Cisco Home lab.........!

Unanswered Question


Is it a good option to have home lab to practice for cisco exams (CCNP, CCIE etc)?

I'm looking for arranging a cisco home lab for me. One of the guy I contacted is actually selling his lab consisting of 2613 routers (having token ring interface). Being a modular router I can add a couple of more modules to make it ready for my lab. I need consultation on what extra modules will I need to purchase (decent combination of LAN and WAN ports). Is it a good deal if I pay $100 for 5 such routers (without any module except token ring).


I have this problem too.
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n.nandrekar Mon, 06/09/2008 - 22:43

I would recommend you to check the prices on amazon / e-bay first before purchasing it. Make a list of all modules required for the lab and see how much extra it will cost. I personally dont have exp. in this but from what I have heard from friends, you get stuff pretty cheap on e-bay and this doesnt sound like a very good deal.

Second thing is that if you are planning lab for CCIe, then you need very specific equipment that would be used in the CCIE lab. Buying 5 2613 wouldnot be useful for CCIE. Look at what equipment is used for the CCIE track you are planning and then decide on the equipment.



Thanks for the reply Niranjan. These lot of 5 routers are actually listed on ebay. I'm planning fo CCIE routing and switching. I'll buy switches in next month probably. I'm intrested in buying routers right now. I believe 5-6 routers with different capabilities (LAN/WAN) would be sufficient for practising OSPF, BGP and such protocls, isn't it? I'm looking for 2600 series because I want MPLS commands to be working on them as well.

Need your help!!

sirdudesly Tue, 06/10/2008 - 00:23

The 2613 series are pretty tired routers these days and a fair amount of things just simply won't work on them, I don't think non XM routers can run 12.4 even with max flash (I seem to remember a trick where you could load 12.4 into RAM using rommon to use 12.4 on non XM routers)

sirdudesly Tue, 06/10/2008 - 06:29

Don't go for 2500 at all, they're pretty much past it (and there is labs in there that I can say fairly confidently that you won't be able to complete on a 2500)

You see 2500's used occasionally as a frame relay switch and in that role they're still ok but too limited for the new ccnp material from memory.

sirdudesly Tue, 06/10/2008 - 22:28

I wouldn't totally rule out the 2600 series, the 2600XM (note the XM) are still ok.

The 1700 series is your other option, you can usually find them pretty cheap and ram/fash is cheap for them and they're modular.

They're really the two cheap but still useful options

n.nandrekar Tue, 06/10/2008 - 22:52

I agree 7200 might not be a good option as it might be really costly. Would be required if you are planning for CCIE -SP. But 3600 is pretty easily available i guess.

My friend bought 1 on e-bay for just $15. But to his badluck, It got caught up in customs in india and they were demanding almost $100 for its release from him. He let it go.

Anyways, 3640 is a modular router and supports MPLS too. I have actually used it to practice MPLS when I was doing CCIP. So dont rule-out 3640. Also keep an eye on 7200 .. just in case you get a good deal somewhere.



sirdudesly Wed, 06/11/2008 - 05:50

3640's can be had quite cheap these days but really need network modules to be of any use

t814687 Wed, 06/11/2008 - 06:01

What would you say to another option where you do not need to buy any routers at all? ;) To cover ALL routing I would recommend to use GNS3 hypervisor software that runs actual IOS on a PC and has a pretty good GUI where you can connect your virtual routers in any fashion you want. All you need is a powerful PC running Linux and GNS3 which is free. Just google GNS3 and check it out.


mrodriguezm Wed, 06/11/2008 - 09:34

Hi ... I think is a good option GNS3. If you have a good computer you can test complex topologies. I tested very complex topologies (like DMVNP with high availability) with 7200 routers before implmening on field. You can incorporate ASAs on the topology. Renting remote labs is a good option for the final step for the CCIE road.

sw1 Fri, 07/18/2008 - 06:01


Have you considered using a lab across the internet - if it's cost effective to do so - it would save all the trouble of purchasing the equipment ??

Let me know, as I may be able to help you out


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