Exam Review: 200-310 DESGN Designing for Cisco Internetwork Solutions

December 10, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Overview: That’s right – Cisco finally refreshed the Cisco Certified Design Associate cert. Whew! Since this was my first Cisco course I created at CBT Nuggets, I have been waiting very impatiently for this day! Please note that I am writing this review on 12/10/2015, so please consider that if you are reading this post considerably after that date. Cisco has a tendency to change exam details and content periodically. Your mileage may vary 🙂

Plan and Build Still

You are given 90 minutes for this exam and you can expect about 60 questions. You will have plenty of time to finish if you know your stuff. There are no sims or simlets of any kind to slow you down.

The required passing score is a but on the high side, so please, really know your stuff! You can expect a required passing score of about 860! What happened to the days when you could pass with a grade of C? :-0 Your score report, pass or fail, will show your performance in the following five areas:

  • Design Methodologies
  • Design Objectives
  • Addressing and Routing Protocols in an Existing Network
  • Enterprise Network Design
  • Considerations for Expanding an Existing Network

Sigh. Cisco got pretty lazy on this one. Strictly multiple choice. My goodness, why not have some fun with simlets where we read a scenario and then answer questions about it. Nothing like that here. In fact, not even any simple drag and drop.

Are there issues with this exam? Yes. For many learners there will be. They are twofold – number 1, there are plenty of questions outside the scope of the official materials from Cisco, and number 2, some of the questions are of absurd detail. For example, what model of the Cisco XYZ provides PDQ. My goodness, why would anyone want to memorize such information.

Fortunately, there are enough questions that do follow the course that we can pass while best guessing the other stuff. Also, students of my Nugget course are covered since I go into painstaking detail about this weird stuff. 🙂

Here are some tips:

  • Use the blueprint as you study – while there are questions off blueprint, at least the majority track here
  • This exam is the poster child for the correct answer being the “Cisco way!”
  • There is a huge emphasis on Data Center and cloud stuff – duh!

Exam Accuracy: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Exam Difficulty: 3.5 out of 5 stars (due to high cut score)

Time Pressure: Low

Have fun studying these super important, and super interesting topics!

How Healthy is your Existing Network?

November 18, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Cisco provides us with a nice starting point for analyzing the health of our existing network as we Plan for redesigns. Check it out:

  • Ethernet segments should not feature a sustained utilization of 40% or higher
  • All Ethernet segments should be switched – no shared segments (hub-based)
  • No WAN links should feature a sustained utilization of 70% or higher
  • Response times should be generally less than 100 ms
  • LAN response times should generally be 2 ms
  • No segments should have more than one CRC (cyclic redundancy check) error per million bytes of data
  • No segments should have more than 20 percent multicast or broadcast traffic
  • For Ethernet segments, there should be less than .1 percent collisions over 5 minute intervals
  • CPU utilization should not exceed 75%
  • The number of output queue drops should not exceed 100 in an hour
  • The number of input queue drops should not exceed 50 in an hour
  • The number of buffer misses should not exceed 25 in an hour
  • The number of ignored packets should not exceed 10 in an hour

Study Existing Network Still

MicroNugget: Organizational and Technical Constraints

July 25, 2014 at 11:00 am

I’ll show you typical organizational and technical constraints that appear during most design engagements following the Cisco PPDIOO model. This tutorial relates to my Cisco CCDA 640-864 training course. Try CBT Nuggets free for 7 days.