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14991 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Oct 26, 2010 1:50 PM by Shane0613 RSS 1 2 Previous Next

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CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

Oct 18, 2010 10:18 PM

Shane0613 29 posts since
Oct 18, 2010

I need a lil' bit of guidance concerning my home CCNA lab. I took CCNA1-4 in 2004, but due to circumstances was unable to take the CCNA exam despite doing well in all four classes. Anyway, I am trying to setup a home lab, so that I can finally take the CCNA. I plan to study/practice over the winter. When I took those classes we had 1700 series routers and 1924-EN switches. I think these maybe outdated now, but I am not sure. Here is what I have so far:

 

1x 1721 Router [C1700 Software (C1700-Y-M), Version 12.2(4)YA2, EARLY DEPLOYMENT RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)]

2x 1720 Routers [C1700 Software (C1700-Y-M), Version 12.2(3d), RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)]

1x WS-C2950C-24 Switch [C2950 Software (C2950-I6Q4L2-M), Version 12.1(19)EA1c, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc2)]

5x WS-C1924-EN Switches [IOS not known yet, in the process of being shipped]

 

My main point of concern is what IOS I should be running. I have read 12.4 is the latest for the routers. Also the 2950C says "Running Enhanced Image", which I take is a good thing. Is this a good enough setup to practice the labs for the CCNA. Is there anything that my lab is in desperate need of? Also what is the exact name of the IOS image that I should run on the routers. I have read that IOS 12.3 would be fine to run also, but either 12.4/12.3 there seems to be 10 different versions of each IOS (Example:advipservices, IP Base, advsecurity, IPvoice, and many other versions). Which one would be best for just doing CCNA labs? I know that I will have to upgrade the memory on the routers, so that is not a problem. I don't plan on setting all this up in one week. Are the 1924 switches useful or should I purchase another 2950?

 

I got the 3 routers for 30 bucks, the 2950 for 65, and the 5 1924s for 40. Any help would be appreciated. This is something that I have to get done so that I can improve my chances of getting a better J-O-B, so that I can provide for my family better.

  • Martin 13,075 posts since
    Jan 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Oct 19, 2010 2:22 AM (in response to Shane0613)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    OLD, way too old are WS-C1924, the exam is based on 2900 series switches with 12.4 IOS

     

    I recommend to use Packet tracer. it is simulator but you learn more than with real gear as you can study packets, see what is going on on the network in sim mode.

    You took cisco classes so you have physical experience plugin and playing with cables.

     

    Your electric bill will be Huge!  Save money, save planet Earth!

  • ciscobox 23 posts since
    Oct 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Oct 19, 2010 3:11 AM (in response to Shane0613)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    Having a real hardware is the best Lab setup.

    But for starters, packet tracer is good choice as well as gns3 where you can emulate real cisco IOS for routing and a "little" basic switching.

  • IntegrationArchitect 1,126 posts since
    Aug 14, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 19, 2010 11:43 AM (in response to Shane0613)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    good post and reply.

    .

    Please see if you can run 12.4(T) mainline IOS HISEC K9 ADV IP SERVICES on routers version 25 or newer

    and

    12.2(T) mainline IOS HISEC K9 ADV IP SERVICES on switches.

     

    You dont need the vpn acceleration subcards and a Cisco 2610xm used prices are lower. Also 1741 is really good too.

  • Martin 13,075 posts since
    Jan 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Oct 19, 2010 11:56 AM (in response to Shane0613)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    no class needed, get self-study books like ones by W. Odom.

    yes, 1900 series switches have that Menu Based interface, which is not tested and is gone.

    IOS version needs to be relatively up-to-date. there are differences between IOS on 2924 switches, f.e. configuring vlan priority varies.

     

    beyond ccna you need real gear, not sims. for ccna you need to know basics of networking.

    what happens when you plug in cable into new PC.

    you can't see it on real gear.  can you see Frame relays frames on real equipment? Probably not, almost impossible.

     

    With PT in sim mode, you can see and read each type of packet sent from PC to switch. PT even tells you what happens at each OSI layer!

    You can see TCP/IP in action, which is important for a beginner in the network field.

  • IntegrationArchitect 1,126 posts since
    Aug 14, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Oct 19, 2010 12:50 PM (in response to Shane0613)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    If your doing CCNA level any hardware is better than nothing.  The problem is if 2 correct test questions were given and one had the old IOS comand and the new IOS 12.4 one, the most correct one would be the new one.

     

    old switches don't allow more than 64 vlans

  • Martin 13,075 posts since
    Jan 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Oct 19, 2010 1:23 PM (in response to Shane0613)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    1900 go both ways: menu and CLI-based, but steps to config VLans differ from those on 2900.  I remember, at least 6 years ago, I had to learn both ways.

    This can mess up you mind especially during exam where you might not have access to all commands. I would not use 1900 at all.

     

    For now, I think you all set. You need 3 routers, where one has 2 WICs so you can use it as frame Relay switch. 4 would be nice, then you can do Hub-spoke FR. 1721 looks OK, 2 WICs and 1 Ethernet port. I am not sure if your IOS supports IPv6 ?

     

    2 switches are OK, 3 are better (traingle setup where you can practice STP).

     

    Finally, you do need latest books. New topics are IPv6, more OSPF, port security, wireless.

  • IntegrationArchitect 1,126 posts since
    Aug 14, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Oct 19, 2010 2:18 PM (in response to Martin)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    right, switch models  the end in -XL are legacy too. If possible it should be 2950 or 3550 for switch but something is better than nothing.  You can tell by the way they look with more plastic on them than the newer ones and you can also use the Cisco Feature Navigator to identify gear that is EOL and not running 12.2 switch or 12.4 router IOS.

    .

    Many labs can run on old stuff but note the way that PT5.3 IOS commands are different if your using old stuff if you want to have a more rounded exam prep situation.

  • Martin 13,075 posts since
    Jan 16, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Oct 19, 2010 8:39 PM (in response to Shane0613)
    Re: CCNA Home Lab Setup. Help Needed.

    Good luck, let us know if your IOS supports IPv6 ? I am just curious..

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