CCNA Lab

Markioa1983Markioa1983 Posts: 14Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Ok, so looking to invest in a physical lab now instead of packet tracer. What kit would you recommend? Also any good advice where to purchase from in the UK. Is Ebay, Guntree, etc etc still the best places?

Comments

  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    I bought a 3 switches and 3 routers from eBay:

    1x WS-C2960TC-L layer2 - (C2960-LANBASEK9-M), Version 12.2(50)SE5, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
    1x WS-C3560PS-S layer3 PoE - (C3560-IPBASEK9-M), Version 12.2(55)SE3, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
    1x WS-C3560PS-S layer3 PoE - (C3560-IPBASEK9-M), Version 12.2(55)SE8, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc2)
    1x 1841 with 1x WIC1T serial - (C1841-SPSERVICESK9-M), Version 12.4(6)T7, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc5)
    1x 2811 with 1x WIC1T serial - (C2800NM-SPSERVICESK9-M), Version 12.4(15)T7, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc3)
    1x 2811 with 1x WIC1T serial and 1x WIC1ADSL - (C2800NM-ADVENTERPRISEK9-M), Version 12.4(16), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)

    Afterwards I learned that the 3560PS-S can't be upgraded as easily as a non-PoE 3560-TS-S model as it only has 16mb onboard flash vs 32mb, and that I should perhaps have paid attention to the IOS versions installed (ipbase or ipservices). You can generally download lower levels of switch 12.x IOS's (lanbase for 2960, ipbase for 3560) but for more advanced IOS images, router IOS's and/or 15.x IOS's you'll need Smartnet or a friend with copies (see link below to one of my other threads). I would definitely suggest asking the seller exactly what IOS is installed ahead of buying so at least you know what you're getting rather than taking pot luck like me.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/115208-understanding-cisco-ios-versions-updating.html

    Knowing what I know now, and thinking ahead in case I want to continue after CCNA, I'm going to get myself another layer3 switch and another router. This time though I'll pay more attention to the switch model and try to make sure it'll be usable if I carry on to do CCNP, probably going to be looking at 3750 or a better 3560 model, maybe even with IOS 15 if I can find one. And for the router I have my eye on a 2851 as it's larger and more expandable than what I have. With a cheap NM-4T serial module it'll serve me for frame relay and should be suitable if I look at CCNA Collaboration (I was interested in Voice but it's recently been dropped and is now part of Collaboration). Still some on eBay for £45 running IOS 15.

    I'm sure lots of people will steer you towards older kit and say it's perfectly adequate but I doubt you'll save much money unless you drop really lucky so what's the point. I paid £34 and £39 for my 2811's, £40 for my 2960 and £50 each for my 3560's, all prices delivered so make your own mind up, but also budget for extras - power cables and rack mount kits if you didn't make sure they were included, serial/console/CAT5 cables, server rack and PDU, it all adds up.

    PS: Not got around to doing any IOS upgrades as yet, still hoping someone will give me copies of the better images, but as is they've been great learning aids. A couple even had to be factory reset which the seller hadn't done, again great for learning. I designed myself a network using a layer3 switch for dhcp and used vlans and with help from other forum users have got it all working which helped understand the topics better. Next stop for me is setting up redundancy using spanning tree and adding my other routers into the mix to simulate remote sites so I can set up ospf, and then it's on to ACLs.
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    Take a read of these threads:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/115472-do-i-need-layer-3-switch.html
    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/105168-3560-3750-my-ccnp-home-lab.html

    I recommend looking for WS-C3560-24TS-S switches unless you need PoE. The second link has a list in post #15 of layer3 switches with 32mb onboard flash, necessary if you want to install IOS 15 at any stage, and a list of those with only 16mb to avoid.
  • TWXTWX Posts: 259Member
    Just to offer some additional perspective, the course I took during this current iteration of the exam had us using 2621XM routers as branch routers 2950 switches attached to those branch routers, a 3600-series as the core router that the instructor managed for serial/frame relay, and a Fast Ethernet 3560 as a core L3 switch.

    There were a lot more questions that referred to speeds other than gigabit than referred to gigabit.

