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Wired Networks Thread, Cisco Test Rig in Technical; Hi everybody, I'm looking in to self-teaching my self the CCNA and then sit the exam. I've got my eyes ...
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    TheMan100's Avatar
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    Cisco Test Rig

    Hi everybody, I'm looking in to self-teaching my self the CCNA and then sit the exam. I've got my eyes on these two books,
    ICND1:
    CCENT/CCNA ICND1 Official Exam Certification Guide CCENT Exam 640-822 and CCNA Exam 640-802: Amazon.co.uk: Wendell Odom: Books

    ICND2:
    CCNA ICND2 Official Exam Certification Guide CCNA Exams 640-816 and 640-802: Amazon.co.uk: Wendell Odom: Books

    (Both are from the same author).
    However, if I buy these books I want to get a hands on approach with the gear, rather than emulating the hardware. Can anybody suggest some cheap cisco hardware that I'll find useful when self-teaching myself CCNA, or do you have some old stuff you think may come in handy for me which you no longer require (I'd be willing to pay, but not too much). Also, if you can think of any other decent books, then please suggest them to me.

    Thanks.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    You can buy kits of Ebay or if you know what you want, buy it individually. I was patient and picked up a few switches and routers cheap. CertForums - The Certification Community has good advice on this and you will find some posts regarding what you would need ideally as well as recommendations of Ebay sellers.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with the virtual software from Cisco, infact it is quite useful for breaking and rebuilding switches, routers etc. Packet Tracer is awesome, and much more fun IMO than proper equipment.

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    Cisco items - Get great deals on Cisco lab, CCNA items on eBay Stores! sell everything you could want for a home lab. It will start getting expensive fairly quickly though as you'll probably want at least 2 routers and 2 switches, so you'll be looking at the thicker end of 200 at a minimum once you've added in cables and everything. Also if you haven't got a rack in an isolated area it gets noisy as well.

    If you just want one device to get actual hands on you're looking at ~50. The very cheap switches may not have all the features you need to practice with so 2950s would probably be as low spec wise as you'd want to go.

    If Packet Tracer is on one of the CDs that came with the book then I'd certainly be using that to begin with.

    Edit: Actually you may have to get one of the official Cisco Academy books to get hold of Packet Tracer on CD http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1587132087 as technically it's only available to Cisco Academy students.
    Last edited by jtotheb; 21st July 2011 at 08:50 AM.

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    if you decide to go virtual use gns3 as packet tracer is limited and some of the commands does not work.. where gns3 is a real router simulator. You can also rent a rack with real equipment it costs about 10 a day
    and you don’t need any more books just some lab guides and you could get some video training as well

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    Ok guys, thanks for the replies. I think I might get a couple of 2950s to start with, and then build it up from there. As for noise... well... I'm sure I could find somewhere to put them.
    Also, just to check... I would need to get an RJ45 --> DB9 connector in order to configure it?

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Yes you need the special console cable. Have a good look around as well as I'm sure I managed to get my switches for about 20 or less, you just got to watch a about 10 promising auctions at a time.

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    TheMan100's Avatar
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    Oh nice... what switches did you buy? Also, were they substantial enough for you to fully practice the CCNA on.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    OK some advice whilst Packet Tracer is GOOD, a lot of the more "Advanced" commands are missing so I wouldnt recommend it for all of your lab use, lab it up on real kit and get yourself on the CBT NUggets website and look at the CCNA stuff, also grab GNS 3 from the net and install it - aslong as you have IOS's you can run live Cisco Router Images on your PC and break it and learn on it as much as you want but you cant beat the real kit, grab some routers and some switches not just one of each - with several bits of hardware you'll see everything working and talking to each other logically, you'll see all the protocols working and you'll be able to see everything working on something like Wireshark - Always use more than one bit of each kit it's always better to see it working.

    Also when you learn always learn the full command strings dont use the shortcut commands like for saving the config on the hardware you can use the command "wr" this is fine in the real world but for exam purposes you'll need to use - Copy Running-config startup-config.

    Remember that for the exam.

    And also a little tip, build you lab and learn and once you've learned how everything works - follow the Cisco Lab guides and lab it up and then - get someone in to break it for you and see if you can fix the problems - it's good for gaining great troubleshooting skills.

    Good Luck!

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    The best switches for CCNA are the 2950's and the 3550 series switches, routers I'd Recommend for CCNA the 26 and 2800 routers.

    I'd go to eBay and grab x2 Switches and x2 Routers - and the corresponding cables.

    It's also interesting if you could setup yourself a server/workstation and setup SNMP traps and setup something like Nagios.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    As for noise, I often find I can mellow out to the sound of whirring fans from my servers switches and routers - it's just sooooo mellowing - oh wait it might just be me - at least if it's whirring it's working lol

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    Packet tracer is pretty much all you need for the CCNA, (hardware wise) although the real thing does get you the hands on experience which cannot be emulated in software.

    All the commands you require will be available in packet tracer, its surprisingly good. I did my course through the OU which atm is around 700 quid or something for 4 day schools etc, (have to pay for the exam at the end too) but its rather good. Basically following the Cisco netacad path.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    Yes I agree - Packet Tracer is good just don't rely on it too much - real kit is your best friend.

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    TheMan100's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help guys, but I think I'll definitely invest in 'actual' hardware, as I think it'll help in the long run.

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