HW and emulators for CCNA and later CCNP studies

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by Mogens V., Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Mogens V.

    Mogens V. Guest

    I'm attending the two CCNA cources, arranged with a week between them
    for preps, plus I will spend probably 2-3 weeks preparing for exams.
    As I don't have a access to real Cisco HW, I'm considering a virtual
    environment (heard of such). Any recommendations?


    I bought a Que Publishing self study guide up front for preparations,
    which states this HW setup for self study:

    .. at least on 2514 or higher router
    .. one additional oruter, like the 2501, with one ethernet and two serial
    ports, to test wan's.
    .. at least one switch, ideally a 2900XL or 2950. A 1900 with Enterprise
    IOS (needed for having a CLI) will do
    .. a DB-60 DTE to DB-60 DCE cross-over serial cable
    .. at least one roll-over console cable
    .. multiple straight and x-over ethernet cables

    It's mentioned that Catalyst 1912's and 1924's can be used, though they
    differ from current production models WRT syntax..


    Apart from using it for maintaining CCNA knowledge, will above HW
    suffice for the CCNP routing or QOS exams, which I may persue later?

    Likewise, any simulators useful for prepping for the CCNP?

    --
    Kind regards,
    Mogens V.
     
    Mogens V., Feb 13, 2008
    #1
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  2. Mogens V.

    alexd Guest

    On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:20:25 +0100, Mogens V. wrote:

    > I'm attending the two CCNA cources, arranged with a week between them
    > for preps, plus I will spend probably 2-3 weeks preparing for exams. As
    > I don't have a access to real Cisco HW, I'm considering a virtual
    > environment (heard of such). Any recommendations?


    The course I attended supplied us with a copy of Cisco Packet Tracer,
    which whilst being buggy and slow, gives you a reasonable idea of how
    stuff fits together and works. We also had access to a Netlab environment
    for more demanding scenarios.

    --
    <http://ale.cx/> (AIM:troffasky) ()
    09:17:38 up 5 days, 12:19, 2 users, load average: 1.10, 1.05, 1.00
    Convergence, n: The act of using separate DSL circuits for voice and data
     
    alexd, Feb 14, 2008
    #2
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  3. Mogens V.

    Guest

    On 14 Feb, 09:20, alexd <> wrote:
    > On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:20:25 +0100, Mogens V. wrote:
    > > I'm attending the two CCNA cources, arranged with a week between them
    > > for preps, plus I will spend probably 2-3 weeks preparing for exams. As
    > > I don't have a access to real Cisco HW, I'm considering a virtual
    > > environment (heard of such).  Any recommendations?

    >
    > The course I attended supplied us with a copy of Cisco Packet Tracer,
    > which whilst being buggy and slow, gives you a reasonable idea of how
    > stuff fits together and works. We also had access to a Netlab environment
    > for more demanding scenarios.


    Dynamips.
    Router emulator - I get about 8 routers in a 1G RAM PC.
    Can run a single simulated network on as many computers as
    you have.
    Does need a real IOS image for the platform you want to
    emulate.

    Just works - since it really runs IOS it has *all*
    of the commands and features correctly and exactly.

    I would say that it does need a bit of IT skill to get it
    going but once humming along is easy to maintain.
    Basically, probably too hard for CCNA wannabe
    with no prior IT.

    OK for sysadmin/programmer wanting to do networking
    or someone with a bit of knowledge.
     
    , Feb 14, 2008
    #3
  4. Mogens V.

    Mogens V. Guest

    wrote:
    > On 14 Feb, 09:20, alexd <> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:20:25 +0100, Mogens V. wrote:
    >>
    >>>I'm attending the two CCNA cources, arranged with a week between them
    >>>for preps, plus I will spend probably 2-3 weeks preparing for exams. As
    >>>I don't have a access to real Cisco HW, I'm considering a virtual
    >>>environment (heard of such). Any recommendations?

    >>
    >>The course I attended supplied us with a copy of Cisco Packet Tracer,
    >>which whilst being buggy and slow, gives you a reasonable idea of how
    >>stuff fits together and works. We also had access to a Netlab environment
    >>for more demanding scenarios.

    >
    >
    > Dynamips.
    > Router emulator - I get about 8 routers in a 1G RAM PC.
    > Can run a single simulated network on as many computers as
    > you have.
    > Does need a real IOS image for the platform you want to
    > emulate.
    >
    > Just works - since it really runs IOS it has *all*
    > of the commands and features correctly and exactly.
    >
    > I would say that it does need a bit of IT skill to get it
    > going but once humming along is easy to maintain.
    > Basically, probably too hard for CCNA wannabe
    > with no prior IT.
    >
    > OK for sysadmin/programmer wanting to do networking
    > or someone with a bit of knowledge.


