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What’s New in the Cisco ICND1 and ICND2 v2.0 Exams?

In March 2013, Cisco released new versions of the ICND1 and ICND2 exams for their CCENT and CCNA certifications. These new versions, labeled ICND1 v2.0 and ICND2 v2.0 include several additions and deletions from the prior 1.1 versions. So, what has really changed, and why were the changes made? Eric Rivard runs down the changes in this article.
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Why the Change?

First, let’s discuss why changes were made to ICND 1 and ICND 2 v1.1. ICND1 and 2 v1.1 were released in 2007. During this short time, technology has changed drastically, which in turn has shaped the face of IT in the workplace. For example, the proliferation of smartphones and consumer devices in the workplace has caused IT to shift the way it does business and secures devices. Several years ago it was common for IT departments to provide end users with company issued cellphones and computing devices. However, we have seen a large move towards Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), cloud technology, and a larger shift towards telecommuting. These changes have not only increased the number of devices requiring IP addresses, but changed the way IT departments secure devices and placed a greater demand on networks, both wired and wireless. Never before has the network become so critical to the way we live and do business.

Due to these changes, Cisco wanted to ensure that IT professionals had the tools and knowledge to answer the demands of today’s networking environments. As such, Cisco updated the content of ICND 1 and ICND 2 v1.1. The new updates, ICND 1 and ICND 2 v2.0, include the addition and removal of several technologies important in today’s networks.

So, What Has Really Changed?

The first change made was a change to the exam numbering for ICND1 and ICND2. The new exams are numbered as follows:


New Exam Number:

ICND1 v2.0


ICND2 v2.0


These new exams reflect the changes made to ICND 1 and 2 to differentiate from the prior version.

The second, and largest change has to do with the addition and removal of content from each exam. Lastly, the new exams cover all cover newer hardware and IOS versions. IOS 15.0 is the version used for the ICND1 and 2 v2.0 content for both switches and routers.

ICND1 v2.0 Changes

First, we will discuss the changes made to ICND1 v1.1. Shortly, after ICND1 v1.1 was released, Cisco released specialty introduction certifications for security, wireless, and voice. The goal of these new specialty introduction certifications was to provide candidates with the skills necessary to identify and implement the technologies in each specialty. Since then, Cisco also has released Data Center, Video, and Service Provide entry-level certifications too.

Due to the release of these specialty certifications, Cisco removed any material that is covered in these specialty courses from ICND 1 and ICND 2 v2.0. For ICND1 v2.0 this means that the topics of Wireless LANs, Securing the Network, and Using Cisco SDM were removed. Although very important in today’s networking, these topics are now found in the CCNA specialty courses. For instance, the CCNA Wireless course covers Wireless LAN topics.

Other topics removed from ICND1 v2.0 are:

  • Understanding the Challenges of Shared LANs
  • Solving Network Challenges with Switched LAN Technologies
  • Configuring Serial Encapsulation
  • Enabling RIP

The topics covered in the challenges of shared LANs and switched LANs were updated and moved to the LAN Switching technologies objective. Configuring of Serial Encapsulation was moved to ICND2 v2.0, and Enabling RIP was removed all together. RIP was removed because today’s networks often run EIGRP and OSPF. Cisco felt it was more important for candidates to understand these protocols instead of RIP.

The topics added to the ICND1 v2.0 exam are:

  • Implementing VLSM
  • Scaling the Network with NAT and PAT
  • Managing Traffic Using ACLs
  • Implementing VLANs and Trunks
  • Routing Between VLANs
  • Implementing single area OSPF
  • Introduction to IPv6
  • Configuring IPv6 Routing

Most of these additions were originally included in ICND 2 v1.1 but have been updated and moved to ICND1 v2.0. Completely new however are DHCP, NTP, Ethernet WAN emulation, and IPv6 routing.

Originally, IPv6 was included in ICND2 v1.1.However, it was moved to ICND1 v2.0 and expanded upon. IPv6 is starting to be implemented more and more and Cisco felt it is an important topic that all certified candidates must know. Added to IPv6 topics are how to configure IPv6 addresses and routing. IPv6 routing includes both static and dynamic routing using OSPFv3.

ICND2 v2.0 Changes

As noted above, several topics were moved from ICND2 v1.1 to ICND1 v2.0. Additional topics that moved include Routing between VLANs, VLSM, NAT and PAT, single area OSPF, and IPv6.

Newly added topics include:

  • Troubleshooting VLANs
  • Spanning Tree items (updated)
  • EtherChannel
  • Layer 3 redundancy protocols
  • Troubleshooting IPv4 and IPv6
  • Implementing and troubleshooting EIGRP
  • Implementing EIGRP for IPv6
  • Multiarea OSPF
  • OSPFv3
  • SNMP
  • Syslog
  • NetFlow
  • GRE Tunnels
  • Cisco licensing
  • Managing Cisco devices.

In ICND2 v2.0 there is a greater focus on RSTP and EtherChannel. EtherChannel is a technology that logically bonds interfaces on a switch to act as one logical aggregated port. This bonded port looks like one interface to the switch and will load share traffic across all interfaces in its bonded channel.

The layer 3 redundancy protocols on ICND2 v2.0 include

  • Hot Standby Routing Protocol (HSRP)
  • Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol(VRRP)
  • Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP)

HSRP and VRRP provide gateway redundancy in the event a client’s primary default gateway goes down. HSRP is Cisco proprietary and VRRP is an industry standard. GLBP is a Cisco proprietary technology that not only provides layer 3 gateway redundancy but also load balancing. In HSRP and VRRP, there is one primary forwarding router and the backup or secondary router is not forwarding any traffic. In GLBP, all routers participating in the GLBP route are forwarding traffic.

EIGRP is also covered in detail in ICND2 v2.0. This includes the newly added topic of implementing EIGRP for IPv6. Another addition to routing protocols in ICND2 v2.0 includes multiarea OSPF. Multiarea consists of designing and implementing OSPF to multiple areas to provide scalability and faster convergence for large networks. Additionally, knowing how to implement OSPFv3 is included in ICND2 v2.0. OPSFv3 is the updated version of OSPF that provides IPv6 support.

A new topic included in ICND2 v2.0 is GRE tunnels. GRE tunnels provide encapsulation of many different protocols overs a layer 3 network. Allowing configured protocols to traverse a router or WAN that would originally be dropped. For example, a company can use GRE tunnels to allow dynamic routing updates to pass through site-to-site VPNs when the VPN tunnels by default won’t allow dynamic routing updates to pass through them.

Lastly, there are new topics related to device management. This includes:

  • SNMP
  • NetFlow
  • Syslog
  • Cisco licensing

NetFlow is a Cisco technology that provides deep packet inspection allowing one to see the protocols and flow of traffic on a network. Syslog is a logging technology that allows device logs to be sent to a Syslog server. Cisco ICND1 and 2 v2.0 both use IOS 15.0 as its standard IOS version, In IOS 15.0, Cisco went away with providing an IOS image that supported different technologies. Instead, IOS 15.0 uses a base IOS image that includes all the features found in Cisco IOS including voice, security, and service provider technology. However, a license is required to enable some of these features.


ICND1 and 2 v2.0 include a lot of new enhancements and topics that provide a candidate with the knowledge and tools to better prepare them for today’s networks. It is exciting to see these new updates and ensure the certification candidates are ready for not only today, but for the future as well.

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