What upgrades should I get for the CCNA-V?

ZentraediZentraedi Member Posts: 150
So, here's my current lab:

R1: 2511 Access Router
R2: 2610XM 256/48
R3: 2610XM 256/48
R4: 2611XM 128/32

SW1: 24 port 2950
SW2: 24 port 2950
SW3: 24 port 2950

1x NM-4A/S
2x WIC-1T

The recommendation I got was for a 2801 w/ AIM-CUE module, 2 FXS, 2 FXO ports and IP phones

I looked into it and that hardware seems a bit out of my budget. It's really the AIM-CUE that puts me over. Now, the questions I have are:

1) How important is the AIM-CUE (or an NM-CUE)? Can I reasonably get by without it? Is it something I can simulate in GSN3?

2) What advantages do I have in going with a 2801 w/ AIM-CUE versus getting a CUE module for one of my 2600XM routers?

3) Should I invest in a switch with PoE?

4) Should I just forgo the upgrade and go with online rack rental time?

Thanks!
Current Study Track
EMCCA, EMCCAe, EMCCE, VCIX-NV, Puppet Practitioner, ServiceNow

Comments

  • peanutnogginpeanutnoggin Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    So, here's my current lab:

    R1: 2511 Access Router
    R2: 2610XM 256/48
    R3: 2610XM 256/48
    R4: 2611XM 128/32

    SW1: 24 port 2950
    SW2: 24 port 2950
    SW3: 24 port 2950

    1x NM-4A/S
    2x WIC-1T

    The recommendation I got was for a 2801 w/ AIM-CUE module, 2 FXS, 2 FXO ports and IP phones

    This equipment you have is actually pretty good for the CCNA voice. I would recommend you get IP Phones, the VIC-2FXS & VIC-2FXO cards, a NM-HD (one for each router and these are cheap on ebay).
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    I looked into it and that hardware seems a bit out of my budget. It's really the AIM-CUE that puts me over. Now, the questions I have are:

    1) How important is the AIM-CUE (or an NM-CUE)? Can I reasonably get by without it? Is it something I can simulate in GSN3?
    To me, both of these items are nice, but not really necessities. I've seen tons of people on this forum pass this exam without using either. You need to know and familiarize yourself with the CUE gui and some very basic functions of the CUE. Those two pieces of gear are very expensive pieces of lab equipment and I wouldn't recommend them unless you are "rolling in dough" or you are able to get one from work, buddy, trash, etc...
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    2) What advantages do I have in going with a 2801 w/ AIM-CUE versus getting a CUE module for one of my 2600XM routers?
    Again, I would recommend you use the 2600XM routers with the NM-HD... because the NM-HD has the DSP resources necessary to run the VIC-2FXS & VIC-2FXO cards.
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    3) Should I invest in a switch with PoE?

    Not really necessary, but would be nice. If you have the budget to purchase a 3550 PoE and you know you are going to pursue the CCVP or CCNP, then it wouldn't be a bad idea. Do you need to pass the exam, I don't think so. The only advantage the PoE offers you is the ability to not have to buy power bricks for your IP Phones. Outside of that, all of the configurations for CME are identical. Again, if you are going to pursue a Professional level cert, then you'll eventually need a layer 3 switch, so you have to pick your own poison on this one.
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    4) Should I just forgo the upgrade and go with online rack rental time?

    Thanks!

    For the CCNA Voice, I would say no. If you can afford to get the equipment I listed and other have recommended, you will be okay. I'm not sure if I've seen rack rentals for CCNA voice. Having the IP phones next to you to see the boot up process of the phones, upgrade the firmwares, etc, is invaluable for your studies and therefore I would say not to get the rack rental. Also, if you plan to pursue the CCVP, the equipment you buy now is going to be key for further cert tracks.

    Everything I've given you is all based on my opinion. I've not pursued the CCNA Voice cert (read the material, have the equipment) and I find it very easy. I'm not necessary looking for this cert as I was more concerned about gaining the voice knowledge. I think I studied for roughly two weeks and felt confident enough to deploy two different work sites with CME. I would lastly suggest you invest in the Official Cert Guide written by Jeremy Ciaora et al, it was a great read and very easy to understand and follow. I hope this helps you or others in some way. Good luck icon_thumright.gif

    -Peanut
    We cannot have a superior democracy with an inferior education system!

    -Mayor Cory Booker
  • ZentraediZentraedi Member Posts: 150
    Thanks for the quick reply!
    This equipment you have is actually pretty good for the CCNA voice. I would recommend you get IP Phones, the VIC-2FXS & VIC-2FXO cards, a NM-HD (one for each router and these are cheap on ebay).

    OK, do you have any recommendations on specific models/ranges and number of phones?

    As for the NM-HD, I've noticed several variants. So, would any of them be fine? Should I go for ones with 2 slots, right?

    To me, both of these items are nice, but not really necessities. I've seen tons of people on this forum pass this exam without using either. You need to know and familiarize yourself with the CUE gui and some very basic functions of the CUE. Those two pieces of gear are very expensive pieces of lab equipment and I wouldn't recommend them unless you are "rolling in dough" or you are able to get one from work, buddy, trash, etc...

    So, is it possible to do all the CUE stuff via rack rental or GSN3?
    Again, I would recommend you use the 2600XM routers with the NM-HD... because the NM-HD has the DSP resources necessary to run the VIC-2FXS & VIC-2FXO cards.

