Preparing and passing the Cisco CCNP exam is no easy task. It takes an immense amount of knowledge and discipline to obtain your Cisco CCNP certification. Most people will tell you that the Cisco CCNA exam was one of the most difficult certification exam they ever took. So you can imagine the amount of technical data Cisco crams into their four test Cisco CCNA certification and exam series.

In an effort to try to assist you in passing your Cisco CCNP exams, we have pulled together over 75 various articles covering the many CCNP topics you are sure to encounter on the Cisco certification exam. I would encourage you to take your time and review these articles to help you prepare and pass your Cisco CCNP certification exam!

CCNP Exam Objectives
Below you will find the three new CCNP exams listed along with a link detailing the objectives for each. You may note that the core exam objectives are very similar to the previous CCNP. But one nice thing is instead of four exams timed at 90 minutes each, now you only have to pass three exams(saving you exam fees) and you are provided 120 minutes for each exam. Additionally, you will see an article that covers some of the changes between the old and new objectives.
CCNP ROUTE 642-902 Exam Objectives
CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Exam Objectives
CCNP TSHOOT 642-834 Exam Objectives
CCNP ROUTE 642-902 Exam Changes

CCNP Study Labs
Below you will find three free Cisco CCNP level labs. I am sure you will definately find the IS-IS lab a challenge. These Cisco Certification labs will give you an idea of what to expect on the certification exam and the type of CCNP labs you will find even in our in our CCNA Lab Workbook.
CCNP Lab: Four Router IS-IS Lab
CCNP Basic setup of an Intrusion Detection System(IDS)
CCNP Topic: Overview of Virtual Switch Manager


OSPF Information

Probably the most important routing protocol on the CCNP exam is OSPF. This is where it gets fun. Some of these articles are long, but they are crucial to your understanding and your ability to pass your CCNP certification exam!
CCNP Concept: OSPF
Cisco® OSPF with Virtual Link & Authentication
CCNP Topic: Cisco® OSPF Database guide
Why do routes appear in the OSPF database but not in the routing table in a frame relay environment?
Why Doesn't OSPF Form Adjacency on a PRI, BRI or Dialer Interface?
CCNP Concept: OSPF Neighbor States
Initial Configurations for OSPF Over Non-Broadcast Links
How Does OSPF Generate Default Routes?
Scalable ISDN Backup Strategy for Large OSPF Networks

BGP Information

BGP is the routing protocol of the Internet! So I am sure you will find this Cisco Certification topic extremley cool! Make sure you read the case study as that will definately help cement concepts for you to help you pass your CCNP certification exam!
Cisco® BGP Technical Tips
Removing Private Autonomous System Numbers in BGP
CCNP Concept: BGP Case Studies

Switching Information
Most people think switching, how hard can that be? Well after you get done studying these advanced CCNP certification concepts for your certification exam…well, you will know! Everything from STP, switch domains and Layer 3 switching. It can get quite complicated fast. If you do not understand these exam concepts, you will not be able to design an efficient 3 network design and your network performance will definately suffer! So enjoy the CCNP Switching sections, I think you will find them very cool!
Cisco® trunking between 2948G-L3 and a Cat 2900XL
Cisco® 4000, 5000, and 6000 802.1q Encapsulation
Router Module for Catalyst 4000 Family (WS-X4232-L3)
Software Recovery on Catalyst Switches
Catalyst 5000 and Catalyst 3900 Frequently Asked Questions (Token-Ring)
Catalyst 3900 Troubleshooting
CCNP Topic: Understanding Spanning-Tree Protocol's Backbone Fast Feature
CCNP Topic: Understanding Spanning-Tree Protocol Topology Changes
Troubleshooting Spanning-Tree Protocol and Related Design Considerations
Token-Ring Switching
Recovering From Disable Port State on the CatOS Platforms
Configuring EtherChannel Switch-to-Switch Connections on Catalyst 4000, 5000, and 6000 Switches
Problems with VLAN Trunk Protocol (VTP) Pruning Over LAN Emulation
CCNP Concept: Configuring STP on Catalyst Switches
Managing Software and Configuration on Catalyst Switches
3920 Token-Ring Switching Setup


Dial Information

Yes, the dial-up concetps have been removed from the Cisco CCNP exam topics. But we decided to leave these topics on our site as many companies still use dial-up or ISDN technology as a backup solution in case their primary lines go down. So no longer a CCNP certification topic, but still a real world application.
Cisco® ISDN router testing (Dial-in to San Jose)
Configuring Client Modems to Work with Cisco® Access Servers
Async Backup with Dialer Profiles
Configuring Modem Connectivity with a Cisco® 3640 BRI
T1 PRI Troubleshooting
DNIS and Modem Pooling Using a CAS T1 Line
Multilink PPP Across Two Serial Physical-layer Async Interfaces
Async-PPP Callback between an Access Server and a PC

ATM Information
ATM concepts covered on the CCNP exam include both connection oriented and virtual circuits. ATM is cell based whereas other technoloiges such as Ethernet or IP are frame based. So this is a little bit different concept that you want to be well versed on the differences for your CCNP certification exam.
LANE Design Recommendations
CCNP Topic: Understanding VP Tunnels and VP Switching
Sample Configuration: Advanced LANE Setup – SSRP with Dual Phy
An Introduction to Circuit Emulation Services
Implementing HSRP Over LANE
Understanding the Show Lane Client Command Output
Understanding ATM Addresses with Cisco® Devices
Multiple Routed Protocols Over ATM PVCs Using VC Multiplexing
Multiple Routed Protocols Over ATM PVCs Using LLC Encapsulation
Understanding Loopback Modes on Cisco® Routers for ATM
IP to ATM traffic shaping

