Hey! Who moved my CCNA simulations?

February 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Cisco | Leave a comment
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At Transcender, we sometimes get customer emails with a subject line that resembles the title of this blog post.  These emails come from longtime customers who want to know what happened to the simulation items that “used to be” in our CCNA practice tests. Those items haven’t appeared in our products for some time, and we’ve blogged about this topic before, but since we’ve just released updates to our CCNA products, I thought this was the perfect time to revisit the topic.

First, you need to know that there are simulation items in Cisco’s CCNA exam(s). Let me say that again a little louder:

There are simulation items in the Cisco CCNA exams!

You will definitely have to know how to use the command line to get configuration information from a device and configure devices.  But before I discuss the kinds of simulation items we include in our Transcender practice test, let’s define what is and is NOT a simulation item, and discuss how they show up on the live exam. Here’s a complete rundown of the item types you are told you may see in the CCNA exams (as per the CCNA web site): Continue Reading Hey! Who moved my CCNA simulations?…

Our Cisco CCNA Simulator is Now in the Cloud

October 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Cisco, Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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Our friends at Gambit Communications have released a cloud version of the MIMIC Virtual Lab. That means that you can now take advantage of the Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator – previously offered as a download product – at any time, from anywhere!

While our original CCNA Simulator product was successful in helping many of you prepare for the CCNA certification exam(s), the difficulties and limitations of the installation process and hardware requirements did not go unnoticed. So we’ve once again partnered with Gambit Communications to bring you an online CCNA lab. As before, our version of this product is unique in that it is paired with our own exam-focused set of scnenarios to provide the best real-world practice for preparing to take a CCNA exam.

The new CCNA Lab in Cloud product addresses all the previous Simulator product’s limitations regarding operating systems, single-machine install, license & activation issues – you know, like those times when you re-build your machine and weren’t allowed to re-install the Simulator. Unfortunately, these were issues beyond our control that were inherent in the original Gambit product offering, but with the new CCNA Lab in Cloud offering, all of these issues have been addressed and solved!

So whether you’re preparing for the 640-802, 640-816, or 640-822 exam, be sure to check out the CCNA Virtual Lab in Cloud product to help you in your study efforts.

Transcender’s fall sale – 48 hours only!

September 15, 2009 at 10:23 am | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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Today and tomorrow only you can shop our lowest prices of the year on almost every product we offer. Selected practice tests, e-Learning courses, virtual labs, and study guides are on sale in all formats – download, online access, and CD-ROM – so you can pick the product that works best for your work flow.

This sale includes the Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator, which is sold through the 640-802, 640-816, and 640-822 exams. Since the simulator is regularly priced at $199, this is a great deal (and considerably cheaper than buying actual routers and switches for a home lab). Continue Reading Transcender’s fall sale – 48 hours only!…

Finally! A product to help me practice for the Cisco CCNA without buying routers and switches!

March 24, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Cisco | 4 Comments
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One of the biggest challenges for Cisco newbies (and sometimes not-so-newbies) who are preparing for the CCNA exams (640-822, 640-816, or 640-802), even those who take a class, is preparing for the simulation items on the exam. When I first decided many years ago to expand my knowledge from Microsoft and CompTIA to to the Cisco world, my only option was to scour eBay for some used routers and switches and the required accessories, such as console cables and v.35 cables. This cost me thousands of dollars, even second-hand.

At the time, you could buy so-called “simulators” to practice on, but they were programmed to do a limited number of things and that was all you could do with them. If you wanted to color outside of those lines, you were out of luck. There’s been some improvements to simulators introduced the past few years; there are even some that will allow you to practice whichever commands you want, and have flexible configuration abilities.

But even with a competent (and affordable!) software-based simulator, there are two real questions:

  • “Of all the hundreds of possible commands, and the thousands of possible tasks Cisco could ask me to perform on the exam, which ones should I really practice and expect to see?”
  • Moreover, “How do I know that I’m doing them correctly when I practice?”

Well… DRUMROLL PLEASE…now you can get the best of worlds in one package! We’ve rolled out the Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator and its accompanying set of scenario-based exercises. The Kaplan IT CCNA simulator is not only a fully functional network of routers and switches large enough to practice any useful scenario, it also comes with a set of exam-focused exercises and solutions that cover the tasks you will most likely see on the exam.

Best of all, you are not limited to these exercises in any way. Except for a very small set of rarely-used commands, all Cisco IOS commands are supported in the simulator. This allows you to use the simulator as a self-directed lab. Now you can finally purchase a simulator product that you can use to practice any task as you continue to go beyond the CCNA — to CCNP and onward.

The Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator network diagram

The Kaplan IT CCNA Simulator network diagram

Pictured above is the KaplanIT CCNA simulator with seven devices, all various models of switches and routers, which are pre-connected with cables and networks, including an ISDN link, WAN links, and LAN links. You can move the connections and create new cable connections, start or stop devices, configure device IP addresses, the works. The back panels of the devices are shown and you can zoom in on the back of any devices as I have done here:

Detail of the back of a router.

Whenever you want to connect to a device, you can start a console and connect in, as shown below:

Simulator console window.

Yeah, yeah, I know all of this is very cool, but the real clincher is the exercises that come with the tool. There are other simulators out there, but none with our exclusive set of twelve detailed scenarios. The scenarios are read from an attached PDF document; after you’re finished working one, you can read the step-by-step explanation of the correct steps and the commands involved.  Just as you have come to trust us to provide questions that fully prepare you for the exam, you can also rely on the exercises provided with the simulator to be exam-focused and technically relevant. I just wish this had been available when I was studying for my CCNA. I could saved a ton of money (and some space in my garage).

So when you finally decide to get serious (though you are probably at that point if you are reading this), get our practice test AND the simulator and get yourself ready for the exam!

–Troy McMillan

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