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  1. Operations Officer Corndork2's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Will this lab setup be appropriate for CCNA and possibly CCNP?

    I have started piecing my lab together and this is what I have come up with.

    1x 2620XM 128/32 12.4 IOS
    2x 2501
    1x 2950
    2x 2924XL-EN

    I have ordered or have everything but the two 2924's. Theyre pending my decision to finally buy. Id also like to add a 2511 Access Server eventually. Will this setup be enough for the CCNA, and the start of my CCNP? Should I invest in a 3640 as a frame relay? Do I need a frame relay at CCNA level? What should I change, or what would you change? I want to get started on the right foot.
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  3. Operations Officer Corndork2's Avatar
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    #2
    ps. sorry for the typo in the thread title.
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  4. Senior Member
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Corndork2 View Post
    I have started piecing my lab together and this is what I have come up with.

    1x 2620XM 128/32 12.4 IOS
    2x 2501
    1x 2950
    2x 2924XL-EN

    I have ordered or have everything but the two 2924's. Theyre pending my decision to finally buy. Id also like to add a 2511 Access Server eventually. Will this setup be enough for the CCNA, and the start of my CCNP? Should I invest in a 3640 as a frame relay? Do I need a frame relay at CCNA level? What should I change, or what would you change? I want to get started on the right foot.
    I am going to go with a no (no offense). Switch out the 2x2501 with something like 2 2x2620xms or 2x1721 (if you don't care about them being non rackable), Don't but the 2924s (if you can avoid it) and get 2 2950s.

    For CCNP I think you would need a few more routers or you could simply go virtual and spend you money on some decent switches (3550s).
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  5. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Corndork2 View Post
    ps. sorry for the typo in the thread title.
    Trick I just learned recently, you can go the subforum CCNA/CCENT, and double click on the title. From there you can change the name of your thread.
    Currently working on: Resting
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  6. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #5
    For the CCNA -- yeah, maybe add something to act as a frame relay switch.

    I like 3 switches for the CCNA, but since the 2950s are pretty cheap now I like 2 2950s and 1 2924XL-EN for the "old stuff" like ISL Trunking. If you're trying to be uber-cheap, sigh, then 1 2950 and 2 2924XL-EN switches are tolerable.

    2500 & 2600 routers may be tempting because of their low prices ($10 for a 2501 and maybe $25 for a 2610) -- but they won't do the IPv6 that you may need for the (maybe soon to be updated) CCNP and beyond. If you're "going cheap" for a CCNA only lab, they are still an option as long as you have a 1721 (about $50 with max mem, power brick, and current version kickass IOS feature set) or 2600XM for SDM and router-on-a-stick. The old 2610 can do router-on-a-stick (802.1Q Trunking) with the 10Mb Ethernet and a 12.2( 8 )T IP Plus IOS Feature set (or greater) -- but not SDM.

    If you're looking to start the CCNP soon after the CCNA, then a good 1721 or 2600XM router with a current IOS version and kickass IOS feature set makes Dynamips (with Dynagen/GNS3 front end) an option. Just toss in a 3550 switch with your CCNA Lab switches and you'd be "good to go" for the CCNP.

    If you want real hardware for your CCNP Lab, then you'd want at least 2 routers that support MPLS (and IPv6). I usually suggest 4 routers for the CCNA (1 frame relay switch, 1 hub and 2 spoke routers -- and if one of those routers can act as a terminal server, that would be great).

    For the CCNP you just toss in a 5th router -- and that's usually one of the more expensive routers that support MPLS. That would mean one of your original "CCNA Lab" routers would have to support MPLS to give you the 2 MPLS routers.

    Your (cheap) Frame Relay Switch router options are:
    The 2520 (4 ports) or 2522 (10 ports) (or the Token Ring Versions)
    2600 or 2600XM or 3620 or 3640 with NM-4A/S or NM-8A/S
    1721 or 2600 or 2600XM or 1760 with WIC-2T (for the port density).

    You can also build a 4 port compound Frame Relay switch from 2 2501 routers (and since you can also use the Ethernet rather than the AUX port back to back, 3 2501s for 6 ports, 4 2501s for 8 ports, etc...).
    CCIE Lab Preparation Resources - Compound Frame Relay Switch | Internetwork Expert

    Access server options are
    2509 (8 lines) or 2511 (16 lines) - (the RJ45 versions are more expensive)
    Something that supports the NM-16A/S or NM-32A/S like maybe the 2600XM or 3660 -- double check the data sheets on the Cisco website to make sure.

