Inter-Switch Link (ISL)

Another VLAN tagging protocol is Inter-Switch Link (ISL). This protocol is Cisco proprietary, which means that, unlike 802.1Q, it can be used only between Cisco switches. It is considered to be deprecated, and newer Cisco switches don’t even support it.

ISL works by encapsulating a frame in an ISL header and trailer. The encapsulated frame remains unchanged. The VLAN ID is included in the ISL header.

Original frame:

normal frame

ISL frame:

ISL frame

Prerequisites for 200-301

200-301 is a single exam, consisting of about 120 questions. It covers a wide range of topics, such as routing and switching, security, wireless networking, and even some programming concepts. As with other Cisco certifications, you can take it at any of the Pearson VUE certification centers.

The recommended training program that can be taken at a Cisco academy is called Implementing and Administering Cisco Solutions (CCNA). The successful completion of a training course will get you a training badge.

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