Building a ccnp home lab or buying one...

zholling10zholling10 Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey guys,

I have been researching about getting a CCNP home lab. I currently have my CCNA R&S that expires in December of 2017. So I would like to get my CCNP before then. I have been checking out eBay for CCNP kits and have come across 2runnet kits that are around $400, has anyone ever purchased one of these? Or would you recommend piecing it all together? Money isn't that big of an issue but I would rather not pay $1500 for a kit from certification kits. Here is the link for the eBay kit.

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

thanks everyone! :D


  • clarsonclarson Posts: 896Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    That lab isn't appropriate for ccnp. that is just an expensive ccna lab.

    The ccnp tshoot exam topology includes 4 routers and 4 switches. So, with only 3 switches and 3 routers in this lab, you are going to need more equipment.

    The 2811 routers are good. But, the adventerprise feature set of the version 15 of the ios is 67mb. They specify that the routers come with 64mb flash cards. So, I don't know what feature set of the ios your getting, but I know what your not getting.

    They come with 4 serial wics. Your going to need 10 for a ccnp lab.

    The 2950 switches are useless in a ccnp lab. You might be able to use the 3550 for some things. But, you can get a much better switch for $40 more. So, you'd prefer not to use any of these switches.

    What you want to get is layer 3 switches that run the ipservices feature set of the version 15 ios. These would be the 3560 ts, 3560V2, 3560G, 3750V2 or 3750G modes.

    they give you 2 serial crossover cables. Your going to need 5.
    they give you 5 ethernet cables. Your going to need like 20.
  • Sy KosysSy Kosys Posts: 105Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh, the irony....

    I was you about 4 months back and did not trust the prepackaged "kits", so I pieced one together that would actually work for me.

    Looking at the kit in this link, it is inadequate for CCNP Switch and TShoot as you need 15.x IOS on them to cover topics on the 300-xxx exams. As for the routers, I believe they need to be ISR G2's with 15.4 IOS to also meet/cover the current exam topics, hopefully someone else can clarify this.

    So, that being have a valid CCNA now, congrats on that, what is the first leg of your CCNP journey? Tshoot covers aspects of both Route and Switch, so that may be an odd place to start. For Route, as mentioned above the kit is insufficient, and I think to do Route with physical gear would require no less than 4 routers, which can get pricey so GNS3 may be a real good cost-saving alternative. So that leaves Switch, which I started 4 months ago and am actually looking to sell my gear now that I've passed the exam.

    Anyways, knowing where to start will go a long way into putting together a lab that will work for you, and not some prepackaged guano that will not support the lab/exam requirements.

    My 2 cents, and best of luck on your journey!

    EDIT: And clarson here is one that helped me out too. Good wisdom and insight into the lab hardware :)
    "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
  • zholling10zholling10 Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Wow thanks for the heads up guys. I have had my CCNA since Dec. 2014 but I haven't really had the chance to use it in the work field. I have heard mixed things about GNS3 so I wasn't too sure about it but I just find that physical hardware would be fun to have and learn on since my physical hardware experience has only been one class during my undergrad studies. I did come across another eBay kit that has 4 routers and 4 switches, here is the link
    Ultimate Cisco CCNA and CCNP Complete Home Lab Kit 15 1 iOS CME 8 6 | eBay

    but basically I have been out of the networking game since I graduated school in Dec. of 2014. I got a job as a software developer but I am doing more Linux Sys admin work but I would like to transition into the telecom/networking department for the company I work for. So I thought that getting a lab and studying for my CCNP would help me land a network engineer position within my company. Any thoughts on the kit above or any thoughts on what I should be looking for? It has been so long for me that I just need a little guidance. I think I would like to go CCNP Route first, then switch, then TSHOOT.
  • clarsonclarson Posts: 896Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    same issues as the other lab. Just paying more for more equipment that you cant use.

    2950 and 3550 switches can not run version 15 of the ios. You want layer 3 switches that can run version 15 of the ios.
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Posts: 879Member
    Waste of money imo. Get some switches (looking at Ebay prices they're very cheap), and then go virtual for the routers.
  • negru_tudornegru_tudor Senior Member Posts: 473Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    GNS3 Virtual Machine + IOU L2 & L3 Images anyone? Heard you can pretty much cover CCNP R&S topics nowadays with these?
    2017-2018 goals:
    [X] CIPTV2 300-075
    [ ] SIP School SSCA
    [X] CCNP Switch 300-115 [X] CCNP Route 300-101 [X] CCNP Tshoot 300-135
    [ ] LPIC1-101 [ ] LPIC1-102 (wishful thinking)
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Best option (I think) is to get VIRL and 4 switches. Two 3560's and two 2960's are sufficient, along with about 30 patch cables.

    You can get real routers, but to be completely up to date with the exam, you need IOS 15.4. So that means something like the 1920 or 2910 etc. That is a lot more expensive than an annual license for VIRL. But you can get by with the older 2811s (or even 1841s).

    If you do get routers, then you need also WICs. I think you can get by with 2 serial ports on 3 routers, and 4 on one router. And 5 or 6 serial cables. You also need sufficient flash and RAM to support IOS 15.x (15.4 ideally, but any 15 will get you most of the way there).

    It's not a bad thing to go and research the router requirements and feature sets on Cisco. It's not really stuff that's on the test, but it is useful in the real world.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • zholling10zholling10 Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yeah I think I want to have the realest experience as I can get if I am serious about learning this stuff. It is something I am passionate about and something I want to pursue professionally. I have already talked with clarion about getting a kit together but I will also need to do some more research about doing some virtualization stuff as well. Any advice for studying and taking the CCNP? How long did it take some of you guys to get your CCNP?
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Posts: 1,539Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Look into VIRL by Cisco. Less expensive and you can spin up more nodes...just need enough computer power though.
  • negru_tudornegru_tudor Senior Member Posts: 473Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    Look into VIRL by Cisco. Less expensive and you can spin up more nodes...just need enough computer power though.

    Yeap, looks like you CAN go full virtual for CCNP (maybe even CCIE)... around the 16:00 mark.
    2017-2018 goals:
    [X] CIPTV2 300-075
    [ ] SIP School SSCA
    [X] CCNP Switch 300-115 [X] CCNP Route 300-101 [X] CCNP Tshoot 300-135
    [ ] LPIC1-101 [ ] LPIC1-102 (wishful thinking)
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