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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default CCENT/CCNA Beginner Lab Setup HELP!!!!

    Good Morning All,
    I have a question, I am looking to start my CCENT/CCNA studies in a few weeks and building a home lab at the same time. I have purchased some equipment but I am not sure if I am on the right track. Thus far I have 1-2501 router, 2-2610 router, and 1-2924 switch. Just looking for advice on something that will help with my CCENT/CCNA path to include interfaces and cabling and other non expense routers and switches. I would like to stay within a budget as well.
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    #2
    post up your budget please!
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    #3
    Trying to stay under $500 but I have already spent $200 thus far.
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  5. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #4
    Do you have a transceiver for that 2501?

    You should try and get 2 2950 switches. A 2924XL-EN works fine as a 3rd switch -- but the 2950 is closer to what you'll be tested on when it comes to switching. Those 2950s have been going for $25-50 if you bid patiently.

    The 2610s can do router on a stick (with the IP Plus feature set and 12.2( 8 )T version or greater) -- and if you toss an NM-4A/S ($20-$40) in one you have a router that can act as a frame relay switch.

    You need a router for SDM. A $50 1721 (get one with the power brick and 32meg flash and hopefully MAX DRAM) is your cheapest option. That also gives you your 4th router -- so you can have a hub and two spoke routers for frame relay (with the 4th router acting as your frame relay switch).

    The 2600XM series routers are also an option for your 4th router to support SDM.

    I went with 1 LAN port and 2 WAN ports for each router in my CCNA Lab. If you get a couple of WICs for the 2610 -- WIC-1T or WIC-2T or WIC-2A/S -- you later move both WICs to one of the 2610s when you add the NM-4A/S to make one act as a frame relay switch.

    The 2501 will use DB60 connectors for the serial ports. The WIC-1T also uses the DB60 connector. The WIC-2T uses the smaller Smart Serial connectors. The NM-4A/S also uses the DB60 connectors. The serial interfaces you get will determine the number and type of "back-to-back" lab cables you'll need to buy. You can get DB60-DB60 or DB60 to Smart Serial or Smart Serial to Smart Serial back-to-back cables.

    Get one straight though Ethernet cable for each router Ethernet Interface you have and get at least 4 to 6 cross-over Ethernet cables for the Switches. 4 Cross-over cables lets you form a loop with your switches and an additional redundant link. 6 cross-over cables lets you form a loop between your 3 switches with redundant links between each switch.
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  6. Senior Member Greenmet29's Avatar
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    #5
    Make sure that the 2501 is maxed out on memory (16/16) so that you can put 12.3 on it.
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    #6
    I think I see most of everything on cablesandkits.com at a good price. Just want to confirm the shopping list.

    2-2950 Switches
    1-NM-4A/S
    1-1721 Router or 2600XM
    1- WIC-2A/S
    1- WIC-2T


    Also any good lab books? I have CCENT CBT Nuggets and the ICND 1 and 2 books from Cisco but havent read them yet but I wanted something to look over before I start ICND to help setup the lab with my very limited knowledge. Thank you very much for the assistance. I see I only messed up with the switch but thats an easy fix.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Greenmet29 View Post
    Make sure that the 2501 is maxed out on memory (16/16) so that you can put 12.3 on it.
    Thanks! I just added that to my cart. Price wasn't too bad for the kit. $17.95
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  9. Senior Member Netwurk's Avatar
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    #8
    For the books, search for CCNP and CCIE lab books. There are many more of those than there are CCNA lab books. Use your CCNA textbook as guidance so that you don't overdo the advanced topics in the CCNP/CCIE lab scenarios.

    Cable and Kits is a cool and fairly priced site.

    Horizon Datacom is my fave, but sometimes CAK stocks thing Horizon doesn't have.

    As others have said, the Ebay route is the cheapest if you are patient. Always read the feedback on Ebay sellers, as some will rip you off.

    Good luck with your lab!

