Diagram and Set-up Steps for Physical CCNA Home Lab

JayzeeJayzee Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi,

I'm JayZee! Pleased to meet you all!

I've been in IT for a number of years and want to certify myself in the Cisco field. I already understand most protocols, Vlans, Routing, Switching, WAN, LAN etc. So feel free to use as many acronyms as you like!

I currently have the following physical kit in my home lab:

3 x Cisco 2811 (64MB flash cards / 256MB RAM)
2 x Cisco 3560 48 port switches
1 x Cisco 3560 24 port switch
2 x Wic-1T serial card
1 x Wic-2T serial card
3 x Serial cables
2 x ASDN/ISDN Bri cards
3 x laptops
1 x BT Infinity internet connection
and lots of CAT5 cables. I don't mind buying a few more bits of kit for the CCNA.

Does anyone know of a site that will give me step by step instructions on how to set up my lab (physical connections and config) in prep for using training videos on Youtube for the full CCNA course?

Is there a pre-requesite for the CCNA? Do I have to take the CCENT first?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

JayZee

Comments

  • WastedHatWastedHat Posts: 130Member
    Hi, This site helped me to get started with real gear https://www.freeccnaworkbook.com/workbooks/ccna

    Theres also so many article/blog/forum results on google if you have any specific problems. I found with CCNA most of the problems I encountered already had questions/answers when I did a search. Setting up the lab physically is pretty straight forward and you'll learn all the config as you do the course.

    There's no prerequisite for the CCNA. There's two options. The 1 exam path means you just study for the CCNA exam which might suit you since you already have networking expierence. The 2 exam path means the CCNA is broken up into 2 exams but I think they are slightly more detailed. I'm also sure most people take the 2 exam path, it gives you less to worry about.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Posts: 1,722Member
    Ideally, IOS 15.x on all devices, trying to keep the same version across similar devices. The basic feature set (IP Base or similar) is sufficient for CCNA.

    For the laptops, you probably want a telnet and ssh client, like Hyperterm, and maybe a TFTP server. Something like ethercap or Wireshark can be handy, too. Linux, Windows, Mac - it's not a big deal as long as you can configure their network settings (set them to use DHCP or configure with static addresses). A web server can be useful, but not really necessary.

    The actual topologies vary across exercises. Usually you have a couple of routers connected with serial, and then a switch or three connected to them.

    This is an example
    topology. Once you can read a diagram like that, you'll be fine. A good part of the skill that you are learning in CCNA is how to take a map like that, and configure it physically and logically - and to troubleshoot it. So there's not really "a step by step guide" to give you, except to point you in the direction of something like the CCNA Foundation Learning Guides and their lab manuals.

    As for the exams, the basic CCNA Routing and Switching consists of either the two exam option of ICND1 and ICND2 or the "express" one exam option of CCNAX. ICND1 grants you CCENT. Both paths have their advantages and disadvantage, however price isn't really one of them.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • skwira001skwira001 Posts: 93Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    My suggestion is don't waist your time on physical equipment. I suggest getting a gaming laptop or build a powerful desktop computer. At a minimum, get a quad core processor and 16 GB of RAM. That will be plenty for the CCNA and CCNP. When you run Nexus data center devices, you'll need 64 GB of RAM and a 8 core processor.

    The product you run this on is Cisco VIRL. I suggest to run Cisco VIRL on VM-Ware Workstation. This way, you have the most up to date IOS. You can use up to 20 Cisco Routers and switches. You also have access to ASAs, firewalls, data center devices, etc. The only reason you'd need physical equipment is for VOIP and Wireless. Even VOIP you can probably get away with soft phones.
  • JayzeeJayzee Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi All,

    Thank you so much for your help.

    I had a look at the FreeCCNAWorkbook link and it's perfectly suited to learning needs. It's detailed and step-by-step which is great. Thank you!

