CCNP Home Lab

StrontyDogStrontyDog Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am just starting into studying for CCNP and I have decided to build a home lab which can hopefully be expanded on for CCIE if/when I get that far. I know I can do routing through GNS3 but I would rather get the actual equipment and build the home lab if it is anyway financially possible.

I managed to pick up a couple of 3560s fairly cheaply which I'm hoping will be staying on the CCIE equipment list for the next year or two? I already have a 2950 so I was thinking of just buying a second 2950 and using those for CCNP SWITCH and CCNP TSHOOT and I can replace the 2950s with 3550s if/when I get to study for CCIE.

The routing I am unsure of, what routers should I be looking at that can possibly be used for CCIE aswell? I have spotted a 2522 and a 2691 at reasonable prices and someone is selling some 2600(standard, not XM) routers cheap also.

How many routers do I need and what types?

I'd appreciate some advice on what the optimum build would be keeping the CCIE in mind also but not going nuts on my bank balance at the same time. :)

Thanks in advance for the advice, i read through the stickies but those labs seem to be a few years old so I said I'd better check here instead.

Comments

  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    The stickies are still valid, we try to keep them as up to date as possible.

    As long as your routers are running version 12.4T of the IOS with the enterprise feature set, you'll be all set for the CCIE. The usual recommendations you're seeing still apply: 1721 routers, 2600XM series, 3640 routers, and anything higher than that. The regular 2600s are a bit dated and can't really run the new version of the IOS, and anything in the 2500 series is really only going to be useful as an access switch with an octal cable.

    As for switches, if you've got a couple of 3560s, you're in good shape, all the way up to the CCIE. If you've got the cash, go ahead and get yourself a 3550 or two, otherwise you'll be perfectly fine snagging some 2950s. I'll leave any specific advice on how many switches you'll need as a minimum to the actual CCIE candidates here on the board, seeing as how I'm not quite there yet. icon_lol.gif

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  • StrontyDogStrontyDog Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Slowhand wrote: »
    The stickies are still valid, we try to keep them as up to date as possible.

    As long as your routers are running version 12.4T of the IOS with the enterprise feature set, you'll be all set for the CCIE. The usual recommendations you're seeing still apply: 1721 routers, 2600XM series, 3640 routers, and anything higher than that. The regular 2600s are a bit dated and can't really run the new version of the IOS, and anything in the 2500 series is really only going to be useful as an access switch with an octal cable.

    As for switches, if you've got a couple of 3560s, you're in good shape, all the way up to the CCIE. If you've got the cash, go ahead and get yourself a 3550 or two, otherwise you'll be perfectly fine snagging some 2950s. I'll leave any specific advice on how many switches you'll need as a minimum to the actual CCIE candidates here on the board, seeing as how I'm not quite there yet. icon_lol.gif


    Great thanks for the reply Slowhand. That was exactly what I wanted to hear, I was worried I'd have to go for 3725 and 3825 routers that are listed as being the ones tested in the CCIE exam.

    The 2522 has 8 serial ports so I had read it was good to use for simulating frame relay clouds. Is it useful for studying for CCNP route? It can only run IOS 12.2 though...

    As a side note, I did read that you can run 12.4 on a standard 2600 by downloading the IOS from TFTP to ram each time you boot the router rather than from flash. Apparantly the only reason the normal 2600 is restricted from using 12.4 is the flash is too small to hold it.

    Here's a link on how to do it.

    Booting XM Images on Non-XM 2600 Series Routers | INE
  • BroadcastStormBroadcastStorm Member Posts: 496
    The 3550's doesn't support VRRP/GLBP and Private Vlan's if you have a 3560 I would get another 3560, you only need 2 if I remember correctly, and the other 2 can be a L2 2950 switch.
  • froggy3132000froggy3132000 Member Posts: 28 ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you are going to study for IE, I would look for 1841's across the board maybe one 2811
  • StrontyDogStrontyDog Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    The 3550's doesn't support VRRP/GLBP and Private Vlan's if you have a 3560 I would get another 3560, you only need 2 if I remember correctly, and the other 2 can be a L2 2950 switch.

    I already have two 3560s and a 2950 so it would be pretty painless for me to add another 2950 to that to complete the switches I need if that's the case.
    If you are going to study for IE, I would look for 1841's across the board maybe one 2811

    If that is a more future proof option then I think I'd prefer to go with that then waste cash on 2610xms and 3640s. The 1841 are about 200euro and the 2811 are 250 euro each though so 6 of them wouldn't be the cheapest option. ^^

    How often do they change the equipment on the CCIE list?
  • StrontyDogStrontyDog Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I did some reading on 2950s for CCIE level and it seems that they are pretty much useless for any CCIE labs you want to do.

    I can get a 2950 for 50euro shipped though so I think I'll take that option for now while I go through CCNP and I can always upgrade the two 2950s to 3550s when I am doing CCIE.

    I'm not going to lose much value on a 2950 for 50euro when if I sell it on in the future anyway.
  • StrontyDogStrontyDog Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    My 3560s arrived and unfortunately both of them are faulty. I took a gamble paying 400euro for the pair of them hoping that I would get at least one working switch and could sell on the other one. The guy had powered them on and the system light was solid green but hadn't tested further so I figured my chances were good, I guess not.

    One of them works but it crashes on a regular basis and sometimes when it boots up I am unable to copy running config to startup config as it says private-config doesn't exist. I checked nvram and private-config does exist although the size is 0 and also 0 for startup-config. After a reload of the switch it has lost its config completely. I formatted the flash and tried to tftp the latest IOS image over but it crashed and restarted so I had to xmodem it over through the rommon mode.

    The second switch seems like it's a brick. Turn it on and there's no output to the console so I initially thought it might be serial speed settings but there's no output at all on any speed and then I realised it doesn't seem to go through POST at all even through the system LED is solid green. You start the switch up and all the LEDs flash for 2 seconds and then system LED goes solid green and nothing else happens. The ports don't go amber for spanning tree or any other activity at all after that. The other switch that boots up takes a minute or so before it has a solid green system LED which seems more normal.

    Any advice on what I can do with these besides sell them on ebay for parts? Would it be worthwhile getting cisco or some 3rd party to fix them? It would cost me at least 1000euro total for two used working 3560s so if I can get them repaired for 400euro I'd still be doing well.
  • mathelizemathelize Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I don't believe the guy who sold them didn't know they are faulty switches. The best thing is to buy working routers and switches on ebay.
    In my Lab
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  • StrontyDogStrontyDog Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    mathelize wrote: »
    I don't believe the guy who sold them didn't know they are faulty switches. The best thing is to buy working routers and switches on ebay.

    Yeah I would think so. They were listed as faulty however so I can't complain. Lesson learned to only buy tested equipment in future.
  • StrontyDogStrontyDog Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    The 3560 with the flash issue seems to have resolved itself somehow, it has been up for the past couple of hours without problem.

    I copied the extended crash logs into the Cisco output interpreter and it is reporting that all of the crashes were due to software bus problems relating to IOS bugs.

    I can tftp images to and from the flash without any problems now too. Is there a script I could run or something to stress test the switch, or any commands to run checks on memory, flash etc?
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