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CCNA LAB

Discussion in 'Design' started by B1n0ry, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. B1n0ry

    B1n0ry Bit Poster

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    Hi all, I'm currently studying CCNA and I'm using the Boson Sim, thats all very good and all, but what I really need to know is what would be the best basic CCNA lab to start with?. I'm curently thinking of purchasing the following setup and would like some feedback if this would be sufficient.

    2620 router(x2),
    2611 router
    2924 switch
    2912 switch
    2 x serial DB60-DB60 crossover cables
    4 x cat 5E straight-through cables
    4 x cat 5E crossover cables
    2 x RJ45 / DB9 console cables
    I originally started studying last year but other commitments left me little time, so now I'm ready to begin again and would like any help in regards setting up a home lab and any new study items to look for, i.e will there be questions on ISDN or wireless etc (.. a year is a long time in IT things change :confused3)

    regards in advance
    B1n0ry
     
    WIP: CCNA
  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Hi,

    There are a few members who are studying for CCNA at the moment who are in a better position to advise you on what you need and the place to buy them from.

    Perhaps we could have some responses so other members (like myself) know where to go for the future.

    Si
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. B1n0ry

    B1n0ry Bit Poster

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    ... thanks for reply.... I'll keep a lookout in the forums :eek:.. I only intended to be on here for 10 mins.... that was 2hrs ago :biggrin. some interesting things in here!
     
    WIP: CCNA
  4. Headache

    Headache Gigabyte Poster

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    You'll probably be needing a few more db60s. Can't have too many of those. Dunno if you'll be needing that many crossover cables though. Otherwise the lab looks okay.
     
    Certifications: CCNA
    WIP: CCNP
  5. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    B1n0ry,

    Question:
    1. Are you planning to take the 2 exam (640-821 INTRO & 640-811 ICND) or 1 exam (640-801 CCNA) route (pun intended)?
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP+I, MCP, CCNA, A+
    WIP: CCDA
  6. B1n0ry

    B1n0ry Bit Poster

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    thanks for that Headache. I'll get a couple more then :biggrin

    I was planing on the 2 exam Intro & ICND, reason being that It would be better to get a more 'rounded' knowledge base instead of crammming it all in one hit, would that be the right assumption? and... I'm in no hurry :)....
    (...and prob for future CCNP... depends how this goes first! )
     
    WIP: CCNA
  7. laup

    laup Byte Poster

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    In my personal opinion id go for the 801 approach 1 its cheaper, 2 its basicly the icnd exam anyhow lol.
    Make sure u master VLSM and routing, switching and access lists
     
    Certifications: IC3,A+, N+, 70-270, CCNA
    WIP: CCDA/Job :>
  8. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

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    B1n0ry,

    In that case, for INTRO it's mainly a lot of knowledge, theory, and being comfortable with how to navigate the IOS. With that said, I would recommend for your "INTRO lab" at least one router and one switch. Specific models would be a Cisco 2600 series router and a Catalyst 2950 switch. Let's get through INTRO before planning for ICND and beyond.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP+I, MCP, CCNA, A+
    WIP: CCDA
  9. B1n0ry

    B1n0ry Bit Poster

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    thanks for all your input guys!
    .... getting carried away :D with all the knowledge heads in here It should be a breeze...:smile-l:biggrin,

    Laup. I feel pretty confident on VLSM, and access lists, just need a good brush up on the IOS commands :rolleyes:, but at least I know where to come for help and advice!
     
    WIP: CCNA
  10. Ka151

    Ka151 Bit Poster

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    With that lab you should have everything you need.

    Concentrate on using the kit not buying more, thats one thing i got wrong, i loved going out and hunting for new bits and pieces and used less time using it. Pretty daft but i learnt with one poor mark on an exam.

    Anyway how are you getting on with it?
     
    Certifications: MCP, CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, CCDP and CISSP
    WIP: ITIL Red Badge & a fresh challenge
  11. B1n0ry

    B1n0ry Bit Poster

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    Hi Ka151...

    Thanks for the advice... I'm currently collecting all I need, plus a friend has let me use his 2610 (as he's to busy to do his exam at the moment).:) and I've got my eye on a Cisco Catalyst 2950. so hopefully I should be up and running real soon.:biggrin
    As for the studying.... been using my cybex books! so far so good (OSI model, layers :blink :eek: !) must be because I'm reading when I'm tired.. roll on the weekend :biggrin
    B
     
    WIP: CCNA
  12. Ka151

    Ka151 Bit Poster

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    When I did my CCNA i was taught to ways to remember the layers.

    Please - Physical
    Do - Data Link
    Not - Network
    Throw - Transport
    Sausage - Session
    Pizza - Presentation
    Away - Application

    or from the other way up...

    All - Application
    People - Presentation
    Seem - Session
    To - Transport
    Need - Network
    Data -Data Link
    Processing - Physical

    See if that helps... :D
     
    Certifications: MCP, CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, CCDP and CISSP
    WIP: ITIL Red Badge & a fresh challenge
  13. Ka151

    Ka151 Bit Poster

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    So how are you getting on with your lab?

    Any idea when you feel you might be ready for the tests or test (depending on where you are in your CCNA)

    Be good to hear how you are progressing and if theres any help any of the others can assist with.

