Saturday, April 2, 2016

SENSS Introduction

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Now that the the base of the lab environment is setup, it's time to really start focusing on the next certification exam that I plan to tackle which is Cisco's 300-206 SENSS. The first thing I would normally do when I begin to study for a Cisco exam is pick up a copy of the Official Certification Guide. However, with the SENSS, that's a bit of a problem as there is no OCG available and it appears that Cisco Press and resellers such as Amazon have given up hope on ever seeing a copy. I recall seeing original estimates on a January 2015 release date, but then it got pushed back farther and farther until Cisco Press no longer shows it on their site, and Amazon just says out of stock. I've heard rumblings that the book is actually off, and there is isn't even an author lined up any longer, but I can neither confirm nor deny that.

The Cisco Learning Network also does not show an OCG on it's study material page for this exam, but instead lists out a number of sources of information organized by topic. A lot of various PDFs from the Cisco site, a lot of videos I'll probably not even look into, and a lot of Cisco Press books that aren't geared towards this exam, but cover a lot of the material that's on it. A lot of these are already on my bookshelf and/or on Books 24x7, but I have to get these 4 exams knocked out within Cisco's 3 year time frame so there just isn't time to be reading 6 or 7 books for each of the exams.

Currently available to me via Books 24x7 are LAN Switch Security: What Hackers Know About Your Switches and Router Security Strategies: Securing IP Network Traffic Planes. Those two books should cover the majority of the routing and switching security topics on the exam, so I'll just need to find a good low level guide to for the ASA.  I've also got access to the Skillsoft videos both at work and through school, but I've heard that those video sets can be lacking.  It won't hurt to put on my headphones and play a video or two every day while I'm doing the 9 to 5 stuff so I will.  The Cisco SAFE Reference Guide is also recommended on several topics on CLN's sources of information so I'll read through that also.

For the hands on, I'll be using my typical hybrid lab. Most work involving routers, switches and firewalls will be done in GNS3 with IOU, while physical hardware is available to connect devices in that do not virtualize well, or at all such as wireless access points.

Let's get this exam started.  Ideally I'd like to get it done this summer while I'm between semesters at school.
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