Ideal lab for CCNP

m4rtinm4rtin Member Posts: 170
After working trough few blog posts and few other articles/posts about Cisco home labs, I have came up with the fallowing device list for CCNP home lab:
Routers:
Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE1R2W, NM-4A/S
Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE1R2W, NM-4A/S
Cisco 1841 32MB/128MB + WIC-2T
Cisco 1841 32MB/128MB + WIC-2T
Predication:
As much as I have read different documents, most of those say, that 4 routers is enough for CCNP. I think that 2x Cisco 1841 is a smart choice because this router supports the newest IOS. I would buy 32MB/128MB version of Cisco 1841 as those are much cheaper, but easily upgradable with new 64MB CF card and general 256MB 144-pin SDR SDRAM SO-DIMM memory module. Cisco 3640 supports 12.4.25c in terms of IOS, which isn't latest, but still rather new icon_rolleyes.gif As Cisco 3640 uses SIMM type flash memory and operating memory, which are not so widespread, I'll try to find a model with 32MB flash and 128MB RAM installed, which is maximum this router supports. However, the biggest advantage of Cisco 3640 seems to be that it's very modular- one is able to choose from huge amount of network modules. Is it enough to have a NM-1FE1R2W(One-port Fast Ethernet, one-port 4/16 Token Ring, 2 WAN card slot network module) and a NM-4A/S(Four-port async/sync serial network module) in both 3640's? icon_rolleyes.gif

Switches:
Cisco WS-C2950C-24
Cisco WS-C2950C-24
Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
Predication:
Cisco 2950 should be very similar to 2960(suggested by Cisco for their authorized ICND1 and ICDN2 courses), but cheaper. WS-C2950C-24 should be the cheapest model, which supports Enhanced Image. Cisco 3550 supports L3 switching and as every Cisco 3550 should be upgradable from SMI(Standard Multilayer Software Image) to EMI(Enhanced Multilayer Software Image), I thinks it's wise to buy two most cheapest 3550 models which should be WS-C3550-24-SMI..

However, what do you think? What should be changed or improved? icon_rolleyes.gif All comments/suggestions are most welcome! icon_wink.gif

Comments

  • IPDirectIPDirect Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just starting my CCNP prep so I'm far from an expert, however I started building my lab a few days ago.

    As far as the switches go, those are the exact ones I chose, 2 2950 and 2 3550.

    I read this article by Wendell Odom and chose to go with the 1760s and 26xxXM series over the 3640's.
    The Best Router for CCNP Prep in 2010 | NetworkWorld.com Community
  • m4rtinm4rtin Member Posts: 170
    IPDirect wrote: »
    I just starting my CCNP prep so I'm far from an expert, however I started building my lab a few days ago.

    As far as the switches go, those are the exact ones I chose, 2 2950 and 2 3550.

    I read this article by Wendell Odom and chose to go with the 1760s and 26xxXM series over the 3640's.
    The Best Router for CCNP Prep in 2010 | NetworkWorld.com Community

    IPDirect, thanks for reply :) Did you chose exactly fallowing switch models?
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
    Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
    
    I looked my CCNA/CCNP lab router part over and came down to fallowing:
    Routers:
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 2610XM 48MB/256MB + WIC-2T
    Cisco 2610XM 48MB/256MB + WIC-2T
    
    Predication:
    According to this table(from this article)..
    2008-01-17-2.jpg
    ..3640's are the cheapest ones, which support PE side MPLS. Cisco 2610XM with IP-PLUS IOS, should support CE MPLS, VLAN trunking and WIC-2T add serial support. In Cisco 3640 NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T gives one 100BASE-TX port + two WIC slots. However, what do you think? And do you have something to add? Is this smart choice when talking about routers for CCNA and CCNP? icon_rolleyes.gif
  • andyh123andyh123 Member Posts: 39 ■■□□□□□□□□
    m4rtin wrote: »
    2008-01-17-2.jpg

    the 261x does support trunking on the 10meg ethernet interfaces, with the correct IOS. my lab is 2x 2613 (remember token-ring?!) & 2x 2621, all spec'd with 16/64MB flash/dram. I boot the xm images off a tftp server to get around the flash size issue. I haven't yet found a single IOS that has everything needed for CCNP/IP, but I can get pretty much everything - even PE-side MPLS - from 2-3 different images

    if anyone knows of a way to get 128MB DRAM into a non-XM 261x/262x, I would be very interested to hear how!
    JNCIS-ENT - :study:
  • m4rtinm4rtin Member Posts: 170
    andyh123 wrote: »
    the 261x does support trunking on the 10meg ethernet interfaces, with the correct IOS. my lab is 2x 2613 (remember token-ring?!)
    yes, 802.1q support for 2600 series is described here. However, what about token-ring? Is this required for CCNA/CCNP?