    Well, I am decently skilled in IT and networking (15+ yrs), just don't
    have enough Cisco under the belt, except for some 1900, 2500 and 35/4000
    (don't remember which) hands-ons.

    But maybe I mislead a Bit.. Of cause we have the needed real Cisco gear
    on those cources; it's after passing, I won't have access to the gear.
    It's for this reason I'm looking into both shopping the gear and
    obtaining an emulator for the in-between period untill I get the HW.
    Plus wanting the right gear for possibly moving on with SSNP routing.

    Thanks for the Dynamips recommendation.
    Anything you can say WRT needed HW for my CCNP scenario?

    --
    Kind regards,
    Mogens V.
     
    Mogens V., Feb 14, 2008
    #4
  5. Mogens V.

    Mogens V. Guest

    wrote:
    > On 14 Feb, 09:20, alexd <> wrote:
    >
    >>On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:20:25 +0100, Mogens V. wrote:
    >>
    >>>I'm attending the two CCNA cources, arranged with a week between them
    >>>for preps, plus I will spend probably 2-3 weeks preparing for exams. As
    >>>I don't have a access to real Cisco HW, I'm considering a virtual
    >>>environment (heard of such). Any recommendations?

    >>
    >>The course I attended supplied us with a copy of Cisco Packet Tracer,
    >>which whilst being buggy and slow, gives you a reasonable idea of how
    >>stuff fits together and works. We also had access to a Netlab environment
    >>for more demanding scenarios.

    >
    >
    > Dynamips.
    > Router emulator - I get about 8 routers in a 1G RAM PC.
    > Can run a single simulated network on as many computers as
    > you have.
    > Does need a real IOS image for the platform you want to
    > emulate.
    >
    > Just works - since it really runs IOS it has *all*
    > of the commands and features correctly and exactly.


    Your comments falls nicely in place with the cource coach' comments.
    He also commented that HW for doing the CCNA router cert, I'd three 2800
    series plus of cause switches et al.., which seems a pretty expensive
    solution, at least frm some initial evilbay price checks, seemingly at
    roughly some US$1200 - 1450, or €850 - 1050.

    Am I right about price levels?

    I believe it was mentioned in here before that some businesses sell
    refurbished Cisco gear at decent price levels, but which ones?

    --
    Kind regards,
    Mogens V.
     
    Mogens V., Feb 16, 2008
    #5
  6. "Mogens V." <> writes:
    >>...
    >> Does need a real IOS image for the platform you want to
    >> emulate.
    >>
    >> Just works - since it really runs IOS it has *all*
    >> of the commands and features correctly and exactly.


    >Your comments falls nicely in place with the cource coach' comments.
    >He also commented that HW for doing the CCNA router cert, I'd three 2800
    >series plus of cause switches et al.., which seems a pretty expensive
    >solution, at least frm some initial evilbay price checks, seemingly at
    >roughly some US$1200 - 1450, or €850 - 1050.


    >Am I right about price levels?


    Yes. But that is cheap for cisco gear :) You are talking about the
    lowest end entry level stuff.

    BUT, you have to realize that configuring the lowest end cisco box is
    the *exact* same as configuring the mid to higher level boxes, and
    even for the other stuff that doesn't run IOS, that whatever OS is
    close to IOS anyway. Just learning the interface and feature sets
    specific to that platform is what matters, where the emulator works
    very well for that.

    And two, that the emulators, since they run the actual IOS code, are
    just about the same as running real boxes. The only diff maybe in the ROMMON
    and the fact that you don't patch cables into the router box.
    One thing the dynamips emulators don't do right now is switches (just
    virtualizing that function), so you probably want to get real hardware
    for learning that bit.

    Starting out learning, I'd probably pick up one router and one basic switch,
    and use the emulator for the other routers needed. Later on, once you
    get to layer-3 switching, pickup a 3550 switch to handle that.

    Even though they test you on the 2800's, to save costs, I'd probably
    get an 1841 router. Its cheaper, and the main difference between it
    and the 2800s is that it has less slots. It still has plenty of umph,
    especially compared to older EOL'd boxes that would be cheaper. Just
    looks different. Study the installation manual for the 2800s to see
    the differences. I'd start out with a 2950-12 switch. On the switch
    end, you pay by the port. You won't need more ports for the labs.

