Announcing: CCNA Deep Dive Lab Courses, May – July 2020

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It’s time for a new round with the CCNA Deep Dive course series that we run in cooperation with O’Reilly Online Learning. I’ve had a few job roles over the years in which I’ve done a lot of teaching, but my favorite roles included teaching lab-centric courses. When the folks at Cisco Press asked me to do some live courses through their arrangement with O’Reilly Online, I knew it was a chance to do some classes that would be useful and fun to CCNA candidates – and we call then CCNA Deep Dive. It’s time for the next round, from Mid-May through early July, 2020. Check it out the details in this post!

CCNA Deep Dive Overview

O’Reilly Online Learning – also known as Safari – offers a subscription service. The service includes access to IT books (Cisco Press included), videos, and for the last few years, live training. I’ve been teaching there since 2018, and I started this new CCNA Deep Dive series in early 2020, right about the time Cisco released all their new exams.

The CCNA Deep Dive series, called CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive, exists as a series of lecture-lab courses that last four hours each. When creating the courses, I designed the content to move quickly to lab, with this strategy:

  • Teach enough about the topic so the student knows enough to begin lab.
  • Teach as much as possible through the lab exercises.

The reviews have confirmed that the lab-oriented approach has worked well – I hope you will enjoy that format, too. The graphic outlines the courses and dates in the current plan:


The series begins with a course for Cisco IOS CLI beginners, with two goals in mind: to help you learn the CLI, while also helping you learn how to use Cisco Packet Tracer (PT). The entire CCNA Deep Dive series uses PT for the lab exercises, so this first course helps you learn plenty about PT, and to master the basics of IOS CLI so that you can do the labs in the rest of the courses.

The next two Deep Dive courses use the two-day format. The first covers many of the more important LAN switching topics in CCNA, including how LAN switches work, VLANs and VLAN trunking, as well as STP/RSTP. A little later, CCNA Deep Dive returns in mid-June with a two-day course about implementing IPv4 on routers, including IPv4 addressing, static routes, and OSPF.

Note: Although not part of the CCNA Deep Dive series, you can also take the “IP Subnetting: From Beginning to Mastery” Live course at O’Reilly Online the week before the CCNA Deep Dive course about IPv4 routing.

The schedule closes with three one-day courses. One examines LAN switching security topics like DHCP Snooping and DAI, with some foundational DHCP thrown in for context. The next examines IP services, particularly NAT/PAT and NTP. The final course discusses controller-based networking, with labs about understanding JSON data formats and REST APIs.

Course Outlines and Enrollment Pages

You can learn more about each course, including a detailed outline, by clicking the links below. You can register at these same pages, assuming you have an O’Reilly Online subscription. Note that the web page for each course does not appear until 6-8 weeks before the course date, so some may not be available yet.

  1. May 13 – Cisco CLI and Packet Tracer Basics
  2. May 20-21 – Switching, VLANs, and Rapid STP
  3. June 17-18 – OSPF and Static Routing
  4. June 30 – DHCP, DHCP Snooping, and DAI
  5. July 1 – NAT and NTP
  6. July 7 – Controller-Based Networking, JSON, and REST

Not an O'Reilly Online (Safari) Member?

O’Reilly Online exists as an online learning service for the IT industry. It has huge volumes of learning content. As for networking content, it includes all the Cisco Press titles, as well as networking books from other publishers. As for certifications like CCNA, it includes live and recorded videos, as well as practice tests. If you have never checked it out, you should take a few minutes to look by clicking the button above.

If you just want to try a few of these CCNA Deep Dive courses, you can sign up for their free trial. Note that the free trial requires a credit card, so as with any site, make sure to cancel in time if you decide you do not want to keep the service! I scheduled the courses so you could take a couple for free in O’Reilly’s usual 10-day trial period, if you time your trial just right.

IP Subnetting on Safari, Too!

I’ve also been teaching a live IPv4 subnetting course for a few years at Safari/O’Reilly. It’s been pretty popular, with a wide array of paper exercises to help you master subnetting for the CCNA exam, and there’s time to get your questions answered while you learn and work through all the details.

We also created a longer recorded version of the IP Subnetting course, designed to work well for those taking the course self-study. The course has over 10 hours of video, but it isn’t 10 hours of lecture about how subnetting works. Instead, moves from explanation videos, to worked examples that emphasize how to perform each subnetting process, with me guiding you through the process. The course also includes a number of video practice problems.

As you know if you have looked at subnetting already, practice is the key – so we also have a product that serves as more IP subnetting practice than you could ever need! The IP Subnetting Video and Practice Questions Kit has over 900 subnetting practice questions. However, it goes far beyond just asking a question and showing the answer – it shows explanations that detail the steps in the process of how to find each answer.


Links to Subnetting tools on O’Reilly/Safari:

Live Course, on Safari (June 10-11): IP Subnetting from Beginning to Mastery

Recorded Course, available on Safari: IP Subnetting from Beginning to Mastery Live Course

Practice Questions, available on Safari: IP Subnetting Practice Question Kit


Purchase Links:

Recorded Course, from CiscoPress: IP Subnetting from Beginning to Mastery LiveLessons

Practice Questions, from CiscoPress: IP Subnetting Practice Question Kit

CCNA Deep Dive - Discussion Post - May Through July, 2020
Free Play Labs - CCNA Vol 2, Chapter 2
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Linda F

When I opened “CCNA Deep Dive Test.pkt” I got a text file with jibberish. I notice that this file wasn’t up on your site as a zip file. I have had luck downloading .pkt files for CNNA Vol 1, Chapter 25. These were zip files and I was able to extract them. Thanks


for the Deep Dive: OSPF Concepts and Configuration course session on O’Rielly, I am watching the recording but I cannot access the labs materials in the links posted in the group chat. Please advise on how to access those labs.




I tried to find the login info for routers and switchs, i did not find that, is it possible to have that? to check the config….

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