New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

CCNA and CCNP lab

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hey all.
I want to get into network engineering. Whether to specialize later down the line I've not yet decided but I've acquired a lot of learning material and am putting several hours a day aside for self study at the moment. I've sourced placeds where I can take all my exams and all that but the problem is it's reached that time where I want/need some real equipment to learn with. Hell just by shoving ddwrt on all the routers I had lying about has taught me loads already, but I digress.
After consulting a few people it was recommended that I take the Cisco training route and build upon this with experience and maybe additional software or hardware qualifications later as this is the direction I should have been taking my life from the beginning rather than doing the wrong degree.
I already had a fair-ish understanding of networking but this course so far has filled in a large number of blanks for me and while this field of work will never get me laid I love it.

I'm currently looking at different set ups for a lab that will keep me covered for a while. I have in the region of £400 to spend (this also needs to include a rack) as this thing will need to see me through for the time being.


I've been browsing the bay that is of the 'e' variety and found a few options but as I'm quite new to the hardware side of things, I really need a bit of a hand in understanding the cost-effectiveness of each solution I find.


The first find for £350 was this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1107176748...fvi%3D1&_rdc=1


Cisco 2620XM Advanced Ethernet 128Mb Dram / 32mb flash IOS 12.4 Adv Security
Cisco 2610XM Advanced Ethernet 128Mb Dram / 32mb flash IOS 12.4 Adv Security

Cisco 2522 -Max Memory Ten Serial Ports-Perfect for Frame Relay Switch

2 x WIC-1T for the two 2600 routers (100% Genuine Cisco Card)

A Cisco ws2950-24 Port Cost effective and Modern Switch (with Enhanced Cisco IOS)
A Cisco ws2950-24 Port Cost effective and Modern Switch (with
Enhanced Cisco IOS)
Cables & Other Stuff to go with the Lab.
2 x Back to Back DCE/DTE Serial Crossover Cable,

4x Cat 5e Straight through Crossover Cables,

5 x UK power cables (only for uk/ireland),

4x Cat 5e Crossover Cables,

2 x Console Cable

Another example for £200 was:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CISCO-CCNA...item231252ea96

(sorry can't be arsed to format all that text again)

However I get the feeling this option uses older hardware which may hold me back in the future as I'm going to want to take this beyond the first level so if I need to shell out to get myself ahead in life then so be it.
Obviously the less I need to spend the happier I am but I'm prepared to throw money at this.

Any help anybody is willing to offer would be greatly appreciated. While the knowledge will eventually come, at present I'm a little out of my depth in terms of model numbers and good value at the moment.

Cheers.
Clevo P170EM
(17 items)
 
Clevo M570RU
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3630QM Clevo P170EM Geforce GTX 680m 16GB @ 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
128GB Crucial M4 mSATA 2x 500GB Western Digital Black TSSTcorp SN-208BB Stock 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Clevo 1080p Dell 2407-HC Stock Glowing Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Stock Laptop PSU Clevo MP170EM Logitech G700 Fellowes Gel Pad 
Audio
Asus Xonar U7 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
T7700 @ 2.4GHz GTX 8800m 4GB 667Mhz 320GB Internal, 1TB, 2x500GB & 320GB External U... 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Samsung SN-S082H Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17" Glossy WUXGA, Dell 2407WFP-HC Logitech G15 (blue one) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Laptop PSU Clevo M570RU Logitech G700 Generic Mousepad 
  hide details  
Reply
Clevo P170EM
(17 items)
 
