starting CCNA** Home lab advice.

joluis9joluis9 Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello All,

This is my first post :D, I am going to start studying for CCNA hoping to get CCDA afterwards and then either CCNP or CCDP (my possible path). I have read a lot about setting up a home lab in the forum but I think a lot of the post I've read are kind of old (2006-200icon_cool.gif. I want some advice about what would be best for me to buy, my budget is $400-$500. I am interesting in buying some equipment that will help me to get through CCNA/CCDA and CCNP/CCDP.

Thanks i appreciate your advice.

Joluis9:)

Comments

  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,832Mod Mod
    You can certainly put together a nice lab within that budget. Since this topic comes up regularly, I suggest following donstop's advice and also searching for CCNA LAB so you can see the recent discussions.

    Welcome aboard!
  • Todd BurrellTodd Burrell Posts: 280Member
    You should easily be able to pick up a couple of 2620XM routers and a couple 2950 switches. That should set you up nicely for the CCNA. You may need a couple of expansion cards for the routers, but those are not too expensive, either...
  • joluis9joluis9 Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you all for the input, So Todd you think with two 2620XM routers and two 2950 switches i'll be ok? What other option I have? and also around what price are those? because i looked on ebay and the sell all the way from $500 - $50, should I look for any specific amount of memory? I also read that i would need to set up some 3 router configurations, but i think the 2620XM can be set up as two different routers right?

    Thanks,
  • Todd BurrellTodd Burrell Posts: 280Member
    I seem to remember the 2620XM routers were around $100 apiece - I do not remember the switch price. But I think I have bought 3 of each with extra expansion cards and I have stayed around $700-$800 for all of this. So your budget should get you 2 switches and 2 routers for around $400-$500 if you look around.

    You can also use the 2500 series routers, but I'm not sure they move well into the CCNP realm? That's the reason I chose the routers and switches I did - because I think I can still use them all in the CCNP testing and labbing phase (although I may need to try and get a 3550 switch and possibly a larger router - maybe a 2800 series)?
  • instant000instant000 Posts: 1,745Member
    joluis9 wrote: »
    Hello All,

    This is my first post :D, I am going to start studying for CCNA hoping to get CCDA afterwards and then either CCNP or CCDP (my possible path). I have read a lot about setting up a home lab in the forum but I think a lot of the post I've read are kind of old (2006-200icon_cool.gif. I want some advice about what would be best for me to buy, my budget is $400-$500. I am interesting in buying some equipment that will help me to get through CCNA/CCDA and CCNP/CCDP.

    Thanks i appreciate your advice.

    Joluis9:)

    Well, you're asking for basic routing and switching.

    Try Wendell Odom's site.

    He did a pretty good collection of pricing.

    If you shop smart, you might be able to beat his deals.

    Price History

    A few things to keep in mind:

    1 - interface cards aren't cheap, but sometimes you can find auctions that include the cards in the routers. I once bought a 1720 because I could buy the whole router with a WIC nside it cheaper than I could buy the card individually.

    2 - 1760 are rackmountable, but the other 1700 series are not. I think Wendell goes over this, but something to be mindful of.

    3 - If you have an end goal in mind, buy equipment geared for that.

    4 - If you're going to spend big, put it in the switches.

    5 - IOS 15 is around the corner. Keep that in mind, if you plan on splurging on any routers.

    6 - Emulation -- Dynamips. Even though IOS 15 is around the corner, this is a good learning tool. It can't emulate your switches (you'd need IOU for that), but it is something. (EDIT: IOS 15 is already here, it's just around the corner from being in the exam tracks.)

    Hope this helps!
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lewislampkin (Please connect: Just say you're from TechExams.Net!)
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    Reading up and researching equipment is a good exercise .

