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CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive: OSPF Concepts and Configuration

Prepare for the new CCNA 200-301 through lecture and hands-on labs

Wendell Odom

The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification creates a de facto standard defining the essential knowledge required for anyone working with computer networks. Cisco completely revamped its entire certification program for 2020, with CCNA taking an even more critical role. Cisco places CCNA as the one starting point for all other Cisco certifications. Anyone pursuing a career in networking should be prepared to work with Cisco, and that process begins with CCNA. This course uses a series of short, targeted lectures followed by lab exercises that you do in class using the (free) Cisco Packet Tracer simulator. New to Cisco? Anyone can do the labs, with one lab exercise version created for those with little background knowledge, and another for those with appropriate prerequisite skills. The flow works through a series of paired lectures and labs and closes with a short topic of advice about how to learn more and complete your exam preparation for this course’s topics. Two forwarding methods dominate networks: LAN switching and IP routing. With IP routing, hosts forward packets to any nearby router. The routers each have a list of routes so that the routers know where to forward packets based on their destination addresses. In most Enterprises, the routers dynamically learn those routes using one of several routing protocols. This course focuses on the one IP routing protocol included in the current CCNA exam, name Open Shortest-Path First, or OSPF. The course discusses the core concepts and mechanisms, how to configure OSPFv2 (that is, OSPF for IPv4) on Cisco routers, with some of the more straightforward optional features.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • How the OSPF Version 2 (OSPFv2) protocol works internally, with neighbor relationships, LSAs, LSDBs, and SPF calculations
  • Learn how to configure OSPF on a router and enable it on select interfaces – both using the older network command, and the newer ip ospf interface subcommand
  • Confirm OSPF works, both by examining the IP routing table as well as confirming the individual mechanisms worked
  • Experiment with optional OSPFv2 features, like changing OSPF metrics, OSPF network types, and passive interfaces
  • Troubleshoot OSPF neighbor issues with labs pre-configured with common configuration mistakes
  • Learn about OSPF network types, and why you may not prefer to use the default on all your Ethernet interfaces

This training course is for you because...

  • You want to achieve Cisco CCNA certification
  • You want to learn networking basics, specifically OSPFv2, for your job and the exam
  • You want to pursue one of the Cisco CCNP certifications, and you need to know CCNA topics as a prerequisite
  • You prefer lab-centric learning


  • A basic understanding of IP Version 4 (IPv4) addressing and subnetting, which can be learned from Chapters 11 through 14 of the CCNA 200-301 Official Cert Guide, Volume 1. However, you do not need to be ready to do subnetting math without a calculator.
  • An understanding of IP routers, how to configure IP addresses on router interfaces, and the connected routes that result. You can read about these topics in Chapters 15 and 16 of the CCNA 200-301 Official Cert Guide, Volume 1.
  • Both the above can be learned in the course “CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive: IPv4 Addressing and Static Routing”, available at O’Reilly Online Learning.

Additionally, you can learn in this course without the following skills, but coming to course with these skills can increase how much you learn:

  • Have Cisco device CLI navigation skills. You can learn these skills in the course “CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive: Cisco CLI and Cisco Packet Tracer”, or by reading Chapter 4 of the CCNA 200-301 Official Cert Guide, Volume 1. Both are available at O’Reilly Online Learning.

Materials, downloads, or Supplemental Content needed in advance

  • You need to have Packet Tracer Version 7.3 installed on the computer you will use during class. Follow this link for the specifics to find, install, and test your Packet Tracer installation.

Recommended Follow-up

  • Read about the most natural next CCNA topic: Chapter 22, “Fundamentals of IP Version 6” in the CCNA 200-301 Official Cert Guide, Volume 1 (available on O’Reilly Online)
  • Attend the O’Reilly Online course “CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive: Network Controllers and REST APIs”.
  • Attend any of the CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive series of courses here at O’Reilly Online.

About your instructor

  • Wendell Odom, CCIE No. 1624, creates many of the best-selling Cisco certification products of their types, particular in the routing and switching space. He has pioneered the authorized Cisco Certification Guide series at Cisco Press and has written every edition of the leading CCENT and CCNA Certification Guides. He has written over 30 editions of networking books, video, and software products, ranging in depth from introductory level to CCIE. Wendell has worked as an instructor, course developer, network engineer, and consultant. Find links to more study tools and resources (including his blogs) at www.certskills.com.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Section 1: Introduction (10 Minutes)

  • CCNA 200-301 Exam Overview and Exam Topics in this Course
  • Verify Packet Tracer Installation
  • Deep Dive Course Series

Section 2: OSPF Lab Quick-Start (50 Minutes)

  • Lab: Verify Lab Topologies Configured with IPv4 Addresses but Without OSPF
  • Minimal Configurations for OSPFv2
  • Lab: Configure OSPFv2 and Verify IPv4 Routes with Minimal Configurations

Section 3: OSPF Internals (100 Minutes)

  • OSPF Router ID (RID)
  • OSPF Neighbors
  • Lab: Configuring the OSPF RID and Verifying OSPF Neighbors
  • OSPF LSAs, LSDB, and Areas
  • Lab: Verifying OSPF Internals (Single and Multi-Area)
  • Break

Section 4: Optional OSPF Features (40 Minutes)

  • OSPF Designated Routers and Network Types
  • OSPF Passive Interfaces
  • Lab: Configuring and Verifying Optional Features

Section 5: Troubleshooting OSPF Neighbor Relationships (30 Minutes)

  • Events and Configuration that Causes OSPF Neighbors to Fail
  • Lab: Find and Fix OSPF Neighbor Issues

Section 6: Exam Advice and Final QA (10 Minutes)

  • What and Where to Learn More about IPv4/IPv6 Addresses, and IPv4/IPv6 Static Routes
  • Exam Advice about Today’s Topics