Passed CCNP Route, How to Lab for Switch?

pujan96pujan96 Member Posts: 121 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hey all,

Glad to say I passed the route exam on the 2nd attempt 🤯

Taking a week break to recoup and plan for Switch studies.

Ill be purchasing the OCG and FLG books along with investing in INE Switch video series.

My question is what is the best way to go about labbing, I really want to avoid hardware and go virtual, maybe with VIRL as gns3 cant emulate switches well.

P.S. I have the INE CCNP workbook with rack rentals, but i like to design my own setups also for a technology to get a better understanding of things.

Anyone used VIRL for switches and can provide some feedback? 

Also any tips on study timeframe and other materials would be helpful.



[X] CCNP Route 300-101
[  ] CCNP Switch 300-115
[  ] CCNP T-Shoot 300-135

[  ]  NPDESI 300-550

[  ] CCIE R&S Written


  • pujan96pujan96 Member Posts: 121 ■■■□□□□□□□

    After some research Ive discovered I can make do with my current 3560s running ios12, which I have 2 of.

    In addition I purchased a 24port Cisco 3750-X running ios15.
    [X] CCNA R&S

    [X] CCNP Route 300-101
    [  ] CCNP Switch 300-115
    [  ] CCNP T-Shoot 300-135

    [  ]  NPDESI 300-550

    [  ] CCIE R&S Written
    [  ] CCIE R&S LAB
  • Mr.Robot255Mr.Robot255 Member Posts: 196 ■■■□□□□□□□
    congrats Pujan
  • clarsonclarson Member Posts: 903 ■■■■□□□□□□
    yes the 3560's can be used.  But, they do need to be running the right feature set to be layer 3 switches.  and if you have the "ts" model of the 3560, it does come with 32mb of memory.  and it will run version 15 of the ios just fine (just unsupported by cisco if you have a service contract).

    running a 3750-X as a layer 2 access switch seems like a bit of overkill.  But, I recently picked up a 3750-E running the layer 2 software.  But, it was like $22.  How can you pass that up.
  • twolefteyestwolefteyes Member Posts: 30 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I think for switch you will need at least 4 switches. Have you looked into Eve-ng, it's a virtual environment. I used that when i needed to lab. The downside is it doesn't have 100% all the configs I forget which ones arent on there but I think it was like pppoe stuff. I personally like live equipment and thats what i used when i was home. 
    [x]CCNP R/S
    [?] Whats next?
  • TWXTWX Member Posts: 275 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For what it's worth, In my home lab I really didn't need more than three switches at a time.  I used three 3750ME running 12.2, a 3560 running 15.0, and a 2960 running 15.2.  The bulk of my studies were on the 3750s, as they were quite capable for everything short of the latest/greatest in methodology for setting up AAA.  The 2960 was fine for labbing that, but doesn't support private vlans and doesn't really work as a L3 switch.

    Now, for tech like the various first hop redundancy protocols I used three 2800-series routers for labbing GLBP because I had them, and I separately labbed HSRP on three old 2621s.

    Did find it handy to have a boatload of serial consoles going.  At the most extreme I needed five if I was using honest to goodness PCs, seven if I was using routers as stand-ins for PCs when doing first hop redundancy protocols with three routers and switches on each side of the routers, in addition to my main workstation that was acting as a RADIUS server, TFTP server, syslog server, and NTP server.

    I found it handy to have one older Linux laptop as a wireshark client for learning about SPAN and RSPAN, and to do general exploration for how things like DHCP snooping work.  It was also handy because it was quick and easy to change my IP or MAC address on the fly if I needed to.

    Now that I think about it I'm surprised I didn't blow a circuit breaker with all that crap running.
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