Due to a lot of experience that I have with real networking hardware, it is not mandatory to have a Home Lab to pass CCNA R&S. However, I’ve decided that it could be extremely useful for my further professional development to have a lab at home.
It is understood that there are two options:
Option 1. Buy real Cisco gear on Ebay
- real hardware
- lack of flexibility
- quite expensive
- require a lot of space
Option 2. Virtualization/Emulation
- it is not real hardware
- ability to emulate not only Cisco
Since I had chosen option 2 I have started to build my lab.
To fully run GNS3 or EVE-NG your need a PC with a lot of RAM and support of Intel VT-x/EPT. But my laptops happened to be too old to support this feature. Even my HTPC with Xeon E5450 inside do not support this kind of virtualization.
I had started to examine local garage sales recently and have found IT finally:
Lot 1: Dell T3500 09kpnv Motherboard with Xeon W3565, 12GB DDD3 RAM (upgradable to 24GB) and PSU for only 200$.
Lot 2: Dell 21.5 ips full hd monitor for 80$
I had already added some hard drives and installed Windows 10 and VMWare Workstation. It seems to be working fine.
To be continued…