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Second 3560 for the Lab!

By stretch | Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:25 p.m. UTC

I just finished installing a second Catalyst 3560 in the community lab. The new switch was provided by an enormously generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The Catalyst 3560G-24 sports IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet and takes the place of the 3550 that served as S2 in the lab topology.

Thank you, anonymous donor!

We've now reached our goal of having two 3560s available for use in the lab, one for each device block. Note that S2 is now a Gigabit Ethernet switch; all its interfaces are numbered as GigabitEthernet0/X. Since we've reached our goal, I've taken down the ChipIn widget and brought back the simple PayPal donation button.

So, what should our next goal be? What else would people like to see in the lab? With the addition of a switch that supports standardized PoE, I thought it might be cool to throw a couple PoE-powered IP phones into the mix (no CUCM stuff though). Any other ideas?

Posted in Announcements


James K
September 10, 2010 at 11:04 p.m. UTC

That Juniper EX switch in the ad above looks awfully purty...hint

September 11, 2010 at 1:00 a.m. UTC

What about some basic, medium, and advanced lab scenario's? I finished my CCNA this year and to be honest I've found countless errors between books, diagrams and charts alike. I have some of my own basic equipment but I am limited by the capabilities of them since they don't support newer technology, I read alot of these posts and while I understand the technology and reasoning I never have a reason to try and implement or yet comprehend some scenario's where I would.

I was thinking something along the lines of establishing a topic, give the general outline what the background scenario is and then break it down into sections. Starting where you would start on a new router/switch without a template and going at it from scratch. Then instead of providing clear 'how to's' create a spoiler button so the user can attempt the create the lab and if they get stuck can use it.

Does this sound like a reasonable idea? I know I can setup the basic configuration at a CCNA level and I know theres still alot more available to learn but I just don't know how to wrap my mind around certain concepts without a little nudge in the right direction.

Appreciate everything everyone does here in this community!

September 11, 2010 at 7:38 a.m. UTC

This is a great achievement in a very short period of time thanks to you Jeremy and the multiple generous donors. Lab scenarios are readily available on the net for any form of Cisco exams.These are good investiments not particularly expensive and are updated regularly free of charge by different vendors.We all try to get things for free,but at times makes a lot of sense to spend a bit of money. What is missing in our lab are a couple of extra routers feeding routes into the system,they can be called backbones or otherwise.In real life and often in real exams the number of routes is very numerous and they come into the system often by redistribution.They are very useful to practice route filtering,path control,summarizazion etc.These ones could be preconfigured for the 3 common routing protocols,EIGRP,OSPF,BGP using different interface or subinterfaces with list of 15-20 routes each.Of course we can do that with one of the router already available,but reduces the work power of the lab and it is time consuming. One could be attached to the blocka and the other to blockb,they do not need to be used all the time and they do not need to be accessible by us.Accordingly to the config we use on the connected available router we could get the routes for that specific protocol we just need to know the configuration. Using a large number of routes increase the difficulty of the lab and the learning experience.With 2 extra routers the problem really is not the cost,but maintainance,electricity and "headaches" for Jeremy ,but the fact is that this voluntary lab works often better than the ones we pay for :)

September 11, 2010 at 8:07 a.m. UTC

Juniper EX switch.

Unfortunately it costs an arm and a leg :(

September 11, 2010 at 5:29 p.m. UTC

it would be very interesting to have juniper ex in lab, but it is expensive.

what about juniper j-series? it would be very interesting to mix cisco and juniper in lab ;)

September 11, 2010 at 6:06 p.m. UTC

That is a wonderful news. I am still new to the forum/lab but looking forward for wonderful things to come out from this wonderful group. Any idea when console servers will be fixed or available again. Thanks Stretch! Greatly appreciated all what you are doing.

September 11, 2010 at 8:06 p.m. UTC

As for a Juniper, take a look over here:

I'm planning to make one of these babys and stick it in my work lab. Could be an option here as well?

September 11, 2010 at 8:26 p.m. UTC

I'd like to see something running Vyatta. The software is free and you can run it on some spare pentium 3s from craigslist or somesuch. If some money could be raised, getting some actual Vyatta hardware would be cool, but just being able to get familiar with the O/S and link it to other vendor devices would be awesome.

