should i rebuild/add to my current lab

i am debating whether or not to add to my current lab or just to rent rack time.  Just realized that ine uses ios 12.4(22) ios. Now knowing they are running that ios makes me think maybe my current lab may still be of use and perhaps i can just build on that.

current lab is:

2 x 1760v's 12.4 advip pvdm 4fxs wict1 modvpn cme 4.0
2 x 3550 poe emi
2 x 2950
4 x 7960s
cisco softphone
dell 1425 server ubuntu running gns3 8gb quad core 80gb sata (will upgrade to 1tb if i get the media)
1 x asa 5505

i can buy media but only if i choose to do ccnp v at home
Cisco Unified Communications Manager 8.6 (Node1 & Node2)
Cisco Unity 8.6
Cisco Unified Presence 8.6
Cisco CUCM Business Edition 8.6
Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 8.5
VMWare Image CUCM, Unity, CUP, UCCX 8 Snapshots and ISO

I was thinking of getting one 2801 to run 15.0 ios 

Do you voice guys think i can do the ccnpv with my current setup and just add a 2801 and vwics or just add another 1760v?


  • 1760's with CME4.0 is too oldie to play for current CCNP Voice - try to get 2x2801 with minimum VIW2-2MFT-E1/T1 and PDVM2-32. User one of your 1760 as PSTN simulator router. Also the 7960 will not support many new features, though you can cover those by CIPC but I will recommend to manage two 7962/7942 for each of the sites.

    Also forget the gns3 for voice labs - many restrictions there maybe you already know, it's really not a good idea to use gns3 for serious labbing. Maybe you can test some features or some discrete labbing scenarios but seriously - not for serious labbing.

    Try to run ESXi (instead of gns3) into the dell bare metal and then try to collocate few of the mentioned guest servers, maybe you can't run all of them there in together so try to manage another server from ebay.

    Now, if you have plan to move the CCIE Voice rack later on I will recommend you to build the lab slowly, if you don't have such plan - I will advise to go for INE rack rather than adding 2x28xx routers, 2x7942/7962 phones and 1x high-end server.


  • Thanks for the reply. I also do have cme 7.0 if thatll make a difference.  I have 7940s not sure why I said 60s but I doubt itll make a difference. I have no plans to go the ccie level. I am running gns3 for my ccnp rs studies didnt plan on using it for voice.   I was hoping  to still be able to use my lab in learning the ccnpv track.  Do you think if i use the ine rack it'll be enough to really know the software/hardware to configure it from scratch from a fresh install to multiple site configuration. Will the Only thing i'll really be missing out in a real rack is having the experience to install the software right?  

  • Yes you are right, the only thing you will be missing the installation phase of the software into ESX. The IOS devices you will have console access so you can erase the whole config and play as you wish so nothing to miss there.

    As you have your own router/switch/phones you can have L2VPN towards the lab and use your own phones with the rack - this is a great idea that you will never feel the rack is thousands km away. Even if you issue the command 'sh cdp neigh' into the rack switch your phone MAC will be shown there. You can go through the details starting from page 65, Appendix A of the 'Voice Rack Rental Access Guide'. Maybe you still need any of the 2611XM/1800/1900/2800/2900/3800/3900 routers, 1760 router can't help on this.

    But you can go for L3VPN using your ASA, the same guide contains all the possible ways.

  • thank you for the input i'll use your idea and implement l3vpn to create an additional site.

  • Nice to hear that. Keep posted if you face any challenge on the same.

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