Setting up / Purchasing first lab for CCENT/CCNA - Router questions

gizbuggizbug Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am planning on buying either 2 Cisco 2950's or 1 2950 and 1 3550 off eBay
I have a question with the router.

I've read that I should get a cisco router ( I currently have an asus ac87U router at home). Is it essential to also have a cisco router? I've been told that with my lab, I should connect it and run it through my home system. So if this is the case, I would have 2 routers running on my home network? The routers I am looking at are the 1721, and based on what I've read, they recommend buying 1 or 2 routers?

Thanks

Comments

  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Member Posts: 552
    Well I like the 1841 routers, the will run IOS 15.XX, small chassis, upgradable memory and WIC slots and not expensive, just a good router to work with, currently I have 4 1841's and like them, they are nice routers.
    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.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    1841's all day, can be had relatively cheaply and are upgradeable.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    If your purpose is to study for the ccent/ccna then yes you would need a cisco router.

    There are a lot of options but you will probably need 2 routers and 2 switches cover most of your labs. I would suggest the 1841 also. I have one and works great. you won't need a 3550 for your ccna study but it will be useful for learning because you can set up a layer 3 switch. This is not really tested on but it is important for the real world.

    Good Luck!
  • Disgruntled3lfDisgruntled3lf A+, Net+, Sec+, CCNA, CCNA Security, Linux+, CDIA, Project+, LPIC-1, GCIH, GIAC Advisory Board, WGU Member Posts: 77 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I used GNS3 and packettracer for my CCENT (and still for my CCNA). That worked fine for me and had the added benefit of being free.
  • gizbuggizbug Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies. How would these 2 routers plug in and play with my current Asus Router, or would they?
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,743 ■■■■■■■□□□
    You plug 'em in and assign them IP's on whatever network you are using
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Keep in mind it is not necessary to connect your lab to your home network. Before you buy anything I suggest you figure out what you will be using for study material. If you skim over it you might have an idea how you will be using the equipment.

    As to connecting your network you should be able to place your device in the correct IP range and see it. As to routing thats the kind of stuff you will be learning. Don't worry about getting ahead of yourself.
  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Member Posts: 552
    A lot of people do this stuff with simulators and emulators and a lot of us, like the real equipment to do our studies, if you have the money, it will never hurt you having hard equipment in hand to work on your studies.
    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.
  • gizbuggizbug Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the input. I actually got a greal deal on 2 cisco catalyst 2950 series switches and 2 1721s to start my lab.
    Now I am using CBTnuggests course for CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101.

    My question is, do I need one or two console cables? I plan on getting a USB to Serial adapter to attach to my home Windows PC, but if I run a network cable between both switches, would that climate the need for 2 console cables? Also, any links to where I can find a cheap console cable?

    I saw one on amazon, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GL3MOY/ref=gno_cart_title_0?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1H4D9BC5EH0KN

    and a USB to Serial adapter. http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-RS-232-Serial-Converter-TU-S9/dp/B0007T27H8/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1416062945&sr=1-1&keywords=usb+to+serial+adapter&pebp=1416062946237
  • gizbuggizbug Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    A quick update. I got a good deal on 2 cisco 1721 and 2 2950's
    I do not have any console cables yet though. Would I need 1 or 2 of these cables? I am studying off CBT Nuggests CCENT/CCNA ICND1 100-101

    I found a USB 2.0 to RS-232 DB9 Serial Converter, and a console cable on amazone (rj45-db9) fairly cheap. Did not see any console cables on monoprice.

    According to this course, you plug the console cable from switch to the pc (I will be using my home pc or my mac laptop to start this lab off, as I am still new in the course. So, 1 or 2 console cables needed? I assume both would not be plugged into my PC at one time to configure, I would just switch the cable from one switch to the other and config?
  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Member Posts: 552
    The PC I use for doing labs, I have installed an 8 port serial port card, plus it has one built in and I have a few USB to serial port converters, So I can hook several items up at once. I have enough console cables so that I can hook everything up at one time. Another way to go, is the USB/Serial converter route, they are not expensive, and you can hook them all up through a USB hub. USB/Serial converters and console cables are cheap. I pick all of my stuff up on ebay, there are always many sellers on their offering them in either lots or you can specify how many you want . I am probably extreme, but I hate plugging and un-plugging cables, I want everything plugged in at one time, so I can just switch windows and play.
    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.
  • clarsonclarson Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The big thing with usb to serial convertor cables is getting one that will work with your pc. More specifically, having the right driver for the OS on your computer. One is all that is really necessary. If you don't mind putting in a username/password, telnet/ssh works just fine. Set the password to be same as the username. Set the username/password on all the pieces of equipment the same. Put the username in a text file. Then cut and paste all day. Just be sure to set the connection timeout to never.
    But, I'm always using at least two cables. I hate having to move the cables. I'm like MTciscoguy. I have usb hubs and serial to usb convertor boxes. I hook the cables up once and don't look back. I even have a power strip with seperate on/off switches for each plug in. I don't even get up to cycle the power.
  • gizbuggizbug Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    So I got one 2950 hooked up via console/serial to my desktop PC. A few quick questions
    Seems the fan is very loud on one of my 2950s. This normal or they suppose to run silent?

    Also, I just configured and setup a VLAN Ip Address. What would be the best method to connect to my switch remotely? Would I connect my 1721 to it, then connect my 1721 to my Asus AC87U Wifi router I use at home? This CBTNugget has an example where the person has two network ports on his home pc, which I do not.

