RE-Updated Physical lab when 3550 died, may it RIP! Also a word on why using physical labs > virtual if you have the money, and they are CHEAP now adays!


That right there is my bundle of Cisco pride and joy!

A breakdown of my equipment, and what I use for my topologies:

From top device to the bottom:

  • 2509 Access Router w/octal cable
  • 3750v2 – 15.x (SW1)
  • 3750v2 – 15.x (SW2)
  • 3750v2 – 15.x (SW3)
  • 3560 – 12.2 (SW4)
  • 1841 ISR Router (R1)
  • 2621XM Router (R3)
  • 2611XM Router w/4-Serial interface card (Frame-Switch / NBMA)
  • 2611XM Router (R4)
  • 2611XM Router (R5)
  • 2801 Voice Router w/CME IOS image for Voice studies (R2)
  • 3550 L3 Switch – Toasted!

Note that R2 is the 2801 on the bottom of the stack (physically), I use this as R2 because it has a more advanced feature set / IOS than the 2600 series routers.

I’m just going to quickly re-vamp this entire section, cause it is way too long and wordy, and yes I finally got PoE working on my 7940 phone so I am rocking it in the picture 🙂

So the 3550 died on me right as I started SWITCH which I was actually thankful for, as it forced my hand to get another 3750v2, so I got a third one for cheap and I love these devices!

A word on why now is the time to put together a physical lab if ever – Its cheap!

I believe when I was first putting a lab together, it cost me about $500 for 3 x 2500 series switches, and 2 x 2950 switches. Since then I have completely replaced it, at a higher cost with the above equipment, now adays this stuff is way cheap but I’ve easily spent $1500+ on my home lab.

I know virtual is cheaper and portable, but nothing gives you real life exposure to port and cable failures such as a physical lab, and you cannot practice other Cisco disciplines with GNS3 or the $200 I am not paying Cisco for VIRL images – No way.

Another point is the phone at the top of my access server router, as now that I have decent switches courtesy of the CCNP SWITCH course, I can now use PoE to power wireless Aironet devices which I would like to get a CCNA in wireless as I need a better understanding in that. However with this setup, if cabled differently (and would need an extra voice gateway and server for Voice) I could make a multi-site CCNP Collaboration setup.

So if your just trying to pump out a CCNP fast for job reasons GNS3 may be for you, however you’ll be getting switches or VIRL either way, I feel just getting the home lab and being able to physically view ports and more important draw a topology and then cable it how you drew it (or draw a logical topology and see if its correct) is also very valuable for real world experience.

So that is my rant on that, back to the grind! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s