Best basic CCNP switching lab using what I have in stock?

stupendousyappistupendousyappi Junior MemberMember Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all. I just passed my CCNP routing exam, and I'm ramping up for the CCNP switching class. My boss is kind enough to let me use surplus equipment from our storeroom as my lab, as long as it all stays on-premises, so I'm trying to sort out what would be the best combination. Any input would be much appreciated. I have a decent quantity of 2960, some 2960+, some 2960S with stacking modules, some 16Mb 3560, a 2960X, a 3750 SFP, and some first-gen 3550-12T. I may be able to free up a 3560X, a 3560CX, a 3650, or maybe a 3850.

Also, what do I lose by not being able to upgrade the 3560 to 15.x?

TIA,
Yappi

Comments

  • clarsonclarson Senior Member Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    one thing you need to do for ccnp exam is layer 3 switches. so they are a must have, at least 2. and more is better.
    you could use the 2960's as access switches. and layer 3 switches with >16mb memory (need 16mb to run version 15 of the ios)
    it would be nice to get at least 2 3750 switches with stacking cables to learn about stacking switches

    the test is written for version 15 of the ios. version 15 is a little different. you don't need version 15 on every switch. I'd hate to never use version 15 of the ios and fail the exam by 10 points
  • stupendousyappistupendousyappi Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for the feedback. For the stacking, is a pair of 2960S with stacking module a worthy substitute for the 3750? As far as layer 3 operation, would the 3560X, 3560CX, 3650, or 3850 work? I see that a 3750 can be gotten cheaply, so I may see if I can pick one more up with the stacking cable.
  • clarsonclarson Senior Member Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    i don't have much experience with 2960S commands probably all work the same. But, all the questions that you'd expect on the test such as limits, speeds, ios interactions, etc are going to becoming from a full layer 3 switch, not one with limited routing capability.

    yes those other switches will work just fine although the 3850 uses the ios-xe version. you will probably spend more time learning about using the switch than studying for the exam.

    most cheap 3750's come with only 16mb of memory, cant be upgraded to version 15. probably not necessary for just learning stackwise. but, if your spending money, you might as well get as much use as you can you probably have to buy the stacking cable separately. so if they need to be shipped it would be cheaper to get them from the same place

    and of course, read up on stackwise so the model,ios, etc are compatible in the stack
  • stupendousyappistupendousyappi Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Based on what you're saying, I think my best way forward is to use two 2960S as my base switches as well as doing the stacking exercises (I may well find that the 2960S is too dissimilar to the 3750, stacking-wise, and have to rethink that idea), and believe I can make use of two 3560CX's as my L3 switches. IIRC, I believe I can make use of a 90-day RTU eval license on the 3560CX for the enterprise services IP license, and that should be enough time.
  • williebwillieb Member Member Posts: 108 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The 2960's don't support StackWise, they do support limited layer 2 stacking called FlexStack.

    The CCNP switch topics state to only "Describe" StackWise, but don't mention FlexStack. It prob won't be a must to lab up stacking as long as you are good and familiar with StackWise and how it works, verification commands, etc. Though YMMV. And FWIW I'm going through the Global Knowledge course now for SWITCH and there's not even a StackWise lab in it.

    For the HSRP and other layer 3 labs you can use real layer 3 switches (3550 and up I do believe) that you have, or routers in GNS3 or other virtual environments.

    For the remaining layer 2 labs most any of those switches should serve you well. I'd use 3 or 4 of the newest switches you have if it were me, just for fun. They'd do all the labs without a prob, of course you may have to find some copper SFPs...

    Those 3850's are nice, we have a couple SFP+ 10gig versions in a stack. Not much difference if any that I can tell from the IOS-XE version.

    Just my personal preference but I have plenty of hands-on already so I try to do as much as possible in virtual environments and use real switches as a last resort.

