Mindtech / Home Lab - any ideas on configuration practice?

Discussion in 'Routing & Switching' started by cactus, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. cactus

    cactus Bit Poster

    Hi Guys,

    I'm nearly ready to sit the CCNA exam but wanted to get some more practical experience in the setup, configuration and running of a few routers and switches.

    I have got a home lab in the loft which I am about to start and am interested in the Mindtech route also.

    However, I am a bit lost on what sort of things to work on once the kit is set up, (ie setting up DTE/DCE frame relay / Vlans etc.) If anyone can provide a bit of direction on what to practice or what they practiced on, that would be great.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas / pointers!

    Certifications: HNC Elect & Tcomms, CCNA, ITIL Fndtn, CCNP BCMSN, CCNP ROUTE
  2. MarkN

    MarkN Nibble Poster


    Hi - have you a copy of Todd Lammles's Sybex CCNA study guide, there is a whole host of labs in there, if not a broad outline of what to go through is here:


    In addition I used the CCNA Lab companions here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/026-6084358-9002807

    Hope this helps

    Certifications: MCSE NT4\W2K,CNE,CCEA,ASE
  3. cactus

    cactus Bit Poster

    Thanks Mark,

    Yes I have that book and have done similar labs - the link you mentioned looks good - always good to try different material.


    Certifications: HNC Elect & Tcomms, CCNA, ITIL Fndtn, CCNP BCMSN, CCNP ROUTE
  4. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

    In the build up to my exam I'd plan labs to do on in my mindtech sessions. I'd try and make a lab that incorporated as much of everything in the diferent labs.

    Before starting I'd draw up a lab plan on a piece of paper that mimicked the mindtech CCNP lab topology.

    I'd typically have ISDN, frame-relay, NAT, OSPF with multiple areas some VLANS and make up a few access-lists. Toward the end I'd be using all 5 routers and the switch. I'd try and make the IP addressing scheme interesting as well to get some practice using wildcard subnet masks.

    When I'd planned what was going to happen where I'd start my session with mindtech. When everything was all set up and pinging/not pinging as it should/shouldn't be I'd reset all the routers and start again with EIGRP instead of OSPF.

    After a while it gets really really repetative and boring but that's the way to get the hands on stuff really down and be able to do what you need to do quickly and confidently.

    A very important thing not to overlook is to use show and debug commands and learn what their output means. You'll be expected to decifer plenty of output in the exam.

    So to re-cap, if you're using the Mindtech CCNP lab try these steps:

    1. Draw up an plan of what you're going to do.

    2. Work out every detail- how many loopback interfaces, IP addressing scheme, access-lists.

    3. When you're happy with your plan for your end product network work out how your going to test your connectivity, access-lists, VLANS, ISDN DDR etc. Extended pings will be the most effective tool to test this.

    4. Start your session and put it all together methodically testing as you go along.

    5. When it's all up and running do your tests. Copy the output to a text file and save it for when the session has finished.

    6. Do show and debug commands and copy the output to text files for later study.

    7. Reset all your routers/switches and do it all again.

    8. Study your text files of output and become very familiar with what the output means.

    That's how I did it, don't skimp on switching either, there's a very good switching lab on the prep centre that's free, do that until you can do it all without being prompted.

    Hope this helps good luck!
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
    WIP: 70-669, Learning MSI packaging
  5. cactus

    cactus Bit Poster

    Thanks Pete,

    Some very interesting reading there, it gives me a sense of direction again.

    I must admit that I have reached a bit of a stumbling block study-wise and have fallen into the trap of taking the same test numerous times only to realise that I am just 'remembering' answers and have stopped actually 'learning' for the time being.

    All the best!

    Certifications: HNC Elect & Tcomms, CCNA, ITIL Fndtn, CCNP BCMSN, CCNP ROUTE

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