Cisco is updating the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) exam to version 1.1. In the past, Cisco only did major updates to their exams. Since then, they have moved to doing more frequent and minor updates, in a more agile fashion. Before going in to the changes, let’s answer some common questions that are covered in Cisco’s FAQ:

    Why is the CCNA being updated?
    Cisco regularly performs reviews of their exams. Exams get updated to clarify exam topics, introduce new ones, and phase out outdated products and solutions.

    What is being added?
    New topics include generative AI, cloud network management, and machine learning.

    When can candidates register for CCNA v1.1?
    Registration begins on August 20, 2024.

    What if I’m already studing for CCNA v1.0?
    Complete your study and take the CCNA v1.0 exam.

    What percentage of the exam is being updated?
    Approximately 10% of the exam is updated.

    When is the last day to test for CCNA v1.0?
    The last day of testing for CCNA v1.0 is August 19, 2024.

    So what is being changed? The different domains and their percentages is not changing. The domains and their percentage remain as:

    • 1.0 Network Fundamentals – 20%
      2.0 Network Access – 20%
    • 3.0 IP Connectivity – 25%
    • 4.0 IP Services – 10%
    • 5.0 Security Fundamentals – 15%
    • 6.0 Automation and Programmability – 10%

    Let’s go into each domain to see what is actually changing.

    The first change is in 1.1 Explain the role and function of network components. 1.1.e is changing from Controllers (Cisco DNA Center and WLC) to simply Controllers. DNA Center has been renamed to Catalyst Center, but I think the change here is that the candidate should have a general understanding of controllers, not only Catalyst Center and WLC. This could for example include the Manager of Catalyst SD-WAN.

    Then, 1.7 Describe the need for private IPv4 addressing has changed to 1.7 Describe private IPv4 addressing. This is a subtle change. I think this just reflects that you should understand private IP addressing in general, not only the need for it.

    The next change is in 2.0 Network Access. Under 2.5 Interpret basic operations of Rapid PVST+ Spanning Tree Protocol, 2.5.b is changing from Port states (forwarding/blocking) to Port states and roles. There is a new topic that has been added 2.5.d Root guard, loop guard, BPDU filter, and BPDU guard. I think this is a good addition as these are features that are commonly used with STP.

    Then, 2.8 Describe AP and WLC management access connections (Telnet, SSH, HTTP, HTTPS, console, and TACACS+/RADIUS) has changed to 2.8 Describe network device management access (Telnet, SSH, HTTP, HTTPS, console, TACACS+/RADIUS, and cloud managed). Here, cloud managed would be something like Meraki, for example.

    Next, 4.5 Describe the use of syslog features including facilities and levels is changing to 4.5 Describe the use of syslog features, including facilities and severity levels. I think this is just a clarification of what levels mean in context of Syslog.

    Then, 6.4 Compare traditional campus device management with Cisco DNA Center enabled device management is changing to 6.4 Explain AI (generative and predictive) and machine learning in network operations. It is interesting that DNA Center (Catalyst Center) is being removed. Instead AI and machine learning is being added. I would recommend to watch anything with John Capobianco from Cisco to learn more about AI. He has a lot of good Cisco Live sessions and tools that you can use.

    There is also a slight change to 6.5 Describe characteristics of REST-based APIs (CRUD, HTTP verbs, and data encoding) that is now 6.5 Describe characteristics of REST-based APIs (authentication types, CRUD, HTTP verbs, and data encoding). The purpose here seems to be add that the candidate should be aware that there are different ways of authenticating towards an API.

    Finally, 6.6 Recognize the capabilities of configuration management mechanisms Puppet, Chef, and Ansible is changing to 6.6 Recognize the capabilities of configuration management mechanisms such as Ansible and Terraform. Puppet and Chef aren’t commonly used by networking people, but Ansible and Terraform are so this seems like a good edit.

    Overall, I see nothing here to be concerned about. These are minor updates. If you are already studying, you can take the 1.0. If you don’t pass it now, there’s not a lot you need to add to take 1.1. Cisco will be doing these minor updates every year. That makes the exam more relevant. Good luck with your studies!

    CCNA 200-301 Updated To Version 1.1
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