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  10. Junior Member
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Netwurk View Post
    For the books, search for CCNP and CCIE lab books. There are many more of those than there are CCNA lab books. Use your CCNA textbook as guidance so that you don't overdo the advanced topics in the CCNP/CCIE lab scenarios.

    Cable and Kits is a cool and fairly priced site.

    Horizon Datacom is my fave, but sometimes CAK stocks thing Horizon doesn't have.

    As others have said, the Ebay route is the cheapest if you are patient. Always read the feeback on Ebay sellers, as some will rip you off.

    Good luck with your lab!

    Thanks! I am excited but lost at the same time.
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Cisco CCNA/CCNP Lab Workbook I bought this lab book. It's pretty good, has dozens of step-by-step labs.
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  12. Senior Member Greenmet29's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by CollegeBoi View Post
    Thanks! I just added that to my cart. Price wasn't too bad for the kit. $17.95
    Make sure that its the latest boot rom also... so you don't have to replace that like I did
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ehnde View Post
    Cisco CCNA/CCNP Lab Workbook I bought this lab book. It's pretty good, has dozens of step-by-step labs.
    Thanks! I will be on amazon looking for this. Hopefully after this Network+ tomorrow I can work on this in the coming days.
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    #13
    I was able to purchase a 2512 for an Access router for my lab and I was wonder which Octal cable would be better the RJ-45 ends or the DB25 ends?
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  15. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #14
    The console ports accept the RJ-45 cable -- so that's what you want to keep life simple.

    The 2512 has a Token Ring LAN port. If you want to connect it to your home network (and aren't running Token Ring ) then look for a $10 2513 (and try not to pay $15 for the Ethernet Transceiver).

    An NM-1E1R2W would be another option if you have a router with an open NM slot -- that 1R in the name is the Token Ring port.

    I think I paid $1 for an 8 port IBM 8226 Token Ring switch -- and later $5 for a Cisco 3920 24 Token Ring Switch (and later $1 each for 2 more).

    Having the 2512 on your home network means you can use a telnet client with a tabbed interface (or just open multiple telnet windows) rather than using the control sequence to switch between your routers/switches in a single telnet window via the serial connection to the 2512 console port.
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    #15
    I haven't checked just yet (waiting for some cables to arrive) but where are some good places to download the 12.3 IOS and even instructions to load it on the router/switch?

    Thanks to everyone for there help thus for on helping get all of this together.
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  17. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by CollegeBoi View Post
    where are some good places to download the 12.3 IOS and even instructions to load it on the router/switch?
    The only legal place to download IOS images is from the Cisco web site.

    Only the switch (and wireless access point) IOS images have been available for download with a guest level Cisco CCO account. Other images require a Smartnet contract. Starting in January Cisco has announced they will start tracking downloads, so you might only be able to download images that you have contracts for.....

    That's why it's important to do your homework and buy used routers that have the memory already installed and come with the good IOS images.

    A quick google search
    site:cisco.com 2500 router ios upgrade
    gave this as the 1st item
    Software Installation and Upgrade Procedure for the 1600, 2000, 2500, 3000, AS5100, and AS5200 - Cisco Systems

    And this 4th one in the list could be useful for flash upgrades
    Flash Upgrade for Cisco 2500 [Cisco 2500 Series Routers] - Cisco Systems

    If this isn't about the 2500s, just toss in the correct router number into your search.
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    #17
    Here is the IOS verisions from the routers/switches that I have purchased for my lab. Just want to see if this will suffice for ICND 1. I know I have to purchase more and/or upgrade what I have for ICND 2 and on.


    LabAccessServer - IOS 11.2(9)
    LabRouter (2501) - IOS 12.1 (27b)
    LabRouter2 (2612) - IOS 12.2 (17a)
    LabRouter3 (2612) - IOS 12.2 (T
    LabSwitch1 (2924) - IOS 12.0 (5)WC10
    LabSwitch2 (2950) - IOS 12.1 (11)EA1
    LabSwitch3 (2950) - IOS 12.1 (22)EA10a

    One last thing, I think i have forgetton the password to one of the switches. Any suggestions of recovering that?