Clevo M570RU
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3630QM Clevo P170EM Geforce GTX 680m 16GB @ 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
128GB Crucial M4 mSATA 2x 500GB Western Digital Black TSSTcorp SN-208BB Stock 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Clevo 1080p Dell 2407-HC Stock Glowing Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Stock Laptop PSU Clevo MP170EM Logitech G700 Fellowes Gel Pad 
Audio
Asus Xonar U7 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
T7700 @ 2.4GHz GTX 8800m 4GB 667Mhz 320GB Internal, 1TB, 2x500GB & 320GB External U... 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Samsung SN-S082H Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17" Glossy WUXGA, Dell 2407WFP-HC Logitech G15 (blue one) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Laptop PSU Clevo M570RU Logitech G700 Generic Mousepad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 34
Cisco packet tracer is your answer. Find it, download it, use it. It will emulate the IOS on the routers and switches. I"ve taken some cisco curricullums and it works well to emulate the real world. My advice however is to focus on switching protocols more for real world application. I use those commands and protocols more because it seems like adjusting the routers isn't needed as much. We're constantly moving switches, and changing lans, not moving or reconfiguring routers.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Solid advice, thanks for the speedy reply.
I'll get right on it. To what sort of level do you think the Cisco packet tracer will take me? Or is it possible to actually get away without purchasing equipment and learning the rest once you're getting paid for it?
I'm pretty new to this world...
Clevo P170EM
(17 items)
 
Clevo M570RU
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3630QM Clevo P170EM Geforce GTX 680m 16GB @ 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
128GB Crucial M4 mSATA 2x 500GB Western Digital Black TSSTcorp SN-208BB Stock 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Clevo 1080p Dell 2407-HC Stock Glowing Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Stock Laptop PSU Clevo MP170EM Logitech G700 Fellowes Gel Pad 
Audio
Asus Xonar U7 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
T7700 @ 2.4GHz GTX 8800m 4GB 667Mhz 320GB Internal, 1TB, 2x500GB & 320GB External U... 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Samsung SN-S082H Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17" Glossy WUXGA, Dell 2407WFP-HC Logitech G15 (blue one) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Laptop PSU Clevo M570RU Logitech G700 Generic Mousepad 
  hide details  
Reply
Clevo P170EM
(17 items)
 
Clevo M570RU
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3630QM Clevo P170EM Geforce GTX 680m 16GB @ 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
128GB Crucial M4 mSATA 2x 500GB Western Digital Black TSSTcorp SN-208BB Stock 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Clevo 1080p Dell 2407-HC Stock Glowing Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Stock Laptop PSU Clevo MP170EM Logitech G700 Fellowes Gel Pad 
Audio
Asus Xonar U7 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
T7700 @ 2.4GHz GTX 8800m 4GB 667Mhz 320GB Internal, 1TB, 2x500GB & 320GB External U... 
Optical DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Samsung SN-S082H Windows 7 Ultimate x64 17" Glossy WUXGA, Dell 2407WFP-HC Logitech G15 (blue one) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Laptop PSU Clevo M570RU Logitech G700 Generic Mousepad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 34
I'd personally take GNS3 over Packet Tracer. Main difference being GNS3 emulates the router hardware and runs true IOS images.

Also, that may be a bit much for that lab.
I got my CCNA with a 2621, 3660 and 3524XL.

The majority of the CCNA is subnetting, spanning tree and serial links/frame relay. Based on that a couple more switches may make a more concrete lab setup.

A lot of the parts you can pick up cheap by themselves if you have time to spare.
Waiting on X399
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II B57 @ X4 3.9 Gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5 Sapphire Radeon 290 8 GB G.Skill 2133 
Hard DriveCoolingOSKeyboard
250 GB 840 EVO Noctua NH-D14 Windows 10 Logitech K350 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic x750 Corsair 600T Logitech G100s Razer Goliathus Speed 
Audio
Plantronics Gamecom 788 
  hide details  
Reply
Waiting on X399
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II B57 @ X4 3.9 Gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5 Sapphire Radeon 290 8 GB G.Skill 2133 
Hard DriveCoolingOSKeyboard
250 GB 840 EVO Noctua NH-D14 Windows 10 Logitech K350 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic x750 Corsair 600T Logitech G100s Razer Goliathus Speed 
Audio
Plantronics Gamecom 788 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
I'd personally take GNS3 over Packet Tracer. Main difference being GNS3 emulates the router hardware and runs true IOS images.

Also, that may be a bit much for that lab.
I got my CCNA with a 2621, 3660 and 3524XL.

