ICND2 Lab Equipment

Unanswered Question
Jul 26th, 2008

I recently passed my ICND1, I have CBT Nuggets training videos for ICND2. I am looking at purchasing equipment that will allow me to practice OSPF, EIGRP, etc.. basically all the ICND2 material.

I found some 2610 routers with 32mb DRam and 8MB Flash. Would this router be perfect for what I need or should I continue my search? They are extremely cheap and I could afford two for now, maybe an extra later. I also need to know what switches I need to practice STP, VTP, etc... Can I use my existing equipment in addition to the new equipment? Please help!

Right now I have a 2501 router and a 2916M-XL switch that I used to practice commands for my CCENT.

I have this problem too.
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ChaosInMind Mon, 07/28/2008 - 06:16

Please, I've read throughout the forums and research lab recommendations, but I just need some help with this.

* Will buying two 2610 routers with a T1 WIC allow me to practice all material for ICND2

* Is the 2916M-XL a good switch for practicing 802.1Q and VTP, as well as other ICND2 material

* Will the two 2610's and my current 2501 work well together for labs?

williamforbes Fri, 08/01/2008 - 11:26

Hi there Chaos;

I recently bought some lab gear for my upcoming 640-816 exam. It took a bit of research to figure out what to get. Check out the following links:



One issue I have, and I don't think there is any solution to it, is that for many commands this older equipment does not use the same syntax that you will find on the exam commands. For example, a 2501 router cannot run IOS 12.4, so the syntax is different. It is still worth buying the gear, but know that you have to work through some confusion.

The other thing is feature availability. For example, you may want to setup some VLANs on your switch, trunk it to the router, and program inter-VLAN communication. Well, you have to get a router that can run a recent enough version of the IOS to support VLAN trunking. This doesn't mean you have to shell out big bucks on a bunch of $200 boxes, but ONE of them has to be better than the rest.

Cisco has a pages that tell you minimum hardware and software requirements for specific features, here is one of them:


eBay has some kits as well as individual items, search under CCNA. I recommend you spend a few days pouring over some sites before spending any money.

Hope this is of some use.

- Bill

* Will buying two 2610 routers with a T1 WIC allow me to practice all material for ICND2

Any routers should be fine but you are definitely wasting money on the T1 wic. The reason why I am saying this is because then you would need to purchase special cabling to get the wic cards connected. You can do the same thing and just buy serial wics. Yes, its not as realistic as it would be for real equipment but for lab studies... it does very well.

* Is the 2916M-XL a good switch for practicing 802.1Q and VTP, as well as other ICND2 material

A 2916 is not a good switch to get but if it is the only switch you can get then go ahead. The only alternatives for the ICND2 and future Cisco studies is to get a 2950 or above. But, of course, they are just pricey! Personally, I would attempt to focus on more switches than more routers. The reason why i say this is to practice the switching methods of 802.1q and vtp. You really cant do that with just one switch and one or two routers. But, please dont be discouraged... price is all in our minds and the fact that you are trying to get something is better than nothing.

Another alternative is to rent rack time. You can get all the newest equipment and some places allow a CCNA rack cheaper than the full CCIE racks. For the equipment you listed, it will probably cost you about 500+ dollars. You can rent a rack for about 15-20 per hour. Thats a lot of money for the same amount. But, then again its just my point of view.

ChaosInMind Sat, 08/02/2008 - 17:30

I am purchasing three 2610's with the T1 wic's for $90 TOTAL including shipping. (including consoles and power cords) I purchased my 2916m-xl for $15. That's roughly $105. I have found 295x series for under $80. I don't think that given those numbers that rack time is my best bet, since in the end I still own the equipment. Am I wrong in this thought process??

Not at all. The equipment you have will be beneficial for a lot of lab study. At this point, I would recommend to buy a pair of switches or even 3 switches in total so you can look and test switching concepts. IMHO... routing is routing and very little can be configured and done once it is done. But, switching is the bread and butter of Cisco work so that should be everyones main thing of focus in the beginning.

Im trying to remember what a 2916 switch can and cannot do... comparitively... you cant stack it like a 3750 (in what the test has for ccnp) and the IOS code is a bit old but the main concepts are there. You should be in good shape with those prices. I would still stay away from the T1 wics unless you find an alternative to hooking them up together. That is the main reason why you want to have multiples... so you can route between them.


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