LAB Setup

GrigsbyGrigsby Member Posts: 69 ■■□□□□□□□□
I am trying to put together a plan for a home LAB for my CCNP studies. This could be a very pricey endeavor, so I was looking for some insight. I have a 2924 and three 2500's from my CCNA LAB setup. So I have some beginnings in setting up a LAB with actuall routers and switches, but I am afraid that a good lab could cost me alot of money.

I was looking at the Boson Simulator for the CCNP. It was listed @ $499. Is this worth the price? I think it was less that this about five months ago when I was prepping for my CCNA but I didn't purchase it.

So, my options are to go with a software sim, or actual routers and switches. I guess my real question is the extra money spent worth the actual hands on, or is the simulator with it for the savings?


  • david_rdavid_r Member Posts: 112
    Search through the forums for what doesn't work on the Boson simulator. There is a third option, a few posts below this one. Dynamips. I don't know anyting about it but there seem to be a few people on here using it AND mixing real routers with it.
  • HumperHumper Member Posts: 647
    Boson is a waste of money, just like RouterSim.
    Now working full time!
  • jinx37jinx37 Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Boson has a lot of bugs. Right now this is probably the best solution as far as sims go, but be aware that if you try creating your own scenerios, weird things may happen. For example, I had it add in extra commands into my EIGRP config (commands that don't even exist). But, if you strictly use the prebuilt labs, then you should be fine.

    Dynamips sounds like a great concept, I just downloaded it last night, but haven't gotten a chance to try it yet, however I am planning on doing some testing with it on Thursday Oct. 19, so I'll make sure I report my experience with it then.

    Also worth mentioning is that rental racks are also always an affordable option.
  • Ching01Ching01 Member Posts: 83 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well my suggestion is to buy a real routers and use dynamips.
    What I did is I bought 4 Cisco routers, 4 switches and setup 2 PC's and 1 laptop.
    both my 2 PC's running 2GB of RAM and my laptop memory is 512 mb of RAM.

    My 2GB of RAM can handle 8 routers so multiply by 2 which is 16 routers plus 4 more which running on my laptop.

    I'll show you my topology MAP later and I really enjoy this stuff.

    Note: I added 3 ethernet interfaces for my 2 PC's a 2 for my laptop one is wireless.

    So I finally setup a huge lab and testing the OSPF area's,redistribution.
    Althought I experienced some bugs on Dynamips still a good tool for me.

    If I have a doubt I check on my real routers which I also connected this to my switches.

    Also use Cisco Press which I found really really helpful, after reading Sybex and watch CBT and also the CD I used which include a CCNP training is very helpful. I hope by the end of this month I will take and pass the Exam.
  • EdTheLadEdTheLad Member Posts: 2,111 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Any chance of creating a thread with the dynamips bugs you have encountered? I've just started using dynamips as i need the mpls functionality.I can run maximum 4 routers which used 65-70% of my cpu.
    Next year i will buy two fast desktops and do similar to you.
    If i find any bugs i will create a thread, but at the moment i'm doing more reading than testing so i wont be bug hunting for a while.
    Networking, sometimes i love it, mostly i hate it.Its all about the $$$$
  • HELLZxPHADERHELLZxPHADER Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    get one more 2500 and a 2520 make sure all your 2500 are maxed, hopefully ull have an up to date ios that can support isis and most of everythingn else for ccnp routing, if not ask me, i use a enterprise 2500 ios mainly for isis. I wouldnt recommend simulation software, cause they usually lack some things, even for ccna!

    Get one more identicle switch too.

    If you are still not sure what to do, just message me, u can use my lab b4 i sell most of it off. You would be accessing by rdp to my second pc, that will provide 8 to 10 console connections, currently only 8 for pure routing setup.

  • ArturasjArturasj Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Couple of weeks ago I found out about the dynamips, since then I rarely switch on my real lab. Dynamips is too convenient. Few extra lines of text gives my a net lab, much quicker than rewiring.
  • Ching01Ching01 Member Posts: 83 ■■□□□□□□□□
    To show you half of my home lab setup, one of the problems I have is to maintain and detect routing loops.
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