CCIE lab options?

nickelitonickelito Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello,

I am getting ready to start my CCIE journey but I need help with deciding how to build my lab.
Im on a pretty tight budget but dont want that to become a limitation, so im looking at virtual options like VIRL, IOU and GNS3.
If real gear is the only way to go i guess thats how it has to be but i want to avoid that if possible.

What would you recommend and what do you use yourselves?

Comments

  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,025Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    First question you'll have to answer is which track. I'm guessing R&S, but without knowing for sure, we won't be able to help you.

    Also, is your certification list on your profile up to date? If so, I'm wondering why you're starting on CCIE if you haven't completed CCNP yet.
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Posts: 0Unregistered / Not Logged In ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well technically the OP doesn't need to have the CCNP to get the CCIE rs as There are no formal prerequisites for CCIE certification indicated on the Cisco website. The OP may just want to jump right in. To the OP I seen plenty of posts on here asking the same questions. Assuming your're asking for CCIE RS most people use CSR1000v on VM's. INE states you can complete all tasks for the CCIE RS using VIRL.
  • joelsfoodjoelsfood Posts: 1,025Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    There is certainly no test requirement to earn your CCNP before your CCIE, but it tends to be a wiser path in regards to knowledge and experience. That was the only reason I was asking. Trying to jump straight from CCNA to CCIE is likely just to lead to frustration and dropping the idea completely, rather than completing the process.
  • Legacy UserLegacy User Posts: 0Unregistered / Not Logged In ■□□□□□□□□□
    Wiser definitely!
  • nickelitonickelito Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi guys,

    Im taking the CCNP TSHOOT exam this friday which will be the last one in the series for me.
    I feel like I've studied enough for that exam already, so I was just thinking why not start planning for whats next instead of wasting time just sitting around and waiting :)

    And yes, it is R&S I am planning to go for
  • chrisonechrisone CISSP, eCPPT, CCNP RS, CCDP, CCNA SEC, LFCS Posts: 1,828Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    nickelito wrote: »
    Hi guys,

    Im taking the CCNP TSHOOT exam this friday which will be the last one in the series for me.
    I feel like I've studied enough for that exam already, so I was just thinking why not start planning for whats next instead of wasting time just sitting around and waiting :)

    And yes, it is R&S I am planning to go for


    This is called excitement! Use it and stay motivated for your CCIE run!

    You could get away with VIRL or GNS3 for the routing portion of your studies. You will need rack rentals and hardware for your switching technologies.

    I think in the end you should get lab workbooks, CBT videos, and rack time from a reputable company that trains CCIEs. One of the top companies is INE. You will probably end up spending 3-4 thousand for the study materials. Its an investment but worth the journey.

    INE R/S ultimate bundle is 1500
    You will need to buy more rack time. Probably another 1500.
    CCIE Routing & Switching Bundles - INE

    good luck!
    2019 Goals:
    Courses: Real World Red Team Attacks- AppSec Cali 2019 (complete), Active Directory Attacks for Red and Blue Teams Advanced Edition - BlackHat,
    Certs: SLAE, Certified Red Team Professional - Pentester Academy (in progress), Certified Red Team Expert - Pentester Academy
  • N3TW0RK_N3RDN3TW0RK_N3RD Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    chrisone has good input. INE is a great investment, our CCIE's prefer them. Another option is to build your own server (inexpensive) capable of running CSR1000v's, which INE also recommends. I finished my server build on AMD Opteron's purchase on the Bay for approximately $25 each and reallocated server memory (also available on the Bay) and an ASUS board from the Egg. Several options available, chose the best for you.
  • nickelitonickelito Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your feedback guys!

    I have one question about the INE training materials. Is the CCIE ultimate really necessary for this? The all access pass seems to include all content anyway a why pay the double for the ultimate bundle, I don't understand what that package includes that the all access pass does not?
  • DPGDPG Posts: 780Member
    You get a workbook and rack rental tokens with the bundle.

  • nickelitonickelito Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you, I realized that the link provided above has info about that. Ultimate also lets you download the content.

    Anyways, what is the advantages of getting VIRL instead of just using IOU in GNS3? To me it looks just like an expensive gui when you compare them, plus more demanding hardware requirements.
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
    nickelito wrote: »
    Thank you, I realized that the link provided above has info about that. Ultimate also lets you download the content.

    Anyways, what is the advantages of getting VIRL instead of just using IOU in GNS3? To me it looks just like an expensive gui when you compare them, plus more demanding hardware requirements.

    Easier config management. If you're looking at using INE's workbook, a big plus with VIRL is that you can just import all labs with configs already set up, and just boot them as you go. On the other hand, using CSR1000v has advantages too in terms of config management because you can upload every single config to the device and then use 'configure replace' to change labs.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    fredrikjj wrote: »
    Easier config management. If you're looking at using INE's workbook, a big plus with VIRL is that you can just import all labs with configs already set up, and just boot them as you go. On the other hand, using CSR1000v has advantages too in terms of config management because you can upload every single config to the device and then use 'configure replace' to change labs.