    I'd suggest having a good read of lots of sites, making sure to note the date of when the pages/recommendations were written.
    Draw up a list of equipment, then post and ask for advice here.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/72553-lab-equipment-recommendations-2012-lab-equipment-recommendations-2012-la.html

    Todd that's rather expensive. Should be able to pick up same setup for under $300
    for 3 routers (1721/1751/1760's) and 3 switches (2950's)with wics and cables if you take your time.
    even cheaper with local pickup

    Bit more if you get a 3550 or some extra nm modules .

    e.g
    Cisco Switch WS-C2950G-24-EI | eBay

    Cisco 1721 Router & 828 ADSL 4 ports Modem Cheap | eBay


    gsn3 + few switches is a good way to start.
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    My lab so far;

    # Routers #
    2 x 2503: $65.00 (inc. Shipping)
    1 x 2620xm: $132.00 (inc. Shipping)

    # Switches #
    3 x 48port - 2950G switches : $120.00 (Pickup)

    # WAN Interface Cards #
    1 x WIC-1t: $30.00 (inc. Shipping)

    # Network Modules #
    1 x NM-4a/s (Yet to be purchased)

    # Cables & Adapters #
    3 x AUI to RJ45 adapters (1 for spare) (Yet to be purchased)
    3 x DCE/DTE b2b cables (1 for spare) (Yet to be purchased)

    All has been purchased on eBay, i got the two cheap 2503's and complimented them with the 2620xm for SDM. I'm not sure of the memory of the 2503's but i may need more memory to do ipv6. The 3 x 2950G's can handle the EI image which is good and not bad for the switch density. Just now waiting for my money to clear with paypal before i can buy the last items.

    All up i will be looking at around $500-550 (inc petrol to pickup the Shipping item) for a 3 router/3 switch lab.

    Check out CCNA Certification: CCNA, Cisco certification, Cisco routers, Cisco switches, Ci for some great information
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    No do not buy premade kits unless you want to spend big dollars on old out of date equipment!!!!

    2500's are getting to old.

    You don't need to spend $500, equipment( 3 routers and 3 switches) should not cost more than $300 at the very most.

    Don't pay top dollar for old equipment!
    Take your time and do not rush.

    And you can get nm-4a's from around $30 ($40 with shipping)
    just brought this one last week
    Cisco SERIAL 4A/S module | eBay


    $40 for 2610xm and 2950 (petrol will be $6 for the pickup)
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    alxx wrote: »
    No do not buy premade kits unless you want to spend big dollars on old out of date equipment!!!!

    2500's are getting to old.

    You don't need to spend $500, equipment( 3 routers and 3 switches) should not cost more than $300 at the very most.

    Don't pay top dollar for old equipment!
    Take your time and do not rush.

    And you can get nm-4a's from around $30 ($40 with shipping)
    just brought this one last week
    Cisco SERIAL 4A/S module | eBay


    $40 for 2610xm and 2950 (petrol will be $6 for the pickup)
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    I think you would be really hard pressed to find all of the kit that i have on my list for $300.00, if you are talking about just the routers and switches... that is plausible if you wait months and months for the perfect deal... overall on routers and switch i have spent $350 including freight.

    The 2600 series XM's are very rare and you would be waiting a while for something that cheap to come up again. If you refer to Odoms price history you will see that a 2610xm with a Wic-1t currently goes for $200 (yr. 2011), i picked up a 2620xm for $132 inc post - this gives me over $60 to spend on a WIC-1t and still be within predicted budget. Also it's easier for you in sydney, you don't live a 220km round trip from the CBD icon_profileleft.gif

    2500's are getting very old, this is true. But they are still viable for use with the CCNA (Odom predicts for a 2501 + AUI>RJ45 to cost $75, i got mine [a 2503] for $52.00 including post + AUI>RJ45) - That last link you posted is a bad example, that 2610xm is in very poor condition, it is auction & not "Buy it now" - So you cannot guarantee it wont go for a lot more and from my research that is the only one on eBay in aus - Yes they are sold via International sellers - I have asked them their shipping fees... your looking between $100-300 for postage... Also you will need another 64MB of DRAM if you want to do SDM+IPv6 as you only have 64MB installed... another $10-15. I think mine which i got for $132.00 plus postage was a good deal.

