I was wondering if anyone could offer me some advice on building a home lab for my CCIP, in particular the MPLS Section.
My current lab consist of routers which may be usable for CE / PE Routers, but i am pretty certain i wont be able to utilize them for P routers
I currently use 2611 XM's 128/32 with 2500 series routers as frame relay swtiches and for injecting routes.
I am happy to set aside a training budget for this, but would like advice on whcih routers to start looking at
I am aslo happy to work with GNS3 but would prefer to build a physical rack of equipemen.
Any help would be much appreciated
All you need is GNS and 4-core PC. Save money; Buy some books instead of routers !
For example I've build this MPLS lab with MPLS Core with BGP, OSPF, 2 companies.
This 9-router lab runs OK on dual core with 4 GB RAM.
Major benefit of GNS is that I can re-arrange routers and connections quickly.
I have the in my home lab. I use the 2500 as the CE (nothing special needed here) teh 2600XM i have like yours are 128/32 i have four of these two as PE and two as P.
The image i have on the 2600's is c2600-adventerprisek9-mz.123-19a.bin, it works a treat. Some of the more advances commands are missing but you can run some good labs, enough to get you CCIP MPLS up to speed.
I have made some labs on my blog (shamefull **** link )
Thank you for the quick response.
With regards to GNS3, I will definately take that route for a large quantity of my labs, but i would still like to build a physical lab as well.
BIGEVIL, i was told that the low end routers do not run mpls at all...perhaps i was mislead?. I was looking at 3725's as a possible solution?
Thanks again for the quick replies
BIGEVIL...i was on your blog a couple of weeks ago when i was googling MPLS labs . Your story with regards to the walking to the exam centre reminded me of a couple of years back when i had an exam booked during a period of horrendous snow. I set out at 5am in the morning in my car to make sure i got there (with a shovel just in case) then slept outside the exam centre in my car till it opened at 9am . Sorry the exam centre shut in your case , but it was a great story !!!
The 2600 will with the 12.3 IOS. I am pretty sure the 3725 run MPLS, it is not a router i have used. There was even a IOS to run MPLS on the 2500, but i have never seen it or used it. If you look over the www, you will see it was created by Cisco TAC as a tester, or so the story goes.
You got to love the snow!
Will start digging with regards to the 3725's but if anyone else has had experience with these or a home mpls lab ?.....
Have a good few months to get it all lined up, as i will be taking on the BGP exam first, and have put aside at least 4 months for that, maybe 6 months.
For MPLS, I totally agree with Martin. GNS3 is the way to go. I created a custom MPLS class, and used GNS3 with 12 routers. That way we can do packet captures along the way as well, and really verify what is going on. The power bill alone, will be worth the savings.
Thanks Martin and Keith
I will be upgrading my home machine in the next three months to facilitate a larger VM environment, and will also take into account the fact it will need to be something that i can comfortable run GNS3 on with a larger quantity of routers than i currently use.
Slightly off topic, is there any issue's with GNS3 running on Windows 7 64 bit, would i be better on a 32 bit OS, or running it under a linux vm image?. Presently i run it on a Windows XP machine and it run "okay" but needs a little more tweaking.
Finally, Someone agrees with ME. Thanks Keith.
With GNS, you can customize your MPLS lab, modify MPLS traffic, create VPNs, run EoMPLS, etc.
So in that case a Windows 7 machine maxed out on ram would improve its performance for GNS3? Or is it still the general consensus that Linux architecture is better for GNS3. Was your nine router MPLS lab running on a windows machine ?