How To Prepare CCNP SWITCH 642 813 Exam

Posted March 7, 2013 by Alice Julia in Cisco
cisco ccnp switch exam

Just like other professional Cisco exams, the SWITCH Exam requires a tough concentration on a number of topics-and then who said time wasn’t the major fly away. When preparing for Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Certification it’s mandatory to throw away your tick and tock clock and especially due to changes taking place in the course since the last few years the spotlight of the exam has changed. Due to iteration of course the major certification has been united into three main types and each of which has a variable technical concentration.

CCNP SWITCH 642-813 Exam focuses on the features linked to switch a well as the features which are linked to the current switches including the switching capabilities of layer 3, video/voice services, security, along with high availabilities. This article discusses on collection of the toughest topics which have to be followed carefully for a switching exams. The Cisco platform on which the various switch features run will be under discussion of SWITCH 642-813 exam.

The main rationale of this critique is to discuss the few topics of SWITCH exam which are tough, tough there are many on the list but for now the one’s which have been reviewed over a course of time and have been narrowly looked into are listed. We will also enlighten you on how to prepare for these topics, the chosen one’s are as follows:

1.     STP’s:

The understanding of Spanning Tree Protocols depends a lot on how profound you go into them for learning. A generous knowledge about STP can be attained without having to practice it on live equipments. By generous amount we mean knowing what STP do (i.e. prevent loops) and how it is done when considering forwarding and root switching and blocking the links as well. A deep study and understanding of what STP really do is for those who want a position in configuration of switched networks, otherwise a good amount of knowledge is sufficient.

For understanding STP for SWITCH exam you would need to get hands on various Cisco switches, especially the cheap ones. Learning would also involve connecting them together and then modifying various spanning tree priorities for understanding how different paths get calculated based on the switch type which acts as a root switch. It’s easier and better to perform this by following a single VLAN instead of trying multiple VLAN, so you can ensure good understanding.

The working of STP over multiple VLANs is termed as default Cisco VLAN behavior and it’s important for exams point of view. You have to also understand the difference between Rapid STP and STP. The standard for accelerating state changes of switch ports whenever changes occurred is RSTP. Another factor which should be simulated in lab for practice is the complaint against STP which states that the interface takes longer for transition from blocking to forwarding state.

2.     VLAN’s:

Though the topic of virtual LAN is not difficult for understanding when it’s seen in action but it does become tough without the action: when concept is built without visualization. VLAN’s similar to STP are supported on cheap switches such as the 2950s and are used for setting up in various scenarios. The only impossibility with these is to route between VLAN’s: to fulfill this purpose a routing device is used or multilayers switch or higher is used (multilayer switch such as 3550).

VLAN provides the ability of having several VLAN segments which exist outside the physical switch pots on a device. Take an example of a 24 port which can be configured into several separate 24 logical networks that could not communicate without the assistance of a layer 3 device. Generally VLAN’s are used for separating various administration parts of a network, and can also be used to separate customer traffic on service provider networks.

3.     VTP:

By using VLAN Trunking Protocol you can configure VLAN’s on diverse number of connected switches. Every one of the switch is connected through a VTP such as 802.1q and using the trunks the communication between the database of VLAN and switches takes place. You can consider an example the connection of switch A to switch B along with a VTP configured, the Switch A user creates VLAN 50 (a new one) which is broadcasted to switch B, the communication would occur for VLAN deletion in the same way as well.

VTP can be practice and tested on 2950s for better understanding. The way how switches establish the one switch that has the VLAN database of the updated version is that one caveat which acts as a hindrance for the new engineers and is a tricky question of exam as well. This can be understood by configuration revision number, the one with the recent database is the switch that has the highest number. Whenever, a switch is pulled out of the testing situation and inserted into live environment, the issue occurs. In this scenario the switch that gets pulled out includes the revision number which has been incremented more than the number of times it is incremented in live network, and once it gets inserted into the live network it overwrites the live network VTP’s database content. Whenever you insert a switch of VTP into a subsist network, ensure that you have cleared the configurations and have ensured the resetting of the revision number as well.

4.     SVI:

By now you must have got an idea that real hands on practice or experience is very integral for SWITCH 642-813 exam.  Majorly the technologies required for SWITCH exam can be understood and practiced on cheap equipments, unlike Switch Virtual Interface (SVI). When routing between VLAN’s is required, the SVI can be produced on the devices. SVI can be tested on a 3550 or higher.

SVI explains that VLAN’s can go through configuration for becoming interfaces and the switch ports which get inserted into VLAN’s can be treated as physical LAN segments. BY doing this, the devices become capable of routing the traffic at layer 3 between VLAN’s along with the switch for both routing and switching. If you know and understand the routing interfaces, then you can easily understand this concept and of-course practice will enhance the missed concepts.

5.     Port Security:

For infrastructures with modern switch, security is the most essential feature. Port Security configuration on switches takes place. The ability of limiting the number of devices which can be permitted on explicit switch ports is provided through Port Security. The number can be restricted to one device with an explicit MAC address. Considering the available options for understanding this feature can be very helpful: the violation actions types include Restrict, shutdown, and Protect option. The learning is also divided into three types as: static, sticky, and dynamic. You should know the default settings and for testing purpose it is practiced on 2950 switch.

About the Author

Alice Julia

Hey everyone, I’m Alice! By profession I’m an article writer and with this I have validations from Cisco and CompTIA for being a certified professional.



    I did go through your article how to prepare ccnp switch exam couple of days back, it really helps me in getting through the exam details. I have passed my 642 813 exam and wana say thanks to your guys.

      Alice Julia

      Thanks a lot for your comments Ally, do let us know if you are looking for more certification related study material or information.


    Appreciate that alice: I will get back to you guys, as i might need some study guides for some other ciso exams.

    Dale Anderson

    I did go to your web through this blog page… you guys are selling study guides, is it possible to get free demo of the study material being offered by you guys ?


    Do you guys have a page where all cisco exams are listed?


    No doubt informative stuff: I am new to the industry, can you guide me where to check the 642 813 exam fee and available dates ?

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