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Archive for January, 2010

CCNP Changes Coming Soon

Probably one of the worst-kept secrets in the Cisco Certification community is that the Cisco Certified Network Professional certification will soon change from the current 4 test (BSCI, BCMSN, ISCW, ONT) path to a new 3 test path.  The announcement should be coming out very soon, as Cisco has stated that it will announce the changes by the end of January 2010:

To address questions about the future of CCNP certification, Cisco would like to alert students, instructors, customers, and partners to an upcoming announcement.  At the end of January 2010, Cisco will be formally announcing a revision to the popular Cisco Certified Networking Professional curriculum and certification. It has been several years since the last revision, and changes are required to ensure the CCNP certification remains relevant to the role of enterprise networking professionals.  Even as revisions are made, Cisco is committed to giving students and professionals who have begun the CCNP certification process adequate time to adjust their study plans and complete their certification.  At the time of the announcement, the current CCNP curriculum and exams will not be immediately retired, consistent with past practice.  Details for how the new CCNP requirements will be phased in will be included in the January announcement.

Thank you for your patience as we complete the work necessary to provide a high-quality updated curriculum and certification program.  Although we cannot release further details at this time, you are welcome to contact Certification Support for other certification and training related concerns.

Best regards,

Cisco Certifications Team

A few months ago there was a PDF that was leaked onto the Internet that was sent to Cisco trainers/facilities about changes to the Cisco Academy courses for the CCNP.  That PDF seems to indicate that the new CCNP will be called CCNPv6 and will have 3 tests:

CCNP Routing
CCNP Switching
CCNP Troubleshooting

The good news is that current candidates can apply their BSCI and BCMSN credit towards the new track.  The bad news (for some candidates) is that the ONT and the ISCW exams will be discontinued.  Of course this is all rumor and Cisco does not retire exams overnight, so if you’re currently studying for the ISCW or ONT exams, this should not affect your plans.

I welcome the return of a dedicated troubleshooting exam to the CCNP track.  Prior to the current CCNP (v5?) curriculum, there was a dedicated troubleshooting exam.  That exam was supposed absorbed into the current 4 exam curriculum.  The new CCNP also lines up very well with the new CCIEv4 exam and lab.

We’ll all have to wait a bit longer for the official Cisco announcement to see how accurate this rumor turns out to be.

A Free Alternative to SecureCRT: mRemote Terminal Emulator

Since I spend a good portion of my work time working on a terminal emulator in Windows, I’ve come to appreciate the features that SecureCRT provides.  The biggest feature that I enjoy is tabbed connections.  Much like modern web browsers, SecureCRT give you the option of opening multiple terminal connections within the same window via the use of tabs.  While SecureCRT is a great program, it does require a license, which currently runs about $100.  I had searched for Window-based terminal emulators with tabbing capabilities awhile ago, but did not find anything that compared to SecureCRT – until now.

mRemote is a Windows-based application that allows you to use the very popular terminal emulator PuTTY in a tabbed environment.  Unlike SecureCRT, this application is free.

mRemote Quick Reference

mRemote Quick Reference


See my review in the following videos:

mRemote Terminal Emulator - Part 1

mRemote Terminal Emulator - Part 1

mRemote Terminal Emulator - Part 2

mRemote Terminal Emulator - Part 2

mRemote Terminal Emulator - Part 3

mRemote Terminal Emulator - Part 3


The Quick and Dirty

mRemote is an open source, terminal emulator that runs on Windows (XP and Vista). It runs on top of Putty and provides a tabbed terminal emulation experience…for free. While SecureCRT provides the same experience(and is a better option in my opinion), it costs about $100 for a license while mRemote is free. Did I mention that it’s free?

mRemote is an excellent application with a couple of flaws: it is no longer being developed and may not work with Windows 7. These limitations may make it radioactive for some Network Engineers, but the program is stable and has a few nice extra features that definitely warrant it a test drive.


Links:

SecureCRT

mRemote

mRemote download

PuTTY

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