Network+ N10-008 vs N10-007 – The Expected Difference

Every three years CompTIA releases a new and updated version of its exams. Although CompTIA is not telling when the new Network+ N10-008 Exam will be released, March 2021 (or possibly April) should be the month based on the prior exam release date. Below we will take a look at what we believe the difference between Network+ N10-008 vs N10-007 may be. Our assertions are basically no more than educated guesses until the actual exam objectives are published at which time, we will of course update this article. Our speculation is not totally gratuitous as it is based on an author team that has been creating successful Network+ training materials including some that were there at the inception in 1999 of the very first network+ exam, Network+ N10-001!

The current Network+ N10-007 was released on March 21, 2018, and so will be retired in the spring of 2021, probably in March or possibly April. There is a six month “grace period” where these two versions will overlap, and you will actually be able to choose which exam you prefer to sit for. We do not anticipate changes to the main objectives to be too earth-shattering. They have been pretty stable over time while content points are added to address the new and important changes to the technology and the security issues surrounding them.

In term of the content areas where we anticipate movement, we believe the most significant ones are:

– Virtualization

– The Cloud

– The internet of Things, IoT

– Cellular 5G

The first two items on this list are intertwined and therefore will be treated together. Much of these items are part of Network+ N10-007 but we are expecting the Network+ N10-008 exam objectives will get deeper into these as well as adding new technologies such as 5G cellular.

Virtualization and the Cloud

The Cloud has high availability and scalable, elastic storage of extraordinary capacities. What we can expect to see in the Network+ N10-008 is an increase in cloud-based services. Also here expect to see deeper coverage targeted at virtualization and the components used.

Graphic of database servers and other equipment connected over the cloud on a blackboard style background/
Database servers and other equipment connected over the cloud.

On-demand cloud data services are clusters of virtual devices configured to appear through a single interface. In this respect, you may want to make sure you know how datacenters are designed as well as how they differ from cloud storage. You can implement virtual desktops, servers, NICs, routers, and switches, transparently to the user.

This is great for home users, which brings up another particularly important phenomenon: Working from home. Remote access and VPNs have been covered in the Network+ for a long time. We all find ourselves in a situation where increasing numbers of workers now commute virtually. Although in 2020 this has been based in great part on COVID-19, it is likely that some of those habits will remain post-COVID. This represents challenges that will most probably be covered in the Network+ N10-008. Access to your company’s resources from “anywhere” represents challenges that are not simple. For example, many companies use VPN connections and remote desktops that enable users to use their work PC from home and see their actual desktop giving them all of the capabilities they have at work. Here again, they use the resources of their data centers seamlessly. Security technology here is paramount. Know the hardening techniques for the components. The credit reporting agencies store a complete history of practically everyone and remain prime targets for hackers. Data breaches of these agencies can, and have, compromised the personal information (PII) of hundreds of thousands of individuals and occasioned both trust issues and millions of dollars in losses.

Consider the fact that many devices in your environment offer to save pictures or other data to Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive which are all cloud-based storage solutions. Many synchronize your data automatically.  The cloud is integral to much of the technological advancements we see, from desktops to doorbells all can utilize cloud technology. This is certainly not new territory for Network+, however, the global pandemic of 2020 has impacted the way we live and work creating a greater dependence on and awareness of the resources available. You can now see how it also creates a golden opportunity for hackers. Security issues related to this are more important than ever and probably will be included in the new Network+ N10-008 exam objectives.

Media streaming to Smart devices like Smartphones and Smart TVs is common.  Although these are technically IoT elements, the content you see is in the cloud. Your TVs now possess the capability to access huge cloud storage data centers containing high definition movies-on-demand and even internet browsing capabilities. You have probably seen a YouTube video playing on a TV. This represents the interaction of many technologies. Your Internet connection enables your device to access any content it is set up to receive. The term content really represents a great deal of data. Imagine the massive amounts of storage required to make any movie, for example, available to several tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of users by simply clicking on a link. Every provider maintains a cloud storage catalog that can contain tens of thousands of full-length films. The content is stored virtually. Every provider uses its own content. You should see an increase in the technologies that secure and support these datacenters and cloud services. Also, consider the cloud when planning disaster recovery solutions.

The Internet of Things – IoT

The Internet of Things represents a staggering number of devices.  As noted earlier, Smart devices can access the internet. Your “Smartest” device is the smartphone, you get everything right in your hand. You can control smart household devices include lighting, thermostat, doorbell cameras, health monitors, and the refrigerator to name a few.  Does your car fall into this category? If it uses a music service, Impact sensors, and online mapping, you are using IoT. Think about your cellphone knowing its location (GPS) and sending that information to your provider (cloud). IoT devices proliferate faster than one can imagine them. The new devices bring new support and security concerns as the default configuration on these devices is usually weak. When it comes to the difference between Network+ N10-008 vs N10-007 we believe this area will be of particular importance.

Graphic of the Internet of things (IOT) on blue background.
Internet of things (IoT) and digital business process automation concept supporting an industrial value chain.

Cellular Technology and G5

In terms of Network+ N10-008 vs N10-007 it is to be noted that since the N10-007 exam was launched, 5G cellular technology has arrived! It brings greatly increased speeds and supports more users during congested periods. Mobile downloads and data transfers will be quicker and more efficient. You will need to know all the technologies so do not focus on 5G alone. Do expect 5G to be represented on Network+ N10-008. Read questions carefully: Do not confuse 5G, a cellular technology with 5GHz, a WiFi frequency.

5G network illustration on a background of a large city at night/
5G network illustration on a background of a large city at night.

So, this is our first “early bird” release on Network+ N10-008 vs N10-007 and the expected differences. We will add updates as we find out more so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you want to prepare for Network+ N10-007 while there is still time, just click on the link below.

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