CCNA/CCNP home lab

MotorheadMikeMotorheadMike Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi. I've been in IT for a long time and have begun studying for the CCNA. I have some networking experience and don't find the material that difficult but it is interesting and challenging. My job involves some troubleshooting already and I have a lot of time to study in general. After the CCNA I plan to tackle the CCNP and one day, I hope, CCIE. One day...... :)

I would like to set up a home lab for CCNA that will also be used for CCNP so I can have the experience and also because I enjoy it. Money is a concern of course but I am OK with spending a bit.

I assume not to worry about CCIE applicability because it will be a long time before I get to that and I will have to get newer hardware for CCIE at that point. I also use emulators for CCNA so I figure I am most concerned that the lab be good for CCNP.

If anyone can help me with the best options for a CCNA/CCNP home lab I would be most grateful and I will treat you to dinner and adult beverages if you ever visit - or live in! - NYC.




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    hiracelmo netohiracelmo neto Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    good morning people!

    Please i need help for 300-135 test please someone help
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    SimridSimrid Member Posts: 327
    You've got two options; virtual labs or hardware labs. Personally, I prefer virtual labs - I think it's the easiest and quickest way to look at a topology and it's more time efficient. Most virtual labs are free, apart from VIRL.

    The most popular virtual labs are:


    Physical kit with CCNP scalablity:

    3x3750 (useful for stacking at CCNP level, although a 3560 is suffice as this supports private vlans)

    You could simply configure your switch with the command "ip routing" which will turn the switch into a layer 3 device. This will enable you to do most stuff for CCNA level exept frame relay.
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

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    PristonPriston Member Posts: 999 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If your going to buy physical gear, I'd recommend starting with 3 routers and 3 switches. later if you want 4 routers and 4 switches, then buy them when your ready for them.

    For routers:
    The best choice would be to get 1st gen ISRs, (1841, 2811, etc) since they don't cost much at all.
    2nd gen ISRs (1941, 2901, 2911) are still a little pricey.
    Stay away from the old multiserivce routers. (2600, 2600xm, 3600, 3700) The old multiservice routers are a waste of money considering they are the same price as the newer 1st gen ISRs.

    For switches:
    get at least 2x layer 3 switches
    I'd recommend 3560-24ts (TS come with 32mb so you can install IOS 15.)
    3750 are also good (if you can find them with 32mb flash to install IOS 15)
    2960 are good if you want a mix of layer 2 and layer 3 switches.
    A.A.S. in Networking Technologies
    A+, Network+, CCNA
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    GSXR750K2GSXR750K2 Member Posts: 323 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I concur with the recommendations here.

    For my CCNA I only had:

    2x 871W ISR (max/max...good for messing with wireless and SOHO configs)
    2x 1841 ISR (384D/64F)
    2x 2960-24TT

    I believe the 1841s can, at the moment, be used all the way up to CCIE. They are small, quiet, relatively cheap, and capable. While I'm still in the process of plugging away at my CCNP, I expanded my lab to include the items above plus:

    2x 1841 ISR (384D/64F)
    2x 2821 ISR (max/max...forgot what it is)
    2x 3750-24PS

    The only benefit to the 3750 over the 3560 is that the 3750s are stackable...two (or more) switches hooked together to make one logical switch. Both will do routing and PVLAN...the 3550 will not do PVLAN. Also, the 28xx routers will do voice and the 3750-24PS will power phones since they are PoE, so if you wanted to go down the VOICE track they would be needed (I think CME 8.6 is the highest the 28xx will do, so I don't know how relevant that still is). Additional equipment I used to work on my CCNA-Sec and will hopefully be useful for the CCNP-Sec (if the equipment isn't too old by then):

    2x 5505 ASA (not really worth it...kind of odd balls in the 55xx line, I don't believe they can do Act/Act failover like the higher models)
    1x 5520 ASA
    1x 4260 IPS

    GNS3 is also a great tool to use, but I found working with the real equipment made me more aware about what I was learning.
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    kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    I am a heavy utilizer of GNS3 due to portability but here is what I'd suggest for that if you want to go that route.

    Buy physical switches. Layer 3. At least 2 of them. So 3750-24PS can be 10/100 series to save money.
    Then if you have a desktop install a secondary NIC card in your desktop. Use GNS3 as your routers hook it to a cloud (GNS3 cloud) and then trunk it to your switch stack.

    Then you have a large route-able network that you can access with no issues but you have a full and stable switch network with Physical hands on.

    GNS3 is great but you can't see what a broadcast storm looks like physically on it.
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