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Thread: "Labbing"

  1. Senior Member bermovick's Avatar
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    #1

    Default "Labbing"

    So I've got myself a small lab now, and have spent the past couple weeks tinkering around with it. It's let some of the more basic commands to be better ingrained in my memory but a lot of the other commands seem more of a "run once .. ever" unless I delete my startup-config frequently (or never copy run start and reload frequently! haha)

    I'm curious how others have used their labs, or if having a lab is just less useful at the ICND1 level and I'll just see more use out of it later.
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  3. Security Nut NightShade03's Avatar
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    #2
    Labs are useful at ALL stages in the game. In the early stages they help foster and understanding of how things work (commands, concepts, protocols). You use them to practice learning how things work and gain a greater understanding of different topics.

    Later on you will use a lab to piece things together in more of a "big picture" with different technologies (BGP comes to mind). Although not everyone *needs* a lab at the entry stage they are very useful and can sometimes help drill in concepts that those without a lab might take longer to learn.

    Just my 2 cents.
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  4. Senior Member notgoing2fail's Avatar
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    #3
    There's a lab thread somewhere around here where people post their lab pics, I think it's a good thread to keep bumped....

    I can say that as long as i stay in the Cisco world, my lab will forever continue to grow...it has to since so does technology.

    I will not knock GNS3 and simulators, but I am a hands on guy, and I will pay to get the equipment in my lab. Unless the price is really beyond what I can justify...
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  5. Senior Member alan2308's Avatar
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    #4
    When I read, I always have a router or a switch turned on so I can try things out as I'm going along, and then after the chapter or section I'll fire it all up and really go at it.

    At this point, I'm finished with all 4 semesters of the CNA and read Wendell Odom's book through twice, so besides practicing subnetting all I'm doing is labbing.
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  6. Senior Member bermovick's Avatar
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    #5
    Yeah; I'm using GNS3 as well, although neither it or the actual hardware seems all that useful at the moment. That's why I was wondering what others did, or if there was something I was missing.
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  7. Senior Member bermovick's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by alan2308 View Post
    When I read, I always have a router or a switch turned on so I can try things out as I'm going along, and then after the chapter or section I'll fire it all up and really go at it.

    At this point, I'm finished with all 4 semesters of the CNA and read Wendell Odom's book through twice, so besides practicing subnetting all I'm doing is labbing.
    That's what I'm doing too, but all I'm doing is 'show cdp neighbors' or 'show ip route' and going "yup! looks pretty much like what the picture in the book shows".

    There's only so many times I can 'router rip, version 2, network 192.168.3.0', or 'login local' or 'ip address 192.168.3.1 255.255.255.0'. It doesn't seem like I'm doing anything more than repeating exactly what the book says and getting a response that matches exactly what the book shows I'll get as a response.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bermovick View Post
    That's what I'm doing too, but all I'm doing is 'show cdp neighbors' or 'show ip route' and going "yup! looks pretty much like what the picture in the book shows".

    There's only so many times I can 'router rip, version 2, network 192.168.3.0', or 'login local' or 'ip address 192.168.3.1 255.255.255.0'. It doesn't seem like I'm doing anything more than repeating exactly what the book says and getting a response that matches exactly what the book shows I'll get as a response.
    Try to do the lab just by looking at the diagrams they get a little harder to do once you get in frame relay, etc.
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  9. Senior Member alan2308's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by bermovick View Post
    That's what I'm doing too, but all I'm doing is 'show cdp neighbors' or 'show ip route' and going "yup! looks pretty much like what the picture in the book shows".

    There's only so many times I can 'router rip, version 2, network 192.168.3.0', or 'login local' or 'ip address 192.168.3.1 255.255.255.0'. It doesn't seem like I'm doing anything more than repeating exactly what the book says and getting a response that matches exactly what the book shows I'll get as a response.
    At this point its all about learning the commands, and there's no better way than repetition. Its like in math class when you kept solving ax+b=c over and over with different values for a, b and c (and different IP addresses in this case). You'll eventually move on to creating your own addressing scheme for a network and they'll only tell you something like enable rip on all routers, or enable rip on all routers except Router C. It's a lot easier to focus on what you're trying to implement if you're not reaching for your book every few minutes to look up a command at that point.
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    #9
    it's always better to learn the technology through implementation in an isolated environment than to read it and then try to implement it in production.

    By doing so you will discover the pitfalls that you may have glossed over when reading about it, and you will also find that your understanding of how something works is flawed, and that after seeing it in the flesh (so to speak) and getting results different than what you're expecting, you will refine your understanding.

    You will actually learn more by trying to lab something up and doing it incorrectly than if you do it correctly each time. This is why when I'm labbing, if configuration commands are included, I tend to ignore them and simply look at what the goal of the example is trying to achieve and implement it myself. Only then do I compare what I've configured to what the text has. That will tell me where I went wrong if it doesn't work. The most interesting thing is when I configure it and it works (as far as I know), but there are things in the configuration that I didn't do, and then I need to figure out *why* the author did it that way.

    Experience really is the best teacher. Prior to actually building a full rack just for CCIE study, I used all my network gear in my home network. That gave me the sense of configure it in for 'real', as if I screwed something up, I had no more internet, so I could see the effects of changes in a live environment that only affected myself.

    With 14 devices, that's a little unfeasible however, as I'm constantly wiping configurations, not to mention the effect on the power bill that leaving all that running 24/7 would have.
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  11. Senior Member alan2308's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken_GA View Post
    Experience really is the best teacher. Prior to actually building a full rack just for CCIE study, I used all my network gear in my home network. That gave me the sense of configure it in for 'real', as if I screwed something up, I had no more internet, so I could see the effects of changes in a live environment that only affected myself.
    I still want to do this, but unfortunately none of my routers appear capable of keeping up with my Internet connection according to Cisco's Router Performance Sheet. So if and when I do it, it'll have to be temporary.
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