    Thanks so much for all the helpful responses.
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  19. Senior Member alan2308's Avatar
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    #18
    You can go up to 12.3 (provided that you have sufficient RAM and flash) on the 2500 and 2600 routers, but 12.2 should get you through the CCNA. There will be a thing or two here and there you can't do, but nothing that's a real show stopper. I wouldn't worry about the access server unless you plan to also do some routing with it. For the switches, you can grab the latest IOS (c2950-i6k2l2q4-mz.121-22.EA14.bin for the 2950) from Cisco with a free account.

    For the password on the switch, look here.
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  20. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by CollegeBoi View Post
    Just want to see if this will suffice for ICND 1.
    You'll need something that supports SDM (and later Router-on-A-Stick). A 1721 with 32Megs of Flash (and power brick) is probably your cheapest option -- unless you can score a cheaper 2610XM. Now is also a good time to start looking for a deal on WIC-1T interface cards (for the 1721 or 2610XM or those 2600 routers) and a few DB-60 to DB-60 Back-to-Back cables for the WAN (serial) ports. You can look for a $25 (or less) NM-4A/S for one of the 2600 routers for use as a Frame Relay Switch.

    What model access server? 2509 or 2511? Or 2510 or 2512 (which is Token Ring)?

    The 2612 routers are Token Ring -- so you might want to look for a $1 Token Ring Switch (or maybe a $5 Cisco 3920). Token Ring has been off the exams for years, but they are still okay for LAN connections for routing. Having 3 routers with Ethernet ports is useful when you hit OSPF DR/BDR elections.
    Last edited by mikej412; 12-30-2010 at 07:21 PM.
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  21. Member THA_DOC's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mikej412 View Post
    Do you have a transceiver for that 2501?

    You should try and get 2 2950 switches. A 2924XL-EN works fine as a 3rd switch -- but the 2950 is closer to what you'll be tested on when it comes to switching. Those 2950s have been going for $25-50 if you bid patiently.

    The 2610s can do router on a stick (with the IP Plus feature set and 12.2( 8 )T version or greater) -- and if you toss an NM-4A/S ($20-$40) in one you have a router that can act as a frame relay switch.

    You need a router for SDM. A $50 1721 (get one with the power brick and 32meg flash and hopefully MAX DRAM) is your cheapest option. That also gives you your 4th router -- so you can have a hub and two spoke routers for frame relay (with the 4th router acting as your frame relay switch).

    The 2600XM series routers are also an option for your 4th router to support SDM.

    I went with 1 LAN port and 2 WAN ports for each router in my CCNA Lab. If you get a couple of WICs for the 2610 -- WIC-1T or WIC-2T or WIC-2A/S -- you later move both WICs to one of the 2610s when you add the NM-4A/S to make one act as a frame relay switch.

    The 2501 will use DB60 connectors for the serial ports. The WIC-1T also uses the DB60 connector. The WIC-2T uses the smaller Smart Serial connectors. The NM-4A/S also uses the DB60 connectors. The serial interfaces you get will determine the number and type of "back-to-back" lab cables you'll need to buy. You can get DB60-DB60 or DB60 to Smart Serial or Smart Serial to Smart Serial back-to-back cables.

    Get one straight though Ethernet cable for each router Ethernet Interface you have and get at least 4 to 6 cross-over Ethernet cables for the Switches. 4 Cross-over cables lets you form a loop with your switches and an additional redundant link. 6 cross-over cables lets you form a loop between your 3 switches with redundant links between each switch.
    Hello ALL,
    I am reading this post and that sounds like so very sound advice. I hope no one mines if decide use the ideas myself to build a lab. I truely believe the lab are 100% helpful, the reading and sims are good. But lab give more practical experince which is needed to really know all this information.
    An Open Mind, Working to Get IT!

