Need help on choosing Cisco Equipment to pass CCNA

j.cisco_xj.cisco_x Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Right now, I am studying for the Network + exam, as I do not have an IT background.

I am looking for advice in regards to buying Cisco routers and switches, so I can pass the CCENT and CCNA.

I understand that the CCENT and CCNA exam versions are going to change from version 2 to version 3.

The ICND1 exam and training course have been revised from v2.0 to v3.0. The last day to test for the 100-101 ICND1 v2.0 exam will be August 20, 2016.

The ICND2 exam and training course have been revised from v2.0 to v3.0. The last day to test for the 200-101 ICND2 v2.0 exam will be September 24, 2016.

By September I will not be ready to take the exams.

I found this Cisco Lab kit online on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Cisco-Certified-Network-Professional/dp/B00IPQUNUI?ie=UTF8&keywords=cisco%20router&qid=1463489767&ref_=sr_1_6&s=pc&sr=1-6) and would like to know if these are adequate to really help me gain experience and successfully pass the newest versions of CCENT / CCNA.

I know there are different Cisco routers and switches, each with different options. I just want to find the best one to help me learn successfully. I read that fans on the 24/48 port switches can be loud and port 8 models are quieter.

Would you also recommend something like packet tracer as well or something like GNS3?

Should I be concerned with information such as End-of-Life for the routers and switches: End-of-Sale and End-of-Life Announcement for the Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Router Licenses and Accessories - Cisco

Thanks in advance for your response.


Comments

  • aftereffectoraftereffector Posts: 525Member
    Honestly? Get Packet Tracer and GNS3. I like Packet Tracer for CCENT and CCNA because you can run it in "simulation" mode, which lets you watch a visualization of your protocol flow through the network - for instance, you can choose OSPF and watch the routers communicate with each other as they converge. It helped me understand the sequences that I read about in the books. GNS3 will give you access to the 'real' IOS rather than a simulated IOS, but Packet Tracer should contain all the commands you would need for CCNA. You don't need real equipment unless you want something tangible; while there are some benefits to dealing with actual hardware, I think the disadvantages of cost, space, power consumption, and noise just aren't worth it in many cases.
    CCIE Security - this one might take a while...
  • GDainesGDaines Posts: 266Member
    Honestly? Get Packet Tracer and GNS3.

    There are two schools of thought: Those like myself that like to get my hands on real kit as there are some things you just can't do in a sim, and those that don't like to spend money. Think of it like sex, you get a much better experience doing it with the real thing!
    j.cisco_x wrote: »
    I am looking for advice in regards to buying Cisco routers and switches, so I can pass the CCENT and CCNA.

    I found this Cisco Lab kit online on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Cisco-Certified-Network-Professional/dp/B00IPQUNUI?ie=UTF8&keywords=cisco%20router&qid=1463489767&ref_=sr_1_6&s=pc&sr=1-6) and would like to know if these are adequate to really help me gain experience and successfully pass the newest versions of CCENT / CCNA.

    I know there are different Cisco routers and switches, each with different options. I just want to find the best one to help me learn successfully. I read that fans on the 24/48 port switches can be loud and port 8 models are quieter.

    Cisco states that for the AdvancedEnterprise or AdvancedIPServices IOS you should be installing you need 512mb ram and 128mb flash, but the devices are listed as only having 256mb ram and 64mb flash meaning at best they're running a lower spec IOS. That's fine for the most part, but at some stage if you go beyond CCNA I've often read you'll need the higher spec IOS.

    I also note that they're only supplying 2950 Layer2 switches which, depending on how far you want to take your studies may well be okay, but personally I went for newer 60-series switches for which there will probably be very little cost difference. If you're going to continue past CCNA and on to CCNP then your should probably get 3560 Layer3 switches, but the "TS" or "TT" models you need will be quite expensive in comparison. Don't buy "PS" PoE switches which are cheaper but can't run IOS 15.

    If you're buying current model gigabit switches then 8-port will of course be cheaper and quieter than 24/48-port, but for CCNA studies I doubt you'll want to spend the sort of money they will set you back. I don't know if you can get 8-port in the older 10/100 models, or if they'll be any cheaper if you can, so all I can say is make sure they're Catalyst switches that run Cisco IOS, and check the specs as even if they do they'll probably be limited to IOS 12 anyway.

    j.cisco_x wrote: »
    Should I be concerned with information such as End-of-Life for the routers and switches: End-of-Sale and End-of-Life Announcement for the Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Router Licenses and Accessories - Cisco

    In short no, all your home lab kit is likely to be end-of-life.
  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Posts: 217Member
    CBT Nuggets with Jeremy Cioara, Boson practice exams, GNS3, and Cisco Press books for reference.

    While real equipment does have its allure, I can't see it making much difference in CCNA. If you can plug in a cable with an rj45 end, a power cable, and a serial cable, then I don't see transitioning from GNS3 to real equipment in the job world being a major leap.

    Virtual environments have become very good in recent years.
  • j.cisco_xj.cisco_x Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Honestly? Get Packet Tracer and GNS3. I like Packet Tracer for CCENT and CCNA because you can run it in "simulation" mode, which lets you watch a visualization of your protocol flow through the network - for instance, you can choose OSPF and watch the routers communicate with each other as they converge. It helped me understand the sequences that I read about in the books. GNS3 will give you access to the 'real' IOS rather than a simulated IOS, but Packet Tracer should contain all the commands you would need for CCNA. You don't need real equipment unless you want something tangible; while there are some benefits to dealing with actual hardware, I think the disadvantages of cost, space, power consumption, and noise just aren't worth it in many cases.

    I appreciate your answer. Where can I get Packet Tracer for free? I know I can download it from the Cisco website for free, but I will only get a 1 hour trial.

    There are some Cisco Network Academy schools in my city in NC, but the course cost about $3,000.

    I will also look into GSN3.
  • j.cisco_xj.cisco_x Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi GDaines,

    Thank you for all of the helpful information that you have provided me. I will look into the equipment and see what I can do. If I have any other inquiry, I can let you know. :D
  • j.cisco_xj.cisco_x Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    CBT Nuggets with Jeremy Cioara, Boson practice exams, GNS3, and Cisco Press books for reference.

    While real equipment does have its allure, I can't see it making much difference in CCNA. If you can plug in a cable with an rj45 end, a power cable, and a serial cable, then I don't see transitioning from GNS3 to real equipment in the job world being a major leap.

    Virtual environments have become very good in recent years.

    I will look into CBT Nuggets, the Boson practice exams, as well as the Cisco Press books. Thank you for the helpful resources! You have been very helpful! :)
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