    At the moment my CCNA/CCNP lab will be fallowing:
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 2610XM 48MB/256MB + WIC-2T
    Cisco 2610XM 48MB/256MB + WIC-2T
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
    Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
    Cisco 2511 Access Server
    
    Let me know if somebody has different opinions about CCNA/CCNP lab icon_rolleyes.gif
  • m4rtinm4rtin Member Posts: 170
    ilcram19-2 wrote: »
    Gns3 :)
    :) In my opinion it's more fun to have real hardware plus you are able to investigate and modify electronics and use those switches/routers for practical reasons.
  • andyh123andyh123 Member Posts: 39 ■■□□□□□□□□
    m4rtin wrote: »
    However, what about token-ring? Is this required for CCNA/CCNP?

    no, not required for quite a few years
    JNCIS-ENT - :study:
  • m4rtinm4rtin Member Posts: 170
    Thank you for your replies:) My CCNP lab would be fallowing:
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 3640 32MB/128MB + NM-1FE2W + WIC-2T
    Cisco 2610XM 48MB/256MB + WIC-2T
    Cisco 2610XM 48MB/256MB + WIC-2T
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco WS-C2950C-24
    Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
    Cisco Catalyst 3550-24 Switch-24(SMI)
    Cisco 2511 Access Server
    
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    That is going to set you back quite a bit icon_eek.gif


    Have you considered scaling back until after you pass the NA? I got by with 3 1721s, a 2610, and 2 2950s. I am going to add a 1760 (voice) a 3550 and possibly 2 26X0xm (and sell two of the 1721s). I personally think that will be enough to get me through CCNP.
  • billscott92787billscott92787 Member Posts: 933
    My lab consists of:


    2 2650XM'S
    1 1720
    1 2611XM (NM-4E interface)
    1 2950


    I never added a 3550, I was going to but haven't yet. Honestly, I used GNS3 and dynamips for everything on my CCNP so far. BSCI as well as BCMSN. I eventually want to add 2 3550's and an access server, but then to be honest, I thought about selling it and just moving to virtual only. I've used my equipment maybe 2-6 times in my CCNA and CCNP studies. Honestly, I would recommend just using GNS3 or Dynamips, and savings your money. But, I know what it is like to have the want of touching the real equipment. That's why I have all that down in my basement where my desktop is. LOL.


    Have you passed your CCNA? If not, I'd say hold off buying all that until you at least pass the CCNA. You don't need all that to do it, use virtual for it. Once you get passed that I would say if you "feel the need" go ahead. But, just know you can do virtual and get the same results. I find it easier when labbing honestly to use GNS3, if I mess something up, I can just delete the router, and re-add it, reconfigure, instead of having to mess with the equipment, deleting commands, rebooting, etc....
  • zerglingszerglings Senior Member Member Posts: 295 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wow, that's a lot of 2950s! When I was enrolled in a community college that offers CCNP CNAP curriculum, we only used four switches to do the lab for BCMSN, two layer 3s and two layer 2s.

    I did my CCNP using the following:

    1 x 2511 Terminal server
    3 x 2500s
    3 x 2620XM (one with NM-8A/S - for FR purposes)
    1 x 2621XM
    2 x 2950 (both 24-port)
    2 x 3550 (both 48-port)

    I hated GNS3. It keeps crashing under Windows 7. Dynagen/Dynamips was better than GNS3 for sure! Then again, I hated the fact that I have to use the INI format to build my lab! If I am not mistaken, you can diagram your lab under GNS3 and still use the .NET file and run it using Dynagen/Dynamips.
    :study: Life+
  • billscott92787billscott92787 Member Posts: 933
    zerglings wrote: »
    Wow, that's a lot of 2950s! When I was enrolled in a community college that offers CCNP CNAP curriculum, we only used four switches to do the lab for BCMSN, two layer 3s and two layer 2s.

