Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

    It's quite a challenge trying to get hands-on resources together for CCNA (and then CCNP) practice. I'm just starting CCNA study, on chapter 4 of the 6th edition Sybex book introducing basic IOS commands. I've downloaded and tried the following sims:

    Cisco Packet Tracker 4.11
    Routersim 5.0.0.9
    Boson NetSim CCNP v6 Beta 3, using version 7 lab files

    So far I've found them all to be neat in concept, but poor in IOS command support. Boson, ironically, is the worst (considering it costs the most at $499, you'd expect better). Example: Boson only supports "banner motd", none of the other banner commands. I'm just starting out, but of several basic commands in chapter 4 I'm reading, a lot of them don't work and also the CLI behavior is off. Example, when you type a command, if you don't finish the word but hit the TAB key, it's supposed to finish the command for you assuming there's only one choice, stuff like that. Boson doesn't do this, so it doesn't give a real-world feel. RouterSim just crashes a lot, and PackTracer seems promising but seems more limited than the other two.

    So being somewhat disspirited about these simulators, I was thinking maybe a home lab might be the way to go, but I haven't found posts on this forum about what's exactly is a good idea to get. I'm guessing that one would want to get equipment that is pertinent to the content of the new exam (640-802), so getting stuff with an IOS of v10 or v11 would seem pointless, so one generally has to lean towards the new stuff with IOS v12. But of course, new equipment costs big $.

    So I really have no idea what to do here. The sims don't act like the IOS should so far from what I've seen, lacking all kinds of command support (thus limiting one from exploring the IOS and getting real-world feedback on command testing), and getting a lab together isn't something I know much about nor want to spent huge $ on. Some previous posts pointing to sites have had their links removed, and one that did look promising (www.ciscokits.com) leads to a messed up mysql instance . (UPDATE: Site works now, i'll check it out).

    Throw me a lifeline! Help!
    Last edited by cloudy; 17th June 2008, 18:46.

  • #2
    Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

    Have a look at this:
    http://forums.petri.com/showthread.php?t=14505
    Marcel
    Technical Consultant
    Netherlands
    http://www.phetios.com
    http://blog.nessus.nl

    MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
    "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

    "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
    "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

      Real equipment beats simulations every day of the week. If you Google "cisco router kit" you will find a plethora of companies that sell "kits" which contain real routers, switches, cables, documents, etc.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

        I disagree. Just have a look at GNS3.
        We use it all the time.
        Marcel
        Technical Consultant
        Netherlands
        http://www.phetios.com
        http://blog.nessus.nl

        MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
        "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

        "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
        "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

          Thanks for that. I'm going to check it out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

            I'll check into the GNS3 thing as well, thanks for the suggestion.

            I spent the day yesterday sifting through stuff on Ebay, plus a local (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) based "used stuff' site that has a few items there too, then cross-referencing the models at Cisco's site. The trouble for me is that I'm fairly new to everything Cisco, so when I see a 3640 and a 3660, I think, "well, if Ciscokits.com says a 3640 is good for studying with, a 3660 must be great. I then go to Cisco's site and find out the 3660 is a Voice Gateway, probably not something I need for CCNA. So basically trying to iron out the true requirements for the specific switches and routers, and then what modules should be installed in order to do good training. With my level of knowledge right now I"m likely to pick a router with all Serial and another with all Ethernet and not be able to link them

            Anyway, I'll check out GNS3, and will also google for those kits as well. Thanks a lot guys.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

              For about 80-90% you can use GNS3 if you can download the IOSes from cisco.
              However, for CCNA you also need a couple of switches to get some experience with switching (vlans etc)
              Currently they are not able to simulate this using the real IOSes.

              You don't need high end switches. Just one or 2 to setup VTP etc.
              However most of the stuff can be done with routers only and some loopback interfaces.
              For example, EIGRP, RIP OSPF, access-lists etc.
              Marcel
              Technical Consultant
              Netherlands
              http://www.phetios.com
              http://blog.nessus.nl

              MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
              "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

              "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
              "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

                I purchased a "cisco kit" several years ago and got a 2900XL switch (ios version 12.0(5.2)XU) and two 2524 routers (ios version 12.1(1, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1) each with a 56/64k CSU/DSU card. I've used these for studying routing, vlan's, etc., etc. The entire kit cost me somewhere around $300.00.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: CCNA Home Lab vs. Sims

                  In our company we have a full cisco lab, which we need as a cisco partner.
                  So for us there was no need to buy cisco devices.

                  However, we use GNS3 quite a lot for testing environments because quite a lot of times the lab is reserved for studies
                  Marcel
                  Technical Consultant
                  Netherlands
                  http://www.phetios.com
                  http://blog.nessus.nl

                  MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                  "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                  "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                  "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X