IOS version

Gat0rveanGat0rvean Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all! I was curious what versions (Switch/Router) of the cisco IOS I would need to scrape by for the CCNA and some portions of the CCNP? I'm starting to build a lab (on a budget of ~600$) to work towards those certs, and I'm wondering how old I can go with switches routers and still have the functionality I need to pass the exams. Thanks!

Comments

  • notgoing2failnotgoing2fail Posts: 1,138Member
    Well you can really go as low as 11.x for routers I think. But if you're going to be buying stuff of eBay, I wouldn't shoot for the lowest IOS version as that doesn't necessarily mean you're saving money.

    My rule of thumb is always try to get the latest IOS.

    Sometimes you can't upgrade later because the router doesn't have enough flash memory, so try to look out for devices where people already upgraded them....
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    For the CCNA:Security (and zone based firewalls) you'd need 12.4(9)T of the Advanced Security Feature Set -- or greater (Advanced IP Services or Advanced IP Enterprise Services).

    Otherwise a 12.2 of IP Plus or IP Enterprise Plus will do most of what you need on the routers -- for now. But it makes sense to look for deals on routers that already have max memory AND the last and highest available IOS version/feature set available.

    For the switches you'd go for at least 2 2950 switches -- and I got one recently for $31+shipping. The 3rd switch for the CCNA can be an even cheaper 2924XL-EN switch (or another 2950 or a 3550 if you want a layer 3 switch for your CCNP lab).

    You can still access Switch IOS images on Cisco's website with a guest level account -- so switch IOS images aren't as critical as your router purchase IOS images. The 3550 SMI (IP Base) IOS can be upgraded to the EMI (IP Services) image -- and while Cisco might still let you download it, it's a "license feature" and the scary warning about getting charged for it you agree to while downloading is more likely (probably some time in the future since no one as admitted to getting a bill from Cisco for doing the download).
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • Gat0rveanGat0rvean Posts: 5Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    For the CCNA:Security (and zone based firewalls) you'd need 12.4(9)T of the Advanced Security Feature Set -- or greater (Advanced IP Services or Advanced IP Enterprise Services).

    Otherwise a 12.2 of IP Plus or IP Enterprise Plus will do most of what you need on the routers -- for now. But it makes sense to look for deals on routers that already have max memory AND the last and highest available IOS version/feature set available.

    For the switches you'd go for at least 2 2950 switches -- and I got one recently for $31+shipping. The 3rd switch for the CCNA can be an even cheaper 2924XL-EN switch (or another 2950 or a 3550 if you want a layer 3 switch for your CCNP lab).

    You can still access Switch IOS images on Cisco's website with a guest level account -- so switch IOS images aren't as critical as your router purchase IOS images. The 3550 SMI (IP Base) IOS can be upgraded to the EMI (IP Services) image -- and while Cisco might still let you download it, it's a "license feature" and the scary warning about getting charged for it you agree to while downloading is more likely (probably some time in the future since no one as admitted to getting a bill from Cisco for doing the download).

    Great info, thanks for the feedback. Based on what you are telling me, how does 2x 2621XM's for the router portion, and 3 2950's should be a sure fire setup for CCNA and a good start for the CCNP. Is that correct? Thanks!
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    For frame relay hub and spoke (1 hub, 2 spokes) you need 3 routers -- plus another router if you want a dedicated frame relay cloud. You can try to have something like the 26xxXM pull double duty with an NM-4A/S or NM-8A/S and a WIC-1T or WIC-2T. (Or you can try Dynamips if you already have a supported IOS image)

    The 1721 deskmount (and power brick) routers are a good cheap alternate/additional router. It runs up to 12.4 Advanced Enterprise or 12.4T Advanced Security (and maybe Advanced IP Services... but you'd have to check the Cisco IOS Feature Navigator). The 1721s have "fixed memory" -- so you have to be careful you don't get an "old one" that can't be upgraded. It's just easier to buy a MAX Memory 1721 and not worry about upgrades.

    You might also want to budget for an access server (2509, 2511, or Token Ring versions 2510 and 2512) since it makes lab life easier. You can also use an NM-16A/S if you can find one cheaper than the old 2500 access server routers.

    The 2600XM routers are solid routers for the CCNP (and beyond). There are 12.3 IOS versions that do run MPLS....

    Check out the PDFs on the Cisco Portable Product Sheets - Partner Central web page. You'll find PDFs for Router Memory, Router Performance, Switch Performance, Modules Cross Reference, IOS Packaging, etc. Lots of good stuff here to help guide your home lab purchases.

    A CCNP lab is just a CCNA Lab with maybe an additional router (or two, that supports MPLS) and a layer 3 switch (or 2 if you can afford it or get a great deal or are planning for the CCIE). You can also try Dynamips for ROUTE/BSCI -- if you have supported IOS images from your CCNA Lab (1700, 2600, 2600XM, 3620, 3640, 3660, 3725, 3745, 7200) and skip buying more routers. Just remember the time spent figuring out the software (Dynagen or GNS3 front ends) and getting them to access/interact with your real switches doesn't count as study time.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
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