Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP, CCNA Discovery Learning Guide

Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP, CCNA Discovery Learning Guide

by Allan Reid

Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP

CCNA Discovery Learning Guide


Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP, CCNA Discovery Learning Guide is the official supplemental textbook for the Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP course in the Cisco® Networking Academy® CCNA® Discovery


Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP

CCNA Discovery Learning Guide


Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP, CCNA Discovery Learning Guide is the official supplemental textbook for the Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP course in the Cisco® Networking Academy® CCNA® Discovery curriculum version 4.1. The course, the second of four in the new curriculum, teaches networking concepts by applying them to a type of network you might encounter on the job in a small-to-medium business or ISP. After successfully completing the first two courses in the CCNA Discovery curriculum, you can choose to complete the CCENT® (Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician) certification exam, which would certify that you have developed the practical skills required for entry-level networking support positions and have an aptitude and competence for working with Cisco routers, switches, and Cisco IOS® Software.


The Learning Guide, written and edited by instructors, is designed as a portable desk reference to use anytime, anywhere to reinforce the material from the course and organize your time. In addition, the book includes expanded coverage of CCENT/CCNA exam topics.


The book’s features help you focus on important concepts to succeed in this course:

  • Chapter Objectives—Review core concepts by answering the focus questions listed at the beginning of each chapter.
  • Key Terms—Refer to the lists of networking vocabulary introduced and highlighted in context in each chapter. The Glossary defines each key term.
  • Summary of Activities and Labs—Maximize your study time with this complete list of all associated exercises at the end of each chapter.
  • Check Your Understanding—Evaluate your readiness with the end-of-chapter questions that match the style of questions you see in the online course quizzes. The answer key explains each answer.
  • Challenge Questions and Activities—Apply a deeper understanding of the concepts with these challenging end-of-chapter questions and activities. The answer key explains each answer.
  • Hands-on Labs—Master the practical, hands-on skills of the course by performing all the tasks in the course labs and additional challenge labs included in Part II of the Learning Guide.


Allan Reid is the curriculum lead for CCNA and a CCNA and CCNP® instructor at the Centennial College CATC in Toronto, Canada.


Jim Lorenz is an instructor and curriculum developer for the Cisco Networking Academy.


How To—Look for this icon to study the steps you need to learn to perform certain tasks.


Interactive Activities—Reinforce your understanding of topics with more than 30 different exercises from the online course identified through-out the book with this icon. The files for these activities are on the accompanying CD-ROM.


Packet Tracer Activities— Explore and visualize networking concepts using Packet Tracer exercises interspersed throughout most chapters. The files for these activities are on the accompanying CD-ROM. Packet Tracer v4.1 software developed by Cisco is available separately.


Hands-on Labs—Master the practical, hands-on skills of the course by working through all 42 course labs and 3 additional labs included in this book. The labs are an integral part of the CCNA Discovery curriculum; review the core text and the lab material to prepare for all your exams.


Companion CD-ROM

**See instructions within the ebook on how to get access to the files from the CD-ROM that accompanies this print book.**

The CD-ROM includes

  • Interactive Activities
  • Packet Tracer Activity Files
  • CCENT Study Guides
  • IT Career Information
  • Taking Notes
  • Lifelong Learning

Product Details

Pearson Education
Publication date:
Companion Guide
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
28 MB
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt


The Cisco Networking Academy is a comprehensive e-learning program that delivers information technology skills to students around the world. The Cisco CCNA Discovery curriculum consists of four courses that provide a comprehensive overview of networking, from fundamentals to advanced applications and services. The curriculum emphasizes real-world practical application while providing opportunities for you to gain the skills and hands-on experience needed to design, install, operate, and maintain networks in small to medium-sized businesses, as well as enterprise and Internet service provider environments. The Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP course is the second course in the curriculum.

This book is the official supplemental textbook for the second course in v4.1 of the CCNA Discovery online curriculum of the Networking Academy. As a textbook, this book provides a ready reference to explain the same networking concepts, technologies, protocols, and devices as the online curriculum. In addition, it contains all the interactive activities, Packet Tracer activities, and hands-on labs from the online curriculum as well as bonus activities.

