Strategies for Exam Preparation

The strategy you use to prepare for the CCNP ISCW exam might be slightly different from strategies used by other readers, mainly based on the skills, knowledge, and experience you already have obtained. For instance, if you have attended the ISCW course, you might take a different approach from that taken by someone who has learned switching via on-the-job training. The section "How to Use This Book to Pass the Exam," later in this introduction, includes various preparation strategies that are tailored to match differing reader backgrounds.

Regardless of the strategy you use or the background you have, the book is designed to help you get to the point that you can pass the exam with the least amount of time required. For instance, there is no need for you to practice or read about IP addressing and subnetting if you fully understand it already. However, many people like to make sure that they truly know a topic and thus read over material that they already know. Several book features help you gain the confidence that you know some material already and also help you know what topics you need to study more.

Although this book can be read cover to cover, it is designed to be flexible and allow you to easily move between chapters and sections of chapters to cover just the material that you need more work with. If you intend to read all chapters, the order in the book is an excellent sequence to use.

The chapters cover the following topics:

■ Chapter 1, "Describing Network Requirements"—This chapter describes the basic framework for network evolution using the Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) framework to build an Intelligent Information Network (IIN).

■ Chapter 2, "Topologies for Teleworker Connectivity"—This chapter describes connectivity and security requirements for teleworker access to a central site.

■ Chapter 3, "Using Cable to Access a Central Site"—This chapter describes cable access and the underlying technologies that make it a viable connectivity option for SOHO and teleworkers.

■ Chapter 4, "Using DSL to Access a Central Site"—This chapter describes DSL access and the underlying technologies that make it a viable connectivity option for SOHO and teleworkers.

■ Chapter 5, "Configuring DSL Access with PPPoE"—This chapter discusses the PPPoE technology and its use in SOHO and teleworker deployments.

■ Chapter 6, "Configuring DSL Access with PPPoA"—This chapter discusses the PPPoA technology and its use in SOHO and teleworker deployments.

■ Chapter 7, "Troubleshooting DSL Access"—This chapter discusses some basic DSL troubleshooting techniques specific to DSL in a SOHO or teleworker deployment.

■ Chapter 8, "The MPLS Conceptual Model"—This chapter discusses the basic switching technologies and concepts in MPLS networks.

■ Chapter 9, "MPLS Architecture"—This chapter discusses the manner in which routing and label switching take place in an MPLS network.

■ Chapter 10, "Configuring Frame Mode MPLS"—This chapter discusses the configuration of MPLS technologies on Cisco routers.

■ Chapter 11, "MPLS VPN Technologies"—This chapter describes MPLS VPN architecture and how it improves upon traditional VPN models.

■ Chapter 12, "IPsec Overview"—This chapter describes the concepts used to secure network connections today with IPsec. The various protocols and concepts are covered.

■ Chapter 13, "Site-to-Site VPN Operations"—This chapter discusses the purpose and use of site-to-site VPNs. It shows configuration of site-to-site VPNs via both the CLI and SDM.

■ Chapter 14, "GRE Tunneling over IPsec"—This chapter discusses the use of GRE over IPsec to permit dynamic routing over VPN connections. Once again, both CLI and SDM configurations are discussed.

■ Chapter 15, "IPsec High Availability Options"—This chapter discusses how failures in a network can occur and what steps can be taken to mitigate the risks of failure.

■ Chapter 16, "Configuring Cisco Easy VPN"—This chapter examines the use of the Cisco Easy VPN solution to simplify the deployment of VPN connections to remote offices.

■ Chapter 17, "Implementing the Cisco VPN Client"—This chapter discusses the installation, configuration, and use of the Cisco VPN Client for individual VPN connections.

■ Chapter 18, "Cisco Device Hardening"—This chapter discusses the various vulnerabilities that exist in network devices and explains steps to secure the devices from compromise.

■ Chapter 19, "Securing Administrative Access"—This chapter discusses the various ways to restrict administrative access to Cisco devices.

■ Chapter 20, "Using AAA to Scale Access Control"—This chapter examines how to quickly configure and maintain a system that uses AAA with either Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) or Terminal Access Controller Access Control System Plus (TACACS+) as part of its security strategy

■ Chapter 21, "Cisco IOS Threat Defense Features"—This chapter examines the advantages, concepts, and strategy behind the Cisco IOS firewall offerings, how the Cisco IOS firewall operates, and the differences between packet filters, application layer gateways (ALG), and stateful packet filters. All these concepts contribute to the overall security strategy as implemented by the administrator to create greater flexibility in access control to prevent security breaches.

■ Chapter 22, "Implementing Cisco IOS Firewalls"—This chapter explores how to quickly set up, configure, and monitor a firewall using Cisco IOS Software features in order to secure your network.

■ Chapter 23, "Implementing Cisco IDS and IPS"—This chapter discusses the concepts of both IPS and IDS systems, and how to configure the Cisco IOS IPS solution via both the CLI and SDM.

Sample test questions and the testing engine on the CD-ROM allow simulated exams for final practice.

Each of these chapters uses several features to help you make best use of your time in that chapter.

The features are as follows:

■ "Do I Know This Already?" quiz—Each chapter begins with a quiz that helps you determine the amount of time you need to spend studying that chapter. The quiz is broken into subdivisions, each of which corresponds to a section of the chapter. Following the directions at the beginning of each chapter, the "Do I Know This Already?" quiz will direct you to study all or particular parts of the chapter.

■ Foundation Topics—This is the core section of each chapter that explains the protocols, concepts, and configuration for the topics in the chapter.

■ Foundation Summary—Near the end of each chapter, this section collects the most important tables and figures from the chapter. This section is designed to help you review the key concepts in the chapter and is an excellent tool for last-minute review.

■ Q&A—These end-of-the-chapter questions, based on the topics covered in the "Foundation Topics" section, challenge your recall of the key topics covered in the chapter.

■ CD-ROM-based practice exam—The companion CD-ROM contains a large number of questions that are not included in the text of the book. You can answer these questions by using the simulated exam feature or by using the topical review feature. This is the best tool for helping you prepare for the test-taking process.

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