Cisco home lab

MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hola,

I want to purchase a home lab setup to study CCNA and possibly CCNP (for next year). Someone recommended me this set because it comes with IOS 15.

Cisco Complete CCNA CCNP Certified Network Professional Home Lab Kit  15 1IOS | eBay

However, I am not sure if this is truly a good buy just yet. Would anyone on the forums who either has experience or maybe even purchase this bundle care to chime in?

Best,

PS: I just found this article that I will be reviewing but still would like to get help from those with experience.

CCNA Home Labs Revisited | CBT Nuggets

Comments

  • clarsonclarson Posts: 885Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The 2811 is a good router for all cisco certs depending on the ios version. and the ios version determines how much memory you need. What you'd prefer is to have version 15 of the ios that is capable of doing everything. That would be the adventerprise version of the ios. The version 15 of the adventerprise ios is larger than 64mb. Being those routers come with a 64mb cf, you aren't getting the adventerprise version of the ios. What you are getting is probably just fine for routing and switching. But, you probably will need to upgrade the ios and cf if you wanted to use it for a security or voice cert. And, voice requires 512mb of dram. You'd have to buy more memory to do voice.

    None of the switches are running version 15 of the ios. Not necessary for the ccna. But, at the ccnp level you'd prefer that they did. So, while very good for the ccna cert, you will probably have to do some upgrades for other certs.

    Now to give you something else to think about. I do have a lab for sale on the forum. Forum -> General Certification -> For Sale go to the very last thread. The lab is thread #919.

    That lab has 3x routers and 2x switches. They all do run version 15 of the ios, even the switches. Doesn't come with a rack or rack mount brackets. But, has more wics and more cables. all for $150 less.
  • Sy KosysSy Kosys Posts: 105Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Don't wish to hijack this thread, but I had similar questions putting together an at-home CCNP lab.

    I, too, looked at the "bundled" pre-made ebay lab and it just didn't fit the bill. Long story short, I got:
    2x 2960's running 15.x
    2x 3560's running 15.x
    1x 2811 with 2 WIC1DSU, also running 15.x
    All for just about the same $$ as that bundle, except this will be accurate for beyond CCNA-level courses.

    Shout out to clarson above for helping me in the decision-making process a few days ago icon_cheers.gif

    /fin
    "The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
    ― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you both for your input! I am definitely looking for more modern equipment instead of the 1800 series. I was told to look for 2800 series for router and for 3500-3700 switches depending how series I am in my cert.

    Sy, may I ask how much memory these equipment came with?
  • SimridSimrid Posts: 327Member
    I would say you need at least a 3560 if you are looking at doing CCNP. CCNP requires private vlans of which 2950's and 2960's can't offer.
    Network Engineer | London, UK | Currently working on: CCIE Routing & Switching

    sriddle.co.uk
    uk.linkedin.com/in/simonriddle
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    Micronewb wrote: »
    Thank you both for your input! I am definitely looking for more modern equipment instead of the 1800 series. I was told to look for 2800 series for router and for 3500-3700 switches depending how series I am in my cert.

    Sy, may I ask how much memory these equipment came with?

    I use an 1841 and 4x 2811's (actually only use/need 2 but the other 2 came up cheap so I've stuck an 8-port NM-8AS serial card in one for when I get to frame relay). For my switches I have a 2960 and 2x 3560, I've heard 3750's are good switches but otherwise I'd stick to 60-series not 50-series. A point to watch out for which I didn't learn until after I bought them - DON'T BUY PoE SWITCHES (or only buy 1 if you're planning to do voice or wireless) - look for WS-C3560-24TS switches not 24PS (P denotes PoE) as the PoE has less flash and can't run IOS 15.

    Just to clarify, series numbers go in 100's for routers, so avoid 2600-series of which there are lots for sale and buy 2800-series which will only cost slightly more. 2821 and 2851 are larger but better than 2801 and 2811 if you plan to do voice as they're more expandable and have gigabit ethernet, but if they're going to cost you more or you have no plans for voice then stick with 2811's.

    And switch series number go in 10's so the 2960 replaced the 2950 (but to confuse matters you can still buy 2960's now, but they're totally different beasts than the older ones).
  • MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Once again thank you all!!! This is going to defiantly take some time and research for me to make the right decision on this matter but as of now it looks like I am better of not doing the bundle in the link and instead buying the hardware one by one.

