Where can I get labs to practice daily to prepare me for a career as a CCNA
I have my CCENT and now preparing to take my CCNA exam. I would like to do tasks on Cisco equipment that will help me gain the type of experience that employers are seeking. Does anyone know of any documentation that I can download that will give me tasks/exercises/labs that I can perform daily that will help me land the best paying job. Also I want to gain the experience now so I can start the job and appear to have years of experience. :)
When I first started out in the field, I bought a couple of routers and switches off craigslist and practiced tasks that I thought I might run into.
basic port configuration
locating a Mac address in the network
locating an IP address in the network
even though locating Mac addresses and ip addresses is very basic, you would be surprised at how many techs/customers are unable to do this.
One scenario I ran into, customer's network, which consisted of 16 sites, was extremely slow. Took a couple of minutes to pull up a web page. They called and stated that their isp said all was ok on their end. On site engineer could not find the cause on site. I came on site, looked in their monitoring software, verified the top talker on the network. Verified the Mac that was assigned to the ip of the top talker, located the switchport that connected the Mac and shut it down. I had them back up in less than 10 minutes. I wasn't very experienced, but I knew how to locate a Mac. :)
being very good at the basics is crucial in making good first impressions.
Read forums such as CSC about real world troubles
practice with packet tracer
volunteer your services to gain experience
free YouTube training materials
google ccna/network interview questions
ine.com provides training along with virtual labs, but not free.
I think that using onePK all-in-one image you're not going to "break the law", so you can try using the iosv that is inside the Cisco onePK dev-kit if you want to have something more "real" than packet tracer.
LEASE NOTE: This license is a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty free license (without the right to sublicense) to use the SDK solely for the purpose of Licensee's internal development efforts to develop applications to work in conjunction with the Cisco products referenced in the SDK and for which the SDK was provided, and for no other purpose. A separate commercial agreement is required and will be made available at a later time for the purpose of using the SDK or distributing specifically identified portions of the SDK for commercializing your onePK applications. The separate commercial agreement will be made available after General Availability.
For sure, you can use packet tracer too. is great to learn how the headers change hop by hop (l2 dest/source mac, but the ip dst/source stills the same, for example)
Hope this help, and we're here to hear (and try to solve too!) your questions :)
I have found packet tracer to be plenty sufficient for CCNA level lab simulation for both Routing and Switching.
GNS3/IOL/VIRL is preferred (as it uses actual IOS) for CCNP on up. If you want to use GNS3 you will have to legally acquire an IOS. Layer2 functionality in GNS3 is also virtually nonexistent (L2IOS isn't quite publicly available).
I can't think of any full blown workbooks for CCNA material, as the simulations are very singular when it comes to tasks. You won't really find any technology-interdependent labs.
As far as task based exercises, I would just recommend something like INE's CCNA video series and performing the tasks along with the instructor in packet tracer. This is how my Wife studied for her CCNA and it worked out really well. She just passed hers a week ago!