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CCNP Switching Exam Cram

CCNP Switching Exam Cram

5.0 1
by Richard A. Deal
Highly effective Exam Cram study guide specifically designed to help candidates pass the CCNP Switching exam (640-504) on the first sitting. Chapters cover how to design a hierarchical switched campus network, implement VLANs and their components, perform basic switch configuration tasks, and use multicasting and multicast routing protocols. Tear-out cram sheets,


Highly effective Exam Cram study guide specifically designed to help candidates pass the CCNP Switching exam (640-504) on the first sitting. Chapters cover how to design a hierarchical switched campus network, implement VLANs and their components, perform basic switch configuration tasks, and use multicasting and multicast routing protocols. Tear-out cram sheets, memory-joggers, and sections on proven test-taking strategies, warnings on trick questions, and time-saving study tips give the candidate a decided edge come test time.

Product Details

Coriolis Group
Publication date:
Exam Cram 2 Series
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.20(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: The Campus Network

Through the evolution of computers and networking, changes are occurring at a dizzying pace. This is apparent in the roles that hubs, bridges, routers, and switches are playing in small company and large corporate networks. Today, switches are at the center of networks, performing vital tasks in allowing users to carry on with their day-to-day activities. However, this was not always so. Traditional networks posed varying problems for network administrators, and they had repeaters, bridges, and routers to help provide solutions to these problems.

Networking technology and its related equipment has become very complex. Switches have replaced bridges, and Layer 3 and Layer 4 switches are beginning to replace routers. Today's corporate networks are being designed to carry different data types, such as voice, video, and data traffic, with technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and the necessities of quality of service (QOS). So it's not too surprising that many network engineers are scratching their heads with all the solutions that vendors bring to their doorsteps. This chapter shows some of the scalability problems that your campus intranet will face when trying to meet the everincreasing demands of your business. The success of your network will be based on the type of design you implement. A hierarchical design with the correct placement of your network services will provide your campus network with successful scalability.

Traditional Campus Networks And Their Issues

A campus network, or intranet, can be described as many different things. It can be a group of interconnected LANs, the network in a building, or the networks connected between different buildings. Cisco's definition of a campus network, or intranet, is defined as a group of interconnected LANs that are in the same geographic location and maintained by one group of people. Intranets can include such LAN technologies as Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), Token Ring, and even ATM.

From the early 1980s to today, the explosive growth of local area networks has been phenomenal. Traditional LANs of the '80s and early '90s and their support and maintenance were fairly straightforward compared to today's available technology solutions. At the network administrator's disposal were varying devices, such as hubs or repeaters, bridges, and routers, to solve problems in their networks. However, each of these devices only solves certain problems and sometimes at a great cost.

Shared Medium

Initially, LANs started as a simple phenomenon: a handful of computers that were somehow interconnected. If the network administrator was using Ethernet, he might have used 10Base2 or 10Base5, thinnet or thicknet coaxial cable, and maybe some Ethernet hubs. Some of these devices might have been PCs, a file server or two, and maybe even a minicomputer. As his network grew in numbers and over a greater distance, he started facing certain problems.

Adding users to this network scheme is quite simple, but it does present problems. Because traditional network topologies, such as Ethernet, are shared environments, the more users that are placed on a segment, the less bandwidth each user will receive. The users share the bandwidth on a segment-for good or bad. Because of the demands a new user will have for resources on the network, it's sometimes hard to predict what impact this will have on a given segment of the network or on the network itself. Sometimes the network might be fast, and other times it might slow to a crawl, depending on what the users are actually doing. Because of the explosion of the Internet, it's not uncommon for users to download large text and image files, which can cause havoc even on a well-behaved network.