    I just bought myself a ADSL interface for my 1700 router, i hope to use this on my home pipex connection for VPN back into my homenetwork/lab along with a few extra nice bits such as IOS firewall features, might even play with some NBAR to rate limit my girlfriends torrent downloads (shh not gonna tell her :twisted: )

    All fun and games though... man im a geek hehe :p
     
    Certifications: MCP, CCNA, CCDA, CCNP, CCDP and CISSP
    WIP: ITIL Red Badge & a fresh challenge
  14. B1n0ry

    B1n0ry Bit Poster

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    I'm just waiting for the arrival of my 2950 switch, then I'll be ready to go, so get ready for a whole load of questions soon:blink :biggrin
     
    WIP: CCNA
  15. iSiDiS

    iSiDiS Bit Poster

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    Hi

    Im currently in the middle of my CCNA - I passed the 640-811 Intro exam a couple of weeks ago and am on 640-821 at the moment. I'll explain what I did and whether its helped me....

    I enrolled at my local college who do a 1 year CCNA course 2 nights a week (Gateshead college in Tyne & Wear). Apparently most are 2 years - I know someone doing a similar 2 year version of the course at another college - but the pace seems fine to me. I bought the 2 Cisco Systems Books - the official ones.

    They have quite a good selection of kit at the college as well, and we do labs where we get the labs manuals to download from the cisco website. These are free to us, and from what Ive seen are carbon copies of the Cisco Lab companion guide books - there are two of these as well. The problem was access to the college labs was limited to the 2 nights a week, and although they also have very good simulators, I know they arent as good as the real thing.

    I went on ebay and did a search for cisco, and, knowing what the lab is kitted out with at college, I bought similar kit :

    3x2620 routers, all with version 12 or later of the Cisco IOS (which is important to note, as older routers have older versions of the IOS, and some of the things you'll want to do on them wont be supported on the older routers IOS)

    2x2924 switches - you can go for 2950s, but you really dont need all the ports, and according to my lecturer, the 2924 is more than good enough to get you through the course.

    2 old laptops from work (they're really crap - only 500Mhz and 128Mb RAM. but enough to run Win2000 and they also had ethernet ports, which is the most important thing - you'll use these to ping between the routers once you've made serial connections.

    The routers all had WIC-1T WAN cards in them, and I bought two more, so that two of the routers had 2 WICs for two serial links (important as some of the labs are for load balancing), and the other router only had the one WIC. All 3 routers have single fast ethernet ports which is fine, although with hindsight, it would have been good to have one router with an extra ethernet port - so a 2621 or 2611 would have been better for one of the routers.

    You also need serial DCE-DTE cables, which connect two routers together and simulate a WAN link, and ethernet cables, both twisted and straight-through, but I would just buy a length of cable and some connectors and build these yourself, as this is in the course as well and is good practice.

    I havent really started doing much with the switches yet - thats in the module im doing at the moment, but looks like you need two of them.

    All in all the kit cost about £500 quid, maybe a bit more, but I build it up over a couple of months. The other thing you'll need is lots of serial connections as you need to be able to console into the routers and switches. I bought a 4 serial to 1 usb connector and it works perfectly.

    I've found its great to be able to play around with the kit, and I think it has helped me alot (for the 640-821 Intro Exam I sat I got 983 out of 1000). The exam was mainly on subnetting, so get a good handle on it - there where also labs in the exam, but Im pretty comfortable with the routers now, after practising at home and college. This is where the college came in really handy, as the lecturers were good at explaining subnetting, supernetting, ACLs and Wildcard Masks - which are generally the trickiest things to get your head around.

    So, in summary, you need at least 3 routers and 2 switches to build a half decent lab - two PCs or laptops as well to ping and use as workstations in the lab. You should also get the two official cisco books and the 2 official lab companions. If you can enrol on a course at college, all the better, and try to go for a one year, as the two year is too slow. It all depends what your budget is - the college course was £160, the two cisco exams are £65 quid each and the 2 books I bought were about £30 or £40 (i think the lab companions are the same price - check on amazon). Check out ebays shops, as a couple are specifically CCNA Lab suppliers, and they already have packages of kit together. Be careful of chinese cisco fake stuff as theres alot of it about, but I bought one of the WIC-1T cards from an ebayer in china and it was fine and much cheaper.

    Hope this helps......
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, 640-821, 640-811, 640-553
    WIP: MCSE
  16. B1n0ry

    B1n0ry Bit Poster

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    Hi iSiDis.
    Thanks for the advice, its really helpful to know, Ive got at the moment a 1x1924 switch, 2x2610 routers both with 2xWIC-1T, 1x2501 router (got for cheap, not sure what IOS its running!, as a point, is the IOS upgradeable?:dunce ) 4 serial DCE-DTE and ethernet cables, but I'm going to make a couple of my own ethernet cables for good practice. Also got 2 spare laptops (1 running server 2003, other XP Pro, from MCSE days) plus 2 basic compaq PC's (XP Pro)
    Is that about it? I've got my eye on another router that I might buy if needed.
    I'm pretty confident on subnetting and found this site, http://www.learntosubnet.com/ (best viewed in IE, :x ) but its pretty good. I'll get a start on wiring it all up this weekend :biggrin
     
    WIP: CCNA

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