Sample Configuration: LANE, CES, and VBR PVCs in Shaped VP Tunnels

Multicast Routing
This CCNP technology will bring to light concepts in which you can more efficiently use your network bandwidth.
CCNP Concept: IP Multicast Troubleshooting Guide

Troubleshooting Information and Other Tools

This is a great resource for your CCNP studies. If you can actually think through the processes and understand why something is failing or not giving the desired result, well then you really understand the topic. Although not directly on any one CCNP exam, the concepts covered below are scattered through out any of the four CCNP tests.
Internetwork Troubleshooting Guide

General Routing Information
General CCNP routing concepts are covered below. Some of these articles are long, but they are crucial to your understanding and your ability to pass your CCNP certification exam!
Why Don't RIP and IGRP Support Variable-Length Subnet Mask?
Behavior of RIP and IGRP When Sending and Receiving Updates
Why Doesn't RIP or IGRP Support Discontiguous Networks?

Queueing Information

This is a short CCNP topic you are sure to see on the CCNP exam. So take a moment to review the exam topic.
CCNP Topic: Low Latency Queueing

Frame Relay Information
On the CCNA exam, Frame-Relay was introduced. On the CCNP exam, Frame-Relay is studied. So here you want to get a little more up to speed on some of the Frame-Relay concepts for your Cisco CCNP certification exam.
Frame Relay Frequently Asked Questions
CCNP Concepts: Great Frame Relay Information

Cisco® Voice Information
The Voice topics covered below are not on the core CCNP exams. But if you go down the CCVP track, you will see these topics so we decided to include these CCVP topics below.
CCVP Topic: Configuring Digital T-1 voice on Cisco® routers
CCVP Topic: Voice over IP – Per Call Bandwidth Consumption

Password Recovery Information
Although not a direct CCNP topic, we thought it would be prudent to include a we articles on how to recover or reset passwords on your Cisco routers or switches so when you get stuck in your Cisco certification lab, you can have them at your fingertips so you can get back to your CCNP studies quite quickly.
Password Recovery for all Cisco®
Catalyst Password Recovery Procedure
Password Recovery for Catalyst 2900-XL and 3500-XL
Password Recovery Procedure for the Cisco® cs500 Communication Server

Network Address Translation
Another topic that is covered on the CCNA exam, but also covered more in-depth on the CCNP exam. So we have included a few articles touching on some of the topics which people have a tendency to confuse on the CCNP exam.
NAT Order of Operation
NAT: Local and Global Definitions

Security Information
Seurity is the next big Cisco Certification in the works. This is the hot topic of the day and probaly of the decade. So we have decided to include a couple of Security topics here in our CCNP certification section along with best practices you can implement on your network.
Using RADIUS Servers with VPN 3000 Products
Cisco® VPN 3000 Concentrator Frequently Asked Questions
Benefits and Limitations of Context-Based Access Control
Cisco® PIX Firewall Manager: Frequently Asked Questions
How to Assign Privilege Levels with TACACS+ and RADIUS
Context-based Access Control: Introduction and Configuration
IPSec Between Three Routers Using Private Addresses
Security Best Practices

Bridging Information
Although this is not as poplular as it used to be nor covered heavily on the CCNP exam, bridging is still in use in some networks. So we have decided to include it here in our CCNP section.
Load Balancing

DLSW Information
Another protocol which was previously covered in more detail on the CCNP exam, and is not widely used anymore/ However it is still in use especially with older AS/400 or mainframe systems. Thus we have decided to keep the topics posted eventhough it is unlikely you will see any reference to it on your CCNP exam.
DLSW SAP/MAC filtering
Understanding Service Access Point Access Control Lists

Miscellaneous Information
This final section have various articles again, not specific to any one topic on your CCNP exam, but are many useful topics that will help bring CCNP concepts togehter and allow you to perform your network engineering duties. So feel free to browse these articles after you hit your main CCNP concepts.
Break sequences for password recovery
X.25 to TCP Translation
X.25 on the D Channel
Simple Network Management Protocol
Verifying NTP Status
Why Can't I Browse the Internet when Using a GRE Tunnel?
HSRP (Hot Standby Router Protocol)
Sample Configuration: Router to Router – Dynamic to Static IPSec with NAT
Route Selection in Cisco® Routers
Cisco® router switching methods (Fast, process, etc.)
PCMCIA Filesystem Compatibility Matrix for Cisco® routers (Which flash card can you use?)
LAT Node and Service Names
Redistributing Routing Protocols
Using the Cisco® IOS file system
Multicast Quick-Start Configuration Guide
How Does Multicast NAT Work on Cisco® Routers?
Using service tcp-keepalives to clear hung telnet sessions
Configuring X.25 PVCs
Setting a Preferred Route by Influencing EIGRP Metrics
Issues when Implementing MPOA
Local Area Mobility

We hope you found these Cisco CCNP articles helpful to your endeavor to pass your CCNP certification exam. If you have any suggestions for other CCNP exam topics, please send us your ideas via our Contact Us form as we are always looking to improve the Cisco certification content we provide for our visitors.

Author: Bob Bello