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N+ advice needed

Discussion in 'Network+' started by Stevie, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Stevie

    Stevie Byte Poster

    Hi guys, I'm currently studying for my A+, and when I've finished it I'm debating about doing the N+ or the MCDST.

    I have been repairing/upgrading/building PC's for nearly 12 years now, mostly family and friends though, hece the reason I'm doing the A+ now. I also have limited experience/knowledge in setting up and using networks (home ones, but hey, it's still a network :D).

    When I do the N+, I'm thinking about setting up a proper PC network, with a server etc to get some experience as I go along. Also, if an employer sees this, then it will help show that I'm determined. I'm planning on using my loft for the network build, however, if it is too big then I can use the double sized garage for it. What I want to know is, with setting up a network with a server, etc to get some practise with, how many PC's am I going to have to get?

    The plan is to get some cheapish crappy PC's off of eBay to use the test network with.
    WIP: A+, Network+, Security+
  2. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Hey Stevie,

    Theoretically, the maximum you need for a network is 2 PCs!

    I don't think you need to go heavily into kit for the N+, as a lot of the questions aren't on hardware configuration.

    However, you will need to know your NOS's. The kit setup is a great idea, and if you've got the space, go for it. I tried to sneak a rack in to my parent's for my Cisco kit, and they told me to *get it out*. Rubbish!

    The 'cheapest' way to do this though, and to get down and dirty with all the operating systems you'll need to check out, would be to have a vaguely decent system running Virtual PC, or VMWare, or any product of that ilk. That way, you can replicate the environment without the threat of a dozen PCs falling through your loft.

    Ergo, I suggest 2 or 3 PCs, Virtual PC (or similair) and a hub or switch to practise with.

    But as I say, I don't really think the kit is a necessary expense for the N+. But I sure would have loved to be able to set one up whilst I was doing it!
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  3. Stevie

    Stevie Byte Poster

    Thanks for the advice on it. I'm also hoping to got for the MCSA, MCSE and maybe a Cisco course, hence the reason I want the network to practise with. I've heard about running a virtual PC, which I think I may instill on my laptop, but I need to do some research on that option first.
    WIP: A+, Network+, Security+
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    How would an employer see your lab setup, complete with server? Going to invite them over to the house? :biggrin

    Creating a home lab is great... and will give you great practice for the Network+ exam... but everybody and their brother creates home networks. It really won't make much of a difference to an employer if you've got two PCs, twenty PCs, or a server on your home network. What employers want to see is real-world experience in a real-world corporate environment, with real-world users connected to a real-world network with real-world data flowing across it. Trust me, it's entirely different when you're out of the lab.

    If you don't have experience, at least you will have the certification to set yourself apart from your competition. But experience will trump certification almost every time.

    Best of luck to you!
    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!

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