CCNA Home Lab, Are They Worth It?

SimridSimrid Posts: 327Member
Hi Everyone,

I'm just wondering is setting up a home lab actually worth it? I know it'll get me experience using Cisco products, but will it benefit me in the exam?

If the answers yes, I've been looking at something like this -

CISCO CCNA CCNP CCIE LAB 3 X 2950 2651XM WIC-1T ROUTER SWITCH RACK DB60 | eBay

Would it be okay?

Many thanks,
Simon
Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

sriddle.co.uk
uk.linkedin.com/in/simonriddle

Comments

  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    Absolutely - the more hands on the better.

    Are you intending to go above CCNA? I will say about that lab that calling it a CCNP/CCIE lab is a bit naughty because there's no way you could do CCNP/IE features on those switches. Those 2950's are Layer 2 only - My advice would be to look for 3550 Switches.
  • SimridSimrid Posts: 327Member
    gorebrush wrote: »
    Absolutely - the more hands on the better.

    Are you intending to go above CCNA? I will say about that lab that calling it a CCNP/CCIE lab is a bit naughty because there's no way you could do CCNP/IE features on those switches. Those 2950's are Layer 2 only - My advice would be to look for 3550 Switches.


    I think it's probably the best bet. I mean i've narrowed it down from MCSA / CCNA or CCENT to just a CCNA. Would the above switches set me back a lot of money? Will it help me in the actual exam as I don't know if there's any practical in a CCNA exam.

    Would something like this be a better choice?

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CISCO-CCNA-CCNP-CCIE-LAB-2651XM-WS-C3550-48-2950T-WIC-1T-ROUTER-SWITCH-DB60-/161559797605?pt=UK_Computing_NetworkSwitches_RL&hash=item259db6df65

    or perhaps

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CISCO-CCNA-CCNP-CCIE-LAB-2651XM-WS-C3550-48-2950T-WIC-1T-ROUTER-SWITCH-DB60-/161559797605?pt=UK_Computing_NetworkSwitches_RL&hash=item259db6df65
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

    sriddle.co.uk
    uk.linkedin.com/in/simonriddle
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 897Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    generally, having 3 routers and 2 switches is better than 3 switches and 2 routers.
    and I would reccomend getting the least expensive equipment that is still good hardware for the ccna. things like 2950 switches, 2600xm routers. or the 1841 or 2800 series routers if they are a good price.
    once you finish the ccna you are going to need better equipment for the ccnp. But, while your studying for the ccna that expensive hardware is only getting cheaper. I feel it is better to let it get cheaper sitting on someone else's shelf than on yours. You probably will be able to sell your ccna equipment for almost what you paid for it.
  • theodoxatheodoxa Posts: 1,340Member
    While, you could do CCENT/CCNA using GNS3/Packet Tracer, having real equipment is better. Not only do you learn useful stuff that might not be on the actual exams, like password recovery and ROMMON, but employers might look at it more favorably. When I interviewed for my current job (shortly after receiving my CCNA), I was asked what equipment I had worked with. I listed off the hardware I'd configured (1700 Series, 2600 Series, 2800 Series, 2950, 2960, and 3550) or installed (2900 Series) and that seemed to satisfy the interviewers. It was clear the question was had I worked with live equipment or only simulators/GNS3.
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    Hmm if you could wait a couple of weeks I've got tonnes of routers I want shot of that I'll sell on cheaply.

    I'll be in London around Feb 4th-6th if you want to buy any of it.... whereabouts in London are you?

    I've got 2651's and other stuff in the attic that's, well, in the attic....
  • SimridSimrid Posts: 327Member
    I am based in Surrey, yourself?
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

    sriddle.co.uk
    uk.linkedin.com/in/simonriddle
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    South Wales, but will be in London, Feltham area shortly. CCIE Lab...
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,772Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I learned a ton from my home lab. I don't think you need one to pass the CCNA but it is another tool to consider. However if you want to work in networking then I think it would benefit you to get some hands on experience. I went overboard for CCNA and I don't regret it at all. I hope to start studying for one of the CCNP exams in the summer and I will be happy to get back into my lab with has been left in neglect for the last 5 months.

    Make sure you understand how you learn. If a lab keeps it interesting and keeps you motivated that's great. If a lab teaches you things you didn't know about the hardware or password resets that's great. However if a lab is the reason you don't study at all then ignore it. There is no right way but labs are another very useful tool.

    Good Luck!
  • bharvey92bharvey92 Posts: 419Member
    Everyone on here is right, you definitely want to get your hands on real equipment. GNS3 and Packet Tracer is great but seriously using physical hardware is the best - especially breaking it! :)

    PS: Gorebrush what equipment will you be selling off? I could do with some hardware for my lab!
    2018 Goal: CCIE Written [ ]
  • RodneyMcKayRodneyMcKay Posts: 18Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Is there anywhere that might detail what I ought to buy for a lab and reasonable prices?

    I was looking at these kits also, are they viable?
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,772Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    As a general rule kits cost you a little more for slightly older equipment. You are basically paying for someone else to gather and resell them.

    They are worth it if your in a hurry or don't care about the value. We all pay for convenience at some point.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    To the best of my memory, there is the following sat in the attic: -

    Cisco 3640 and a big ass serial card so it was used as a Frame-Switch
    Assorted 2600 series - I've got SIX of them.

    Got a bunch of serial cables and power cables as well.

    Each router has got at least 2 WIC ports - so there's a good mix.

    EDIT: One of them appears not to have a WIC card.

    I've also got 3 fully loaded Cisco 1841's and I'm thinking they are worth a fair bit more than the old ones above. Especially as they have a rather special IOS on them (15.3XB)

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CISCO1841-HSEC-K9-WITH-AIM-VPN-SSL-1-VPN-ROUTER-256-128MB-180-DAY-WARRANTY-/131162668883?pt=UK_Computing_NetworkSwitches_RL&hash=item1e89e77f53

    Like those.

    I just don't know if I need them anymore what with all the virtualisation is out there...
  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Posts: 552Member
    Is there anywhere that might detail what I ought to buy for a lab and reasonable prices?

    I was looking at these kits also, are they viable?

    You might start your reading on setting up a lab here:


    http://www.certificationkits.com/cisco-lab-suggestions/


    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.
  • MTciscoguyMTciscoguy Posts: 552Member
    Also, here is some suggestions for CCNP:

    Cisco CCNP Lab Suggestions | How to Build Your Own Lab
    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.
  • RodneyMcKayRodneyMcKay Posts: 18Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks, I'll take a look at these.
  • neubdaneubda Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I've some 1841's but don't have access to IOS 15.3XB or 15.5XB. I'm stuck with 15.1-4.M12a. For EIGRP named mode and OSPFv3 I need at least 15.3. Can you maybe help me or give me tip were to get this cross platform versions?
  • mikeybinecmikeybinec CCNA 200-120 Posts: 484Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    YES YOU DO WANT REAL STUFF!!! The reason why? You have to manufacture your' own cables (crossovers, rolled, even a few more straight throughs)
    Cisco NetAcad Cuyamaca College
    A.S. LAN Management 2010 Grossmont College
    B.S. I.T. Management 2013 National University
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