Own vs. Rent

c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
I know this has been discussed before, I've seen references to it in various personal lab threads, but I kind of wanted to get a focused set of replies on this one.

As I've stated before, I've sort of been sucked into wanting to get my CCIE (damn you Cisco and your crack-like certifications!)

After thinking about it for awhile, I've decided that buying and setting up my own personal lab is probably not going to be an option for me for quite some time, because of $$$ and where I live (small apartment, about to get even smaller when we get two new roommates to lower the rent icon_rolleyes.gif ) The obvious solution is to rent rack time.

So, my question is...how many of you have rented lab time? And for those of you with CCIEs...do you believe you can get the experience and knowledge required to pass the lab if most of your hands-on experience is going to be limited to rented racks?

Obviously, my CCIE pursuit is aways away since I'm still working on my CCNP, but I'm one of those people who likes to plan way ahead...I get nervous when I don't have at least a rudimentary plan of action in place for things I'd like to do in the future. :) Kind of helps ensure that I keep up my motivation and actually go for it when it comes time.
There is nothing that cannot be acheived.

Comments

  • MrDMrD Posts: 441Member
    I think that rack time, regardless of how you get it, is mandatory in IE lab preparations. I spent a very nice chunck of change on rack rentals before my employer bought me a lab. I personally used a vendor's workbook and rented a rack that was cabled for my book.
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    Be sure to check out http://proctorlabs.com/

    Remember you can get a lot done with just a few switches if you handle the routing with dynamips.

    While we're on the subject, any estimate on how many rack sessions it would take (approximately, of course) to prep for an IE lab? I see they have packages up to 50 sessions. I'm going to take the security route, and I'll probably have to start renting time just for my SP studies.
  • MrDMrD Posts: 441Member
    You're going to need a TON. I would look for a site offering 4 hour sessions...you'll waste a lot less.
  • dtlokeedtlokee Posts: 2,381Member
    MrD wrote:
    You're going to need a TON. I would look for a site offering 4 hour sessions...you'll waste a lot less.

    I agree the 4 hour sessions would be better, it's tough to carve 12 hours straight out of your schedule for some of the rack slots. When you get into the full scale labs you would want to do them in an 8 hour format (or more) to test your speed also. I think I had a total of about 600 hours working on the CCIE R+S, but since Security is the easy track 300 should be good icon_wink.gif
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    Any recommendations for 4-hour providers? I checked the Proctor Lab security schedule, and it looks like I can get in pretty much any Saturday and Sunday from 8am-4pm for the next six weeks. That doesn't seem like a problem for me. Maybe scheduling is more competitive with the "difficult" CCIEs...
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    dynamik wrote:
    Be sure to check out http://proctorlabs.com/

    Remember you can get a lot done with just a few switches if you handle the routing with dynamips.

    While we're on the subject, any estimate on how many rack sessions it would take (approximately, of course) to prep for an IE lab? I see they have packages up to 50 sessions. I'm going to take the security route, and I'll probably have to start renting time just for my SP studies.

    The rack time you need is a variable. I find a mixture of home rack and remote racks works best. The benefit of your own gear is you can crank an hour or two out when it suits you, with remote racks you have to schedule and if you are tired after work or just distracted at home you may find you dont use the whole session you have paid for. You will certainly spend hundreds of hours just working on gear to prepare, and many hundreds on top of that reading books, studying configurations, note taking and working with the DocCD.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    I know this has been discussed before, I've seen references to it in various personal lab threads, but I kind of wanted to get a focused set of replies on this one.

    As I've stated before, I've sort of been sucked into wanting to get my CCIE (damn you Cisco and your crack-like certifications!)

    After thinking about it for awhile, I've decided that buying and setting up my own personal lab is probably not going to be an option for me for quite some time, because of $$$ and where I live (small apartment, about to get even smaller when we get two new roommates to lower the rent icon_rolleyes.gif ) The obvious solution is to rent rack time.

    So, my question is...how many of you have rented lab time? And for those of you with CCIEs...do you believe you can get the experience and knowledge required to pass the lab if most of your hands-on experience is going to be limited to rented racks?

    Obviously, my CCIE pursuit is aways away since I'm still working on my CCNP, but I'm one of those people who likes to plan way ahead...I get nervous when I don't have at least a rudimentary plan of action in place for things I'd like to do in the future. :) Kind of helps ensure that I keep up my motivation and actually go for it when it comes time.

    You can do it all with remote racks, but it gets costly and is somewhat inflexible in that you need to schedule slots. You will also find times when you want to practice things but can't because you have to schedule. There is also the risk that you waste time in the allocated schedule because things crop up that are out of your control like fatigue because you day at work dragged on or family business. I find a mixture of remote racks and your own equipment offers the most flexibility. 4 hour sessions are good for remote racks. With your own gear you can crank out an hour or two whenever you wish. I find early morning sessions before I start work very beneficial, and the home rack works best there.
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    It doesn't look like CCIE4U is setup for the security track, but I think the shorter sessions at Internetwork Expert will come in handy. Thanks for the links.

    I have a variety of 2500s, 2600s, and 2950s, but I think I'm going to run into a wall when I get deep into the security equipment. Going the rack rental route seems to be the most economical solution by far, even though it does sacrifice convenience. It seems like kids are the most common source of interruption and distraction. I don't have any and my wife is pretty understanding with my study time, so I'm not anticipating too many life events interfering with my rental time.

    I apologize for semi-hijacking your thread c0d3_w0lf. Hopefully you got something out of all of this as well :D

    Thanks to everyone who responded.
  • c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
    Heh, no worries dynamik...all good questions with good answers that I can learn from. :)

    I guess what I should do is just sit down and write out a price comparison, own vs. rent. Only thing is, even if the owning ends up to be cheaper in the long run, it's going to cost a lot more up front. =\
    There is nothing that cannot be acheived.
  • keenonkeenon Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    no one mentioned the cash saver dynamips, you can do a majority of the study topics virtually on your PC. the heavier switching topics can't be done but at least all of the routing can be icon_wink.gif i'm using it currently for the R/S and doing alot of IP studies on it as well. My biggest investment was for the laptop and the memory upgrade.

    http://classroom.internetworkexpert.com/p27794135/ this is for the setup there is also an update that allows the use of 1700 routers and WIC modules icon_cool.gif

    I also found a post where someone is using it with CCVP lab.
    http://corner-il. blog spot.com

    I came across this post while integrating vmware pcs into the IP lab. lots of nice stuff
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    c0d3_w0lf wrote:
    I guess what I should do is just sit down and write out a price comparison, own vs. rent. Only thing is, even if the owning ends up to be cheaper in the long run, it's going to cost a lot more up front. =\

    You can also get a decent amount of money back out of your home lab if you resell it within a decent amount of time.
    keenon wrote:
    no one mentioned the cash saver dynamips

    Only if you don't count my first post ;)

    That's a nice link though. Thanks for sharing.
  • c0d3_w0lfc0d3_w0lf Posts: 117Member
    Okay, so I think I may decide to go with the dynamips/dynagen route. I've been reluctant to do it for two reasons: fear of difficulty setting it up, and confusion on what to do about IOS images.

    So, that brings me to my next question: what options do I have for legally obtaining IOS images to use with those? More specifically, what steps are involved in obtaining them?
    There is nothing that cannot be acheived.
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