Today, there is a real revolution between CCNA and CCNP candidates. More and more people are turning their backs to the “router simulator” and their own CCNA and/or CCNP homeries are arranged together. This is the best way to pass these tough Cisco exams.
You will receive hundreds of emails from CCNA and CCNP candidates every month. I’m always happy to help me with the suggestion, and I think I’m listing five common questions about the home lab here.
Do I need to spend thousands of dollars?
No! There is a vendor throughout the web, and EBAY sells used Cisco routers and switches to Cisco Examinations every day. We sell multiple routers, switches, single routers and switches. You can add one at a time or make a bigger investment. You can spend hundreds of dollars and put together a very nice lab.
What is an “access server”?
That doesn’t mean how it sounds. When I first heard this term, I thought about a typical server that I could see in LAN every day. The access server is a Cisco router that can actually connect to a switch with another router without continuously moving the roll cable continuously.
You don’t need to use the access server right away, but adding more to some routers to the lab will get tired of moving rollover cables from console port to console ports. (The console port is used to connect the PC directly to the router.) The access server is easy to set up and composition, and can save a lot of time.
What is a “frame relay switch”?
Again, it’s not how it sounds at all. The frame relay switch is not a switch. This is a Cisco router that is configured to function as a frame relay provider in the home lab.
This is very close to “required” for your home lab. If you can start only one or two routers on a budget, you will not need it immediately. To truly practice the frame relay map statement and check the effects of different frame relay statements, you need a Cisco router to function as a frame switch. Again, the configuration is simple, and using a frame relay switch for the home lab allows you to practice very valuable on the test date.
Do you need a switch? Which switch should I buy?
We recommend that you get at least one switch in the lab. 2 if the budget allows. Make sure that at least one switch has iOS. There is no iOS on the 1900 switch. Also, although it is better than having a switch, we do not provide the practice necessary to pass CCNA and CCNP. See the 2500 family switch.
Build a CCNP lab and then use it for CCIE. What should I buy?
Even if you take IE within six months of zip CCNP, it is impossible to know which technology and device are in the CCIE lab. Cisco can refresh CCIE Lab Blueprint every six months and remove various technologies from the lab. Cisco often realizes that these changes will be valid, but if Cisco uses a bundle to add something from the test after adding to the lab, it can be a big wallet pain.
As an example, Cisco is in the process of deleting ISDN and ATM from the CCIE routing & switching lab. If you purchase an ATM switch for the lab, there are expensive documents right now. You may be able to practice core protocols with CCIE HOME LAB, but it will be difficult and expensive to keep the home lab completely up to date with Cisco Lab Blueprint.
The decision to put together your own CCNA or CCNP home lab is the best decision you can do so far, and I will talk from experience.
Home labs are getting cheaper every day, making it even more affordable. Currently, start investigating used Cisco router vendors (ebay is the best place to find some vendors like Google). You can practice the actual Cisco router and switch immediately.
CCIE # 12933 CHRIS BRYANT is the owner of Bryant ADVANTAGE, the home of more than 100 free certification test tutorials, including Cisco CCNA certified test preparation articles. You can also use his exclusive Cisco CCNA Studyide and Cisco CCNA training!
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