Need advice on my CCNA Home Lab plans

Corndork2Corndork2 Member Posts: 266
Hey to all out there. This is my first post on the forum. Currently I am scheduled to take the A+, and Network+ exams. I have also gone through the Cisco academy once in highschool. Id like to review and sharpen my skills for the CCNA and eventually the CCNP. I know the best way to practice and learn on your own is to make a home lab. I have laid out what I think will work to get me through the CCNA, and after I will add stuff for the CCNP. If you all wouldnt mind, would you look through this list and let me know what you think? Im a college student currently, so I am looking to do this with the absolute least expense, but I want to be sure I am able to try all aspects of the material on the CCNA. As such I will make sure to employ atleast one 100mbps router for vlan stuff, at least one router running 12.4 IOS, and at least one router that supports IPv6. I will also make sure to have at least one 2950 as I know there are questions directly related to them on the exam.

So far, this is what I think I need:

1x 3640 128/32mb 12.4 IOS - If I do run this what cards should I add to it? I have a NM-1E2W. Any other reccomendations?

2x 2501 - I like these as they are inexpensive. But do you guys think I need to spend the extra cash on the 16/16 models? The 8/8 are half the price. I know they dont support IPv6 on 8/8, but since I will be getting a 3640 which supports it do I need others?

1x 2950 Switch - Id like to add more than one, but I think I can only afford one.

?x 2924 Switch - If you guys think I need more than one switch, will the 2924's work for me? How many should I add?

Eventually Id also like ot add a 2511 access server, but that may not be until the CCNP or until money affords. Also if I can figure out a way to lessen the cost of equipment I may have the scratch to buy one. Im looking to drop in the 300-500 range, with 500 being the have a heart attack, but will hopefully be ready for cisco certs, attitude. Can you all offer any suggestions or help? Or if this setup is completely wack, will you recommend others? I know some choose the 2600 series over the 3600 series, etc. Also, what should I grab as a frame relay switch? Or can I use what I have planned? Thank you for all the suggestions and help. I really want to get started on the right foot.
Brocade: BAIS, BACNS, BAEFS Cisco: CCENT, CCNA R&S CWNP: CWTS Juniper: JNCIA-JUNOS
CompTIA: A+ (2009), Network+ (2009), A+ CE, Network+ CE, Security+ CE, CDIA+
Mikrotik: MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCWE, MTCTCE VMware: VCA-DV Rackspace: CloudU

Comments

  • Corndork2Corndork2 Member Posts: 266
    I know I just said I was thinking about a 3640, but I just found a 128/32 2620XM with 12.4 for 75, which is cheaper than what I saw the 3640's (mem maxed) for. If this deal works I think I may go with the 2620XM instead. Plus its a 100mbs interface. Thanks again for all suggestions!
    Brocade: BAIS, BACNS, BAEFS Cisco: CCENT, CCNA R&S CWNP: CWTS Juniper: JNCIA-JUNOS
    CompTIA: A+ (2009), Network+ (2009), A+ CE, Network+ CE, Security+ CE, CDIA+
    Mikrotik: MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCWE, MTCTCE VMware: VCA-DV Rackspace: CloudU
  • kalebkspkalebksp Member Posts: 1,033 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Since you're doing it on the cheap I would recommend buying a 1721 to get some hands on with hardware, two 2950 switches, a third switch 2900XL switch and do the rest with Dynamips (provided you have a decent computer). Although many people that are new to Cisco will scoff at Dynamips, usually with a "you can't beat real hardware" (which is BS), many of the hardcore Cisco guys and gals on this forum use it extensively. Assuming that the CCNP requirements don't change radically in the coming year you would only need to add a couple 3550s to have a respectable CCNP lab.
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    kalebksp wrote: »
    Although many people that are new to Cisco will scoff at Dynamips, usually with a "you can't beat real hardware" (which is BS), many of the hardcore Cisco guys and gals on this forum use it extensively. Assuming that the CCNP requirements don't change radically in the coming year you would only need to add a couple 3550s to have a respectable CCNP lab.
    Definitely. It's way more convenient for studying than a real lab, and more than enough for passing the CCNA. I passed the CCNA in 2005 using Network Visualizer, and even that was enough, and Dynamips is better.
    MentholMoose
    LFCE - MCITP: EDA7, VA, SA, EA - MCSA:S 2003 - CCA (PVS 5, XD 3 / 4 / 5, XS 5 / 6) - VCP 4 / 5
  • Corndork2Corndork2 Member Posts: 266
    Thanks for the advice! Ill definitely try Dynamips. But, I do want some decent hands on hardware in my lab. I just scored a 2620XM maxed on mem, with 12.4 for 70.00, so I can have 100mpbs vlan, IPv6 etc. I also scored a 2051 for another 20, so im 90 in so far. Would you still reccommend adding three switches? Or should two 2950s do? Better yet, could I get by with one 2950, and another cheaper switch and be done with it? I was also thinking of grabbing another router like one more 5021, or a 2610XM (the same guy that hooked me up with the 2620 has one for cheap). I also read about using a 3640 as a frame relay server. What do you guys think? I like the cheap price tag on the 2610XM, and its also memory maxed and on 12.4. Would this be a better investment than one more 2051? I hear having three routers is a good start for a lab. Again, I'll def. use sims, but I also want some hardware to work with. Any opinions on what to add now that I do have the 2620XM and one 2051 on the way? Also would it be a better value to grab the 2610XM? I can get it for about 60, which I think is a good deal. Thanks again!
    Brocade: BAIS, BACNS, BAEFS Cisco: CCENT, CCNA R&S CWNP: CWTS Juniper: JNCIA-JUNOS
    CompTIA: A+ (2009), Network+ (2009), A+ CE, Network+ CE, Security+ CE, CDIA+
    Mikrotik: MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCWE, MTCTCE VMware: VCA-DV Rackspace: CloudU
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