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Advice / help building a CCNA / CCNP study rack

Hi all.

I have studied Cisco on and off as needed since 2008, and have recently taken the decision to put together my own Cisco home rack.

The rack is primarily intended for CCNA / CCNP study + exams, but also for being able to

  • Take home production problems and see what it takes to solve them.
  • See what it takes to break network production solutions in a non-production environment.
  • Tinker with network production solutions in a non-production environment.
  • Security tinkering.
  • WAN rechable servers tinkering.

To get the best rack possible and getting the right equitment, i'am hoping for some guidance. Since this is not my strongest side.

So far im (out louad) thinking the following (amount) equitment.

  • 3x Cisco routers
  • 2x Cisco layer two switches
  • 2x Cisco layer three switches
  • 1-2x Cisco ASA firewalls
  • 2x Cisco AP's (controller-based or autonomous mode? 2x of both?)
  • 2x Cisco wired and wireless IP phones (Router with VoIP capability)

From what i know Frame Relay has been taken out of the Cisco curriculum and tests.

Is their anything else that would be good to add, or something you definitely think i should take out?

Im thinking of getting all the equitment used from

I'am really hoping someone can guide / help me with what series of equitment would be the best to get in this situation, so i dont get something

thats overkill or to old.


I dont know how much this would set me back, but if its possible to keep within $3.000 than would be nice :)


If you have any comments / ideas you think i should take with me in this project, please share.


Thanks on advance.

Kind regards.

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It's been a while since I

It's been a while since I have built a rack but cost wise, it might cost more than that especially depending on equipment model.  You might want to check out GNS3 or Cisco VIRL.


*** Please rate helpful posts ***

I've been through the

I've been through the modulation programs like GNS3 / others, but they arent quite what i'm looking for. I would also like to use the real equitment for testing interaction with debian along with scripting and programming up against the network equitment for different purposes.

The budget of the rack can be raised, but i thought to myself that 3.000$ was a good starting point.

I dont need the newest of the newest equitment, i just need sturdy, old, good condition equitment with real world functionality.

You can get good cisco gear

You can get good cisco gear on ebay for cheap, also instead of getting layer 2 and 3 switches just get layer 3 switches since they can do both layer 2 and 3 functions, I would recommend getting 3750's at least 2, for routers I have 3 2801 routers, I also bought 5 asa 5505 all total to 1, 600 $.


Thanks for the feedback

Thanks for the feedback Roberto about models, suggestion and what you got yourself!

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