The majority of the CCNA is subnetting, spanning tree and serial links/frame relay. Based on that a couple more switches may make a more concrete lab setup.

A lot of the parts you can pick up cheap by themselves if you have time to spare.
GNS3 if you want a bug'e GUI, Dynamips under linux if you want stability. Packet Tracer is a registered trademark of Cisco Networking Academy. Using/Downloading it outside of the course is considered illegal.

There is no comparison between Emulated IOS under GNS3/Dynamips and the simulated IOS environment of Packet Tracer. I've created multiple lab exam/practice tests/labs under both. The coolest thing Packet Tracer has over Dyna is the Lab Wizard and the ability to read every command entered to review progress of students..

I have a pretty good Cisco lab, nothing replaces hands on experience and touching the devices when studying. The very first question you'll hear after gaining your CCNA from an interview committee when applying for jobs is "do you have any hands on experience with Cisco".

For CCNA you can really get away with a single 2600xm router and 2 x 2950(g or t) switches. And use GNS3/Dyna for buliding, configuring and leaning/practicing more complex designs. I've pretty much put everything in my closet and run a pure Dynamips server with several 3550's. Pretty much no one buys labs anymore for CCNP/CCIE studies.

If you want to spend $ and have versatility for future studies go strait to 2/3 x 3550's swithces & 3+ x 3725 routers.
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Cisco Cisco Cisco Cisco 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Cisco Cisco Cisco Cisco 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 34
If you have trouble acquiring routers and switches, you can use Dynamips/GNS3, where you take actual Cisco IOSes and they are run as a VM, its own separate instance. You can then build graphical network topologies. IMO its probably the best network sim out there since you're using actual IOS.
http://www.gns3.net/
It is not an out-of-the-box ready to use simulator like Packet Tracer is, but its night and day better. You can even simulate your own internet connection with it. Its basically running the real IOS, just not on a bunch of routers/switches.

I liked Packet Tracer for a short while until I got fed-up with its many bugs (especially with STP to RSTP convergence, EIGRP UEC Load balancing simulation, or the limits when writing ACLs and NAT statements.), and it's technical inaccuracies. And it just plain crashing.
Its a program not running any kind virtualization with the real thing, rather it uses methodical IOS.

However its more fun to use the real thing, and you start to build a cognitive understanding of how the hardware is supposed to respond, learn it's limits, and features you do not find from virualization.

MY current setup at home are:
2x 2621xm
1x 2620xm
1x 3620
2x 2950-24 catalysts
1x Catalyst 3550

Usually if you're going with hardware, the best and most recommended setup is to get three routers and 3 switches. This way you can learn the ins and outs of STP, (root concepts) And you can play with NAT statements and ACLs all day long and run debugs for just about every kind of protocol/process and not have a boss that wants to cut your heart out with a butcher knife. You can also learn what kind of overhead protocols have, which one uses less, which one uses more, and learn what effect they will have on the hardware. You can also mess with SSH/TFTP completely barebone your router, etc.

