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Help for Hardware buying decision


Have decided I need to buy some real switches for BCMSN study. As I don't work on Cisco everyday, I am a bit unsure on what to buy, and I don't want to waste money.

According to the cisco website for suggested lab setups they recommend 2950 and 3560.

Ebay has some people selling for example:

2900 series (Assume will be similar to 2950)

5500 (looks to be very big)


SOme guy is selling 2 2950's should I bite the bullet and buy them?

Anyone have some hints, and or maybe some pitfalls to look out for so I don't buy the wrong thing. Im really clueless on the right hardware to buy, once Im on the IOS I feel more comfortable :.)




Re: Help for Hardware buying decision

Whatever you do, do not buy a 2924 or similar, they are just too old.

The 2950's should suffice but instead of buying used stuff, you could perhaps try to get new switches from cisco.

If you are a Cisco partner -or working for one-, you can buy them as NFR (Not For Resale) at very good prices.



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Re: Help for Hardware buying decision

Thanks for your help. I have been doing a lot of reading, and E-bay viewing etc. I think a 2950 should be in my price range second hand.

Can someone tell me if it is possible to buy one second hand with standard image, then upgrade it to enhanced image. I read some documents explaining that. I just want to make sure I don't need any license or anything. I also noticed that only certain hardware will run the features of the enhanced image.

I also checked out some on ebay where the people don't have the passwords etc as they just rip them out of sites. I see the procedure to recover doesn't look that hard. Is anything that can go wrong if I don't know the passwords when recovering the switch?

Thanks for all your help

Re: Help for Hardware buying decision

All software on Cisco kit is licensed. If you upgrade feature sets, you should buy the upgraded software. Strictly if you buy used equipment, you need to re-license the software to be allowed to use it, as the software is licensed to the original buyer.

As an individual, the bigger challenge will be getting hold of the images.

Ignore big stuff like the 5500. 2924s etc are very old, and seem to have fragile power supplies.

Password recovery - as long as you follow the steps, it is easy. A lot easier to follow with the switch in front of you rather than just reading the instructions.

Community Member

Re: Help for Hardware buying decision


I just noticed that I have the ability on the web page to download the IOS software with my CCO log in. However there is all this disclaimer stuff, saying they can charge you later if you download something your not entitled to etc etc.

I just want to buy a second hand switch and do some study, I don't plan to use this in a live environment. I don't want to get whacked with a cisco bill for no reason.

Re: Help for Hardware buying decision

If you have the ability to download, you work for someone with a servce contract.

As a private individual, I doubt Cisco would bother to chase you for the relicensing fee for a single switch, but should Cisco notice your employers (via your account) downloading software that you are not entitled to, you *may* find your employer being audited...


Re: Help for Hardware buying decision

The 2900 series is very old and basically not something you want unless someone throws it at you. (i think it was EOL somewhere in the 1997s or something).

I would look at 2960G-8-TC-L

new and very expensive (for a private person) but you can do most basic things with it. and I think its worth the money.

just my 2 cents

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