This book emphasizes key topics, terms, and activities and provides many alternative explanations and examples as compared with the course. You can use the online curriculum as directed by your instructor and then also use this book's study tools to help solidify your understanding of all the topics. In addition, this book includes the following:

  • Expanded coverage of CCENT/CCNA exam material

  • Additional key glossary terms

  • Bonus labs

  • Additional CheckYour Understanding and Challenge questions

  • Interactive activities and Packet Tracer activities on the CD-ROM

Goals of This Book

First and foremost, by providing a fresh, complementary perspective on the online content, this book helps you learn all the required materials of the second course in the Networking Academy CCNA Discovery curriculum. As a secondary goal, individuals who do not always have Internet access can use this text as a mobile replacement for the online curriculum. In those cases, you can read the appropriate sections of this book, as directed by your instructor, and learn the topics that appear in the online curriculum. Another secondary goal of this book is to serve as your offline study material to help prepare you for the CCENT and CCNA exams.Audience for This Book

This book's main audience is anyone taking the second CCNA Discovery course of the Networking Academy curriculum. Many Networking Academies use this textbook as a required tool in the course. Other Networking Academies recommend the Learning Guides as an additional source of study and practice materials.Book Features

This book's educational features focus on supporting topic coverage, readability, and practice of the course material to facilitate your full understanding of the course material.Topic Coverage

The following features give you a thorough overview of the topics covered in each chapter so that you can make constructive use of your study time:

  • Objectives: Listed at the beginning of each chapter, the objectives reference the core concepts covered in the chapter. The objectives match the objectives stated in the corresponding chapters of the online curriculum. The question format in the Learning Guide encourages you to think about finding the answers as you read the chapter.

  • "How-to" feature: When this book covers a set of steps that you need to perform for certain tasks, the text lists the steps as a how-to list. When you are studying, this icon helps you easily find this feature as you skim through the book.

  • Notes, tips, cautions, and warnings: These are short sidebars that point out interesting facts, time-saving methods, and important safety issues.

  • Chapter summaries: At the end of each chapter is a summary of the chapter's key concepts. It provides a synopsis of the chapter and serves as a study aid.


The authors have compiled, edited, and in some cases rewritten the material so that it has a more conversational tone that follows a consistent and accessible reading level. In addition, the following features have been updated to assist your understanding of the networking vocabulary:

  • Key terms: Each chapter begins with a list of key terms, along with a page-number reference from the chapter. The terms are listed in the order in which they are explained in the chapter. This handy reference allows you to find a term, flip to the page where it appears, and see the term used in context. The glossary defines all the key terms.

  • Glossary: This book contains an all-new glossary with more than 260 computer and networking terms.


Practice makes perfect. This new Learning Guide offers you ample opportunities to put what you learn into practice. You will find the following features valuable and effective in reinforcing the instruction you receive:

  • Check Your Understanding questions and answer key: Updated review questions are presented at the end of each chapter as a self-assessment tool. These questions match the style of questions that you see in the online course. Appendix A, "Check Your Understanding and Challenge Questions Answer Key," provides answers for all the questions and explains each answer.

  • (New) Challenge questions and activities: Additional—and more challenging—review questions and activities are presented at the end of the chapters. These questions are purposefully designed to be similar to the more complex styles of questions you might see on the CCNA exam. This section might also include activities to help prepare you for the exams. Appendix A provides the answers.

  • Packet Tracer activities: Interspersed throughout the chapters you'll find many activities to perform with the Cisco Packet Tracer tool. Packet Tracer allows you to create a network, visualize how packets flow in the network, and use basic testing tools to determine whether the network would work. When you see this icon, you can use Packet Tracer with the listed file to perform a task suggested in this book. The activity files are available on this book's CD-ROM; the Packet Tracer software, however, is available through the Academy Connection website. Ask your instructor for access to Packet Tracer.

  • Interactive activities: These activities provide an interactive learning experience to reinforce the material presented in the chapter.

  • Labs: This book contains all the hands-on labs from the curriculum plus additional labs for further practice. Part I includes references to the hands-on labs, as denoted by the lab icon, and Part II of the book contains each lab in full. You may perform each lab when you see its reference in the chapter, or you can wait until you have completed the chapter.

A Word About the Packet Tracer Software and Activities

Packet Tracer is a self-paced, visual, interactive teaching and learning tool developed by Cisco. Lab activities are an important part of networking education. However, lab equipment can be a scarce resource. Packet Tracer provides a visual simulation of equipment and network processes to offset the challenge of limited equipment. You can spend as much time as you like completing standard lab exercises using Packet Tracer, and you have the option to work from home. Although Packet Tracer is not a substitute for real equipment, it allows you to practice using a command-line interface. This "e-doing" capability is a fundamental component of learning how to configure routers and switches from the command line.