    I do agree the kits are a rip off, if you look on the sites the exact kit im building is going for $850+ shipping so around $900-950...

    I also believe that there is a line you must draw between how long you want to wait and how much you expect to save, if i spend 1-2 hrs to save $5 - that's not worth my time. I believe that the prices i have displayed are quite representative of the current market.

    Also understand this lab kit i have purchased will also require only slight upgrade to move to a CCNP lab - So i'm not only investing in the CCNA, but also the CCNP.
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Also, for those interested here is the eBay link for the 2620xm's...

    Details: 2620xm + 32FL/128DRAM + 90 day warranty = $110.00 pickup possible from Sydney, he also has >10 units in stock. You only need one of these in your lab.

    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    Have to disagree with you ,Wendel's prices are a year out of date.

    For cisco exchange I'd be offering him at least 2/3's his asking price , I'd try 1/2 price to start with especially if buying a couple. I've brought 2x 1760's, 1x 3745, 1x2600xm and a couple of switches from them.
    If it says offer never ever pay full price

    1760's go for $50 to 80
    1721's between 10 and 50
    1751's between 20 and 50
    2600xm's not many currently listed but the most I've paid is $50 for one with 64 MB , 32MB ram and a wic1t
    Then brought ram else where for $10 - 15 for 128MB Genuine 128MB SDRAM CISCO 2600XM Memory MEM2600XM-128D= | eBay


    2950G for $10 eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    3640 with few vics
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    3745 for $42 with shipping(shipping was $40)
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    1721's at 0.99ea + $10 petrol
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    another 2950c for 10.50
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d


    As I said don't be in a hurry. Use gsn3 + switche or two to start with and take your time getting routers and don't get ripped off.
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Some pretty cheap kit there i must admit.
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    Don't pay $60 for a wic1t , search on ebay oz for greynet and pay about $20 + shipping

    here's a link or few

    I'd suggest making an offer of 5 for 60 and see what counter offer they get to you with
    (then sell the ones you don't want on ebay for at least $25 each)
    Cisco WIC-1T Serial WAN Interface Card 1Mtn Wty CCNA CCNP DCE DTE | eBay

    or two routers one with a wic1t for around $40 though both are rather old.
    Just make sure to ask for the output from sh version from both.
    Cisco 3620 & 2523, WIC1T, BRI 4B-S/T, Bargain | eBay

    wic2t's go for around $35 to 60

    4x1760's though you want to offer 150 to 180 to start with
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    nm4as for $30 + p&h same guy I got mine from
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d


    missed this one - two wic1t;s for 35 + p&h
    eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d

    If you want a 2950 I'm about to sell a few along with 2600's and 1721's, pm me for details.

    I'm gradually trading my lab up. Currently 1x 1841, 4x2600xm's , 3x1760's , 2x 1751's , 4x 1721's , 2x3640 , 1x 3660 , 1x3550 , 1x3550fx, 2x 2950fx ,1x 2950sx, 6x2950c ,3x2950T, 5x2600 , enough wic1t's and wic2t's and cables. Only thing I need at the moment is more power cables.

    1841 was the most expensive and I want to get at least two more. A lot smaller, quieter and a lot more power efficient than the rest , only problem is no voip. I've spent $1300 all up + time. After selling the current surplus should be back to around $800 to 900 mark.
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    alxx wrote: »
    Don't pay $60 for a wic1t , search on ebay oz for greynet and pay about $20 + shipping

    Sorry i didn't mean i will spend $60 - was just pointing out the fact i had $60 left over. I was eyeing these off

    Cisco WIC-1T Serial WAN Interface Card 1Mtn Wty CCNA CCNP DCE DTE | eBay
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hmm i see what you have done there, i was fixated on getting 2600 XM series and 2950's which seem to be the CCNA taxed units. I do admit i was wrong that a lab can be purchased for less than $300 - in the future i will need to look around harder. I just found that i was spending so much time trying to find a bargin i never ended up buying anything - for me just getting the kit bought was half the battle.