September 12, 2010 at 6:40 p.m. UTC

Im just putting this in the mix, but how about considering going out for the Cisco UCS C210 M1 server. Yes I know its pretty expensive as it is fairly new, but it could be beneficial for Cisco Data Center Specialists and other enthusiasts. Just imagine installing and configuring ESX or *Nix distro on a Cisco Server :-)

September 13, 2010 at 12:54 a.m. UTC


While it would be cool to have a UCS box in the network I don't see a ton of value in it. I have been selling UCS since right after release and the C series offers nothing special over any other basic server with similar specs. The advantage would come when they add Fabric Module support so the C series can benefit from end to end management features of UCS. The problem then is that Stretch would have to add at least one 6100 fabric and that just does not make sense considering all it does is manager servers and FCoE.

However I do think some severs and or end point with apps like scapy, iperf and other misc tools would be really cool so we could to more testing and see how our lab configs are working from an endpoint perspective.

Just my 10 Cents.

September 13, 2010 at 1:46 a.m. UTC

I like the Juniper idea as I'm entertaining learning Juniper products but I still need some hands-on with VoIP and the Cisco Unified product. I would like to find someone in my area (50 mile radius) who has a Cisco VoIP solution but that's not working too well. A VoIP product in the lab is also a great idea as this may be the only way I'll get exposure to the technology and product. Jeremy thanks for everything.

September 13, 2010 at 1:42 p.m. UTC


how about some Cisco ASA 5505's? You can buy refurbished cisco products from OSI Hardware with warranty.

September 13, 2010 at 1:46 p.m. UTC

scrp that last remark...already have 5505s....i'm tired...sorry...I suggest VoIP anything really...

September 14, 2010 at 10:28 a.m. UTC


I have CUCM 6.1-8.0 software, a few extra Cisco IP Phones, a few Cisco VT Advantage web cameras and some old servers that I could donate.

September 15, 2010 at 8:28 p.m. UTC

A Cisco IPS would be cool.

September 16, 2010 at 7:15 p.m. UTC

I really like the idea of a Vyatta OS setup. I had never heard of it till this morning and so I was checking it out. I put it on a VM and it seems like it is very robust OS. I am going to do some more playing around with it, but this seems like it would be a good firewall/load balancer/VPN/Router for a small company.

I would like to be able to test this out with a mixture of different Cisco devices and see how good Vyatta is in larger test environment.

I also like the idea of an IPS or IDS to work with in the lab.

September 17, 2010 at 2:32 p.m. UTC

Are the 'older' replaced items in 'storage' or sold off? Why not just connect up some of the older equipment into a stackC. It doesn't even have to be interconnected to A & B but could.

There are a lot of us working on CCENT and CCNA that could benefit from less competition for scheduling due to simpler lab setup. Then the only needs would be monthly funds for the electric bill increase.

Another idea is a few of us have acquired their own lab setup. After certifying, its more idle. Can others do a 'virtual' donation of the lab, funding their own electric and handling the scheduling ? Even though its located else where on the planet ? Jeremy is this technically possible ? If so, are there reasons to NOT do this ?

September 21, 2010 at 12:23 a.m. UTC

Something as simple as a couple of Catalyst 2950s to use as Access Layer switches would really add something to the lab for those of us workings towards the SWITCH exam.

Right now I use 2 of the switches in a Collapsed Core configuration as both Core and Distribution switches, which works fine, but it would be nice to have a couple of switches to dedicated to each layer.

Having said that, I've just completed my second session on the lab and it's great that this is offered to us certification students, thanks for your efforts, Jeremy!

September 26, 2010 at 10:13 p.m. UTC

Definatley need a Security lab with at least a pix firewall preferably an ASA this will distinguish you from 95% of other internet labs out there but also provide a huge learning tool for the packetlife familly !

September 26, 2010 at 10:15 p.m. UTC

@AL: The lab already has an ASA 5505. Two, actually.

September 27, 2010 at 10:17 a.m. UTC

There are ASA 5505s, but a pair of higher ASAs for firewall clustering would be nice. Firewall is a central point of control and as such, also a central single point of failure. For that reason, whereever i go, i see h/a pairs of firewalls and the need for experiences in that field.

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