Best equipment for CCNP R&S in terms of quality?

joshua94nljoshua94nl Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone!

I am planning on doing CCNP R&S after I finish my curreny CCNA R&S. I currently attend a local college that provides me the CCNA course through the Cisco Networking Academy. I am interested in getting my own physical home lab because I want real life experience and am tired of simulators. Going through the NetAcad documentation on CCNP lab equipment I came up with this list of hardware that is advised for the NetAcad CCNP course:
- 4x CISCO1941-SEC/K9
- 2x WS-C3650-24TS-E
- 2x WS-C2960+24TC-L

What are your objective and professional opinions on this list? Should I try to get these pieces for a good price or are there cheaper alternatives that are able to do exactly the same? Money is not a huge issue, as long as it does not get above the €1500-2000 level. Note that I am going to do CCNP V2, so what was appropriate three years ago might not be today or next year. Also, advice on where best to buy for European customers is greatly appreciated! :D

Comments

  • jahsouljahsoul Member Posts: 453
    Most would tell you that you can get through with software (and that is true, as far as routing is concerned and around 90% of switching) but some people prefer hardware to software and if you are one of those folks

    *1921/1941 is a good basic router (shoot, I got a 1941 for sale cheap if you are looking)
    *3650? Unless they are throwing IOS-XE on the exam, then you can get by on 3560/3750
    *2960 will work just fine
    Reading: What ever is on my desk that day :study:
  • joshua94nljoshua94nl Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your reply. I have two questions regarding the models you mentioned.

    Concerning the 1921 and 1941, What is the difference between the two?

    Also about a 3560 and 3750, I saw on the Cisco support side that only the V2 models support IOS 15. Should I then go for the V2 model?
  • raghul725raghul725 Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    HI All,

    Sorry to hijack this thread and post my questions here.

    I am looking for switches for CCNP Switch and I understand Two Layer 2 switch and 2 Layer 3 switch should be sufficient to do labs.

    For Layer 3 3750\ 3560 switch what IOS version should I go for please?
    And say if I go for 2950 for Layer 2 switch which IOS verion should I opt for please

    Regards,
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    joshua94nl wrote: »
    Concerning the 1921 and 1941, What is the difference between the two?

    The 1921 is rack mountable and has I believe 2 vs. 3 HWIC slots. Both come with 512 MB of RAM per Cisco's Datasheets, but the 1941 is upgradeable to 2 GB. I'm not sure how much difference this makes.
    Also about a 3560 and 3750, I saw on the Cisco support side that only the V2 models support IOS 15. Should I then go for the V2 model?

    No. Even though it is not officially supported by Cisco, the 3560-24TS and 3560-48TS will run IOS 15. The PS Models don't have enough Flash to hold IOS 15. The 3560v2 is a waste of money IMHO. If I was going to shell out that much money, I'd go with a 3560G or 3560E (NOTE: The 3560E is a Serious Power Hog)
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    raghul725 wrote: »
    For Layer 3 3750\ 3560 switch what IOS version should I go for please?

    The latest version of 12.2SE for that model - 12.2(55)SE9 if I remember correctly - will cover all necessary features.
    And say if I go for 2950 for Layer 2 switch which IOS verion should I opt for please

    Whatever the newest IOS is. 12.1(22)EA14 is the version I have. Fortunately, it appears Cisco has put the 2950 IOSes back online, though i still don't see the 3550 listed. When I checked a few days ago, they only listed the 2960/3560 and newer switches on their downloads page.

    https://software.cisco.com/download/release.html?mdfid=270568146&flowid=2394&softwareid=280805680&release=12.1.22-EA14&relind=AVAILABLE&rellifecycle=ED&reltype=latest
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    joshua94nl wrote: »
    - 4x CISCO1941-SEC/K9
    - 2x WS-C3650-24TS-E
    - 2x WS-C2960+24TC-L

    I used 2 x 3560-24TS and 2 x 3750-24TS for CCNP SWITCH (300-115) and TSHOOT (642 Series). I would just go with all 3560-24TS is you can afford it as this will give you consistency in port numbering (the 3560 uses FastEthernet 0/{Port}, while the 3750 uses FastEthernet {Stack Member Number}/0/{Port}) and will run IOS 15.

