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Thread: Ccnp lab

  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #1

    Default Ccnp lab

    Hello,

    I have recently passed my CCNA R&S and I am looking on towards my next certification. Naturally I am going for CCNP R&S; I am looking for what equipment I will need to successfully prepare for the exams; I have access to a variety of equipment on hand where I work so gaining the equipment isn't really and issue. I would also like to incorporate some wireless and security into the lab as I will look to go down them routes at some points. Any advice is welcome

    Dan
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  3. /threadkiller ande0255's Avatar
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    #2
    I have been able to get by with 6 routers, 1 of them serving as a frame switch to simulate an NBMA with a 4-WIC slot card that allows a hub and two spoke network.

    I would leave security and wireless appliances out of it honestly, its only going to be a distraction from the content unless your in it purely for knowledge and not the certificate, the ROUTE exam has so much content you don't want to add additional factors in there.

    I'd also grab the gear you will need for SWITCH to incorporate into the lab for Ethernet segments, and some topics like VRF required a bit of vlanning like router on a stick.

    Seriously though, I am doing ROUTE now, and I would say don't bother with anything but routers running 15.x IOS code if available, so maybe 6 routers and 2 L3 switches if it acquiring it ain't no thing.
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    #3
    Thanks for the advice . In majority I am in it for the knowledge rather than the cert but I do agree that adding extra distractions probably won't help with the learning process. Do you think I will need any L2 switches? I'm yet to buy any books/guides or videos as I'm just starting out the process.
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    #4
    If equipment availability isn't a problem use a full featured multi layer switches

    People normally use switches with less features because they are cheaper and do most of what you want to learn.
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    #5
    Yeah I work with Layer 3 switches that allow for IP Routing (L3), nothing fancy, just a 3550 (not in use) and a 3560 (in use for Ethernet segments).

    I personally use Chris Bryants All-in-One bootcamp as its almost always on a sale, and I dig his teaching style, and he utilizes the same routers and just switches up the topology.

    He has several youtube videos, but a two-part series in creating the Frame-Relay config on the router with the 4-WIC slot card to make it the Frame-Switch, then the others are fairly interchangeable as long as you cable it so the DLCI's point correctly.

    I have a bare bones setups in log files that I can quickly slap on a freshly "wr er" and "reload"d router, so it makes starting with a clean slate quick if you run into any issues, as I sometimes over configure my lab to intentionally break / troubleshoot it so I need that emergency eject button from time to time
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    #6
    You can take a look at the ccnp tshoot topology: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/thread/10965
    there are 4 routers and 4 switches. probably an unreferenced 5th router as a frame relay switch.
    Then, there are end points and maybe a terminal server for your console access.

    You should, as mentioned, use hardware that is using ios version 15. The distribution switches need to be layer 3 switches with the ipservices feature set. The access switches can be just layer 2 switches. routers will need at least the advipservices feature set to do ipv6. And, of course, enough memory to run that ios and feature set.

    And, if you are going to follow the topology, you will need the appropriate serial wan connections on the routers.
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  8. Woohoo! It's over 1000!
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    #7
    For my CCNP studies I am using the CCNP NetAcad lab manuals. I've been through all of SWITCH and a good amount of ROUTE labs, and some TSHOOT.

    For SWITCH labs they use 4 switches running IOS 15.x, 2 layer 3 with full VLAN routing capabilities (eg 3560, 3750, 3650, 3850, 4500/6500 etc), and 2 regular access switches (eg 2960). I'm using 4 3560s. The caveat is to avoid the earlier model 3560s with POE as they don't have sufficient flash. Real switches are necessary if you want exposure to things like CEF. You'll also need ~15 ethernet cables, and 3(?) devices to act as end points (computers or possibly routers).

    For ROUTE labs they recommend four ISR G2s running 15.2 or higher - the 1900 and 2900 series are obvious choices. However, you can get away with 1800/2800 series ISRs. You will need at least 2 serial ports in each router, (if you follow the lab exactly, use dual port cards with one router having 2 cards) along with relevant serial cables. VIRL is also an option if you prefer to go virtual. GNS3 with IOU/IOL is also a possibility, but takes a little more work and there are probably issues with licensing. Many of the labs will only use 3 routers. Again you will need a couple of devices to act as end points.

