Another CCNP home lab setup thread!

mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
I know this is the millionth post on home labs, but here we go:

I'm attempting to set up a home lab. I'm currently in the market for routers and switches to help study my CCNP.

It sounds like I'm going to need approx. (3) 26xx routers, and (2) 29xx switches--is this correct?

Also, if I end up getting routers that have no cards in them, do I need to buy some additional cards so that I have a few interfaces to use?

I feel a bit lost, I would be grateful to receive any advice.
_______LAB________
2x 2950
2x 3550
2x 2650XM
2x 3640
1x 2801

Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I haven't looked closely at the new CCNP exams.... but if they haven't removed BGP, then 5 routers makes it easy to lab up route reflectors and confederations and have at least 1 other AS to test. Or am I thinking of the BGP exam? icon_lol.gif

    Okay.... OSPF over frame-relay and stub, non-so-stubby, and/or totally-stubby areas might use 5 at once.

    I suggest 4 routers for the CCNA..... so I'm sticking with 5 for the CCNP.

    With the addition of MPLS -- I think there's a 2600 IOS that supports it (a Telco?). But you can use Dynamips for MPLS (and a lot of the routing stuff -- so 3 physical routers may be more than you need :D ).

    I think they added wireless -- so you may want to get an access point. Not sure if they are doing CLI or software interface.

    The QoS shouldn't affect the router selection... but may affect your switch selection. QoS and Multicast are some of the differences you'll find between switches. Unless you are planning on the CCIE someday, its hard to justify a layer 3 switch for the CCNP lab (memorize the no switchport command and pretend its a router interface -- I just saved you $1000+).

    You're still doing spanning tree in the CCNP -- so 3 switches makes it more realistic. I say that a layer 3 switch (3550, 3560 or 3750) with at 2950 and maybe another 2900 series switch lets you configure almost everything. But since price is usually an issue -- 2 2950s would probably still work -- with another 2900 series as the 3rd switch. The cheaper you want to be, decrease the 2950s and increase the 2900s.


    The 2610 has 1 ethernet interface, the 2611 has 2. The 2620 has 1 FastEthernet, the 2621 has 2. You can put in the WIC-1T or WIC-2T for serial ports. The NM slot would give you room to upgrade... but you might get by with them empty to start.

    You might get an NM-4A/S and use that in a 2600 router for your frame-relay switch..... frame-relay is still used in the new CCNP, right?

    What else is the new CCNP exams covering? Voice? How in depth? Theory or configuration?
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
    Thank you for the reply!

    That helps me so, so much.

    I honestly don't know how in depth it goes into voice, though.

    I'll start looking around on ebay for the switches--I'll probably get (2) 2950, and (1) 2900.

    I'm still a bit confused on what routers to get though... You said I would need 4 or 5, right? What models do you think exactly?
    _______LAB________
    2x 2950
    2x 3550
    2x 2650XM
    2x 3640
    1x 2801
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Check out the Dynamips/Dynagen Information in this thread.

    There isn't an exact router list unless someone comes up with a lab book for the CCNP. I used the Cisco Press Practical studies books. Sometime you need a router with 2 Ethernet interfaces, but most of the time you need one. Most routers will only need 1 serial interface, but at times you will need 2 routers with 2 serial interfaces each. For routing, sometimes it will matter if you are using shared broadcast medium like ethernet or a point-to-point serial connection. Other times it doesn't matter how you "string" the routers together.

    But that's what make Dynamip interesting enough to take a look at. Only downside -- you need access to real IOS images.

    The advantage of the modular routers is that you can add pieces if you "find something missing."

    But.... if you want a real router shopping list.... 5 2621s maxed out with memory and a WIC-2T each (or 2 WIC-1Ts).

    Then based on what you really want to spend -- look at the 2610s (still maxed with memory or upgrade, which adds to the cost). Get a couple of NM-1E2Ws or NM-1E1R2Ws to add another ethernet port to 2 of the routers (the 1R is token ring, but I got those cheaper because no one wanted them, even though they have the ethernet port ).