    I couldn't say for sure about ROUTEv2 as I did v1, but I don't know of anything off the top of my head (If anyone does, feel free to chime in) that you couldn't do with an 1841. If you can afford the 1921 ($300-400), it is a nice router IMHO. Just look for one with Data and Security licenses included (It will say "Permanent" next to datak9 and securityk9 when you show the licenses). The licenses cost more than the router, rendering the IP Base Only model a paperweight.
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
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  • joshua94nljoshua94nl Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you Theodoxa for all the great input! I will stop looking for cheap v2 switches as the older ones can run IOS 15. But why not take the 3750 over the 3560? Normally a higher model number means that they are better, is that not the same with these two models, or can the 3750 not run IOS 15?
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    joshua94nl wrote: »
    Thank you Theodoxa for all the great input! I will stop looking for cheap v2 switches as the older ones can run IOS 15. But why not take the 3750 over the 3560? Normally a higher model number means that they are better, is that not the same with these two models, or can the 3750 not run IOS 15?

    The main difference between them are that the 3750 supports Stackwise, which is only a "describe" (there shouldn't be any configuration or Sims) topic on 300-115. Stackwise is the reason that the 3750 uses 3 digit port numbering rather than 2 digit numbering like the 3560 and 2960. The first number identifies the Switch in the stack.

    The 3560-24/48TS and all 3560G have enough Flash (32 MB) to run IOS 15. The only (Non-G) 3750 that has enough flash is the 3750-24FS (24 100Base-FX Fiber Ports) and not even all 3750Gs have 32 MB.

    16 MB Flash (IOS 12.2SE):

    3560-24/48PS
    3750-24/48PS
    3750-24/48TS
    3750G-12S
    3750G-16TD
    3750G-24T
    3750G-24TS
    3750G-24WS

    32 MB Flash (IOS 15.0SE):

    3560-8PC
    3560-24/48TS
    All 3560G
    3750-24FS
    3750G-24/48PS
    3750G-24TS-1U
    3750G-24WS
    3750G-48TS

    64 MB Flash:

    All 3560E (NOTE: The 3560E uses a Universal Image, which requires a license key to enable IP Services/Advanced L3 Functions)
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • joshua94nljoshua94nl Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Theodoxa, once again, thank you alot for all the tips and data you provided. I think I'll have enough information to look for the right equipment now :)
  • raghul725raghul725 Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you Theodoxa.
    So I understand the advantage of going for 3750 is, it can do stacking but I need to ensure it should be 3750G to get IOS 15.
    If I don't go for switch that supports IOS 15, I believe I may not be able to use it for say CCIE as some of the advanced features may not be supported in IOS12.2?

    In that case I reckon I can opt for 3560 that does IOS 15?
    I am I right?

    Thanks
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    raghul725 wrote: »
    Thank you Theodoxa.
    So I understand the advantage of going for 3750 is, it can do stacking but I need to ensure it should be 3750G to get IOS 15.

    Check the Datasheet because not all 3750G have 32 MB. For example, I have a 3750G-12S (12 Gigabit SFP Ports) that I scored cheap on eBay and it only has 16 MB of Flash.

    These were listed by Cisco as having 32 MB of Flash: 3750G-24PS, 3750G-24TS-1U*, 3750G-48PS, 3750G-24WS*, 3750G-48TS

    * There are 2 3750G-24TS (24TS and 24TS-1U). Only one of them is listed as having 32 MB. Also, I noticed that the 3750G-24WS is listed under both 16 and 32 MB. I verified this with the 3750 Datasheet and sure enough it is listed both ways, leaving one to wonder which is correct.

    Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches Data Sheet - Cisco
    If I don't go for switch that supports IOS 15, I believe I may not be able to use it for say CCIE as some of the advanced features may not be supported in IOS12.2?

    Per INE, you need IOS 15.0SE to complete all of their workbook labs (some labs could be completed with older switches). I don't know what/how many features are not supported on 12.2SE. If anyone knows, feel free to chime in.
    In that case I reckon I can opt for 3560 that does IOS 15?
    I am I right?

    Thanks

    Correct, the 3560 will run IOS 15.0SE as long as it isn't a PS (PoE) model. For some reason, the 3560-24/48PS only have 16 MB of Flash.

    BTW, it might be possible to boot IOS 15.0SE on a 16 MB Switch from HBOOT (ROMMON) using XModem. I was able to boot a switch with defective Flash using this method, but it took 30-45 minutes even with the Console set to 115200 BAUD. Plus, should the switch be reloaded, it would take another 30-45 minutes to reload the IOS.
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
    Security: CCNA [ ]
    Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    This is why I'm using nothing but 3750G 24's for L3 and 2960G 48's for L2; there a little more pricey but they support the latest versions and for a while they are good for CCIE. I got all of my 3750G's for less than $120 for each of them, just stalked ebay for a number of weeks and months until I got them for the lab. I use two 2821's and those sucker I got in a lot of 2 for $38, but I'll probably snag a number of 2811's since their slims, 2821's take up 6U each, 3750G's take up 4U and 2U if you get the ones with the SFP's. my Area O's 3750G's have SFP's for later thoughts.