    I have Putty and Wireshark so thanks for that tip too. Luckily I'm faily good at reading sniffer logs.

    As for the virtual lab, I tried GNS3 and it's brilliant! I'm fortunate enough to have a quad core server with 32GB RAM and vMware. But I prefer using hardware as I like to learn as close to everyday real life as possible. But great tip, so thanks.

    Should I create my lab by connecting all the kit as I see fit or shall I read/watch videos and see how they tell me to connect it? Most topologies for the CCNA seem similar and the advice seems to be 3 switches and 3 routers with serial cards.

    I have attached a diagram below which I created. Does the set-up look ideal? Feel free to scrutinize :) and assist with VLAN names for each subnet.

    Thanks
    CCNA_Draft1.jpg
  • HondabuffHondabuff Posts: 667Member
    Download Packet tracer 6.2 and buy the GNS3 CCNA lab book. A fresh CCNA student needs repetition. You can build a base lab in PT that you can always start from. I should be able to tell you to setup SSH on a device and not think twice about doing it. I would hang on to the equipment for now but just work through the lab book on Packet tracer. I have built and deployed over 550 routers this year and maybe 100 3850/2960 switches in multiple configurations. Once they are all setup and running your managing them remotely and don't touch the equipment anymore. It wasn't until I started on CCNP Route when I really started using GNS3 but now I test all my config changes on it first. you can go with VIRL but I have it and it will frustrate the hell out of you to get it setup correctly.

    “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • JayzeeJayzee Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi all

    I really appreciate all of the input. I got packet tracer 7 (which I trust is OK?). It looks real nice and seems easier for me personally than GNS3.

    I have 2 questions:

    1. Which book shall I buy to learn from? My aim is to take the ccna by learning the CLI.

    2. Shall I keep my 3 switches and 3 routers or get rid?

    Thanks
  • HondabuffHondabuff Posts: 667Member
    Jayzee wrote: »
    Hi all

    I really appreciate all of the input. I got packet tracer 7 (which I trust is OK?). It looks real nice and seems easier for me personally than GNS3.

    I have 2 questions:

    1. Which book shall I buy to learn from? My aim is to take the ccna by learning the CLI.

    2. Shall I keep my 3 switches and 3 routers or get rid?

    Thanks

    Get your self the CCNA portable command guide, The OCG book and the GNS3 lab book. Watch CBT nuggets CCNA videos and start plugging along. In my opinion you have to walk this path first. get yourself a good usb/console cable like the Trendnet TU-S9 and upgrade all the IOS on each device with tftp/ftp using 3CDaemon software. Practice deleting the bin file and loading an image using Xmodem. These are basic skills the industry looks for. Don't expect to learn it all at once. Being a good engineer is all about exposure, repetition and experience. Learn how to break things then how to fix it. Do all the labs in Packet Tracer first until you can do it blind folded and with out looking at the book. Then move over to the real equipment and cable it up and make it work with your home network. If you run into problems on the real equipment, Google will be your friend. The answers are all there but you just have to know how to ask the question first.
    “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~Abraham Lincoln
  • JayzeeJayzee Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for the advice. Sounds like a good plan which will definitely help me. I already watched the first 3 parts or the Packet Tracer tutorial at Netcad.com.

    Are these the books you are referring to?

    CCNA Portable Command Guide
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/CCNA-Portable-Command-Guide-Self-Study/dp/1587201933

    OCG
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Routing-Switching-ICND2-200-105-Official/dp/1587205793/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481135451&sr=1-4-fkmr0&keywords=ccna+ocr

    and

    GNS3
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-GNS3-Virtual-Network-Juniper/dp/1593275544/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481135522&sr=1-1&keywords=gns3

    Thanks
  • HondabuffHondabuff Posts: 667Member
    This is the GNS3 book.

    How to Master CCNA R&S - GNS3vault
    “The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you can’t always be sure of their authenticity.” ~Abraham Lincoln
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