Overview: Buying Used Real Gear
- Buy/borrow used Cisco routers and switches
- Primary Purpose: To enable learning about CCENT and CCNA topics
- CLI: The real CLI, with real IOS, on real gear
- Scope: Primarily IOS routers and switches
- Lab exercises: None integrated; can search the Net
- IOS Licensing: Use IOS delivered when purchased
Analysis of Option to Purchase Real Gear
Historical Real Gear Details
- In 2000’s, few good CCNA lab options
- Real gear was best option
- This web site (and associated blogs) listed details about real gear for CCENT and CCNA labs
- Today, some great options:
- Pearson Sim: Great lab learning for not much $
- Packet Tracer: Free command practice
- VIRL: Robust virtualized routers and switches with current IOS
- This web site still has old real gear data
- No plans to update the data; use if you like
Analysis: Lab Exercises and Real Gear
Are Lab Exercises Included?
Are Labs Easily Available on the Net?
Trusted authors of CCENT/CCNA labs?
Overall Usefulness for Lab Learning
Analysis: Time and Dollar Costs
Time Overhead: High
How much time does it take to learn the software, choose/buy/install the hardware, to be ready to learn CCENT and CCNA topics? Lower number, speedier start!
Initial Cost: Medium
A lab with 3 routers, 3 switches, and associated cables, with useful IOS versions, can run from $250-$400 or more.
Annual Cost: Zero
Once purchased, there are no additional ongoing fees.