A Few References for CCNA Certification

It seems as if there’s been a bit of an increase in interest in attaining CCNA, especially among colleagues within the virtualization and storage areas. (One could allege that this is further evidence of a growing trend away from highly specialized IT folk, but that’s another topic for another day.) With that in mind, I thought I might post a few networking-related references to help others in their quest. So, with that in mind, here you go.

Install GNS3 on Mac OS X Leopard (My Etherealmind)
Dynamips (My Etherealmind)
Pretty much everything on My Etherealmind
The PacketLife Community Lab
OK, pretty much everything on PacketLife.net
GNS3 on Ubuntu 8.04 – Install Guide (The Little Things)
GNS3 Documentation
Dynamips/Dynagen Tutorial
Free CCNA Workbook
Connecting your GNS3 labs to the real network (Phocean.net)

This is, of course, far from extensive, and it focuses on GNS3 since I personally feel that the only truly effective way to learn something is to be hands-on with it. Since we can’t all afford to have a rack full of switches and routers in our basement, GNS3 is (in my opinion) the next best thing.

Anyone else have any good suggestions to share with the readers? Let’s stay away from illegitimate resources like brain dumps and test keys, and focus on informative, useful, educational resources that help readers increase their networking proficiency and prepare themselves for the CCNA certification tests. Feel free to share your suggestions and ideas in the comments.

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  1. Brian Tobia’s avatar

    Great post and references Scott! While I agree with you that GNS3 is the best and most cost effective way to build out a lab, I know some still prefer hardware. Also it’s good to have hands-on experience with switches which GNS3 can’t emulate unfortunately.

    Therefore, this post and blog series from Wendell Odom has some great information on choosing home lab equipment as well as the pro’s and con’s of hardware vs. GNS3:


  2. Paul’s avatar

    Scott, That’s a fair overview for the people looking to step up to the CCNA challenge, but that aside, I’d be really interested to hear your views on the “trend away from highly specialized IT folk”.
    If you find yourself with a spare moment, please share your views!

  3. Mark Constant’s avatar

    I would recommend any book by Todd Lammle. His books for CCNA are a lot like yours for VMware. Easy books to read and understand. Both your books and his books are considered to be reference guides for newcomers.

    Also Train signal has CCNA videos. I have never used them before.

    After my VMware class in two weeks I am taking the VCP test. Then right after taking my CCNA since I have already studied and have experience with that.

  4. slowe’s avatar

    Mark, I agree–I’ve read Lammle’s stuff when I was preparing for my CCNA, and it was indeed very helpful.

    Good luck on your VCP and your CCNA!

  5. Chetan’s avatar


    References are very good and useful.

    Best of luck for your CCNA and VCP!


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