New CCNA and CCENT Products, Availability, Timing
Lots of people ask questions about the new products when the exam revises. And sometimes it’s a little tricky to navigate what’s what. This post cuts through the clutter to net out the details about what products are both here and on the way, and the short version of what they are for.
Official Cert Guides: ICND1 Now, ICND2 by Early July 2016
Everyone who studies for a Cisco exam on their own can use one central study tool to guide them. The Official Cert Guides from Cisco Press are designed to be just that. Each is a book, but also more than a book, with tons of study features. Basically, each book is intended as a learning system to help you prepare for the test.
For CCNA Routing and Switching content, the content in the ICND1 exam plus the content in the ICND2 exam is the same as the CCNA R&S exam. That is, CCNA = ICND1 + ICND2. So, we create an ICND1 and ICND2 Official Cert Guide, and also sell them as a two book library.
As for timing, the ICND1 OCG was out when the exam announced. However, it takes time to fill the channel, that is, to get the physical books shipped to the various bookseller warehouses. The ICND2 OCG is due in stock at the publisher July 5th, which means the channel will be filling throughout the middle of July. The two-book library lags about two weeks behind ICND2, because of the time to stuff the books in the boxes, so the Iibrary should be in stock mid-July.
By the way, we call these “retail” editions when comparing them to the Academic editions (see next section).
Here are some useful links:
CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide
CCNA Routing and Switching ICND2 200-105 Official Cert Guide
CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Official Cert Guide Library
In Cisco Press lingo, Library = box with more than 1 product. Save some $$ – this product is a cardboard box with the ICND1 and ICND2 Cert Guides in it, for a lot less than buying them separately.
New Books, Academic Editions
The The Academic Editions of the ICND1 and ICND2 Official Cert Guides are a different product built for use by schools. These books have identical technical content compared to the retail editions, but with a few different features that many schools request. Compared to the above (retail) editions, the Academic editions:
- Are printed in color (and they look great)
- Have a little larger page size
- Include a code to download the Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test product (a product described later in this post)
- Have a Chapter-ending summary in each chapter
- A lime green cover
Why do you care, other than if your school tells you to use the book? Well, if you like color, or if you know you will want the Premium Edition product anyway, the Academic edition may be for you. The words, examples, tables, and figures are identical between the retail product and these academic products, other than the fact that the Academic edition uses color. The Academic edition costs a little more due to the color and the inclusion of the extra product (Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test).
As for timing, these take a little longer than the retail (aka normal) edition. Basically, we make the retail editions, and then production has to repeat layout (the placement of the softcopy onto the pages so that it fits properly) because the Academic edition has a different size page.
CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-105 Official Cert Guide (Academic Edition)
CCNA Routing and Switching ICND2 200-105 Official Cert Guide (Academic Edition)
CCNA Routing and Switching 200-125 Official Cert Library (Academic Edition)
This one’s a library, so it is a cardboard box with both the ICND1 and ICND2 Academic edition in it, and for less $$ than if you bought the books separately.
Premium Edition eBooks and Practice Tests
The name is a bit of a run-on, but the products are cool. Here’s the scoop:
- You can buy eBook versions of the ICND1 and ICND2 Cert Guides from the usual booksellers like Amazon as well as Barnes and Noble.
- You can also buy eBooks directly from the publisher, and it’s a little different product.
- The publisher’s eBook products for Official Cert Guides (OCGs) have extra features beyond the book itself, so it is called “Premium”
- Most Cisco Press OCGs have a matching “Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test” product that you can only buy directly from the publisher
That begs a few questions of course. What’s premium about it? What do you get with this product that you do not get with an eBook from normal booksellers? Well, that’s easy:
- You get the eBook in several formats so you can read the book on multiple device types. The formats include Kindle (from Amazon), Nook (Barnes and Noble), and PDF.
- You get EXTRA practice test banks with more practice questions compared to what comes with the retail edition of the book, enough for a couple more unique timed practice exams.
- The PCPT testing software links to the PDF. That is, when you answer a question in PCPT, if you want to read more about the topic, there’s a link that opens the PDF to a page near that topic
Finally, the best part: If you buy the retail edition, you get a big discount on adding the Premium Edition eBook and Practice Test. There’s a cardboard insert in the DVD holder in the back of the retail book, with a big discount coupon (like 70% off usually).
As for timing, these are available at the same time as the retail book, which as of the time this post was created, ICND1 is out, and ICND2 is due early July.
Here are the products:
The updated Pearson Network Simulator products will not be out until late in 2016 per the current plan. As usual, updating the simulator takes some time to code. There is a transition plan; here are the key points:
- The “old” simulators for the old exams cover about 3/4th of the hands-on topics for the new exams, so the older Sim products are still useful for the new exam.
- You probably would not want to buy the old ones and then have to buy the new ones as well.
- Pearson (the publisher that publishes Cisco Press products) provides a free upgrade offer if you buy the sim directly from the publisher (so they know that you really did buy it). But the current Sim product from them, get the equivalent new one when the new one comes out. (That’s Pearson’s offer, not mine, so ask them for more details if their web pages are not clear.)
- Generally, there is a good discount on the old Sims during the transition as well.
So, the plan if you like the idea of the Simulator, but the ones with the new exam numbers are not listed: read the upgrade offer, make sure you are clear about the details, then buy the old sim prepared to upgrade to the new when it’s out.
The ICND1 Simulator
This simulator includes labs about the topics in the ICND1 exam alone. The older product, based on ICND1 100-101, has labs per the scope of the 100-101 exam.
Pearson ICND1 100-105 Simulator (The new Sim) (Link pending)
The ICND2 Simulator
This download-only product allows someone who bought the ICND1 simulator to upgrade to a full CCNA simulator. All these Sims use the same software base, but have different lab exercises. The CCENT/ICND1 Sim has labs for ICND1 alone, while this ICND2 Sim product adds ICND2 lab exercises.
Pearson ICND2 200-105 Simulator (The New Sim) (Link Pending)
The CCNA Simulator
All these products use the same code base. The CCNA product includes all labs for both the ICND1 and ICND2 halves of the content. That is, if you bought the ICND1 Sim, and later bought the ICND2 Sim, that’s the equivalent of buying the CCNA Sim.
Pearson CCNA 200-125 Simulator (The New Sim) (Link pending)
The CCNA Portable Command Guide
Scott Empson started this series after seeing the need for such a tool with his Cisco Networking Academy students. The result: an entire series of Portable Command Guides from Cisco Press. The idea is simple: there are lots of commands you need to know for each exam. The Portable Command Guide lists all the commands and parameters, with explanations of parameters and samples of many of the commands.
31 Days Before Your Exam…
Allan Johnson saw another need for Cisco Network Academy students, and yet another series was born. Each book in this series gives you a systematic review process to prepare for taking an exam. The process can be particularly useful if you are working through a longer self-study process, or after taking the multiple semesters of courses with the Cisco Network Academy, because the book helps you remember what you need to go back and review.
Kevin Wallace’s Complete Video Courses
Kevin Wallace, great writer and instructor, built some courses designed to help you learn the breadth of material needed for the old exams. As of this post, he’s working to complete the new version of those course. The publisher lists an upgrade plan for this product as well – buy the old for now, and upgrade to the new later.
And here are links to the pages that exist today for the old versions of the courses: