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    CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)


      DISCLAIMER : I wrote this post just to share my OWN experience on the CCNA industrial only; informations given here may/will not work for you , so used them at your own risk and MOST IMPORTANT I WILL NOT BREAK NDA - so don't ask me to do it




      Last December (2015) i wrote a post here : https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/message/521340#521340 , few weeks after this post,i changed my mind



      January 2016 [week02 ] OK ! let's do it !!!.

      At that time :


      the constraints were :


      • The price of the training [Cisco 350 $ out of my own pocket]
      • The price of Rockwell automation training around 2500-3000 $ USD [out of my own pocket]
      • No official books , at least to my knowledge .
      • I don't have access to IE3000 series switches (buying one cost around 1500 $ USD [new] in my country )
      • I have little experience experience with AB products ( meaning : i don't work on daily basis)


      that started BAD...



      the pros :


      • I already have years of experience in Automation technologies (programming ,design and networking with others vendors: SIEMENS, OMRON, SCHNEIDER )
      • I could use my own switches to review the fundamental (c3750's)
      • I am already CCNA and ... that's all .


      So here my plan :


      • No official training ( training courses are from my own pocket)
      • There is no way , i will pay 3500 $ USD for both training
      • Only self study + my experience from others vendors + AB and Cisco documentation
      • 5 months of study and attempt the exam mid-June 2016


      and here is my own approach :



      1 ) Download the official blueprint


      2 ) Go to Try a Free Evaluation for IMINS2 now


      take notes of the information -just click on each domain and write down each sentences and look at the material available there.


      3 ) - Build my own blueprint (make your own) :


      • Read Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) Design and Implementation Guide
      • Take notes + start searching references
      • Include notes from official + demo + CPwE = final Blueprint


      4 ) Made my own "Cisco references" (add yours)


      - Cisco IE 3000 Switch Getting Started Guide

      - Cisco IE 3000 Series Switch Hardware Installation Guide

      - Cisco IE 3000 Switch Software Configuration Guide, Rel. 12.2(44)EX

      - Cisco IE 3000 Switch Command Reference, 12.2(44)EX

      - PROFINET IO enabled on Cisco Industrial Ethernet 3000 Switches

      - Ethernet-to-the-Factory 1.2 Design and Implementation Guide ...


      5 ) made my own "ODVA references" (add yours)


      - PUB00035R0_Infrastructure_Guide

      - PUB00148R0_EtherNetIP_Media_Planning_and_Installation_Manual

      - PUB00123R1_Common-Industrial_Protocol_and_Family_of_CIP_Networks

      - PUB00138R6_Tech-Series-EtherNetIP

      - PUB00269R1.1_ODVA_Securing_EtherNetIP_Networks

      - PUB00035R0_Infrastructure_Guide ...


      6 ) made my own "Rockwell automation references"(add yours)


      - Stratix 5700 Industrial Managed Ethernet Switch - Rockwell Automation                                               (enet-pp005_-en-e)

      - Stratix Managed Switches User Manual - Rockwell Automation                                                           (1783-um007_-en-p)

      - Stratix 5700 Ethernet Managed Switches                                                                                           (1783-um004_-en-p)

      - Deploying 802.11 Wireless LAN Technology Within a Converged Plantwide Ethernet Architecture            (enet-td006)

      - Deploying the Resilient Ethernet Protocol in a Converged Plantwide Ethernet System                            (enet-td005)

      - EtherNet/IP Media Planning and Installation Manual

      - Fiber Optic Infrastructure Application Guide                                                                                        (enet-td003)

      - Network Infrastructure for EtherNet/IP: Introduction and Considerations

      - Segmentation Methods Within the Cell/Area Zone                                                                               (enet-at004)

      - Embedded Switch Technology Reference Architectures                                                                       (enet-rm003_-en-p)

      - Rockwell - Enet Design Considerations for Control Systems (2007)

      - Rockwell - Fundamentals of Enet-IP Networking...


      7 ) Ciscolive (add yours) :


      -  BRKCRT-1901 - CCNA Industrial Overview (2015 San Diego)

      -  BRKRST-2661 - Industrial Networking Concepts, Design, Resilience and Security (2015 Melbourne)

      -  BRKIND-1229 - Cisco Industrial Solutions and Best Practices for Manufacturing (2013 Orlando)

      -  BRKRST-2555 - Connected Industry Architectures and Technologies (2014 Milan) ...


      8 ) Others "free" references" / website (add yours)


      - Schneider - Principles of EtherNetIP Communication

      - THE CIP NETWORKS LIBRARY (3 volumes : more than 1500 pages ! )

      - http://scadahacker.com

      - YouTube : look for Allen Bradley , rslinx ,rslogix , contrologix ,...

      - http://www.rockwellautomation.com/global/products-technologies/network-technology/architectures.page?

      - literature.rockwellautomation.com ...

      - www.odva.org/Publication-Download ...


      9 ) Rockwell automation Software's : they used to be "free download" but now you have to register to download them.


      - RSLinx® Classic Getting Results Guide

      - RSViewMEUsersManual1  (use google to find it)

      - RSViewSEUsersGuide1    (use google to find it)...


      10 ) The process i used (make your own)


      - Read all this "references" + some others (not given here)  + take a LOT of notes

      - Watch videos from Cisco live

      - Review my courses from others vendors (automation) + take a LOT of notes (matching the blueprint)

      - Use whiteboard to draw the concept and learn ie3000 specifics commands ( if you don't have access to real gear )

      - Lab on switches C3750 to review the switching fundamental (home lab)



      Feedback on the exam [week 24] (NDA).


      • It was harder than expected
      • My exam was mostly scenario-based ,Drag and Drop,...
      • The blueprint is accurate : it's a mix between R&S,wireless,security and AB products...
      • I used most of the time (120/140 min)


      Exam Passed  (first try ! )



      Final thoughts.(NDA)


      • I can't recommended Cisco and/or AB training and so i don't know if they are needed (self study)
      • I have solid foundation in automation technologies ,so i just "match or re-match" this knowledge to AB products
      • Based upon my result for the automation part (80-90%) ,i think my professional experience cover most of this domain


      If i had taken the training :

      • I would have score 100% for this domain - maybe !
      • I would have learn details on AB product [i struggled 3 times in my exam on this part ](Aka :educated guess) and save points - Maybe !
      • Were they important concepts from my point of vue , i don't think so .
      • They are some parts where real world practice is needed (you can't guest , you must have see it in action)


      Maybe the courses are about that : practice lab,access to IE3000 , AB products (in details) ,CIP protocol (in details ),... ??


      • I  truly enjoyed this 5 months preparation and the exam was for sure closed to the real world if you works or have worked on AB products; it is at least for me , one of the best CCNA experience i had - would like to see more like this ...
      • If you have at least 6 months real life experience (i really mean real life) on AB products and a Cisco CCENT , you can start at the top of this post



      If one day, Cisco and AB are willing to make a move to the CCNP LEVEL , well  I 'am in .

        • 1. Re: CCNA industrial passed ( TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL )


          • 2. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

            Congrats on passing!


            I am currently studying for this exam (required by work) and am getting more and more discouraged as I go along. I have a slight background in Controls Engineering but did not deal much with the actual controls protocols and mainly just made logic for Omron PLC's. Yours is the only post (out of the 10 or so posts on the entire internet saying anything on the topic of IMINS2) that actually talks about studying for and passing the exam.


            I would really appreciate if you could answer a few questions for me.


            How many hours a day on average would you say you studied?


            What kind of notes did you take? I'm struggling to recognize what's note worthy vs whats not in the information I'm reading. I was able to get the IMINS2 E-Learning from Cisco through my work, but it is not well made, and appears to just be a lot of copy paste from the CPwE Design and Implementation Guide and other reference materials (a lot of the time they will reference a figure but not include the figure from the reference material...). So far I'm about a third of the way through and I feel like it's all been surface level info, with no real world examples or labs whatsoever, and the after chapter challenges have been very low level, as in you can answer many of them without even reading the material.


            I just passed the CCNA R&S about 2 months ago, would I be able to consider the network side of my knowledge good enough and be able to focus more on the Controls side (CIP, Profinet), or does the IMINS2 exam require network knowledge above what the CCNA R&S requires?


            Sorry for the wall of text and mixed in complaints (frustration leaking out), any help or advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.



            • 3. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

              Hello ,  [@ Steven ,Martin - thank you]




              How many hours a day on average would you say you studied?


              It's hard to give a number but i would say around 200 hours ( more than 160 hours of reading for sure),depending on your exposure to both hardware/software (AB and IE3000/2000); usually my "ratio" is 75% reading and 25 % Practicing.


              Accessing  to Cisco IE3000 switches ,will probably be the hardest part (i had/have the same issue) , but :

              A switch is a switch whatever the vendors , fundamentals are the same

              they are others products who have "similarities" - look for Cisco Catalyst 2955 Series Switches

              they are products from others vendors who have "similarities"   (one of the top of my head: Siemens RUGGEDCOM Ethernet Layer 2 switches)

              IE switches is "just" a normal switch with hardware/industrial protocols


              NB : if you don't have access to IE switches (whatever the vendors , try to find the local chapter of The International Society of Automation in your Area/country, i am pretty confident that you will find some informations / contacts  who are willing to help you ...


              What kind of notes did you take?


              well the answer is ... it varied  (and still depend of what i am studying); for this CCNA , i used references from my first post :

              took notes on specifics commands from both AB stratix and Cisco IE switches (60 % of my notes)

              took notes on ODVA (30 % of my notes) - like many standards : little boring but very informative if you take time to dig a little [don't read them words by words]

              took notes from my personal documentation ( took some vendors training over the years)  (10% of my notes)



              how i study for Certifications (in general) :


              [ i am a huge fan of spreadsheets]


              make excel/OpenOffice sheets with the following items (for example - depending on the certifications):

              general command, purpose,relation(s) with others hardware/software,place in infrastructure ,that force me to summarize things and grasp the essential .

              learn them by heart

              they are also good for review,i wrote a basic VBA /excel program which popup randomly everyday 1 or more items (aka flash card ) ; you can find examples on google,duckduckgo,..to fit your need

              • 4. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                Hi DD,


                Thanks for the great responses so far, they have been very helpful.


                Additional questions:


                How accurate did you find the percentages in the blueprint to be (ex: CIP is 19%, IP networking is 20%, etc.)?


                Also, on other Cisco tests I've read that the test had a lot of content that was above and beyond what the blueprint specified, up into the CCNP level. Did this test have questions that were outside the scope of the blueprint. What I'm trying to determine is whether being able to answer and elaborate on all of the blueprint topics will be enough to pass the test. This is one of my major questions because there is absolutely nothing else on the internet that gives you a feel for what is required outside what Cisco itself has published. Wish there were some Boson Exsim practice tests for the Industrial test, or any practice tests for that matter .

                • 5. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                  A more technical question that's been bothering me a lot and I haven't found a definitive answer through googling:


                  Here is a direct quote from Cisco's IMINS2 E-Learning about Ethernet/IP connections:

                  "Two connection types, TCP connections and CIP connections, are layered over each other each time data is transferred. The TCP connection is the first connection established. It is used for all EtherNet/IP communication and is required for all CIP connection use. A single TCP connection supports multiple CIP connections and remains open."


                  The bold part is what's getting me, and It's repeated in the E-Learning multiple times. The E-Learning and other Ethernet/IP documents I've been reading all say that Unconnected Implicit messages use UDP. So either Cisco E-Learning is BS, or it's some kind of UDP inside TCP (which i know is nonsense). I'm leaning more towards the E-Learning being incorrect as overall it is very poorly written, edited, and organized document (it has so many references to figures and diagrams that don't exist, that I can only assume they forgot to copy paste from whatever source/whitepaper they copy pasted the majority of the info from).

                  • 6. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                    from what i understand (based on this few sentences) - ODVA references are in my first post :


                    Ethernet/IP protocol :

                    IEEE 802.3 + CIP (object model)

                    Use TCP/IP suite as base for sending and receiving CIP packet of data

                    A way data is organized in a TCP or UDP packet


                    EtherNet/IP uses two forms of messaging :

                    Unconnected messaging

                    Connected messaging


                    process of opening a connection = Connection Origination

                    node initiating the connection establishment request = Connection Originator or simply Originator.

                    node responding to the establishment request = Connection Target or simply a target


                    CIP defines two types of messaging connections :


                    Explicit messaging :

                    use TCP services

                    message are unscheduled

                    point to point (unicast)

                    help in request-response transactions between two nodes.


                    Implicit messaging :

                    use UDP/IP

                    uses the producer/consumer architecture for I/O data transfer (multicast) (! key concept)

                    unicast or multicast

                    implicit connection are time critical

                    use RPI parameters (given by originator) for data updates rate.

                    • 7. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                      So I got my company to send me to the IMINS2 Class out of state. I have a CCNA R&S and apparently the e-learning is the same exact info that you get from the 3500 in person class. I agree it was poorly done barely scratched the surface for the information that you need to pass this exam. The teacher told me very little trainers have passed and its very difficult said with my knowledge from leaving I would have to take 2 months of dedicated studying before I should attempt it.


                      I just Finished the CPwE... what of the 100 hours of reading should I go to next...

                      • 8. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                        hello Stephen ,


                        could you give us feedback of your training :

                        - how many days (and/or hours in day) ?

                        - did you have access to real hardware/software ?

                        - which one (s)?

                        - have you used other blueprint than Cisco one or documentations/slides etc...

                        - was it "just" a lecture of the course Cisco offered (elearning course)?

                        - others facts you found interesting for others ccna seekers?


                        And just for my own Curiosity (you can reply me by private message)

                        - Did your instructor was Cisco/AB certified

                        - did he/she come from networking or automation field

                        - could you send me the blueprint you used if different from Cisco?


                        I didn't take any training for the CCNA (in person or elearning) so i don't know what specific material you have learned

                        If you can give me some more informations then i could compare to my own blueprint and give you better "recommendations".

                        • 9. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                          hello Stephen ,


                          could you give us feedback of your training :

                          - how many days (and/or hours in day) ?

                               - This was the full course from the Cisco Website under recommended training then you click list of learning partners. It was a 5 day 8-5 class.

                          - did you have access to real hardware/software ?

                               - It was a training room that had lots of industrial equipment that we would sometimes reference just so you had an Idea what stuff looked like. We had real Cisco equipment that was accessed over a vpn but I was told that it was physical hardware.

                          - which one (s)?

                               - the topology was a layer 3 switch with a rep ring connecting the other's.

                          - have you used other blueprint than Cisco one or documentation's/slides etc...

                               - The reason I took the class is because there was so little information available. Only info I have are the exam topics and reference guides found online.

                          - was it "just" a lecture of the course Cisco offered (elearning course)?

                             - I found this out after I got to the class but apparently the elearning is the exact same material as the 3500 class so 350 or 3500 and  you have to travel to the class I probably spent 6 k all said and done, when I could have just signed up for the elearning.

                          - others facts you found interesting for others ccna seekers?

                          - If you pass this now you will in a group of less than 50 to have this cert.


                          And just for my own Curiosity (you can reply me by private message)

                          - Did your instructor was Cisco/AB certified

                          - did he/she come from networking or automation field

                          - could you send me the blueprint you used if different from Cisco?


                          I didn't take any training for the CCNA (in person or elearning) so i don't know what specific material you have learned

                          If you can give me some more informations then i could compare to my own blueprint and give you better "recommendations".


                          As for specific information that I learned, it was an overview didn't learn anything that isn't in the CPwE which I finished yesterday. Think I'm going to move onto the EtherNet/IP CIP reading next. !

                          • 10. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                            So you will be the number 51 ...

                            • 11. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)
                              Darby Weaver CCNP/CCDP

                              Most Excellent Study Plan and Review!




                              Darby Weaver



                              • 12. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)
                                shooteur, CCDE, CCIE

                                Thanks for the comprehensive list of study and reflection details. Someone had to be the first to take the plunge

                                • 13. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)

                                  Lots of good tips and guidance for the CCNA Industrial. I had been searching around trying to find literature, and was actually surprised CISCO had such limited resources for this certification.


                                  Would anybody recommend alternate sources of certifications for Industrial networking until Cisco gets this fix?




                                  • 14. Re: CCNA industrial passed (TOPIC NOT OFFICIAL)
                                    Rahul Sharma

                                    Congrats to pass out an exam. I am also thinking to get certification from Koenig Solutions. What do you think May i Join Koenig for CCNA.

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