Resources I have found great for CCNA and up:
Jeremy Ciora's CBT Nuggets videos
Train Signal with Chris Bryant
Todd Lammle's Sybex CCNA Guides
The Basic Cisco Press ICND 1 and 2 books.
Testking
www.networking-forum.com - Where you will find all kinds of Cisco gurus that will basically smash your confidence in what you know about Cisco. - They also have a lot of great resources too. Professional blogs, as well as one of the greatest pages for practicing subnetting: http://networking-forum.com/practicesubnetting.php#
and a work in progress great test-practice. You will find gurus there that at the drop of the hat will be able to explain things Cisco as though it's their second nature.
www.freeccnaworkbook.com - great place for Cisco Labs, and free too.
www.packetlife.net - omg, the amount of knowledge, you'll need a second brain for this one.
www.techexams.net
http://hackingcisco.blogspot.com/ - soo much Cisco stuff here.
http://www.certforums.co.uk/
And finally, where all the purposes of the Cisco world is officially documented and explained, Cisco itself: www.Cisco.com
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by beers View Post
The majority of the CCNA is subnetting, spanning tree and serial links/frame relay. Based on that a couple more switches may make a more concrete lab setup.
I completely love GNS 3 as well. But you need to remember, no test is going to be the same. They are all completely random. I had nothing about Frame Relay and serial links on my test, I had a small portion of subnetting and some STP concepts. Mine had lots of EIGRP and working with ACLs and NAT.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by msremmert View Post
Solid advice, thanks for the speedy reply.
I'll get right on it. To what sort of level do you think the Cisco packet tracer will take me? Or is it possible to actually get away without purchasing equipment and learning the rest once you're getting paid for it?
I'm pretty new to this world...
Packet Tracer is going to take you to your end of CCNA and thats it. For NP and up you're going to need a more in depth sim. GNS3 is a program that runs actual IOS on vms. PT runs methodical IOS on a platform. (That seems to have plenty of bugs) When you're getting into NP I would definitely consider a lab for that.
post #9 of 34
When i was took the cisco test back in the day. i used dynamips to emulate the cisco IOS'.

I would say this is the smarter way instead of actually buying the hardware.
liger-zero
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
930/920/920/2500k/2500k/x4-640/x4-630/ x58Pro/x58Ext/P6TD/P8P67/P35/A780L/785GM-E51/H55M 5870CFX/GTX260Sli/5870/GTX260-Sli/GTX260/9600/8800 Gskill/Gskill/Gskill/Gskill/Corsair/Corsair/GSkill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OWC 6G Extreme PRO / Crucial M4 SAMSUNG DVD-RW DL X64 Win 7 | X86 xp pro | OSX | Ubuntu | Backtrack Samsung 23 x 5 
KeyboardPowerCase
Saitek 850TX/MXS600/750TX/750TX/EA500/EA500/EA500/MxS500 700d + Rackmount server chassis 
  hide details  
Reply
liger-zero
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
930/920/920/2500k/2500k/x4-640/x4-630/ x58Pro/x58Ext/P6TD/P8P67/P35/A780L/785GM-E51/H55M 5870CFX/GTX260Sli/5870/GTX260-Sli/GTX260/9600/8800 Gskill/Gskill/Gskill/Gskill/Corsair/Corsair/GSkill 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
OWC 6G Extreme PRO / Crucial M4 SAMSUNG DVD-RW DL X64 Win 7 | X86 xp pro | OSX | Ubuntu | Backtrack Samsung 23 x 5 
KeyboardPowerCase
Saitek 850TX/MXS600/750TX/750TX/EA500/EA500/EA500/MxS500 700d + Rackmount server chassis 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 34
some good info here, now that im down with my bachelors im considering these as well and possibly some of the microsoft server certs (i forgot the exact name of them)
Server/Gaming Rig
(22 items)
 
  
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel E5-2670 intel E5-2670 Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Visiontek R9 390 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8x4GB DDR3 1333 ECC Registered Toshiba 5TB X300 Seagate 4TB HGST 4TB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Sandisk 240GB Sandisk 480GB Samsung 830 128GB Toshiba 6TB X300 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Toshiba 5TB X300 Toshiba 5TB X300 WH16NS40 Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Dell S1715H Dell u2311h blackwidow ultimate Kingwin Lazer platinum 1000w 
CaseMouse
Corsair 800D Deathadder Chroma 
  hide details  
Reply
Server/Gaming Rig
(22 items)
 
  
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Intel E5-2670 intel E5-2670 Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Visiontek R9 390 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
8x4GB DDR3 1333 ECC Registered Toshiba 5TB X300 Seagate 4TB HGST 4TB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Sandisk 240GB Sandisk 480GB Samsung 830 128GB Toshiba 6TB X300 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
Toshiba 5TB X300 Toshiba 5TB X300 WH16NS40 Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Dell S1715H Dell u2311h blackwidow ultimate Kingwin Lazer platinum 1000w 
CaseMouse
Corsair 800D Deathadder Chroma 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Networking & Security