    If I were building my lab over again from scratch I'd get a couple of 2800-series routers, a 3560 as a L3 switch, three 2950 or 2960 switches to play with spanning-tree on, and three 2621XM routers to use for GLBP practice. GLBP is a topic on the exam. I would get as many serial interface cards as possible and the requisite cables, as serial and frame relay are still a large component of the test.
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    TWX wrote: »
    If I were building my lab over again from scratch I'd get a couple of 2800-series routers, a 3560 as a L3 switch, three 2950 or 2960 switches to play with spanning-tree on, and three 2621XM routers to use for GLBP practice. GLBP is a topic on the exam. I would get as many serial interface cards as possible and the requisite cables, as serial and frame relay are still a large component of the test.

    Pretty much my setup then. The 2811's support GLBP (Gateway Load Balancing Protocol) so I'd just have more of them as they cost the same on eBay as the older 2621XM's TWX wants.

    If I were building my lab over again from scratch I'd get a 2851 instead of the 1841 router, and a WS-C3560-24TS-S instead of my 2960 switch, and both would be running IOS 15.

    I've just been looking on eBay and found some bargains with a couple of different sellers selling expanded 2811's if you can collect:

    From Colchester 1x 2811 including 4x WIC1ADSL cards (selling at £6 each) for £30.
    From Leicester 2x 2811 including NM-8B-S/T 8-port ISDN card (selling at £18 each) for £30 each or offers. This seller also has a 1721 router (£10), a 3620 modular router (£20) and a PIX515E firewall (£20).
  • james43026james43026 Posts: 303Member
    Lots of good suggestions above. Except I wouldn't recommend buying a 3560 as a L3 switch, as it can't do private VLAN's, which you would need for CCNP studies. I would personally buy 3750's as my L3 switches, that way you are completely covered.
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    james43026 wrote: »
    Lots of good suggestions above. Except I wouldn't recommend buying a 3560 as a L3 switch, as it can't do private VLAN's, which you would need for CCNP studies. I would personally buy 3750's as my L3 switches, that way you are completely covered.

    Are you sure about that? The Catalyst 3560 Software Configuration Guide, Release 12.2(52)SE suggests you can...
    Catalyst 3560 Software Configuration Guide, Release 12.2(52)SE - Configuring Private VLANs [Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches] - Cisco
  • Chev ChelliosChev Chellios Posts: 341Member
    Hey man, thanks for the update- when I was looking at setting a home lab up ages ago the prices were a lot more. I had best get shopping again then, PT is nice but having the real kit benefits real world trouble shooting as well as the exams, plus it's all good hands on experience!

    From Leicester 2x 2811 including NM-8B-S/T 8-port ISDN card (selling at £18 each) for £30 each or offers. This seller also has a 1721 router (£10), a 3620 modular router (£20) and a PIX515E firewall (£20).

    Will definitely check that out, not too far from me icon_smile.gif
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    Hey man, thanks for the update- when I was looking at setting a home lab up ages ago the prices were a lot more. I had best get shopping again then, PT is nice but having the real kit benefits real world trouble shooting as well as the exams, plus it's all good hands on experience!

    From Leicester 2x 2811 including NM-8B-S/T 8-port ISDN card (selling at £18 each) for £30 each or offers. This seller also has a 1721 router (£10), a 3620 modular router (£20) and a PIX515E firewall (£20).

    Will definitely check that out, not too far from me icon_smile.gif

    Oops sorry, just bought the 2811's and PIX as I'm not too far away either. I'm sure 5 routers is a bit overkill especially as I would still like a 2851 so I may sell some at some stage.
  • TWXTWX Posts: 259Member
    A lot of routers does one good thing for you, it forces you to retype the same commands time after time and it forces you to consider how to plan your IP layout to where it makes sense. Might not be quite so critical for CCNA, but would probably be very important for CCNP...
  • Chev ChelliosChev Chellios Posts: 341Member
    Damn you GDaines, haha. Nice work on getting so much kit for such cheap prices- if you want to shift any of it in the near future give me a shout. PT is ok but having real kit to mess around with is much more fun!
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