    And to "go cheap" -- 2 2610s and 3 2501s (or 3 2513s and ignore the token ring port). If you can get a 2514 (2 ethernet interfaces) then hold off on getting an NM-1E.... but you're losing some configuration capabilities (that could be done in Dynamips -- MPLS, OSPFv3, etc).

    You can also mix real routers & switches with Dynamips -- a few of us here have already added multiple port ethernet cards or usb network adapters PCs to interact with layer 3 switches and other real routers for CCIE Lab practice.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • skaeightskaeight Member Posts: 130
    Will a 2502 and 2520 do anything for me? It wouldn't be too bad to just have to pick up a 2501, and then a couple of 2610s. I don't think I want to mess with dyanamips too much at this point, as I have very limited time to study.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Dynamips supports the 7200, 3600, 3700, and 2600/2600XM support has been added (but there may be a problem or two until the next version).

    With Dynagen and XP, if you have an IOS image and can find and edit a text file, you should be up an running easily within an hour. That allows the download time, install time, finding & editing a sample net file, maybe reading the tutorial, and then searching for help because you didn't read the tutorial. If you read the Dynagen tutorial to start, you might be up in 10-15 minutes. Once you toss in the idlepc value... that could take another 10 minutes, until you read the tutorial again and follow the instructions.

    The 2500s are still fine for a lot of the stuff -- max 'em out with memory and run the last 12.3 enterprise IOS image. There was the hacked 2500 IOS image for MPLS.... but that was just wierd before and now is silly with Dynamips out there. No IPv6 routing on the 2500s either.... and probably a few other things (which is why you keep a couple 2600+ around).

    I've still got 18 2500s setup as a BGP enclave on the other side of a backbone router to my CCIE lab. If I didn't have the 3620s to use as backbone routers for my CCIE Lab, I'd use the 2500s.
    skaeight wrote:
    Will a 2502 and 2520 do anything for me? It wouldn't be too bad to just have to pick up a 2501, and then a couple of 2610s.
    That would fall within the "go cheap" solution for routers. :D The 2520 would be your frame-relay switch.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • skaeightskaeight Member Posts: 130
    What is the difference between a 2501 and a 2502?
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    skaeight wrote:
    What is the difference between a 2501 and a 2502?
    The 2501 has one ethernet interface. The 2502 has 1 token ring DB9 interface port.

    Different models are either Ethernet, token ring, dual Ethernet, dual Token Ring, Ethernet and Token Ring..... and then toss the BRI interfaces in there (for ISDN) and the token ring DB9 interfaces vs the RJ-45 token ring interfaces. There are the Ethernet hub models with 1 internal router Ethernet port that talks to the 8 or 16 RJ-45 Ethernet HUB ports (otherwise the 2500 Ethernet ports require a transceiver). Then there is the 2524 at the end that is "modular." The 252xs have either 4 or 10 serial ports (2 sync, the rest lower speed sync/async ports) and either the token ring or Ethernet interfaces. Oh -- and the "terminal servers" the 8 or 16 line models with either Ethernet or Token Ring (2509 8/E - 2510 8/Tr - 2511 16/E - 2512 16/Tr)

    I think I bought 1 2501 for my $25 max price.... people usually bid them higher. I got 5 2513s (1 Ethernet and 1 Token ring port) for $10 bucks each (3 of them already maxed on memory). And I must have gotten a good deal on 2502s since I have 10 of them (and a 3920 token ring switch and NM-1E1R2Ws for my 3600s).


    And on a Dynamips note:
    Brian McGahan has a "Class-on-Demand walk through on Using Dynamips for CCIE Lab Preparation" on the InternetworkExpert website. The COD and Dynamips writeup is at this link.
    http://www.internetworkexpert.com/resources/dynamips.htm

    The 7200emu forums over at hacki.at (linked all the way at the bottom of the IE page) is where I usually go now to check out Dynamips/Dynagen stuff. Brian had posted this in the new HOWTOs section. There are also new lab sections there -- CCNA and CCNP, since Dynamips isn't just for for CCIE Candidates anymore.

