ICND2 200-105 Exam Topics, Part 2: Big and Many New Concepts, and Other New Content
This post completes the four posts about content changes in the exam topics for the new CCNA exams. Today’s post looks at a surprising number of conceptual additions to ICND2. It also touches on what exam topics have exited ICND2 (including a big one), and a few topics that have been bumped to a config/verify/troubleshoot performance level.
With this post and others like it, I am reading the publicly posted exam topics and giving my personal opinion as to what those words mean. Note that the analysis in this and other blog posts represents my opinion of Cisco Systems’ publicly available exam topics for the old and new exams. I do not represent Cisco Systems, and these opinions are my own.
The List: New Describe Topics for ICND2 200-105
The new ICND2 200-105 exam topics list several conceptual exam topics, all that use the verb describe, as paraphrased below:
1.7.a Describe… 802.1x (was already in the books; just new to the exam topics)
1.7.b Describe DHCP snooping
3.4 Describe WAN topology options
3.5.d Describe DMVPN (Dynamic Multipoint VPN)
4.2 Describe the effects of cloud on enterprise WANs
4.3 Describe QoS concepts
5.5 Describe Network Programmability in an Enterprise network
Figure 1: New ICND2 200-105 Exam Topics with the Verb “Describe”
Polls, of Course
Also, give your opinion about your personal most and least favorite new conceptual topic in the new ICND2 exams!
Poll 7: Most Favorite New ICND2 Conceptual Subject
Poll 6: Least Favorite New ICND2 Conceptual Subject
New Topics, Small/Medium Study Effort
Of these, the exam topics about 802.1x and WAN topology options probably require the least effort.
DHCP Snooping and DMVPN should require a little more work. DHCP Snooping requires you to think about DHCP protocol flows, and to think about ways an attacker might try to take advantage of DHCP to form an attack. So you have to think outside the box a little to understand the main concepts.
DMVPN has several layers of concept and protocol. While a particularly useful and popular protocol in real networks, it is a topic for which if you read about it looking at Cisco documents, you can seemingly keep reading and reading for a while. So it can be a pretty broad single topic to learn.
New Topics, Big Effort
The QoS, Cloud, and Network Programmability topics appear to represent the largest new conceptual topics in the exam. I have relisted the related literal exam topic wording here for perspective. I will also post an upcoming post with some perspectives on each of these three topics, so I will leave more detail until that time:
4.2 Describe the effects of cloud resources on enterprise network architecture
Traffic path to internal and external cloud services
Basic virtual network infrastructure
4.3 Describe basic QoS concepts
5.5 Describe network programmability in enterprise network architecture
Function of a controller
Separation of control plane and data plane
Northbound and southbound APIs
Figure 2: The Big Three New Conceptual Topics in ICND2 (200-105)
Moved from ICND1 to ICND2
For the changes to CCNA R&S announced in May 2016, most of the changes happened in ICND2. As a result, Cisco moved few topics from ICND1 to ICND2. They moved more out of ICND2 over into ICND1. In fact, only two topics of note move from ICND1 to ICND2, and the moves are relatively minor:
- All of OSPFv2 (that is, OSPF for IPv4)
- Extended IPv4 ACLs
First, the OSPF move makes sense. Looking at the history of CCNA R&S since 2003, when Cisco introduced the idea of both a 1-exam and 2-exam path to CCNA R&S, Cisco has placed some subject areas that straddle the line between the ICND1 half and the ICND2 half of CCNA. OSPF has straddled that line for the last couple of revisions of CCNA, and now it is squarely in ICND2 only. That makes good sense given that Cisco has added RIPv2 to ICND1.
IPv4 ACLs unfortunately still straddles the line between the exams. I can understand some good reasons for keeping some IPv4 ACL content in ICND1 and some in ICND2, but I personally would have chosen to put it all in ICND1. That said, the new ICND1 exam topics specifically use the word “standard”, and not “extended”, in the exam topic for IPv4 ACLs, and the ICND2 exam topic pulls in the word “extended”. That’s the big difference.
