CCNP/CCIE Lab Suggestions

RemzRRRemzRR Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
My Current Certs
A+, CCNA R/S, JNCIA, CCNP R/s (Incomplete)--Passed Switch, Studying Route
I have played around with Packet Tracer, Netsim and going w/ a full CCIE Capable Lab
I currently work for service provider so this lab will implement Juniper Devices as well in the topology.
Its unfortunate that I cant implement Alcatel Devices 7750/7450 since the code/images hasn't leaked
My Current Machine is capable but has issues (Bent Pins on Motherboard from my mistake Asus P6X58D only 8GB out of 12 is recognized)
So I said Eff It and building a dedicated linux machine for the lab
Needed some help on my build out. My List is below

Case: ChenbroRM41300-F 4U Rack Mount Chassis
CPU: Intel Core i5 4690 (Overkill I know but need flexibility for running VM Machines within topology)
Cooler: Corsair H80 AIO Cooler w/Noctua 120mm Case Fans
Quad Nic:Dlink 580TX* or known working PCI-E Quad Nic
Ram: Corsair Vengeance 8GB
SSD: Samsung Pro 120GB
Motherboard:Asus Z97C or GIGABYTE GA-Z97-D3H (3x PCI Slots) or Asus Z97A or GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK (If known working PCI-E Quad Nic is Found)
OS: Linux (Not Sure on the Distro)
Rack: Need help on a good rack w/ Wheels and good quality

Additional Hardware
Currently Owned
Cisco 2851 Router
Cisco 3550 24 POE Switch (Not upgradeable to Version 15 IOS)
Cisco 3750 48 POE Switch
Juniper Netscreen 208

Digi CM 32 (Console Server)
APC AP9211 (Network Managed Power Supply)
2x 3750 24 Port L3 Switch or 3560

Whats killing me is the motherboard selection and the quad nics
The Motherboard I chose is tied to it having 3 PCI legacy slots for the Dlink 580TX Quad Nics
I was able to find motherboards w/ 3x PCI slots for intel's Z97 chipset but they seem low grade from the heatsink used compared to the upper range of the motherboards being offered by Asus and Gigibyte
I have ordered 3x Dlink 580Tx on Ebay for $65 each.
Went crazy trying to find an equivalent PCI-E Quad Nic Card,Found an Niagara N2264 PCI-E Quad Nic on Unix Surplus website but haven't seen anything on it being supported in linux/gns3
Everyone recommends DLink's 580TX card since its cheap and works. But had some questions
Even tho I have already ordered the PCI Cards I can always resell them and go with a known working PCI-E Quad Nic card

Are they any equivalent PCI-E Quad nics that have been reported to work w/ Linux/GNS3/Switches??? (Only Asking since the prices have dropped and good deals can be found on Ebay)
If no one has any experience w/ the PCI-Express Cards than which motherboard would be better out of the two selected above??
Any suggestions on a good rack??
Has anyone ran across any vids for Alcatel besides the PDF Study Guides or know of a working Image like Juniper's Olive VM???
What is the best Linux Distro to use ?
Has anyone had any luck with these PCI-E Quad Nic Cards (All Can be found cheap on Ebay)
-Niagara N2264 PCI-E Quad Nic
-Supermicro AOC-SG-I4 PCI-E Low Profile Quad Nic
-SUN 511-1422-01 Quad Port PCI Expres
-IBM / Intel Pro/1000 PT QUAD PORTs

Any and all help would be appreciated


  • rcsoar4funrcsoar4fun Member Posts: 103 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Have you thought about just waiting until the Cisco CML personal edition is released? Probably a whole lot cheaper.

    As to a rack, I found that a PylePro 19" rack works pretty well. They are designed for the music industry, but costs about $75 and is on for rollers.
  • RemzRRRemzRR Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    There seems to be alot of confusion on Cisco CML
    Subscription/ Limited Devices etc
    I will go with my hybrid setup for now.
    I am now looking at the Skeletek Racks and will look at the racks you mentioned
    Thanks for the info
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