Exam notes for CCDA Exam

Cisco Certified Design Associate

(Exam Code: 640-864)

The CCDA certification is a foundation exam for testing Cisco network design fundamentals for the small office/home office (SOHO) market. CCDA certified professionals will be able to design simple routed and switched networks involving LAN, WAN, and dial up access for small businesses. The exam is of 2 hours duration and there will be approximately 65 questions. Many questions are scenario based. Click here to visit official Cisco website to know more about this certification. CCDA is a pre-requisite for CCDP (Cisco Certified Design Professional) certification offered by Cisco Systems.

1. When designing a network, document the application characteristics. This should include present and future applications. Following are some important characteristics that need to be documented.

2. Ethernet, Token Ring, and Fiber Optic:

3. Traffic pattern:

4. Routing protocols:

5. IP, IPX are examples of routed protocols. RIP, EIGRP are examples of routing protocols.

6. Identifying information and traffic flows is part of characterizing the customer's application. The following fields can help identify the traffic flows:

7. Hierarchical layer model:

8. Cisco ConfigMaker is used for configuring networks using Cisco Switches and Cisco routers. At present, ConfigMaker can't support some high-end devices like 7000 series routers. It can be used to configure small networks of Cisco routers (800, 1000, 1600, 1700, 2500, 2600, 3600, and 4000 series), 1500 series switches, and Hubs from a single PC.

9. CiscoWorks is a suite of integrated network management tools that will help an administrator in maintenance of small to medium sized business networks.

Cisco View is a GUI based device management software application that provides dynamic status, statistics, and configuration information. Cisco View graphically displays a real time physical view of Cisco devices.

TACAC+ (Terminal Access Controller Access Control System +): provides complete network access security (NAS) for dial-in connections.

10. Configuration management refers to base lining, modifying, and tracking configuration changes of network devices.

11. Distribution layer lies in between the Core layer and Access layer. It usually deals with the following:

12. Some important port numbers to know:

13. Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) is used for selecting a standby router when one router fails. That is, HSRP allows IP workstations to continue uninterrupted communication over the internetwork even if their default router becomes unavailable.

14. The number of router hops from one edge to another edge in a network is called diameter. Limiting the diameter of an internetwork provides predictable and consistent performance and ease of troubleshooting. The network diameter is a significant parameter at Core layer.

15. Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) is a proprietary protocol supported by Cisco devices and gives information about the devices. Used for automatic discovery of Cisco networking components in a network.

16. Widely used network management tools from Cisco are:

17. ISO defines five types of network management processes. These are (remembered as FCAPS):

18. Frame Relay:

20. The catalyst 1900 series switches are equipped with 12 (1912) or 24 (1924) switched 10BaseT ports. These ports can be attached to hosts or hubs. These switches also have two 100BaseT ports. These high-speed ports can be used for attachment to Servers and backbones.

21. ISDN: The ISDN Primary Rate Interface (PRI, also known as 23B+D1) service delivers 23 B channels and one 64KBPS D channel for a total bit rate of up to 1.544 MBPS.

ISDN BRI will have 2B + 1D channels, the total bandwidth is 64X2 +16 = 144 KBPS

22. The most important design rule for 100MBPS Ethernet is that the round trip collision delay must not exceed 512 bit times, which is same as that of 10BaseT. However, a bit time in 100BaseT is 10 times smaller. Therefore, a bit time on a 100 MBPS Ethernet is 0.01 microseconds, compared to 0.1 microseconds on a 10 MBPS Ethernet. Therefore, the maximum round trip delay for a 100 MBPS Ethernet is 5.12 microseconds whereas that of 10BaseT is 51.2 microseconds.

23. Cisco switches support the following trunking protocols:

24. Class I repeaters have a latency of 0.7 microseconds and only one repeater hop is allowed.

Class II repeaters have a latency of 0.46 microseconds and one or two repeater hops are allowed.

25. Cisco Routers:

26. CiscoView can be integrated with several other network management platforms like HP OpenView, IBM NetView, CiscoWorks etc. to provide a better system to manage Cisco devices.

27. Route summarization reduces the route distribution and route-processing overhead in a network.

28. The HSSI interface on a Cisco router can support speeds up to 52 MBPS.

29. Catalyst switches:

30. Bandwidths (typical):

31. The use of traffic shaping limit the congestion due to surges in network traffic. Traffic shaping is used in ATM, Frame Relay, and other types of networks.

32. IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) is a protocol used by IP hosts to report their multicast group memberships to an adjacent multicast router.

33. LAN related protocols:

34. HDLC: Each vendor’s implementation of HDLC is unique. Cisco's HDLC uses proprietary, default encapsulation. When you are using a Cisco router with a non-Cisco router, it is recommended to use PPP or any standards based encapsulation.

35. DNS, WINS, DHCP:

36. FragmentFree switching, as the name indicates, looks for any bus activity before forwarding a frame for any possible collisions. This collision in Ethernet happens during the first 64 bytes. Therefore, the switch waits for 64 bytes time before forwarding a frame.

37. Capacity and delays:

38. VTP is a Layer 2 messaging protocol. It carries configuration information throughout a single domain. VTP operates in one of three modes:

VTP Servers can create, modify, or delete VLANs and other configuration parameters for the specified VLAN domain.

A VTP client can't create, change, or delete VLANs.

A VTP transparent mode is used when a switch is not required to participate in VTP, but only pass the information to other switches. Transparent switches don't work either as Server or clients.

Configurations made to a single switch, called VTP server, are propagated across the switch fabric under a single domain control. Other switches, configured as VTP clients, learn the configuration information from the server.

39. TCP is a full-duplex, connection-oriented protocol. It incorporates error checking as well.

UDP (User Datagram Protocol): UDP is a thin protocol. UDP is a connectionless protocol. It doesn't contact the destination before sending the packet and doesn't care whether the packet is reached at the destination. UDP uses port number 6.

The port number used by TCP is 6 and that of UDP is 17.

40. Cisco uses TFTP protocol to distribute IOS over a WAN link.

41. It is important to know the difference between a collision domain and a broadcast domain. When you use Hubs, all the nodes connected to the hub will be in the same collision domain. However, when you use switches and implement VLANs, each VLAN will be in a separate broadcast domain. The packet forwarding between VLANs is achieved through the use of routing.

42. IP routing protocols can load balance across up to six equal cost parallel links. The "maximum-paths" command can be used to change the number of links that the router will have to load-balance over IP.

42. Practice your demonstration before final demonstration to the customer.

43. Access Lists:

44. Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) 802.1d is used to prevent routing loops. In Cisco Catalyst 5000 series switches, use BDPUs (Bridge Protocol Data Units) to determine the spanning tree topology. STP uses a Tree Algorithm (STA) to prevent loops, resulting in a stable network topology.

45. IPX address consists of 32-bit network address and 48-bit host address. The network portion of the address is configured by the administrator. The host part of the address is the 48-bit MAC address on the network interface card of the node.

46. ISL, 802.1Q are the VLAN trunking protocols associated with Fast Ethernet. The VLAN trunking protocol defined by 802.10 is associated with FDDI. LANE (LAN Emulation) is associated with ATM.

47. Compression algorithms supported by Cisco IOS are:

PPP is supported by STAC, Predictor, and MPPC. Compression algorithms supported by Frame-Relay for payload compression are STAC, and FRF.9.

48. Data Link Switching (DLSw) was introduced by IBM to overcome the limitations of SRB networks. The Cisco implementation of DLSw is called DLSw+. Benefits of DLSW+ are over SRB are:

49. The permitted numbers for some important access-lists are:

The format for standard IPX access list is:

access-list {number} {permit/ deny} {source} {destination}

50. By giving the command "show ip route igrp", we ca see the routes found by igrp. A route discovered by igrp is denoted by letter "I" before start of the entry.

51. 7 steps in building a Prototype are:

52. Default administrative distances are as below:

Route Source Default Distance
Directly connect Interface 0
Static Route 1
EIGRP Summary Route 5
Internal EIGRP 90
IGRP 100
OSPF 110
RIP 120
Unknown 255

The administrative distance (metric) is used to represent the trustworthiness of the route. Lower the value, higher the trustworthiness. A value of 255 represents that the route is unreachable.

53. Private addresses are described in RFC 1918. There are one Class A network, 16 Class B networks and 255 Class C networks that belong to private address space. There are:

Class Type Start Address Stop Address
Class A 10.0.0.0 10.255.255.255
Class B 172.16.0.0 172.31.255.255
Class C 192.168.0.0 192.168.255.255

The above address range is reserved for private use.

54. Cisco IOS supports


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