A CCNA or CCNP candidate who would like to be totally prepared for their exams is going to put together a property lab to employ on. With used Cisco routers and switches more cost-effective and plentiful then at any time, there’s really no excuse to never have one!
With the various models available, there may be some understandable confusion among future CCNAs and CCNPs about which routers to obtain and those to avoid. You may take almost any number of Cisco routers and hang together your home lab; portion of the learning process takes what equipment available to you and arranging your own lab! For those preparing to start your own home lab or put in your existing one, this document will list the routers I use around my Cisco pods. You certainly aren’t required to have all this equipment, but this can give you some really good ideas on how to begin.
The most versatile router you will get for your CCNA / CCNP home lab is usually a 2520. These routers have four serial ports, one ethernet port, and something BRI interface for ISDN practice. This blend of interfaces means you can easily use it being a frame relay switch when using the ethernet and BRI ports for routing. (There is no challenge with using a lab router as both your frame relay switch along with a practice router; for the frame relay switch sample configuration, visit my website!)
My pods incorporate five routers and 2 switches, and three in the five routers are 2520s, because of their versatility. A recent ebay search showed these routers selling for $99 – $125, an excellent value for your practice you’ll get.
I utilize 2501s inside my home labs. These have fewer interfaces, nevertheless the combination of two serial interfaces then one ethernet interface enables you to get a lot of practice.
A combination that actually works very well is utilizing three 2520s; one as my dedicated frame relay switch, one as R1, and another as R2. Add a 2501 as R3, and you may have a frame cloud connecting R1, R2, and R3, an instantaneous serial outcomes of R1 and R3, an Ethernet segment that also includes all three routers, as well as an ISDN outcomes of R1 and R2 should you have an ISDN simulator. That combination will assist you to get a significant amount of practice for that exams, and you may always sell it off when you’re done!
2501s are incredibly affordable, with lots of in the $50 range on ebay. It’s quite possible to have three 2520s the other 2501 for under $500 total, and you can obtain most of those funds back if you choose to sell when you’re done.
With four routers to use, you may be going for getting tired of moving that console cable around. An access server (actually a Cisco router, not the white boxes we are likely to think of if we hear “server”) will assist you to out with that. An access server lets you set up appreciable link with all your other routers through an octal cable, which prevents you moving that console cable around continually. For an illustration showing an access server configuration, just visit my website and look from the “Free Training” section.
Access server prices vary a lot; don’t panic should you an ebay search to see them costing lots of money. You do NOT need a costly access server for the CCNA / CCNP home lab. 2511s are perfect routers to get for ones access server.
One question I get often from CCNA / CCNP candidates is “What routers should I buy that I can still use when I’m willing to study for your CCNP?” The CCIE lab changes regularly and frequently drastically in terms of the equipment you will require. During my CCIE lab studies, I found that renting time from online rack rental providers was the best way to go. Don’t hesitate when putting your CCNA / CCNP home lab together, wondering after that be acceptable for your CCIE lab 12 months or so from now. None people know after that be on that equipment list, consider getting the CCNA and CCNP first – by building your personal Cisco home lab!