    My home-lab is built for the CCNP: R&S.

    I swear if I get the CCIE/VCAP/MCSE in the next 7 year and I'm still sane I'll be content but I'll ask the wifey that question in 7 years , lol. icon_wink.gif

    Maybe this flow-chart will help you see what you might need. :)

  • hurricane1091hurricane1091 Member Posts: 918 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I passed the CCNA with just using simulators. I have 2900 series routers 3560 switches though. At work we have some 3650 and 3850 switches in the back that I'll use if I lab up there. I don't think it really matters for what you're looking to do. Some of the older stuff probably doesn't support certain commands though.
  • raghul725raghul725 Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Guys, OK I'll look for 3750 G\ 3560 (Non POE model).

    I can always find cheap switch on ebay US (.com), but we don't get stuff that cheap here in the UK (co.uk)!
    and if I go for gears from the US, the shipping and import cost shoots up!
  • raghul725raghul725 Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    HI All,

    I am back again with more questions, I am looking for 3560 48TS as 3750 currently way out of my budget starting from £300.
    Is it must to have Gig port in 3560 please? Some state max rate 100 Mb, will that be OK, as Gig switch are min £200!!!
  • raghul725raghul725 Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Also I guess we don't need SFP modules as we are not going to connect fiber for doing labs?
  • shortstop20shortstop20 Member Posts: 161 ■■■□□□□□□□
    raghul725 wrote: »
    Also I guess we don't need SFP modules as we are not going to connect fiber for doing labs?

    No need for fiber connections.
    CCNA Security - 6/11/2018
    CCNP TShoot - 3/7/2018
    CCNP Route - 1/31/2018
    CCNP Switch - 12/10/2015
    CCNA R/S - 1/14/2015
  • raghul725raghul725 Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you, what about my other question please? Is it a must to have Gig port?
    Regards
  • jahsouljahsoul Member Posts: 453
    raghul725 wrote: »
    Thank you, what about my other question please? Is it a must to have Gig port?
    Regards
    Would it be nice? Yes
    Is it needed? No
    Reading: What ever is on my desk that day :study:
  • MitechniqMitechniq Member Posts: 286 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think this was the best place to ask this question.

    I just acquired 4 3850's from work, we have a spare rack which I connected the 4 switches to my main Terminal Server. I noticed they are IOS-XE. Will I have any issues using these for my CCNP studies?
  • theodoxatheodoxa Member Posts: 1,340 ■■■■□□□□□□
    raghul725 wrote: »
    Is it must to have Gig port in 3560 please? Some state max rate 100 Mb, will that be OK, as Gig switch are min £200!!!

    For a lab, you only need 10/100. FWIW, most Cisco switches have 2-4 Gigabit uplinks (GBIC on the some 2950/3550 models, SFP on 3560/3750 models).

    I bought a 3560E for my breakout switch (CCIE) for better speed between my servers (2 x VMware ESXi 6.0). I wish I had gone with the 3560G though as the 3560E uses more power and puts out a lot of heat.
    R&S: CCENT CCNA CCNP CCIE [ ]
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  • raghul725raghul725 Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    OK brilliant, i just found


    Cisco WS-C3560-48TS-S Switch IP Services




    running

    lash:/c3560-ipservicesk9-mz.150-2.SE6/c3560-ipservicesk9-mz.150-2.SE6.bin

    for not a very high price, I guess I can go for this?
  • shortstop20shortstop20 Member Posts: 161 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Mitechniq wrote: »
    I think this was the best place to ask this question.

    I just acquired 4 3850's from work, we have a spare rack which I connected the 4 switches to my main Terminal Server. I noticed they are IOS-XE. Will I have any issues using these for my CCNP studies?

    I do not know of anything off the top of my head that functions differently. We have several 3850 in our work environment. The 3850 should certainly have all features needed for CCNP.

    Though it wouldn't surprise me if something, somewhere in the CCNP SWITCH curriculum functioned slightly different on a 3850. I bet it's at least 98% the same though.
    CCNA Security - 6/11/2018
    CCNP TShoot - 3/7/2018
    CCNP Route - 1/31/2018
    CCNP Switch - 12/10/2015
    CCNA R/S - 1/14/2015
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