Lab Suggestions.

Atorres19Atorres19 Registered Users Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
I have been doing research reading various forums and blog posts and checking the kits from ciscokits.com and ebay. Some of the Conclusions I have drawn are that I should go with the 2950s for my switches. I guess its routers that I'm wondering about now. Mostly I'm looking at the 2610xm for routers. My main goal is to build a scalable lab for future certs. I don't want to miss out on learning opportunities or limit my knowledge as a result of price.

I was hoping to get a suggestion on which devices to purchase.
The path im going to persue is as follows: CCNA --_ CCNA Sec --_ CCNP --_ CCSP --_ CCIE R&S -- CCIE Sec

I would prefer to piece the lab together in affordable increments of approximately $400 a month.

I also am not sure of what I will need in the realm of GBICs or SFPs.

I have mostly been looking at CCNP Build Lists . Although Im worried about the 1721 router suggestions and what they might possibly limit as a make the journey through the track I have laid out.

The bottom line is Im more worried about learning and getting proficent with the concepts and implantation of real world networks. An the certifications are just a way to prove to future employers of my knowledge base. I really appreciate any responses I realize this same posts get posted 10,000 times a week icon_cheers.gif

Comments

  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    First off, I'd skip the pre-built labs, you'll learn more and spend less doing it yourself. And welcome to the forum!

    I'd grab 2 routers, 2 switches and cables now (plenty to get you going now), and then add a quality piece or two each month. The 2600xm's and 2950's are a good place to start. Here's where you want to end up if you're going all the way through CCIE, though a lot can change over time, so don't get tunnel vision on that setup today. But, if you buy good stuff now, it's sure to last you longer. I know I'm not the only one here who bought cheap stuff in the beginning that is just collecting dust.

    One more thing to keep in mind, you can never have too many serial interfaces and cables.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    Don't stress too much about the 1721 routers. They're an affordable alternative to 2600XM routers, they can run IOS 12.4T (advanced IP, at most though,) and they support all the modules you need. If you're worried about the cash, buying two or three 1721s and a couple of Catalyst 2950 switches is a great way to get your lab up and running for the CCENT/CCNA studies. After that, buying a Catalyst 3550 (or two) to get yourself some hands-on with layer 3 switching is a good idea, then you can go for 2600XM routers when you're not hurting for hardware but just needing more of it and something that supports IOS 12.4T Advanced Enterprise Services as you're getting into the CCNP-level stuff.

    You can also do some research on your own as to what you might need and what feature-set is required for your lab by looking at the Cisco Feature Navigator. (I'd recommend searching by platform or by software.)

    This is mainly a suggestion for the R&S lab equipment. I'm not sure exactly what you'd need for the security path, so I'll leave that to the CCSPs on the board.

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  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Atorres19 wrote: »
    I would prefer to piece the lab together in affordable increments of approximately $400 a month.

    Don't buy kits, they are overpriced. Get yourself a pair of 2610xm's or 2620xm's and max out the memory. Then for switches I suggest some ws-c2950t-24's. Then for L3 get a 3550. An ASA 5500 wouldnt hurt either. Those six pieces should keep you busy into ccnp.
  • Atorres19Atorres19 Registered Users Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I really appreciate all the advice. I feel much more comfortable now in purchasing equipment. I'm hoping to get a few 2950s off one of my friends at work. And ill go ahead and get a 2610XM or two. Thanks all so much. Ill check the CCSP forum for advice on what I will need for CCNA sec and CCSP. Thanks! icon_smile.gif
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Atorres19 wrote: »
    I really appreciate all the advice. I feel much more comfortable now in purchasing equipment. I'm hoping to get a few 2950s off one of my friends at work. And ill go ahead and get a 2610XM or two. Thanks all so much. Ill check the CCSP forum for advice on what I will need for CCNA sec and CCSP. Thanks! icon_smile.gif

    Also, when you buy your serial interfaces for the 2610's, I suggest you get wic1dsu's instead of wic1t's.
  • ajmatsonajmatson Member Posts: 289
    phoeneous wrote: »
    Also, when you buy your serial interfaces for the 2610's, I suggest you get wic1dsu's instead of wic1t's.

    +1 cheaper WIC modules and making a T1 cable is very easy.
    Working on currently:
    Masters Degree Information Security and Assurance (WGU) / Estimated 06/01/2016
    Next Up: CCNP Routing Exam | Certified Ethical Hacker Exam
    Cisco Lab: ASA 5506-X, GNS3, 1x 2801 Router, 1x 2650XM, 1x 3750-48TS-E switch, 2x 3550 EMI Switches and 1x 2950T swtich.
    Juniper Lab: 1x SRX100H2, 1x J2320 (1GB Flash/1GB RAM, JunOS 11.4R7.5), and 4 JunOS Firefly vSRX Routers in VMWare ESXi 5.1
  • cpartincpartin Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    New guy here. Brain is mush after 3 solid days of research on lab building so forgive me if this post is totally erroneous. When it comes to frame relay, won't wic1dsus limit the scalability of our lab compared to wic[1,2]ts? I don't see anything analogous to a NM-[4,8]a/s that could interface with a T1 cable.
  • eserfelizeserfeliz Member Posts: 134
    ajmatson wrote: »
    +1 cheaper WIC modules and making a T1 cable is very easy.

    I just bought 2 WIC-1DSUs for $5/module on ebay. Free shipping. Anyone can PM me if they want the listing, he had more than one available.
    MCP, HDI-SCA, MCDST, Network+, MCTS: W7C, MCITP: EDST7, BS: MIS

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  • alan2308alan2308 CISSP, MCSA 2008, MCSA 2012, CCNA R&S, CCNA Security Ann Arbor, MIMember Posts: 1,854 ■■■■■■■■□□
    cpartin wrote: »
    New guy here. Brain is mush after 3 solid days of research on lab building so forgive me if this post is totally erroneous. When it comes to frame relay, won't wic1dsus limit the scalability of our lab compared to wic[1,2]ts? I don't see anything analogous to a NM-[4,8]a/s that could interface with a T1 cable.

    From a Frame Relay perspective, it can limit your scalability. But not every serial connection in my lab involves a Frame Relay cloud so that's not always a problem.

    There's also the NM-2W or NM-1E2W modules which give you 2 more WIC slots if you have a router that can support them. If WIC-1DSU's are only $5 then you'll probably still come out ahead vs. buying WIC-2t's.

    Understanding Fast Ethernet LAN/WAN Interface Card Network Modules - Cisco Systems
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