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Learn and Earn: Cisco Certified Network Professional

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What's the best route to your Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert credential? (Never mind the pun.) If you've earned your CCNA, it's time to keep the momentum going and obtain your Cisco Certified Network Professional. It's back-to-school time!

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Exam 640-504 Switching

This exam will test your understanding of switched networks and the protocol and data types you'll encounter. For starters, expect questions on CGMP and how to configure the protocol. The exam objectives immediately "switch" into Cisco fundamentals. You'll need experience in describing multicasting on a switched network.

Multilayer switching is another objective that will require an in-depth understanding of layers 2, 3, and 4—and how switching relates to each. You need hands-on experience in configuring a switch to participate in each layer.

A CCNP needs to be able to define and configure spanning tree, and how to configure and improve switches that participate. You will need experience with connectivity between two devices with a switch block and enabling connectivity from clients to an access layer device.

As with most Cisco exams, expect troubleshooting. The switching exam requires knowledge of troubleshooting and the IOS command set to diagnose and troubleshoot the switched network. Other objectives include trunking and VLAN operations.

The recommended class for this exam is Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks.

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