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Looking at some of the lab's (Pros and cons)

Discussion in 'General Cisco Certifications' started by scubatron, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. scubatron

    scubatron New Member

    this may not be a typical question you would see on here
    And probably some old timers would find it rather amusing

    I'm planning on starting the CCNA soon and was looking around on Ebay for some routers and switches

    Looking at some of the lab's you guys have posted which sounds like they have raked out a whole server cabinet full of switches and routers!
    If I was to follow in their footsteps and purchase some routers and switches,
    are they economical to run or am I going to get a nasty electric bill?
    And more importantly do thay have noisy fans? as the test lab will be in the room next to my bedroom

    Would it be cheaper to go to a training centre and play with their switches rather than buying my own?
    and then learning what to do with them

    As of yet I have not even seen a Cisco switch or know what to do with one!
    As my hardware training is only up to A+, N+,

    or Is there such thing as a virtual Cisco lab that you can practice on?
    Certifications: A+,N+,MCDST
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    How much real-world IT experience do you have? If you haven't yet even seen a Cisco switch, and won't be expected to for your current job, what do you anticipate certification being able to do for you? The CCNA is designed for people who are starting to work with Cisco gear in a real-world environment (or being asked by their employer to prior to working with the gear). Companies don't generally hire people without much experience to administer Cisco gear.

    Yes, there is such a thing as a simulated Cisco lab that you can practice on. In fact, the company I work for sells one called NetSim (I work on the practice exam side, not the simulator side). It would certainly help my employer out if I were to steer you blindly towards the CCNA... however, if you have yet to touch a Cisco router or switch, I'm not sure the CCNA is right for you, my friend. What's your current job role?
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  3. scubatron

    scubatron New Member

    I'm coming in cold (or trying to) get into the IT industry,
    I've never worked in a office, my job experience nearly 20 years in construction!

    So this is all new to me, I've been playing with computers for a long time building and upgrading so I know my way around P C.s and the hardware side of computing Which would be my ultimate job with the added benefit of the network side of things to keep me busy,

    I committed myself to a distant learning training system which promised the earth and delivered nothing( the usual story) the course syllabus is as follows
    A+ completed
    N+ completed
    MSCE halfway through training
    CCNA haven't started yet

    Just so I could get some hands on experience with the hardware I've bought
    server rank (37U)
    Two rack mount servers (cheap and cheerful)
    one running as a main server 2003 (active directory, DNS, file server) & One running ESXI
    One patch panel and a load of CAT5 cable

    No training no job, no job no experience

    it seemed to be a vicious circle
    Certifications: A+,N+,MCDST
  4. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

    It's more like:
    No experience no job, no job no experience.

    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  5. gurusapprentice

    gurusapprentice Nibble Poster

    If your looking for a really good deal Dave from Itellegensia has a shop on ebay ring him tell him what you are trying to do and he will see you ok. I am fortunate that at the uni we have lots of equipment, I did however get my self a couple of switches and routers from Dave which I will setup as and when I need to. Simply because of the whole electricity bill thing. Cisco's packet tracer is v good has a lot of good stuff for running sims etc.
    Certifications: MCSA+Messaging
    WIP: Degree CCNA/CCNP 70-622 MCITP:E e
  6. scubatron

    scubatron New Member

    The simulation fing seems a good idea

    as I do not need to practice plugging in any more pach Leeds

    Can you put them on suspend mode like VMware if you want to close the system down without losing the settings?

    I was given an electric usage metre, which has now made me paranoid about leaving things on my whole computer setup was draning over 500 W which is £1.50 a day which may not sound a lot, but £40.00 a month is!

    No one has mentioned anything about the noise level, does that mean they have no noisy fans? I'm referring to the Cisco gear not stimulated once as this would be another big issue for me
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
    Certifications: A+,N+,MCDST
  7. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    The routers and switches that I have worked with a generally quiet (unless they have a faulty fan).

    PIX's tend to be the noisy buggers, with ASA's being silent work horses.
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    It may seem like a vicious circle, but that's because you're approaching IT the wrong way, my friend. You can't start at the top just by getting a bunch of training and certifications.

    The way to get into IT is by getting an entry-level job - one that requires no experience. And to make yourself attractive to employers, you should get some entry-level certifications, like that A+, Network+, and MCDST.

    Neither the MCSE nor the CCNA will help you get an entry-level job, because the skills you are learning with those certifications have nothing to do with what an entry-level tech is expected to know. Microsoft recommends already having 12 months of server administration experience before starting the MCSE... and not just 12 months in IT - 12 months of actually administering servers in a multi-site, multi-server domain network environment. The reason they recommend that experience before starting the MCSE is NOT because you won't be able to pass the exams... but because the certification won't do you much good without the experience to back it up.

    It's a similar story with the CCNA. Although Cisco does not provide specific recommendations for the CCNA, the CCNA covers job tasks that are not performed by techs without much experience... they're tasks that are generally given to techs who have already worked in IT for a number of years.

    In fact, having a bunch of upper-level certifications on your CV is liable to make it HARDER for you to get your start in IT, not easier. Consider an employer who is hiring for an entry-level job. But you've got all these advanced certifications on your CV. If the employer knows what those certifications are, they'll know that those certifications have nothing to do with what an entry-level tech is required to do... so you'll be way overcertified for those jobs. Many employers will be reluctant to hire you, because you're more likely to be too expensive to keep and more likely to leave as soon as a "better" job comes along... leaving them to find, hire, and train someone all over again.

    On the other hand, consider an employer who is hiring for an MCSE-level job or a CCNA-level job. As I mentioned before, those tasks aren't entrusted to people who haven't ever been in IT. You can certainly apply for those jobs... but you'll be competing against people who DO have that experience, particularly in this economy, with unemployment the way it is. Who do you think they are they more likely to hire? Someone with certifications and no experience, or someone with experience (with OR without certifications)?

    So... you'll be overcertified for an entry-level job, and underexperienced to do anything else. In short, you make yourself unemployable. That's not a good position to be in. :(

    I'd recommend that you start looking for entry-level employment with the A+ and Network+ you've got. Finish the training if you feel you must, but I'd recommend that you put it on hold. Those concepts will mean *so* much more to you after you've got some real-world server and router admin experience under your belt... "hooks" to hang the knowledge on, so to speak.

    If you feel you MUST be pursuing certifications, go tackle the MCDST. Desktop support entirely relates to what entry-level techs are asked to do, and the knowledge will serve you well.

    I wish you well on your job search!
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  9. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    What BM said basically. You may well have been spun an entirely different story by the people that sold you your distance learning course, but that is a common story.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  10. scubatron

    scubatron New Member

    I appreciate all the advice that you guys have given

    As the distance learning company has now disappeared !
    (404 page not found) and no one is answering the telephone

    No more Futuresdevelopment.com

    In looks like I'll have to go elsewhere to find some training
    as there is only two exams for the MCDTS I will put that on my list of things to do:study
    Certifications: A+,N+,MCDST

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