Need help setting up my lab - Studying for CCENT

taltal13taltal13 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi All,

I've gotten my 2 switches (3550 PWR 24 Port) and 2 routers (2621XM) for my home lab.

I want to know how to set it up correctly. I live in an apartment building in NYC and I have an understanding with the landlord that I can use one of the rooms in the basement, which I've decided to use as my lab. I've attached a picture of my current set up.

My internet connection comes into my apartment (unfortunately or this question would probably not be necessary). I've got a DD-WRT router ( which assigns IP addresses via DHCP. I've got two XBMC devices, 1 hard wired, 1 wireless (plus my roommates PCs, an OBI device and a PS3, all not pictured) in my apartment.

I've got an ethernet cable running from the upstairs DD-WRT to one of my 3550's in the basement. Connected to the Switch I have:
  1. a mac mini G4 (with a connected external hard drive which I want to be able to access from my upstairs XBMC connections)
  2. My main windows machine
  3. Another Windows Machine (I barely use)
  4. Another DDWRT Router acting as a wireless repeater with a smartphone and another resident's laptop usually connected to it.

I want to create a couple of VLANs:
  1. 1 for the Basement DDWRT. I have clients coming down here sometimes (I'm also a part time real estate broker) and don't want them to have access to my network. Maybe the second windows machine too.
  2. between the mac mini, my main windows machine (I have training material on the mac) and the xbmc's upstairs.
  3. for anyone else using wireless upstairs.

I've gotten VLANs pretty much down, but my DD-WRT being upstairs and the devices up there kinda messes me up. I know I have to probably set up VLANs with my upstairs router, and that's probably where I need the most help.

All help appreciated!




  • WilyOneWilyOne Posts: 131Member
    If the purpose of this lab is to practice for CCENT/CCNA, I suggest you leave the Internet "real network" out of the equation for now. Your lab should be isolated from the rest of your network.

    How you set everything up will depend on which lab you're working at the moment, as the topology may change from lab to lab.
  • JeanMJeanM Posts: 1,117Member
    WilyOne wrote: »
    How you set everything up will depend on which lab you're working at the moment, as the topology may change from lab to lab.

    +1. What you can do and not cause any real issues with your "live" or how we like to call "production network" is connect one of your switches to the dd-wrt router.... then you can connect your other cisco devices to that. You can have full connectivity between all devices too, but you'll need to also configure routes on the dd-wrt router as well.
    2015 goals - ccna voice / vmware vcp.
  • iamme4evaiamme4eva Posts: 272Member
    I agree. To get your lab on the internet your probably going to need static routes, NAT, and a bunch of other stuff along with VLAN's. I would hang fire until your a little further along in your studies then you'll nail it.

    I've got a lab of 6 routers and 4 switches and 4 servers, and it's not connected to the internet. My internet comes in a crappy ISP provided wireless router. I have run a cable up there just to let me download stuff to the servers in an emergency, but the actual lab isn't connected. You will change topology, cabling, configs, all the time - that's what a lab is for. Don't tie yourself to one config just so you can get it on the 'net. Have fun, change cables, change configs, wonder "what happens if I do this?" then do it. Labs are there to be broken and mended, it's how you learn!
    Current objective: CCNA Security
    My blog:
  • taltal13taltal13 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Fair enough....

    Should I then change the topology to the two DD-WRTs connected to each other, so that I don't ever lose wireless down here and if my main windows machine does need internet and the switch is down, I can just plug into the DD-WRT?


  • taltal13taltal13 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    ok so I have changed the topology a bit...

    you can see it on the attached image.

    The questions is Since I'm still connected to a different router to get internet service, if the change IP series is different for the 2621xm router to something like, do I need to do:
    MyRouter(config)# ip-default-gateway

    so that it knows where to go?

    and then do I change my switches' default gateway to (currently 11.1)

    I'm attaching my current topology. I've done it so that in case anything goes down I can still access internet from my computer by plugging into my DD-WRT bridge

  • iamme4evaiamme4eva Posts: 272Member
    That wouldn't work. If you are using different subnets, then you would need to use NAT (unless you can do routing protocols with your DD-WRT).

    You need to be a bit further along through your book before you can nail this!
    Current objective: CCNA Security
    My blog:
  • taltal13taltal13 ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 17Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    ok - after some kicking and screaming icon_lol.gif I've decided to separate the lab completely. As far as I understand it, my lab doesn't actually need an internet connection.

    Question is how what should my starting lab look like? Again my equipment is as follows:
    • (2) 2621xm routers (no WIC Cards)
    • (2) 2550-PWR 24 Port Switches
    • (1) XP Machine
    • (1) Mac Mini
    I've attached a proposed topology. Don't really know where to put that 2nd router yet....Let me know what you think.

  • mallyg27mallyg27 Posts: 139Member
    Connect your switch off the wireless router like someone advised you earlier and then connect everything else off that Switch.
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