    Hmm, ok, but I'm still left wondering what exactly I would be missing out on if I passed on the 2801? It was sort of implied that there was lab/config work that required at least a 2800 series.

    If I don't go for a 2801, what are those mysterious items/functions, that I should have knowledge of for the exam?

    Not really necessary, but would be nice. If you have the budget to purchase a 3550 PoE and you know you are going to pursue the CCVP or CCNP, then it wouldn't be a bad idea. Do you need to pass the exam, I don't think so. The only advantage the PoE offers you is the ability to not have to buy power bricks for your IP Phones. Outside of that, all of the configurations for CME are identical. Again, if you are going to pursue a Professional level cert, then you'll eventually need a layer 3 switch, so you have to pick your own poison on this one.

    Oh, I can always use a power brick/PoE injector? I was worried as to whether there might be anything related to PoE config on the switch for voice phones on the exam.

    For the CCNA Voice, I would say no. If you can afford to get the equipment I listed and other have recommended, you will be okay. I'm not sure if I've seen rack rentals for CCNA voice. Having the IP phones next to you to see the boot up process of the phones, upgrade the firmwares, etc, is invaluable for your studies and therefore I would say not to get the rack rental. Also, if you plan to pursue the CCVP, the equipment you buy now is going to be key for further cert tracks.

    Well, sure I could have the IP phones at home, but was wondering about doing all the CUE and UC500 stuff through a remote rack. Is that feasible?

    Everything I've given you is all based on my opinion. I've not pursued the CCNA Voice cert (read the material, have the equipment) and I find it very easy. I'm not necessary looking for this cert as I was more concerned about gaining the voice knowledge. I think I studied for roughly two weeks and felt confident enough to deploy two different work sites with CME. I would lastly suggest you invest in the Official Cert Guide written by Jeremy Ciaora et al, it was a great read and very easy to understand and follow. I hope this helps you or others in some way. Good luck icon_thumright.gif

    -Peanut

    Yup, picked that book, CBT nuggets videos, and the Sybex book.

    Interesting to see Jeremy Ciaora wrote the CCNA-V book. I used his CBT videos for CCNA and am a big of his teaching style.
    Current Study Track
    EMCCA, EMCCAe, EMCCE, VCIX-NV, Puppet Practitioner, ServiceNow
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    Again, I would recommend you use the 2600XM routers with the NM-HD... because the NM-HD has the DSP resources necessary to run the VIC-2FXS & VIC-2FXO cards.
    The NM-1V or NM-2V support the analog VIC-2FXS & VIC-2FX interface cards.

    The NM-HDV support the digital VWICs like the VWIC-1MFT-T1 or VWIC-2MFT-T1 (once you add the PVDMs).
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Member Posts: 1,376 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Don't forget all of the sections in the blueprint relating to the UC500 platform (assuming that you are going the IIUC route). Without a unit to study on be prepared to memorizes all of the GUI screen shots in the book.
    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • ZentraediZentraedi Member Posts: 150
    mikej412 wrote: »
    The NM-1V or NM-2V support the analog VIC-2FXS & VIC-2FX interface cards.

    The NM-HDV support the digital VWICs like the VWIC-1MFT-T1 or VWIC-2MFT-T1 (once you add the PVDMs).

    So, you're saying I should get the NM-2V instead? The NM-2V supports the necessary DSP functions that I would need for a CCNA-V lab as well, right?
    pitviper wrote: »
    Don't forget all of the sections in the blueprint relating to the UC500 platform (assuming that you are going the IIUC route). Without a unit to study on be prepared to memorizes all of the GUI screen shots in the book.

    Do you know if there is any way to virtualize it or is it possible to play around on one through a rack rental?
    Current Study Track
    EMCCA, EMCCAe, EMCCE, VCIX-NV, Puppet Practitioner, ServiceNow
  • peanutnogginpeanutnoggin Member Posts: 1,096 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    So, you're saying I should get the NM-2V instead? The NM-2V supports the necessary DSP functions that I would need for a CCNA-V lab as well, right?

    Yes, I use the NM-2V in my 2621XM currently and I can run both VIC-2FXO and VIC-2FXS in my router.
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    Do you know if there is any way to virtualize it or is it possible to play around on one through a rack rental?
    No... But if you're able to find a way to virtualize the UC500, let us all know. icon_scratch.gif

    HTH

    -Peanut
    We cannot have a superior democracy with an inferior education system!

    -Mayor Cory Booker
  • chmorinchmorin Member Posts: 1,446 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Zentraedi wrote: »
    Do you know if there is any way to virtualize it or is it possible to play around on one through a rack rental?

    Negative on the virtualize bit. I'm not sure about the rack rental, hopefully someone will do that soon. I passed the test without UC500 hands on experience, however study the docs that cisco has and the screenshots in cbt nuggets. You will HAVE to know how to configure a UC500 device, but the exam topics already told you that icon_wink.gif

    Also, have fun making phones ring! The first time I made a phone ring (it was two IP phones on different computers actually) it made my week, and changed my path to include voice. Have fun with it!
    Currently Pursuing
    WGU (BS in IT Network Administration) - 52%| CCIE:Voice Written - 0% (0/200 Hours)
    mikej412 wrote:
    Cisco Networking isn't just a job, it's a Lifestyle.
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