    In regards to labs for the SWITCH exam, my understanding is the only difference from IOS 12.x to 15.x, is a change in how things are licensed. 15.x has modular licensing as opposed to upgrading to different versions with different feature sets. There could be some feature differences but not that will affect your labs or studying for the exam.
    [X] CCENT ICND1 100-105
    [X] CCNA ICND2 200-105
    [X] CCNP ROUTE 300-101
    [X] CCNP SWITCH 300-115
    [X] CCNP TSHOOT 300-135
    [ ] CCDP ARCH 300-320
  • stupendousyappistupendousyappi Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you, Willeb. If routers do the job called for by a L3 switch, I have that covered. To that point, I had earlier wondered why I could not use a router, but I had thought that maybe there was some odd configuration that was specific only to a L3 switch. We have some 2821's and 2901's in stock, so if I don't need to have a L3 switch doing HSRP/VRRP, but can use a router, I think that'll simplify my life.
  • williebwillieb Member Member Posts: 108 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you, Willeb. If routers do the job called for by a L3 switch, I have that covered. To that point, I had earlier wondered why I could not use a router, but I had thought that maybe there was some odd configuration that was specific only to a L3 switch. We have some 2821's and 2901's in stock, so if I don't need to have a L3 switch doing HSRP/VRRP, but can use a router, I think that'll simplify my life.

    For using routers I was mostly referring to the HSRP/VRRP labs. There will be some labs requiring a L3 switch when it's related to InterVLAN routing or other labs that are specific to L3 switches. You can use a router on a stick for InterVLAN routing as you prob remember in ROUTE. But SWITCH is specific in learning InterVLAN routing on a L3 switch, so that's what you will need to lab it up and understand it. Router on a stick won't do you much good there lol...

    What study materials/lab resources are you using?
    [X] CCENT ICND1 100-105
    [X] CCNA ICND2 200-105
    [X] CCNP ROUTE 300-101
    [X] CCNP SWITCH 300-115
    [X] CCNP TSHOOT 300-135
    [ ] CCDP ARCH 300-320
  • stupendousyappistupendousyappi Junior Member Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Willieb, I just got the official Cisco Press R/S/Tshoot book set (Hucaby/Wallace/Lacoste). Later this year, budget permitting, I'll get a Global Knowledge or New Horizons 300-115 test prep class, and I'll likely supplement that with whatever videos or books I wind up needing. I went with Global Knowledge for my Routing class about 2 months ago. The instructor was great, but the extra materials not covered in class seemed kind of thrown together and not very cohesive.
  • williebwillieb Member Member Posts: 108 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I really like the GK self paced courses. I have all 3 courses for CCNP and it comes with the Boson exams.

    Not sure if I'd spend cash on it, but it's well worth the CLCs if you have them.
    [X] CCENT ICND1 100-105
    [X] CCNA ICND2 200-105
    [X] CCNP ROUTE 300-101
    [X] CCNP SWITCH 300-115
    [X] CCNP TSHOOT 300-135
    [ ] CCDP ARCH 300-320
  • shortstop20shortstop20 Senior Member Member Posts: 161 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hi all. I just passed my CCNP routing exam, and I'm ramping up for the CCNP switching class. My boss is kind enough to let me use surplus equipment from our storeroom as my lab, as long as it all stays on-premises, so I'm trying to sort out what would be the best combination. Any input would be much appreciated. I have a decent quantity of 2960, some 2960+, some 2960S with stacking modules, some 16Mb 3560, a 2960X, a 3750 SFP, and some first-gen 3550-12T. I may be able to free up a 3560X, a 3560CX, a 3650, or maybe a 3850.

    Also, what do I lose by not being able to upgrade the 3560 to 15.x?

    TIA,
    Yappi

    Basically you just need at least two Catalyst 3000 series switches and at least two Catalyst 2960 series switches.

    Of you can even go all Cat 3000 series.
    CCNA Security - 6/11/2018
    CCNP TShoot - 3/7/2018
    CCNP Route - 1/31/2018
    CCNP Switch - 12/10/2015
    CCNA R/S - 1/14/2015
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