Need some input on my lab equipment and where to go from here

nole07nole07 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all, long time lurker here, newly registered to post though. A little background info on myself. Been in the tech field probably since high school (almost 12 years ago) where i took Cisco NetAcad classes dual enrollment through a local community college. Being from a pretty isolated area I didn't really get to use any of that skill set so it just slowly died away from memory. I was never really far from that area though between high school and now, I worked for a few places running structured cable, setting up small client/server and peer to peer networks but what I mostly did was radio/rf related stuff.

Flash forward now and I'm working for a company, basically the dream tech job. Granted it's mostly desktop support/general tech support. On some days its tracing out cable from an office to the network closet, confirming port assignments, etc...

The one requirement for my job, well not necessarily a requirement, but if i want a COL raise every so often, is I have to gain/maintain certs. I came into the job with my Net+ and have already got my A+. Been studying for the past 4 months for my CCENT, hopefully taking it in the next two weeks. The great thing/downfall of my job is the downtime. Sometimes it gets really boring, but other times I just read/study for 6-7 hours a day. Watch Chris Bryant/CBT Nugget videos...literally all day.

Onward to my lab I'm trying to set up.

2x Catalyst 3750G switches, one is POE, both are 24 port GigE with 4 SFP ports. Both purchased for around 60 bucks shipped.
1X 3725 Router, 30 bucks shipped.
1X 2621 XM router, purchased years ago, cant remember.
1X 2950 Switch, previous purchase years ago, cant remember.
2X 2500 Series Routers (purchased these years ago, have held on to them for serial related labs) previous purchase years ago.

Just wanted to confirm if this was sufficient for any lab i should encounter at least through CCNA. The downfall is that all the switches are running IOS 12 mostly.

I've been using packet tracer mostly at work to set up some labs in the videos and books, and it works. But i really like the hardware and getting my hands dirty. Which is why i recently purchased some of the above stuff.

Thanks for reading my wall of text, great to finally be a member here.


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    alan2308alan2308 Member Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    There's probably going to be a command here and a feature there that you won't be able to do with those routers, especially if you don't have the latest/greatest IOS that they support. Same goes for the switches if you have older IOS images on them. But if you do have fairly recent images on the gear, you should be able to cover most of the exam objectives. The 2500's and the 2950 don't look too useful at face value, but when you need one more router or one more switch for something, they're a lot better than nothing.

    But that being said, at least one more router that's capable of running 15.x will help, especially if you're expecting this lab to carry you to bigger and better things after the CCNA. That is, unless you're comfortable with using GNS3 to fill in the gaps on what you're unable to do with the real gear.
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    nole07nole07 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the reply. Yeah the 3750s are capable of handling ios 15 from what i read online, just how to get it though is the issue. and they both have the ipbaseservices image. They wont even do SSH, which is a little weird, only telnet. But for a lab, i'm not too worried about that. As far as bigger and better things, honestly i think it will probably be just ccnp r/s. Will probably just have to see how the rest of my icnd2 studies goes. I'm just ready to get the test over with for ICND1 already lol
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