    DOC
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  22. Senior Member alan2308's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by mikej412 View Post
    You'll need something that supports SDM (and later Router-on-A-Stick). A 1721 with 32Megs of Flash (and power brick) is probably your cheapest option -- unless you can score a cheaper 2610XM. Now is also a good time to start looking for a deal on WIC-1T interface cards (for the 1721 or 2610XM or those 2600 routers) and a few DB-60 to DB-60 Back-to-Back cables for the WAN (serial) ports. You can look for a $25 (or less) NM-4A/S for one of the 2600 routers for use as a Frame Relay Switch.

    What model access server? 2509 or 2511? Or 2510 or 2512 (which is Token Ring)?

    The 2612 routers are Token Ring -- so you might want to look for a $1 Token Ring Switch (or maybe a $5 Cisco 3920). Token Ring has been off the exams for years, but they are still okay for LAN connections for routing. Having 3 routers with Ethernet ports is useful when you hit OSPF DR/BDR elections.
    I found the simulator more than sufficient for SDM, and the 2600's are capable of ROAS.

    Also, the 2612 has Ethernet and Token Ring, so you can ignore the Token Ring port and it's essentially another 2610.
    Last edited by alan2308; 12-30-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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  23. Cisco Moderator mikej412's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by alan2308 View Post
    Also, the 2612 has Ethernet and Token Ring, so you can ignore the Token Ring port and it's essentially another 2610.
    Ah -- you're right. It's the 2513 that's Ethernet and Token Ring (where you can ignore the Token Ring and still have a "2501"). The 2613 is the Single Token Ring 2600.
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by mikej412 View Post
    You'll need something that supports SDM (and later Router-on-A-Stick). A 1721 with 32Megs of Flash (and power brick) is probably your cheapest option -- unless you can score a cheaper 2610XM. Now is also a good time to start looking for a deal on WIC-1T interface cards (for the 1721 or 2610XM or those 2600 routers) and a few DB-60 to DB-60 Back-to-Back cables for the WAN (serial) ports. You can look for a $25 (or less) NM-4A/S for one of the 2600 routers for use as a Frame Relay Switch.

    What model access server? 2509 or 2511? Or 2510 or 2512 (which is Token Ring)?

    The 2612 routers are Token Ring -- so you might want to look for a $1 Token Ring Switch (or maybe a $5 Cisco 3920). Token Ring has been off the exams for years, but they are still okay for LAN connections for routing. Having 3 routers with Ethernet ports is useful when you hit OSPF DR/BDR elections.
    Mike,

    Thanks again for the wonderful advice. In one 2610, I have a NM-4A/S and the other has the WIC-1T. Would I need a few more of those? With the 1721, I have one on my radar at cablesandkits I plan to order when I get paid next week. The access server is a 2512 (not octal cable yet though). For the moment how many db60 to db60 cables should I order, I was thinking at least 3 with my 1721 order.
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  25. Senior Member alan2308's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by CollegeBoi View Post
    Mike,

    Thanks again for the wonderful advice. In one 2610, I have a NM-4A/S and the other has the WIC-1T. Would I need a few more of those? With the 1721, I have one on my radar at cablesandkits I plan to order when I get paid next week. The access server is a 2512 (not octal cable yet though). For the moment how many db60 to db60 cables should I order, I was thinking at least 3 with my 1721 order.
    Personally, I like to have at least 2 serial ports in every router, though it wouldn't kill you to have a single router with one (or two if you have way too many routers like I do ). Basically, get another if you can, but don't break your budget over it.

    For serial cables, count all of your serial ports and divide by two (not counting the 2512 unless you plan to do routing with it as well). You'll find a way to use them all when you get labbing. Also, look at monoprice.com for the cables, they have them for under $5.
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  26. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #25
    is this a good deal on a 2610xm router?

    Cisco 2610XM 128D/32F 2610 CCNA CCNP CCIE 10xAvailable - eBay (item 150537980706 end time Jan-01-11 20:11:53 PST)

    it has 128/32 memory and it comes with a disk that has 12.4 ios
    it costs $115
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