I see that INE's CCNP lab rack has 3550 and 3560 switches in it. In regards to the IOS, what release is on each platform, and is there an official guideline on which platform(s) to study for the CCNP v2.0 track?Thanks,Jeff
Officially, the CCNP is based off of 15.x IOS. However, with regards to IOS commands you need to know on switches to pass the SWITCH exam, there is no discernable difference between 12.x and 15.x. So you're perfectly safe practicing for SWITCH and TSHOOT stuff on 12.x IOS (all of our switches are using 12.2(5x)SE).
However, once you get to the CCIE level you'll definitely want to find equipment that is predominanty running 15.x. There are quite a few changes to CCIE-level routing commands from 12.x to 15.x.
With regards to hardware, there is no official guideline for switches. The main thing to keep in mind when selecting a hardware platform is to select one that supports full Routing capability (not just static routes), IPv6 and all of the switching security features like Private VLANs, VACLs, and DHCP Snooping. Some switches don't support those features (such as the 3550s).
As an FYI..in the next 2-3 weeks we'll be removing all of the 3550s from our CCNA/CCNPs and replacing them with 3560s which will give you greater flexibility for creating Switching Security and IPv6 topologies.
Thanks for the detailed response. I have a home lab that I built a few years ago to INE's CCIE R&S specs, except I used all 3550 switches. I missed the mark on the lab on the 3.0 blueprint and just got sidetracked with studying until recently. So I think I'll study all the CCNP SWITCH topics that I can on my equipment and supplement the others with INE rentals. Thanks again for the insight!
What are the current hardware (physical devices/wic's/modules...etc) and software requirements to match the INE racks for both Switch and Route? I do follow that 3550's will be upgraded to 3560's.
(2) Cisco 3845s (can be any IOS software. These are used just as Access Server/Frame-Relay Switch/Backbone router injecting IPv4/IPv6 routes)
(2) Cisco 2811s (c2800nm-adventerprisek9-mz.153-3.XB12.bin)
---HWIC-4ESW (not really utilized in Lab Workbooks)
(2) Cisco 1841s (c1841-adventerprisek9-mz.153-3.XB12.bin)
(3) Cisco 3560s (WS-C3560-24TS) c3560-ipservicesk9-mz.122-55.SE9.bin
Could you please help me find this IOS Image file for a 2811 Router: c2800nm-adventerprisek9-mz.153-3.XB12.bin
It is not available from the Cisco website, but I know that it is out there.
Could you please chare that IOS with me?
I hope you can.