Question on setting up live CCNA home lab

mustangg81mustangg81 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all. I'm currently studying for the CCNA and I have a question. When configuring devices how do I set up the lab so instead of having to disconnect and reconnect the console cable I can use some kind of software to just click the router/switch and do it that way? Im currently watching Chris Bryants videos and his lab is setup in a way where he just clicks the router/switch he wants to configure and there you go. Is there some kind of access terminal I need or something like that? Im planning on ordering live cisco gear on ebay. Just need some help on this. Thanks all.


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    rob42rob42 Member Posts: 423
    First off, welcome to the Forum.

    If you read some of the posts on here, you'll see quite a few asking about 'home lab equipment'. Most (if not all) will advise that you don't need physical equipment at home in order to study for and pass the ICND1/ICND2 [CCNA] exam: there are alternatives to buying equipment that you know little or nothing about and the pitfalls are many and varied. Please read as many of the posts as you can find as the information will be of value to you.

    The console connection is used to configure a device in such a way that it can be accessed from a LAN, via a Telnet or a SSH connection. Some devices can even be accessed via a HTTP connection.

    The client software will depend on what O.S you use. If you use a Linux based system, the client is right there. With a M.S Windows based system, you'll need client software, something like 'Putty' or 'Kitty'. I can't tell you about Apple MAC based systems as I don't use them (op's feel free to jump right in).

    You'll find that most of the members of this Forum are very helpful and are willing to give you help and advice, but again, search first, ask later.

    How are you planning to study? What material do you plan on using?
    No longer an active member
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    dontstopdontstop Member Posts: 579 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The problem with using network access to the devices in a lab is that you're not always guaranteed to have it. If you're breaking configurations or testing you might not have IP connectivity from your machines to the device.

    There are many options but one I've seen come up a few times is to use a serial terminal server [0] or to get something like [1]

    [0] - https://routerjockey.com/2011/01/24/setting-up-a-cisco-access-server/
    [1] - https://www.get-console.com/shop/en/27-airconsole
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    WastedHatWastedHat Member Posts: 132 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Access server is the ideal solution but the last time I checked they don't come too cheap. You can also telnet/ssh from 1 device to multiple devices which you learn about in CCENT but like dontstop said you can lose a connection quite easily when you do troubleshooting scanarios or by accident.

    I normally have 2 physical connections, console and ethernet(telnet) which allows me to do any lab that requires communication between 2 devices. If I run more than 2 devices then I have to move a cable or use GNS3 and emulate the lab instead.

    telnet/ssh is good because you'll accidentally kill your connection while you're labbing and make a habit of doing it less.
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    txn41655txn41655 Member Posts: 53 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Telnet is a good practice.icon_cool.gif
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    clarsonclarson Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    There are many ways of doing that with varying cost and effort.

    get a cisco terminal server. Such as a 2509 or 2511 or put a nm-16a/nm-32a into a router.

    other companies make terminal servers too. such as cyclades or digi cm

    get serial to usb console cables and use a powered usb hub to connect them all to your computer

    get an appropriate interface card for you computer so you can connect many console cables to it.

    get a serial to usb converter. such as the digi/inside outside edgeport usb to serial converter.
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    ssnyderu2ssnyderu2 Member Posts: 475 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Cisco routers and switches can be very loud, especially if you get 4, 5, 6 or more devices up at one time. My lab, which has been unused for a while, is another room with an old core 2 duo PC running Window 7 and has (2) 4 port db9 serial cards in stalled. I just use VNC or RDP to access the PC. Keeps me in good graces with the wife and kids. :)

    Link for 4 port serial card, they also have other options like a rack mount USB to 8 serial port hub: https://www.amazon.com/Crest-Serial-Profile-Brackets-SI-PEX15037/dp/B01NBKOKN7?th=1
    2019 Goals: 70-698, CCENT, MCSA 2016
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, CIW Foundations and MTA OS Fundamentals
    Cisco Lab :3x Cisco 2811 Routers, 3x Cisco 3750 Switches and Cisco 2620 Router with NM-32A module
    Windows Lab: Dual CPU Hyper-V server with 12 Cores/24 Threads, 96GB RAM and 2TB HDD.
    CANCER SURVIVOR! In Remission Since September 2016!
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    mustangg81mustangg81 Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi Rob. I'm currently using Udemy with Chris Bryants CCNA 200-125 videos. Also using packet tracer to play around with until I receive the gear. I've read that PT is enough for the CCNA but I'm kinda itching to play with live gear. I ordered 3 1841 routers and 3 3560 switches which I believe if I'm not mistaken is enough for up to CCNP level. Ill be using Putty. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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    rob42rob42 Member Posts: 423
    Hay fella'

    I'm not familiar with that gear, but there are op's on here that will be and I'm sure you'll get some feedback about your purchase.

    Being more of a 'reader' than a 'watcher', again, I can't comment on the videos, but I've seen Chris Bryant mentioned a few times and I'm sure it was in a positive way.

    The advice I'd offer is to concentrate on the Exam Topics URL]https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/certifications/ccent/icnd1/exam-topics[/URL and try not to get too distracted. Practice what you lean by 'labbing' the subject. One of the things I like about using CPT, is that any lab created, can be saved for future reference; not something that can be done with a home lab (well not so easily anyway).

    Check out Kitty URL]http://kitty.9bis.net/[/URL.

    And, have fun!
    No longer an active member
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    mikeybinecmikeybinec Member Posts: 484 ■■■□□□□□□□
    mustangg81 wrote: »
    Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Good job!!! Get a wire map and build your own cables--straight through, crossover.. You won't regret the experience. I have a JDSU LanRoamer TP500 for checking basic ethernet cables, and I put a Pearle Systems serial card in that gives me 2 more COM ports in one of my desktops to console in several routers/switches.
    Cisco NetAcad Cuyamaca College
    A.S. LAN Management 2010 Grossmont College
    B.S. I.T. Management 2013 National University
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