CCNP Lab Advice

Unanswered Question
Mar 22nd, 2007

I have access to a test lab at work which has a 5000 and a 5500 router and a number of switches (2950, 3500, 3750).

I want to start studying/practicing for the BSCI exam and I want to confirm that I have everything required to do so.

All of the CCNA/P lab advice I have found on the net says you need 2500/2600 routers with serial ports. The 5000 and 5500 don't have serial ports, just a heap of fibre and fast ethernet ports. Am I missing out on anything if I don't have any serial ports on my routers? Can I configure one of the fibre ports with the same commands as a serial port on a 2600?

I've read that you should really have 3 routers. Should I pick up a 2620 and use it's fast ethernet port to connect it to the other 2 routers via a switch?

I assume the reason everyone (including my local Cisco Network Academy) use 2500/2600 routers is because they are the cheapest available?

Sorry if these are stupid questions but in our production environment everything is connected via fibre or ethernet so i've never needed to configure serial ports other than in a classroom environment.

Any advice is appreciated.

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Loading. Fri, 03/23/2007 - 09:25

Well, I'm far from an expert, but here are my 2 cents.

I don't think you need the serial ports at all. The main routing bits that you'll be practicing won't be affected at all. The only think to keep in mind is the whole thing with OSPF where Ethernet is considered Broadcast (multi-access) and a serial line is usually Point-to-Point.

It seems like EIGRP talks differently over the two circuit types too, but I don't remember off the top of my head how that works.

The main thing is knowing how to setup OSPF and EIGRP and get them to announce routes and all of that. That is what I remember being in my lab simulation on the CCNP test. I don't think you'll be asked to do anything tricky where you will have to demonstrate the different between running OSPF on a serial or ethernet link. You'll probably get questions on Broadcast vs. Non-Broadcast vs. Point-to-point, you just probably won't have to demonstrate it in a lab.

Ok, not a very well worded e-mail, but I hope you get the idea..


shiven123 Wed, 05/30/2007 - 01:11


If you really need serial ports, you could get serial WIC cards and put them into the current 5000 and 5500 series router, thats if the router have expansion slots. Just a suggestion.

Edison Ortiz Thu, 06/14/2007 - 08:17

I believe the OP is referring to 5500 switches that have a RSM (Route Switch Module).

They have most routing functionalities but they don't support serial interfaces, they are switches.

rossmillan Mon, 06/11/2007 - 19:27

If you are looking for a cheap option you can try the dynamips cisco emulator. It is free and you would be able to connect it to your existing real world routers, effectively giving you the option to try out serial interfaces if you want (and also giving you an extra few routers in your lab setup).


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