This article introduces you to Cisco equipment used in CCNA exam. Although CCNA exam does not test your product specific knowledge, still you need to understand the basic configuration involved in cisco device administration.
Cisco is a leading manufacturer company in routing devices.
Router is used to connect the two different networks. When it receives a data packet in its interface, it reads the destination network information and forward the data packet from its port that is associated with destination network. Router makes this decision based on its routing table and security policy. On internet routers perform traffic directing function, by directing the packet to next network on its journey. Data packet would be forwarded from one router to another router until it reaches its destination network. DSL router is an example of router that connects PC to internet.
Cisco makes router for every level, from small to enterprise. For CCNA exam we should focus on 1600, 1841, 2500, 2600 series routers.
Cisco 1600 series router
This router is best choice for home and small business. In this series Cisco makes five products.
|1601||Ethernet one, Serial one, WAN interface card slot one|
|1602||Ethernet one, Serial one (56kbps DSU/CSU integrated ), WAN interface card slot one|
|1603||Ethernet one, ISDN one ( BRI -Basic Rate Interface), WAN interface card slot one|
|1604||Ethernet one, ISDN one ( BRI -Basic Rate Interface with integrated NT1), S-bus port one ( for ISDN phone), WAN interface card slot one|
|1605||Ethernet two, WAN interface card slot one|
Cisco 1600 series route provides a complete set of features especially for small business and branch offices.
Cisco 1841 series router
Cisco 1841 router is designed for medium size branch office. It provides secure data connectivity and significant additional features. 1841 router offers integrated hardware based encryption by an optional Cisco IOS software security image. It is a modular router that means you can install any supported interface based on your requirement. It supports more than 30 existing WAN interface cards.
Cisco 2500 series router
2500 series of router are specially made to connect Ethernet or token ring networks via ISDN or serial connections. This series of router had 3 interface slots available, 2 synchronous serial interfaces and 1 ISDN port.
Cisco 2600 series router
2600 series is a modular router that extends performance by providing flexible LAN and WAN configurations, multiple security options, voice and data integration. This series of router delivers high density, enhanced security performance, and concurrent application support.
You may see following message on product page of above routers at official cisco site.
This product is no longer being sold and might not be supported.
It means that Cisco no longer sell and supports this product. For CCNA exam you need not to worry about this message, as CCNA exam does not test your product specific knowledge. In CCNA exam you are expected to know what features are available at router and switch. You are expected to recognize devices, insert interface correctly in modular port, manage the devices and use the correct cable while connecting with port. Above routers are the bases for CCNA exam. If you have another router, it is still fine, have a close look on that and understand the port which it has.
Switch is a device that connects devices together on a computer network. When it receives a frame, it checks its destination address and forwards the frame from matching port. In OSI model switch works on layer 2. Cisco makes more advance switches those works on layer 2, layer 3 and layer 4. These switches are known as multilayer switches. For CCNA exam we only need to focus on single the layer 2 switch, that is Catalyst 2960.
Cisco catalyst 2960 switch
2960 Switch provides cost effective network connectivity solution for branch office and medium size business. It has 2 uplink ports of 1 Gbps. It is available in two variants; 24 Fast Ethernet ports and 48 Fast Ethernet ports.. It is simple to configure, easy to operate and manage. It offers ACLs ( Access control lists), multicast services, IPv6 management, rate limiting and Advanced QoS.
For the practice of CCNA exam, you could buy above devices or could use simulators. Whether you purchase real equipment for practice or not I suggest you to do practice on simulators as well. CCNA exam is web based exam where you have to perform configuration related tasks on simulator.