Home Lab help

ExploreITExploreIT Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi Everyone,

I'm new here and wanted some opinion on how to build a decent home lab. I starting my Journey for CCNA, what are the right hardware to have?

Currently, my company is undergoing network change and they are decommissioning old hardware and giving them away currently they have a stack of SG500-52p that is on the chopping block, will those switches be enough?

I'd like to build a home lab that can take me up to CCNP and that means it will be good for at least a few years.

Any comments and suggestion is appreciated!


  • Welly_59Welly_59 Member Posts: 431
    They are small business switches which unfortunately don't run catalyst iOS.

    Honestly you will be fine with gns3 and packet tracer.

    I'm nearly done with ccnp and haven't booted up my physical equipment for nearly a year
  • Nik 99Nik 99 Member Posts: 154 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So have you been using gns3 for the whole of your ccnp studies Welly_59? It can do layer 2 switching now can't it?

    I'm using packet tracer atm since it's free for my ccna, though I'm still thinking about getting physical hardware. I just reckon it will be more fun doing it that way =P
  • ExploreITExploreIT Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the tip. I do have packet tracer on my computer but I want to have a hands-on experience as well so having a physical hardware will benefit me.
  • Welly_59Welly_59 Member Posts: 431
    Nik yes gns3 all the way mate. It does 99.9 % of the syllabus, is quicker to spin up, its quoted and its cheaper.

    Plus you also got the added benefit of instantly being able to add an end device via a VM. you want to set up an SNMP server, no problem. Wireshark any of you interfaces with one click etc.

    ExploreIT I know what you mean in regards to getting hands on. When I first started in my current role I would take any opportunity to visit the data centre and get me hands dirty. But now I would rather do it remotely in comfort :)
  • Hawk321Hawk321 Member Posts: 97 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I recommend 6 3560's and some L2 Switches like the smb switches you mentioned. Than some 19xx Series routers with 1 dual t1 hwic and 1 dual ge hwic.
    Expensive -> YES but a good base to do CCNP R&S etc.
    Calculate with 1800 $...cables cost $$$ to.

    GNS3...never used it. PacketTracer buggy as hell.

    When you really want to go to CCNP....use real hardware. The question is not "will GNS3 be enough to pass"....the question should be "what is the best to really learn and how will I earn some respect". It's like a car driving simulator....playing a simulator means not that you can handle the real thing. Expiring all the stuff you have to setup at the OS lvl is something you can get with an emulator.
    Degree in
    computer science, focus on IT-Security.
    CCNA R+S and CCNA CyberOPS
    LPIC-1,LPIC-2,LPIC-3: Security
    Ubiquiti: UBRSS+UBRSA
    some other certs...

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