Recommendations for a CCNP home lab?

Unanswered Question
Jul 3rd, 2007

Just looking for some recommendations on home lab equipment to help study for the CCNP exams.

I'm looking to spend $500-$1000 on routers, it seems pretty do-able by going through Ebay. Any recommendations on router platforms? I've heard 2501 / 2520's are the best "bang for your buck".

Now for switches.. In a perfect world I'd find a 3550 on ebay for a decent price, but thats highly unlikely. How about a 2950-12? If I pick up 2 of these switches, what won't I be able to emulate? Inter-vlan routing?

Any help with this is very much appreciated.


I have this problem too.
0 votes
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 0 (0 ratings)
stephenneville Wed, 07/04/2007 - 04:56

I would say it depends on if you intend doing more certifications after the ccnp such as CCIE etc

The 2500's are very cheap but won't run the latest ios. 3640's on the other hand are also cheap but can run the latest ios plus they have modules instead of fixed interfaces. The only downside is their size.

If you want to do intervlan routing with out using a router on a "stick" then the 3550 is the minimum and if you want to go on to CCIE then its a must

jkloza Wed, 07/04/2007 - 18:42

Size doesn't matter, if i can do "more" on the 3640's, then thats what I'll have to keep an eye out for.. For now, i'll probably go with 2950's for a home lab, because I do have access to 3750's at my job if I wanted to get some practice on the inter-vlan routing..

As for CCIE, I don't want to get ahead of myself, just trying to focus on CCNP at the present.. Mabye one day, but until I can basically go underground for 6 months of study time, NP will have to do.. Any recommendations for "core" books, which give good foundations to build on, that should be purchased? I've heard good things about Routing TCP/IP vol 1 & 2, anyone have any suggestions on that?

Might I suggest an online lab environment? There are a couple of providers that setup "pods" of equipment that you buy time for. You then login via telnet to a remote system that allows you to manage the various equipment. It's much cheaper than buying equipment.

Take a look at as an example.

Apologies to the mods if I'm not allowed to post URLs.



This Discussion