    Thanks for the advice though, feel like a pretty big n00b atm - hope this helps the OP with his buying choice
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    dontstop wrote: »
    Some pretty cheap kit there, i must admit - Most of this would either not cover all the objectives or need to be upgraded for CCNP?

    Just need to up the ram and flash on most of it and update to the most recent ios , that doesn't need a license. Most of it would be fine for ccna and ccnp.

    Look on Wendels cert skills for his recommendations.

    cisco has a list somewhere but I don't have a link
    https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/thread/11113

    also look for heloo-bits for cheap wic1t's
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    dontstop wrote: »
    Sorry i didn't mean i will spend $60 - was just pointing out the fact i had $60 left over. I was eyeing these off

    Cisco WIC-1T Serial WAN Interface Card 1Mtn Wty CCNA CCNP DCE DTE | eBay

    make them an offer on a few like I suggested.
    If you can make a few dollars to reduce your own equipment costs all the better.
    And yes I only live 25km from CBD (though got back yesterday from brisbane on motorbike - two day ride)
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 578Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Will do man, also currently reading your guide http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccna-ccent/72553-lab-equipment-recommendations-2012-lab-equipment-recommendations-2012-la.html here... i must admit that i made a mistake in selection of hardware for my CCNA, i will try and avoid this for my future cisco purchases. Thanks for the advice man. icon_cheers.gif
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    one I forgot for that thread is the ram for the 2600xm's is the same as the ram for the 1700's
    only thing is the 1721's and 1751's can't take 128MB

    and avoid the 1720 and 1750's as they don't have enough flash for recent ios versions.
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • jameshardy2012jameshardy2012 Posts: 45Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi, as a sideline to the excellent information the guys above have given, I have another option for thoe people on tight budgets.

    For CCENT/CCNA use packet tracer whilst at the same time and without pressure use your budget wisely on obtaining the necessary equipment for the CCNP at a good price. I got rid of all my routers in favour of a PC running Ubuntu and GNS with3xQuad NICS connected to 4x3550 switches for my CCIE lab. ( cant afford 3650 switches at the moment). For the CCNP, I used a combination of GNS / Packet tracer / Real switches

    By all means buy a "router" and learn what to do with it physically, like install IOS, use console port, recover passwords, recover IOS, erase flash etc etc but dont think you need to buy a full lab before starting to study. Good luck
  • alxxalxx Posts: 755Member
    Even if you do get routers and switches you should still be familiar with packet tracer and gsn3.

    cbt nuggets gsn3 video
    http://www.cbtnuggets.com/standalone...642_902_02.mp4
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • joluis9joluis9 Posts: 35Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Dontstop,

    this is what I got in the US so you can compare (all prices include shipping):

    2620XM Router with 128MB DRAM & 48MB Flash (the pictures shows a wic Ethernet card but I am not expecting it I guess) - $150 total for both

    2610XM - $61

    WIC-1T - $20








    CISCO WS-C2950G-48-EI - $57








    Cisco WS C2950G 48 - $20 (no power cable, i don't know what I am going to do but i thought it was a good deal icon_cool.gif)













    Cisco 1700 1760 64D/16F 12.4 IOS - $61

    WIC 1t - $17








    (2) Cisco Catalyst 2950 (WS-C2950-24) - $69








    Cisco NM-4A/S - $28

    That's it, I don't know if I overpayed or anything, right now I am trying to figure out how many cable I am going to need, and what other wic or NM I'd use in my CCNA/CCNP prep. Any help or comments would be appreciated. icon_lol.gif





















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