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CCNP Home Lab Setup

Hello All! I need some help in setting up a home lab in persuit of my CCNP Certification. I will be taking my test for CCNA and pretty much what I used for that was study guides and swith/router SIM's. Going for CCNP I would like to have actual equipment to work on in a home lab setup. I was wonder what I would need to setup a home lab based on the following:
 
-least cost to setup (I don't want to spend alot of money, but will spend what is needed to get setup)
-how many and what types of routers/switches I need (looking possible for 2 swithches and 1 router, but again looking for opinions)
-cabling
-anything else you may recommend or opinions.

Again, this is for persuit of CCNP and I am looking to setup a home lab, but I do not have any experience in doing this. Please offer your opinion. I will award the points to the best and most clear answer or share the points as well. Thanks for your time.
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rddelano
Asked:
rddelano
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1 Solution
 
Mad_JasperCommented:
I recently purchased 2 Cisco 2500 series routers and 2 2900 series switches from eBay for $250.00. All cables were included and all components were loaded with the latest IOS. I also paid about $20.00 for a 3ft rack to place the units in.

RouterSim's Network Visualizer™ 4.0 with BSCI is also a very good simulator. It is the best that I have used. the programmers are very responsive to customers suggestions about command-line problems.

http://www.routersim.com/NetVis4_BSCI_Home.html
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Mad_JasperCommented:
I am using the routers to study for CCNP and for test configurations on my network.
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rddelanoAuthor Commented:
Mad_Jasper,

Did you recieve both the 2 routers and 2 switches with cabling from ebay for the 250.00? That's sounds like a good deal and what I should look for, but correct me if I am wrong about the price. So It seems I will need 2 switches and 2 routers and just the cabling with a rack. Does this sound right? Should I also go with a RouterSIM? Thanks!
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:

I personally think you need three routers and three switches.  Keep an eye out for "Complete CCNA Labs" or "Complete CCNP Labs" on eBay.  They tend to come with everything.

Here are some eBay Item numbers:
9728573886
9728436998

These will give you and idea of what's out there.  You can search on "CCNP Lab" or "CCNP" and pull up anything from $250 to $15000 for complete labs.

Also, if you get 2500 series routers, make sure they come with 10BaseT transceivers.  2500 series routers only have AUI ethernet interfaces, not RJ-45 (twisted pair).

Hope that helps.

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rddelanoAuthor Commented:
I have checked on the kits that sell the complete labs and it seems they don't give you 2900 series switches, but the 1900 which if I recall Cisco does not test you on anymore. Would you still recommend going the 1900 route or looking for 2900 series? I want to have the items that Cisco tests on so I can be fully ready. Thanks for your reply's eveyone!
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:

I'd definitely go with the 2900's... NOT the 1900's.

These will get you through CCNA and some of the CCNP stuff.  You might have to get your hands on some old 5000 series switches for some of the multi-layer switching stuff, but maybe not.

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rddelanoAuthor Commented:
Ok, so I will definitely go with the 2900s for the switches. So would you recommend just going 2 of those and 2 2500 or 2600 series routers? Anything else you think I will need?
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Mad_JasperCommented:
Yes it was the complete kit. I woun't be shy about making an offer to someone. Sometimes, you can catch someone who will sell the items cheap.

And stay away from 1900 series switches.

2 2900's and 2 2500's have been more than adequate as I progress through the CCNA labs. If you can buy three routers at a cheap price, then do so.

GL
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Joseph HornseyPresident and JanitorCommented:

I think that two routers are adequate for CCNA as you suggest, Mad_Jasper.  However, for CCNP, when you get into the more complex routing protocols, I think three will be necessary.  This is only an opinion, though.

Also, keep in mind that for the CCNP, you're probably going to have to shell out some dough on a router that supports BGP, and a 2500 (and even a 2600) probably isn't going to do that.  You'll probably have to get at least a 3640 and then upgrade the RAM.

I would start with the setup that Mad_Jasper is recommending and pursue your CCNA.  Once you've done that, you'll have a MUCH better understanding of what you'll need to continue on to a CCNP.  I really couldn't have guessed about CCNP until after I got my CCNA; the CCNA exposes you to a lot of the basic concepts you'll cover as you move on.

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