Packet Tracer v4.x is available only to Cisco Networking Academies through the Academy Connection website. Ask your instructor for access to Packet Tracer.A Word About the Discovery Server CD

The CCNA Discovery series of courses is designed to provide a hands-on learning approach to networking. Many of the CCNA Discovery labs are based on Internet services. Because it is not always possible to allow students to access these services on a live network, the Discovery Server has been developed to provide them.

The Discovery Server CD is a bootable CD that transforms a regular PC into a Linux server running several preconfigured services for use with CCNA Discovery labs. Your instructor can download the CD files, burn a CD, and show you how to use the server. Hands-on labs that make use of the Discovery server are identified within the labs themselves.

After it is booted, the server provides many services to clients:

  • Domain Name System

  • Web services

  • FTP

  • TFTP

  • Telnet

  • SSH

  • DHCP

  • Streaming video

How This Book Is Organized

This book covers the major topics in the same sequence as the online curriculum for the CCNA Discovery Working at a Small-to-Medium Business or ISP course. The online curriculum has nine chapters for this course, so this book has 10 chapters with the same names and numbers as the online course chapters.

To make it easier to use this book as a companion to the course, the major topic headings in each chapter match (with just a few exceptions) the major sections of the online course chapters. However, the Learning Guide presents many topics in a slightly different order under each major heading. Additionally, the book occasionally uses different examples than the course. As a result, you get more detailed explanations, a second set of examples, and different sequences of individual topics, all to aid the learning process. This new design, based on research into the needs of the Networking Academies, helps typical students lock in their understanding of all the course topics.Chapters and Topics

Part I of this book has 10 chapters:

  • Chapter 1, "The Internet and Its Uses," discusses the Internet—how it is evolving and how businesses and individuals make use of it. The importance of the ISP and standards in the continuing growth of the Internet is emphasized. This chapter focuses on the Internet infrastructure, including POPs, IXPs, and the types of devices ISPs use to provide services.

  • Chapter 2, "Help Desk," introduces the help desk and the various roles of help desk and installation technicians. It also describes the levels of support provided by these personnel. This chapter reviews the seven layers of the OSI model as they relate to help desk support and their use in troubleshooting network issues. Common tools and diagnostic procedures used by help desk technicians are examined, as well as on-site procedures used to resolve issues.

  • Chapter 3, "Planning a Network Upgrade," emphasizes the importance of proper planning when performing a network upgrade, including the use of a site survey, and it describes the steps involved in performing one. An overview of structured cabling is provided, along with the factors you must consider when upgrading LAN and internetworking devices.

  • Chapter 4, "Planning the Addressing Structure," describes how IP addressing is implemented in the LAN and compares classful and classless networks and subnets. This chapter explains the process for subnetting a network to allow for efficient use of available IP addresses. In addition, it describes how Network Address Translation (NAT) and Port Address Translation (PAT) are used in modern-day networks.

  • Chapter 5, "Configuring Network Devices," introduces the ISR and the methods available for configuring an ISR using both in-band and out-of-band techniques. This chapter introduces SDM and IOS commands and discusses how each is used to configure a Cisco device. The purpose and relationship of the device startup configuration and the running configuration are explained. In addition, Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) is introduced. Finally, the types of WAN connections available are discussed and compared in terms of cost and speed.

  • Chapter 6, "Routing," describes the purpose and function of dynamic routing and compares the characteristics of different types of routes. The main interior gateway protocols and their key features are introduced, as is the configuration process for RIPv2 dynamic routing, using Cisco IOS. In addition, exterior gateway routing protocols, such as BGP, are introduced, as are the steps required to configure BGP.

  • Chapter 7, "ISP Services," builds on network services introduced in the first CCNA Discovery course. It describes them in greater detail as they relate to those provided by an ISP. It describes the most common application layer protocols, such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, IMAP, and POP3, as well as secure versions where they exist. This chapter also compares the UDP and TCP protocols and the types of traffic for which they are best suited. It also provides additional information on the Domain Name System (DNS) and how it functions.

  • Chapter 8, "ISP Responsibility," describes ISP security policies and procedures and the tools used in implementing security at the ISP. This chapter describes the monitoring and managing of the ISP, as well as the responsibilities of the ISP with regard to maintenance and recovery.

  • Chapter 9, "Troubleshooting," provides a review of Chapters 1 through 8, with a focus on identifying and correcting network problems using the OSI model as a basis. This chapter also provides guidance in preparing for the CCENT certification exam.