    I'll be adding this in that one CCIE post where I'm trying to collect all the good Dynamips links :D

    UPDATE: fixed the 7200emu link to the new URL
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • romainromain Member Posts: 222
    Mike,

    Thanks for your answer. Search engine is not useful, you already know this forum for him ;)
    CCIE R&S Candidate

    Dynamips Labs
  • skaeightskaeight Member Posts: 130
    Mike thanks for all the help. I think I was just really tired last night when I was trying to get dynamips to work. I got it working today. It seems really cool. So at least for the routing exam, do you think this is a viable alternative to actual hardware, or will I want to use it along with real hardware?

    Thanks
  • srgsrg Member Posts: 140
    skaeight wrote:
    Mike thanks for all the help. I think I was just really tired last night when I was trying to get dynamips to work. I got it working today. It seems really cool. So at least for the routing exam, do you think this is a viable alternative to actual hardware, or will I want to use it along with real hardware?

    Thanks

    You'll be able to use Dynamips on like.. ~90% of the labs on BSCI and also at least half of the BCMSN ones. When my class where introduced to dynamips, right before we began on BSCI, everybody pretty much dissed our labracks and just used dynamips :D
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    skaeight wrote:
    So at least for the routing exam, do you think this is a viable alternative to actual hardware, or will I want to use it along with real hardware?
    Yes... and Yes, if you have hardware.

    There are a few "issues" with the "simulated hardware" in Dynamips... so if you learn on real hardware and have the real hardware to "double-check" against, that's probably the best.

    I actually did Dynamips by itself when it first was released.... so even though I may say Dynamips -- get and use Dynagen. Dynagen includes the Dynamips version that works with it. :D
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
    Thanks for all of the responses!

    I'm looking at routers right now. I will probably end up getting a couple 2501's and some 2610's.

    What is the difference between the 2500 series and the 2600 series? It seems that the 2501's have 1E and 1S each, and the 2610s have just 1E?

    Also, will I be able to find a newer IOS, or are they hard to come by?
    _______LAB________
    2x 2950
    2x 3550
    2x 2650XM
    2x 3640
    1x 2801
  • mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
    Also, what is the difference between the NM and WIC cards? Are some hotswappable?
    _______LAB________
    2x 2950
    2x 3550
    2x 2650XM
    2x 3640
    1x 2801
  • srgsrg Member Posts: 140
    mzinz wrote:

    What is the difference between the 2500 series and the 2600 series? It seems that the 2501's have 1E and 1S each, and the 2610s have just 1E?

    Just from my head here.. things like, 2500 doesnt support vlan routing, while 2600 does. Also 2600-series are modular, that's why the 2610 have "just" 1E. You can buy additional NM and WIC cards with serial/ethernet/isdn/etc. They're not hotswappable though. Not on the 2600-series atleast.
  • mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
    You might get an NM-4A/S and use that in a 2600 router for your frame-relay switch..... frame-relay is still used in the new CCNP, right?

    Why is it called a frame-relay switch, if it is really a router?
    _______LAB________
    2x 2950
    2x 3550
    2x 2650XM
    2x 3640
    1x 2801
  • srgsrg Member Posts: 140
    mzinz wrote:
    You might get an NM-4A/S and use that in a 2600 router for your frame-relay switch..... frame-relay is still used in the new CCNP, right?

    Why is it called a frame-relay switch, if it is really a router?

    the frame-relay cloud are in most cases a router.

    but.. there are _very little_ (if.. any) frame-relay in the new CCNP, since BCRAN is changed to ISCW.
  • mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
    In that case do I even need to bother setting up frame relay?

    If no, then do I still need 5 routers? I'm planning on getting a couple 2501's, and some 2620s...
    _______LAB________
    2x 2950
    2x 3550
    2x 2650XM
    2x 3640
    1x 2801
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    NMs are Network Modules and you can use them in 2600s, 2800s, 3600s, 3700s, 3800s, etc not all NMs work on all platforms -- so check the product sheets for the module cross-reference chart.

