Hello all! I'd like to ask a question that has been discussed at length somewhat, but I'd like a definitive answer given the new test requirements.
What switch(s) would work for a home lab with (3)2500 series routers and (1) 2600 series - in preparation for the CCENT/CCNA? I know that I will need 3 switches to complete a STP loop - but I wanted to know which models would be satisfactory on a limited budget.
2912? 2924? 2950? I have gotten confilcting answers and would like clarification. Your help is greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks in advance!
2950 is fine for CCNA, true.
But on the other hand, the average 3550's price has been crashing through the roof in a few months on eBay (at least in Europe, probably elsewhere too). I'll be selling my two 3550s for half of what I paid for them last year (that hurts!). The puzzling thing being that there's not an inordinate amount of offer there. So it's demand which must have decreased, and I wonder why...
I would say the 2950 is adequate.
If you go on to study for CCNP or CCIE, you will need some layer-3 switches, and those are still very expensive. But in that case your 2950 investment would not be entirely wasted - you can emulate a layer-3 switch by adding a cheap router such as 2610 on a trunk port, and using it as a router-on-a-stick.
If you read the ICND1 & ICND2 textbooks closely, you will find that Wendell uses 2960's in all his examples. However as ellis_b's earlier response, 2950's are sufficient & a whole lot cheaper. For the purpose of CCNA, the only (significant) difference is that the 2960's have more sophisticated uplinks.
2950-12 would be perfect. they are cheap, and are not EOL. I see them for $99-$129 /pc on ebay at the moment.