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Decision taken, time to start studying.....

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by JohnBradbury, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    After some careful research, a bit of back and forth, and a few days of driving my poor wife mad I've decided to go for it and make the transition to networking. It's certainly going to be a challenging path for me but I feel the rewards are well worth it (the challenge, a structured and respected certification path and of course the salary).

    I'm going to start with the CCENT for a gentle introduction to the subject.

    Study Material

    CCENT/CCNA ICND1 640-822 Official Cert Guide (3rd Edition) - Wendell Odom
    TCP/IP Illustrated: The Protocols v1 (2nd Edition) - Kevin R. Fall / W. Richard Stevens
    INE CCNA Routing & Switching Exam Course - Brian McGahan CCIE #8593
    CISCO ICND1 Exam Blueprint (https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/docs/DOC-4987)

    Training Tools

    CISCO Learning Labs - CCENT®/CCNA® ICND1 Virtualized Lab Bundle
    Home Lab

    I'm not 100% sure what the home lab will consist of yet but as I'm in this for the long hall I'm going to go all out and setup something closer to a CCNP lab. Having limited knowledge of the kit going in it's very difficult to actually make a decision on the lab environment right now.

    Here is what a popular rack rental company offer: (Very possibly overkill for my initial needs but it's not going to hurt)

    6x Routers 12.4 or 12.4T Advanced Enterprise Services IOS
    2x Catalyst 3560 series switches running 12.2 Advanced IP Services
    2x Catalyst 3550 series switch running 12.2 IP Services
    1x Access Server
    1x Frame Relay Switch
    Three preconfigured backbone routers

    Hopefully I'll be around a lot in the future, the CISCO forums don't seem to be too busy but hopefully we can change that :biggrin
  2. Simonvm

    Simonvm Kilobyte Poster

    I think that lab setup will be a bit overkill for the CCENT.
    You'd probably have enough with Cisco Packet Tracer for the basic networks that are covered in ICND1.

    Good luck though, you've certainly chosen the coolest direction :)
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
    Certifications: MCITP: EST, MCDST, MCTS, A+, N+, CCNP, CCNA Wireless
  3. Cunningfox

    Cunningfox Byte Poster

    I agree with Simonvm I did my CCNP with less than that :).

    You can do everything for CCNA on packet tracer these days I think, although please do get a bit of kit to play with for experience a 2950 or 2 and a 2600 or 2 is probably plenty and do anything else on packet tracer.
    Certifications: CCNP, CCNA, MCP
    WIP: ??
  4. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    No doubt it is overkill for my current level of stuff but bare in mind I want to create a CCNP level lab so I can work up to that level whilst benefiting from the extra experience the equipment will give me at the lower certification levels.

    I want to be able to simulate (to a degree) real world scenarios at home so I can get as much hands on experience of the kit as humanly possible without actually working in a CISCO role.

    A problem I have run into is that no one seems to agree what equipment is best to setup a CCNA or CCNP lab. This can be very confusing for people new to the field.

    What would you guys suggest for a CCNP level lab? Taking into account that I don't want to feel too limited by the setup as I don't have the opportunity to work with CISCO kit as part of my role.
  5. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

    What is your current job role?
  6. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

    I'm at home looking after my two children at the moment, so this gives me a lot of time to study whilst their at school. However I have over 12 years of experience in IT overall, everything from desktop support, infrastructure support (Wintel) right up to service management.

    I hold a number of certifications but these all related to Microsoft products.

    So essentially I'm a CISCO newbie but this isn't my first time around the block.
  7. Cunningfox

    Cunningfox Byte Poster

    The reason there is a lot of debate over what makes the best lab is because there is an awful lot of old (and newer) Cisco kit that would cover most if not all the technologies on offer but some is expensive and of limited use (e.g. 6000 series for private vlans).

    I've suggested a couple of switches and low end routers, these can be used within a CCNP lab as well I would just suggest getting the CCNA well underway before looking too much in depth about a CCNP lab as the learning curve can be quite steep. In general any CCNA level gear can be added to further CCNP labs to add complexity.

    I still have and use my 2950ss and 2600s as they make good access layer switches and extra routing hops for redistribution complexity.

    For reference my CCNP lab was 3x 2611s, 3x 3640s, 2x 3550's and 2x 2950s I also had a 1821 floating around that I used occasionally. The 3640s all had 12.4T with advanced ip services. The 3550s also were ip services not ip base. I also used a simulator product extensively.
    Certifications: CCNP, CCNA, MCP
    WIP: ??
    cisco lab rat likes this.
  8. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

    The above is perfect for the CCNP and up to CCIE, but as Mr C. Fox said there are one or two things you can't do such as Private Vlan's which you'll need 3560's which you'll get off of the rack rentals you mentioned
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
    WIP: Fizzicks Degree

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