Besides having users on a shared medium, there are other problems that adding new users introduces. If the network consists of an Ethernet topology, more collisions will occur as more users are added, further reducing available bandwidth for their networked applications. Ethernet works under the premise of Carrier Sense, Multiple Access, Collision Detection (CSMA/CD). The "Multiple Access" part describes the shared environment of Ethernet itself-there are many stations sharing the bandwidth on a single piece of wire (or a set of wires interconnected via a hub). Since only one station can send information at a time, this is where the "Carrier Sense" part comes in. A station checks the wire to verify that no frame is currently traversing the wire before putting its own frame on the wire. Just in case two stations check the wire simultaneously and see no traffic on the wire and respectively place both of their frames on the wire, causing a collision, there is a detection mechanism built into Ethernet to verify the valid transmission of a frame. Collisions are not necessarily a bad thing-they're just a part of how Ethernet functions. However, the more users access resources on the network, the more likely that collisions will occur. Collisions become a concern when they start having an impact on the users on a segment-the network slows down, causing complaints from the users. If a Network Interface Card (NIC) card goes bad or a cabling problem occurs, inadvertent collisions occur, sometimes creating havoc for all the users on that segment.


Another problem that's equally as important as collisions is the issue of broadcasts. Most LAN operating systems such as Microsoft's Windows NT, Novell's NetWare, and Apple's AppleTalk protocols make use of broadcasts and/or multicasts to help users easily find resources on the network. Of course, the problem with this is that it further reduces the bandwidth available on a segment and has a negative impact on the performance of the computers on that segment. There are three basic types of broadcasts:

  • Unicasts
  • Local broadcasts
  • Multicasts Unicasts

    A unicast is a frame that only a specific computer will actually process. When a Layer 2 Ethernet or Token Ring frame is placed on a wire, every computer on that segment sees the frame.

    Exam Alert: With a unicast frame, the destination MAC address field has a specified computer's MAC address. Every NIC card of every computer on the segment sees it; however, only the actual destination computer's NIC card will recognize the address, send an interrupt to the CPU, and send the frame up the protocol stack for further processing.

    If the MAC address in the destination field does not match its own, the NIC card will discard the frame.

  • Meet the Author

    Richard Deal (Tampa Bay, FL) is a Certified Cisco Instructor who has been teaching Cisco LAN Switch Configuration classes for over a year. He also teaches Introduction to Cisco Router Configuration, Advanced Cisco Router Configuration, Cisco Internetworking Design, Managing Switched Internetworks, and Multiband Switch and Service Configuration. He is the owner of The Deal Group, Inc., a network consulting company based in Tampa, Florida. He has been in the networking consulting business for more than four years and has over ten years of experience in the computing industry.

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    CCNP Switching Exam Cram 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This book contains all of the information that you will need in order to pass Cisco's Switching exam, a stepping stone for your CCNP certification. As a certified Cisco instructor for over four years, I have helped many students in their struggle for certification. Besides teaching the BCMSN class, I teach the ICND, BSCN, CATM, DCN, CID, BSSC, and MSSC classes. I also bring a real-life perspective to not only my teaching, but to this book. I have been in this industry over a decade, have my own consulting company based in Orlando, FL, and have written another book on Cisco's Catalyst switches. This book will explain the fundamental ABC's of LAN switching and the tools available to you to design, implement, and configure switches in very large campus environments. All of the objectives outlined by Cisco's BCMSN class as well as other important switching topics are covered thoroughly in this book. These topics include a thorough discussion of VLANs, the Spanning Tree Protocol, routing between VLANs, Cisco's proprietary Hot Standby Routing Protocol, Multilayer Switching, multicasting, and many, many more. Besides an overview of these subjects, I explain the necessary configuration commands to implement these features in your campus network. You will be presented with detailed configuration examples as well as many example test questions following each chapter, reinforcing the material that you covered. To assist you in your studies, each question has not only a detailed explanation of why a specific answer is correct, but also explains why the other answers are incorrect. When preparing for the test, it is not only important to know why a specific answer is correct, but why the remaining answers are incorrect: I have found that by providing readers and students this type of tool, it greatly facilitates their learning and definitely enhances their test-taking skills. The last two chapters contain a sample test along with answers and explanations for each correct and incorrect answer. With this book and the sample questions, you will be more than prepared for tackling the Switching test. I wish you the best on the long read to achieving your CCNP and CCIE. Richard Deal