    Check out the PDFs on the Cisco Partner Central Portable Product Sheet web page for useful information about router memory, performance, NM/WIC/VWIC compatibility, etc....
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  7. Operations Officer Corndork2's Avatar
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    #6
    So far Ive got

    1x 2620XM
    1x 2610XM
    1x 2950
    1x 2501

    I'll pick up another 2950. Do you think I should toss the 2501 for another 2600XM? Im also thinking of using a 3640 as a frame relay
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  8. Operations Officer Corndork2's Avatar
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    #7
    I just noticed I can score 12 port 2950's for CHEAP, will these work? I dont think I will be too limited by 12 ports
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  9. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Corndork2 View Post
    will these work?
    Yes.

    My first 2950 was a 12 port model (for $153). Then I finally scored a 24 port model as my 2nd switch for under $200 (probably $187). But that was a few years ago.

    I grabbed a 2950 24 port model in the last month or so for $31 because it was to cheap to pass up. Hopefully that 12 port 2950 is even cheaper.
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  10. Operations Officer Corndork2's Avatar
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    #9
    Hey Mike! Thanks for the reply! Im also in Illinois. Champaign to be exact, and my name is Mike haha.

    I think my final lab layout, primarily for cost reasons will be:

    1x 2620XM 128/32 12.4IOS for IPv6 and SDM (I have a NM-1E2W I can throw in it as well)
    2x 2501 16/16 with the highest IOS build so I can do IPv6
    2x 2950 (one is def a 24 port, the other I have yet to buy)

    and hopefully something for a frame relay switch. Whats the cheapest option to get frame relay going? A 3640? The frame relay is really the last piece I want to start with. An access server would be nice but Ill have to buy one later. So again any frame relay reccomendations? Or any of you with used frame relay hardware you wanna get rid of? Thanks for all the input!
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  11. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Corndork2 View Post
    Whats the cheapest option to get frame relay going?
    You have to shop and see what pieces are currently available to come up with a cheap frame relay option.

    It's the transceivers that kick up the price of two 2501s acting as a compound switch if you don't want to limit the speed to a back-to-back AUX port connection. Right now I would spend much more than $10-20 each on a 2501 -- and I'd be aiming closer to that $10 price (maybe 20 with the shipping, max memory, and a transceiver).

    If you shop, the cheapest router solution for your frame relay switch might be a 2610 with NM-4A/S -- if you don't luck out and find a 2520 (with max memory, transceiver, and shipping) for less.

    I actually had a bunch of 2521 Token Ring routers connected to my $1 or $5 3920 Token Ring Switch and used those as my frame relay cloud for a while. That would mean the 2523 is the 10 port Token Ring version -- which would work great (if you found a really really really cheap one) if you wanted a dedicated router to always be your frame relay switch -- just shut down and ignore the token ring port. Same with the 2513 routers (1 Token Ring, 1 Ethernet port, 2 serial ports) -- if you ignore the Token Ring port, it still works like a 2501. Back in the day when I couldn't find a 2501 for less than my $25-30 target price, I was able to get max memory 2513 routers for $10 each

    I think the last 12.3 IP Plus might have had limited IPv6 routing support -- maybe OSPFv3 (or it could have been the IS-IS support?) -- and then it runs out of IPv6 gas. You'd have to check the Cisco IOS Feature Navigator to confirm or deny. I think I've got the last 12.2 Enterprise Plus Crypto on most of my 2500s and use them for the IPv4 routing labs.
    Last edited by mikej412; 12-30-2009 at 07:28 PM.
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mikej412 View Post
    If you shop, the cheapest router solution for your frame relay switch might be a 2610 with NM-4A/S
    This is my setup.
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  13. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #12
    Running the right routers for your CCNA/CCNP lab is key, the 2600XM-series and the 1721's are going to be your best bet as they support version 12.4 and 12.4T of the IOS, (depending on the feature set and maxed out with RAM and flash memory). Right now, versions 12.4 and 12.4T are the ones you'll want to have access to as you study since they're listed in the exam blueprints for various Cisco certs.

    There is some talk about release 15, but I'm not sure what (affordable) routers support it and there isn't any demand just yet for knowledge of it on the exams or even in the workplace. Anyone here have any insights as to when we might be seeing this next release on exams?

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    #13
    ^^thats what I'd kinda like to know myself, I don't want all the money I put towards routers/switches to be a waist in case they come out with a new exam before I pass it!
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  15. Operations Officer Corndork2's Avatar
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    #14
    So should I stick with my maxed, 2620XM and 2610XM's? Dump the 2501's, and grab another one? Im also thinking of 3640's maxed out for frame relay and 12.4 capability. Also cant they do call manager if I want to mess with voice stuff?
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