    Maybe I will start simple and buy one router and one switch for the CCNET and then once I pass it buy more for the CCNA. Is this a logical decision?
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 885Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well, when you buy pieces of equipment one at a time the shipping really starts to add up. So, that is one consideration.
    What you should do is decide if you want equipment that can be used for the ccnp cert instead of just the ccna. You can put together an acceptable ccna lab for under $150. But, most of that equipment isn't adequate for studying for the ccnp. You could try to resell and recover some of your expense. Or, you could put that money toward buying equipment that would be usable for the ccnp.
    I'd guess a ccnp lab could be put together for about $70 per piece of equipment including all the memory, wics, and cables.you need 8 pieces of equipment for the ccnp. So, 8x$70 is $560. Now, you get 3x routers and 2x switches for your ccna lab. That is 5x$70 or $350. That is $200 more than a cheap ccna lab.
    So, you get a cheap ccna lab now and when you go for the ccnp it will cost you $500 to get a ccnp lab. or spend $200 more now on a real good ccna lab and then it only costs about $200 more to get a ccnp lab. It comes down to weather you want to spend $200 now to save $100 later.
    And, with a better ccna lab you won't need to upgrade the routers or switches for other certs. You will probably need to purchase more specialized equipment. Such as for the ccna security cert you will need an asa security appliance. But, the routers and switches support everything you need as far as security.
    I comes down to weather you want to spend more now to save money later when you go for other certs. And, you will have to decide where and how far you are wanting to go.
  • Sy KosysSy Kosys Posts: 105Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Micronewb wrote: »
    Thank you both for your input! I am definitely looking for more modern equipment instead of the 1800 series. I was told to look for 2800 series for router and for 3500-3700 switches depending how series I am in my cert.

    Sy, may I ask how much memory these equipment came with?

    2x3560 and 2x2960 are 128DRAM/32Flash (again, h/t clarson for setting me straight), which is essential since the 15.x IOS requires greater than the 16Mb flash thats on 2950/3550 series switches, which BTW is what is in that ebay lab you linked to.

    The 2811 came with 768/256, and will be more than sufficient for CCNA. However, for CCNP Route I've found this will fit the bill for the majority of the exam topics but not all. In order to do that, you'll need 15.2 or higher IOS which is unsupported on the 28x1 platform. Me personally, I'm contemplating a 1921 series router (or 3, yikes) for the physical equip. Presuming of course that GNS3 cooperates with me lol. YMMV

    Enjoy building your lab! :)
    "The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
    ― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    clarson wrote: »
    Well, when you buy pieces of equipment one at a time the shipping really starts to add up. So, that is one consideration.
    What you should do is decide if you want equipment that can be used for the ccnp cert instead of just the ccna. You can put together an acceptable ccna lab for under $150. But, most of that equipment isn't adequate for studying for the ccnp. You could try to resell and recover some of your expense. Or, you could put that money toward buying equipment that would be usable for the ccnp.
    I'd guess a ccnp lab could be put together for about $70 per piece of equipment including all the memory, wics, and cables.you need 8 pieces of equipment for the ccnp. So, 8x$70 is $560. Now, you get 3x routers and 2x switches for your ccna lab. That is 5x$70 or $350. That is $200 more than a cheap ccna lab.
    So, you get a cheap ccna lab now and when you go for the ccnp it will cost you $500 to get a ccnp lab. or spend $200 more now on a real good ccna lab and then it only costs about $200 more to get a ccnp lab. It comes down to weather you want to spend $200 now to save $100 later.
    And, with a better ccna lab you won't need to upgrade the routers or switches for other certs. You will probably need to purchase more specialized equipment. Such as for the ccna security cert you will need an asa security appliance. But, the routers and switches support everything you need as far as security.
    I comes down to weather you want to spend more now to save money later when you go for other certs. And, you will have to decide where and how far you are wanting to go.

    So true clarson, after checking earlier today some routers I saw shipping ranged from 50-70 dollars. Crazy expensive! Now I am back to square one. Essentially I am comfortable spending $500-$600 dollars on a lab since I know this little project/hobby will take time to achieve.
  • MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sy Kosys wrote: »
    2x3560 and 2x2960 are 128DRAM/32Flash (again, h/t clarson for setting me straight), which is essential since the 15.x IOS requires greater than the 16Mb flash thats on 2950/3550 series switches, which BTW is what is in that ebay lab you linked to.