Still in ICND2, but Higher Performance Level
Two topics – HSRP and SNMP – get an upgrade in performance level, at least in what’s literally listed in the exam topics. That means you get an upgrade in what you need to study for these topics.
In the history of the ICND1, ICND2, and CCNA R&S exams, Cisco has listed some exam topics using hands-on skill verbs like configure, verify, and troubleshoot. You can think of these three exam topics as a progression, with configuration as the first skill, verification as an additional skill, and troubleshooting as the highest skill.
Looking back to the 2013 edition of these exams, Cisco upgraded a variety of ICND2 exam topics to list the exam topics with all three verbs: configure, verify, and troubleshoot. Here in 2016, there are few of the now-old exam topics that could be upgraded to a higher performance level, because they mostly already included the troubleshoot verb.
However, there are two topics from the old ICND2 200-101 exam that used concept-focused verbs rather than CLI-focused verbs like configure, verify, and troubleshoot. The new ICND2 200-105 exam topics are (with references to the old exam topics’ verbs):
4.1 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot HSRP (the old exam’s exam topic used verb “recognize”)
5.1 Configure and verify SNMPv2/v3 (the old exam’s exam topic used verb “describe”)
Personally, I both like and dislike these changes. I like them because it clears up ambiguity, and treats these topics like most other topics. Just because of personal preference, I dislike the inclusion of SNMP, particularly SNMPv3. SNMPv3 is just a surprisingly difficult feature to configure even at a basic level. SNMPv3 in IOS definitely needs an easy button.
Gone from CCNA, and Formerly in ICND2
For ICND2, there are several removals which appear to meet the criteria to truly believe that the topic is gone from ICND2. Besides that, Cisco also confirms their removal in Cisco’s announcement material. Those topics are:
- Frame Relay (formerly listed as configure, verify, and troubleshoot)
- GLBP (formerly listed with verb recognize)
- VRRP (formerly listed with verb recognize)
Of these, Frame Relay is far and away the largest removal. (For perspective, the ICND2 200-101 Cert Guide devoted two long chapters to Frame Relay.) Of all the changes to these exams in 2016, the removal of Frame Relay is far and away the largest removal of a single topic.
The removal of GLBP and VRRP has a little less impact to your study. The old ICND2 exam listed exam topics about recognizing first-hop redundancy protocols, which include HSRP, VRRP, and GLBP. The new exam does not mention FHRP as an acronym, and does not mention VRRP nor GLBP. However, the new exam topics do list HSRP directly, but now with verbs of “configure, verify, and troubleshoot”. So at face value the changes appear to emphasize the implementation of the popular HSRP, with no mention of FHRPs as a class or protocols.
(Note: I did put the old material about VRRP and GLBP in the “Topics from Old Editions” Appendix on the DVD of the new book, in case you care to still read about it.)
Cisco also made an interesting stylistic change to some of the exam topic wording to list topics excluded from the current exam. With this new style, the exam topic lists a broad topic, and it includes a list in parenthesis, with the list beginning with the word “excluding”. In the new ICND2 200-105 exam topics, all four exam topics that mention a routing protocol list exclusions. For OSPF for both IPv4 and IPv6, the exclusion list lists “LSA”, telling us that LSAs are not included within the exam topics.
Quoting the literal ICND2 200-105 exam topics about IPv4 IGPs:
2.4 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot single area and multi-area OSPFv2 for IPv4 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub, virtual-link, and LSAs)
2.5 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot single area and multi-area OSPFv3 for IPv6 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub, virtual-link, and LSAs)
2.6 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot EIGRP for IPv4 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub)
2.7 Configure, verify, and troubleshoot EIGRP for IPv6 (excluding authentication, filtering, manual summarization, redistribution, stub)