New to the forum and I hope I can get some help in the venture in achieving my CCENT/CCNA.

I have done lots of research and been have come to the conclusion of using:

3x 2621XM's or 3x2821'S (Routers)
3x 3750 / 3350 (Switches)

I eventually want to venture into CCNP onwards and was looking at the Cisco 2901/2921 etc but would that be overkill as would like to futureproof myself by spending the little extra.

In all fairness the model hierarchy really confuse me in the Cisco world so any advice would be greatly appreiciated. I have looked at the GNS3 route however I just love the feel of physical labs and would love to impliment this in a Microsoft Server enviroment should I follow that route after gaging a good knowledge of core networking.

If this helps I will be using the CBT Nugget video's in conjuction with some Cisco Certified Press and some other online research here and there.

Many Thanks


Re: CCNA/CCNP Home Lab Recommendations 80 80

I have to ask why you at listing gear that is over a decade old and here, can only be found here or there, one or two, used, refurb and well, not what you may see in a new deployment?

Most Cisco network folk I run into never had their own lab. They took the courses, got the certs over time.

Re: CCNA/CCNP Home Lab Recommendations 80 80

Mainly due to being advised to get the core grips of Cisco equipment is the same across many devices however newer devices may have more functionality and I thought the Cisco 2901 is not too too old? It is hard to find a good Cisco comparison apart from this http://www.cisco.com/c/en_uk/products/routers/buyers-guide.html#~branchkeyfeatures.

I also learn better with a hands on learning enviroment, that paired with CBT Video's and books should really help me in my opinion.

Thanks :)

Re: CCNA/CCNP Home Lab Recommendations 80 80

This is entirely your choice on the hardware. Not one CCNA I know had such. All went with virtual labs. Example?

Also questionable is the 3 of each thing. Not only would you need maybe 2 of each (in a stretch?) but how to see if it works without some hundred clients?

My nod is to go virtual.

Re: CCNA/CCNP Home Lab Recommendations 80 80

In relation to clients I would only have a few end points to test in various scenarios and also will have a few VM's in place with dedicated NIC's. I just want to get hands on and GNS3 seems a pain to setup with switching and VIRL seems expensive in the long run if I struggle on some certain concepts.

Thanks for your advice :)

Re: CCNA/CCNP Home Lab Recommendations 80 80

Virtual expensive? A quick look at the gear here found over 3,000USD per box. Since when did the virtual labs start to cost as much as the real gear?

Re: CCNA/CCNP Home Lab Recommendations 80 80

VIRL Route requires subcription, using IOU requires a decentish system with access to IOS images that should only be available to employees I heard.

Can get 2621xm for around £30-40 per unit even going up to the 2901 around £300 which is Gigabit ethernet, whilst not needing gigabit ethernet for a learning enviroment the 2901 will have some features incorpriated with IOS15, even the 1841s support IOS15 for as little as £60 per unit.

I have an old 1760 router and 2950 at the moment which I will learn the basic sytax and configuration, just wanted to see if anybody else had a home lab and had any reccomendations to kit. Virtualisation is a topic I have done lots of research into also and this is something I will be using at some point in my career without a doubt.


Re: CCNA/CCNP Home Lab Recommendations 80 80

Then go for it. I was thinking that working with way past decade old gear may get you old results and as you know you can get a current IOS, you may have found your cheap seats.

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