    The 2811 came with 768/256, and will be more than sufficient for CCNA. However, for CCNP Route I've found this will fit the bill for the majority of the exam topics but not all. In order to do that, you'll need 15.2 or higher IOS which is unsupported on the 28x1 platform. Me personally, I'm contemplating a 1921 series router (or 3, yikes) for the physical equip. Presuming of course that GNS3 cooperates with me lol. YMMV

    Enjoy building your lab! :)

    Wait, why would you go back to an older router?

    And thank you!
  • Sy KosysSy Kosys Posts: 105Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Micronewb wrote: »
    Wait, why would you go back to an older router?

    And thank you!

    Cuz it supports 15.4 IOS, or more specifically it supports beyond 15.1 which is needed for "new" 300-1xx CCNP exam path :)

    EDIT: I should clarify by saying the 15.1 IOS should be sufficient for the majority of topics covered, I've seen estimates at 85% but I have no direct knowledge of that, so take these words with a grain of salt. I'm sure others on here can provide greater clarifications.

    FWIW, the 4 switches and 1 router (so far) with cabling up the wazoo was about $380 w/o shipping. With 4 more routers to do the rest of ccnp, easily add another $400 - $600. Your money, spend it wisely :)

    PS> I'm no expert on the subject at all, but many an hour in the past week researching this has given me a much better understanding of what is, was, and what's to be.

    I hope this has helped you in some regard, be well.
    "The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
    ― Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 885Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Micronewb wrote: »
    Wait, why would you go back to an older router?

    And thank you!
    Not sure what you mean by an older router.
    1800, 2800, and 3800 model routers are ISR generation 1 routers. And, 1900, 2900, and 3900 model routers are ISR generation 2 routers.
    1900 routers are newer than 2800 routers.
  • MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh man! I think I understand now. I went off the rail when it came to the numbering of routers/switches but thank you both once again for all this information.

    So to recap on the routers is this the correct way to think about them?

    ISR1/ISR2
    1800/1900 - lower class
    2800/2900 - middle class
    3800/3900 - high end class

    Which I was suggested by you guys to look for 2800s since I am not doing VOIP but I take a hit if I ever make it to the ccnp since IOS 15.2 or higher is required and none of the ISR1 support it.

    As for switches is this far to assume

    Max flash
    16MB/32MB
    2950/2960 - lower class
    3550/3560 - middle class
    3750/3760 - high end class
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 885Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The 2800 does support voice just fine. Just need the right ios and amount of memory.
    There is a trade off to be made between what capabilities the equipment has and how much it costs.
    If you get equipment that can do everything for the ccnp or ccie and you will be paying $1000's if not 10's of 1000s.
    But, what most people studying for the ccnp or the ccie are doing for labs is using 2800s and paying less than $1000 for a ccnp lab and less than $2000 for a ccie lab. Then if there is a concept they don't quite understand they will rent rack time. You can get a ccie rack for $1 an hour. But, lots pass without needing to rent rack time at all

    most 3560 only have 16mb of flash, only the "ts" models have 32mb
    The 3560/3750 V2 and G models have 32mb also. But, more expensive also
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Posts: 1,403Member
    why not use gns3 or virl? Install it in your laptop and you can lab anywhere without paying for electricity.
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    Micronewb wrote: »
    As for switches is this far to assume

    Max flash
    16MB/32MB
    2950/2960 - lower class
    3550/3560 - middle class
    3750/3760 - high end class

    Clarson already picked up on this point and I mentioned it in my previous post, but just to be VERY clear...

    3560 PoE has 16mb Flash and CANNOT be upgraded to IOS 15 so make sure the model is 3560-24TS or 3560-48TS which have 32mb Flash and not the PS models.

    I am refering to the old 10/100 Fast Ethernet switches and not the newer 3560 V2 or gigabit 3560G models.
  • MicronewbMicronewb Posts: 41Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you everyone! I am going to take the next few weeks to simply study the book, and use packet tracer to become familiar with the concepts and such. Then once I return to the states I will start looking for the equipment. Maybe in June they will have good deals. :P

    But once again thank you! I will probably jut piggy-back on your setup Sy since you seem to be happy as it fits the needs for CCNA and some of CCNP.

    "2x 2960's running 15.x
    2x 3560's running 15.x
    1x 2811 with 2 WIC1DSU, also running 15.x
    All for just about the same $$ as that bundle, except this will be accurate for beyond CCNA-level courses"

    But during my trip will deff use virtual software.
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