    TSHOOT uses the same devices, but only 3 switches and 3 routers.

    For wireless and security, it will mostly mean adding devices. The 3850 has integrated wireless controller, but is likely too expensive for a lab. Probably you will end up getting a WLC, some WAPs, and an ASA. You might want to get security feature set for the ISRs (or just go virtual). One recommendation I would give is to get (if you can) a Gigabit PoE switch for the WAPs - but ensure it is running IOS 15. PoE is also useful if you end up doing voice and want to power some phones.

    I believe that Cisco has stopped publishing the topology used for TSHOOT exam. The only references online I've found are to previous versions of the exam.
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  9. Senior Member dontstop's Avatar
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    #8
    I'll second everything said by OctalDump and also recommended checking out this video I recently posted from INE on lab building and methodology here
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    #9
    I repurposed my CCNA routers to simulate the NBMA on 12.x code, and have 2 routers on each corner of the NBMA running 15.x, but I rarely run into version issues that can't be overcome with logical troubleshooting methods.

    It's only been an issue with protocol version updates like 15.x understands v4 of NTP while 12.x only goes to v3 NTP. However, most routing protocols and concepts like Redist / Dist-List / Route-Maps haven't become obsolete on 12.x.

    Though I do plan on giving away my current rack to a coworker and upgrading soon here, I need my physical equipment to study properly.
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    #10
    For the SWITCH exam I am using physical equipment. I don't have the particular model numbers yet, but my boss has said I can grab whatever we have in storage.

    For the ROUTE exam, I am going all GNS3. Honestly, if you have enough CPU and memory on your computer, you can do it all through that. I had a full-blown lab for CCNA (back in the day), and recabling for a particular situation was ever so time consuming. With GNS3, you just make a few clicks and it's done.
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  12. Senior Member dontstop's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MAC_Addy View Post
    I had a full-blown lab for CCNA (back in the day), and recabling for a particular situation was ever so time consuming. With GNS3, you just make a few clicks and it's done.
    Couldn't you just include a shed load of redundant links and only use them as needed?
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dontstop View Post
    Couldn't you just include a shed load of redundant links and only use them as needed?
    Yeah, this is how I have set up my lab for SWITCH and ROUTE. The basic topologies are the same across the exercises, but with varying active links. So you can just shutdown the interfaces that you are not using for that particular lab.

    But if you are going more freestyle, then this might be harder to accomplish.

    The INE videos linked to by dontstop give a pretty good overview of the process of how you might go about building the labs. One thing he mentions is that PacketTracer isn't generally available, and that has changed, so you can get PacketTracer and use it for labbing. It isn't feature complete, but it is often good enough for a lot of situations (like 99% of CCNA R+S).
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  14. Senior Member dontstop's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by OctalDump View Post
    One thing he mentions is that PacketTracer isn't generally available, and that has changed, so you can get PacketTracer and use it for labbing. It isn't feature complete, but it is often good enough for a lot of situations (like 99% of CCNA R+S).
    I scoffed at that part, also when he says that the video was filmed in 2005 not 2015.
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    #14
    I definitely would have opted for GNS3 for ROUTE had I not already had a stack of equipment for Voice and previous CCNA studies, though only 2 routers on the rack are running 15.x IOS code. I incorporate a 15.x router in each lab so I can observe difference in debugs and such, but I've found most concepts work the same between the versions of code.

    Like NTP on IOS 15.x goes up to ver4 whereas 12.x it only goes to ver 3, debugs are much more concise for NTP on 15.x where as 12.x they are giant chunks of output, etc. Otherwise the protocols still work and react the same from what I have seen, just some subtle differences here and there.

    I definitely want to ditch the physical gear before my next move, I have a coworker interested in them once I'm done, and even though they are my babies I'll be going virtual on future studies I do believe as things in my workplace grow increasingly more virtualized anyways.

    With the newer version of CCNA R/S I assume packet tracer must have gotten a huge overhaul since I used it originally for my original CCNA studies when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I was impressed to see ASA's, I really hope that was a sign of the CCNA Sec moving to ASA's rather than Routers for their security course because studying that with CCP was ridiculous knowledge I have never used in a customer environment at my MSP.
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