GNS 3 / BCMSN / Wireless / Voice questions / rack time

Unanswered Question
May 7th, 2008

Hi..This probably has been asked before but I have not been able to find answer from this forum.

I'm studying CCNP (BCMSN now) after passing CCNA. Funding for home lab is the biggest problem at this time. I really can't afford any 2960 or 3560. I have tried netsim but found it to bring more frustrations then benefits (it doesn't run right !). I also have GNS3 but it only support routers (not supporting switches). My questions are:-

1) I read that the workaround in GNS3 is to put the optional switching module into 3620 and play it like a switch. Are the commands and the output the same as using a switch?

2) For the voice part of CCNP, do I really need to get some IP phones? (But if I don't have a real switch, I think it makes no sense for me to get IP phone)

3) How much equipment do I need for wireless?

Maybe I need to ask this way:- For a poor and broke student like me, will GNS3 (or dynamips) able to get me through CCNP study ?

I'm also considering rack time. I read the Bryant advantage web site too. I have no idea how the rack time is being used. Say, if I rent a day, do I have to do everything within 24 hours? Or I can split it up into a few days, say 3 x 8 hours ? Anyone used rack time before, please share your experience.

Best regards,

- Alex

I have this problem too.
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Eric Hansen Fri, 05/09/2008 - 07:14

for number 1:

I use a 3660 in dynamips, i dont use GNS3 on top of dynamips. I did for a little while but it didnt seem to give me anything extra. You can put a 16 port switch card into a router on dynamips and run no ip routing to have it act as a switch. I had a small hiccup with my vlan databases vanishing upon reboot, but that might be a version bug. I keep my vlans documented in a text file and paste them in whenever i reboot my enviroment to get around the problem.

Sorry I cant help with 2 or 3.

jrensink78 Fri, 05/30/2008 - 05:57

I am currently working on my BCMSN as well and should be taking the test next week.

Personally, I put down the money to buy 2- 3550s and 2- 2950s for a home lab. I decided not to mess around with Dynamips for this test, since I had the money to spend. But people have used Dynamips as their only hands-on practice throughout the CCNP and passed. It's not quite as good as using the real thing, but it does the trick in most areas. I used it on my BSCI and it was great.

One thing that I'm wondering about is having to play around with the SDM for later tests. I'm not sure if you can do this with Dynamips. Maybe someone can comment about that. If not, probably just getting a few 2950 switches and 1-2 routers that can handle IPS and SDM would be a good companion to Dynamips for your CCNP journey. You should be able to pick that up for around $400-$600.

In regards to you other questions, don't bother with an IP phone. From my studying, you just need to know how to configure voice vlans and QOS trust options for use with IP phones. I don't think having an actual phone would benefit you much. Also, I wouldn't bother with the wireless stuff either. If anything just grab a cisco wireless card so you can practice configuring it. You may even be able to just download the ADU program and configure it without a card (haven't tried this). Otherwise, you would need a WLC and a lightweight AP, which is pricey (at least $1000). Personally I'm just going to glean what info I can on the wireless topic from my books and let the chips fall where they may. If I can get 50% on that section, great. I'll make up for it elsewhere.

If you want to rent rack time, they typically come in blocks of a certain amount of hours. I have seen 4 and 8 hour blocks. It depends on the company. Often the racks are setup for CCIE labs. One limitation of online racks is that you cannot change the topology. They are set and you have to work within them. So you might not be able to do everything that you would like. But, it's pretty darn cheap and a good way to get one some real equipment.

alexmchau Wed, 07/02/2008 - 08:42

Thanks for replies. I researched into the cost of 2-2950s and 2-3550s and can't afford them. Ebay price is about $100 each for 2950 and $500-600 each for 3550.

I also tried GNS3/dynamips with the 16 ports modules but the IOS doesn't support it and I don't have the new IOS so I'm completely out of luck.

-AC

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