Novell CNE/CNA Information

Novell has several certification programs for people who work closely with Novell Products. This includes the Certified Novell Administrator (CNA), the Certified Novell Engineer (CNE), the Certified Novell Instructor (CNI), the Master Certified Novell Engineer (Master CNE) and the Master Certified Novell Instructor (Master CNI). For those with an inclination to the Internet, there is also the Certified Internet Professional (CIP).

Much debate has been going on as to the relevance of these certifications as opposed to actual networking exprience. As an employer, one would want to see as much as possible on-the-job experience, but does certification show a person has that kind of experience?

My personal experience is that you need access to a network in order to get you through these exams, otherwise you should pay the $4000 some odd US Dollars to attend the classes.

But do you even need these exams? The Networking Professionals Association (NPA) has developed a program with Sylvan Prometric called the CNP (Certified Networking Professional) and from what I’ve seen of the requirements, boy, only the best of the best are going to get through that one! :) If you want or need the paper qualifications to support your technical abilities, such exams are the way to go.

Well, for whatever reason, if you are trying to achieve a CNE/CNA, or just want to boost your general Netware knowledge, here are some helpful pointers.

CNE Book Review

Several Books are pretty useful in your pursuit of a CNE/CNA. Even for general NetWare knowledge, here are a couple of books and what I found of them.

Netware 4 for Professionals - New Riders Publishing
A good book, very detailed and technical. Perhaps too technical to just pick up and read. This is more like a reference or a look-up book through the index I suppose. The new update for 4.1 is also available. It seems to have a lot of information on setting up Netware 4, and OSI Layers. Netware 4 administration stuff doesn’t come until half the book is gone.

The Complete NetWare Command Reference - New Riders Publishing
A really useful reference for CNEs and NetAdmins alike. It covers in pretty good detail all the utilities and commands including console commands and NLMs for NetWares 2.x, 3.x and 4.x. If you already know NetWare, just bring this book around and you’ll never get lost in a NetWare environment anymore. It has seperate sections for different versions of programs (eg Install 2, Install 3 and Install 4). If you’re trying out the 4.1 Admin exam, don’t forget to read the cx, netadmin, filer, nlist and ndir sections especially.

The CNE-4 Study Guide - Sybex Network Press
A very good study guide, much better than most of the others, especially the one from New Riders. It sections the book into the 7 major parts of the CNE course, and include the TCP/IP elective. It also has short questions and answers at the end of each chapter. But my favourite is the fact that it explains things in a laid-back-easy-half-jokingly style. It is technical, but it also keeps the atmosphere of the book from becomming too serious. Not as un-serious as NetWare for Dummies, but livens things up enough to make it a “pick-up-and-read” kind of book. But like all CNE reference/tutorials/books, no matter how much you prepare, there are questions that seem to come from nowhere… ;)

Big Red Self Test
Big Red Self Test develops some pretty good testing programs that challenge your NetWare knowledge. It looks pretty good and is relatively close to the real exams. It only lacks the actual NetWare Administrator interface test on the real exams. This is a good one to get and worth the price especially if you are studying on your own.

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