Certification Advice and Tools that Develop Real Cisco® Skills
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Lab Gear * Routers * 2500

2500 Series Routers

Overview

These routers have been a popular option for home labs for many years, due to low used prices and a large supply in the used market.  Many different models exist. The 2501 (2 serial, 1 Ethernet) is very popular, and two models in particular, the 2509 and 2511, can be useful as an access server to connect to consoles of other Cisco devices. The relatively old IOS versions make these models less popular today, but they still have many uses as platforms from which to drive traffic for testing, and as Frame Relay switches.
 

Popularly sold as new in years
1993 - 1997
End-of-Sale (EOS) years:
1997 - 2007
EOS for 2501
2003
Most Recent mainline IOS supported
12.3
Most recent T-train IOS supported
12.2T
Max Flash (onboard)
16M
Max RAM
16M

 
 
 

Supported Feature Sets Referenced by Other Pages on this Site

  1. IP
  2. IP Plus
  3. Enterprise
  4. IP/FW Plus IPSec 56

Hardware

The 2500 series contains many different models, and several of those are useful for Cisco exam prep. Some have Ethernet interfaces, mostly with AUI connectors, which require an external transceiver. Others have Token Ring interfaces. Mostl have some number of built-in higher speed synchronous serial interfaces, and some have additional built-in slower speed (up to 128 Kbps) sync/async interfaces as well. Some of the models with sync/async ports have more port density, making these appealing as Frame Relay switch devices. Some have async serial interfaces, making these models useful as dial-up access servers: connecting these routers to the console ports of other routers and switches lets the user easily switch between the consoles of the devices. 
 
Popular models for certification labs:
 
Device Built-in sync serial Slow speed serial Built in LAN Other built-in WIC/NM slots
2501
2 (DB-60)
 
1 Ethernet (AUI)
None
None
2503
2 (DB-60)
 
1 Ethernet (AUI)
ISDN BRI
None
2509
2 (DB-60)
 
1 Ethernet (AUI)
8 Async (using octal cables)
None
2511
2 (DB-60)
 
1 Ethernet (AUI)
16 Async (using octal cables)
None
2514
2 (DB-60)
 
2 Ethernet (AUI)
None
None
2520
2 (DB-60)
2
1 Ethernet (AUI)
ISDN BRI
None
2522
2 (DB-60)
8
1 Ethernet (AUI)
ISDN BRI
None
 

Cables and other Notes

  • The Ethernet AUI interfaces require an external transmitter/receiver (transceiver), which can cost more than the very inexpensive used 2500 router.
  • The serial cables need to have DB-60 connectors, which differ from the connector on the popular WIC-2T card used on other models of routers. If using 2500 series routers as well as routers with WIC-2Ts, plan to use serial crossover cables (also called back to back cables). However, you may want some with both ends as DB-60 (to connect 2500’s), some with both ends as smart serial (to connect WIC-2T’s), and some with DB-60 and smart serial on opposite ends, to connect a 2500 to a router that uses a WIC-2T.
  • You can use 2500’s without external transceivers to save money. When configuring, issue the no keepalive command under the Ethernet interface, and the router Ethernet interface will be able to come up. You cannot connect other devices to the interface, but the router will treat the interface as up/up, advertising about any connected subnets and responding to pings of the IP address on that interface.

 

Links

 

Known items that need research or verification

  • None

 

Change History

March 1, 2010: Version 1.0
April 22, 2010: Version 1.1 - fixed typos.

 

 Router Series