I am currently studying for the CCSP, I have taken 3/5 exams and have CSIDS and SAFE to complete. I am working on the CSIDS and would like to be able to work with the command line. I would like to purchase or rent a unit for little money (if that's possible). I would hate to go into the exam without having actual hands-on experience. Has anyone had this problem and know where I may find a solution?
Just finished up my CCSP this past Friday. I took the SAFE test fourth because I too could not find an IDS to work on. We have IDS blades in our 6500, but since they are monitored by a third-party company, I could not change configurations or upgrade the sensors like I wanted to. I talked to one of our vendors and worked out a deal to "buy" an IDS device with the terms set at 'Net 30'. I used the device to practice procedures that were not permitted on the production systems. When I returned the unit, all I had to pay was the $300 re-stocking fee. Fortunately I have a good vendor and we worked out the terms of the re-stocking fee in advance. I was able to learn a lot in just three weeks.
If you just want to learn what is necessary to pass the test, you can rent space on a rack for $25/5hrs from places like http://www.gigavelocity.com/. The IDS test had three simulators and they were all from done in the CLI, so you can accomplish the task by practicing on the CLI using an external lab. If you really want to learn what the IDS sensor can do and not just pass the test, I recommend that you talk to a vendor to see if you can either get a loaner or get a deal like I did.
One more note - The CCSP requirements have changed. If you still have two tests left, you should take them quickly. The SECUR, CSIDS, and CSPFA courses will retire on November 19, 2005. The last date to register for corresponding exams 642-501, 642-531, and 642-521 is December 19, 2005.
The new set of five CCSP tests are below:
642-502 SNRS (Securing Networks with Cisco Routers and Switches )
642-511 CSVPN (Cisco Secure Virtual Private Networks) OR 642-513 HIPS (Securing Hosts using Cisco Security Agent)
Cisco has LABS in some of their branch offices and sometimes they are available for Partners.
So if you work for a company that is Reseller, Silver, Gold or whatever Parter ask the guys from Cisco in your City if it is possible to spend some time in their LAB.
Another possibility might be check in your local University. The usualy are giving CCSP and CCNP courses (Network Academy). Same thing here they have labs and it might be possible to do an arrangement.
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