CCIE Lab with primarily 1841 routers

Answered Question
Jul 15th, 2009
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Looking to begin lab purchases for the CCIE RS.


Would like to know if 1841 routers would provide features necessary for lab practice - BGP, MPLS, etc.


Also would 12-port 3560s provide enough ports for STP, Etherchannel, etc. labs?

Or would the 24-port ones be recommended?


Thanks for any help provided.

Correct Answer by Edison Ortiz about 7 years 11 months ago

1841 will meet your needs as they support the necessary WAN/LAN modules and 12.4(T)


https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/docs/DOC-5249


As for the 3560s, you need more than 12 ports for a 4 switch design. Usually, you allocate 9 switchports just for inter-switch links on each switch. You need more ports for BB and other routers.


HTH,


__


Edison.

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Correct Answer
Edison Ortiz Wed, 07/15/2009 - 11:51
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1841 will meet your needs as they support the necessary WAN/LAN modules and 12.4(T)


https://cisco.hosted.jivesoftware.com/docs/DOC-5249


As for the 3560s, you need more than 12 ports for a 4 switch design. Usually, you allocate 9 switchports just for inter-switch links on each switch. You need more ports for BB and other routers.


HTH,


__


Edison.

aciscolook Wed, 07/15/2009 - 12:15
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Thanks for replying.


Does 12.4(T)on 1841 mean it will do all BGP/MPLS (PE and P) functions?


Seems like there is some more MPLS stuff the 2800 series does and 1800 series does not.

Edison Ortiz Wed, 07/15/2009 - 12:47
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For the CCIE R&S, the MPLS Support on the 1841 will be sufficient.


For the CCIE SP Lab, that would be another story.


This document provides some information on the MPLS features offered on each line:


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/iosswrel/ps6537/ps6557/prod_white_paper0900aecd8051fbdc.html



As for the IOS version, 12.4(T) denotes the train track and the BGP/MPLS support is tied to the service feature. Advanced IP Services should cover those features.


HTH,


__


Edison.

aciscolook Thu, 07/16/2009 - 11:13
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Thanks for your reply.


As a matter of fact I just started playing with GNS3/Dyn. It's great, but appear to be some limitations with switching.


Overall how helpful is GNS3/DYN tool for CCIE? Could one conceivably base his entire lab studies on this simulator?


As I delve into the 'physical' lab possiblities more I'm starting to see the 2600 series as a cost-effective alternative to any X800 series. Any caveats I might be advised to keep in mind for the 2600s based lab?


Edison Ortiz Thu, 07/16/2009 - 11:55
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GNS3 is extremely helpful on CCIE SP. In fact, you can practically do a full scale lab with just GNS3.


When it comes to CCIE R&S, you can't rely solely on GNS3. Many people are attaching real switches to the server running GNS3 and complete the lab this way.


Another alternative is basically renting racks. There are plenty of vendors out there with flexible schedule and when doing the numbers $$, the cost of renting a rack will be cheaper over buying equipment and electrical cost the equipment will use.


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Edison.

aciscolook Thu, 07/16/2009 - 13:01
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I definately see your point about $$.


What kind of machines are people running the GNS3 on?


I set up a hub and 2 spoke FR topology with a FRS switch and it really bogs down the CPU even with the IdlePC feature.


How many routers would be needed to simulate a decent MPLS VPN topology in either a simulated or physical environment?


Could you just use 2691 for C, CE, PE, and P routers throughout? Or rather what would be the best mix of routers/roles for MPLS VPN in GNS3?

Edison Ortiz Thu, 07/16/2009 - 13:59
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My lab runs on a Quad Core and with the correct idlepc, I can load the entire Lab with all routing protocols.


I also run GNS3 on my laptop for small labs. My laptop is a dual core and is able to load 6-7 routers with all routing protocols.


For a MPLS VPN, you need 2 CEs and 2 PEs. I you want to play with TE, you may want to throw in 2 Ps.


On GNS3, when I do MPLS - Use the 7200 with 12.2(S) (Service Provider Feature Set).


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