A few months ago I decided that I was going to go ahead and get my Cisco CCNA certification and I'm a little bit in a different place than a lot of people who go to get their CCNA in that I already worked in the IT field, But Don'T have Cisco certification, Where a lot of other folks are getting done with college or entering the IT field and t get their CCNA as t step toward getting their certain getting a first position. I'm kind of leveraging that at this point by using my employers, Training budget to work toward my CCNA, So these two boxes arrived today from company called certification kits comm and I know a lot of people when t go for the CCNA like to find their Cisco Equipment either on eBay or through other means like that Craigslist, That's really not an option for me based on geographically, Where I live. There's a whole lot of tech equipment being sold on the used market and really it might point in my life in my position. Getting the certification is important enough to me to make sure that an investment is made to get a working lab up as quickly as possible.

So I called certification kits and got a very helpful salesman on the phone. We talked through a few options and we actually customized one of the kits that t offer on their site and we'll talk about that in a minute. But these boxes arrived. T would have arrived last Friday, Which would have been four days after t were ordered.

Except for my place of business was closed on the day after Thanksgiving, So t arrived today appear to be well packed about 92 pounds altogether and let's see what we've got here, Sometimes of packing peanuts, Whipped to a s and here's. Another reason why I was very happy to go with a kit menu manufacturer, But a kit that was put together by a company in that included with the kit, Our lab workbooks, Nice little laminated crammed sheet and a book t put out called how and why. We subnet, Which I think may be the most interesting printed material that t say t distribute with these kids hardware. Here we have this 2800 series router to the 28 11, And this is going to form that this is going to be the the router of choice for my CCNA rack and a lot of people.

Also. The recommended lab layout for CCNA according Cisco is three routers and three switches and there's various reasons for that. A lot of people will go to router to switch, Which I suppose is a valid choice. But I went three router three switch, Because I wanted to make sure that I could expose myself to anything that was going to be on the CCNA exam and not only that I don't plan on stopping after I get my CCNA.

This lab is going to transition. If all goes well also into my CCNP routes, Which lab so I put a lot of that thought in when I put this lab or I decided which lab to order here, Another 28:11. What do you know another 2811? So those are the three switches for three routers rather for my lab, So this layer, Three covered so layer two must be the other box.

Now there are other choices around you can go with, Even through certification kits, If you want to order one of their other kits. 18:41. Router is a very popular choice and, As a matter of fact, I have an eighteen, Forty one here, But the thing about the eighteen, Forty one is that it needs to be most eighteen. Forty ones need to be upgraded on both RAM and flash storage to be able to run the latest iOS, And that was another big thing for me is that I wanted to be able to run iOS 15, And I would not have been able to do that.

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On some equipment that I was looking at horses made here to do that have a conception here, Ups inside ups, Another nice thing about ordering a kit as opposed to trying to piece one of these things together. Is that I thought that's what was in here. All the cables these just happen to be Ethernet cables, Which obviously aren't hard to come by, But the cables required to do the labs and there's a couple of console cables are included. So not a lot of thinking required there.

Another Wyck to a s which is another thing: people sometimes don't choose not to go down that route. I wanted a lab that was capable of doing as much of what might appear on the CCNA and further tests, Then that I could get so here comes the searching portion of the program. This is all well wrapped and very clean. This is a catalyst. 2960.

48, Ports, Which and a lot of people go with 2950 again. I wanted the latest iOS, So one 229 60. This appears to be its twin and it is Cisco. 2960.

Now the kit that I was looking at originally came with 329 60s and 328 11s. The person I spoke to its certification kits made a suggestion based on what I had told him about my certification route, But I think was a very good one in that. Instead of committing myself to only layer 2 switches in my kit, Though I could upgrade, And if t do this piecemeal could upgrade one of the serve of one of the switches will layer 3 switch.

This is what I did so this is a thirty five. Sixty layers thread layer 3 switch, So I actually have in my possession a second thirty, Five sixty so with the the second thirty five sixty and upgrading 1841 I'll be able to do four switches for routers and be able to do the CCAP level labs. When I get to that point, This is the third wick to a s and those are the serial interfaces for the twenty eight eleven routers one other couple more things in here.

One other choice I made it was actually kind of made the last minute in that one of the offerings that t make at certification kitchen. You can get this kind of equipment online as well. Ebay or any place where you cisco gear is sold is an access server.

Basically, This is another router in the sole purpose of this router is to provide serial ports is to provide C. This is a twenty twenty five hundred series, Which is an obsolete, Router, Long obsolete according to Cisco, But it has this async one through eight port on the back, Which allows it to it has eight asynchronous serial ports which connect to the console ports on these switches. So in hand routers, So it also has a very old-style network port on it aoI a UI port rather and with a a UI two Ethernet transceiver.

You can connect this to a standard, Ethernet network and basically telnet into any of your pieces of hardware remotely. This is important to me because this lab is actually going to be set up in my basement. Rack I'll show that at some point, But I'm fortunate enough to have the space in my basement for a forty five, You rack full Tower currently has a virtualization server and some other pieces of networking equipment in it and it will in my media server, I'm going To reconfigure that rack in part to hold this lab, Including the additional 35 60 in the 1841 that I have once I get that upgraded.

So that's the main part of the lab, There's still one more bag in here there see, There's the a UI transceiver and the what t call the octopus cable, The eight headed cable that has the rj45 s for connecting to the console ports on the routers and Switches and then the I believe it's a 68 pin connector could be wrong about that, But the connector that goes on to the back of the access server. This is a 2509 access server, Which means it only has eight ports isn't a very similar one. The 25:11 that has 16 ports, So it basically has two takes two of those eight Way. Cable, Oh forgot about these now. Another thing that you run into, Especially when buying used equipment is all the accessories that you need to rack mount these things and I'm going to take all the stuff out of the bag.

But these are all the rack mounting brackets for all this hardware and I did have to pay additional for these. T don't include them in the base price for the routers and switches, But I have them all and t all match the gear that I have so. Instead of scrounging up all these parts and that you know that's really, That was the road that I started down. When I decided I was going to get certified.

It's like. I have some IT friends. I have some IT friends that even runs a fair bit of Cisco equipment in in production, And I can probably get a CC a nele Bob and I just had a really hard time getting ahold of the equipment. So the more I thought about it, The more I said to myself: if you really want to get this done, And do it right get the hardware that you need so that you can get it done so, Thankfully, I have a employer that provides for training on A yearly basis - and I was able to take some of those resources and use them towards putting this lab together. So our future article I'm going to show you this lab installed in the rack and talk a little bit more about how I plan to attack, CCNA and possibly further certifications.

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