  • In Chapter 10, "Putting It All Together," you use what you have learned about computer hardware and software, wired and wireless networking components, protocols and applications, and techniques for securing a network to plan and implement a technical solution for a small business.

Part II of this book includes the labs that correspond to each chapter.

This book also includes the following:

  • Appendix A, "Check Your Understanding and Challenge Questions Answer Key," provides the answers to the Check Your Understanding questions that you find at the end of each chapter. It also includes answers for the Challenge questions and activities that conclude most chapters.

  • Appendix B, "Router Boot and Password Recovery Labs," provides several additional labs to help you learn how to control the router bootup process and troubleshoot configuration register boot problems. Password recovery procedures are also included.

  • Appendix C, "Lab Equipment Interfaces and Initial Configuration Restoration," provides a table listing the proper interface designations for various routers. Procedures are included for erasing and restoring routers and switches to clear previous configurations. In addition, the steps necessary to restore an SDM router are provided.

  • The glossary provides a compiled list of all the key terms that appear throughout this book, plus additional computer and networking terms.

About the CD-ROM

The CD-ROM included with this book provides many useful tools and information to support your education:

  • Packet Tracer activity files: These files allow you to work through the Packet Tracer activities referenced throughout the book, as indicated by the Packet Tracer activity icon.

  • Interactive activities: The CD-ROM contains the interactive activities referenced throughout the book.

  • CCENT Study Guides: Referenced throughout Chapter 9, "Troubleshooting," the six Study Guides and one Preparation Guide provide you with a method to prepare to obtain your CCENT certification by organizing your review of the topics covered on the ICND1 exam.

  • Taking Notes: This section includes a .txt file of the chapter objectives to serve as a general outline of the key topics of which you need to take note. The practice of taking clear, consistent notes is an important skill not only for learning and studying the material but also for on-the-job success. Also included in this section is "A Guide to Using a Networker's Journal." It's a PDF booklet providing important insights into the value of using a professional journal, how to organize a journal, and some best practices for what, and what not, to take note of in your journal.

  • IT Career Information: This section includes a Student Guide to applying the toolkit approach to your career development. Learn more about entering the world of information technology as a career by reading two informational chapters excerpted from The IT Career Builder's Toolkit: "Defining Yourself: Aptitudes and Desires" and "Making Yourself Indispensable."

  • Lifelong Learning in Networking: As you embark on a technology career, you will notice that it is ever-changing and evolving. This career path provides new and exciting opportunities to learn new technologies and their applications. Cisco Press is one of the key resources to plug into on your quest for knowledge. This section of the CD-ROM provides an orientation to the information available to you and gives you tips on how to tap into these resources for lifelong learning.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Meet the Author

Allan Reid is the curriculum lead and a CCNA/CCNP instructor at the Centennial College CATC in Toronto, Canada. He is a professor in the Information and Communications Engineering Technology department and is an instructor and program supervisor for the School of Continuing Education at Centennial College. He has developed and taught networking courses for both private and public organizations and has been instrumental in developing and implementing numerous certificate, diploma, and degree programs in networking. Allan also is a curriculum developer for the Cisco Networking Academy. Outside his academic responsibilities, he has been active in the computer and networking fields for more than 25 years. Currently he is a principal in a company specializing in the design, management, and security of network solutions for small and medium-sized companies. Allan authored the first edition of WAN Technologies CCNA 4 Companion Guide(Cisco Press, ISBN 1-58713-172-2) and Using a Networker’s Journal, which is a supplement to A Networker’s Journal(Cisco Press, ISBN 1-58713-158-7). Most recently, he coauthored the CCNA Discoveryonline academy courses Networking for Home and Small Businessesand Introducing Routing and Switching in the Enterprisewith Jim Lorenz.


Jim Lorenz is an instructor and curriculum developer for the Cisco Networking Academy. He has coauthored several Cisco Press titles, including Fundamentals of UNIX Companion Guide, Second Edition (ISBN 1-58713-140-4), Fundamentals of UNIX Lab Companion, Second Edition (ISBN 1-58713-139-0), and the third editions of the CCNA Lab Companions. He has more than 20 years of experience in information systems, ranging from programming and database administration to network design and project management. Jim has developed and taught computer and networking courses for numerous public and private institutions. As the Cisco academy manager at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Arizona, he was instrumental in starting the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and developed a number of certificates and degree programs. Most recently, Jim coauthored the CCNA Discoveryonline academy courses Networking for Home and Small Businessesand Introducing Routing and Switching in the Enterprisewith Allan Reid.


Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews