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CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive: Switching, VLANs, and VLAN Trunking

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.

During this course, you will learn about the basics of Local Area Networks (LANs), both wired and wireless. It then gets into specifics of wired LANs – Ethernet LANs – and how LAN switches work. The course moves from the most basic concepts of switch MAC learning and frame forwarding, both with single switches and with multiple switches. The second half of the course then examines those same topics while focusing on Virtual LANs (VLANs) and VLAN trunks – a subject which requires additional logic and skills with several new switch commands.

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

  • The basics of what a Local Area Network (LAN) is and how LAN switches and cabling created a wired Ethernet LAN
  • How LAN switch forwarding works in a single VLAN – both with one switch and with multiple connected switches
  • How switch MAC learning works in a single VLAN – again with one switch and with multiple connected LAN switches
  • The skills to discover what a switch has already learned and how to predict the port out which switch will forward each Ethernet frame.
  • The concepts of a Virtual LAN (VLAN) and how to configure and verify a VLAN on a Cisco switch
  • Add the understanding and skill to predict how Cisco switches will forward frames when configured to use multiple VLANs
  • Understand the need for and purpose of a VLAN trunk
  • Configure and verify VLAN trunks on Cisco switches, including how to ensure the link currently operates as a VLAN trunk

This training course is for you because...

  • You want to achieve Cisco CCNA certification
  • You want to learn networking basics for your job and the future
  • 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


  • Have Cisco device CLI navigation skills: how to login to a Cisco switch or router, how to use show commands, how to move into and out of configuration mode, how to add configuration commands, and how to save the configuration. You can learn these skills in the course “CCNA 200-301 Deep Dive: Cisco CLI and Cisco Packet Tracer Basics”, available as another live course on O’Reilly Online. Alternately, read about the concepts and skills in Chapter 4 of the CCNA 200-301 Official Cert Guide, Volume 1 – also available on O’Reilly Online.
  • Have a basic understanding of TCP/IP networking, which can be learned by reading Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the CCNA 200-301 Official Cert Guide, Volume 1 (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 Post-Course Learning:

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: LAN Switching Basics (60 Minutes)

  • Understanding Wired and Wireless LANs
  • Lab: Predicting and Verifying Single Switch MAC Address Tables
  • Understanding Ethernet LAN Switching
  • Lab: Predicting and Verifying MAC Tables with Multiple Switches

Section 3: Virtual LANs (80 Minutes)

  • Understanding Virtual LANs (VLANs)
  • Lab: Predicting and Verifying MAC Tables - One Switch, Multiple VLANs
  • Break
  • Configuring VLANs and VTP
  • Lab: Configuring and Verifying VLANs and VTP

Section 4: VLAN Trunking (70 Minutes)

  • Understanding VLAN Trunking
  • Configuring VLAN Trunking in Cisco Switches
  • Lab: Configuring Cisco VLAN Trunking with Every Configuration Option
  • Lab: Verifying VLANs and VLAN Trunking

Section 5: Exam Advice and Final QA (10 Minutes)

  • What and Where to Learn More about LAN Switching, VLANs, and VLAN Trunking
  • Exam Advice about Today’s Topics