    The configure replace feature is enough to make me always recommend the CSR. That's how I did the R&S lab and I'm very happy I went that route.
  • nickelitonickelito Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    To the guys here using VIRL, what kind of hardware setup are you using?
    Im totally lost and I need to buy some gear so that I can get my labbing up to speed..
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
    As long as you have a modern desktop that supports at least 16 GB of RAM, you'll be fine. IOSv only requires 512 MB per instance iirc. CSR1000v requires a lot more, and it's what INE uses in their topology, but that's mainly because that was what was available as a stand-alone VM when they created the workbook. The actual test uses IOSv as far as I know. I personally prefer IOSv as a stand-alone VM over VIRL though because it boots much faster and you get a persistent disk drive on each router where you can store configs.
  • gorebrushgorebrush Posts: 2,741Member
    IOSv is pretty awesome - when I started though it was pretty early on in the development and INE were recommending the CSR as it was production grade code - you don't want to be faffing around with software glitches when you are trying to study.

    However, the 512MB per instance is a lot easier than CSR's at least 2GB minimum. Running 20 of them was quite the challenge but I did manage with 32GB RAM and Memory Page sharing.
  • nickelitonickelito Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Bumping this old thread as I have not yet finished my R&S home lab.
    So VIRL is a good option then? Even for L2?
    I have 8GB RAM in my pc now so I probably need to up that to at least 16.

    Can I run INE's all labs with that, and with IOSv instead of CSRs?

    Also, is there an option to just get the VIRL license and run those images in IOU and GNS3 instead?
  • nickelitonickelito Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    gorebrush wrote: »
    IOSv is pretty awesome - when I started though it was pretty early on in the development and INE were recommending the CSR as it was production grade code - you don't want to be faffing around with software glitches when you are trying to study.

    However, the 512MB per instance is a lot easier than CSR's at least 2GB minimum. Running 20 of them was quite the challenge but I did manage with 32GB RAM and Memory Page sharing.

    What kind of processor did you use for that?
    Im on an i5-4400 and I dont think it will be enough... looking at this link it seems i need like 8 cores to run 20 IOSv:

    VIRL - Virtual Internet Routing Lab
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,035Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    You don't need an eight-core processor, a four-core would be fine.

    While I have a six-core processor, my VIRL VM runs with six-threads (rather than the max of 12) and up to 48 GB of RAM. I've never hit 100% utilization on either, even when booting 10 IOSv routers and 10 IOSvL2 switches at once. When I boot them all at once, it takes about 2.5 minutes to boot from the time I start until #20 is active.

    While I think processor and RAM are important, once you have four cores and 16 GB RAM, I think you get the best performance boost by having the VM on an SSD.
  • LostInIdeaLostInIdea Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sorry for the partial high-jack but in the interest of not starting a new thread for a small stupid question,i thought i would post here.

    Just out of curiosity who does the DCv2 rack rentals now. I was only able to find only 2 place INE and IPX(rip) that did this, so only one. So outside of INE does anyone else offer full DCv2 racks? I know the v2 version is kinda new and INE are only now(supposedly only a couple week away)to fully release it.

    Also to the people that have taken the INE racks can you clarify some of the post i've seen around.
    Ie, they don't have fully licensed kit(grace/no-lic), no full(vdc) access to the kit, limited to what can be completed on the workbook(if not attended the boot camp).

    Thank you any info, and sorry for the high-jack.(should have i created my own thread?)
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,035Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    You're more likely to get solid responses with your own thread.
  • LostInIdeaLostInIdea Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ok, thnx EANx. I don't want to spam, so if this gets no traction i'll throw something up.
  • ITtech2010ITtech2010 Posts: 92Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    EANx wrote: »
    You don't need an eight-core processor, a four-core would be fine.

    While I have a six-core processor, my VIRL VM runs with six-threads (rather than the max of 12) and up to 48 GB of RAM. I've never hit 100% utilization on either, even when booting 10 IOSv routers and 10 IOSvL2 switches at once. When I boot them all at once, it takes about 2.5 minutes to boot from the time I start until #20 is active.

    While I think processor and RAM are important, once you have four cores and 16 GB RAM, I think you get the best performance boost by having the VM on an SSD.

    You have a good point regarding SSD. It boots much faster especially when running VMs. I originally was using my hackintosh quad core processor with 32gb of ram. When using either GNS3 or Virl I was able to go up to either 12-14 CSRs but it ran very slow for me and took a long time for the devices to boot. I ended up changing to a new computer and used 128gb of ram and 10-core processor for parts. Performance was good and I did not need to allocated that many resources. I gave it 6 core with 64gb and like you i never hit 100%.
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