    Also, if I turn the switch off, do I lose all config on the switch? Thanks
  • Alex90Alex90 Member Posts: 289
    gizbug wrote: »
    So I got one 2950 hooked up via console/serial to my desktop PC. A few quick questions
    Seems the fan is very loud on one of my 2950s. This normal or they suppose to run silent?

    Also, I just configured and setup a VLAN Ip Address. What would be the best method to connect to my switch remotely? Would I connect my 1721 to it, then connect my 1721 to my Asus AC87U Wifi router I use at home? This CBTNugget has an example where the person has two network ports on his home pc, which I do not.

    Also, if I turn the switch off, do I lose all config on the switch? Thanks

    I've got a couple of 2950's and mine are pretty loud to be fair. You won't lose the switch config providing you do a #copy running-config startup-config on the switch before powering it off, or you could just do #wr which is what I do. I run my lab seperately from my home network so in my case the lab isn't connected to the ISP. If you wanted to do this then maybe one of the guys that integrate their lab with their home network will give you some pointers as the best way to do it.
  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Member Posts: 552
    Noisy fans are not uncommon, especially for units that have been run for a long time, I had to take all of my fans out and clean then, they were coated with dust. Once you learn, you will be able to save your config in the 2950 with ease
    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.
  • davenulldavenull Member Posts: 173 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You should be able to login to your switch by using the vlan ip address, as long as it's reachable (pingable), and you set the enable and vty passwords. If you turn a switch off, you lose your config if you haven't run 'copy run start' or 'write memory'. However, your vlan information is saved in a separate file called vlan.dat and it won't be lost unless you erase it manually.

    As far as the loud fans of 2950, I solved the problem by replacing stock fans with these fans and adding these resistor cables. You'll have to swap out red and black connectors on the new fans, but it's easy to do. I also made my 2811 routers much quieter using the same fans and this fan for the power adapter. I couldn't use resistor cables for 2811 because, unlike 2950, the routers start complaining about low rpm every 30 sec and it's annoying.

    Some folks disconnect fans on 2950 completely and they reportedly run fine.
  • clarsonclarson Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    well, the 2950 wasn't made to go on the desktop. Noise wasn't a consideration with them. So, even new they aren't all that quiet. Even new they are louder than your 1721 fans. But, older they are the noisier the fans become. And, the 2950's have been a workhorse. So, on the used market they are know to have loud fans. But, screechy, gumbling fans are too loud. But, a reputable seller will tell you they are noisy. That is one thing you can't check out with online purchases. I could tell you if they were too noisy, but it is hard to do from here.
    One thing you can always do is put the equipment in another room behind a door and access it via telnet/ssh over the ethernet. Just like you would do when working remotely. (it does seem like your looking to do something like this).
    anyway, the switch has ethernet ports, the 1721 has one ethernet port. Not, sure of all the equipment you have. But, it looks like your going to have to do something like this: start with your asus router, connect it to a switch, connect your pc to the switch. configure your switch so your pc to the asus router works. Then, connect a 1721 to the switch. configure the 1721 so you can ethernet to it from your pc. Then connect one 1721 to the other 1721 via a serial connection. Then connect your second switch to the second 1721.
    So, your going to have to start with what network and subnet your using between the asus and your pc. and what host addresses they are using. Then assign a different host address to your switch vlan port. then check that your pc is working (including dhcp if your using that). and that your can telnet into your switch.
    So, what is the ip address and subnet mask for your pc and is the address assigned via dhcp?
  • gizbuggizbug Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for those tips folks.

    I think I might just start with the 1 switch, as that is all my nuggests are going over right now. So the goal is to SSH into the switch, say from my laptop. So I am thinking just run Ethernet cable from my switch to one of my ports on my router, find a way to assign an IP address, and connect that way. Sound like it would work?
  • Alex90Alex90 Member Posts: 289
    Once you have a base config on the switch and router (and you've configured the vty lines to take SSH connections) then you should be able to do as you've said.
  • clarsonclarson Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    well you leave a lot of details out of it, hard to tell what your doing, much less be able to tell if it will work.
    we know your switches are cisco 2950's. (at least that is what you said earlier in the post). Then you say your going to run an ethernet cable from your router to the switch. Which router, the asus or 1721? and how is the laptop connecting to the router (wirelessly)? you need to configure the switch through the console port to give it a network addess. weather that is from dhcp from the router or statically by manually assigning it. until it has a network address your not going to ssh into it. it has to be on a network that the router knows about or the router won't send any traffic there. and the 2950 will need an ios installed that supports the cryto features to even do ssh.
    will try to help out, but we need to know what your doing.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,772 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Home labs are often load and hot. Some equipment will be better then others. I run all of my equipment in my basement and have a number of network cables coming back to my office so I can switch things around as needed. Mostly I run two network cables for my laptop and desktop. Then one console cable to my access server. This allows me to test communication between devices and I can console to all of the switches and routers. This year I picked up a used rack mount server for working with esxi and allowing me to set up a domain in my house. It is louder then the other equipment but since it's in the basement I leave it on all the time.
  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Member Posts: 552
    You got that right Jon, those servers can be loud! My Dell 1850 sounds like a 747 taking off when I fire it up!
    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.
  • JeanMJeanM Member Posts: 1,117
    One serial cable/ adapter is enough, you need that for initial config and then you can use telnet/ssh.
    With one router you can't do much, but it's better than none. Ideally you'll want 2, and 3 switches.
    Once you go through the labs you'll ideas on what / how to connect them together etc. First w/o connecting to your home network, then by connecting them to your network :)
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
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