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
  • noisy
  • require a lot of space

Option 2. Virtualization/Emulation


  • it is not real hardware


  • cost
  • flexibility
  • compactness
  • 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…