    I did my CCNP using the following:

    1 x 2511 Terminal server
    3 x 2500s
    3 x 2620XM (one with NM-8A/S - for FR purposes)
    1 x 2621XM
    2 x 2950 (both 24-port)
    2 x 3550 (both 48-port)

    I hated GNS3. It keeps crashing under Windows 7. Dynagen/Dynamips was better than GNS3 for sure! Then again, I hated the fact that I have to use the INI format to build my lab! If I am not mistaken, you can diagram your lab under GNS3 and still use the .NET file and run it using Dynagen/Dynamips.


    Yes sir you can! That is exactly what I do. The GUI uses too much RAM, and crashes my machines, so I build it in GNS3, and run it in just dynamips icon_thumright.gif
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    How did you deal with switching topics for the CCNP without a layer 3 switch? Do you work with them pretty heavily?
  • NuulNuul Member Posts: 158
    knwminus wrote: »
    How did you deal with switching topics for the CCNP without a layer 3 switch? Do you work with them pretty heavily?

    His 3550s will do layer 3 stuff with the EMI image (ipservices). Or are you asking how would you do it since you don't have one? If it's the later, you can do some basic switching in GNS3 with the 3600/3700 series routers since they have a 16 port switch you can add as a module. With the 3600/3700 you can still test things like rapid-pvst, port channels (though not pagp, lacp or layer 3),vlan priorities, etc. However, switching in GNS3 can get buggy so I wouldn't do it unless you're just wanting to get your feet wet.
  • billscott92787billscott92787 Member Posts: 933
    I did all layer 3 switching stuff through dynamips. There wasn't anything I couldn't do in dynamips.
  • burbankmarcburbankmarc Member Posts: 460
    3550's aren't too extremely expensive. I think I got mine for about $200 each on ebay.

    I would highly recommend them over using GNS3. Module switching just isn't the same. A lot of the commands are different. If you can get away with it then good on you, you just saved $400, but me, I don't think I could.
  • billscott92787billscott92787 Member Posts: 933
    LOL. All based on preference. I dropped about $700 - $800 already on my lab when I bought it, I couldn't foresee spending the other money, so I made do with GNS3. I plan to eventually add some L3's in my lab though, I believe.
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Inactive Imported Users Posts: 5,031 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Nuul wrote: »
    His 3550s will do layer 3 stuff with the EMI image (ipservices). Or are you asking how would you do it since you don't have one? If it's the later, you can do some basic switching in GNS3 with the 3600/3700 series routers since they have a 16 port switch you can add as a module. With the 3600/3700 you can still test things like rapid-pvst, port channels (though not pagp, lacp or layer 3),vlan priorities, etc. However, switching in GNS3 can get buggy so I wouldn't do it unless you're just wanting to get your feet wet.


    I was asking about the later.

    I am considering buying a 3550. If I can cover most or all of the switch topics without one though I would want to go that route. I am trying to be cheap (less than 1K for materials and gear).
  • NuulNuul Member Posts: 158
    knwminus wrote: »
    I was asking about the later.

    I am considering buying a 3550. If I can cover most or all of the switch topics without one though I would want to go that route. I am trying to be cheap (less than 1K for materials and gear).

    You can get a lot for $1k, probably more than you need for the CCNP to be honest. The 3550-24 SMI are going for about $200; the 3550s are great for cheap layer 3 switches. You can't do IPv6, private VLANS and a few other things on them but overall they are great. If cost is your primary motivator though, try GNS3 first. If you get frustrated look to get some hardware.
  • zerglingszerglings Senior Member Member Posts: 295 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You guys are lucky. When I was building my home lab, 3550s were selling around $300-$500! Heck, I didn't see any 24 ports at that time. I like to get 3560s and 1800s or 2800s but still debating if I should spend my money for CCIE studies while we don't know if the company we work for will keep us (three different Network departments - Architecture, Support & Analysis, and NOC) or not.
    :study: Life+
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