Cisco Newbie looking for some guidance

Todd BurrellTodd Burrell Senior MemberMember Posts: 280
Hello: I've looked around on this forum for some guidance, but the info looks to be old for what I am looking for. I have completed a number of Microsoft certs and I am looking to expand my experience and get my CCNA - and potentially other Cisco certs beyond that.

What I would like to know is what are the best current books, practice tests and lab setups? I have looked at the Todd Lammle book and I will probably buy it.

I'd just like some good pointers for a small lab and equipment along with any other info folks can add. I'm coming from server land so I feel like I am flying blind right now. I have a good understanding of subnetting and IPv4/IPv6 basics, but on the router/switch hardware side I am very limited right now.

Thanks in advance.


  • cvuong1984cvuong1984 Member Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hello Todd,

    I was in your shoe about 3 months ago. I would suggest, reading first, get a grasp of the protocols and theory down. Then start messing around with simulators like cisco packet tracer.

    I would also suggest Chris Bryant's CCNA text as well. Its about 25 bucks I think e-book. But it was straight forward, easy to understand.

    I just ordered Lammle's 7th edition book and hope its the same.
  • onesaintonesaint Senior Member Member Posts: 801
    Chris Bryant is good. His information is brief and to the point. Ive crossed that with the uber detailed CCNA Official Certification Guide by Wendel Odom.

    Packet tracer is a great sim put out by Cisco, GNS3 is well reputed, but I have no experience with it. For a real home lab have a look through these Odom posts starting with:
    Cisco Cert Zone: CCNA Lab Series 2011: Overview
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • j-manj-man Senior Member Member Posts: 143
    I've never read Lammle's books, only Odom's. While I've worked in the biz for a while, I'm used to the down and dirty, throw details at you kind of books. I've learned much from the Odom materials and would encourage it if you are one of those 'little details are important' types of learners.

    From what I read, it all comes down to learning styles.

    I've also got the Chris Bryant materials (and for a pretty low price) it's pretty good as well. Maybe start off with that and then make a decision.

    As far as a home lab goes.... Do a search on this forum or look in the stickies and you should get a good head start.

    Good luck!
  • alan2308alan2308 Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Both Lammle and Odom's books have previews on Google Books. It's not a lot of either, but it should be enough to gauge who's writing style you prefer. And with all the recommendations for Chris Bryant, let me also suggest CBT Nuggets. Jeremy Cioara is awesome.

    And check my post in the CCNA FAQ sticky. Everything you need for labs is right there.
  • foxhenryfoxhenry Member Banned Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi Todd, CBT Nuggets video of Jeremy Ciora is helps a lot while i was doing my CCNA..
    you download this book from Todd's a great help on sim questions..

    be sure to sharpen your subnetting skills..

  • ccnxjrccnxjr Senior Member Member Posts: 304 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Odom's writing style doesn't work for everyone, however everyone will agree that his material is a complete CCNA study resource.

    You do want to pick the a book/training series that fits your personality/learning needs as a primary resource, however if you can afford a second resource, it doesn't hurt to have Odom's books on hand at least skim his chapters on the topics.

    He is still mostly human and prone to making mistakes others have noticed, however they do make corrections that are available online.
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