    A factory refurb 1841 is $732, or new is $881. These are webstore
    prices (ie. www.sparco.com). A factory refurb 2950-12 is $333 if you
    can find one (I don't see any in the channel right now). $535 new.

    People on eBay selling current gear are just stores that are probably
    selling out their normal stock, usually at a bit higher price point
    than reputable webstores. I wouldn't bother with eBay for current gear
    at all. There is alot of counterfeit gear up there too. :(

    >I believe it was mentioned in here before that some businesses sell
    >refurbished Cisco gear at decent price levels, but which ones?


    The thing is, the longer the box has been EOL'd, the cheaper it will be.
    Its not a function of store, but of hardware age.

    The old EOL'd entry-level routers have been replaced by the current
    models for ~3.5 years now, so they are getting pretty long out. If you
    know what you are looking for, you can find some that will run the
    latest code, but the generation before that can't. No point in getting
    boxes that can't even run the code that you may be testing on.

    You can get some really old, really cheap routers. Like the 2501
    should be like $20 on eBay. But it won't serve you very well. Its
    extremely slow, and can handle maybe 2Mbps of data passing through it.

    The 2600XM's are the previous gen before the 1841/2800. The 2600 (non XM)
    are the generation before them that won't run current code.
    They'll work for you, and they'll be cheaper than new 1841's, but you
    may need to upgrade the memory and IOS in them to be useful to you.
    Ie. I see a 2611XM going for $250-$400. But even then, the 1841 will
    be equivilent and already have the crypto chip already in it for when
    you study IPsec VPN.

    On the switch end, there'll be tons of 2924xl switches out there, the
    predecessor to the 2950-12. Looks like they are getting cheap. But
    they again run the previous gen IOS than the current crop of hardware.
    So, it may or may not work for your studies..

    So, you can get a bit cheaper hardware, but now-a-days you have to
    know what you are looking for (which probably isn't such a bad thing,
    as if you become a cisco consultant, you'll see a ton of this stuff
    out in the field). But again having the current crop of gear, learning
    the current IOS is a big plus too.

    After having one real router and one real switch, as I said above, I'd
    use the emulator for the rest. It'll talk fine to real hardware as well.
    Traditionally, you'll end up with 3 hardware routers to do everything
    with at this level, but I think you can do it with one.
     
    Doug McIntyre, Feb 16, 2008
    #6
  7. Hello,

    You can find many how-to's including some on how to setup Dynamips for
    the first time at this website:

    http://www.xpresslearn.com


    Mogens V. wrote:
    > I'm attending the two CCNA cources, arranged with a week between them
    > for preps, plus I will spend probably 2-3 weeks preparing for exams.
    > As I don't have a access to real Cisco HW, I'm considering a virtual
    > environment (heard of such). Any recommendations?
    >
    >
    > I bought a Que Publishing self study guide up front for preparations,
    > which states this HW setup for self study:
    >
    > . at least on 2514 or higher router
    > . one additional oruter, like the 2501, with one ethernet and two serial
    > ports, to test wan's.
    > . at least one switch, ideally a 2900XL or 2950. A 1900 with Enterprise
    > IOS (needed for having a CLI) will do
    > . a DB-60 DTE to DB-60 DCE cross-over serial cable
    > . at least one roll-over console cable
    > . multiple straight and x-over ethernet cables
    >
    > It's mentioned that Catalyst 1912's and 1924's can be used, though they
    > differ from current production models WRT syntax..
    >
    >
    > Apart from using it for maintaining CCNA knowledge, will above HW
    > suffice for the CCNP routing or QOS exams, which I may persue later?
    >
    > Likewise, any simulators useful for prepping for the CCNP?
    >
     
    xpresslearn.com, Feb 17, 2008
    #7
  8. Mogens V.

    rpcblast Guest

    On Feb 16, 10:23 am, Doug McIntyre <> wrote:
    > "Mogens V." <> writes:
    > >>...
    > >> Does need a real IOS image for the platform you want to
    > >> emulate.

    >
    > >> Just works - since it really runs IOS it has *all*
    > >> of the commands and features correctly and exactly.

    > >Your comments falls nicely in place with the cource coach' comments.
    > >He also commented that HW for doing the CCNA router cert, I'd three 2800
    > >series plus of cause switches et al.., which seems a pretty expensive
    > >solution, at least frm some initial evilbay price checks, seemingly at
    > >roughly some US$1200 - 1450, or EURO 850 - 1050.
    > >Am I right about price levels?

