Now that I have everything in place and I’m done working on my live network for the time being I am able to focus on setting up my CCNA Lab. I think it’s turning out pretty nice, makes the room a bit warm (and loud), but that can be dealt with as I won’t have the lab equipment on all the time.


In fact to make it easier to shut down my entire lab at once I plugged all the routers and switches that deal with just the lab into a power strip that goes to an

electrical socket that is controlled by a wall switch. So when I’m done I just flip the switch and all the routers and switches will turn off at

All my switches, routers, and firewalls


I haven’t started configuring any thing just as of yet, just getting it all setup and ready to go.  I will begin setting up the routers, then the switches, then finish up with the firewalls.  I’ll also work at connecting the lab into my home network.  I deliberately put my lab on a class A network while my home network is on a class C network.

So starting from top to bottom from the picture my lab consists:

  • MacBook Pro laptop (for configuring the equipment)
  • Tivo (which isn’t part of the lab, but I had to put it somewhere and this was the only place for it)
  • Cisco 2500 series router (1st)
  • Cisco 2500 series router (2nd)
  • Cisco 2600 series router
  • Catalyst 2900 Series XL Switch
  • Catalyst 2900 Series XL Switch
  • Cisco PIX 515E Firewall
  • Cisco 2600 Series Router (this is my production router that has the ADSL WIC)

Behind the routers and switches I have a few other devices.

A Linksys wireless router and a DLink gigabit switch.  These two devices are for the live network and are what connect all the servers, computers and routers together.

I also have a PIX 501 Firewall that I plan on using at some point in my labs.  Possibly using the 501 on my live network and the 515E on the lab and then working on setting up the routers to communcate through each one of them and out the internet on the live network and vice versa.

I’m sure I’ll be able to try out many interesting things with my setup.  If I find I’m missing anything to help me with my studies I’ll look into getting the piece of equipment I need and bring it in.

Well enough blogging for now, I’m off to practice some IOS commands.  This should be fun.  Setting it up was exciting in itself.  What would be nice would be to get a rack enclosure that helps isolate sound and then rack all the switches and servers in it.  Then I could leave it on all the time and not have to hear the loud hum of the switches (they are the loudest).  The PIX 515E comes in second with the 2600 routers being the quietest of them all.

Stay tuned for more updates!

2 Responses to “My CCNA Lab”

  1. Will you be bringing a T1 into the lab?

    • I’m sure I will to a degree. I can add the T1 WIC modules to my 2600 routers, however I won’t actually purchase a T1 circuit, as it’s too cost prohibited. Instead I can simulate the T1 connection between my lab 2600 router and my live 2600 router with a T1 crossover cable.

      *update* I just went onto Ebay and found 2 WIC-1DSU-T1 cards for $9.00 ea. This is the same ebay store I bought my ADSL from, so I’m sure the cards will work great. Looks like I’ll have a simulated T1 up sooner than I thought.

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