I'm a student at Cisco Academy so I get tons of lab time with a huge range of Cisco hardware. I am interested however in getting even more familiar with Cisco equipment by building a small home lab consisting of at least two routers and one switch. I'm currently studying CCNA (finishing in about two months at my college) and CCNP, starting hopefully in December.
I've been pricing out Catalyst 2950 switches and 26xx and 25xx based routers from eBay, I’m happy so far with the prices I’ve found and am committed to spending about $1000.00 Canadian dollars to build the lab. My question is, what are peoples suggestions for the equipment I choose. I've been given various recommendations by my peers and teachers including;
Skip getting any 25xx based routers because they aren't used AT ALL in CCNP curriculum, don't bother with 2900 based switches because they run the Catalyst OS and not the IOS based 2950 series. I don't really want to spend the extra money on a 2ND 26xx based router though.
So keeping their suggestions in mind, my goal is to setup the following;
Router on a stick
Various Routing Protocols
Would 1 26xx one 2514 and one 2950 suffice for this? Will this suffice for a lab setup that will help in preparing for the official certification exams as well as keeping me sharp on Cisco equipment and IOS?