    WICs are WAN Interface Card -- go in WIC slots on the 2600s and 1700s and WIC slots in some NMs.

    VICs are Voice Interface Cards

    VWICs are Multiflex Voice WAN Interface Cards

    HWICs are High-speed WAN Interface Cards (2800s, 3800s)

    AIMs are Advanced Integration Modules
    mzinz wrote:
    Why is it called a frame-relay switch, if it is really a router?
    Because "router acting as a frame-relay switch" takes longer to type.

    As for "router acting as a frame-relay switch"..... we do it because
    1. we can
    2. its cheaper than a frame-relay simulator for the lab
    3. cheaper than a real frame-relay switch.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
    Thanks for clearing that up.

    Since there isn't much frame relay on the CCNP after all, does that change what I may need for a lab set up?

    Thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it.
    _______LAB________
    2x 2950
    2x 3550
    2x 2650XM
    2x 3640
    1x 2801
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,086 ■■■■■■■■■■
    mzinz wrote:
    Since there isn't much frame relay on the CCNP after all, does that change what I may need for a lab set up?
    Without BCRAN, I'm not sure what's up with OSPF and Frame-Relay for the CCNP -- but it's still the core of the current R&S CCIE exam.

    I guess it comes down to how deeply do they get into MPLS in the new CCNP exams and if any of the Frame-Relay/OSPF stuff has migrated from the old BCRAN exam to the updated BSCI exam (or one of the new exams).

    MPLS requires newer/beefier hardware than Frame-Relay did. I could do Frame-relay all day on my old 2500s.... but for the MPLS exam I labbed out on 3640s rather than use that hacked 2500 MPLS IOS image.

    This is why people rushed to finish the "old CCNP" after the change was announced -- until more people get the "new CCNP" its hard for us "old CCNPs" to give advise about the "new CCNP." icon_lol.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Deadmaster200Deadmaster200 Member Posts: 145
    Couple of comments and questions myself.

    I am currently studying CCDA but when ahead and ordered the new Self_Study guides for BSCI and BCSMN.

    There is a lab appendix in the BSCI and it details what you need to build a 2-pod lab for this appendix and the lab exercises at the end of each chapter. Don't have the book in front of me right now, but it said 10 2811s with a 2-port serial card with 12.4 IOS. Then another router, a 3640 with an 8-port card to act as the frame relay switch and an ethernet port card. I will check again when I get home tonight and update this post with the full details. (edited, 2811 not 2810. 3640, not 26xx)

    Mike, why do you suppose Cisco is suggesting the 2811? and a 3640 with a card instead of what is usually recommended around here for a frame switch?

    Also, watching LearnKey for BCSMN last night, Storm-meister mentioned a layer 3 2900 series switch, the 2948GL3 I believe. Is this a true L3 switch?, and if so, why does noone ever mention it or use it around here? Seems you can get one of these for between 10-25% the cost of a 3550.
  • mzinzmzinz Member Posts: 328
    In that case, maybe I will just get the stuff I was planning on getting, and use software to emulate MPLS.

    What about a set up like this?
    http://www.mzinz.atotchat.org/images/lab.jpg
    _______LAB________
    2x 2950
    2x 3550
    2x 2650XM
    2x 3640
    1x 2801
  • bhattnbikesbhattnbikes Member Posts: 40 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have Boson netsim with 3600 and 4500 series Routers and 3500 series switches. Is it ok if i work on this for my BCSMN ?? Or do you recommend me to get the dynamips and work with it ??
    For Latest TEch NEws Check out : http://directfromdigg.blogspot.com/
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Member Posts: 2,620 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Having frame relay capabilities in your network really helps when working with OSPF stubby/not so stubby/totally stubby networks. Being able to see the different LSA packet types working or not working helped me memorize them.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • bhattnbikesbhattnbikes Member Posts: 40 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hey Guys,

    I am working on CCNP switching exam. I have downloaded dynamips and i have IOS images in binary format. How do i go about using this for my home network. Any advice is appreciated.
    For Latest TEch NEws Check out : http://directfromdigg.blogspot.com/
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