CCENT Home Lab

Nafe92014Nafe92014 Posts: 278Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Hello all,

I am looking at studying my CCENT from home, but I would like to know what would be the recommended hardware and IOS software to use. I have used PT and GNS3 before, but I would prefer the real equipment. Cost is also something that I am considering, as I live in a small apartment currently.
Certification Goals 2019: Network+, Security+

"You have enemies? Good, that means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." ~Winston S. Churchill

Comments

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,772Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Lots of posts on this.
    I usually recommend the Cisco 1841 routers. Skim the forum and you will find a lot more info.
    Also check out the ad on the left. Certification kits is a good starting point for figuring out what you need and the high point for possible cost.

    Good Luck!
  • verbhertzverbhertz Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco wrote: »
    Lots of posts on this.
    I usually recommend the Cisco 1841 routers. Skim the forum and you will find a lot more info.
    Also check out the ad on the left. Certification kits is a good starting point for figuring out what you need and the high point for possible cost.

    Good Luck!

    Not to hijack, but I have an 1841 and a 2620. Would it be advisable to pick up some WIC-1T or WIC-2T?
    What other WIC cards would be advisable for CCNA level studies?
    Also, is there any practical difference from a regular serial cable and the smart serial?

    Thanks in advance!
  • Binary FreakBinary Freak Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    verbhertz wrote: »
    Not to hijack, but I have an 1841 and a 2620. Would it be advisable to pick up some WIC-1T or WIC-2T?
    What other WIC cards would be advisable for CCNA level studies?
    Also, is there any practical difference from a regular serial cable and the smart serial?

    Thanks in advance!

    To answer one of your questions, a single router and switch wouldn't be enough for CCNA level. Your current setup would scratch the surface of ROAS (Router on a stick).

    For the full CCNA you should ideally be looking towards having 3 routers and 2 switches, for CCENT you'll only need 2 routers and 2 switches. You'd probably be best just buying the rest of your lab as a kit from Ebay (If need be).

    WIC-1T/2T will be enough for the serial modules, you won't really need any other modules.
  • ImYourOnlyDJImYourOnlyDJ Posts: 180Member
    Personally I bought a 2621xm and a 2950 and have implemented them in my home network for the purpose of getting experience with real equipment. I also use Boson Netsim (much more user friendly than GNS3 if you have the money) for more advanced configurations. If you are limited on space this would be a good start for you. I don't see a reason to run out and buy four rack mounted devices if you live in a small apartment on a budget just starting on the CCENT.
  • verbhertzverbhertz Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    To answer one of your questions, a single router and switch wouldn't be enough for CCNA level. Your current setup would scratch the surface of ROAS (Router on a stick).

    For the full CCNA you should ideally be looking towards having 3 routers and 2 switches, for CCENT you'll only need 2 routers and 2 switches. You'd probably be best just buying the rest of your lab as a kit from Ebay (If need be).

    WIC-1T/2T will be enough for the serial modules, you won't really need any other modules.

    Oh I know! I also have four switches... 2950, 2960, 2x 3750. Not sure of the extent of routing capabilities on the 3750s but looking forward to testing them out. CCENT is less than a week out though, so I'm sticking with packet tracer until then.
  • Nafe92014Nafe92014 Posts: 278Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    thanks for the input. Not sure if this is a good option, but I was considering in purchasing this. basic 2 router 2 switch kit. I would like to get some hands on experience. I have talked with my local college, but they said the only way I can touch their Cisco stuff is if I enroll in their full time CST program, which i don't want to.
    Certification Goals 2019: Network+, Security+

    "You have enemies? Good, that means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." ~Winston S. Churchill
  • olaHaloolaHalo Posts: 748Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I know you say you prefer the real equipment but unless you plan on going past CCNA then itll most likely be a waste of money
    I have a decent lab I put together and I never use it anymore. There were things I wanted to try but couldnt because I would need to buy this or that.
    I can build way more complex labs faster and cheaper and quieter using packet tracer.
    I could also print out or screenshot test environments to show others before we would put them into production.

    Just my opinion. I feel like it was a waste for me.
    If you do want to build a lab watch the CBT Micro Nugget on it from Jeremy.
  • ecifiroecifiro Posts: 11Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I can only offer my experience with building a home lab as I haven't really started digging into learning besides my college class and the netcad they use. I as-well wanted physical equipment to work with as I don't care for the virtual environment. With that said, I feel I have learned more on my own by building this lab then packet tracer ever allowed. Yes, PT is the same when it comes to setting up everything internal. But having Physical equipment was more challenging and rewarding at the same time. Cabling is part of the experience.

    This video was my inspiration and end goal. ( CCIE Home Lab Tour - YouTube ) Yes it's an overkill for CCENT and maybe even for CCNA, but that's what I'm after.

    Equipment, I've been an ebaying machine for the last month. My goal was to only have IOS15 compatible equipment as I hear that's what the new exams are starting to cover. Routers 2811, 2851, and 3825 seem to be the best option right now on Ebay. I purchased 3ea 2811, 1ea 2851, 1ea 3825 for a total of $280 with free shipping.

    Put in an offer to buy 3ea (broken) 2960 switches for $10ea and fixed everyone of them because of minor issues like blown fuze, disconnected fan and a power supply replacement ($5). Also, purchased 2ea 3750 switches, but that was to replace my home network switches to Cisco, not to be used in the lab. Still want a Layer 3 IOS 15 switch, something like 3750v2 or g.

    Some of those routers came with modules and cards that I've been able to resell and recoup the initial cost or in my case to purchase things like WIC-2t's/cables/Access modules.

    Everyone looks for the 2811 because of the 1U size. If you can deal with 2U 3825, and 2851, you'll be surprised of how cheap you can find them. Not to mention they are much quieter compared to the 2811's.

    If you want physical, then I say go for it. You can do it with out breaking the bank and honestly I believe you can make a better or at least a more updated home lab by piecing it together compared to buying it prebuilt.
  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Posts: 552Member
    I like my 1841 routers, they are IOS15 and they are 1U units and they were cheap and have the module capabilities. I have three of them and they have worked flawlessly for anything I have wanted to do.
    Current Lab: 4 C2950 WS, 1 C2950G EI, 3 1841, 2 2503, Various Modules, Parts and Pieces. Dell Power Edge 1850, Dell Power Edge 1950.
Sign In or Register to comment.