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CCNP & CCSP equipment

ee4itpro2 asked
I'm looking to purchase some CCNP & CCSP cisco equipment and wanted to know your thoughts as far as what equipment would be sufficient for my studies.  I tried GNS3 and I believe that I'm ready for the "real thing".  

I also noticed that some routers (2801 routers) online can be as cheap at $300 up to $2000 for the same device.  My question is more along the lines as to why so much of a price difference?  and what should I look for when purchasing this equipment?
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Istvan KalmarHead of IT Security Division
Top Expert 2010


I've done CCSP this year. I advise to start with CCNP, there you enough GNS3 + cisco 871 + cisco 2950 swith. If you want to become CCSP you need to pass CCNP security, it is easy. I advise to buy an ASA 5505 with 8.2 sw. and rent a rack where you able to view an IPS device to configure...... The router and switch usable on this exams....
Do get an ASA. That is one of the best learning tools and with IPS you can analyze traffic flows.

When purchasing a C2800 the price difference is in the software version. The higher versions give you more enterprise features such as BGP and PBR, useful for studying and learning.

The C871 is good, but I would only use it for learning routing functions - and you're missing a lot of enterprise protocols. The ASA is good for VPN and security/firewall testing instead of trying to do that in IOS. And the switch sounds good. You might consider a PoE one or even purchasing an older 1231G access point so you can learn wireless security and wireless design. Those are around $100 these days.



My friend mentioned that he has 4950 switches and he could allow me to borrow a couple, and I wanted to know if this would be overkill for my purpose?

If you're using that in a lab for free, awesome. If you're going to buy them then that is overkill indeed. Like a tractor to a card house. :-)

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