    >
    > Yes. But that is cheap for cisco gear :) You are talking about the
    > lowest end entry level stuff.
    >
    > BUT, you have to realize that configuring the lowest end cisco box is
    > the *exact* same as configuring the mid to higher level boxes, and
    > even for the other stuff that doesn't run IOS, that whatever OS is
    > close to IOS anyway. Just learning the interface and feature sets
    > specific to that platform is what matters, where the emulator works
    > very well for that.
    >
    > And two, that the emulators, since they run the actual IOS code, are
    > just about the same as running real boxes. The only diff maybe in the ROMMON
    > and the fact that you don't patch cables into the router box.
    > One thing the dynamips emulators don't do right now is switches (just
    > virtualizing that function), so you probably want to get real hardware
    > for learning that bit.
    >
    > Starting out learning, I'd probably pick up one router and one basic switch,
    > and use the emulator for the other routers needed. Later on, once you
    > get to layer-3 switching, pickup a 3550 switch to handle that.
    >
    > Even though they test you on the 2800's, to save costs, I'd probably
    > get an 1841 router. Its cheaper, and the main difference between it
    > and the 2800s is that it has less slots. It still has plenty of umph,
    > especially compared to older EOL'd boxes that would be cheaper. Just
    > looks different. Study the installation manual for the 2800s to see
    > the differences. I'd start out with a 2950-12 switch. On the switch
    > end, you pay by the port. You won't need more ports for the labs.
    >
    > A factory refurb 1841 is $732, or new is $881. These are webstore
    > prices (ie.www.sparco.com). A factory refurb 2950-12 is $333 if you
    > can find one (I don't see any in the channel right now). $535 new.
    >
    > People on eBay selling current gear are just stores that are probably
    > selling out their normal stock, usually at a bit higher price point
    > than reputable webstores. I wouldn't bother with eBay for current gear
    > at all. There is alot of counterfeit gear up there too. :(
    >
    > >I believe it was mentioned in here before that some businesses sell
    > >refurbished Cisco gear at decent price levels, but which ones?

    >
    > The thing is, the longer the box has been EOL'd, the cheaper it will be.
    > Its not a function of store, but of hardware age.
    >
    > The old EOL'd entry-level routers have been replaced by the current
    > models for ~3.5 years now, so they are getting pretty long out. If you
    > know what you are looking for, you can find some that will run the
    > latest code, but the generation before that can't. No point in getting
    > boxes that can't even run the code that you may be testing on.
    >
    > You can get some really old, really cheap routers. Like the 2501
    > should be like $20 on eBay. But it won't serve you very well. Its
    > extremely slow, and can handle maybe 2Mbps of data passing through it.
    >
    > The 2600XM's are the previous gen before the 1841/2800. The 2600 (non XM)
    > are the generation before them that won't run current code.
    > They'll work for you, and they'll be cheaper than new 1841's, but you
    > may need to upgrade the memory and IOS in them to be useful to you.
    > Ie. I see a 2611XM going for $250-$400. But even then, the 1841 will
    > be equivilent and already have the crypto chip already in it for when
    > you study IPsec VPN.
    >
    > On the switch end, there'll be tons of 2924xl switches out there, the
    > predecessor to the 2950-12. Looks like they are getting cheap. But
    > they again run the previous gen IOS than the current crop of hardware.
    > So, it may or may not work for your studies..
    >
    > So, you can get a bit cheaper hardware, but now-a-days you have to
    > know what you are looking for (which probably isn't such a bad thing,
    > as if you become a cisco consultant, you'll see a ton of this stuff
    > out in the field). But again having the current crop of gear, learning
    > the current IOS is a big plus too.
    >
    > After having one real router and one real switch, as I said above, I'd
    > use the emulator for the rest. It'll talk fine to real hardware as well.
    > Traditionally, you'll end up with 3 hardware routers to do everything
    > with at this level, but I think you can do it with one.


    Another good router is the 1721. I currently run for my home(and semi
    production) network, a 1721 128/32 and a 2924. The 1721 trunked to
    the 2924 lets me do inter vlan routing(router on a stick). The 1721
    does great for the internet connection, and only seems get get booged
    down under heavy p2p usage, or heavy file transfgers between vlans,
    or heavy vpn usage. However, I found it more then adaquate for my use
    and it is great to study on, since it runs 12.4 code
     
    rpcblast, Feb 17, 2008
    #8
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