CCNA / CCNP Lab Setup


I’m building a lab at the house to use to study for CCNA and CCNP certification. On the left are some old Cisco routers and switches scrounged from work. On the right are some routers and switches I bought on eBay. I have a Cisco 3620 with an Async cable connected to all of the console ports so I can access all of the systems console ports thought the 3620.

It’s just about ready to go — I’m just waiting for an order of DCE/DTE crossover cables to arrive and then I’m in business. I hope to be able to get things set up so that I can administratively reconfigure the systems without having to make a lot of patch cable changes to create different scenarios… we’ll see.

Finally, in the bottom left corner, is an Ubuntu Linux system I’m using for general management of the switches. It’s got tftpd set up, and can receive syslog messages from the systems if I need to do some heavyweight log troubleshooting. Eventually, I hope to get it set up as a TACACS server as well.

Update #1 — mounted the equipment into a rack that was donated to this cause.


5 thoughts on “CCNA / CCNP Lab Setup

  1. Hey Paul,

    If you don’t mind me asking. What model/series# Cisco routers and switches do you have? And how much did each of them cost? I’m planning on making my own lab once I go to CCNP. Right now I have access to all equipment at school so I don’t need to bother purchasing a lab. Once I get my CCNA I plan on getting a job and experience, then I want to move on to CCNP.

  2. I picked up all the stuff in a single eBay auction. The kit included 4x Cisco 2650 routers each with a single WIC-2T 2 port serial modules. 1x Cisco 2610 with two WIC-2T 2 port serial modules, and 2x 2924M-XL-EN switches. The nice thing with the bundle is all the systems came with IOS 12.4. Prices on eBay will vary depending on the kit, but you should be able to put something together for anywhere between $200 and $800.

  3. Thanks a lot Paul! I’ll see what eBay has in store for me. It’s worth a try. 😉

  4. I highly recommend using a peice of router emulation software called Dynamips/Dynagen it works by loading an actual IOS image onto virtual router hardware and can run 4 cisco 3640’s on my puny p3 1Ghz laptops. You can configure it to link all your routers by Serial, Ethernet, even Frame Relay also if you want external connectivity the routers can talk directly through the ethernet port of the laptop to another pc/router/switch etc. With the latest version is has incorporated PIX emulation so you can also do firewalls.
    Saves alot of money, space and is great for learning Cisco.

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