Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification Turns 2: Here's what's new

Cisco has made some substantial changes to the Certified Network Associate Certification. Here's everything you need to know.

By: Cisco Press author Anthony Sequeira

Long considered one of the premier certifications in the IT industry, the Cisco Certified Network Associate and its sister certification, the Cisco Entry Networking Technician certification, have been greatly improved by Cisco Systems. All new courses and exams are now considered Version 2. This article provides a summary of key facts regarding this move and is grouped into several categorizes so the reader can use it as a guide for the most important information for them regarding these changes.

The CCENT Version 2 Certification

The new course and exam for this exciting certification are now ICND1. The new exam number is 100-101.

What did Cisco remove from the old ICND1 exam? Quite a few topics. Here is the complete list:

  • Securing the network – yes there is still information about securing your Cisco devices themselves, but Cisco removed information that was better placed in CCNA Security.
  • Understanding the challenges of shared LANs and solving these network challenges with switches – it is pretty much common knowledge these days that we do not use Layer 1 hubs to connect devices to the network today. It is the modern Layer 2 switch that fulfills this role. Cisco eliminated much about this discussion as it is now common knowledge.
  • Wireless LANs – by far the largest removal of content was a lengthy section of the course and exam on Wireless LANs (WLANs). This content is obviously more appropriate for CCNA Wireless.
  • Using Cisco SDM – Cisco has replaced the graphical user interface of the SDM for managing Cisco devices with a new tool called the Cisco Configuration Professional. The new ICND1 reflects this change finally.
  • Configuring serial encapsulation – the course is updated to discuss the latest Wide Area Network technologies and does away with legacy serial WAN configuration examples.
  • Enabling RIP – yes, that’s right, RIP is no longer taught and is replaced by the more scalable Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) dynamic routing protocol.

What is Cisco adding to the new exam? Plenty, and notice that much of it is being moved from the old ICND2 course and exam.

  • Variable Length Subnet Masking (VLSM)
  • Network Address Translation and Port Address Translation (NAT and PAT)
  • Managing traffic using Access Control Lists (ACLs)
  • Implementing VLANs and Trunks
  • Routing between VLANs
  • Implementing single area OSPF
  • Introducing basic IPv6
  • Configuring IPv6 routing

Now, while all of these changes look very exciting, you might be deep in your studies of the CCENT version 1.1 materials and you might want to just stick to that exam. Cisco understands this and will also offer the “old” exam until September 30, 2013. You can even mix and match – taking the old ICND1 and then taking the new ICND2 in order to achieve the next certification we are going to elaborate on – ICND2.

The CCNA Version 2 Certification

The new course and exam for this certification are now ICND2. The new exam number is 200-101. What did Cisco remove from the old ICND1 exam? Here is the complete list:

  • Routing between VLANs – this content was moved to ICND1.
  • Securing the expanding network – this content was omitted in favor of its inclusion in CCNA Security.
  • Variable Length Subnet Masking – this content was moved to ICND1.
  • NAT and PAT – this content was moved to ICND1.

What is Cisco adding? Here is the list:

  • Troubleshooting VLAN connectivity 
  • Understanding Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)
  • EtherChannels
  • First hop redundancy protocols such as HSRP and GLBP
  • EIGRP for IPv6
  • OSPF version 3
  • SNMP, NetFlow, and Syslogging
  • Understanding Cisco licensing

A Single Exam Option to CCNA

What if you are a very experienced networking IT person already? In fact, maybe you hold the equivalent of the CCNA, but in another network vendor’s certification program. Cisco still maintains a single exam option to CCNA. It is as follows:

  • 200-120 CCNA - Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices: Accelerated (CCNAX) v2.0

It is very exciting to see these new exams and courses debut today from Cisco Systems. As you can tell from the changes, Cisco is indeed very much interested in ensuring their certification programs keep up with the fast-moving times of computer networking.

For more information about materials for the new exams visit

Special offer: For 35% off list price use code: NWCISCOPRESS at through December 31, 2013.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10