20, 2016, with the last date for ICNDv2.0 (200-101) being September 24, 2016.

Q: Will my current CCNA (v2.0) certification remains valid after September 24, 2016?
A: Yes, your current CCNA v2.0 will remains valid until its expiration date.

Q: What is the prerequisite to achieve CCNA R&S v3.0 certification?
A: There is no prerequisite to take the CCNA R&S v3.0 exam or ICND1 v3.0.

Q: I want to start the CCNA Routing & Switching program – should I go with v2.0 or v3.0?
A: If you want to start the CCNA Routing and Switching program, then you must prepare for the newer exams (v3.0), because the revised exams are better aligned with current job roles and you will be able to learn advanced technologies like BGP, LLDP, QoS etc.

Q: Is there any change in the validity of CCNA Routing & Switching certification?
A: The CCNA Routing & Switching v3.0 certification will be valid for three years.

Regular updates in certification curriculum with the introduction of new technologies makes for more productive candidates. That’s why I am always in favor of learning new and updated technologies to increase your competitiveness in the workforce. I am personally grateful to Cisco for this announcement, as most of the CCNA R&S candidates have to face BGP, VPN questions in their interviews and these questions are very tough for them to answer because technologies like BGP, VPN, QoS were not the part of CCNA. From now on, the CCNA Routing & Switching v3.0 exam will help them to jump over these kinds of hurdles.

I hope, you will find this article informative. If you still have some doubts or queries on CCNA R&S v3.0, you may write me in the comment section. I will try to answer your queries as quickly as possible. I also want to read your feedback and your Intense School experience in the comment section.

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References:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/exams/current-list/200-125-ccna.html

https://learningcontent.cisco.com/cln_storage/text/cln/marketing/exam-topics/200-125-ccna-v2.pdf

https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccna/icnd1/exam-topics

https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccna/icnd2/exam-topics

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/exams/current-list/icnd1b.html

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/exams/current-list/200-105-icnd2.html